|The Truth Which Sets Free - Destiner Press|
For free online reading simply click on the Chapters listed below.
An exposure of the false teaching of Christianity concerning the reason for evil and suffering. This is one of the most challenging and deepest areas in the Word of God.
The following four booklets are now also included in the Addendum of The Truth Which Sets Free.
Chapter 13. Church Festivals
There are numerous books devoted to historical evidence describing the pagan origins of Christian festivals, and countless Encyclopedia references. What is really critical is whether these pagan roots matter or not, whether they are harmless or carry dire consequences according to the Word of God, whether they can be celebrated by the elect of Christ, or if they are only for the goats of the church. Less significant rites, such as the harvest festival (the feast of the pagan agricultural god represented in spirit by sheaves of grain brought into the kyriakon, or the celebration of the cereal goddess, Ceres) will be ignored in favor of the two major church festivals. For unfamiliar readers a brief description of these two will be outlined. It is essential to have at least a basic grounding in the origins of these neo-pagan or Christian festivals. Then the far more critical implications will be examined. Any lesser festivals may then be viewed in that same light.
"Christmas, from Old English Cristes maesse, Christs Mass, Christian festival celebrated on December 25, commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ. It is also a popular secular holiday The reason why Christmas came to be celebrated on December 25 remains uncertain, but most probably the reason is that early Christians wished the date to coincide with the pagan Roman festival with the pagan agricultural and solar observances at midwinter. In the Roman world the Saturnalia (December 17) was a time of merrymaking and exchange of gifts. December 25 was also regarded as the birth date of the Iranian mystery god Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness houses were decorated with greenery and lights, and gifts were given to children and the poor. To these observances were added the German and Celtic Yule rites Christmas is traditionally regarded as the festival under the name of whose patron, Saint Nicholas, or Santa Claus, presents are exchanged in many countries." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Christmas, Std.Ver.1999)
Jesus was not born anywhere near December 25. No Emperor ever called for a census of the whole Roman world, which is the very reason why Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem, to register, when half the empires roads and passes were deep in snow. Neither did shepherds sit out openly with flocks in the fields in mid-winter, which was cold even in Israel. (Luke 2:1-8; Jeremiah 36:22) This day is sacred to the many forms of the false christs, the Son of the Mother goddess in numerous disguises. It is a critical day for Horus the Son of Isis, and for Apis (calf) the son of Hathor (sacred cow). It is a birthday for sun-gods in many early mystery cults, especially Sol and Mithra, and for Tammuz the Shepherd. Even from Ezekiels time (500 BC) Tammuz was worshipped in Jerusalem, a pastoral god who was believed to have had a miraculous conception and to have died from a wound in his side. But the most important shrine of Tammuz was in Bethlehem. The early church father Jerome (c.347-420 AD), a priest ordained at Antioch and champion of the perpetual virginity of Mary, moved to Bethlehem in 386 AD, living there as a monk and dying in the very cave shrine of Tammuz, renamed as the birthplace of Christ by the Church. (Jerome: His Life, Writings and Controversies, J. N. D. Kelly, London, Duckworth, 1975; other good references include The Paganism in Our Christianity, Arthur Weigall, Gordon Press, 1974, previously Putnam 1928; and Pagan Traditions of the Holidays, David Ingraham, Hearthstone, 1993) Jerome tried to alter the story to read that the cave of the supposed Nativity was the original and was later used by the Tammuz cult, but, as we shall see, Tammuz worship was going strong in Israel in Ezekiels time, 700 years before Jesus was born.
No apostle cared anything for the stable where Christ was born but the early Christian sect of neo-pagans needed something to see, and what better blend than with the shrine of the reincarnated Tammuz in Bethlehem? The cave may have been rededicated to Tammuz under Hadrian (Roman Emperor from 117-138 AD) but after that the Christians reclaimed it once more. If the Living God had wanted to have an X mark the spot where His Son was born, and where he died, He would most certainly have provided it for his elect. All such pilgrimages to a "holy land" and venerated shrines are for churchmen only. This is rank superstition, no better than Buddhists perambulating around "sacred sites" or Muslims being under obligation to cross the world to Mecca, circling and queuing outside the Kaba to kiss a meteorite. All we know is that Jesus was born somewhere in Bethlehem in a stable or manger, because the inns were full, and definitely not in December. This is the time for pagan festivities, major ones. In Rome the extremely popular cults of Mithra and Isis devoted almost a week to this important period, celebrating the miraculous births, deaths and resuscitations of their various gods, and early Christians were all too ready to blend with this parallel paganism using the standard church tactic of syncretism, the policy of reconciling or unifying different schools of thought. "Mystery religions...reached their peak of popularity in the first three centuries of the Christian era...especially rites in which death and resurrection were represented." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Mystery religions, VII: 153) The Church became the keeper of all this, especially after Constantine became a Christian. And by now you should know what "Christian" means.
An essential part of Christmas is the tree. "Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Christmas Tree, Std.Ver.1999) Actually the Christmas tree goes back to ancient cultures as far away as China and especially to Egypt where it represented Osiris, consort of Isis, who was killed and mutilated and whom Mother Isis brought back to life in the new form of Horus. (Encyclopedia Britannica, Osiris, Std.Ver.1999) Pagans regarded this as a kind of miraculous conception and resurrection in one. Christians loved it. Like the popular Janus (the Roman form of Tammuz), the god with two faces, the idea could satisfy all, blend two in one, mix scripture with myth. "The Christian representations of the Madonna and child are clearly the continuation of Isis and her son suckling her breast." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Mystery religions 12.785) In Rome the tree was taken outside afterwards, not burned but cut in pieces, each household bringing a piece back inside, representing the coming of the resurrected Horus. That is the Yule log. The pagans in Rome exchanged gifts at this time. Whether this was as strong as the obligation placed by modern day Christianity and merchandising is not known, but one can imagine the possible ostracism for not conforming in that society, for not receiving the mark of the beast, where the elect, who would not take part, were labelled the "Antisocials."
"Easter, principal festival of the Christian church year The English name Easter is of uncertain origin; the Anglo-Saxon priest Venerable Bede in the 8th century derived it from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess Eostre." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Easter, Std.Ver.1999) First of all, (and even church dictionaries mention this), the word Easter is not of uncertain origin, nor is it derived from the Greek word pascha (Passover); it cannot possibly be, although many Bible translators did deliberately replace Passover with Easter. Even the meticulous Tyndale made this one glaring mistake, probably inadvertently because he had seen it so many times in previous translations. The word occurs only once in the King James Version (Acts 12:4; the Greek word in this verse is pascha), and is removed entirely from most Bibles from the Revised Version onward. Secondly, Bede was the foremost church historian of all England. He did not make a guess or error with the origin of this name. There is no question that Easter, Eostre, Eastre, Eos, Ishtar and Astarte are various pronunciations of the same goddess. Easters name did not pop out of a hat like a rabbit, it came from ancient Babylon. Jesus did die at Passover, as we well know, but Easter is not his festival. It is literally the festival of Ishtar of Babylon, the consort of Bel (Baal, the Lord, Lord of the Air). She is also known as Astarte, and in the Old Testament as Astoreth of Canaan, Isis of Egypt (sometimes pronounced Ishis). She was the original prototype mother goddess from Babel, also regarded as a fertility goddess, hence the rabbits and eggs. Many important festivals surround the variations of her son and his resurrection at this time, which Satan (Baalzebub), who knows his scripture very well, designed specifically to coincide with the Passover. The wailing week and procession in March-April for the Shepherd Son, Tammuz, was held in Jerusalem, an "abomination" mentioned by the great prophet, Ezekiel. (Ezekiel 8:14,15) It was later adopted by the Church as Holy Week. In the first three centuries of the mystery cults the initiates also celebrated this time with sacramental meals of wine or water with bread; little round wafers were made to represent the sun-god Mithra, a version of the death and resurrection story from Persia which was hugely popular in Rome. This abomination was not new; it had long before infected the Jews who made similar cakes for Isis, the mother of the new and risen sun-god, Horus. (Jeremiah 44:15-19) Later it was taken into the Church sacraments, the sacred breads to be distributed by clergy alone, or as the Westminster confession puts it, by a "duly qualified minister." Churches in the Mediterranean still observe this spring festival with the planting of an ear of wheat, which was originally done for Horus/Tammuz/Adonis, the sprout representing his resurrection. Of course, this is now done in the name of Christ.
Now let us look at the Biblical implications of all this. In scripture, in particular the Old Testament, the Israelites were instructed by God what days and festivities to keep, and to keep those times only. Absolutely nothing was to be adopted from the people around them; anything not prescribed by God was unacceptable. "You shall not go after other gods of the peoples around you...lest the anger of the Lord be kindled against you and he destroy you from off the face of the earth." (Deuteronomy 6:14) But, said the Israelites, we are now doing these things in the Lords name and to his praise. Sound familiar? Christians buy this same argument wholeheartedly. God will have none of it. It is made even worse, precisely because it is a mixture which uses His name for justification. When the Israelites made the golden calf, Apis, they took a tradition of Egypt and blended it with God, identifying it with Yahweh (yes, even that personal Name, meaning I Am, which is translated in many scriptures in capitals as LORD) who rescued them from Egypt. The punishment was death. (Exodus 32) For the Israelite Tammuz wailers God prescribed death, marking the foreheads and sparing only those in the city who, like Lot in Sodom, were vexed at the compromise around them. (Ezekiel 8:12 to 9:11) For the Jews making Isis cakes, death or exile. (Jeremiah 44) For Israelites making side deals with Ashtoreth, death. For confusing Baal (Lord) with Yahweh (LORD), death. But, say classic Christians, we are not worshipping some calf. True, nothing so obvious. It rarely is. But God does not accept any blending whatsoever. Yule logs are no different from Isis cakes. Giving the name of the fertility goddess Easter to the Atonement of the Son of God is no different than blending Yahweh with Apis. The treasuring of a mere pagan garment and a few coins, which infected the whole of Israel, brought death to an entire family by stoning, every man woman and child and their livestock burned to a cinder. (Joshua 7) The soul that does not quiver at that must have been suckled on the Churchs gentle Jesus, meek and mild. The Lamb of God in Revelation is another picture altogether. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and yet church goats are entirely dead to this awe. Isaiah described these religious people well, who love to have a foot in both camps, who "swear by the name of the Lord and confess the God of Israel, but not in truth or right." (Isaiah 48:10)
This is also the case in the New Testament for those who "hold the truth in unrighteousness." (Romans 1:18) To such churchmen Jesus said, "In vain do you worship me, teaching as precepts the traditions of men." (Matthew 15:6-9) Bunyan called this empty worshipper Mr. Superstition. God has not changed his mind about pagan traditions, but Christians use exactly the same excuses in justifying these rites, saying that now they keep them in Jesus name. Indeed they are zealous to guard these cherished beliefs. A classic church elder once said to me, "We keep Christmas because we are glad that Jesus came." Very subtle. Do you see it? First you justify it with Jesus, then imply that one who does not conform to this is not happy about the Messiahs coming. What twisted, evil logic! I am elated that Christ came, especially for me, but there is no way I will soil, mix or celebrate this in a pagan festival. Jesus is not the reason for the season. It is not a Christ-Mass, at least not for the elect who celebrate no abomination of the Mass at all. Christmas belongs to the goats, to the church and world, those who have no fear of keeping it. If the Lord God had wanted his elect to celebrate the birthday of his Son then He would have said so, and the date would have been as crystal clear as any Old Testament feast of remembrance. The same goes for Easter. Jesus gave clear directions for his disciples to remember his death as often as they broke bread and drank wine. Other than that there is no command to keep any event in the spring, as though that time was more special than the rest of the year, absolutely no festival of Ishtar or Eos the dawn goddess, no Easter sunrise ceremonies in the name of the Lord. The Jewish Passover and its annual repeat was completely fulfilled in the Lamb of God. It is over and done with for all time in that final Passover. Where is there a single reference in the New Testament of disciples keeping this spring festival? Nowhere. The elect are rescued entirely from such traditions, even hints of them in disguise. It can only be found in that other body, the Early Church and its successors. It is they who wish to bind themselves to the old shadows. "Service of Satan is everything dealing with paganism, not only all the ceremonies involved in their service, according to the ancient custom, but also the things that have their beginning in it." (Christianity and Pagan Culture in the Later Roman Empire, M.L.W. Laistner, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1951)
I say again, the Lord gave no command to keep a day for Jesus birth at all, whenever it was, which does not matter, and the apostles and disciples certainly did not do so. Yes, the elect can dance that He came, but let them do it in the light, at any time, never on some appointed day in the darkness of the pagan calendar. If the goats want a Horus tree that is their affair, but our task is to enjoy and stay close to Him, untainted by the world wherever possible. We are saved from this festival and all its obligations. People will run into debt for this day! What a travesty. Sorry credit cards, sorry shopping malls. We are free! Pagans and Christians are not. Just look how they get entangled in it. People will actually farm these trees for Christmas worshippers! How utterly ridiculous. Would the apostles and disciples have been found farming or decorating such trees in late December? It is unthinkable. The early Christians yes, but the elect no. These things are for the Church, not the called of God. Should the Lords redeemed seriously be telling their children about Santa Claus and his elves when they could be plumbing the depths and riches and glory of Christ? Would Peter or Paul or John have done this? This question is a good test for many things, and if you have ears to hear you already know the answer in your hearts and minds.
Regarding gifts, by all means, give, but not because it is a Christian festival. Better to give at another time than be confused with paganism. Let no churchman try to deceive you with the story of the Magi. They did not exchange gifts. They crossed the searing desert from the East to see the One who was about to complete the mission planned from before the foundation of the world, the ransom of His elect from the worlds darkness, yes, save them from the "elemental spirits," not to keep those dark and demonic traditions. They brought gifts for the King of kings, not for each other, and not for Mary or Joseph. No rite of gifts can be based on this except that the elect give what is most precious directly to God, in particular themselves as a living sacrifice and testament. It cannot be emphasized enough, the Spirit of the elect is not the spirit of Christmas. But we can still give. We are not dour killjoys because we reject the neo-paganism called Christianity, far from it. We have greater reason than anyone to be glad. I made my own decision, and put it to my kin, that it would be better if we gave gifts at any other time during the year, spontaneously, and especially when we saw something that was appropriate, or found out there was a particular item desired or needed. Usually the most vigorous to oppose this are the pagans! And if that does not tell you all you need to know. So many particularly love this inane time purely for its drinking and eating to excess. That is not the Way. But the time can be used for family get-togethers, especially the family of the elect, for good fellowship around a table, good food of both kinds, not because of the season but despite it. So enjoy all that can be, and let no clever darts of guilt or wiles of the subtle one spoil your own peace. He craves to prick us through those most close to us, just as he tried to use Peter to turn Jesus aside from His destiny. Be glad at this time because you are free from Christmas, free from religion, free from Christianity. To adapt a quote regarding that other type of oppression: Free from the church at last, free from Christianity at last, thank God Almighty Im free at last!
Strangely enough, this is also one of those areas in which a sect like the Jehovahs Witnesses is absolutely right. They are much more faithful in this than Catholics and Protestants. And they know the scriptures in this matter, and its origins, dates, and red-hot reasons to exceedingly fear God for observing such traditions. The churchs defense and keeping of these festivals gives such cults, and others like Muslims, complete justification for scoffing at Christianity. The elect must not give the goats any such excuse. We are entirely free of it, all the religious and commercial and, most guilt-ridden of all, family obligations. This is big business, especially for merchants, and none are so eager to defend it as rank pagans. But the church knows how to profit from this too, as it always has in selling its trinkets to the goats. It is claimed that either entertainment, drugs or arms-dealing is the most lucrative business in the world. Not so, it is religion, and in salesmanship Christians are the hucksters par excellence. They know all the obligation techniques. How many times these church goats have said to me, when they see I do not partake in Christmas, "Why make a deal out of this?" I say, "I dont make any deal out of it at all, its a complete non-event for me. I was not even thinking about it until you brought it up. You and your pagan friends are the ones making a very big deal. The hang-ups are yours, not mine." How many of them have subtly tried to lie to me, and themselves, saying, "This is not important." Then give it up. They cannot. Just ask them to forsake this pagan rite and see who is wearing the chains. They cannot even give up a simple external sin, which should be so easy to discard, because in their hearts they both covet it and want the acceptance of men. Just as there are those who miss the mark and worship the sabbath and the church, so too there are Christmas worshippers.
This is the shifting sand on which the church was built and rebuilt (as opposed to the foundational Rock on which Gods people stand), the ancient mystery that gives the modern shadow its terrible power to blind and bind, and to which religious people are irresistibly drawn and ensnared. Ever since the original garden, and the immediate promise of the seed of the woman to crush the evil one and undo mans death, the serpent has worked day and night to confuse the identity of the redeemer and the way of redemption, and always by imitation and replacement, not by outright rejection. This is the basis of every religion and church sect, the love of half-truth. The "thieves and robbers" who came before Jesus (John 10:8), and the false Christs who followed, are all from similar moulds, such as grand Persias Mithra or Zoroaster (literally "zero-ishtar," the seed of the woman) or Indias Buddha (enlightened one) and Krishna (literally, and forebodingly, "Dark" or "Black" One). That is why Jewish women in Jerusalem itself were weeping for that "son" in another disguise, Tammuz the Shepherd, at the same time that the genuine Redeemer was carrying that ominous piece of wood through the city. That is why the very shrine of Tammuz birth, the cave in Bethlehem, was taken over by the church for its nativity site. Jesus was not born in a cave but a stable, and most certainly not at the winter solstice. The early church father Ignatius of Antioch wrote in his Letter to the Ephesians that, "hidden from the prince of this world were the virginity of Mary and her child bearing, and likewise the death of the Lord." Rubbish! The Devil knows his scripture inside out, better than any Christian does. He knew the seven hundred year old prophecy that "a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son called Emmanuel (God with us)" (Isaiah 7:14), and the town where the prophets said Messiah would be born (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1-6), and the city and the Passover time of year he would die. Satan was cluttering up the story before it took place in history, and he is still doing this through churchmen like Ignatius. He will do anything to pervert the light, even move his throne from Ba-Bel (ancient Babylon) to Pergamon (Revelation 2:13) and finally to the new Babylon, the most famous city on seven hills, Rome. (Revelation 17:9) The prince of darkness knows no end of ways to blend and confuse, no limit in subtlety and fraud, and religious people dearly love this ritual and mystery. They are, as Peter put it in concise paradox in the Greek, "willingly ignorant" of plain truth. (2 Peter 3:5) They do not want to know. They love darkness rather than light. Everything in the church, its buildings, organization, language, customs, clothes, procedures, rituals, aims, methods, all is infected with what came before, yet it claims and blesses all in His Name. The church is Satans ace card. He played many cards beforehand, and when we understand how he has played his game all along it is all the more stunning to appreciate this most devious trump.
There are two more critical points that arise from this subject of church festivals, as well as sabbaths. Firstly, these are important seasons and times for neo-pagans to hunt for the elect. Consider the Israelites escaping from Egypt. The Egyptians were not at all happy at the newfound freedom that the Lord had given to Israel. They went after them, to bring them back to the pagan world, to return them to bondage, but were drowned in the Red Sea. It does not say Pharaoh himself died there, but his army was wiped out. (Exodus 14:26-31) What an incredible embarrassment for that early Antichrist, that supposed god-man of Egypt. No wonder there is no mention of it on his monuments, rather like the French Palace of Versailles where only Napoleons victories are portrayed, not his devastating defeats at Moscow and Waterloo. The Egyptians had gone out armed to the teeth against a defenseless people and met their doom. Just so the churchmen go out after those freed in Christ, pursuing them relentlessly to bring them back to their own fold, so that they might be recaptured to serve the church. And believe me, this never stops. Church goats will not cease from hounding the elect until the Lord swallows them all up in judgment. Some goats amongst the sheep will go back, just like the weeds that went out amongst the wheat in the Exodus from Egypt. They longed for the good old times back there in pagan Egypt. That is why they made their sacred calf and called it Yahweh. Secondly, these festivals are amongst the foremost examples where Christians justify their doctrine of "sinning under grace." To be fair about this, there are many in the churches who have no idea that such pagan rites are death penalty sins. They genuinely do not know the facts. Having an Osiris or Tammuz tree in ones house is only excusable if one is ignorant. Once a person has been told, then there is no excuse. All truth and light brings with it guilt and terrible liability in no uncertain terms, "If you were blind, you would have no guilt, but now that you say we see your guilt remains." (John 9:41) The child of God hears the Fathers voice and wants to please him. Paul taught the disciples to be imitators of Christ and the apostles. (1 Corinthians 11:1; Ephesians 5:1; Philippians 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:6) Those who think the apostles were hanging golden balls of Adonis and Apollo on a pagan tree in December, and saying it was for Jesus, are simply out of their darkened minds. If you have got this far, reader, then you no longer have an excuse on the Last Day. Telling God that you did not realize what was at stake is no longer an option. Now you know.
Any churchman who has been told and yet still excuses these traditions, saying, "This does not bother me," has just condemned himself out of his own mouth, and is clearly described in the scriptures as dead. There is no condemnation for those "in Christ" but every condemnation for those who "continue in sin." I remember one Christmas driving to see some church people, and phoning a short time ahead to let them know I was coming. When I arrived there were bits of the tree burning in a drum in the backyard. They knew, yet they could not resist, and then they tried to hide it. Im sure there was a tree there the next year, because the church had its claws in them. This is a very powerful thing, it is huge, and Christians and pagans alike will stand on their heads to defend it. There are millions of churchmen who would rather have a pagan tree in their house than receive a visit from an elect disciple who really follows Christ. Where does this "Christian love" come from, that treasures an Osiris tree more than an ambassador? Certainly not from Christ. We know from whence it comes, this dark power which conforms men to these things, so that they will not give them up, even though it costs them their souls. The apostle Paul emphasizes that the elect shall not continue in sin because they are under grace in Christ. (Romans 6:1) That is a disgusting excuse for sin, the mark of the unregenerate, the mind which thinks little of Christs terrible sacrifice to save men from these "elemental spirits" and "human traditions" (Galatians 4:8-11, Colossians 2:8,20), the heart which does not wish to obey or please the Father. Anyone who mixes these things with the name of Jesus is a true churchman, worse than a pagan. That is exactly why God slaughtered the Israelites at the foot of Mount Sinai. No doubt they thought they were saved because they had crossed the Red Sea, and could get away with mixing in a bit of paganism. A terrible mistake. Their crossing of the sea, tasting some earthly graces, meant they should have known better. Instead they behaved worse than the Egyptians did because they mixed their festivities with the holy name of the only true God. Of course, if they are not elect, they will not be able to repent, they will continue in sin, fuming at His elect, just like the scribes and Pharisees peeved at Christ, and like the devil himself who rages, knowing his deceitful time will be short-lived.
John writes, "He who says I know him but disobeys his commandments is a liar and the truth is not in him...if anyone loves the things of the world, love for the father is not in him." (1 John 2:4-15) That is the whole thrust of Johns electric letters (and the churchmen think he is some soft apostle of mushy love). God is not only awesome Love but also sin-destroying Light, and he hates the darkness of religion. The only one deceived by this is the disobedient person himself. Jesus and John make it crystal clear. No one who deliberately goes on disobeying, walking in darkness (these tenses are present-continuous, not a single slip up for which one is sorry but a regular repetitive sin, exactly like Christmas, of which they have been made aware but with no repentance) has any abiding in the vine, and they will be cast in the fire. (1 John 5-10; 5:2-4,18,19; John 15:6) Worse still, what about their children? How are they to discern anything when the parents willfully teach them the pagan rituals year after year? For any who lead the little ones astray, says Jesus, it would be better that they threw themselves in the sea tied to a millstone. (Matthew 18:6) That is a most grave warning. God is a consuming fire. New and Old Testament agree entirely in this matter. Anyone willing to risk rolling the dice on this has not even tasted the first infant step in wisdom, which is the fear of God.
Again, if they are goats they have no fear, because they are not elect, they have ears but cannot hear a thing, like the churchmen whom Jesus scorned, telling them they were not of his sheep. "He who is of God hears the words of God; the reason why you do not hear them is because you are not of God." (John 8:47) No one who has been clearly told of the implications and still goes on deliberately mixing paganism with Christ is of God. If the Lord would slay them for a hidden garment (Joshua 7) He will certainly not excuse an openly displayed Osiris tree or sprig of mistletoe (the invitation for sexual favors in the cult of Saturn - satyrs, "little satans"). Fooling around with Horus Yule logs is no better than the Isis cakes which the Israelites ate in Jeremiahs time. (Jeremiah 44) No doubt they also claimed it was harmless, and sang songs and carols to the Lord while they were at it, but the angel of death came for every one of them. Let the goats have what they will, but His sheep must steer clear. In such things we once walked, but no more. Touch not the unclean thing, no matter how much Christians and the church tempt you. And they will be your prime tempters. Outright paganism is too obvious. Only the church can conjure a mix which would deceive, if it were possible, the elect. Thank God it is not possible, and he promises to save us from this sewage. There is a huge obligation from the world, the flesh and the devil in this thing. It is easy to keep and the majority do, hard to avoid and few that do, and you know where the easy path leads. This is not the birth time of Christ by any scriptural account or historical reasoning. This is the feast of Isis/Osiris/Horus, the birthday of Saturn. By now you should know who that is. He will press his followers hard to observe it, and will especially dance if they, like himself, mix temptation with scripture, darkness with the name of Jesus. This is Christendom, the grand Harlot Babylon of Revelation who makes the whole world drunk and obsessed with her ways and festivities, and from whom the elect must, and will by Gods grace, escape.
To finish this chapter let it be clear that avoiding pagan festivals is crucial, but it does not save. No human work or obedience can save men from the wrath to come, except the perfect obedience of Christ on behalf of his sheep. Nevertheless, can you imagine what the apostles Paul, Peter, John or Matthew would think if they arrived on the shores of North America and walked into a church at Christmas time today? What if they walked into a shopping mall where Santa Claus sat, Christian kids on his lap? I am absolutely certain of what they would say. "Darkness. Start from square one, nothing but Christ crucified, talk to them like the neo-pagans they are. Start all over with salvation by grace, through faith, in Christ, and see if any elect are revealed." Giving up Christmas is no ratification of salvation, as can be seen in the Jehovahs Witnesses. What every Christian needs is the most basic Word of grace and conviction to repentance. If they cannot abandon the church gospel of do-it-yourself invitationalism then they are most unlikely to reject mere church festivals. And to do this their hearts must be opened, their minds permitted to understand. We are not talking about the church concept of grace here. That merely fills pews with goats. Jesus drove the goats away, most of those who followed him in fact, with the truth of absolute grace, which is ordained election. (John 6:37,44,63-71; Luke 4:25-30) Predestination and election are the rod and staff that most clearly separate the sheep from the goats, and the way the herd divides can bring both elation and very shocking surprises.