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The American Voice Institute of Public Policy Blogs the Issues!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018  

 

By Joel P. Rutkowski, Ph.D., President

 

December 25 has nothing to do with the birth of Christ

 

For the first three hundred years of the Christian church the birth of Jesus Christ was not celebrated.  What was revered by early Christians was the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In fact, prior to the fourth century time of Emperor Constantine it is hard to find a credible reference to December 25 as Christ’s birth date in the Church record. The birth date of Christ is more than likely associated with the Roman holiday of Saturnalia, which was celebrated with a pagan sacrifice to Saturn and a public banquet, followed by gift-giving and a carnival-like atmosphere (Messianic rabbi reveals Christ's birth date).

 

The Roman Catholic church and the Roman Emperor Constantine. 

The Roman Catholic church, and the Roman Emperor Constantine is the reason the Western world celebrates the birthday of the Lord Jesus Christ on December 25. Part of Constantine’s plan to keep and strengthen the Roman empire was to have only one state religion.  At the time, there were several pagan religions being practiced in Rome and the Persian god of light Mithra was worshiped by Constantine.  Original Christianity could not be stamped out by Constantine, so he sought to merge all the religions of the empire into one, so all the people would have to accept it.

 

The Pilgrims and Christmas.

In the Word of God, the Bible the word Christmas cannot be found.  The Pilgrims thought that it was sacrilegious that the early Catholic Church had decided to place Christmas and Easter on the very same dates as already popular Roman pagan holidays (Why The Pilgrims Declared War on Christmas).  And not long after the Protestant Reformation began the Pilgrims came to America on the Mayflower.

These 'Protestants' were looked on as rebels and heretics by the all-powerful Catholic Church resulting in much persecution and bloodletting.  Catholics enthusiastically embraced Christmas and Easter and consequently the Pilgrims wanted little to do with most anything that had even a hint of Catholicism.

Also, the Pilgrims known as Separatists were trying to separate themselves from the Church of England, which also loved the Christmas and Easter holidays. And in 1659, Massachusetts' ruling Puritans actually banned Christmas. And for more than two decades it stayed illegal.

 

December 25 is the least likely day for the birth of Jesus Christ. 

In Luke 2:8 it says shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  This verse indicates that December would be the least likely time for the birth of Jesus Christ. The weather would be too cold and rainy at this time of year for shepherds to be out in the fields. Furthermore, since it requires families to travel back to the father’s home town in the case of Joseph, Bethlehem, to register, the Romans would not have held their census during the winter.

Spring in Israel is the most likely option for the birth of Jesus Christ which has been known as the “lambing” season. For example, the gospels describe that the shepherds watched their flocks by night in the lambing season. Shepherds were out watching for lambs to be born in the fields in late March and into April. The Lamb of God, Jesus Christ was found by the shepherds out looking for lambs to be born (Messianic rabbi reveals Christ's birth date).

 

Nisan 1. 

Nisan 1, the historical first day on the Hebrew calendar is a holy day in spring. And on the Gregorian calendar it falls in early April.  In the proper order starting with Nisan 1 for Christ’s birth, the Jewish holy days are fulfilled by the birth, death, resurrection, and second coming.  Jesus the Messiah fulfills the feasts and the theme of the feast.  Nisan 1 represents a new beginning, and this would fulfill the theme of the Messiah’s birth.

All of the true Biblical history was lost to the Western believers in Jesus Christ when the early Christian church changed from being Jerusalem-centric to Roman-centric.  And to an existing Roman holiday Saturnalia December 25 Christ birth was linked as well as it was linked to the Roman New Year on January 1 just one week later (Messianic rabbi reveals Christ's birth date).

 

The Talmud.

Ancient Biblical interpretations by Jewish rabbis are found in the Talmud.  Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob all were born and died during the month of Nisan according to Talmudic teachings.  And in particular a type of the coming Messiah was Isaac. Modern Judaism has forgotten that that God told Moses and Aaron that Nisan will be the first month.  In  Exodus 12:1-2 it is written  “And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying,  This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.”  In the Torah the month of Nisan is reserved for the title “First of the Months” [“Rosh Hodashim” in Hebrew] (Messianic rabbi reveals Christ's birth date).

 

Hippolytus of Rome.

An early Christian church father who lived and taught in the third century and martyred in 235 A.D. was Hippolytus of Rome. And among the first that referred to December 25 as the birth of Christ are his writings. However, springtime is still mentioned as the proper birthday in one page of Hippolytus writings. To reflect the new December 25 date some historians have speculated that his writings were later doctored. Furthermore, April 2 is mentioned as the month of Christ’s birth on the statue of the Hippolytus in Rome (Messianic rabbi reveals Christ's birth date).

 

Christianity and Paganism.

In Exodus 20:3 (Exodus 20:3-5  ) it is written “Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Yet like the Israelites worshipping Baal (1 Kings 18 ) many paganist customs have been introduced into Christianity over the centuries.  As a consequence of early church leaders melding Jesus' nativity celebration with pre-existing midwinter festivals paganism has become part of the birth of Jesus Christ (Pagan Roots? 5 Surprising Facts About Christmas).

Tragically, on television, in schools, and throughout our society Christmas is not about the birth of Jesus Christ but about Happy Holidays, Season Greetings, winter festivals, Jack Frost, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and about pleasure and fun.  Furthermore, throughout America church sanctuaries are decorated in paganist traditions and in some church’s pastors easily, interchange Jesus Christ and Santa.  In a sermon by Dr. Peter Marshall he had a warning for America: “If the Lord be God, then follow Him! But if Baal, follow him…And Go to Hell! (Dr. Peter Marshall “Trial By Fire” Sermon “America Needs A Prophet”).   

 

Shedding of Blood needed for forgiveness.

In Hebrews 9: 22 it is concluded from Hebrews 9:20-21 (Hebrews 9:20-22) that the law seems to require that almost everything be purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood there is no remission─ forgiveness.

Cain was the eldest son of Adam and Eve and a farmer or tiller of the ground.  His offering of the fruits of his labor was rejected because it represented his self – effort or good works as opposed to Ables blood sacrifice. God had made the original sacrifice in clothing Adam and Eve’s nakedness (Genesis 3:21 ).  It can be assumed from this that Cain knew this was the only kind of sacrifice God would accept. Blood atonement foresaw both Israel’s sacrificial system (Leviticus 1:2-17 ) and the sacrificial blood atonement of Christ on the cross (Romans 5:11; I Corinthians 15:3).  New Testament authors view Cain as being “of the evil one” (I John 3:12) who acted out of envy and unbelief.

Able means “keeper” and refers to his occupation as a keeper of sheep.  Firstlings of his flock refers to the fact that Abel’s offering was accepted because it was a blood sacrifice based upon previous knowledge. Thus, he acknowledged that his sin deserved death and could be only covered by the death of the guiltless sacrifice. Ables lamb was a “firstling” and “fat” may also imply that he gave the best that he had in contrast to Cain’s offering. However, it is obvious from the entire account that Abel’s offering was made excellent (Hebrews 11:4) because it was the right kind of offering as well as being made with the right heart attitude.

 

Final Thoughts. 

Believers in Jesus Christ should be the happiest people in the world because God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16 ).  As a result of the Christians walk in faith the unsaved world should desire what they have.  Daily, believers should profess to the unbeliever the importance of accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and how Jesus has changed their life.  The most important gift God has given humankind is His son Jesus Christ.

The terrible and ugly scars of sin are observed when one closely examines this world system and society. Taking away its harmony and symmetry and beauty sin has obscenely scarred and defaced this world.

However, God has promised that heaven is the place of all loveliness, all harmony and beauty.  If one loves beautiful things, they should stay out of hell. For hell will be the quintessence of all that is morally ugly and obscene. In all of creation hell is the ugliest place.

In fact, the Earth lies between all that is beautiful and all that is ugly in hell. One must consider the extreme – much that is good and much that is bad as long as they are living here!  One must hold firm to the knowledge that the eternal Son came to save and deliver humankind to a beautiful heaven and everlasting fellowship with God.

For very crucial reasons the son of God became the Son of Man, Emmanuel – “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).  Christ could not represent us as our sympathetic and faithful high Priest until he became the Son of man. In our frail humanity Christ understands how we feel. Christ was abused (Mark 15: 16 – 20), hungry (Matthew 4:2), rejected (Luke 4:28 – 30), and was weary (John 4:6).  With your heartaches, hurts, and pains, Jesus Christ easily identifies because of His earthly ministry.

Jesus Christ could not die in our place for our sins until He became the Son of man. Flesh and blood die but God, does not.  The only way Jesus Christ could pay the penalty of sin, which is death was by becoming flesh and blood as He maintained His perfect divinity.  While we were still sinners Jesus Christ died for us to demonstrate God’s love towards us. (Romans 5:8).  And for the forgiveness of sins He shed His blood. (Matthew 26:28). 

 

How the Lord Jesus Christ can save you

Romans 3:23:  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”

1.    How many have sinned according to this verse?

The answer to the first question is “all have sinned.”  This means that everyone has sinned that has been born upon this earth. This is very important because until one realizes that all have sinned the Lord cannot help them. 

Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

2.    .What is the wages (or payment) of sin according to this verse?

The answer to the second question is “death.” The Bible is not talking about a physical death but a spiritual death.  One is eternally separated from God when one dies a lost sinner. 

Romans 5:8: “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us?”

3.    Who died for us, according to this verse?

The answer to the third question is “Christ.” According to this verse Christ died for sinners. At the beginning of this same verse one reads, “But God commendeth his love toward us…” The word , “commendeth” means, “to show.”  This verse tells one that God showed his love for us by giving His Son to die for our sins on the cross. 

God loves us.  He loved us so much he let His son, Jesus Christ, die for our sins on the cross.  This is God's gift too us all. At this point it should be clearly understood what Scripture is telling us:

1.    All have sinned

2.    Eternal separation from God is the payment of sin.

3.    For our sins Christ has died. 

Romans 10:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

4.    Who are we to confess with our mouth according to this verse?

The answer to the fourth question is the Lord Jesus Christ.   Confessing with one's mouth the Lord Jesus Christ is very important.  When one does this he is saying, “I am a sinner, and if I die as a sinner I will be separated from God; however, I believe that Jesus Christ died for me.” 

One should pray the following prayer if they want to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to save them.

Dear God, I am confessing with my mouth that I know I am a lost sinner and that Jesus Christ died for my sins.  I am now asking Christ to come into my heart and save me. I accept Him as my Saviour and pray this in His holy name.

If you have asked the Lord Jesus Christ to save you, find a Bible believing church in your area and tell the pastor of the church what you have done.

 

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