A short Christmas message

Blessings to you and your loved ones – permanently, in Jesus’ name (Phil 2:9,10; Col 1:12-19; 3:15-17)!

What does it mean to say “Merry Christmas” or “A blessed Christmas to you and your family”?

Paul said to the Galatians, “You observe [particular] days and months and seasons and years! I am alarmed [about you], lest I have labored among and over you to no purpose and in vain. Bretheren, I beg of you, become as I am [free from the bondage of Jewish ritualism and ordinances]…” (Gal 4:10-12a Ampl.  We know that Christmas is certainly not a Jewish feast, but we should not be obtuse to the principle message here.  Investigation will in fact show that Christmas is not [truly] Christian either! Refer to Gal 1:6-9; 5:4,18; and 1 Jn 2:4).

Why has Jesus Christ (or His disciples), nowhere given any instruction or hint to celebrate His birthday? As a matter of fact, contemplate 1 Cor 1:18 – 2:2 for some serious thought.

What if man has instated many ceremonies, rituals and traditions that are actually no more than ignorant attempts to help God achieve what He has already done in Jesus Christ (Eph 1:3-12; 2 Pet 1:3-11)? Please don’t be offended by this, but seriously consider the absolute truth; namely that religion is not a genuine relationship! Of course everyone has heard this cliché and use it copiously in speaking Christianese, but the fact remains that Jesus never wanted proselytes, but rather disciples (Mt 23:15; 28:18-20; read also Rom 8:14 and the introduction to www.gospel-truth.co.za?).  So why has Jesus Christ never asked us to have a Christmas feast? Why do we insist on celebrating this event [on a wrong date, but as a convenient – albeit family – holiday]? Is it because we totally misunderstand and underplay and misrepresent what He asked us to do regularly – in communion?  We will do well to understand the principle as mentioned in Is 1:14-15 (Gal 4:10-12; Mt 15:6-9).  Let’s not rush over this.

We assume that you are aware of the basic fact that “Father Christmas” is as unrelated to Jesus Christ [God] as the “Tooth Fairy”.  Also, that it is not so “innocent” to mislead children about “good deeds” (Mt 18:6).

Is it not ironic how blatant greed and exploitation abound from even “Christians” during this “time of goodwill”? (Worldly-minded falsely call it by a euphemism, “supply and demand”).

Can true Christians (1 Jn 2:4) have [stick to] emotional, time-bound, fashionable hypes?  If December [25th only] is “a time of goodwill, what about January, June or August? Is this to be a lasting glory or one just coupled to certain days (2 Cor 3; Gal 4:1-11; Heb 8:13)?  Why do people insist on being “Christians” but show little more than sentimentality and frivolous, temporal holiday fun?  Sorry if this rains on your parade of “I’m OK and quite happy with my religion”.  You might even have taken the brazen stance of knowing all that this short letter is about.  Are you part of an organization [industry], thinking it is “church”?  Is it de-nominated?  Denominated from what?  What God nominated? Try Eph 1:20-23; 2:4-22; 4:5; 1 Cor 3:11-20.

In commemoration of the Lord’s Supper, we at the very least, are to remind ourselves of the fact that Jesus  was born as a Man, and paid the price for all sin fully and so has left us a New Testament (Heb 8:13,9:12-18; 10:8-14), and is now our Intercessor, waiting on us (Heb 10:13; Rom 8:19) to follow His teachings (“be at His feet”) as our Lord …  He had to be born to legally represent mankind, because God gave all authority on earth [away] to man (Gen 1:26-28; Ps 115:16) but man gave it away unnecessary to Satan (Js 4:7).  Now contemplate Mt 28:18; Jn 1:12; 3:17-21; Col 1:12-20 (Rom 5:12; 1 Cor 15:45; Phil 4:13; and so on).  Jesus is Lord.  Consider the papers “Who is Jesus Christ” and “Church” on www.gospel-truth.co.za, if you will.

ARE WE TRYING, WITH OUR MAN-MADE CHRISTMAS, TO PRETEND TO COMMEMORATE WHAT WE OUGHT TO IN COMMUNION?

In communion [commemorating the Lord’s Supper], we at the very least, are to commemorate the following:

  • The Body of Jesus Christ broken for us. Refer to Jn 6:31-51,63; Eph 2:6.  “Bethlehem” means “Place of bread”.  We should consume that Bread so that He is inside of us permanently (Jn 17:15-24).
  • The Blood of Jesus Christ as the sacrificial Lamb of God, once for all, consumed by us so that we can be transformed [born again from above, God] with His DNA (Jn 6:53-63;1 Pet 1:18; 2 Cor 5:7).  Don’t freak out like the hearers of Jesus did (Jn 6:60,66) – we are talking of a Spirit (Jn 3:3,5-6; 4:24)! Connect Jn 6:53-56 with Jn 1:1-4,14; 5:38-47; 8:31-32 (Rom 8:2); 15:3-7; 17:15-18; 2 Tim 3:15-17; 1 Pet 1:17; Js 1:18,21; 1 Jn 1:1; Rev 19:13; but also compare Jer 15:16; Ps 119:50,104-5,130,160; Is 8:20; 40:8 (1 Jn 2:4); 51:16; 59:21… 1 Cor 11:30… So, eat [consume, digest, take up and follow] God’s Word [precepts] always to live (refer to “The Testimony”).
  • Jesus Christ is our only Savior and Sustenance (Col 1:17; Phil 3:9) and overcame death for us at His resurrection.  Your death does not bring you eternal life, your faith in His sacrificial death and resurrection plus your following of His precepts does.  Jesus Christ is the Word, Life, Truth of God.
  • He will return in bodily form again (1 Thess 4:13-18; 5:5-11,23,28).

Note that The Bible has:

  • No age restriction on partaking in the Lord’s Supper
  • No time restriction on partaking in the Lord’s Supper
  • No hint or instruction for Christians to observe feasts and festivals, such as “Christmas”, et al.

Please remain calm reading this, and remember Is 1:18; 5:18-21; and Hos 4:6…  but also Phil 4:6-7!  And God’s peace shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Jesus Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content in peace which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”.  Also ponder v. 8.  Consider Eph 4:12-25, but also 1 Cor 11:29,30. It is thus ignorant to harbor any fear from God if you don’t act out this so-called special “festive season” – God will not retaliate by punishing you in some form or another. See the paper “The Gospel”)!

God never wanted religion [rituals, ceremony, tradition, self-righteousness, law], but an everlasting personal relationship in Truth.  Not emotional, time-bound, fashionable hypes, nor “visits” only in buildings of man, but a genuine living commitment.  The Bible nowhere recommends, hints or instructs Christians to have a Christmas feast/holiday.  Our Triune heavenly Father has a living organism [people, “stars”, City who shine His Light to the world], not religious organizations, as His Church.  Consider 1 Cor 4:20; 2 Tim 3:5.

Observe how one system keeps you in bondage of an Old, while the other frees you into a lasting new glory – but only in Christ!  This raises the valid question:  why do most “Christians” not see different results?  Why do people grope at cover-up answers by preachers and neglect the answer Jesus gave in Mk 7:13; 12:24? Even Mt 15:6-9!

As a good example, test the popular statement:  “… Three wise men at the crib with babe Jesus in Bethlehem…”.  What is wrong in this statement?  It is amazing to see how many “Christians” have even all the basic facts around the birth of Jesus Christ wrong [due to wrong teachings/tradition].  A valid question then is, what about your ideas on what Jesus actually taught (Mt 15:6-9; Eph 4:13; Gal 1:6-9; 2 Cor 11:1-4)?

Some elementary [and some logical] Biblical facts around the birth of Jesus Christ

  • The birth of Christ is misunderstood by many. Christ was sent, not created. He pre-existed prior to His delivery as Son of Man; and was [is] simultaneously God – Jn 1:1-4; Col 1:15-20.  The essays “Who is Jesus Christ” and “The Trinity doctrine” on www.gospel-truth.co.za expand on this.
  • The date is uncertain.  (Sun-worshipers believe their sun god was born on the 25th December).
  • Those “three” were not wise men, but sorcerers, magos, in Greek.  They came because Daniel was put in charge over them just before 530 B.C. (Dan 5:11,29), and so fulfilled prophecy (Is 9:6-7).  Jesus, the Star of David (Jer 23:5; Zech 9:9), the Star of Bethlehem (Rev 22:16), has paid for all sinners with His Blood and is our only Ransom and only Intercessor (Jn 14:6; 1 Jn 2:1-2; Acts 4:12).
  • The number of those men is unknown (they brought gold, frankincense and myrrh – Mt 2:11)
  • The magos visited Mary in a house (Mt 2:11) – not the manger where the Shepherds visited them just after His birth (Lk 2:8-20).  Jesus was sent[1], and had to be born to genuinely represent mankind.  He also had to be buried so we can inherit a New Testament (Heb 9:16,17).  He also had to be resurrected to show that He is eternal Life and that He overcame death for us so we may/can continue to live; and also that our sins were forgiven. See on the issue of forgiveness [of our sins], Mt 6:12,14,15; Lk 23:34 (Jn 20:21-23; 2 Cor 2:10,11); Heb 9:12,23-28; 10:5-14,19-23; 12:2-3; 13:8-15! Sin is dealt with by Jesus Christ on His cross on our behalf, what sin now remains, is unbelief in His Salvation (Jn 16:9)!
  • The “star” they followed, was unlikely to be a sun [a geophysical star], for a single celestial body cannot physically be hanging over a point on earth so that a person on foot can visually pinpoint a five square meter spot directly underneath it! Travelling by foot on a rotating earth by following a single heavenly body millions of miles away with pinpoint accuracy to an exact spot as with a GPS (fed by multiple satellites to triangulate) today, will prove a preposterous attempt. No, these magos were into astrology. But they remembered Daniel being placed in charge of them (Dan 7:24-28 with Is 9:1-2,6-7) with a prophecy that Bethlehem would produce a magnificent Star like no other!  The report of the magos in Mt 2:2 that “We have seen his star in the east at his rising” is more likely to be a manner of speech that is clear from verses 7 and 10. Likewise verse 9 that essentially just states that they arrived at the place where the prophesied Star of Bethlehem was born. Observe that the astrologers first went to Jerusalem and had to ask (Mt 2:1-2) and then be told (Mt 2:7-8) where to go. Mt 2:10 (Ampl) tells us that “… When they saw the star, they were thrilled with ecstatic joy”.  It therefore seems unlikely that they have been following a celestial star with certainty all along and certainly not directly to the manger where Jesus was born. By the way (pardon the pun), they came from the East, which was not modern Tokyo or Hong Kong some 10 000 km away, but probably Babylon or Persia perhaps less than 1 000 km away which from a global perspective is practically the same geographical area, and what we would call the Middle East today.  Apparently the entertainment world has the concept of a star in this application more right than the religious! The magos might even have believed they then had a “sign” [message, interpretation (Mt 2:2,9)] but more probably it was a report that, for them, tied in with also their history and prophecies through an encounter with Daniel and his experiences 605 to 530 BC. It is thus more feasible that those magos simply then[2] proceeded to first Jerusalem, then Bethlehem, and then possibly Nazareth (Lk 2:39) to eventually find the prophesied Star of Bethlehem, Star of David, instead of blindly following a geophysical star utilizing astronomy (even astrology) as if the celestial body had to reveal the message and location to them

Paintings depict [interpret] this idea with an unusually shaped [bright] astronomy star hanging over the manger; it was not a photograph of that event!  Likewise are angels depicted as fat babies with stubby wings, not at all what Scripture says, but perhaps an image in many a “Christian’s” mind? Note Daniel 12:3 with Mt 13:43; Heb 9:26 (This is expanded on in the paper “Rapture raptured”). Bear in mind as well, that Bethlehem was so crowded then because of the decree by Caesar Augusts that “The whole Roman Empire should be registered” (to pay taxes!) – Lk 2:1-5.  Note then, the reports mentioned in Mt 2:2-6. Therefore, reconsider Scriptures such as Gen 22:17; Num 24:17; Jer 23:5; Zech 9:9; Dan 12:3; Mt 2:7; even Phil 2:15; Jude 1:13; also Rev 5:1-14 and 12:1 and the paper “Revelation, the book”.  The astrologers more plausibly went to specifically see the prophesied Messiah born that would turn out to be The Star of Bethlehem, Jesus Christ (Mt 2:1-8; Mic 5:2); they were unlikely to have been directed [navigating] by a celestial body [luminous sphere of plasma held together by its own gravity, such as the sun]. The astrologers only reached Jesus later in a house almost two years after His birth and then they were ecstatic to see Him (Mt 2:10).  Also contemplate 1 Cor 15:41-45 with Rom 8:11 as discussed in “The Testimony”…

As mentioned in the paper “Who is Jesus Christ” p.5/23, we note in doctor Luke’s account (Lk 1:1-4), a yet another significant fact in Lk 2:25-40 where Simeon pertinently addressed Mary (Lk 2:34).  This is, in context and according to Jewish tradition at the time, highly irregular as the address were to have been made to the father of the child; which strongly indicates that (a) Holy Spirit was the Father (Lk 1:35) not Joseph, and (b) Holy Spirit is God as the child was to be called Son of God (Lk 1:35).  The reports [rumours] such as (Lk 1:24-44; 2:7-11) and the declaration of Simeon (Lk 2:25-34) had probably reached the magos as well, and so they set out to see this prophesied Star of Bethlehem.  It makes sense then, that they only reached Him two years later in Nazereth (Mt 2:10-11).

  • The magos visited them in a house when Jesus was just under two years of age, and that is why Herod ordered all boys aged two years and younger to be killed.

(The birth – and name – of Jesus is expanded on in the paper “Who is Jesus Christ”).

The joy of the Lord is a lasting, never-ending joy that is your strength – all year round, everywhere.  For a deeper insight and more information regarding the birth, and purpose of Jesus Christ, contemplate the paper “Who is Jesus Christ” by this author.

That Tree (Gal 3:13; 1 Pet 2:24; Rev 2:7; 21:1-3,22-27; 22:14) has a Star on it, and lights shining from it, that should not be switched off for the whole year, to only be “on” again, next Christmas.  True Christians experience – and show [reflect] – a continuous Christ-feast of Life-Light.  So, be the salt of the earth [good], not the sea[3] (Mt 5:13).  WE are to continuously be His stars, not the [religious] dust of the earth.  The serpent of old eats the dust of the earth.  Shake that dust off you and be rather a star that shines…  continuously…

Observe how most “Christians” are obsessed [only] by whether they will go to heaven or to hell while it is, for them, not about the Person Jesus Christ at all but only about themselves [their own “destiny”]!  And so it is obvious to outsiders that for them it is not about God as a Spirit [anointing, authority, Christ] inside of them, but the self. This manifests in the many “denominations” and groups all intolerant of each other’s own ideas… and fail to see how this is in direct violation to what Jesus Christ commanded us to do and abundantly clear Scriptures such as Jn 13:34,35; 15:12,17; Rom 12:10; 13:8; Gal 5:13 (note vv 18-20 says factions are not of God!);  Eph 4:2 (again vv 4-6 says factions are not of God!); 1 Thess 3:12; 4:9; 2 Thess 1:3; Heb 10:24; 1 Pet 1:22; 5:14; 1 Jn 3:11,23; 4:7,11,12; 2 Jn 1:5…  perhaps consider 1 Jn 3:13-24 as well?

So, if you wonder whether participation in the Christmas or Easter [even Passover] commemoration frenzy is wrong or correct, rather consider the fact.  The fact is that Jesus Christ only commanded two ceremonies: (1) Communion, or commemoration of the Lord’s Supper and (2) Baptism. The author has written short notes on each entitled “The Lord’s Supper”, “Unclean Food”, and “Baptism”, should you be interested to read them (and correct him where he is wrong) in www.gospel-truth.co.za.

Do you see results such as Acts 5:15-16 (Mt 10:8; Jn 17:15-20)? And we are more than 2 000 AD??? Have this “church” – you are in – grown closer or further from the teachings of Jesus Christ?  Can you reiterate what Paul said in 1 Cor 4:20? Or Jesus in Mk 16:16-18, 20 – let alone Jn 11:26?  (again, Jn 17:15-26!)?  May you hear Jesus Christ (Jn 10:10, 27-28)!!!

A recap on these Biblical stars
(Perhaps taken too lightly?)

The artist depiction of the star [celestial body] hanging over the crib in Bethlehem, is not a photograph!
1. The earth is round. Triangulation will show that one star some distance from earth can impossibly navigate you to pinpoint a small room on the planet.
2. Daniel was appointed over the magos (Dan 2:46-49; 5:11; 6:3, 23-28) and fulfilled the prophecy (Dan 2:44; 7:13-18) – Jn 19:30.  The book [gospel] of John was written after John penned Revelation 16:17!!! This means that the Book Revelation is about what happened on Jesus’ cross! This is expanded on in the papers “Revelation the book” and “Rapture raptured”. Read it?
3. Contemplate Rev 22:16 with Is 11:1-10; Jn 3:10-15; 12:32-33. This is profound.
4. Ponder the stars of just Gen 22:17; Num 24:17; Dan 12:3; Mt 2:7; Jude 1:13; Rev 12:1… If Daniel knew about the prophecy in Num 24:17, changes are that his subjects also did.  So the magos went to the land of Israel to see the Star of Bethlehem, the Star of David (Lk 1:69-80 about John the Baptist that prepared His way; and Lk 2:11), reacting on reports of fulfilled prophesy.  They were unlikely to have been guided there by a celestial body [geophysical star] as if the star gave them a surprise message and direction. (Refer to paper on witchcraft).
Read, and find, the golden thread in this magnificent Book (See the paper “The Bible” for an exegeses), and connect the following scriptures: Num 24:17; Judges 5:20; Job 25:5; 38:7; Is 4:2; Dan 12:3; Amos 5:26; Mt 2:2-10,23; Jn 6:27; 1 Cor 15:41; 2 Pet 1:19; Rev 2:1,28; 5:5; 8:10-11; 9:1; 12:1; 22:16. (By the way, note how the light blue “Star of David” on the Jewish flag today, is mentioned in Acts 7:43! )

For more reading on this matter, open your Bible and your heart and talk to Jesus Himself about it.  If this author could [can] do it, you can as well.

Love, peace and JOY to you in Jesus Christ – continually.  And yes, these are only thoughts (2 Cor 10:5)!

Have fun and enjoy [celebrate] LIFE EVERLASTING all year round, everywhere, continuously!

Amen!


[1] 1 Pet 1:20; Heb 11:10 with 1 Pet 2:1-10; Eph 1:19-23; 2:19-22; 1 Cor 3:11; and Col 1:13-23 with Jn 1:1-5,10-17.  No man has ever seen God (Jn 1:17), so Jesus could be the only Son of man Who could claim Jn 8:32,36; 14:6-27.

  • [2] Then” As mentioned in the paper “Who is Jesus Christ” p.5/23, we note in doctor Luke’s account (Lk 1:1-4), a yet another significant fact in Lk 2:25-40 where Simeon pertinently addressed Mary (Lk 2:34).  This is, in context and according to Jewish tradition at the time, highly irregular as the address were to have been made to the father of the child; which strongly indicates that (a) Holy Spirit was the Father (Lk 1:35) not Joseph, and (b) Holy Spirit is God as the child was to be called Son of God (Lk 1:35).  The reports [rumours] such as (Lk 1:24-44; 2:7-11) and the declaration of Simeon (Lk 2:25-34) had probably reached the magos as well, and so they set out to see this prophesied Star of Bethlehem.  It makes sense then, that they only reached Him two years later in Nazereth (Mt 2:10-11)

[3] That sea is what is the lowest on earth, not the oceans (Rev 21:1; 13:1; Is 57:20…).