Christ Mass (The Truth Behind Christmas)
Do you observe it as the birthday of Messiah – the Christ?
If so why and on what basis?
Are you aware it is a feast not found in the Bible and nowhere are Christians told to celebrate the birth of Messiah? We can of course give thanks for His birth at any time throughout the year, but we do not have a particular day or date given to us within the Scriptures given through the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit. The early Church did not celebrate His birth as the Apostles gave them no date nor did they celebrate on a given date. Is it not written that all of Scripture is God breathed as men were guided to write what the Lord wanted recorded and revealed. End of debate and discussion whether some like that or not! But just in case some still want to be unteachable let us see what a Catholic web site called ‘The Catholic Harold’ quotes re a statement by Fr. William Saunders – “The most important point is celebrating the birth of our Lord. Remember that the title Christmas is derived from the Old English title Cristes Maesse which means ‘The Mass of Christ.’ This Christmas, may we lift up our hearts at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and receive our Lord, born again into our souls through the grace of the holy Eucharist.”
The Scriptures teach that the most important thing is to celebrate His atoning death and resurrection until He comes! We know of no sacrifice within the Mass as Holy Scripture once agian guides and instructs us. ‘But this Man, after He had offered (past tense) one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.’ ‘For by one offering (just once) He has perfected forever (not continually through the Mass) those who are being sanctified.’ Hebrews 10:12, 14. Once again Scripture teaches that we are ‘born again’ by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit after we have confessed our sins, it is not a continual experience on different occasions. This is error and heresy, altering the plain meaning of Holy Writ and there are warnings about this!
The Lord has 7 Feasts which He tells us in Leviticus chapter 23 are His Feasts.
If we read and then believe that Jesus fulfilled the first four feasts in His ministry with a further 3 more festivals yet to be fulfilled in the end times, and even Rabbi Paul of Tarsus asks us to keep the Feast for example with sincerity and truth, then why isn’t the Church as a whole obeying this particularly with regard to the truth element? Paul goes on to teach us to keep the traditions he had passed on so we should not add in nor Judaize. Where the Lord is there is liberty as Paul states in the second Corinthian letter or epistle.
We have sadly then not learnt from the history of Israel (Romans 15:4 and 1 Cor 10:11) in that we too have mixed and matched other festivals and practices bringing strange fire before the Lord. Nowhere within the Gospels or the letters/Epistles or indeed within the Revelation of our Lord are we asked by our Lord Jesus or His apostle John to celebrate His birth.
There is therefore, not one verse that anyone can quote or point to in defending the Church trying to keep or celebrate Christmas. This then is an add in by the Gentile part of the Church and is here to stay until He returns. It is not a matter central to salvation but it does cause problems as our Messiah and Lord was a Jew and He was actually born at Tabernacles. (Please see our teaching on this).
Scripturally we are asked to remember His death and resurrection until He comes and at the same time to celebrate His victory over sin and death as we meet together and take communion or the Lord’s Supper.
We need to realise that Christmas isn’t going to go away, it has become a tradition with a Christian, Cultural and above all a Commercial influence within this season. The best position we can adopt though, is to see this season of Christmas as a time to evangelise the lost as with every other season. God breathed on the Gospel writers to all record the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus but only two to record His birth. Obviously there had to be an incarnation but sinners are not in godly fear of a baby but are of a man who claims so much and says He will judge the living and the dead. The great equalizer of all is death and so death was defeated. Our Messiah came in the form of a human being, born of a woman at the right time in history to rescue a sin sick and sad world. Most will relate to a birth narrative but few to the question of their sins that separate them from a Holy God. So we must present the Gospel of Good News and then all Heaven celebrates when just one sinner comes through to saving faith.
We also need to understand that it was Mother Church who put a teaching or tradition of man as a covering over a Greek/Roman Festival which celebrated the birthday of Zeus on the 25th (December). However, the Bible teaches us that false leaven is to be removed and not just covered over!
Many are surprised to find out that the dates of Chanukah (25th Kislev – 9th month Hebrew calendar) and Christmas (25th December – 12th month) are connected from the pages of history as a time of Light being in the same month but generally not the same day. Zeus was seen as the incarnation of the sun and together with his goddess mother Rhea (the Queen of Heaven) they formed the mother/child cult founded in Babylon. Neither are gentile Christians going to be able to celebrate or find solace in keeping Chanukah as this is a Jewish feast celebrating deliverance from their enemies. Our deliverance comes through Messiah’s atoning work on the Cross at Passover.
Antiochus Epiphanes in 168 BC chose the 25th of the month to desecrate the Temple in Jerusalem with his pagan sacrifice because it was the birthday of Zeus. It was the winter solstice, when days began to lengthen and so Sun worshipping pagans would also celebrate on December 25th as the birthday of the new sun. The Jews rededicated the Temple three years later in 165 BC on the 25th of the month after re-taking Jerusalem from their enemies. Chanukah is a time of light and dedication and has a spiritual application for us in being sons of light and being dedicated to our Lord.
To the sun worshipping Romans, Zeus was known as Jupiter who was the son of Saturn and Ops. To them he was the supreme Roman deity and the father of all the pagan gods. December 17th through to the 24th was called Saturnalia in honour of Saturn and celebrated with unrestrained licence. It was then on the 25th December that the birthday of Zeus/Jupiter became known as:
‘The Day of the Navitity of the Unconquered Sun’ or in Latin we have the term – ‘Dies Natalis Invicti Solis’. The typology or symbolism is all wrong!
In the fourth century AD the Roman Church chose December 25th as the day to celebrate Christ’s Mass as a special mass in honour of Christ’s birth. It was part of an effort to Christianize pagan rites so that all would come under Mother Church. This then was an effort to do away with a pagan festival date by covering it or replacing it with a new Christian festival. We must as always turn to the Scriptures for guidance and so nowhere within the Book of Acts do we see the early Church celebrating Christ’s birth on a special day simply because it was not known and the Lord has certainty kept this a secret. Why? Because people would want to celebrate and make it a holy day when the Lord obviously didn’t want it to be one. We are simply asked to remember and celebrate together around the Lord’s table and to partake of the elements till He comes.
So what we have is the title CRISTES MAESSE/CHRIST MASS formed into the word CHRISTMAS and today so many Churches seem to be more grafted into the Christmas Tree than the Olive Tree and many of the flock know not the truth! Much of the Church is unaware of her Hebraic heritage having been subject to the doctrines of men.
For a period there was some light as Oliver Cromwell for 18 years put Christmas aside as the Puritans of that day tried to effect another reformation. After his death the people welcomed this feast time being taken up again through the work of William Winstanly, a writer who encouraged good cheer and merriment!
The rest is history as is the error of Easter, another pagan name and festival replacing Passover and Resurrection week-end, but we can be of great joy for the Lord is coming to put things right! Just one example is that the nations will all celebrate Tabernacles as a time of thanksgiving before the Lord who will rule on this earth from Jerusalem. The devil knows this more than some Christians and so this is why he has so many others trying to rule there, to divide God’s Land and His people. So Jerusalem is to be trampled down ‘until the times of the Gentiles’ are fulfilled.
When Jews see Christian festivals and anti-Semitism from within the Church we can now understand why the Church has partly failed in fulfilling Romans 11:11.
(Romans 11:11) I say then, have they (Israel) stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
What is rather sad is that a part of the Church doesn’t even care about how erroneous they haven been. Even when presented with the truth they wish to continue with their time established traditions. The flesh can be very difficult to bring into submission! Those with a teachable spirit change for the better once they see error, for the remnant as always walks in the Truth and the Light of the Holy Scriptures.
Until He comes. Shalom and Maranatha.