Jerusalem and a son’s kingdom

The Name of the God and of the City written upon the pillar

In the inspired Revelation, the apostle John records information concerning the “new Jerusalem.”

12 “‘The one who conquers—I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will by no means go out from it anymore, and I will write upon him the name of my God+ and the name of the city of my God, the New Jerusalem+ that descends out of heaven from my God, and my own new name.+ (Revelation 3:12)

I also saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God+ and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.+ (Revelation 21:2)

The apostle Paul speaks about a holy city and Mount Zion:

22 But you have approached a Mount Zion+ and a city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem,+ and myriads* of angels(Hebrews 12:22)

God fearing people and their land

After Babylon was overthrown in 539 B.C.E King Cyrus of Persia issued a decree enabling God-fearing Jews to return to Jerusalem and restore Jehovah’s worship. (Ezra 1:2-4) In 537 B.C.E., the first returning Jews were back in their homeland. Jehovah once again showed favor to Jerusalem, as is reflected in the warmth of his prophetic declaration:

“For the sake of Zion I shall not keep still, and for the sake of Jerusalem I shall not stay quiet until her righteousness goes forth just like the brightness, and her salvation like a torch that burns.” (Isaiah 62:1.)

Pope's Road leading up to Mount Zion (Jerusalem)

Pope’s Road leading up to Mount Zion (Jerusalem) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 537 B.C.E., Jehovah fulfilled his promise to restore Zion, or Jerusalem. Her inhabitants experienced salvation by him, and their righteousness shone brightly. Later, though, they again drifted away from pure worship. Eventually, they rejected Jesus as the Messiah, and Jehovah finally abandoned them as his chosen nation.

42 Jesus said to them: “Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘The stone that the builders rejected, this has become the chief cornerstone.*+ This has come from Jehovah,* and it is marvelous in our eyes’?+ 43 This is why I say to you, the Kingdom of God will be taken from you and be given to a nation producing its fruits. 44 Also, the person falling on this stone will be shattered.+ As for anyone on whom it falls, it will crush him.”+ (Matthew 21:42-43-44)

37 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the killer of the prophets and stoner of those sent to her+—how often I wanted to gather your children together the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings! But you did not want it.+ 38 Look! Your house is abandoned to you.*+ 39 For I say to you, you will by no means see me from now until you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in Jehovah’s* name!’”+ (Matthew 23:37-38-39)

The true light that gives light to every sort of man was about to come into the world.+ 10 He was in the world,+ and the world came into existence through him,+ but the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own home, but his own people did not accept him. 12 However, to all who did receive him, he gave authority to become God’s children,+ because they were exercising faith in his name.+ 13 And they were born, not from blood or from a fleshly will or from man’s will, but from God.+ (John 1:9-13)

A new nation to be born

Jehovah caused a new nation, “the Israel of God,” to be born. This new nation became his special people, and in the first century, its members zealously preached the good news throughout the then-known world.

16 As for all those who walk orderly by this rule of conduct, peace and mercy be upon them, yes, upon the Israel of God.+ (Galatians 6:16)

23 provided, of course, that you continue in the faith,+ established on the foundation+ and steadfast,+ not being shifted away from the hope of that good news that you heard and that was preached in all creation under heaven.+ Of this good news I, Paul, became a minister.+ (Colossians 1:23)

Falling away from true religion

Already soon after the death of Jeshua, Jesus Christ, several opportunists saw chance to get more interest and followers by pretending they were followers of that popular Nazarene, who was considered to be the Messiah. The apostles saw everywhere preachers bringing false teachings. They warned their followers for the dangers of such false teachers. But those false teachers attracted more people by their allowance of traditions and popular ideas from Roman and Greek culture which looked more interesting or captivating than the ‘dry’ Christian teaching which left no opportunity to worship other gods, nor dream of an afterlife.

Unhappily, following the death of the apostles, there was a falling away from true religion. As a result, an apostate form of Christianity developed, as found today in Christendom.

24 He presented another illustration to them, saying: “The Kingdom of the heavens may be likened to a man who sowed fine seed in his field. 25 While men were sleeping, his enemy came and oversowed weeds in among the wheat and left. 26 When the stalk sprouted and produced fruit, then the weeds also appeared. 27 So the slaves of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow fine seed in your field? How, then, does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy, a man, did this.’+ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go out and collect them?’ 29 He said, ‘No, for fear that while collecting the weeds, you uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the harvest season, I will tell the reapers: First collect the weeds and bind them in bundles to burn them up; then gather the wheat into my storehouse.’”+ … 36 Then after dismissing the crowds, he went into the house. His disciples came to him and said: “Explain to us the illustration of the weeds in the field.” 37 In response he said: “The sower of the fine seed is the Son of man; 38 the field is the world.+ As for the fine seed, these are the sons of the Kingdom, but the weeds are the sons of the wicked one,+39 and the enemy who sowed them is the Devil. The harvest is a conclusion of a system of things,* and the reapers are angels. 40 Therefore, just as the weeds are collected and burned with fire, so it will be in the conclusion of the system of things.*+41 The Son of man will send his angels, and they will collect out from his Kingdom all things that cause stumbling and people who practice lawlessness, 42 and they will pitch them into the fiery furnace.+ There is where their weeping and the gnashing of their teeth will be. 43 At that time the righteous ones will shine as brightly as the sun+ in the Kingdom of their Father. Let the one who has ears listen. (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43)

29 I know that after my going away oppressive wolves will enter in among you+ and will not treat the flock with tenderness, 30 and from among you yourselves men will rise and speak twisted things to draw away the disciples after themselves.+ (Acts 20:29, 30)

Renewed earth and heavens foretold

Long before Christ Isaiah had already described conditions that were far better than those the Jews had lived under in Babylon. He foretold joyfulness and rejoicing. In the Old testament we can find the expression “new heavens and a new earth.”

17 For look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth;+ And the former things will not be called to mind,* Nor will they come up into the heart.+18 So exult and be joyful forever in what I am creating.

For look! I am creating Jerusalem a cause for joy  And her people a cause for exultation.+19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people;+ No more will there be heard in her the sound of weeping or a cry of distress.”+ (Isaiah 65:17-19)

The ancient Jews who, as Isaiah accurately predicted, did return to their homeland, and gained what might be called a new system of things, also reestablishing pure worship. (Ezra 1:1-4; 3:1-4)

There was a new ruling body. Zerubbabel, a descendant of King David, was governor, and Joshua was high priest. (Haggai 1:1, 12; 2:21; Zechariah 6:11) These constituted “new heavens” over “a new earth,” the cleansed society of people who were back in their land in order to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple for worshiping Jehovah. Hence, in this real sense, there were new heavens and a new earth in the fulfillment involving the Jews at that time.

The apostle Peter also writes in his second letter:

“There are new heavens and a new earth that we are awaiting according to his promise, and in these righteousness is to dwell.”(2 Peter 3:13)
You may already have learned that Jesus in heaven is the key Ruler in the “new heavens.”

A son to reign on the throne of David to rule over the house of Jacob and Gentiles

Taking in mind that the angel spoke to Miriam (Mary) that she will bear a son who will come to reign on the throne of David to rule over the house of Jacob, we should wonder who can make up this hose of Jacob. The one who has “the legal right” to the Davidic crown lost by Zedekiah is demonstrated in the Christian Greek Scriptures to be Christ Jesus, of whom the angel, announcing his future birth, said:
32 This one will be great+ and will be called Son of the Most High,+ and Jehovah* God will give him the throne of David his father,+33 and he will rule as King over the house of Jacob forever, and there will be no end to his Kingdom.”+ (Luke 1:32, 33)
With Jerusalem’s fall in 607 B.C.E. the Gentile powers exercised domination over the entire earth. The Davidic dynasty and rule suffered interruption, and so Jerusalem, or what it stood for, would continue to be “trampled on” as long as God’s kingdom, as functioning through David’s house, was kept in a low, inoperative condition under the Gentile powers. Observing this connection with rulership Unger’s Bible Dictionary (1965, p. 398) comments:
“Consequently Gentiles move on as ‘the nations’ to the end of their stewardship as earth rulers. The termination of this period will be the end of the ‘times of the Gentiles’(Luke 21:24; Dan. 2:36-44).”
— Compare Ezekiel 17:12-21; also the description of Medo-Persia’s fall at Daniel 8:7, 20.

Domination of the earth by the Gentile powers

At least twice in this prophecy concerning the time of the end, Jesus referred to the contents of the book of the prophet Daniel. (Compare Matthew 24:15, 21 with Daniel 11:31; 12:1.) In the book of Daniel we find a picture drawn of the domination of the earth by the Gentile powers during their “appointed times.” The second chapter of Daniel contains the prophetic vision (received by King Nebuchadnezzar) of the great image that Daniel by inspiration showed to represent the march of Gentile world powers, ending with their destruction by the Kingdom set up by “the God of heaven,” which Kingdom then rules earth wide. (Daniel 2:31-45) It is of note that the image begins with the Babylonian Empire, the first world power to ‘trample Jerusalem’ by overthrowing the Davidic dynasty and leaving “Jehovah’s throne” in Jerusalem vacant. This also confirms the start of “the appointed times of the nations” in the year of Jerusalem’s destruction, 607 B.C.E.
The dream vision of Nebuchadnezzar, in the book of Daniel  shows that God’s self-restraint (represented by the bands of iron and of copper around the stump of the tree) would continue until “seven times pass over it.” (Daniel 4:16, 23, 25) Then, since “the Most High is Ruler in the kingdom of mankind,” God would give world domination “to the one whom he wants to.” (Daniel 4:17) The prophetic book of Daniel itself shows that one to be the “son of man” to whom are given “rulership and dignity and kingdom, that the peoples, national groups and languages should all serve even him.” (Daniel 7:13, 14) Jesus’ own prophecy, in which the reference to “the appointed times of the nations” occurs, points definitely toward Christ Jesus’ exercise of such world domination as God’s chosen King, the heir of the Davidic dynasty. (Matthew 24:30, 31; Luke 21:27-31, 36) Thus, the symbolic stump, representing God’s retention of the sovereign right to exercise world domination in “the kingdom of mankind,” was due to sprout again in his Son’s Kingdom. (Psalm 89:27, 35-37).

The Delight Zion Owned as a Wife

Jehovah declares that Zion will be called “My Delight Is in Her,” and her land, “Owned as a Wife.”

54.1 “Shout joyfully, you barren woman who has not given birth!+Become cheerful and cry out for joy,+ you who never had birth pains,+For the sons* of the desolate one are more numerous Than the sons of the woman with a husband,”*+ says Jehovah. …

“For your Grand Maker+ is as your husband,*+ Jehovah of armies is his name, And the Holy One of Israel is your Repurchaser.+ He will be called the God of the whole earth.+For Jehovah called you as if you were an abandoned wife and grief-stricken,*+ Like a wife married in youth and then rejected,” says your God. (Isaiah 54:1, 5, 6)

 Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has seen such things? Will a land be brought to birth in one day? Or will a nation be born all at once? Yet, as soon as Zion went into labor, she gave birth to her sons. (Iasiah 66:8)

“Look! The days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when I will raise up to David a righteous sprout.*+ And a king will reign+ and show insight and uphold justice and righteousness in the land.+In his days Judah will be saved,+ and Israel will reside in security.+ And this is the name by which he will be called: Jehovah Is Our Righteousness.”+

“However, the days are coming,” declares Jehovah, “when they will no longer say, ‘As surely as Jehovah is alive, who brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt!’+but rather, ‘As surely as Jehovah is alive, who brought out and brought back the descendants of the house of Israel from the land of the north and from all the lands to which I had dispersed them,’ and they will dwell in their own land.”+ (Jeremiah 23:5-8)

17 “But I will restore your health and heal your wounds,”+ declares Jehovah, “Though they called you an outcast: ‘Zion, for whom no one searches.’”+ (Jermiah 30:17)

English: picture of Jerusalem from mount zion

Picture of Jerusalem from mount zion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today Jerusalem is being scorned. It is like all that pass by clap their hands at this city not to favour it but to laugh at it. They hiss and wag their head at the daughter of Jerusalem, laughing at it because it is preferred as their holy city that they call the perfection of beauty, even the joy of the whole earth.

15 At you all those passing by on the road scornfully clap their hands.+ They whistle in amazement+ and shake their heads at the daughter of Jerusalem, saying: “Is this the city about which they said, ‘It is perfect in beauty, the joy of all the earth’?”+ (Lamentations 2:15)

The desolate woman

Many today like to look at the city in the Middle East as the barren lay where no fruits come from, bearing no children. But the world should now that it will be breaking forth and cry aloud having no labour pains any more; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband. {Isaiah 54:1} And in the world will come brothers and sisters, like Isaac, children of promise, remembering the time when the son born in the ordinary way persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit.
It is in this time now that we should do what the Scriptures ask from us to get rid of the slave woman (the false church and those followers who want to keep to all traditions) Those falls institutions, with misleading doctrines, will present itself as the best marriage bond for people with Christ.

We all have our own choice and can either go with those false doctrines and enjoy the traditional churches. But we should come to see that it is impossible for us to share equality in the judgement, for “the slave woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with the free woman’s son.” {Gen. 21:10} Therefore the lovers of God should make up their choice to become brothers and sisters in Christ, not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.

27 For it is written: “Be glad, you barren woman who does not give birth; break into joyful shouting, you woman who does not have birth pains; for the children of the desolate woman are more numerous than those of her who has the husband.”+ 28 Now you, brothers, are children of the promise the same as Isaac was.+ 29 But just as then the one born through natural descent* began persecuting the one born through spirit,+ so also now.+ 30 Nevertheless, what does the scripture say? “Drive out the servant girl and her son, for the son of the servant girl will by no means be an heir with the son of the free woman.”+ 31 So, brothers, we are children, not of a servant girl, but of the free woman. (Galatians 4:27-31).

Returners from exile

Zion’s returning sons released from Babylonian exile (attempted extermination of the Jews; the Shoah or Holocaust) took possession of the old capital city and settled in her once again. We are told that when that happens, Zion is no longer desolate but filled with sons.

14 “Return, you renegade sons,” declares Jehovah. “For I have become your true master;* and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.+ (Jeremiah 3:14).

Jehovah God will give the universe shepherds after His own heart, who will lead the people in the world, who are willing to listen to God’s Word, with knowledge and understanding. And there shall come a time that in those days, when their numbers have increased greatly in the land. The ark of the covenant of the Most High will never enter their minds or be remembered; it will not be missed, nor will another one be made. At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honour the name of the Elohim Hashem Jehovah. No longer will they follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.

15 And I will give you shepherds after my own heart,+ and they will feed you with knowledge and insight. 16 You will become many and will bear fruit in the land in those days,” declares Jehovah.+ “No more will they say, ‘The ark of the covenant of Jehovah!’ It will not come up into the heart, nor will they remember it or miss it, and it will not be made again. 17 At that time they will call Jerusalem the throne of Jehovah;+ and all the nations will be brought together to the name of Jehovah at Jerusalem,+ and they will no longer stubbornly follow their own wicked heart.” (Jeremiah 3:15-17)

Walking together and partakers

English: Jerusalem, Ziongate, Townside Deutsch...

Jerusalem, Ziongate, Townside Deutsch: Jerusalem, Ziontor, Stadtseite Français : Vieille ville de Jerusalem, Porte de Sion (vue depuis l’intérieur des murailles) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

At that time the house of Judah alongside the house of Israel will walk together, and together they will come from the land of the north into the land that Jehovah, the God of gods gave to their and our forefathers as an inheritance. (Jeremiah 3:18) The house of Israel, have dealt treacherously with Jehovah and did not want to accept the Send One from God. This Messiah formed his pupils to go into the world to preach the Good News of the coming Kingdom. He promised that the apostles and some others like them would have a place in heaven.

In the book of Hebrews, the apostle Paul described such ones as “partakers of the heavenly calling.” And Jesus said that those of this group would sit on thrones in heaven with him. (Hebrews 3:1; Matthew 19:28; Luke 22:28-30; John 14:2, 3) The point is that others reign with Jesus as part of the new heavens. Then what did Peter mean by the term “new earth”?
For centuries, Christendom had been allowed to bring great reproach upon Jehovah’s name.

People willing to bring forth fruits

Those now who are prepared to obey God’s Law and are willing to be part of the Body of Christ may also enter that spiritual estate, which has the prophetic name “Owned as a Wife.” Their Christian activity in that land has made it evident that these anointed Christians are the “people for [Jehovah’s] name.”

14 Sym′e·on+ has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name.+  (Acts 15:14)

Those people who are willing to bring forth the fruits of the Kingdom and making the Name of God known to the world may become part of the Body of Christ, when they do accept Jesus as the only begotten son of God sent to the world to save it. We may look forward to it that Jehovah shall take delight in these Christians. By anointing these Christians with holy spirit, liberating them from spiritual captivity, and using them to preach the Kingdom hope to all mankind, Jehovah has demonstrated that he rejoices over them with the joy of a bridegroom over a bride.

36 “Therefore this is what Jehovah the God of Israel says concerning this city that you are saying will be given into the hand of the king of Babylon by the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, 37 ‘Here I will gather them together from all the lands where I dispersed them in my anger and in my wrath and in great indignation,+ and I will bring them back to this place and let them dwell in security.+38 And they will be my people, and I will be their God.+39 And I will give them one heart+ and one way so that they may always fear me, for their own good and the good of their children after them.+40 And I will make with them an everlasting covenant,+ that I will not turn away from doing good to them;+ and I will put the fear of me in their hearts, so that they will not turn away from me.+41 I will exult over them to do good to them,+ and I will firmly plant them in this land,+ with all my heart and with all my soul.’”* (Jeremiah 32:36-41).

Faithful remnant

In Jehovah’s due time after the return of the faithful remnant from Babylon, Jerusalem does become “a praise in the earth”—a walled city providing safety to her inhabitants. Day and night, watchmen on those walls are alert to ensure the security of the city and to relay warning messages to her citizens.—Nehemiah 6:15; 7:3; Isaiah 52:8.

Today we can see those Chosen People coming to the city of God, Jerusalem, and other believers in God, willing to become part of that Body of Christ, prepared to unite with each other in the love of Christ.

In the apostle John his vision he sees the “holy city” as “coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” This is in relation to the vision he sees of “a new heaven and a new earth.” This “bride” was said to be “the Lamb’s wife.” (Revelation 21:1-3, 9-27) Other apostolic writings apply the same figure to the Christian congregation of anointed ones. (2Corinthians 11:2; Ephesians 5:21-32) In Revelation chapter 14 “the Lamb” Christ Jesus is depicted as standing on Mount Zion, a name also associated with Jerusalem (compare 1Peter 2:6), and with him are 144,000 having his name and the name of his Father written on their foreheads.—Revelation 14:1-5;

A bride adorned for her husband, Lamb of God

Dormition Church, situated on the modern "...

Dormition Church, situated on the modern “Mount Zion” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Near the end of that series of visions, and after seeing Babylon the Great destroyed, the apostle John sees the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God and prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. (Revelation 21:2).

In the light of other scriptures, the identity of New Jerusalem is made certain. She is “as a bride.” Farther along, John writes:

“One of the seven angels . . . spoke with me and said: ‘Come here, I will show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife.’ So he carried me away in the power of the spirit to a great and lofty mountain, and he showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God and having the glory of God. Its radiance was like a most precious stone, as a jasper stone shining crystal-clear.” (Revelation 21:9-11).

New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who shed his blood sacrificially for mankind. (John 1:29; Revelation 5:6, 12; 7:14; 12:11; 21:14) She is composed of the members of the glorified Christian congregation. The congregation on earth was likened to “a chaste virgin” to be presented to the Christ. (2Corinthians 11:2) Again, the apostle Paul likens the Christian congregation to a wife, with Christ as her Husband and Head. (Ephesians 5:23-25, 32).

Furthermore, Christ himself addresses the congregation at Revelation 3:12, promising the faithful conqueror that he would have written upon him

“the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which descends out of heaven from my God, and that new name of mine.”

Earthly and heavenly

A wife takes her husband’s name. Therefore those seen standing with the Lamb upon Mount Zion, numbering 144,000, having the Lamb’s name and that of his Father written in their foreheads, are evidently the same group, the bride. (Revelation 14:1).

We can see a new Jerusalem in construction on this earth, but this will only be the shade and the capital of the Kingdom of God, where there shall also be the spiritual or heavenly New Jerusalem. It is that heavenly, not earthly Jerusalem which shall come down “out of heaven from God.” (Revelation 21:10) So this city is not one erected by men and consisting of literal streets and buildings constructed in the Middle East on the site of the ancient city of Jerusalem, which was destroyed in 70 C.E. The members of the bride class when on earth are told that their “citizenship exists in the heavens” and that their hope is to receive “an incorruptible and undefiled and unfading inheritance.” “It is reserved in the heavens for you,” says the apostle Peter.—Philippians 3:20; 1Peter 1:4.

Measures of Heavenly City

That the New Jerusalem is indeed a heavenly city is further supported by the vision of her that John beheld. Only a symbolic city could have the dimensions and splendour of New Jerusalem. Its base was foursquare, about 555 km (345 mi) on each side, or about 2,220 km (1,379 mi) completely around, that is, 12,000 furlongs. Being a cube, the city was also as high as it was long and wide. No man-made city could ever reach that far into “outer space.” Round about was a wall 144 cubits (64 m; 210 ft) high. The wall, itself constructed of jasper, in turn rested on 12 foundation stones, precious stones of great beauty—jasper, sapphire, chalcedony, emerald, sardonyx, sardius, chrysolite, beryl, topaz, chrysoprase, hyacinth, and amethyst. On these 12 foundation stones were engraved the names of the 12 apostles of the Lamb. The city proper within these beautiful walls was no less glorious, for it was described as “pure gold like clear glass,” having a broad way of “pure gold, as transparent glass.” {Revelation 21:12-21}.

A Pure, Beneficial Rule.

Entrance into the New Jerusalem through its magnificent walls was by means of 12 gates, three on a side, each made of a huge pearl. Although these gates were never closed, “anything not sacred and anyone that carries on a disgusting thing and a lie will in no way enter into it; only those written in the Lamb’s scroll of life will.” A holy and sacred city indeed, yet there was no visible temple of worship, for “Jehovah God the Almighty is its temple, also the Lamb is.” And there was “no need of the sun nor of the moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God lighted it up, and its lamp was the Lamb.” Its rulership over the nations will be beneficial to them, for “the nations will walk by means of its light.” (Revelation 21:22-27).

 

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Find in this series:

 Marriage of Jesus 1 Mary, John, Judas, Thomas and Brown

 Marriage of Jesus 2 Standard writings about Jesus

 Marriage of Jesus 3 Listening women

 Marriage of Jesus 4 Place of the woman

 Marriage of Jesus 5 Papyrus fragment  in Egyptian Coptic

 Marriage of Jesus 6 Jesus said to them “My wife”

 Marriage of Jesus 7 Impaled

 Marriage of Jesus 8 Wife of Yahweh

Marriage of Jesus 9 Reason for a new marriage

Marriage of Jesus 10 Old and New Covenant

The Bride New Jerusalem

A royal wedding due to take place

Reply to questions concerning The Bride of Christ

Magnificent bride for royal wedding

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Additional reading:

  1. Message from the family tree in the Tanakh
  2. OT prophesies and the NT fulfilment of them
  3. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  4. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  5. Our openness to being approachable
  6. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful

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  • The rebuilding of the next Jewish Temple (disciplesofhope.wordpress.com)
    The Bible mentions about the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. This would be the third temple then. The rebuilding of the Temple is one of the signs of the end of the world and the return of Jesus Christ. In fact the Anti Christ will enter the Temple and as an act of blasphemous portray himself as God. At the present moment the Temple of Jerusalem is in ruins. The Jews of today are very eager to rebuild it again so that the old manner of worship and sacrifice to the Living God (whom Christians know as Jesus’ Father and God) is restored to its former glorious state. It’s a known fact that the Jews hold their traditions with great respect and will go to any lengths to defend it. They believe that their Messiah will come to the Temple of Jerusalem and reveal himself as sent from God. Due to this they are desperate to complete the task of rebuilding it. With the way Israel has been advancing on the financial, technical and most importantly in the field of warfare the construction will surely happen. This is the will of God and no man, no nation nor the Devil can stop it.
  • The Preciousness of Zion and Jerusalem and the Situation of the Overcomers in Zion (matassew.wordpress.com)
    Zion and Jerusalem are the earthly signs that shows us the existence of the invisible and misterious God. Zion is not only the center but also elevated peak. That is where we have the church, the body of Christ, yes the economy of God! Praise the Lord about Zion! Hallelujah for Zion!
    Speaking about Jerusalem, she typfies the churh, and Zion typfies the overcomers!

    The people of Israel love the law of God! But the couldn’t fullfil it. Instead the law exposed who the are, showed their real codition.

  • Revelation and You (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    The anointed remnant today have obeyed the words of the angel. They have not sealed up the words of the prophecy. Why, the very first issue of Zion’s Watch Tower and Herald of Christ’s Presence (July 1879) set out comments on numerous verses of Revelation. As we noted in our opening chapter, Jehovah’s Witnesses have over the years published other enlightening books on Revelation. Now we again draw the attention of all truth-lovers to the powerful Revelation prophecies and their fulfillment.
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    lend your voice to the joyful proclamation of the everlasting good news concerning the established Kingdom of Jehovah and his Christ. (Revelation 11:15; 14:6, 7) Be at this work urgently. And may a realization that we are in the Lord’s day move many who are not yet serving Jehovah to join in the work of proclaiming the good news. May these also progress toward dedicating their lives to God with a view to baptism. Remember, “the appointed time is near”!—Revelation 1:3.
  • New Jerusalem is the Eternal Marriage (3) (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Isaiah 54:5 is so clear: “For your Maker is your Husband; Jehovah of hosts is His name. And the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; Heis called the God of all the earth.” Here the Lord is saying to the Old Testament part of Hispeople that He is the Husband. And they are the wife.In this verse “Husband” is first, then “Redeemer.” As here, there are other examples in the Bible where words are not in time order but arranged to place God’s purpose first. To be our Husband, God must first (in time) be our Redeemer. But, Husband is first in Isaiah 54 because that is what God desires.
  • Daily Tidbits 5/9 – Jerusalem Above vs. Jerusalem Below (littleguyintheeye.wordpress.com)
    The word for ‘Christian’ (נצרות ‘Naztrut’) is 746.  The phrase, ‘therefore ye are my witnesses, saith YHWH, that I am El’ equals 746.  And the Greek word ‘authority’ has the same numerical value.
    +
    The numerical value of מקום ‘maqom’ without using thefinal form as 400 but as 40 (normal value) is 186.  ‘His work’ in Hebrew (פעלו ‘pa’alu’) also has the numerical value of 186.YHWH is also related to 186.  Take each of the letters from YHWH, square them (since a “place” is an area, so squared units), and you get 100+25+36+25=186.
    +True Zion are those who are grafted into the Olive Tree of Israel, who is Messiah.  The counterfeit is the Zionism we see in the world today which uplifts a false olive tree of Israel.  As Paul says, not all those of Israel are Israel (Romans 9:6).Those grafted into the Olive Tree are Zion, the new creation…born again.
  • Awaiting Revelations 21, The New Jerusalem Will Be My Dwelling Place Forever. (deadcitizensrightssociety.wordpress.com) >
    Awaiting Revelation 21, The New Jerusalem Will Be My Dwelling Place Forever.Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
  • New Jerusalem Prepared as a Bride (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    The first wife in the whole universe was Eve. In Ezekiel 23 the children of Israel are referred to as the wife of Jehovah (vv. 1-4). In John 3 all the regenerated believers are the bride of Christ to be His increase, His enlargement (vv. 29-30). In Ephesians 5 the church is the wife of Christ, and in 2 Corinthians 11:2 the believers have been engaged, or betrothed, to Christ as their Husband. In Revelation 19:7-9 there is a universal wedding day, the marriage of the Lamb. Finally, in the last two chapters of the Bible there is the wife of the Lamb. Revelation 21:2 tells us that the New Jerusalem is prepared as a bride adorned for her husband, and verse 9 refers to the New Jerusalem as the bride, the wife of the Lamb.
  • Let Us Rise For The Bride! (thejaggedword.com)
    when in doubt, cast your eyes upon the bride descending down the aisle and get a glimpse of heavenly reality!Rise now and rise then! Until He comes again!
  • Redemption and Life for the Bride (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Christ, the Lamb of God who died, took away sin. Because of this, we can be born again and have eternal life (John 3:3, 5-7, 15-16). However, after we were born again, there were still many attitudes in us and actions by us that were not suitable for the bride of Christ. Nevertheless, through our entire Christian life, eternal life operates in us to make us the bride to match Christ in every way. The result is “New Jerusalem prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
  • New Jerusalem is a Living City (newjerusalem12.wordpress.com)
    Throughout the New Testament, God is building His people together in Jesus Christ (an overview with verses). New Jerusalem is the consummation of this New Testament building work and maintains the same structure—God’s people built together in Christ.

Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences

Diagram of a Religious experience

Diagram of a Religious experience (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The religious and the spiritual person may be looking for certain experiences which can occur at several levels: physical, emotional, cognitive, pertaining to the mental processes of perception, memory, judgement, and reasoning, as contrasted with emotional and volitional processes, and transcendent. For the religious person there is the groups-feeling which shall be important to give him or her the appropriate feelings. The belonging to a community or parish shall fuse the personal feeling and the feeling of being part of something more than the self. The individual is not as such concerned about his individuality in the universe but more about his unit or union with others in the world. “Belonging to” is the feeding ground for the religious person.

The spiritual person is not so much connected to a reason to belong to a group or being part of a community or parish. The Self and especially the inner-self are the motives underlying his quest and behaviour. His or her search to the inner-self are the grounds for a quality that can infuse experience in a wide variety of settings. Spiritual experience can be both transcendent and immanent: it can be both an experience of transcending worldly concerns and an intense present-moment perception that the ground of all being permeates all things. for the individual it is not a groups matter but a personal and an intense aliveness and deep sense of understanding that one intuitively comprehends as having come from a direct, internal link with that mysterious principle which connects all aspects of the universe. In Christianity and Ecclesiastical Terms the immanence came to be the relation to the pantheistic conception of God, as being present throughout the universe. A person could come to a state where he or she could make himself or herself free from the limitations inherent in matter, becoming Theol (of God) having continuous existence outside the created world in a well-built relationship with the Most High Creator God or with a godly being.

In the 19th century several people became convinced that society and its institutions — particularly organized religion and political parties — ultimately corrupted the purity of the individual.

Among others New England congregationalists, rejected predestination, and they emphasized the unity instead of the trinity of God. The many people who had seen how in Europe the church had corrupted the real Truth of the Bible, the infallible Word of God, were also convinced the dogmatic teaching of a Tri-Une God, three persons coexisting consubstantially as one being or homoousia (consubstantialis), had brought man away form the commandments of God not to worship pictures or sculptures of any heavenly being nor of Him, the God of all things. The Gnostics were the first theologians to use the word “homoousios”, while before the Gnostics there is no trace at all of its existence. Jesus, who was placed by God on this earth, was well aware of his position, being lower than the heavenly beings (the angels) and his Father, without Him he could do nothing and who is the Most High of all.

“You* heard how that I said to you*, I go away and I am coming to you*. If you* loved* me, you* would have rejoiced, because I said, I am going to the Father: because the Father is greater than I.” (John 14:28 MLV)

“But Jesus answered them, My Father works until now and I work. (18)  Because of this, then the Jews sought even more to kill him, because he did not only break the Sabbath, but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.
(19)  Therefore Jesus answered and said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you*, The Son can do nothing from himself, unless he sees what the Father is doing: for* whatever things he does, the Son is also doing these things similarly. (20)  For* the Father loves the Son and shows him all things that himself does and greater works than these he will show him, that* you* may marvel. (21)  For* just-as the Father raises the dead and gives-life to them, even so the Son also gives-life to whom he wills. (22)  For* the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son; (23)  that* all may honor the Son, just-as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son, does not honor the Father who sent him. ” (John 5:17-23 MLV)

Already soon after the rabbi Jesus his death, his disciples were confronted with teachers who twisted Jesus his words and his teachings and mixed them with the Greek-Roman culture of that time. Lots of theories of the Greek philosophers did find their way in the faith of many early Christians, though the apostles kept warning for such false teachings. (See the Acts of the apostles and the many letters to the different communities.) Jesus of Nazareth never required his followers, many ordinary craftsman or fisherman, to follow theologian studies. But those who brought in all those studies of philosophers wanted their followers to learn them thoroughly. Therefore they created special institutions where this mix of teachings could be learned. by the years more time was spent on the teachings of the philosophers than on the Words of God. The early church theologians were probably made aware of the Gnostic concept, and thus of the doctrine of emanation, by them. {Aloys Grillmeier, Christ in Christian Tradition, vol. 1, From the Apostolic Age to Chalcedon (451) (London: Mowbrays, 1975), p. 109.}

It was what so many spiritual people kept busy, finding substance between generating and generated, getting to the identity of substance between things generated of the same substance that brought several people away from the Biblical Truth, finding the early Gnostic religious teacher Basilides in Alexandria, Egypt who taught from 117–138 CE.
Basilides believed faith was merely

“an assent of the soul to any of the things which do not excite sensation, because they are not present”.

He also believed faith was a matter of “nature,” not of responsible choice, so that men would

“discover doctrines without demonstration by an intellective apprehension”. {St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata Book ii. Chapter iii.}

Image of a fiery purgatory in the Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry

Because Basilides believed faith was a matter of nature, doubtlessly he pushed election so far as to sever a portion of mankind from the rest, as alone entitled by Divine decree to receive a higher enlightenment. In this sense it must have been that he called “the election a stranger to the world, as being by nature supermundane”. {St. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata Book iv. Chapter xxvi.} It was also this teacher who brought in that Jesus his death was not enough to get liberated of sin. According to such a teaching it denies the value of the sacrifice of Christ by who’s death we can be adopted as a child of God and be reconciled, having paid for our sins by our death. The idea was created that people only could receive ‘reconciliation’ when they belonged to the Roman Catholic Church and had received a sacrament in which repentant sinners are absolved and gained reconciliation with God and the Church. Basilides deprived men of a salutary fear by teaching that transmigrations are the only punishments after death. In later years many churches used purgatory and hell-fire to frighten the people and to get them in their system as angst-ridden followers. Many denomination used it as the big stick to keep people in their flock, also telling them they only could be saved and could come in heaven by being a member of their church. Today we still notice such a preventative measure against going astray or leaving that church still works. The fear of loosing their heavenly life makes that many people do not dare to question those theologian doom teachings. Because Basilides held to a fatalistic view of metempsychosis, he believed the Christian martyrs were being punished not for being Christians, but for sins they had committed in the past. This made that people became afraid to loose their life when they would keep on to the teachings of the apostles and early followers of Jesus, who took him as the son of God and not as god the son. Taking on the symbols and worship methods of the Greece-Roman culture made them one of them and would give them less reasons to be killed.

Lots of religious people took the sign of the god of evil Tamuz, the cross, as the sign of the death of their god. The Only One God can not die and never did have an end to His life which is eternal, meaning ‘with no beginning and no end’. Jesus had a beginning, his birth and an end, his death. The ones from the New World had seen how the European churches not only brought in false doctrines like the trinity, but resisted also many other Christian doctrines which had become considered conventional for the Christian Faith. Searchers for the truth like Joseph Priestley, one of the founders of the Unitarian movement, defined Unitarianism as the belief of primitive Christianity before later corruptions set in. Among these corruptions, lots of people had taken on several pagan rituals and had made them custom actions in their religious life.

Soho House in Handsworth, Birmingham, a regular venue for meetings of the Lunar Society

At Daventry, Priestley was sufficiently grounded in Latin and Greek to hold his own in subsequent disputes with university-trained scholars. He was more generally introduced to a range of subjects in natural philosophy, but more significantly, he was there formally instructed in logic and metaphysics. In Birmingham he became preacher at New Meeting House, one of the most liberal congregations in England, and was soon associated with the Lunar Society, an informal collection of provincial intellectuals, scientists, and industrialists. Taking the Bible as the main guide for his study about God to compare with the historical writings about Jesus and his followers, he became the chief propagandist and protagonist for Unitarian beliefs in England, writing annual defences against attack, and developing in various historical and polemical works (for example, An History of the Corruptions of Christianity [1782] and An History of Early Opinions concerning Jesus Christ [1786]) a rationalist theology that suggests, in some measure, the ideas of textual and “higher criticism” of the New Testament. In the eyes of the church establishment, he came to represent the intolerable encroachments of dissent, and on him was focused their theological and political animus. {Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography, 2008} when he had to escape from conservative England he emigrated to the United States in 1794 where president John Adams and George Washington were welcoming his teachings and made him to feel at home.

Those people looking to save their life found in the religion preached by those theologians of the Old World could feel ways to feel at ease with the many traditional movements done by the people around them. Instead of abstaining them form those worldly actions they now could take part without hesitation and fear, being part of the world. For many it was quite easy now to be religious, because according to the teaching of the apostles and the non-trinitarians or unitarians, people themselves were responsible and had to make choices themselves to make sure they would be worthy salvation. In the gnostic and Roman Catholic Church and later in several protestant churches they could blame their faults to a devil, called Satan or Lucifer, and always could find penitence even when they kept doing the same bad things. In many cases churches were willing to accept money for pardoning.

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Preceding articles:

Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience

Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life

Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual

Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people

Next: Being Religious and Spiritual 6 Romantici, utopists and transcendentalists

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Read also:

  1. Idolatry or idol worship
  2. “Who is The Most High” ? Who is thee Eternal? Who is Yehovah? Who is God?
  3. God of gods
  4. Some one or something to fear #6 Faith in the Most High
  5. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  6. Praise the most High Jehovah God above all
  7. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  8. Christ Versus the Trinity
  9. Altered to fit a Trinity
  10. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  11. Jesus begotten Son of God #13 Pre-existence excluding virginal birth of the Only One Transposed
  12. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  13. Sharing thoughts and philosophical writings
  14. Morality, values and Developing right choices
  15. Science and God’s existence
  16. Seeing the world through the lens of his own experience
  17. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures
  18. Emotional pain and emotional deadness
  19. What happens when we die?
  20. Fear and protection
  21. Heavenly creatures do they exist
  22. Satan or the devil
  23. Satan the evil within

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Additional reading:

  1. Paradise, the First Sin, the Fiery Sword, and the Path to Rectification
  2. Fear
  3. All trust, no fear
  4. Trinity And Pagan Influence
  5. Trinity: A False Doctrine of a False Church
  6. Part 2) God is not a Trinity
  7. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  8. Unitarianism and the Bible of the Holy Trinity

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  • A New Gnosticism (supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com)
    Well, after several months of thought, and being a bit dense, I figured out that Christian Scientism was a new Gnosticism. I suppose other people have known this, but I have beenin discussion with a friend who is a Christian Scientist and it finally dawned on me. She thinks that all reason is empiricism, so that is a confusion immediately seen.To the Catholic, reason and faith are two pillars of our spiritual life.

    For the Gnostic, the material world is evil. God is not part of the material. What the CS does with Genesis, in which we read that God created the world and everything in it and saw that it was good.

    For the Catholic, creation was created good by a good God. For the Catholic, Christ was Incarnated, became Man, became material. The CS does not accept this. To them, God is a principle not a person.

  • Embracing the Body as a Spiritual Path. (elephantjournal.com)
    The belief from many traditions is that we suffer precisely because we identify with our bodies, and that freedom is (somehow) somewhere beyond that mistake. But what I found over the years is that in fact the opposite might be true: we suffer when we do not embrace our bodies, and in fact it is our suffering in the first place that makes us reject, disconnect from and seek to be somewhere other than our bodies.chakrasHealing lies in coming home to the body. Whether it is recovery from trauma, abuse or addiction, learning to manage stress and be present with feelings, or releasing shame and media-conditioning to embrace our bodies as they are.
  • Um, Since When Does Jesus Have Skeletons in His Closet?: A Research Paper on Christianity (Part 1) (kosmosys.wordpress.com)
    Gnosticism is known to have correlations with Christianity based on its status of heresy with the Roman Catholic Church. Without going into specifics just yet, one can assume that “correlations”,”similarities” mean concepts, persons, principles, histories, what have you. Another interesting (or troubling?) thing about Gnosticism is that it actually Predates Christianity, meaning that it was in existence Long before Christianity. The understanding of the term “heresy” (and we will officially define it later) is that it is a corruption or perversion of scripture already in existence. How can Gnosticism corrupt or pervert Christianity IF Gnosticism was already in existence? So, if we are supposed to believe that Christianity is “self-existent” (meaning that the events in the Bible Actually happened and the people in the Bible were Real) how is it possible for it to be influenced by a School of Thought older than it? How can Jesus’ teachings exist Before He was supposedly born?
    +
    Um, Since When Does Jesus Have Bones in His Closet?: A Research Paper on Christianity (Part 2)
    What doctrine was the Church trying to silence? So by using Gnosticism, we can then get a new perspective on Christianity. We can look at its behavior, if you will, and understand exactly what, if anything, it is hiding in its closet.
    +
    According to NewAdvent.org, certain aspects of Gnosticism was in existence before that of Christianity, although at the time it was not called Gnosticism, as you can imagine, because Gnosticism itself was/is a spin off of older doctrines. One of the parent faiths of Gnosticism was the Babylonian Mandean faith, which I won’t even get into here. It is also pretty obvious that Gnosticism was not called such until it reached Greece seeing as the root of Gnosticism is “gnosis” meaning knowledge and is a greek word. So, according to this particular source, NewAdvent.org, “it is beyond doubt that Gnosticism existed independent of and anterior to Christianity.” Which means that there is no way that Gnosticism could come as a perversion of Christianity because it was here first.
    +
    As Christians have we not been trained to not think? What about the questions wehave been asked thathave been answered with a “don’t test God” or “God’s mysterious ways.” How many times hasCreflo dollar told us “don’t think! Sow!” How many times have we wondered where all our tithes and offerings are going? Who is spending it and on what?It is clear what the Church thinks about people with knowledge, people who think. Was Jesus not the reason for the slaughter of dozens of innocent men, women, and children during the Salem Witch Trials? How many of you knew the TRUE meaning of the terms listed above?
    +
    All I’m saying is that we need to open our eyes more. Ask questions. Understand things. Obviously there is more to be see than just meets the eye. There is more that needs to be learned. Otherwise, why would the Church cause so much bloodshed to silence the knowledge?
  • My Experience In The Word Of Faith Pt. 7-Watchman Nee,Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis (christianreasons.com)
    Pay careful attention to the reference regarding a deeper spiritual life. That will become important when we discuss the Keswick movement. The main thing I want to demonstrate is the link to Roman Catholic mysticism.Although the “Cross” is emphasized with the Higher Life advocates, the Sanctifying effects of union with Christ is stressed almost to the exclusion of the Justifying effects and the forgiveness of sins. I have a real problem with that. It is also common among Classic Wesleyans and Pentecostals to over-emphasize the more subjective aspects of Sanctification than the objective work of Christ in Justification.
    +
    The focus on the intuition as the real means of grasping truth, rather than through the specifics (including the wording) of Scripture is a definite type of Gnosticism, complete with its arrogance and exclusivity (regardless of intentions to the contrary). His claims that the conscience is based on one’s intuition opens wide the door for being directed by a supposed inner voice from God rather than taking God’s written Word as the true basis of conscience training. The conscience is only as accurate as the training upon which it is based. development of a rather complicated system, with its own specific terminology, which means that the uninitiated cannot really grasp the “deep teachings” of God. The focus on the intuition as the real means of grasping truth, rather than through the specifics (including the wording) of Scripture is a definite type of Gnosticism, complete with its arrogance and exclusivity (regardless of intentions to the contrary).
    +My Experience In The Word Of Faith Movement Pt. 6-Watchman Nee, Miss Margaret E. Barber, Roman Catholic Mystics
    + Pt.1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4, Pt. 5.
    It has been in my exposure to the Reformers that I learned the broken ladders that the little theologians of glory in us love to use to get to God.
    +
    In The Normal Christian Life, (probably one of his more popular titles), Nee writes: “Righteousness, the forgiveness of our sins, and peace with God are all ours by faith, and without faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ none can possess them.” His whole exposition on the Blood of Christ in this book is very orthodox, and insightful. As far as it goes, it’s theologically sound.
  • Is It O.k. for Christians to Do Martial Arts? (prayers4reparation.wordpress.com)
    Many of the martial arts popular in the West have origins in parts of the world where Buddhist and other forms of religious philosophy are (or were) prevalent. Such philosophy is not essential to discipline and exercise, and indeed we can bring a Christian approach to bear, especially since we strive to focus not only on our own well-being but on selfless charity to others.
    +
    If it is simply a question of breathing exercises or seeking peace and harmony of soul, without the imposition of Pagan beliefs, then we can take part, though in our own practice we can bring to bear our Christian faith in which Christ is our peace, and the values of self-discipline and care of our physical health are seen in the context of a spiritual life in accord with the teaching of the Gospel.

Irminsul, dies natalis solis invicti, birthday of light, Christmas and Saturnalia

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By 1890 all Americans voted to make 25 December, Christmas a legal holiday.

The old elph Claus, induced with supernatural powers, and his eight horned magical reindeer.
By 1880 Santa Claus was a very popularised folk hero.
(According to this video) Looking at conception of Elisabeth and Mary, possible birthday 1st day of Feast of tabernacles, September 25th or beginning October.

Many people use Christmas to perpetuate the myth of Santa Claus to their children. (A lie and deceivement to their children, who believe and trust their parents. Later people would wounder if other things the parents told them would be true or not like this Santa Claus and Easterbunny myths) It plants the seeds of doubt, creating disappointment and disillusion.

In schools the holidays are celebrated but no references to God or to Jesus may be made. All references to God must be omitted. They only may sing non-Scriptural songs.
“There is no Christian element in the holiday” the interviewed says.

Christians should live on a daily basis, remembering the son of God, born in Bethlehem; momentby moment dedication of their entire life to Jesus, then, and only then, they will be able to have victory over pagan influences and to have an impact on society, for the Only One God the Creator of heaven and earth.

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“2 here is what ADONAI says: “don’t learn the way of the Goyim, don’t be frightened by astrological signs, even if the Goyim are afraid of them;
3 for the customs of the peoples are nothing. they cut down a tree in the forest; a craftsman works it with his axe;
4 they deck it with silver and gold. they fix it with hammer and nails, so that it won’t move.
5 like a scarecrow in a cucumber patch, it cannot speak. it has to be carried, because it cannot walk.
do not be afraid of it—it can do nothing bad; likewise it is unable to do anything good!”” (Jeremiah 10:2-5 CJB)

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“18  “if the world hates you, understand that it hated me first. 19 if you belonged to the world, the world would have loved its own. but because you do not belong to the world—on the contrary, I have picked you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. 20 remember what I told you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ if they persecuted me, they will persecute you too; if they kept my word, they will keep yours too. 21 but they will do all this to you on my account, because they don’t know the one who sent me. 22 “if I had not come and spoken to them, they wouldn’t be guilty of sin; but now, they have no excuse for their sin. 23 whoever hates me hates my father also.” (John 15:18-23 CJB)

“11  now I am no longer in the world. they are in the world, but I am coming to you. holy father, guard them by the power of your name, which you have given to me, so that they may be one, just as we are. 12 when I was with them, I guarded them by the power of your name, which you have given to me; yes, I kept watch over them; and not one of them was destroyed (except the one meant for destruction, so that the Tanakh might be fulfilled).
13 but now, I am coming to you; and I say these things while I am still in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves.
14 “I have given them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world—just as I myself do not belong to the world. 15 I don’t ask you to take them out of the world, but to protect them from the evil one. 16 they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 17  set them apart for holiness by means of the truth—your word is truth.” (John 17:11-17 CJB)

“4  you, children, are from god and have overcome the false prophets, because he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
5 they are from the world; therefore, they speak from the world’s viewpoint; and the world listens to them.
6 we are from god. whoever knows god listens to us; whoever is not from god doesn’t listen to us. this is how we distinguish the spirit of truth from the spirit of error.” (1 John 4:4-6 CJB)

“14 therefore fear ADONAI, and serve him truly and sincerely. put away the gods your ancestors served beyond the (Euphrates) river and in Egypt, and serve ADONAI! 15  if it seems bad to you to serve ADONAI, then choose today whom you are going to serve! will it be the gods your ancestors served beyond the river? or the gods of the Emori, in whose land you are living? as for me and my household, we will serve ADONAI {Jehovah}!” (Joshua 24:14-15 CJB)

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Preceding article: Holidays, holy days and traditions

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  1. The nativity story
  2. Religious Practices around the world
  3. The Trinity: paganism or Christianity?
  4. First Century of Christianity
  5. Hellenistic influences
  6. Not all christians are followers of a Greco-Roman culture
  7. Only One God
  8. Idolatry or idol worship
  9. Faith and works
  10. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  11. Compromise and accomodation
  12. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  13. For those who have not the rudiments of an historical sense
  14. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  15. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  16. Thanksgivukkah and Advent
  17. A season of gifts
  18. God’s Special Gift
  19. What Jesus sang
  20. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  21. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  22. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  23. The nativity story
  24. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  25. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  26. Speedy Christmas!
  27. Christmas trees
  28. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  29. What do you want for Christmas
  30. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  31. Sancta Claus is not God
  32. Wishing lanterns and Christmas

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Additional reading:

  1. Pagan Roots? 5 Surprising Facts About Christmas
    Pagan, or non-Christian, traditions show up in this beloved winter holiday, a consequence of early church leaders melding Jesusnativity celebration with pre-existing midwinter festivals. Since then, Christmas traditions have warped over time, arriving at their current state a little more than a century ago.
    +
    As Christians spread their religion into Europe in the first centuries A.D., they ran into people living by a variety of local and regional religious creeds.
    Christian missionaries lumped all of these people together under the umbrella term “pagan,” said Philip Shaw, who researches early Germanic languages and Old English at Leicester University in the U.K. The term is related to the Latin word meaning “field,” Shaw told LiveScience. The lingual link makes sense, he said, because early European Christianity was an urban phenomenon, while paganism persisted longer in rustic areas.
    Early Christians wanted to convert pagans, Shaw said, but they were also fascinated by their traditions.
    “Christians of that period are quite interested in paganism,” he said. “It’s obviously something they think is a bad thing, but it’s also something they think is worth remembering. It’s what their ancestors did.” [In Photos: Early Christian Rome]
    Perhaps that’s why pagan traditions remained even as Christianity took hold. The Christmas tree is a 17th-century German invention, University of Bristol’s Hutton told LiveScience, but it clearly derives from the pagan practice of bringing greenery indoors to decorate in midwinter. The modern Santa Claus is a direct descendent of England’s Father Christmas, who was not originally a gift-giver. However, Father Christmas and his other European variations are modern incarnations of old pagan ideas about spirits who traveled the sky in midwinter, Hutton said.
    +
    With no Biblical directive to do so and no mention in the Gospels of the correct date, it wasn’t until the fourth century that church leaders in Rome embraced the holiday. At this time, Nissenbaum said, many people had turned to a belief the Church found heretical: That Jesus had never existed as a man, but as a sort of spiritual entity.
    “If you want to show that Jesus was a real human being just like every other human being, not just somebody who appeared like a hologram, then what better way to think of him being born in a normal, humble human way than to celebrate his birth?” Nissenbaum said. [Religious Mysteries: 8 Alleged Relics of Jesus]
    Midwinter festivals, with their pagan roots, were already widely celebrated, Nissenbaum said. And the date had a pleasing philosophical fit with festivals celebrating the lengthening days after the winter solstice (which fell on Dec. 21 this year). “O, how wonderfully acted Providence that on that day on which that Sun was born … Christ should be born,” one Cyprian text read.
  2. The Origin of Christmas
    The truth is that all of the customs of Christmas pre-date the birth of Jesus Christ, and a study of this would reveal that Christmas in our day is a collection of traditions and practices taken from many cultures and nations.
    The date of December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god.
    This was done long before the birth of Jesus.
    It was noted by the pre-Christian Romans and other pagans, that daylight began to increase after December 22nd, when they assumed that the sun god died.
    These ancients believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days later as the new-born and venerable sun.
    Thus, they figured that to be the reason for increasing daylight.
    This was a cause for much wild excitement and celebration. Gift giving and merriment filled the temples of ancient Rome, as sacred priests of Saturn, called dendrophori, carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession.
    In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.
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    A simple study of the tactics of the Romish Church reveals that in every case, the church absorbed the customs, traditions and general paganism of every tribe, culture and nation in their efforts to increase the number of people under their control.
    In short, the Romish church told all of these pagan cultures,”Bring your gods, goddesses, rituals and rites, and we will assign Christian sounding titles and names to them.

    When Martin Luther started the reformation on October 31st, 1517, and other reformers followed his lead, all of them took with them the paganism that was so firmly imbedded in Rome.
    These reformers left Christmas intact.
    In England, as the authorized Bible became available to the common people by the decree of King James the II in 1611, people began to discover the pagan roots of Christmas, which are clearly revealed in Scripture.
    The Puritans in England, and later in Massachusetts Colony, outlawed this holiday as witchcraft.
    Near the end of the nineteenth century, when other Bible versions began to appear, there was a revival of the celebration of Christmas.

    We are now seeing ever-increasing celebrating of Christmas or Yule, its true name, as we draw closer to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!
    In both witchcraft circles and contemporary Christian churches, the same things are going on.

  3. Is Christmas Pagan?
    There was, for example, a saturnal celebration around the time of Christmas that pagans celebrated, which was actually a temptation for Christians to participate in that had pagan content to it.  So the church changed the day that they celebrated the birth of Christ.  They used to celebrate it in the Spring.  But the church said, We can celebrate it any time we want.  Let’s celebrate it at the same time the pagans are celebrating their pagan festival.  It’ll act as a contrast to that pagan festival because our celebration is the birth of the God-man, Jesus Christ.  It has Biblical content.  Plus it will protect Christians from being wooed away by this other celebration to participate in what was a pagan celebration.
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    Circumcision was practiced by the Egyptians before it was practiced by the Jews.  It was a cultural practice which had some religious significance.  God captured the practice, gave it to Abraham, reinvested it with new meaning and it became a religious rite for Abraham to worship his creator.
    We think of circumcision as this really holy thing in the Old Testament associated with the covenant, which it was.  But it wasn’t that way originally.  By golly, it seems to me that if God can do such a thing–take a practice that had heathen content to it, save the practice, reinvest new information to it–then it certainly is okay for the church to do it.
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    Even Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, wasn’t given by God in the Scriptures.  It’s something that they do to recollect a deliverance, a special deliverance, that God gave them during what we call the inter-testamental period, those 400 years between Malachi and Jesus.  Theirs is a festival that is commonplace now but which doesn’t have its source in a direct command in Scripture; but it does function like many of those other things that are in Scripture.  It reminds people year to year of God’s faithfulness and His goodness.
  4. The History of Christmas, simple to remember
    St. Mark’s, written about 65 CE – begins with the baptism of an adult Jesus.  This suggests that the earliest Christians lacked interest in or knowledge of Jesus’ birthdate.+

    Joseph A. Fitzmyer – Professor Emeritus of Biblical Studies at the Catholic University of America, member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, and former president of the Catholic Biblical Association – writing in the Catholic Church’s official commentary on the New Testament {Addison G. Wright, Roland E. Murphy, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, “A History of Israel” in The Jerome Biblical Commentary, (Prentice Hall: Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1990), p. 1247.}, writes about the date of Jesus’ birth, “Though the year [of Jesus birth is not reckoned with certainty, the birth did not occur in AD 1.  The Christian era, supposed to have its starting point in the year of Jesus birth, is based on a miscalculation introduced ca. 533 by Dionysius Exiguus.”

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    The DePascha Computus, an anonymous document believed to have been written in North Africa around 243 CE, placed Jesus birth on March 28.  Clement, a bishop of Alexandria (d. ca. 215 CE), thought Jesus was born on November 18.  Based on historical records, Fitzmyer guesses that Jesus birth occurred on September 11, 3 BCE.

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    In the 4th century CE, Christianity imported the Saturnalia festival hoping to take the pagan masses in with it.  Christian leaders succeeded in converting to Christianity large numbers of pagans by promising them that they could continue to celebrate the Saturnalia as Christians

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    The Reverend Increase Mather of Boston observed in 1687 that “the early Christians who  first observed the Nativity on December 25 did not do so thinking that Christ was born in that Month, but because the Heathens’ Saturnalia was at that time kept in Rome, and they were willing to have those Pagan Holidays metamorphosed into Christian ones.”{ Increase Mather, A Testimony against Several Prophane and Superstitious Customs, Now Practiced by Some in New England (London, 1687), p. 35.  See also Stephen Nissenbaum, The Battle for Christmas: A Cultural History of America’s Most Cherished Holiday, New York: Vintage Books, 1997, p. 4.}  Because of its known pagan origin, Christmas was banned by the Puritans and its observance was illegal in Massachusetts between 1659 and 1681.{Nissenbaum, p. 3.}  However, Christmas was and still is celebrated by most Christians.

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    Norse mythology recounts how the god Balder was killed using a mistletoe arrow by his rival god Hoder while fighting for the female Nanna.  Druid rituals use mistletoe to poison their human sacrificial victim. {Miles, p. 273.}  The Christian custom of “kissing under the mistletoe” is a later synthesis of the sexual license of Saturnalia with the Druidic sacrificial cult.{Miles, p. 274-5.}

  5. Christmas: Is it “Christian” or Pagan?
    “The cold of the night in Palestine between December and February is very piercing, and it was not customary for the shepherds of Judea to watch their flocks in the open fields later than about the end of October.” Hislop, A., The Two Babylons, Loiseaux Brothers, Neptune, N.J. pg 91.
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    If the winter was such a bad time in which to flee, it seems unlikely that the shepherds would be sleeping out in the fields while tending their sheep during that season.
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    Isis, the Egyptian title for the “queen of heaven,” gave birth to a son at this very time, about the time of the winter solstice. The term “Yule” is the Chaldee (Babylonian) name for “infant” or “little child.”
    This pagan festival not only commemorated the figurative birthday of the sun in the renewal of its course, but it also was celebrated (on December 24) among the Sabeans of Arabia, as the birthday of the “Lord Moon.”

In Babylon, where the sun (Baal) was the object of worship, Tammuz was considered the incarnation of the Sun.

“In the Hindu mythology, which is admitted to be essentially Babylonian, this comes out very distinctly. There, Surya, or the Sun, is represented as being incarnate, and born for the purpose of subduing the enemies of the gods, who without such a birth, could not have been subdued.” Ibid pg 96

There are many other Christmas counterparts of the Babylonian winter solstice festival, such as: 1) candles lighted on Christmas eve and used throughout the festival season were equally lighted by the Pagans on the eve of the festival of the Babylonian god, to do honor to him, 2) the Christmas tree was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm tree; in Rome it was the fir. The tree denoted the Pagan Messiah.

“The mother of Adonis, the Sun God and great mediatorial divinity, was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth her divine son. If the mother was a tree, the son must have been recognized as the ŒMan of the branch.” Ibid pg 97

  • Should we Celebrate Christmas?
    Sometimes tradition is acceptable and perhaps even pleasing in the sight of Yahweh. But other times it is not acceptable and can even be hated by Him
    The issue of traditions transgressing the commandment of Yahweh was a key teaching of Yahushua the Messiah:
    (NKJV) Matthew 15:1- Then the scribes and Pharisees who were from Jerusalem came to Yahushua, saying, “Why do Your disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.”
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    Messiah didn’t like the traditions of the Scribes and Pharisees because they transgressed Yahweh’s clear commandments. As I will share, Christmas is also transgressing the commandment of Yahweh in favor of tradition. But first, notice that He goes on to say:

    Matthew 15:7 –
    “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying:8 `These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with [their] lips, But their heart is far from Me.9 And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ “So a tradition can honor him with the lips, but actually be a vain thing that displeases Him. I have found that Christmas is honoring with the lips but it is actually a vain tradition that has essentially become a doctrine and commandment of men.
    It is a tradition and commandment of men because there is no verse in the bible that tells us that we are to celebrate the birth nor the resurrection of Yahushua the Messiah—let alone in a way that imitates paganism and idolatry!
    So yes, I do believe we must question these traditions that have been handed down to this generation even though few dare to. Many Christians speak against the Catholic traditions of Lent, Ash Wednesday, etc. but fail to recognize that the same types of pagan elements exist in the celebration of Christmas and Easter.
  • The History of Christmas and Its Pagan Origins
    English: large wooden Santa Claus and "no...

    large wooden Santa Claus and “north pole” at Santa Claus House, North Pole, Alaska (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Many people suffer from the misconception that Christmas is a Christian holiday. The earliest history of Christmas is composed of “pagan” (non-Christian) fertility rites and practices which predate Jesus by centuries. The truth is, in short, the real history of Christmas has nothing to do with Christianity. Many of the traditions which we hold dear, such as decorating Christmas trees, singing Christmas carols, and giving Christmas gifts, are rooted in the traditions of non-Christian religions.
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    In the Middle Ages, Christmas was a raucous, drunken celebration which resembled a carnival. Poor people would go on a Christmas“trick or treat” around the richer neighborhoods, causing them misery if they didn’t get what they wanted.
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    The Germans did not so much celebrate as honor the winter solstice. They believed that their god, Oden, flew through the sky at night passing judgment on his people. Generally, they would stay indoors during this season. When the Germanic people were converted to Christianity, their winter festival was naturally adopted as a celebration of the birth of Christ.
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    Contrary to popular belief, the tradition of cutting down a Christmas tree, bringing it into the home and decorating it is not pagan in origin, and did not appear until centuries after Christ’s broth. The Romans decorated their homes and temples with evergreen clippings, but allowed the trees to remain intact, often decorating live trees with religious icons.
    The Druids tied fruit to the branches of live trees, and baked cakes in the shape of fish, birds and other animals, to offer to their god, Woden. We also inherited the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe from the Druids. The Christmas tree tradition we currently practice had its origins in 16th century Western Germany. “Paradise trees” were cut down to commemorate the Feast of Adam and Eve, which took place on Christmas eve every year.
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    Christianity and pre-Christian pagan religion have a great deal in common. Various pagan religions shared the Christian practice of worshiping a god-man who could offer salvation in the form of heaven or condemnation in the form of hell. The concept that a son of God could be born of a mortal woman is seen in many different religions spanning the globe. These concepts are universal, except to those who are extremely divisive and have a tendency to pick nits.
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    Fortunately there are many ways to reconnect with the original purpose and meaning of Christmas. Small traditions, such as placing apples or cookies on the tree, or decorating a live tree instead of a cut one, are a good way to get in touch with the way that our ancestors celebrated Christmas. Respecting the planet and understanding its powers and its limitations are important. The pagans were aware of the changing seasons and found earth-centered and social ways to cope with them. They were aware and appreciative of the sun. They exchanged gifts, but their gift exchange was not commercialized. Instead the focus was on bringing good fortune. Giving gifts of fruit has been a common practice throughout history, and is still popular today.

  • A History of New Years
  • Christianity gone haywire, and going down
  • The Marketing Of Catholicism
  • One of the main concerns of the Church in the last 50 years – and I mean, even from good, orthodox priests and laymen – seems to be to make the message of Christianity attractive, or easy to digest, or such that it would appear an improvement in one’s quality of life.
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    Christianity isn’t a “fun option”, or a “better choice”; similarly, atheism or unrepentant grave sin are infinitely worse than “poor choices”. It is no surprise 50 years of trying to persuade people of this have brought us to the level where we are now.
    Christianity is, first and foremost, harsh. Harsh in the brutal commandments – not suggestions of “better choices” -, harsh in the consequences for those refusing to do so, harsh in the crystal-clear warning that no alternative ways are acceptable.
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    The call to submit our will to His good and perfect will – because God’s ways work for our happiness. A call to surrender our “rights” and all that we are to Jesus – through faithful membership of His Church.

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  • Oh Christmas Tree (notestoponder.wordpress.com)
    We deck the halls because Pagans used to bring greenery into their homes on  the shortest day of the year for the sun god to eat.  It was an “offering” to get well soon; a custom shared by ancient Druids, Romans and Greeks. Jesus could have been born in July for all we know but Dec. 25 was set to soothe uppity Pagans by coinciding with their solstice parties.
  • Chanukah (Hanukkah) / Christmas – Facts or Fabels? (hisimagenme.wordpress.com)
    Would Yeshua Himself celebrate Christmas if He walked the earth as human today? Not likely, at least not the way most do.What about Hanukkah?
    Yeshua likely grew up celebrating Hanukkah. It is one of the Jewish Holidays that goes way back. But to be clear it is the only holiday that God did not command to be celebrated. At least Biblically speaking. At least as far as we know. This is because the time period in which the origin of the holiday takes place between Malachi and Matthew or “old and new” testaments. He did indeed celebrate this holiday, and its not a far stretch to know why. As the Light of the World that gave the oil (Holy Spirit) to His church at a critical time in its history…we are the Menorah of Adonai. The above link does a beautiful job explaining this in more detail. It’s worth the time to “study to show thyself and test the Spirit” in search of Truth.
  • The Idol of Christmas (eternalchrist.wordpress.com)
    No, we are not the Grinch who stole Christmas; but Christians should understand the origins of this most hallowed celebration.
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    Santa Claus, Christmas trees, and Jingle Bells are born of the traditions of men, and detract from the birth of Messiah. Granted, Sinterklaas was a real person (Saint Nicholas of Myra); a 4th Century Christian bishop who gave generously to the poor.Everything else we know about Santa Claus is a creation of myth and fables. The Saint Nick who is worshiped today has become an idol of merchants and debtors; and is a sacrilege to the Nativity at Bethlehem.Christmas evolved from the winter festivals of Saturnalia (Rome) and Yule (German) from which we get the word Yuletide. These annual feasts celebrated pagan gods such as the white bearded Odin who supposedly rode his horse across the wintry skies of northern Europe delivering gifts to all the children.
  • The true reason for the season (sanchezjennifer926.wordpress.com)
    Christ will never be “the reason for the season” Jesus Christ was interjected into an already existing Pagan festival/feast and I’m here to shed a little light on an ongoing betrayal.
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    During the middle ages, the debased Mardi Gras atmosphere, of what was now known as “Christ’s mass” had reached a fevered pitch. Common practices included sex in the streets, rioting, murder, and a number of Druid Halloween like rituals. This blood drenched ritual got so out of hand, that by the year 1652 following the execution of King Charles I, “Christ’s mass” was finally outlawed.
  • YAHWEH’s Truth Behind The Pagan Holiday Christmas (simplylivingforyah.wordpress.com)
    Unbeknownst to the multitudes of Christians, and other religions, those celebrations are made by witches, warlocks, but mainly by Luciferians. I know you are thinking “why Luciferians”? So I’ll tell you why. Try to go over this a few times so you make sure it’s absolutely correct, and then once you do, “remember it”!The reason Luciferians celebrate it is because they know their god Satan has tricked most of the people that call themselves Christians into believing a lie, and that makes those people seen for who they are. “Weak in study and able to be told anything.” Today’s modern day believer is unequipped to do battle with Satan and that gives him an advantage over them.
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    These so called “church father’s” pre-existed the man who would continue in their efforts to malign the true doctrine that we were supposed to be taught. Instead Constantine, who was a wife murdering madman, and killed his very own children, found a way to align pagan worship (paganomics) with what was being called “Christianity.” It would allow pagans to bring some long time rituals into the church. “Easter” (Ishtar) The fertility goddess, whose name was originally “Asherah,” or “Astarte.” YAHWEH had the Asheran pole (may pole dancing) taken out of all HIS Tabernacles. “Churchianity brought it back with Easter.”
  • “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” (allaboutarmstrongism.wordpress.com)
    Tonight, the Christmas tree – yes, the Christmas tree – (you’re responsible for your judging thoughts, Armstrong Adherents)  is brightly lit and shining in my home. Lights flashing sequentially, the beautiful colors light the living room in a warm, inviting glow. From speakers, St. Paul’s Cathedral is singing “Hark the Herald Angels sing” – a song proclaiming the birth of the most important Figure ever to walk the face of the Earth. The words echo beautifully throughout. It is absolutely wonderful.
  • The Twelve Mysteries of Christmas, Day 2 (lmwinborne.wordpress.com)
    Fact is, green has been used by many cultures as a symbol of life.  During harsh winters, evergreens were cut down and brought into houses as a symbol that life still existed despite the bleak conditions outside.  Romans hung holly wreaths on their doors and walls to welcome back the sun in the natalis solis invicti (birth of the invincible sun”) festival, which was celebrated on December 25 each year.  Red was added to symbolize the shed blood of Jesus.
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    The custom of using a pine to represent the Tree of Good and Evil spread from the church to the home, creating a tradition with the two colors.
  • Falling Back To The Wall – In Length And Wordiness (experientialpagan.wordpress.com)
     I’m (not really) sorry, Christians; you don’t have a patent on festive mid-winter celebrations.  In fact, if you all bothered to know as much about your Christian history as you think you know about pagan history, you would know it was your own Puritans who wanted to banish Christmas; not the secular humanists, thank you very much.At this time of year, I often wish I could master the patter of the professional auctioneer, so I could belt out “Merry Bodhi, Soyal, Dongzhi, Solstice, Yule, Kwanzaa, Malkh, Hanukkah, Christmas, Solis Invicti, Saturnalia, Yalda, Hogmanay, New Year’s!” 545237without it taking me five minutes to say it.  I hear the “defend Christmas” crowd go on about how it is our “culture” to be defended, but you know what?  America doesn’t have a culture.  Not really.  Capitalism is not cultured, religious bigotry is not cultured, consumerism and materialism are not cultured….but enough of my humanism, right?  IF Americans doing the loudest screaming had ANY bloody concept of “culture” they would know what all those holidays up there ARE, for starters…and then maybe we could have a rational talk about their ill-mannered insistence that nobody ever say “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas!”
  • Should Christians Celebrate Christmas? (christianmotivations.weebly.com)
    Jewish people celebrate Christmas today, not because of Christ’s birthday, but because it is a popular tradition and part of our present-day culture. It’s as American as apple pie and hamburgers. And I observed Christmas for nearly 22 years of my life, until God opened my eyes to see the falseness of this pagan holiday.It’s not because I’m a Jew that I don’t celebrate Christmas now. That has nothing to do with it. Let me tell you the real reasons why I no longer observe this pagan holiday.
  • The Christmas Season in the Italian Language (becomingitalianwordbyword.typepad.com)
    To celebrate la stagione natalizia in Italy, I am dedicating this month’s blog posts to the sights, sounds, tastes, and traditions of Natale.  Buone feste! (Happy Holidays!)
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    the key dates in a season of celebrations:*December 6: La festa di San Nicola, patron saint of shepherds and of Bari–and the inspiration for the American “Santa Claus.”*December 8: La festa dell’Immacolata, the feast of the Immaculate Conception, a Catholic holy day honoring Mary, the virgin mother of Jesus. In Rome the Pope comes to the Piazza di Spagna to drop a garland of flowers around the statue of the Madonna. (Since she stands atop a high column, firemen on ladders do the actual placement.)*December 13: La festa di Santa Lucia, the festival of lights.

    *December 24: La vigilia di Natale, the vigil or eve of Christmas.

    *December 25: Natale,  the “birthday” of Gesù bambino.

    *December 26: La festa di Santo Stefano, Saint Steven’s day.

    *December 31: La festa di San Silvestro, Saint Sylvester’s day or New Year’s Eve (la vigilia di Capodanno).

    *January 1: Il Capodanno, literally the top of the year.

    *January 6: L’Epifania (Epiphany), which marks the arrival of the Re Magi, the three wise men, who brought gifts to the infant Jesus from afar.