Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God

Nearly 2 000 years ago

Nearly two thousand years ago a man preaching in the desert saw his cousin coming near. John the Baptist, perhaps not knowing so much about his cousin, understood how he came unto earth and what his position was.

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John seeing Jesus coming toward him yelled out

“Here he is, God’s Passover Lamb! He forgives the sins of the world! This is the man I’ve been talking about, ‘the one who comes after me but is really ahead of me.’

(Jesus was born or came into existence after John the Baptist, but had his function already planned by God long before John the Baptist, Isaiah, Isaac and Abraham.) John the Baptist knew that his task was been to get Israel ready to recognize him as the God-Revealer.

” (29)  On the next day Yoḥanan saw יהושע {Jehsua} coming toward him, and said, “See, the Lamb of Elohim who takes away the sin of the world!{1} {Footnote: 1Mt. 1:21, Titus 2:14, 1 John 3:5 & 8.}  (30)  “This is He of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has become before me, for He was before me.’ {1 Footnote: 1See v. 15.}  (31)  “And I did not know Him, but that He might be revealed to Yisra’ĕl, therefore I came immersing in water.” ” (John 1:29-31 The Scriptures 1998+)

Jesus was placed by God in the womb of Miriam (Mary/Maria) to come on earth as the fulfilment of the Word of God spoken in the garden of Eden, providing Adam and Eve a solution for what they had done.

Baptism with water and spirit

At that time in the river Jordan God Himself led His Voice be heard to all who stood around John the Baptist baptising Jesus. And the Voice made known that it was the son of God who stood there in the water. Still two thousand years later many do not want to accept that it was the “son of God” who stood there to start his official adult life of witnessing for God.

Jan Brueghel the Elder, John the Baptist preaching

Jan Brueghel the Elder, John the Baptist preaching (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John had come to baptise with water, giving the people a good bath and scrubbing sins from their life so they could get a fresh start with God. John clinched his witness that he watched the Spirit, like a dove flying down out of the sky, making himself at home in him, and that The One who authorized him to baptise with water told him, ‘The One on whom you see the Spirit come down and stay, this One will baptise with the Holy Spirit.’ As many prophets before him, Jesus was a man who was willing to give himself in the hands of the Creator God, who had told mankind that he was His son.

” (16)  And having been immersed, יהושע {Jehsua} went up immediately from the water, and see, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of Elohim descending like a dove and coming upon Him,  (17)  and see, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I did delight.”” (Matthew 3:16-17 The Scriptures 1998+)

God’s Passover Lamb to be seen

The people could see the one who John the Baptist called “God’s Passover Lamb.” There were two disciples of John who heard him and went after Jesus. Jesus looked over his shoulder and said to them, “What are you after?” They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher“), “where are you staying?” He replied, “Come along and see for yourself.” They came, saw where he was living, and ended up staying with him for the day but also got to see what Jesus could mean for them. They believed they had found the “Messiah” (that is, “Christ“). (John 1:29-42) From that day onwards they kept their eyes on Jesus, and got to know more on the relation of Jesus and his Father the Only One True. they also came to understand that this rabbi could be the send one of God by whom they, and we, can come closer to God, the author and finisher of our faith. In Jesus they could find and can we find peace, forgiveness, rest, grace. They where willing to see what had happened and were going to see more incomprehensible thing the three years afterwards.

Second Adam also of flesh and blood

There may be many gods in the world, but there is only One True God Divine Creator, and That God is not comparable to any human being except to His son. God is Spirit (John 4:24) but His sons are human beings. His first son and daughter where the first Adam and Eve. But those first creations turned against their Creator. At that time, in the beginning of Creation, the Creator took care that a solution for their sin was given to the world. God was prepared to make a second Adam, who would bring salvation and as such would be called the “Christ” or “Messiah“. In him people could once again see that all people are created in the image of God. Though all children which came after the first Adam received the deficiencies from their forefathers. Being created straight ahead from the Source of Life, Jehovah God, the second Adam, would receive the opportunity to prove human kind that a human being could follow the Will of the Most High, and could stay pure and un-blamed.

Not able to be seen

God can not be seen by man or he would die, but Jesus could be seen by many. Jesus like any other man could be tempted, though God can not be tempted nor sin. Jesus could sin but did not.

” (20)  But He said, “You are unable to see My face, for no man does see Me and live.”” (Exodus 33:20 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (18)  No one has ever seen Elohim.1 The only brought-forth Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He did declare.2 Footnotes: 1See 5:37, 6:46, 1 John 4:12. 2The pre-existent Son declared, and was the One who appeared to men.” (John 1:18 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (24)  “Elohim is Spirit, and those who worship Him need to worship in spirit and truth.”” (John 4:24 The Scriptures 1998+)

Revelation to be seen

What we can see is what God reveals to the world and let us to be seen. Jesus declared his Father and made Him clear for all to understand what He want from us and How He thinks and works. Jesus was prepared to listen to the Voice of his Father, his God and the God of Abraham, making this voice know all over the world.

” (24)  and said, ‘See, יהוה {Jehovah} our Elohim has shown us His esteem and His greatness, and we have heard His voice from the midst of the fire. Today we have seen that Elohim speaks with man – and he lives!” (Deuteronomy 5:24 The Scriptures 1998+)

Flesh blood and bones, human and ghost or spirit

At the river Jordan people could see that God was in their midst and declared Jesus to be His son. Ghost has no flesh, blood nor bones, but Jesus had this all. That Jesus was no spirit, even not after he had died he proved to his disciples when he came under their midst and showed his wounds.

” (30)  And it came to be, when He sat at the table with them, having taken the bread, He blessed, and having broken, He was giving it to them.  (31)  And their eyes were opened and they recognised Him. And He disappeared from their sight.  (32)  And they said to each other, “Was not our heart burning within us as He was speaking to us on the way, and as He was opening the Scriptures to us?”  (33)  And rising up that same hour they returned to Yerushalayim, and found the eleven and those who were with them gathered together,  (34)  saying, “The Master was truly raised, and has appeared to Shim?on!”  (35)  And they related what took place on the way, and how He was recognised by them in the breaking of the bread.  (36)  And as they were saying this, יהושע {Jehsua} Himself stood in the midst of them, and said to them, “Peace to you.”  (37)  And being startled and frightened, they thought they had seen a spirit.  (38)  And He said to them, “Why are you troubled? And why do doubts arise in your hearts?  (39)  “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.”  (40)  And saying this, He showed them His hands and His feet.  (41)  And while they were still not believing for joy, and marvelling, He said to them, “Have you any food here?”  (42)  And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish and some honeycomb.  (43)  And taking it He ate in their presence.  (44)  And He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all have to be filled that were written in the Torah of Mosheh and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.”  (45)  Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,  (46)  and said to them, “Thus it has been written, and so it was necessary for the Messiah to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day,  (47)  and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His Name to all nations, beginning at Yerushalayim.  (48)  “And you are witnesses of these matters.  (49)  “And see, I am sending the Promise of My Father upon you, but you are to remain in the city of Yerushalayim until you are clothed with power from on high.”  (50)  And He led them out as far as Bĕyth Anyah, and lifting up His hands He blessed them.  (51)  And it came to be, while He was blessing them, that He was parted from them and was taken up into the heaven.  (52)  And they, having bowed down to Him, returned to Yerushalayim with great joy,  (53)  and were continually in the Set-apart Place praising and blessing Elohim. Amĕn.” (Luke 24:30-53 The Scriptures 1998+)

Those who have not seen the son of the Non-seen

After Jesus had died the apostles had seen him again. We never have seen him but we should believe those who have seen him and those who like us can not see God but did see the son of God, יהושע {Jehsua} Jesus, the one who is the Immanuel and Messiah. We also can get the Ghost God being part of us like it was being part of Christ. By letting Him enter ourselves we shall become transformed, but we shall never become God, like Jesus also was not God. We do have to become like Christ like Jesus was like God united one in spirit. Putting on the armour of Christ and the armour of God did not make the people in the old times God nor shall it make us  to become Christ nor God.

After and of the flesh and dwelling within

In the world we can see many people who are after the flesh, do mind the things of the flesh. We who believe in Christ Jesus, to be the Saviour should be after the Spirit, do mind the things of the Spirit. Jesus did also things of the Spirit like we should do. He also told us to become worthy children of God, having God enter our hearts and to put away our carnally mind because that is death. We are assured that to be spiritually minded is life and peace; because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, because it cannot be.  Jesus learned his followers that they who are in the flesh cannot please God. He also told many parables so people could easily understand what it mean to be in Christ or to be in God, to be with God, to be for God and to do the Will of God. Those who want to do like Christ, not his or their own will, but the Will of God, can receive the Holy Spirit and as such be not in the flesh, but in the spirit if the Spirit of God truly dwells within you. Jesus had the Spirit of God dwelling in him. We should have the Spirit of God dwelling in us likewise. This dwelling of the Spirit though shall not make us, like it did not with Christ, make us the God eternal. We shall stay man of flesh and blood like Jesus was a man of flesh and blood. We also shall not escape the penalty of the garden of Eden. Jesus also did not escape that death spoken out by His Father. Jesus really died whilst God can not die. It is only by accepting that Jesus was really a man of flesh and blood who really died,that we can give respectful notice to what Jesus really did; he gave his life for the sins of many, as a ransom. Those who take Jesus to God, who can not die, make a farce of his suffering and his death.

Having spirit of Christ

Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him.  And if Christ is within you, the body is dead because of sin: but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of Him who raised our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead dwells within you, so He Who raised Jesus Christ from the dead will also quicken our mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells within us.  But therefore we do have to accept Jesus his anointment and offer as Lamb of God. We clearly have to see and understand the relationship between the Father and son, who now sits at the right hand of his Father to be a mediator between God and man.

Living in spirit

Those who have faith in the actions Jesus undertook and believe he was a messenger of the Most High are not indebted to the flesh to live after the flesh.  For if we live after the flesh, we will die in flesh and totality: but if we, through the Spirit, subdue the deeds of the body, we shall live this life in spirit. It does not mean we shall not feel any pain, or we shall not have to face difficulties and temptations. Like Jesus encountered many difficulties and temptations, we also shall have to face them and the natural death. But allowing the Spirit to enter in our hearts we may count on it that He shall enable us to endure whatever we need to endure. Those who are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God, for they have not received the spirit of bondage, to be in fear again; but they have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby they can cry onto God like Christ called on his Father: “Abba“, “Avon”, “Father“, “our Father“.  And this Spirit bears witness to our spirit, that we are the children of God:  and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; so that if we suffer with him, we shall also be glorified with him.

” (5)  For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the matters of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the matters of the Spirit.  (6)  For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.  (7)  Because the mind of the flesh is enmity towards Elohim, for it does not subject itself1 to the Torah of Elohim2, neither indeed is it able, Footnotes: 1Or does not obey. 2John 15:5, 1 John 4:4, 1 John 3:9, 1 John 5:18.  (8)  and those who are in the flesh are unable to please Elohim.  (9)  But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of Elohim dwells in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Messiah, this one is not His.  (10)  And if Messiah is in you, the body is truly dead on account of sin, but the Spirit is life on account of righteousness.  (11)  And if the Spirit of Him who raised יהושע {Jehsua} from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Messiah from the dead shall also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit dwelling in you.  (12)  So then, brothers, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  (13)  For if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you shall live.  (14)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of Elohim, these are sons of Elohim.  (15)  For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”  (16)  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of Elohim,  (17)  and if children, also heirs – truly heirs of Elohim, and co-heirs with Messiah, if indeed we suffer with Him, in order that we also be exalted together.” (Romans 8:5-17 The Scriptures 1998+)

Presenting our body to allow God to enter in us, doing His Will

By the mercies of God we should present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, by means of reasonable service. Though we can not see Christ nor God, we should put faith in him who gave his soul (=his full being) to his Father who is also our Father to Whom we should pray.  Jesus lived in this world but was not of this world, so we also should not imitate the way of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, becoming as brothers and sisters in Christ, that you may discern what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God. As Christ also did not want to do his will, we also should only want to do God His Will.

” (10)  let Your reign come, let Your desire be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (41)  And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and falling on His knees He was praying,  (42)  saying, “Father, if it be Your counsel, remove this cup from Me. Yet not My desire, but let Yours be done.”” (Luke 22:41-42 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (34)  יהושע {Jehsua} said to them, “My food is to do the desire of Him who sent Me, and to accomplish His work.” (John 4:34 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (30)  “Of Myself I am unable to do any matter. As I hear, I judge, and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own desire, but the desire of the Father who sent Me.” (John 5:30 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (38)  “Because I have come down out of the heaven, not to do My own desire, but the desire of Him who sent Me.” (John 6:38 The Scriptures 1998+)

” (7)  “Then I said, ‘See, I come – in the roll of the book it has been written concerning Me – to do Your desire, O Elohim.’ ”  (8)  Saying above, “Slaughter and meal offering, and burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor delighted in,” which are offered according to the Torah,  (9)  then He said, “See, I come to do Your desire, O Elohim.” He takes away the first to establish the second.  (10)  By that desire we have been set apart through the offering of the body of יהושע {Jehsua} Messiah once for all.” (Heb 10:7-10 The Scriptures 1998+)

To see and understand the sending of the son of God

We should see and understand the sending of the son of God, Jesus Christ, because we can see what is written about him in the Book of books. We should see the desire this man had and we should see the desires of his Father the Divine Creator God Who does not like to have pleasure in, sacrifices, offerings, burnt offerings, and sacrifices for sin’ (offerings regularly made under the Law). That God, whom Jesus considered to be his Father and our Father was willing to take the offering of this Nazarene Jew as the token of reconciliation. Because Jesus wanted and succeeded into doing the will of his Father the former sacrifices were set aside to be replaced by the latter, the offer of the son Jeshua, Jesus the Christ or Messiah.  And it is in the fulfilment of the will of God that we have been purified by the sacrifice, once and for all, of the body of Jesus Christ.

See things and scrutinize everything

We should see all things and search them. We should come to see what is given to the apostles and followers of Jesus Christ, to all of us who are willing to follow the teachings of the rabbi Jesus, not to think of ourselves beyond what we ought to think; but to think soberly, every man according to the measure of faith which God has distributed to him.  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same function,  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.  Being in the body of Christ shall not make us Christ nor god or God. but being in the body of Christ we will be entrusted with many special gifts, differing according to the grace that is given to us; some have the gift of prophecy, according to the measure of faith,  some have the gift of ministration, in his ministry; and some of teaching, in his teaching.

” (1)  I call upon you, therefore, brothers, through the compassion of Elohim, to present your bodies a living offering – set-apart, well-pleasing to Elohim – your reasonable worship.  (2)  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you prove what is that good and well-pleasing and perfect desire of Elohim.  (3)  For I say, through the favour which has been given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he should think, but to think soberly, as Elohim has given to each a measure of belief.  (4)  For as we have many members in one body, but all members do not have the same function,  (5)  so we, the many, are one body in Messiah, and members each one of one another.  (6)  Now having different gifts, according to the favour which was given to us, let us use them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of belief;  (7)  if serving, in the serving; or he who is teaching, in the teaching;  (8)  or he who encourages, in the encouragement; or he who is sharing, in sincerity; he who is leading, in diligence; he who shows compassion, joyously.” (Romans 12:1-8 The Scriptures 1998+)

A body with blood and a spirit without blood

We should come to learn to see that Body of Christ so that we can see the preparedness of others also willing to see the gift of God, His Grace and acceptance of the offer of His son Jesus Christ.

” (16)  to be a servant of יהושע {Jehsua} Messiah to the gentiles, with the priestly duty of bringing the Good News of Elohim, so that the offering of the gentiles becomes acceptable, set apart by the Set-apart Spirit.” (Romans 15:16 The Scriptures 1998+)

The world should get to see those who are willing to see the Most High in their minds, according to the Spirit or Force of God. By willing to open our mind to God’s Force, the Holy Spirit shall be willing to enter in our soul (=our being) and will strengthen us in our faith in Christ, the son of God, making us partakers of his offering, being cleansed by his blood (the Blood of Christ).

Knowing that a Spirit has no blood, we are aware that it was really a man of blood and flesh and bones, who did not have his bones broken, but had his blood flown out of his body.

” (28)  After this, יהושע {Jehsua}, knowing that all had been accomplished, in order that the Scripture might be accomplished, said, “I thirst!”  (29)  A bowl of sour wine stood there, and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and held it to His mouth.  (30)  So when יהושע {Jehsua} took the sour wine He said, “It has been accomplished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.  (31)  Therefore, since it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the stake on the Sabbath – for that Sabbath was a high one – the Yehuḏim asked Pilate to have their legs broken, and that they be taken away.  (32)  Therefore the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who was impaled with Him,  (33)  but when they came to יהושע {Jehsua} and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs.  (34)  But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and instantly blood and water came out.  (35)  And he who has seen has witnessed, and his witness is true. And he knows that he is speaking the truth, in order that you might believe.  (36)  For this took place in order for the Scripture to be filled: “Not one of His bones shall be broken.”  (37)  And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”” (John 19:28-37 The Scriptures 1998+)

Acceptance step in the good direction

Let us look on him whom they pierced and believe who he was and what he did. By accepting Christ we are one step in the good direction to find God. Once we want to accept Jesus as the son of God who offered himself for our sins, we can continue on that path he prepared for us. Listening to the parables he told we can come to understand the way his Father thinks and handles.

God had poured out on the house of David the fulfilment of His Word that His Word could become reality and could come into the flesh (figuratively and in the person of His son Jesus Christ), and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication so that those who are willing to see and believe will look at him whom other humans have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn. (Zechariah 12:10, John 1:1)

To be able to find God we first have to open our mind and to be prepared to allow God His Spirit to enter in us. It is God Who calls, but we should allow Him to call us and be prepared to hear His Voice.

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Preceding article: Finding God amid all the religious externals

Next: People Seeking for God

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Please also do find to read:

  1. Creator of heaven and earth and everything around יהוה
  2. Only One God
  3. God of gods
  4. How are we sure God exists?
  5. Apologetics (10) – The Hard Questions: Does God Really Exist? Introducing the Teleological Argument
  6. Bible and Science (22): Bible or Science
  7. Seeking for God
  8. The Faith of Abraham
  9. Having Truth Decay?
  10. Jehovah Yahweh Gods Name
  11. God’s promises
  12. God Helper and Deliverer
  13. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #1 Creator and His Prophets
  14. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  15. Let God’s promises shine on your problems
  16. God should be your hope
  17. Walk Humbly With God
  18. Finding Strength in God
  19. Devotional – The Way to the Father (18): The Lord’s Prayer
  20. He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him.
  21. The one who makes us well and gives life
  22. Jesus begotten Son of God #17 Adam, Eve, Mary and Christianity’s central figure
  23. Jesus spitting image of his father
  24. Reasons that Jesus was not God
  25. Jesus and his God
  26. The high calling of God in Christ Jesus
  27. Jesus Messiah
  28. On the Nature of Christ
  29. Christ begotten through the power of the Holy Spirit
  30. How is it that Christ pleased God so perfectly?
  31. Wishing to do the will of God
  32. A Messiah to die
  33. Jesus memorial
  34. No person has greater love than this one who surrendered his soul in behalf of his friends
  35. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  36. The day Jesus died
  37. Impaled until death overtook him
  38. Jesus three days in hell
  39. Christ has indeed been raised from the dead
  40. Through Christ’s death you can be adopted as a child of God
  41. Jesus is risen
  42. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  43. Jesus begotten Son of God #11 Existence and Genesis Raising up
  44. Seeing Jesus
  45. Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
  46. Jesus begotten Son of God #6 Anointed Son of God, Adam and Abraham
  47. Jesus begotten Son of God #19 Compromising fact
  48. Wishing to do the will of God
  49. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  50. Ransom for all
  51. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  52. The Song of The Lamb #5 Revelation 5
  53. The Song of The Lamb #8 Revelation 15 Lessons for us today
  54. Christ having glory
  55. Sitting at the right hand of God
  56. One mediator
  57. One Mediator between God and man
  58. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  59. Why do we need a ransom?
  60. The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
  61. Two states of existence before God
  62. True Hope
  63. Epitome of the one faith
  64. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  65. The Word being a quality or aspect of God Himself
  66. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:1, 2 – Factual Data
  67. Nazarene Commentary Mark 1:1-8 – The Beginning of the Good News
  68. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:1-6 – A Wilderness Baptist Prepares the Way
  69. Nazarene Commentary Matthew 3:7-12 – Opposition and Two Baptisms
  70. Nazarene Commentary Luke 3:3-6 – John Preaches Baptism of Repentance
  71. He has given us the Pneuma, the force, from Him
  72. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  73. Incomplete without the mind of God
  74. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  75. The Spirit of God imparts love,inspires hope, and gives liberty
  76. Corruption in our translations !
  77. Book of books
  78. Let us become nothing, and Christ everything
  79. Parts of the body of Christ
  80. With God All Things Are Possible
  81. Wishing to do the will of God

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Additional reading:

  1. God and gods
  2. “Disciple, disciple, what do you see?” “I see Jesus looking at me.”
  3. The underlying truth in John 1:1
  4. John 1:1c Primer
  5. Basic John 1:1c
  6. Seven Lessons for John 1:1c
  7. The “Definite” John 1:1
  8. The Divine Name of God: Spoken by Jesus and Early True Christians
  9. Hebrews 1:8 – “Thy Throne, O God”

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  • Preparing the Way (graceofourlord.com)
    God, he tells them, can raise up children of Abraham from the stones present around them. In other words, it is not enough – God is not so impressed with their pedigree.
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    Although baptism in some form did exist before John the Baptist received his calling from God, it was not a baptism of repentance, nor was it for the forgiveness of sins. There was no real forgiveness of sins under the Law of Moses because, as Paul said, it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:1-4). There was washing for purification, as first implemented with Aaron and his sons (Exodus 29:4, Leviticus 16:23-24), and for remedy of defilement (Numbers 19). And at some point (though not Biblically required), baptism (immersion in water) was added to circumcision as a requirement for Gentile proselytes to be converted to Judaism.
  • He may be made known to Israel (twocatholicfriends.wordpress.com)
    Each of the prophets who came before Christ came to fulfill a particular mission, they pointed to the coming of the messiah. Isaiah’s prophecy of the restoration of israel and salvation reaching the end of the earth links his time and that of John the baptist’s by its fulfillment because it was John the baptist who showed this light of God which would reach the end of the earth to the world. First, with his disciples, whom he fashioned their waiting for the messiah. He did not know who the messiah was, but God revealed it to him by the outpouring of the Holy spirit by the baptism of our Lord which we celebrated last sunday; this he used to testify to the crowd of the sonship of Jesus.
  • Jesus and John the Baptist (larrycourson.wordpress.com)
    In Matthew 13 and 14 Jesus is rejected by the people of Nazareth where he grew up as no one special. They said he was just one of them.
  • John 1:29-42 – 19th January 2014 (rogerfarnworth.wordpress.com)
    John the Baptist expected his listeners to recall pictures from the Old Testament; the lamb provided by God for Abraham to slaughter, the lamb of Isaiah 53, led to the slaughter for the sins of God’s people; the Passover Lamb from Exodus.  The word “lamb,” for John’s listeners connected strongly with words like “sin” or “atonement” – the way in which we can be reconciled with God despite our wrongdoing.
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    Lamb of God, Baptiser with the Spirit, Son of God, Messiah – John, the Gospel writer’s names for Jesus. John wants us to carry these names with us as we read his Gospel. It is as though he says to us, “You will only understand my message fully if you realise that this is what I want to show you. Here is the one who by his life and death fulfils these roles and in doing so brings hope.” As we read the Gospels let’s use these names to inform our reading and to help us understand for ourselves just who Jesus is: Lamb of God, Baptiser with the Spirit, Son of God, Messiah.
  • Engaging the Gospel – John 1:29-34 (ubiquelucet.wordpress.com)
    By proclaiming Jesus as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” St. John the Baptist identifies him as the fulfillment of Scripture.

    He “reveals that Jesus is at the same time the suffering Servant [prophesied by Isaiah] who silently allows himself to be led to the slaughter and who bears the sin of the multitudes, and also the Paschal Lamb, the symbol of Israel’s redemption at the first Passover” (Catechism paragraph 608).

    Moreover, the Spirit’s coming upon Jesus is an explicit mark of the Messiah.

  • God Demands a Response to Jesus (barrierbreakingenterprises.com)
    The fact of the matter is some of us are just  too cautious about changing when clearly the time for change has come.  We procrastinate just because procrastination is what we do.  But when you meet Jesus, Jesus calls for action, immediate, swift, decisive action.  Either you love him or you don’t but you can’t just sit around and think about it.  This morning Jesus is looking for radical disciples, those who will throw caution to the wind and follow him with their whole hearts.
  • The Passover Lamb (james1948.wordpress.com)
    When it was time for God to deliver the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, He established a way for the people to always memorialize their deliverance by instituting the Lord’s Passover. Each household was to shed the blood of a lamb that was without blemish and paint the blood on the doorposts of the home. Then, the lamb was to be roasted and eaten with unleavened bread and bitter herbs by everyone in the home, as they stood, ready to evacuate Egypt. That night, God preserved the firstborn of every home who had observed the Passover and delivered the Israelites from bondage.

    Jesus is the fulfillment of the Passover. He became what the Passover represented, God’s salvation through the shed blood of an innocent Lamb.

  • The Truth Through John Part 2 (soulfulcuriosity.wordpress.com)
    God is very detailed…everything has a purpose…more than we will ever know this side of heaven.

    Does studying God’s word bring you Joy?  I sure hope it does.

  • Sunday Devotional: John 1:6-8 (journeythereandbackagain.wordpress.com)
    Here we see John (the disciple) talk about John the Baptist.  John the Baptist was a forerunner to Jesus.  He was one who was sent by God to prepare the way for Jesus’ earthly ministry.  That was his calling.  He was to be a witness.  He was to point others to the light (Jesus).
  • Pastor Karl’s Challenge (brentwoodbiblechurch.wordpress.com)
    We must not think of Jesus, however, as the offspring of God the Father. Because according to Galatians 4:4, when the Father sent Jesus into the world, He already was the Son of God. The Father sent forth His Son! If He already was the Son of God, then He did not become the Son of God through conception and birth. Rather, the Son of God became a true human being in the conception.

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Focus on outward appearances

Paying so much attention and loving so much setting great store by outward appearances of the Christmas holiday season you may wonder how much those people screaming about the de-consecration did not themselves are part of the secularization.

One of the best things about the month of December is not the beginning of the winter season or furrylittlegnome’s birthday but the smell of Christmas trees!  Originating in Germany in the sixteenth century, the tradition of a Christmas tree has evolved over time.

A Christmas tree farm in Iowa, United States.

A Christmas tree farm in Iowa, United States. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

writes Sophia Petrillo from The Golden Girls in O Christmas Tree where she looks at the American common Christmas trees Balsam Firs and Fraser Firs – the latter found in the Eastern United States.

On December the 8th she wrote:

While reading the news online this morning, furrylittlegnome learned some interesting facts. While 88% of Americans will have a Christmas tree in their homes this season, 83% of these Christmas trees will be artificial or “fake”!

What proves it has nothing to do any more with having a sent in the closed homes, or to have some natural green in the season where there are not many blossoming flowers.

Some bloggers apologies already for being so, so late not having set up their Christmas decorations

I’m aware that I should have been in full Christmas mode in September when the first decorations hit the stores. Beach balls to Christmas balls, in the blink of an eye… {Holidaisical}

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a...

the sexy santa assistants were there to take a photo of you in front of the xmas tree or you could just ask them to take a photo with you and pretend that your girlfriend is a sexy santa assistant See where this picture was taken. [?] (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

John Langan, currently Business Services Director at the Penn Emblem Company, does find his joy in the music, which we do have to hear everywhere all the time on the streets, shopping malls, train stations and airports. think about those people who have to work in those places for many hours and have to hear those songs over and over again, many days after each other.

One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the music.

writes John Langan

I love the old standards by Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole, and the newer standards by The Killers and The Pogues (if you don’t know the raw passion of “Fairytale of New York”, you are missing out). So many new songs come out this time of year, a lot for free through iTunes and other places on the World Wide Web. A few are great (“Christmas, Baby” by G Love, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” by Barenaked Ladies), and some are so stunningly awful they defy description. Each year I add to my already great playlist of holiday music… and just play it all day. Love, love, love! {Holidaisical}

He does not want any complaints:

Life is too short, my friends. There is no reason to be angry in a season dedicated to peace and love… or any other time. So Uncle Ornery… don’t worry about gifts this year. Be cheerful instead, and that can be everyone’s gift. And Jackwagon… Shop online! And Good Catholic… I feel your pain because I used to be you. I use to go to church every week, now I don’t for whatever reason. So excuse me this year if I sit in the wrong seat, or say the wrong thing. Just like everyone else, I’m just doing my best.

Southern Virginia farm of Christmas trees of v...

Southern Virginia farm of Christmas trees of various types. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The transplanted American, living in Australia for the last 30 year, in Family and “the Christmas tree farm“, is aware that the traditions of Christmas are many and varied, depending on the cultural heritage and family practice. It are those family practices which may give the love for a sort of celebration which is placed in the memory form childhood. Her parents and grandparents started the Corsi Tree Farm in southern Ohio.

Thousands of people in the Cincinnati area will travel to the Corsi Tree Farm this year, not just to cut their own Christmas tree, but to have an old fashioned experience with country music, animals and hospitality.  It is probably a tradition that will disappear one day, but for now it is alive and well in Hamersville, Ohio. {the Christmas tree farm}

Because some people do have multiple Christmas trees, their business perhaps could be blooming very well. Marie Haigh who lives in Pottstown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has 5 to be exact. Her first memory of picking out a Christmas tree was walking outside in our front yard and picking an evergreen tree. Her daughter’s memory will be similar.
Her reason for so many trees:

 I just love Christmas trees. I love decorating them. I love looking at them. It is the best Christmas decoration. I would be happy if it were the only Christmas decoration we had. {Sunday Snapshots (of Christmas trees)}

Like several people the writer of Sunday Snapshots (of Christmas Decorations), who learned to knit from her mother-in-law a few years ago, hates decking for Christmas when it is frigid outside. Her blog features her knitting designs, current knitting WIPS (works in progress) whether or not they are designed by her and even failed projects. Occasionally, she takes a much needed break from knitting, such as after the birth of her daughter. During such times, her blog focuses on her family along with the hobby that has her current attention, bouncing between sewing, gardening, card-making and cooking. She lets her child make some ornaments out of Crayola model magic clay, which gives something creative to this whole set of putting up the tree where she as mother also shows her decorating talent. Her daughter Elly went to a “fairy garden class” and made some beautiful “Angel garden”. At the end of the season this daughter was upset that her parents put away the Christmas decorations. {Missing Santa}

English: A Christmas Tree at Home

A Christmas Tree at Home (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whilst she and her daughter may have no lack of inspiration others may get such a lack of inspiration it is driving them bonkers.  A runner that loves to bake, her runs have been out of obligation, not bad but certainly not awesome.  To cap off her great day, of an 1:30 minute run she went to pick out her very first Christmas tree. {Inspiration for 500 Alex…}

Heidi a caffeine-aholic, living in Western Colorado, also shows the roots of her loving the Christmas tree.

To say my Mom loved Christmas and kept it well was an understatement.  She baked jillions of cookies, decorated multiple trees and hosted a holiday open house with tons of different appetizers, cookies, Scandinavian delicacies, and drinks.  She loved to show off her decorated home and culinary skills, and particularly loved that people she invited brought others with them and that the parish priest would stay until the very end of the party and take home leftovers.  She was in the middle of planning her holiday party when her recurring cancer landed her in the hospital.  She died Christmas Eve.  I like to think she went to party with the angels for Christmas, and they took her at that moment to make Christmas extra special for her.

Nice to hear that this sad moment in her life on such a special day did not ruin her “Christmas”.  Understandably she may get a bit melancholy,

but mostly, I try to decorate, cook and entertain in the way Mom would have.  I celebrate Christmas and celebrate Mom.

Mom had a shed on her New Mexico property she called the Christmas Shed–packed to the rafters with all manner of Christmas decor.  I brought a few things home with me, a tub marked Norwegian Tree, and a few of her treasured trolls.  Mom’s mom was Norwegian, and Mom identified with all thing Norwegian.  The tub had ornaments, linens, and candlesticks painted as a Norwegian man and woman in their traditional finery.

Here again we see that figures come in the Christmas story which have nothing to do with the birth of Christ nor with the place of his birth. I wonder what “Eagles, Phillies, Flyers, Union, ManU, The Masters, “Baby’s First Christmas” ornaments for boys and girls, dog stuff, from {Holidaisical}, beads and garland have to do with the birth of Christ in that “good tree” .

Trolls are beloved by Scandinavian people and according to Mom, these must be complimented on their beauty and charm.  If you dare speak of them in terms of ugly, homely or scary, they will play pranks on you at night. {Celebrating Christmas, Celebrating Mom}

She has “A snowman tree”, “A kitchen tree” with tiny kitchen utensils and cookie cutters, “A silver and gold tree with spun glass ornaments” and the “big tree” with ornaments from her childhood and those her family has collected over the years.

 It’s traditional to use an ornament as a decoration on a wrapped gift.

I also set out a pair of Christmas plates, also painted by Mom.  The Santa one has Mom and Dad’s names as well as the names of their friends of the time, on Santa’s list.

Mulled wine steeping (Swedish glögg)

I would say on cold day a Glühwine or Mulled wine, vin chaud (“hot wine”), [In Italy: vin brulé (“burnt wine”)] the spicy warm wine with cloves, grated nutmeg, and cinnamon or mace, orange or mandarins, elderberries, blueberries, cherries, red and black currants and blackberries, may not be lacking. In the Netherlands, the drink is known as bisschopswijn (literally “bishop’s wine”). Bisschopswijn is drunk during the Sinterklaas holidays. It uses oranges instead of lemons as an ingredient.
When Madeira wine and Port wine are used we call it Douro, or like in the Minho Provincesvinho quente“. In Canada they call it also Caribou, thought my family in law living there still call it “bisschopswijn”.

An other “warming up drink” may be the traditional Scandinavian spirit Aquavit, distilled from potatoes and spiced with caraway, dill, cardamom, and anise.

 It pairs nicely with fish and is usually served in tiny glasses and meant to be sipped and savored.

For us this is the time, after a good big walk, to say “Skoal!”

Jeffrey Bing who values faith, family, fun, football, and following sports of all types, for the past 21 years, Christmas morning was, without fail, about early morning wake ups with the kids to see what Santa had brought for them.

From “Baby Hannah” walking behind her big truck at 7 months of age, to Alec and Rebecca each being equally (if not more) interested in what Santa brought to their twin than to them in their 11th month of age first Christmas, Christmas morning has been about joy, discovery, and sharing.

Once again we can see that this family had their traditional “Christmas Santa” event. But the “Santa” was not standing for “Sanct” or “Holy“. It was all about a Nordic figure and nothing with a Palestine or coloured man, whose name was Jeshua, born in the tribe of king David, who became better known in the West as Jesus Christ or Issou, “Ya Zeus” (“Yea-Zeus”), meaning “Hail Zeus”.

Though many may say, like bill:

Christmas is not about the toys, the trinkets, and the packages. Christmas is about love, family, friends, and sharing. And Christmas, for a certain 44 year old man in middle America, is about joyful memories. Today’s will add to that collection.

but always in those memories, on the different blogs, we nowhere find a reference of Christ Jesus, which they call the reason of the season. Is it than not strange they not mention this Jewish man more? How does it come that they may forget the “most important reason of the season” and would not talk more about this man had done for humanity? Jeffrey Bing his blog was one of the exceptions where I could find something written on Christian values and on Jesus, being the Christ or Messiah, having given his life for us.

So should we not wonder ho much the Christians absorbed from other religions or pagan practices and got carried away from their real ‘reason of the season’?

Bill recognises:

Maybe being absorbent opens us up to taking in new vital nutrients. Take all of this with a grain of salt, as its coming from a guy who hasn’t missed too many meals, even back in the day. I’ve got the old videos to prove it.. {Absorption rate}

Christmas is about tradition, and for the Bings, tradition has included full days of family time and not leaving the company of the nest on the magical day.

But the times, they are a changin’, and change brings new traditions, and new people, into our lives. And new can be good, even if it takes red tie giving sweeties away on Christmas day, to spend time with sweeties of their own.

Red ties, red eyes, red sweaters, red letters. Amen. Change can be a good thing. {Red Letter Day}

Would it all not be better to come to the core of the business and celebrate the holy day Jesus himself gave? Namely the 14th of Nisan, the day also god asks us to remember the exodus of His People and to remember the New Covenant. there we can see the red, not from a Father Christmas, the figure Coca-Cola created with the red coat, but the red from the blood of the man Jesus, who offered himself for the sins of many.

in today’s world much of the original meaning of Christmas has been lost in the hustle and bustle of this most wonderful time of the year.

writes a Texan (girl?) on “Christmas is a day of meaning and traditions, a special day spent in the warm circle of family and friends.” — Margaret Thatcher

it is frankly a little disheartening to me to think that one can celebrate Christmas without mentioning Christ at all.

she continues and looks at Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who came to earth as a little baby in order to live a perfect life,

and die on the cross as the atoning sacrifice for our sin in order that our relationship with God might be restored and we can spend eternity with him.

But soon she also goes into talking about traditions, believing

it is very important to keep Christ in many of our Christmas traditions so that we can remember what He has done for us – but some things we do, we do for FUN – and that is perfectly okay too. Jesus did say, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.

She found it fun to identify which ones were, a part of her growing up, and which ones she wants to continue in her new family. Then people come to see that the Christmas traditions may be totally different, from one family to an other. Then they either have to go for one or the other tradition or have to make a blend. that is what they think, but nobody has the courage to really do thorough research and come to the conclusions according the Holy Scriptures and commandments of God. Most Christians do want to keep the tradition. That is the difficult part the apostles Paul and John were talking about when they wrote about Jesus his words of being part of the world, being in or outside this world and choosing for the World of God.

Those in the world want to keep on to those fun Traditions, and that is what makes them not so different form the gentiles or non-Christians. they are mostly concerned about:

  1. Christmas Trees
  2. Gift Giving
  3. Stockings
  4. Caroling
  5. Mistletoe
  6. Santa Claus
  7. Gingerbread Houses
  8. Christmas Cards
  9. Advent Calendars
  10. Christmas Eve Candlelight Services

Traditions very dear to many people their heart.

Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is the site of t...

Clifton Mill in Clifton, Ohio is the site of this Christmas display with over 3.5 million lights. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But should our heart not be with Christ Jesus, and should our thoughts not be filled with his teachings? Did Jesus not enough explain it has nothing to do with outside appearances, but has all to do with the inside of the hearth and the following of God His commandments and not following the world.

Who do you want to follow? Do you want to follow traditions, because you are ashamed that people would give some nasty remarks, because you do not join in in the festivities to show off with the ‘nicest tree’, the most ‘Christmas decorations’ in the street and do not join the Christmas parties with lots of “heavy music”?

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Preceding article: The imaginational war against Christmas

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Additional reading:

  1. Christmas customs – Are They Christian?
  2. Jesus begotten Son of God #1 Christmas and Christians
  3. Jesus begotten Son of God #2 Christmas and pagan rites
  4. History of Christianity
  5. Birth of Christ – articles
  6. The nativity story
  7. Christmas, Saturnalia and the birth of Jesus
  8. God’s Special Gift
  9. Wishing lanterns and Christmas
  10. Christmas trees
  11. A season of gifts
  12. Sancta Claus is not God
  13. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  14. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  15. Warning! Get Out of Her – My People!
  16. What do you want for Christmas

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  • O Christmas Tree! O Christmas Tree! (how2makelemonade.wordpress.com)
    One of my favorite parts of Christmas is decorating for the season.  Christmas decorations just make a house look so warm and cozy.
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    My style for Christmas is pretty traditional.  I like the traditional Christmas colors, red, white, and green.  Plus many of my ornaments look vintage, but most of them came from Target.  The vintage ornaments give the tree a classic feel that doesn’t look like some fancy designer did it.
  • Oh Christmas tree, how lovely are your branches (charlieandmummy.wordpress.com)
    Normally by this time of year I am well and truly into the Christmas spirit organising the concerts at school and performing with band. It feels strange to not be out playing carols and concerts, but good to not be dashing around like a crazy lady. Instead we will be enjoying every little detail of Charlies first Christmas.
  • O Christmas Tree (lillian888.wordpress.com) reblogged from> O Christmas Tree on which I like the photo’s, and where you can find a decorated ladder, strings of lights and a very tall ceiling.
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    Here are some truly fantastic Christmas trees. Remember how I was thinking this might be the year I create a theme tree? These photos are full of inspiration!
  • On My Christmas Non Tree Tree (chasingtheblackwood.wordpress.com) you may find an other ladder tree, where scented candles shall have to bring in “happy Christmas scents”.
  • Hunting for a Christmas Tree (magnuspittmanblog.wordpress.com)
    After we found our perfect tree one of the workers cut it down for us and then we got a ride back down to the farm entrance with our tree!  We had a busy rest of the weekend so the tree is not decorated yet, but stay tuned for more photos when we are able to put it up!
  • Oh Christmas tree, MY Christmas tree (longwalksanddarkchocolate.com)
    With all of the ornaments laid out on the kitchen table this year, I made a decision.  I was going to split them and ship them!
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    What was in it for me?  To be honest, as I packed all the cute, kiddie looking ornaments, I was dreaming of a tree similar to one I’d encountered on Pinterest, with a woodland animal theme.  You might think I’m not sentimental enough and that I should be pining for the ornament that a 6yr old made in art class.  Well, I did keep a couple that were made by their own little hands.  However, not for my tree; just for the memory.  I much prefer the memories of spending time with them and our conversations and laughter to things.
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    We can’t dwell on the past and the way things were.  Things and people change and we can’t allow ourselves to get bogged down in the yesterdays and how things used to be.  We grow, people pass on, family members move, more members are added.
  • Christmas Traditions: Ornaments (ourlittlefamilyadventure.wordpress.com)
    Growing up, my brother and I always received a  new Christmas tree ornament. It was either a beautiful handmade glass ornament or something to commemorate a special event that year. It was something to be cherished and saved to be hang up the following year. My mother saved all these ornaments. When I was married, she gave me a collection of Christmas tree ornaments for my new family tree. It was collection of cherished Christmas memories. There was a Baby’s First Christmas ornament from the day I was born, ornaments from places we’d been, and sports I’d played in school. It was all right there in the box. It’s a great tradition I’m happy to pass down to my children.
  • Christmas Tree (fallinginchocolat.wordpress.com)
    In Belgium we have this holiday called ‘Sinterklaas’ on the 6th of december, and tradition is that in the weekend after this holiday we go buy our christmas tree and decorate it. So Today is the 7th and a saturday which means we went to buy our tree. I must say every year me and my mom have some debate over the tree ( bigger ! no smaller ! ) and how to decorate it.
  • ADVENTageous for Dec 8: Christmas Tree (moredrunkordrunker.wordpress.com)
    Not many in Great Britain held the tradition of a decorated tree until a print featured Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (both of German heritage) standing near their Christmas tree.Ukrainians decorate their Christmas trees with an artificial spider, as a Ukrainian legend holds that tinsel originated when a spider wove cobwebs all over a Christmas tree at night and the rising sun turned it to silver. Finding a real spider web on Christmas morning is considered good luck, not a reason to immediately call an exterminator.
  • Worshipping created things. The outward acts of their idolatry. Idolatry is Forbidden. (proclaimingthegospelofchrist.wordpress.com)
    “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. (Acts 17:29)
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    It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth

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.
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    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.
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    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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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.
    +
    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.

Thanksgivukkah and Advent

Having several Holy days around us we should consider why those days are special and deserve to be placed separate (holiness : being set apart).

Dedication and illumination

In this Rosh Hashana greeting card from the ea...

In this Rosh Hashana greeting card from the early 1900s, Russian Jews, packs in hand, gaze at the American relatives beckoning them to the United States. Over two million Jews fled the pogroms of the Russian Empire to the safety of the U.S. from 1881-1924. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Jews have their eight day festival of Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication, also called “Feast of the Maccabees“, in the Talmud principally known as the “Feast of Illumination.” But what is illuminated? Is it just about displaying eight lamps on the first night of the festival, and to reduce the number on each successive night, or to begin with one lamp the first night, increasing the number till the eighth night? Or is it only remembering the relighting of the altar-fire by Nehemiah due to a miracle which occurred on the twenty-fifth of Kislev?

A Ḥanukkah Lamp found in Jerusalem Excavations.(In the possession of J. D. Eisenstein) says:

“[We thank Thee] also for the miraculous deeds and for the redemption and for the mighty deeds and the saving acts wrought by Thee, as well as for the wars which Thou didst wage for our fathers in days of yore at this season.

Provider of light, waters, earth, plants and animals

Clearly it is not just only saying thanks for the wars having come to a good end. It is also a time to reflect on the Wonders of the Most High Adonai. Throughout history the Divine Creator God did not only provide the light of this world, the streaming waters, the food giving plants and the many animals which can be used as meat to get more strength.

In the days of the Hasmonean Mattathias, son of Johanan the high priest, and his sons, when the iniquitous kingdom of Greece [Syria] rose up against God  tried to make His people Israel forget God His Law and to turn them away from the ordinances of His Will. Taking this in mind we should notice that those adversaries of God (Satan) did not manage to get the people of God away from God. In God His abundant mercy He lifted them up. Those occupied with the Law of God could manage to get through all the troubles which came over them by the many years.

A blessing from the Jews

Not only the Jews should remember those blessings God gave to His people. By the deed of the only begotten son of God, the Jewish Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus Christ) salvation has come to other people people than the Jewish Judean people. Everybody has been called to follow Jesus the Messiah. He has been the greatest gift the Most High has given the world.

To say thanks for that gift and the many other blessings God has given this world many protestants feast Thanksgiving Day. This year they can celebrate their holy days with the Jews and give them also a stronger feeling of being respected as the Chosen People of our Creator. Certainly in this time of  growing anti-Semitism it is necessary that people are remembered of their special role those people do have in the Plan of God and world-peace.

Season of giving presents

Julius.jpg
Electric candle lights on the first Sunday in Advent

Catholics do like a lot of gifts and are also entering a season of gifts. This weekend they celebrate the beginning of Advent, looking forward to the ‘Light of God’. Following the Sunday of the Feast of Christ the King they have this weekend  Advent Sunday, starting a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus which they celebrate at Christmas. On the night of 5 to 6 December Catholic, Lutheran, and Orthodox Christians have Saint Nicholas bringing presents for the children. On the 24th and 25th of December they have their most special day of the year, being Christmas. Followed by the last day to give presents on the first day of the New Year, celebrating the circumcision of Jesus. That Feast of the Circumcision is also celebrated in the Eastern Orthodox Church on January 1 in whichever calendar (Old or New) is used, and is also celebrated on the same day by many Anglicans.

Advent wreaths are used to mark the passage of the season.

In the Advent Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Moravian, Presbyterian and Methodist believers think about the first and second coming of Christ. (Parousia ancient Greek word meaning presence, arrival, or official visit, is adventus in Latin.) Those Christians do look for the shining of their lord. That manifestation, striking appearance they also want to celebrate in the feast with that name epiphany (“appearing”) which they took from the Greeks who used ‘epiphaneia’ to describe the glorious manifestation of the gods, and by the Romans as a title for the Emperor. For them Christ Jesus is such a manifestation or appearance of a divine or superhuman being and a manifestation of the gods, being god the son, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

Passage of season

Like the protestants with their celebration of Thanksgiving, the Christians who celebrate the Advent remember the passage of the seasons and the special gift God has given the world. Both take it also as a time to meditate on the Works of God and how He is the Light in the dark, guiding us to the way to enter the Kingdom of God, by means of His only begotten son Jesus, the bringer of peace.

A godly mother

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/Paolo_de_Matteis_-_The_Annunciation.jpg/330px-Paolo_de_Matteis_-_The_Annunciation.jpg
Annunciation by Paolo de Matteis, 1712. The white lily in the angel’s hand is symbolic of Mary’s purity in Marian art.

The Catholic religion follows the Roman theology presenting Christ his mother as the Venus, the yielding, watery female principle, essential to the generation and balance of life. The annunciation to Mary (Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary or Annunciation of the Lord) is the Christian celebration of the announcement by the angel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary that she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus, the Son of God, marking an Incarnated God and having her as the mother of god or the Venus who embodies sex, love, beauty, enticement, seduction, and persuasive female charm among the community of immortal gods.

Having Jesus an incarnation, he fitted Hermes the god of transitions and boundaries, intercessor between mortals and the divine, and conductor of souls into the afterlife. A bringer of presents he symbolises also Mercury, the patron god of financial gain, commerce, eloquence (and thus poetry), messages/communication (including divination), and travellers who will show the way to himself as the most important god.

Like Turms was the equivalent of Roman Mercury and Greek Hermes, both gods of trade and the messenger god between people and gods, Jesus is now celebrated as the divine messenger and god having come down on the earth to save his people.

Bringer of peace

When we look at the description of Jesus in Catholic theology books we clearly can see the superposition of the man born in Bethlehem on the Greek and Roman gods. Having him as Bringer of peace also fits those pagan gods, but we do know that the Real and Only One God told His people to bring a messenger of peace. Lots of Jews did also expect to find in the Nazarene Jeshua (Jesus) to find their liberator or the Messiah who could get rid of the Roman oppressor.

These days we should think of that messenger who brought ‘Grace’ and liberated us not from Romans or any other government literally, but liberated us spiritually and gave us a hope for a better future. That Nazarene Jew is the man of flesh and blood who offered himself so that we would receive space to develop ourselves in the liking of the Creator. By him we should be able to find the way to see the space of all creativity, the connection to the Divine. Many still keep looking outside themselves, but they forget how in the Scriptures is told that we should go into our own body. We can not blame others for our being what we are. We have to create ourselves and find the connection that is inside of us.

Lots of people are looking in the world around them. They should know that there is not really another place where they have to go to. Everybody is enabled to find Him who gives peace, comfort, blessings also in this life here and know on earth. Jesus prepared the way and made it possible that we can speak freely to his Father, the only One God. We just have to come to Him and just have to talk to him, as our closest Friend and He will answer and come to us.

If we want to come to peace, first of all we do have to create peace in ourselves. Therefore we should love ourselves and give the love of Christ the chance to grow in us. Like Jesus showed the world his love we also should find the inner peace he had. Like his peace brought water of life our inner peace should flow out of us flowing into the world.

Time to meditate and to feel

Various menorot used for Hanukkah. 12th throug...

Various menorot used for Hanukkah. 12th through 19th century, CE (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Putting on those candles in this holiday season, being Jew or Christian, those believers are demanded to see beyond the candle light and to see the real light. they also should come to feel a stillness deep within them, and should get to know how to look for that stillness that allows them to seek the Most High Almighty God Who is One Elohim Hashem Jehovah.

These days we get time to consider how lucky we are where we live and what we can do. We should become aware of all the things we really do get without doing enough for it. We must be aware of the nourishment we can get and the opportunities we get to live nicely and to come to an environment of peace. But oh, so often, we do not see it. We do run past it. We have our eyes shut so that we can not see it. It is all so close to us, but we do have to be willing to open our eyes and be willing to see.

God is prepared to give it you all, but you have to recognise Him and to take His hand.

“Hanukkah as the holiday of ‘miracles’ can help us reframe our gathering together with family and friends at this secular season as an incredible miracle that requires much gratitude,”

David Fainsilber, religious leader at the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe said.

“Thank God for this miracle of life and family, gathering, friends and gratitude.”

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Preceding: A Meaningful Thanksgivukkah

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Read also:

  1. Hanukkahgiving or Thanksgivvukah
  2. Being thankful
  3. Thanksgiving-Hanukkah overlap spurs thanks, angst
  4. What happens when you cross Thanksgiving with Hanukkah?
  5. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  6. Count your blessings
  7. God’s Salvation
  8. Written to recognise the Promissed One
  9. A “seed” for the blessing of all mankind would come through the family of Abraham

Dutch articles about the advent:

  1. Adventstijd bezinningstijd
  2. Advent een tijd voor reflectie
  3. Uitkijken naar twee adventen
  4. Een “zaad” voor de zegening van de gehele mensheid gekomen door de familie van Abraham
  5. Uit u zal voorkomen degene die heerser in Israël zal worden
  6. Het grootste geschenk ons gegeven
  7. Wat betreft Korte inhoud van lezingen: Bijgeloof en feesten

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Find also additional reading:

  1. Do No-Thing: The Power of Self Love.
  2. Crazy Messy Love: [Insert Faith Here.]
  3. Legacy of peace
  4. Its Never to Late
  5. I Was to write about love

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  • Jen And Tim Get A Taste Of Thanksgivukkah (new102.cbslocal.com)
    On Thursday, November 28th, the first day of Hanukkah falls on the same day as Thanksgiving. Many popular websites such as Buzzfeed have created recipes for American Jews so they can incorporate both holidays and have some neat decorating ideas as well.
  • Next Thanksgivukkah in 70,000 years (vtdigger.org)
    “The calendar is drifting forward with respect to the solar cycle at a rate of four days every 1,000 years,” he said. “Right now, the earliest that the first day of Hanukkah can fall is Nov. 28. Coincidentally, this is also the latest that Thanksgiving can fall.”Other mathematicians argue that the phenomenon will never happen again. Regardless, everyone agrees on one thing: Thanksgivukkah is an extremely rare and significant event in our lifetimes.
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    Thanksgivukkah is big business. People are selling T-shirts, table décor, dreidels, jewelry and more in honor of the super holiday.

    But regardless of how people choose to celebrate Thanksgivukkah, this unique historical event offers Jewish Americans an opportunity for introspection and reflection, said David Fainsilber, religious leader at the Jewish Community of Greater Stowe.

    “The thinker behind Reconstructionist Judaism, Mordechai Kaplan, was the first to introduce a Thanksgiving service into his siddur/prayer book,” Fainsilber said. “One of his main contributions to Jewish thought is the concept that, as Jews in America, we live in two civilizations: American and Jewish. Today, as American Jews (or Jewish Americans) this concept is now taken for granted in many ways.

  • Thanksgivukkah 2013 (be-watchful.com)
    Both holidays are about being thanksful so that shouldn’t be too difficult. Thanksgiving is a day when Americans count our blessings and give thanks to those who fought for our freedom and for all that we have. We share a day together with our loved ones.
  • 18 Reasons Why Thanksgivukkah Gives Jews The Best Of Both Worlds (elitedaily.com)
    While it may be a little annoying for some Jews to have to meld two of their favorite holidays into one, it could be a lot worse: imagine if Thanksgiving fell on Yom Kippur! Thanksgivkippur would be terrible! When you think about it, it’s actually pretty awesome that the two holidays fall on the same day. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that every Jew should embrace and look forward to.Here are 18 reasons why Thanksgivukkah gives Jews the best of both worlds
  • Q-C Jews celebrate Thanksgivukkah (qctimes.com)
    Justin Teitle of Bettendorf says his family’s partying like it’s 1999.He’s Jewish. His wife is Lutheran. Their two children are Jewish. And Thursday was the only time any of them will ever see Thanksgiving and the beginning of Hanukkah fall on the same day. The next time the two coincide will be 79,000 years.
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    “We see it as a great chance for our kids to participate in something that isn’t going to happen again, like New Year’s Eve before the year 2000,” Teitle said.
  • Happy Thanksgivukkah (mymorningmeditations.com)
    Amazement never ceases for the enlightened mind.At every moment it views in astonishment the wonder of an entire world renewed out of the void, and asks, “How could it be that anything at all exists?”-Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
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    In my recent investigation into the concept (as opposed to the movement) of Christian fundamentalism, I see that at its heart, it is just the attempt to render a basic definition of the essentials of what makes a Christian. It’s the minimum set of standards, so to speak, that one must uphold to be an authentic believer.
  • St. Louis Jews celebrate Thanksgivukkah for first time since 1800s (fox2now.com)
    Peggy Umansky has enjoyed preparing for both holidays simultaneously. “People have been very inventive,” she says, “I have half my house decorated for Hanukkah, half decorated for Thanksgiving.”

    Umansky and her daughter made pumpkin-flavored challah, shaped and decorated like a turkey.  “I think it’s fun for the kids when the secular world meets the religious world, and they see that everything can coexist and be fun together,” she explains.

  • ‘Happy Thanksgivukkah!’ (endtimebibleprophecy.wordpress.com)
    Judith Mendelsohn Rood, a Jewish Christian and professor of history and Middle Eastern studies at Biola University, connected Hanukkah to one of Jesus’ most important teachings. In an interview this week, Rood cited John 10:22-42, when Jesus celebrated the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem.

    “In the Old Testament, there’s the festival of tabernacles, where people lived in booths in the fields for eight days,” Rood explained. In the time of Judas Maccabeus, the ruling Greeks would not allow the Jews to celebrate this feast. Once the Maccabees freed Israel from their rule, however, they celebrated Succoth late, and that gave rise to Hanukkah, Rood said.

The Paradigm of Instinct, Intuition and Intention

Those who believe in the Creator God and the provision He has given the world to find eternal peace should not have to fear the world nor the death, which at the end shall come over all the living elements of this universe. Man shall end up like the plants and animals, to become dust again, not able to do anything with all the material treasures he assembled on this earth.

At the end of times the spiritual wealth shall be the more important one. This spiritual life we should create today and not wait until a later moment, when it could be to late. The Creator has given the universe, now we have to use that universe rightly. We should recognise and use the God-given blessings, our gifts, talents and strengths. Nobody has an excuse because all human beings are created in the image of God and bear elements of God in them. They only have to let them come out of them and let the seeds grow in their own body and soul.

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Please do find more about Fear:

  1. Fear knocked at the door
  2. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies)
  3. Fearing the right person
  4. Fear not tomorrow. God is already there
  5. No fear in love
  6. Greatest single cause of atheism
  7. 8 fears caused by the fear of Man
  8. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  9. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation

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  • Breaking Tradition in a Spiritual Revolution (aquariusparadigm.com)
    Our current ways of running our planet and interacting with each other haven’t worked, and I think that an aspect of changing our deeply rooted ways will be going against the established norm and expressing our unique perspectives instead of hiding them away.

    Humanity has been entering an era of spiritual revolution for centuries, and concepts that could be seen as “out there” right now may very well be accepted and understood by the general public in our future.
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    The old paradigm has seen us accept ourselves as limited human beings capable of little more than surviving and earning our keep, but in a new paradigm based in sharing and harmony amongst all, I can envision personal understandings of our strength and ability being cultivated in each sovereign yet united individual.

  • Truth & Instinct (lauraleebowitz.wordpress.com)
    “Always trust your first instinct” is telling you two things.A) To always rely on yourself. You tell yourself the truth.

    B) Always be yourself, not influenced by others.

  • Discernment (parmenide.me)
    Many of you at this time may be attempting to create your dream but be in total frustration around why the dream will not manifest. It may be that you are aware of the heart and that you are connecting deeply from the heart and yet the dream is at your fingertips and no matter how hard you try you cannot seem to touch it.
  • Eliza: Accepting and Moving into Your Power (bluedragonjournal.com)
    I can make suggestions, listen (or read) your stories, but I am only capable of directing the course of my own journey. Only You can determine your own journey, what to do, where to go and when.
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    It isn’t hard, but you need to focus and dedicate your life to ascension. You need to really want it
  • [Wes Annac] Our Universal Family: Sharing and Spreading the Love of Spirit (bryanhallsawakening.wordpress.com)
    The evolution of humanity has been on a full course to manifest for centuries of your time, but has been accelerated in the last century as more souls are led to understand things they would’ve previously been closed-off to.

    We note the deepening spiritual searches many of you find yourselves embarking on, and we can only encourage your quests and remind you that we’re forever here with you and that it’s only the extent to which you convince yourselves we’re not that determines your experience of us.
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    Much can happen amidst the course of your personal Lives from here on out that’ll surprise you, and much will happen in your physical reality that’ll turn some heads to say the least.

  • Understanding Spiritual Evolution – Part 4 (aquariusparadigm.com)
    Just how much we understand, know and can feel about the spiritual realms will determine the progress we make in growing back toward them, and in regards to gaining metaphysical perception, I can say that practice makes perfect.

    Practice the newfound abilities you discover, and understand that you’re not meant to perfect them instantly. Understanding that you’re a Divine being who’s coming to practice and understand your links to the higher dimensions can help you deepen your metaphysical perception immensely over a steady period of time.

jahananda

The Paradigm of Instinct, Intuition and Intention

Nature and the Earth constantly works in harmony as a concept in creation, evolving, existence, meaning, death, and life. The word death on this Earth has been irreverently misunderstood as dark and morbid. Something which is thought of as mourning, horrible, and unfortunate. However, on higher dimensional plains in understanding death is nothing but rebirth, a new opening, an exciting and itinerant portal of greater knowing and recreation. When we understand that death is something that is as existent each waking day in life as life itself, thus we can instead focus to that which fills our spiritual cup. In finding this out, we must first look at ‘who we truly are.’

Fear is one of the greatest contributors to the humanised aspect of existence and belief. It is a learnt trait from birth where a child born into the world has come already with the wisdom of higher dimensions though, through…

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