Holydaze – the Origins of the Holiday Season Part 8

by | Jan 1, 2021

hol·i·day  /ˈhäləˌdā/

Origin: Old English hāligdæg ‘holy day’


What is in your heart?

Many Christians argue that the
holidays they celebrate only mean to them what is in their hearts, and any
other association does not apply to them. If they are celebrating the birth of
Christ, then it’s a Christian celebration. They say, “It’s what is in your
heart that matters.” Well, what is in your heart? The Bible tells us the heart
of man is wicked and deceitful.

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately
wicked; Who can know it?
Jeremiah 17:9






















We are our own worst enemy. The only way we can trust our hearts is
if we have the heart of Christ. Did Christ put it in your heart to celebrate
Christmas or Easter? If not, what or who did? Where did your desire to
celebrate such holidays come from?

To speak for a moment in
psychoanalytical terms, we all have an unconscious mind. I’m not a huge
believer in psychoanalytics, but there are some good points to ponder within
the field. We certainly do all have a place in our minds where we bury things,
a place that we are not fully aware of which has some sort of influence over
our thoughts and behavior. The heart and mind are the seat of the soul. It has
been shown in science that the heart and the mind are more connected than
previously assumed. It’s not a one-way street as was assumed for so long, that
the brain exercises complete control over the rest of the body. The heart holds
some sway over the brain too. So, in a sense, there is a literal aspect to the
phrase “of the heart.”

What is the primary function of
the heart? To control the flow of blood. Blood carries oxygen to the entire body.
Oxygen is a symbol of the Spirit, the breath of life that is breathed into us
by God. The blood-brain barrier is a fascinating mechanism. As part of God’s
design, it tells us that we need to constantly be receiving of His Spirit in
order to live and think. When the blood is compromised, our thoughts are
compromised. Our flesh needs to be governed by the Spirit, not the soul.

For the life of the flesh is
in the blood
, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make
atonement for your souls; for it is the blood
that makes atonement for the soul
.’ Leviticus 17:11

How does this effect our
unconscious mind? Our flesh and blood send signals to our brains from the first
trimester in the womb when our heart begins to beat. We are conceived and born
under the influence of the flesh and therefore born into sin. As David says:




Behold, I was brought forth in
iniquity
, and in sin my mother conceived
me
.
Behold, You desire truth in the inward parts [innermost being], and
in the hidden part [closed off part of the inward self, ie; the hardened part
of your heart and the deepest recesses of your mind] You will make me to know
wisdom. Psalm 51:5

In this writing I am encouraging you to look in the deepest places of
your heart and mind to search out why you desire to celebrate holidays. May God
give you the strength to confront yourself to see what you might have not been
fully aware of before. May you see the things that motivate you and form your
world view. May He expose your innermost places in the light so that you can
discard the influence of worldly experiences to live in the glorious light and
life of Christ.

In our internal search it is
often good to look at what is outside of us in order to weigh it against
Scripture, to exercise our senses and be trained in righteousness, and
ultimately to be able to test everything by the Spirit. When we have learned
the leading of the Spirit we can then know when we are being led by what is
buried deep within us or if we are truly doing God’s will. Since the Spirit is
truth our desire for truth is the catalyst for the working of the Spirit within
us.

Recall that earlier, in our
examination of Tertullian’s quote, I pointed out the word Brumae after “Winter
Festivals.” Some have argued that Bruma or Brumalia has no connection to
Saturnalia. They say there are no descriptions of this festival, that it simply
means “wintertime.” Here is the Latin text behind Tertullian’s passage:

Nobis, quibus sabbata extranea sunt et numeniae et feriae a
deo aliquando dilectae, Saturnalia et Ianuariae et Brumae et Matronales
frequentantur, munera commeant et strenae, consonant lusus, conuiuia
constrepunt.

Note that Tertullian gives a
fairly detailed description of these events. If you need to, go back and read his
statement again. Does the description sound familiar? He wasn’t chiding the churches
for mimicking Roman temple prostitution, or literally bringing idols into the
churches and bowing down to them. These people were merely having a good time.
So why would Tertullian be rebuking them? There’s nothing wrong with feasting,
giving gifts or playing games, right? Granted, but he was calling what they were
doing idolatry and sin. Was he just a pesky legalist? Of course not. The
problem is that the churches were adopting the parts of pagan holidays they
deemed good and they were trying to use them as ways to attract pagans to the
faith. This is the earliest evidence by a non-biblical source I’ve found of the
church syncretizing with pagan customs for this very reason. Many Christians
will try to tell you that there is no evidence of Christians doing this.
Tertullian’s quote confirms that the churches were doing just that.

To quote Tertullian again, he
was saying that Christians were “assailing the Name with wicked suffrages… for
fear the Name be blasphemed
.” In other words, they were doing evil not
realizing it was evil while thinking they would be evil if they didn’t do it. The
worst part is they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong! This is the same
type of mistake the Israelites made when making the golden calf, weeping for
Tammuz, baking cakes for the Queen of Heaven and all sort of other pagan
traditions that justified in their worship of Yahweh. Generation after
generation bits and pieces of paganism crept in and became normalized. Over
time, these traditions became automatic and no one questioned why they were
doing them in the first place. The book of the Law was even hidden for a long time before being discovered again. Christians
are doing the same thing today because the early church thought that they were
required to Christianize everything. They were actually called to separate
themselves in holiness. Christians call it “Christianization,” but God calls it
“syncretization.”

Throughout history there have
been many scribes and writers who have exposed the practice of syncretization.
The church calls it “Christianization,” yet how is it possible to put Christ
into something He was never in to begin with? It is not our charge to
Christianize pagans but to make disciples of Christ. There is an obvious
difference between a true disciple and a mere follower. A pagan is not
converted into a disciple by appealing to his pagan, secular traditions. God
has told us not to worship as the heathen do, to be a people set apart for Him,
and that we are a peculiar people. Surely, if you decide not to celebrate
Christmas or to participate in the spirit of the Holiday Season, you will look
peculiar to the world. This appears to be the motivation Tertullian called out.
Remember, he criticized them because they were not apprehensive to look like
pagans when pagans were apprehensive to look like Christians.




When you decide to start examining yourself to see if you are in the
faith, you will start to think more critically about yourself and the world
around you. It is inevitable. When we look to Scripture, we can see things that
we can’t get in the world, parables that God has sent to us to ponder. Consider
that Yahweh gave the Israelites holy days for a specific reason, as shadows of
things to come, as Paul said in Colossians 2:17 and Hebrews 10:1. In other
words, they were prophetic. The Sabbaths, New Moons and Feast Days were given
for them to ruminate over what God has done for them, and also what God has in
store, namely that Christ must come to be the spotless sacrifice for their sins.
Only a small remnant of people in the Old Testament seemed to have understood
these parables. In the Law it was said that the Israelites were not to eat any
animal that did not “chew the cud.” Chewing the cud is literally “rumination,”
but also a metaphor for thinking about something until you have gotten the very
last bit of wisdom and understanding from it. Most of the Jews did not chew the
cud enough to gain spiritual understanding, even when God sent prophet after
prophet to tell them. In fact, the prophets were persecuted by their own people
because they were labeled evil.

The God-appointed times and
feasts given to the Jews were a parabolic reflection of God’s plan of the ages.
This is why man-made traditions are not only inferior to, but profane God-given
holy traditions. Our Gospel “Good News” is the promise made to those who enter
Sabbath rest by Yahshua’s example and instruction, to receive the Holy Spirit
who will lead us into all truth. This is a daily practice. A daily celebration.
We do not need yearly celebrations like the pagans do. Our command is “do
this in remembrance of Me” (speaking of communion). Remember the
Scriptures, “Give us this day our DAILY bread” for He is the bread of
life, and so “whoever has entered His rest has ceased from his works as
God did from His” (Hebrews 4:10). All else is the works of our own hands
which is filthy rags to Him – idolatry. “Whatever is not from faith is
sin” (Romans 14:23). We were warned not to follow the traditions of men.
Yahshua only did the will of the Father. He did none of His own works. This
example He passed on to His disciples. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1,
“Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” Christ imitated His Father by observing Him.

Then Yahshua answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I
say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do;
for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves
the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him
greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the
dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.

For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment
to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who
does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
John 5:19–23

Can you honestly say that you
saw the Father, or even the Son for that matter, celebrating Christmas? How
about His apostles? We have nothing to imitate in that regard. The only thing
we have to imitate is what came centuries later, and those things were
imitations of paganism combined with Christianity.

Still, people will stubbornly
say that Christians had the holiday first or that it only matters what it means
to you in your heart, but it doesn’t really matter who had the celebration
first. It’s not a battle of who can win the reason for the season. It’s not
about Christianizing everything in the world either. God has prophesied that
all things of this world will perish, that there will be a New Heaven and New
Earth. That is not only symbolic of our internal struggle, but a literal
statement about re-creation.

Our hope is in the promise that was given to those who overcome this
present world, this present age, called in Greek, “aion.” In this life, we
overcome the world by taking dominion over our own bodies, which were formed
from the dust of the earth, but we also look forward to the literal redemption
of our bodies in the resurrection where we will receive glorified bodies. We receive
a new creation now in ourselves, that is a new spirit (our inheritance of the
Holy Spirit) by which we put on the mind of Christ and bring this flesh under
subjection. We also look forward to a New Creation later, when all things will
be reconciled to God. This is a huge part of the Gospel good news. As strangers
and pilgrims on earth we don’t need to get caught up in worldly affairs, even
the pursuit of “peace and safety” for all people, which if derived from worldly
motivations is godless (For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden
destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they
shall not escape. 1 Thessalonians 5:3). More people have been killed for the “greater
good” throughout history in the name of peace and safety than for the overt
spite of tyranny and oppression. If we have no need to get involved in such
man-made matters how much less should we need to be involved with man-made
holidays?

If you celebrate the birth of
Christ in December you are in fact declaring that it doesn’t matter when He was
born, because He was certainly not born in December. The fact that you would
choose to celebrate it on this date is dictated to you purely by tradition.
Those traditions are in alignment with pagan midwinter festivals and the
nativity of the unconquerable sun (Sol) rather than the birth of Christ. To
ignore this fact and continue celebrating the holiday season anyway is a
blatant disregard for discernment and truth. It could even be construed as pure
rebellion against the truth. You are in essence doing what Christians have been
trying to do for millennia, force your beliefs onto pagan practices so they
change into something you can accept.

It is easy to fool ourselves,
to justify our desires and actions with false Christian messages like
Dominionism, which teaches Christians need to take over the world, the Prosperity
Doctrine, which teaches God wants you to live a happy, prosperous life now and
forever, The Power of Positive Thinking, a book that teaches people to
ignore whatever they think is “negative,” and The Purpose Driven Life, which
teaches people to seek a purpose rather than the Spirit. All these teachings have
the shiny appearance of being biblical on the surface, and these ideas
certainly fit in with the mainstream narrative, but underneath they are born of
darkness in opposition to  the Gospel
truth. They rely on a partial, lazy understanding of Scriptures fueled by
deep-seeded desires that have not been confronted by Christ. If Christians knew
the book they claim so fervently to cling to perhaps the apostate doctrines and
celebrations in our cultures wouldn’t be so prevalent. Perhaps if their deepest
desires were for Christ rather than the world, we wouldn’t need to be having
this conversation.

Probably the most important
concept in the Bible is that of the Sabbath, the state of spiritual rest in
God’s will. Its nemesis in the Bible is the beast of Revelation, a symbol of a humanist,
world-wide system of government which aims to deceive the whole world into
following Satan. This beast is described as having two horns like a lamb
but speaks like a dragon. This means he looks like Christ, the Lamb of God, but
speaks like Satan, who comes disguised as an angel of light. Both the servants
of God, who are marked on their foreheads (Revelation 7:3), and the servants of
the beast, who receive the mark of the beast (Revelation 13:16), have made a
choice who they will serve. These marks are a sign on your forehead and right
hand, symbols of what you think and do.
If those who take the mark of the beast are deceived by a worldly system that
poses in a Christ-like fashion, then they are unwittingly going to believe they
are taking the mark of salvation. We MUST heed the repeated warnings in the
Bible exclaimed to all Christians, “Do not be deceived!” Let us look at a few
Scriptures to examine these. 

Sabbath rest

There remains therefore a rest for the people of God. For he
who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from
His.

Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone
fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is
living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the
division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of
the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His
sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must
give account. Hebrews 4:9–13

God’s servants sealed

Then I saw another angel ascending
from the east, having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud
voice to the four angels to whom it was granted to harm the earth and the sea,
saying, “Do not harm the earth, the sea, or the trees till we have sealed the
servants of our God on their foreheads.” Revelation 7:2–3

The beast’s servants sealed

“Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which
arise out of the earth.” Daniel 7:17

“Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on
earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the
whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces.’” Daniel 7:23

And I saw one of his heads as if it
had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world
marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave
authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the
beast? Who is able to make war with him?” Revelation 13:3–4

It was granted to him to make war
with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every
tribe, tongue, and nation. All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose
names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the
foundation of the world.
Revelation 13:7–8

Then I saw another beast coming up
out of the earth, and he had two horns like a
lamb and spoke like a dragon
.
And he… causes the earth and those who
dwell in it to worship the first beast… He performs great signs… And he
deceives those who dwell on the earth—by those signs… He was granted power to
give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both
speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be
killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their
foreheads
, and that no one may buy or
sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his
name
.

Here is wisdom. Let him who has
understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man:
His number is 666. Revelation 13:11–18

Ask yourself the most important
question of your life: “Am I at Sabbath rest?” If the answer to that
question is “no” then have you been deceived into taking the mark of the beast?
Have you received the spirit of the world instead of the Spirit of God and His
good works?

Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship
with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of
the world makes himself an enemy of God. James 4:4

(Continued…)

Heart4God Website: http://www.heart4god.ws  

 

Parables Blog: www.parablesblog.blogspot.com  

 

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

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