An Early Christmas Challenge

christmas tree

An early challenge to Christians – that we “Study to shew ourselves approved unto God, workmen that need not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.

Christians will soon be waving the Christmas banner, but If we read the Bible from Genesis through Revelation, we will not find a birthday celebration of any single man or woman of God mentioned – only pagans celebrated birthdays. We have Pharoah’s birthday during the time of Joseph in Egypt when he hanged his baker, and we have Herod’s birthday when John the Baptist was beheaded.

We are not meant to celebrate the birth of Jesus, and the Bible makes that clear by never making the time of His birth definitively known (although we clearly know from scripture that it was not in December). December 25th, foisted on us by the Church of Rome, is the celebrated birthday of the pagan sun god, Mithra (aka Tammuz, the son of Nimrod and Ishtar). “Dies Natalis Solis Invicti means ‘birthday of the unconquered sun’ and was celebrated by pagan Rome on December 25th. Also, in the pagan religion of Mithraism, the holy day was Sunday “venerable day of the sun god” and is where we get that name from, although God at creation called it “the first day”. By celebrating the birth of Jesus (which we are never told to do, which Jesus never did and which His apostles and the early church never did), we are attaching a pagan tradition to the holy and righteous Son of God, our Lord and Savior.

Something to think about. Christmas, Sunday, Easter, Halloween are pagan holidays that true Christians should never take part in, if we are true to God and His word. If we are going to keep holy days, we should keep the days God established and which all His people, including Jesus and His disciples and the early church apostles kept from the days of Moses (and Eden in the case of the seventh day Sabbath) until they got pushed aside in favor of the pagan ones — God’s holy convocations and feasts that He clearly laid out, including the exact dates and how they are to be kept, in Leviticus 23. Also, read Jeremiah 10 if you want to hear what God has to say about Christmas trees.

Sorry to rain on people’s Christmas parades but it is time for Christians to stop rebelling against God and heed His loud cry warning of Revelation 18:4 for us to “Come out of her (Babylon/confusion/idolatry/apostasy — Roman Catholics and Apostate Protestants who accept her false teachings) my people, that ye not be partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” We have been given the great gift of God’s Holy Word, and if we are truly Christian, we have been given the gift of His Holy Spirit of Truth to guide us into all truth. We have to put aside all the false teachings of men that we have been fed all our lives, and look to God’s Word alone for truth because His word is truth. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.” John 17:17. Our sanctification before the soon coming Day of the Lord should be of significantly greater importance to us than celebrating a pagan holiday.

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Sabbath

Genesis 2:1-3 “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.” Notice that God created the Sabbath by resting, blessing and sanctifying the seventh day, before there was ever a Jew or sin had entered in and mankind had fallen.

God sanctified or hallowed the seventh day, the Sabbath. It takes a holy God to make holy time, and He made no time holy other than His Sabbath. Though people can be made holy by God, they cannot make something holy because they do not possess a holiness that can be transferred to anything else. Since only a holy God can hallow something, any day other than what God has made holy—even though billions of people may proclaim it to be holy—cannot be holy time. It is utterly impossible.

No day can be holy except the one God made holy, and it is holy not merely because God assigned it as such, but because His presence is in the weekly Sabbath. This means that the Sabbath is worthy of respect, deference, and even devotion that cannot be given to other periods of time. It is set apart for sacred use because it is derived directly from Him and made holy at creation. Because of God’s assignment of the word “holy” to the Sabbath, this day is changed into something special.

Even though it is a part of the cycle of the week, the Sabbath is separate from the other six days. It is different from the common or ordinary. The other six days are common, given for the pursuit of the ordinary things of life. The Sabbath is a day God has reserved for man’s benefit for special things, different things—spiritual things. Luke writes, “So [Jesus] came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read” (Luke 4:16). The book of Acts reports the apostle Paul and the New Testament church keeping the Sabbath, including Gentiles.

Nothing in the Bible changes the day God set aside and made holy at creation. The Catholic Church publicly lays claim to changing the day of worship to Sunday and charges the Protestant churches with following their lead. Can the Catholic Church make anything holy? Nothing holy has been created to replace the Sabbath God created in the first week.

To further reinforce what He created in the beginning, God would speak it and write it with His own finger in stone, twice. In Exodus 20:1,8-11: “God spoke all these words, saying: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shall you labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day [what we call Saturday] is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor the foreigners that live in your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it [made it holy].”

In Exodus 31:18 “And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.” Then again in Deuteronomy 9:4 after Moses threw down and broke the first set: “And he wrote on the tables, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.”

In Number 23:19, He says: “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, and shall He not do it? or has He spoken, and shall He not make it good.” In Psalm 89:34, He clearly proclaims: “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.”

No matter what man says, they cannot alter what God has proclaimed and commanded. There is no changing a “thus sayeth the LORD”.  God told us about the papacy in Daniel 7:25 “And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws…” but all he can do is “speak great words” and “think to change” God’s times and laws, he cannot actually change them. Just because a system tells you over and over again that a lie is truth, it does not make it so. God’s Word is truth. John 17:17 “Sanctify them through thy truth; thy word is truth.” We  cannot be sanctified through a lie.

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Ye are gods

Gods family image

I was watching a mother duck with her ducklings following in behind her so close that they appeared to be one being. That is how closely we are are supposed to be following in behind our Father and Elder Brother, and how closely we are supposed to be walking with each other in Christ. If we are not, we need to reevaluate our relationship with Them, and ask ourselves: “Are we truly part of the Family of God?”

Psalm 82:6 “I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.”

Jesus said: “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. “Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.” John 17:22-24

If we have truly put on Christ Jesus and been baptized into Him, we are sons and daughters of the Most High, the living God, Creator of Heaven and Earth and all that in them is, and brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, through whom all things were made, both seen and unseen.

“For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26-28

We are justified by faith in Jesus, whom God sent that we might be reconciled to Him by the death of His Son, and adopted into the family of God. Jesus said, “For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matthew 12:50

“And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Galatians 4:6-7

We are gods in the making, and the God Family, made up of God the Father and Jesus, His only begotten Son, has been planning for a very large family for a very long time, of which we are all invited to become members. All we have to do is accept and follow the lead of our elder brother. We need to stop thinking and acting like the corruptibles of this world and start thinking and acting like the gods we are in the process of becoming, by the working of His Spirit in us (“Christ in us, the hope of glory”). We are destined for things so great that our minds are incapable of conceiving them.

“But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

I pray “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” Amen

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What Happens When We Die?

Let us listen to what Jesus tells said about death – the one who knows better than anyone.

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Maranatha!

1 Corinthians 16:22 “If anyone does not love the Lord, Jesus Christ, let him be accursed. Maranatha!.

What does Maranatha mean?

Maranatha is an Aramaic (the native tongue of Jesus) word which means “the Lord is coming” or “come, O Lord.” The early church faced much persecution under Roman rule. The Romans required everyone to declare that Caesar was god. The early Christians knew that there is only one God, the Father and one Lord, Jesus Christ, His Son, and in all good conscience they could not call Caesar “Lord”, so the Romans, viewing them as traitors, persecuted and killed them. Living under such adverse conditions, the believers’ morale was lifted by the hope of the coming of the Lord. “Maranatha!” became the common greeting of the oppressed believers.

Today we live our lives in the light of the knowledge that Jesus can appear at any time, and that we are to be ready. Every day we should expect His appearance, and every day we should long for Him to come. Maranatha reminds us to keep our eyes on the eternal things of the Spirit. To dwell on material things is to be in constant mental turmoil. Looking down, we see the earth; looking around, we see earthly things. But looking up, we see the hope of the soon coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. To those who are discouraged today, Maranatha! To those who are worried today, Maranatha! To those who are filled with anxiety over the problems they are facing, Maranatha! Our Lord is coming!

2 Timothy 4:8 “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

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God’s Echidna Enigma

An Amazing Fact: One of the strangest animals in the world is the long-beaked echidna [i-kid-na], or spiny anteater. Weighing about 20 pounds, this nocturnal creature is found mainly in the humid mountain forests of New Guinea and Indonesia. Interspersed with its brownish or black fur are sharp spines of varying lengths. The spines on its body can be erected and its arms and legs withdrawn for protection, much like a hedgehog.
echidna

 

At the end of its long, down-curved, tubular snout is a very small mouth through which the long tongue can be rapidly extruded and retracted. It has no teeth in its mouth but compensates with rows of tooth-like spikes on the tongue. The echidna probes with its long beak in the muddy soil until it detects a worm or other invertebrates by their faint electrical current. The tongue then darts out, and the worm is hooked by the spikes and reeled in like a fish.

Even though it is technically a mammal, the female long-beaked echidna lays shell-covered eggs that are incubated and hatched outside the body of the mother like a reptile, but then carried and nursed in a small pouch like a marsupial. Perhaps its most remarkable feature is a large and complex brain with high intelligence, characteristics
unexpected in the world’s most reptile-like mammal. They also live a surprisingly long time, with one having been kept in the London Zoo for over 30 years, and another in the Berlin Zoo for 31 years.

Today, the long-beaked echidna is an endangered species. Some reasons for its decline appear to be loss of forest habitat to logging, mining, and farming, and traditional hunting. The oily meat of the echidna is relished by many of the people of New Guinea.

The spiny anteater is an enigma for evolutionists, because it looks like God assembled it from spare parts left over after He created all the other animals, and it stands in a class of its own. Despite the mass of media messages, the world did not evolve over multiplied millions of years. Scripture confirms the truth that God is the Creator, and that everything in heaven and on Earth was “created through Him and for Him.”

KEY BIBLE TEXTS

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” olossians 1:16
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Living in Health and Overcoming Sin by the Testimony of Jesus

To all who desire greater health, or freedom from debilitating health conditions, fervent prayer may help, or it may not. If we are praying for God to heal us from conditions we have brought on ourselves by following the leadings of Satan and the world rather than the Word of God and the health message Our Heavenly Father specifically gave the remnant church, we may have tied God’s hands in His ability to heal us. If we are following the enemy, wittingly or unwittingly, and not Him, we have placed ourselves under the dominion the god of this earth who wants to destroy us, not God Almighty who wants to heal us.

This is a series of health evangelism messages that are excellent, and worth listening to, even if you are in excellent health, because it will help you help others who are not. As John said in 3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that in all things thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” If our souls aren’t prospering by the power of the Spirit of God dwelling in us, we are not equipped to be in health and prosper in all things. In Ezekiel 33:11, God says to the Church: “Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?” We are the spiritual house of Israel, and He is pleading the same with us today.

 

 

 

To prosper and be in health, our soul must prosper. For our soul to prosper, we must overcome sin. We can only overcome sin by the power that worketh in us. We are called in these days to be they who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus. Do we truly have the testimony of Jesus?

 

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It’s Time to Talk About Christmas

lone black back stilt for card

If you are a Christian awakening to the deceptions the Church has promoted for so long, and seeking truth about Christmas and whether or not you should be celebrating it, here are some facts you might want to consider, as well as God’s word on the subject.

The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on December 25th. This is akin to President’s Day—where we celebrate a bunch of presidents’ birthdays who were not born on that day—only worse, because it is our Lord and Savior we are falsely celebrating with vanity, worldliness and commercialism, not some man who cares about his birthday being celebrated.

Christmas is a Catholic pagan holiday taken from Mithraism, inspired by Iranian cult worship of the sun god, Mithris, practiced in the Roman Empire from the 1st to 4th century CE. It has no connection to the birth of Christ, but was adopted in an attempt to create unity between the heathen Romans and the Christians, like the ecumenical movement of today which stems from the Roman Catholic Church’s attempts to reconcile with Christians who separated from Rome during the Protestant Reformation, standing for the word of God over traditions of the Church, which contradict Bible truth. The keeping of the venerable day of the sun (Sunday) was also legislated around the same time by Constantine and adopted by the Roman Catholic Church for the same reason. It was also to place a wall of separation between the Jews, who from their beginning as a people had kept the Sabbath that God created, blessed and sanctified in Genesis 2:2-3 and later spoke and wrote with His own finger on the table of stone as the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11), and the Church. The Sabbath of God could of course never be changed except by God Himself, and He changes not. “My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.” Psalm 89:34.

The Bible doesn’t explicitly state the date of Jesus’ birth, but it does give clues. Luke 2:8-14 speaks of shepherds living outdoor and tending their flock of sheep at night. The text reads, “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.” Scholars of the Bible have concluded that this would be an unlikely practice in the month of December, for the weather conditions would be too cold to live outside to tend to a flock of sheep.

The Book of Luke tells us that John the Baptist was 6 months older than Jesus, [Luke 1:26]. The book also tells us when John was conceived so it is possible to approximate the time of John’s birth…and that of Jesus.

John’s father, Zechariah, served as a priest in the division of Abijah, [Luke 1:5]. His priestly duty entailed one week of temple service every year plus three more weeks during the three yearly festivals.

His division was the eighth so his period of temple service began in the eighth week of the year, [I Chronicles 24:10]. The Hebrew year, being lunar, began in the spring around late March early April. The eighth week would then generally fall around the first of June the way we show the months of the year on our calendar.

Luke 1:23-24 tells us that Elizabeth, John’s mother, became pregnant right after Zechariah‘s service in the temple. This would have been approximately mid June, which means that John the Baptist would have been born around mid March….or close to Passover. Jesus would have been conceived in John’s sixth gestational month by the Holy Spirit, [Luke 1:26] which would have been December….so Jesus would have been born around the middle of September. This event would have probably taken place about the time of the last Hebrew Holiday of Sukkot, (Feast of Tabernacles). Since everyone was expected to travel to Jerusalem for the three annual feasts, this is probably the real reason why there was no room in the inn.

During the Feast Days the normal population of Jerusalem, 120,000, would probably swell to well over 1,500,000 folks. This would not be the case in the Month of December as there were no annual Feast Days then. Bethlehem, being a “suburb” of Jerusalem would likely fill up quickly with the overflow. This time would also be consistent with the shepherds still in the fields during September. The weather in Israel during December can be quite cold so flocks are usually brought into shelter no later than the middle of October. The 25th of December date is not scriptural and as you can see by the above evidence, is not likely. https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/The_Pagan_Beliefs_Surrounding_Christmas/The_Date_Jesus_was_Born

On the Christmas tree, God is pretty clear … don’t follow the vain customs of the heathen! Jeremiah 10:2-6 “Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might.”

Our Lord and Savior will be returning soon to take up His who are found to be without spot or wrinkle, keeping the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus. Revelation 14:12. Everyone must make their own decisions, but do Christians really want to be found involved with celebrating a pagan holiday and performing rituals that so thoroughly dishonor our Lord. We should enjoy giving gifts, and spontaneously do so all during the year. We should love, honor and give glory to our Lord every day. What business do true Christians have being involved with Satanic pagan rituals?

 

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What could an Unsanctified Man do in Heaven?

(J.C. Ryle, “Holiness, Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties, and Roots”)

“Without holiness, no one will see the Lord!” Hebrews 12:14

Most men hope to go to Heaven when they die; but few, it may be feared, take the trouble to consider whether they would enjoy Heaven if they got there.

Heaven is essentially a holy place;
its inhabitants are all holy;
its occupations are all holy.
To be really happy in Heaven, it is clear and plain that we must be somewhat trained and made ready for Heaven while we are on earth.

We must be saints before we die–if we are to be saints afterwards in glory.
We need the work of the Holy Spirit–as well as the work of Christ;
we need renewal of the heart–as well as the atoning blood;
we need to be sanctified–as well as to be justified.

What could an unsanctified man do in Heaven, if by any chance he got there?

No man can possibly be happy in a place where he is not in his element, and where all around him is not congenial to his tastes, habits and character.
When an eagle is happy in an iron cage,
when a sheep is happy in the middle of a lake,
when a fish is happy on the dry land–
then, and not until then, will I admit that the unsanctified man could be happy in Heaven!

The book of Revelation says expressly, “Nothing impure will ever enter it.” Revelation 21:27

Suppose for a moment, that you were allowed to enter Heaven without holiness.
What would you do? What possible enjoyment could you experience there?

Now perhaps, you love the company of . . .
the vain and the impious,
the worldly-minded and the profligate,
the reveler and the pleasure-seeker,
the ungodly and the profane.
There will be none such in Heaven!

Now perhaps you think the that saints of God too strict and particular and serious. You rather avoid them. You have no delight in their society. But there will be no other company in Heaven.

Now perhaps you think that praying and Scripture reading and hymn singing–are dull and melancholy and foolish; a thing to be tolerated now and then–but not enjoyed. You reckon the worship a burden and a weariness. But remember, Heaven is never-ending worship. The inhabitants thereof rest not day or night, saying, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,” and singing the praise of the Lamb. How could an unholy man find pleasure in occupation such as this?

It seems clear that Heaven would be a miserable place to an unholy man! We must be heavenly-minded and have heavenly tastes in the present life–or else we will never find ourselves in Heaven in the life to come!

“Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong;
let him who is vile continue to be vile;
let him who does right continue to do right;
and let him who is holy continue to be holy.” Revelation 22:11 

www.gracegems.org

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A Head Full of Froth

Have you read your Bible today?

Bible_sabbath commandment
(Charles Spurgeon)

“I hate vain thoughts–but I love Your law!” Psalm 119:113

Many of you know more about your magazines and novels–than what God has written in His holy Word!

Many of you will read a novel from the beginning to the end, and what have you got? A head full of froth when you are done! But you cannot read the Bible–that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect–while anything that man writes, a best-seller of the day–you greedily devour!

“Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things!” Psalm 119:37

“Set your minds on things above–not on earthly things!” Colossians 3:2

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