Matabele, Canteen Worker, I realise you are very passionate about religion. I respect your views and I honour your work to uphold them. But, please take the time to read up about something I have reasearched myself through my youth. You may find it interesting as I have through the years or may totally disagree. This is one reason for me making up my own mind on the lord jesus christ and his stories. Don't just reaserch your religion, look around to prove yourself correct. The word ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœchristmasÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ is derived from ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœmass for christÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ or ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœchrist-mass.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ The christmas festival came to the Protestants and the secular world from the Roman Catholic Church. However, the Roman Catholic Church did NOT get christmas from the writings of the Apostles, nor the whole of the Word of Elohim (G-d). ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœchristmasÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ is not found among the earliest festivals of the faithful in Messiah YahoShua ... the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt. Pagan customs centring around the January calendar is gravitated to christmas. In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on YahoShuaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s birthday, which certainly would not have been in December! In truth, only those who live in the flesh that make a great rejoicing over the day they were born into this world Catholic Encyclopaedia, 1911 Edition, published by the Roman Catholic Church, states ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦ ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1946 edition states ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦ ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Christmas. It was, according to many authorities, not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian Church, as the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons (eg Communion - death of Christ) rather than their birth ... A feast was established in memory of this event [the birth of YahoShua] in the fourth century. In the fifth century the Western Church ordered it to be celebrated forever on the day of the old Roman feast of the birth of Sol (the sun), as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ's birth existed." Encyclopaedia Americana, 1944 Edition ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦ ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“christmas was not celebrated by the Church until the forth century. Christians did not celebrate christmas for the first 300 years.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? That is longer than the entire history of Australia or the United States of America!ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Christmas day - December 25th - is near to the middle of winter in the Northern Hemisphere - including the State of Israel. Was YahoShua born during the winter? Let us see what the Scriptures have to say ... ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Luke 2:8. The shepherds did NOT keep their sheep in the fields during the Hebrew month of Kishlev, being todayÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s December. The sheep were brought indoors (under cover) mid-October to protect them from the cold rainy season that would follow (as is still done throughout Europe). If you have been to Israel winter, you will know, that the winter in the Judea is very cold, wet, and snow. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over (and) gone.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Song of Songs 2:11. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered themselves together unto Jerusalem within three days. It (was) the ninth month (Kislev), on the twentieth (day) of the month; and all the people sat in the street of the house of Elohim, trembling because of (this) matter, and for the great rain.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Ezra 10:9. The ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“ninth monthÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? corresponds to December today. In the Word, it is clearly characterised with winter rains in Israel. Thus, the sheep would not be wandering around in the fields at that time. Here is what the Adam Clarke Commentary (Vol 5, page 370, New York edition) has to say about the date of birth of YahoShua the Messiah ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦ "It was an ancient custom among Jews of those days to send out their sheep to the fields and deserts about the Passover (early spring), and bring them home at commencement of the first rain. During the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day. As the first rain began early in the month of Heshvan, around October and November, we find that the sheep were kept out in the open country during the whole summer. And, as these shepherds had not yet brought their flocks indoors, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields; nor could He have even been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the fields by night. On this very ground, the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact." The exact date of MessiahÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s birth is entirely unknown, though evidently he was born sometime during September, being six months after the Passover. If Elohim had intended us to celebrate the birthday of YahoShua, why did YHVH Elohim not reveal the exact date to us in His Word? Thus, how did christmas get into the Church? The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge gives a clear explanation in the article on ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœchristmas.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“How much the date of the festival depended upon the pagan Brumalia (December 25th) following the Saturnalia (December 17th-24th), and celebrating the shortest day of the year and the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœnew sunÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢... cannot be accurately determined. The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence. The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit and in manner. Christian preachers of the West and the Near East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which ChristÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mesopotamia accused their western brethren of idolatry and sun worship for adopting as Christian this pagan festival.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? The Roman Empire was entirely pagan, and before the 4th century, the faithful in Messiah YahoShua were few in number, and were persecuted by Rome. Then, Emperor Constantine professed (a whole new form of) ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœChristianity,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ and placed it on an equal footing with paganism. Undoubtedly this new religion became popular among the masses, as it retained much of their earlier practices, and the worship of a new set of statues, which resembled their former gods. These new ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœChristiansÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ continued to uphold their pagan customs, the chief of which being December 25. They enjoyed this festival of joy and drunken merrymaking, and refused to give it up! The pagan Manichaeism identified the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Son of GodÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? with the physical ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Sun,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? giving new ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœconvertsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ an excuse to call December 25th (re-birth, birthday of the SUN). According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, some LatinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s, as early as 354AD, may have transferred the birthday of Messiah from January 6th to December 25th, which was then a mithraic feast or birthday of the unconquered Sun. The Syrians and Armenians who clung to January 6th accused the Romans of sun worship and idolatry, claiming the December 25th festival was invented by the disciples of Cerinthus. So where did it all begin? The concept of christmas originated in ancient Egypt in the days of King osiris and Queen isis around about 3000 BC - long before the Christian faith was even thought of!! After the untimely death of King osiris, his wife, isis, propagated the evil doctrine of the survival of osiris as a spirit. She claimed a full-grown evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead stump, symbolising the new life of the osiris spirit from his death. On each anniversary of osiris birth, which was the date we now know as December 25th, isis would leave gifts around this tree. Isis became the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœqueen of heavenÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ and osiris became the reborn ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœdivine son of heaven.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ Osiris later became, through the later Phoenicians, baal the sun-god. The ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœmother and childÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ became chief objects of worship by the Babylonians, from which it spread over the world under various names, such as, cybel & deoius in Asia, fortuna & jupiter in pagan Rome. Then during the fourth and fifth century, the Romans under their new popular ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœChristianityÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ popularised the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœmother and childÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ concept especially around christmas time - from which we have many of the christmas carols such as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœSilent Night Holy NightÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ with it's familiar ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœmother and childÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ theme. The concept of the christmas tree originated around 3000 BC in ancient Egypt with King osiris and Queen isis. During the Middle Ages, the Germans believed the evergreen trees were especially imbued with life since they remained green throughout all of winter. Greenery was prominent in pagan winter celebrations in honour of the tree spirit or spirit of fertility. The Romans trimmed the trees with trinkets and toys at that time of year. The Druids tied gilded apples to tree branches. For many, a tree decorated with orbs and fruit-like object symbolised the tree of life in the garden of Eden. The mistletoe was used at the festival of the winter solstice by ancient pagans because it was considered sacred to the sun. The mistletoe supposedly had miraculous healing powers, probably due to the fact that not only the plant remained green throughout winter but it actually bore fruit during this time, a type for fertility spirits!! This led to the tradition of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœkissing under the mistletoeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ - occurring early in the night of revelry and drunken debauchery, celebrating the death of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœold sunÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ and birth of the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœnew sunÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ at the solstice. Holly berries were also considered sacred to the sun-god. Holly was revered along with the mistletoe, with decorations in those greeneryÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s prominent in buildings and places of worship during the winter festival - leading to the holly wreath that we have today. The burning of the yule log originated with the Druids and their ritual burning of a carefully chosen log during the winter. The word ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœyuleÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ is derived from the old Anglo-Saxon word ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœhweolÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ which means ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœwheel,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ a pagan symbol of the sun. Indeed the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœYule LogÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ is in fact the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœsun log." The lighting of candles, bonfires, the yule log and originates from the pagan custom of lighting fires and candles during the solstice season, to encourage the waning sun-god as he reached the lowest point in the southern skies. The modern practice of decorating trees and buildings with flashing electric lights seems to be a logical extension of the lighting of candles and bonfires at christmas time. Also known as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœFather christmas,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ the myths and legends surrounding santa claus are a mixture of pagan customs from differing regions. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœSanta Claus is a corruption of the name ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœSaint Nicholas,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ a Roman Catholic bishop who lived in the 4th century. He was a saint honoured by the Greeks and LatinÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s on December 6th, for the legendary bestowal of dowries on the three daughters of an impoverished citizen, said to originate the custom of giving gifts in secret on the eve of St. Nicholas (December 6th), later transferred to christmas day. The legend of santa claus entering the house through the chimney, and the hanging of socks and stockings by the fireplace, relates to the ancient superstitions around hearth spirits. The Chinese and others would traditionally sweep and scour the house in preparation for the visit by the hearth spirit. Dressed in a pointed red cap and red jacket, this fire god travelled from the heavens above, visiting homes to distribute favours or punishments. Each christmas time today, children are told the lie about santa claus coming down the chimney to distribute gifts to them if they behaved themselves!! Sooner or later, the children learn of the myth, many becoming disillusioned. Such disillusions are easily transferred to the belief in the Almighty Elohim and the Messiah, for if santa claus does not exist, then Elohim and YahoShua also do not exist! The Scriptures plainly state, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Thou shall not bear false witness.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Far from adding to the ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹Âœjoy of christmas, the santa claus legends actually turn away lives from the YahoShua. No true believer in YahoShua should ever involve themselves in this abomination, the legend of santa claus, no matter how good it may seem for the children at the time! Elohim says, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Now, letÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢s see what the Bibliotheca Sacra (vol 12 pp 153-155) says about the exchanging of gifts at christmas ... ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“The interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of christmas and the saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the pagans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? The exchanging of gifts does not honour Messiah YahoShua. Suppose it is your birthday and yet at your party, your friends and relatives exchange gifts among themselves and almost completely ignore you! This is exactly what happens at christmas, Christians and non-Christians, exchange gifts among themselves. Anyway, it is not YahoShuaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ birthday. He was either born in during the Feast of the Blowing of the Shofar (Trumpets) around September, which I tend to believe, or it may have been during Passover, around March /April. However, it must be said that the date is not known. But, does it matter? Beloved, I wake each morning and I praise and thank YHVH Elohim for giving me one more day to proclaim His Word, and for sending His anointed one, YahoShua THE Messiah, who gave his live in order that through faith and repentance, we might have life eternal! The question might be asked, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“What about the giving of gifts to the infant YahoShua by the wise men?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Consider what the Scriptures say ... ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Now when YahoShua was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem. Saying, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœWhere is he that is born King of the Judeans? For we have seen his star in the east, and we have come to give honour to him.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Miriam his mother, and fell down, and adored him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Matthew 2:1-2,11. Notice here, the wise men gave YahoShua gifts because He was a KING of the Judeans, it was not because it was his birthday. It was customary to give gifts to someone who is a King, just as it is so in many cultures today. The wise men did not give any gifts to YahoShua until quite some time after his birthday. In Verse 11, we see that they presented to him gifts. The people of the east never approached the presence of kings and great personages, without a gift. The custom is often spoken of in the Tanach (incorrectly called the OLD Testament by Christians), and this custom still prevails in the east. The exchanging of gifts among friends and relatives is not found in the Scriptures, it is derived from paganism. Okay! So, Easter and christmas are Pagan festivals. But, what if we just honour Messiah and do not take part in any of these Pagan customs? Beloved let the Scriptures speak for themselves. ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“ ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‚Â¦ be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœHow do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ You must not worship YHVH your Elohim in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things YHVH hates. They even burn their sons and daughters in the fire as sacrifices to their gods.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Deut 12:30-31. "Remember them, O my Elohim, because they have defiled the priesthood, and the covenant of the priesthood, and of the Levites. Thus cleansed I them from all strangers [of everything pagan], and appointed the words of the priests and the Levites, every one in his business;" Nehemiah 13:29-30 The Scriptures declares, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“Elohim is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? John 4:24. Worshipping Messiah YahoShua by honouring his birthday on a day, which is NOT his birthday, and borrowing pagan customs is NOT giving honour to Him, and his Father ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“in Spirit and in Truth.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Beloved, uphold the Word of Elohim, and follow no one other god than YHVH Elohim, and YahoShua His Messiah! Learn how to give yourself an honest answer to the question ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“What would YahoShua do?ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Hereby we do KNOW that we KNOW him, IF we keep his commandments.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? 1 John 2:3. Messiah kept all the seven Feasts of his father, and he never changed the 4th of the Ten Commandments. YahoShua also said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“IF you love Me, KEEP my Commandments.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“go and sin no more.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? Observing ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã‹ÂœchristmasÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢ is a sin!