Summary: This is my christmas sermon, in which the origins of the day are examined.
This page will not be for everyone. I am a preacher. I am now disabled. I still love to preach, so from time to time, I will post sermons here for those interested. I am a man, and like ALL other men, I am fallible. So, PLEASE check the information I give for yourself, and be as noble as those of old in Berea.
Due to the time of year, I feel it appropriate to begin with my "christmas" sermon. While most of my sermons begin with scripture shortly after the introduction, this one, of necessity, cannot. Instead, it begins with a history of man and religion in general. When time began (about 6007 years ago at the time of this writing) man was created with a need to worship. God left it at this because He wanted man to choose Him, and not just create a bunch of mindless robots. With Satan’s deception of Eve, and Adam following instead of leading, mankind’s downward spiral began. Mankind was expelled from the garden. Now, believing himself to be a god as a result of the fruit, he turned from God. Since man had this compulsion to worship, attempts were made at filling the void left when God was removed from man’s picture so to speak. From the beginning, God knew we would need a savior. Prophesies were made, but as Paul told the Thessalonians, those without a love for the Truth would be given strong delusions that they may believe a lie and be damned. When one man perceives himself to be a god, these delusions would allow this man to convince others and draw them away. This is the beginning of idolatry.
Let us jump forward in time to a period shortly (relatively speaking) after the flood. Man became convinced he could do anything; he was now his own god. A man named Nimrod began to lead many people. He convinced them to build a tower climbing to heaven itself. We know God stopped them and how; this is not the point of this lesson. As time moved on, the prophesies of a savior, God on earth, were remembered. It was decided they applied to Nimrod. It was believed that he (being god) was his own father. This was an unexplainable mystery. Nimrod became known also as Saturn, the "god of mysteries." He represented the resurrection to these people, or new life as prophesied. So, his birthday was associated with the winter solstice. A three day feast was held in his honor beginning on the solstice (sundown December 21). The day after this feast (December 25) was said to be the day of Saturn’s birth.
NOW HEAR YE THE WORD OF THE LORD as recorded in Jeremiah 10:1-5!
"Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: 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."
This should be clear enough without explanation, but some need it after years of hearing false teaching. Does anyone know of more than one tree the religious world has been taught to deck with silver and gold?
Christ finally came as prophesied. The church was established. BUT, it was also prophesied that without a falling away within that church, the Lord would not return (II Thessalonians 2:3) IT HAPPENNED! Just like God said it would! I do not know how it happenned, but the evidence that it did is clear, and more than abundant. The fallen church became the beast spoken of in Revelation. Now, the question must be asked, "How can you tell what the fallen church is?" The answer is simple, my friend. Look for signs of idolatry. Find the group whose leader on earth claims to be Christ. (This is anti-Christ.) This leader wears the symbol of Dagon, the fish god, on his head: a hat shaped like a fish’s head with an open mouth. He wears the keys of Janus and Cybelle (the gods of the underworld) on his sleeves, claiming them to be the keys of the kingdom promised first to Peter, then the equivalent power was promised to the other Apostles just two chapters later. (The second part of this is something conveniently overlooked, as a succession from Peter only is claimed.) This leader integrates other forms of idolatry into worship: The symbol and shape of the sun god, Ra, on communion wafers, and statues of dead men to be worshipped as "saints" the fact that Christians are referred to as saints while yet alive in most of the epistles. (These very men said they were NOT to be worshipped as they were only men.) The list goes on extensively, but enough has been said to identify this apostate body, the fallen church, as catholicism. The catholics seperated from the churches of Christ (Romans 16:16) and incorporated many thousands of false doctrines that take years (and a lot of help to misunderstand the Truth) to learn. One of the decisions made by the anti-Christ was to bring in pagan ceremonies so new "converts," who were rhontized instead of baptized by the way, would not feel left out when they would not repent of their idolatry. One of these festivals is the feast of the "Saturnalia." It was just renamed. Rest assured, though, it is still the same form of the idolatrous practice. From other religions, other practices were added to this "holy day," such as the yule log from the Druids.