The Difference May Be Indifference

Posted by Jeffrey K Radt ("JRed") | Posted in , , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on Monday, December 27, 2010

74

Two days after Christmas.

For my family, two days after the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

After seeing that there are a now total of 105 comments (as of this writing) in response to my Christ, Christians, And Christmas piece (14 which were posted between 5:30pm Christmas Eve and 11:30pm Christmas Day; a big number), I felt obliged to post some final comments on this subject (at least until next year) before moving on to other things.

I want to start out by just mentioning that the Christmas Eve service I attended had impacted me more than any other that I had attended in previous years during my 31 years on this planet.

Now, I don't know if that was fueled in large part to the heated debate and rhetoric in these parts leading up to that night, the fact that this was the first year that His birth weighed quite heavily on my heart and mind (due to the way He's been powerfully convicting me and working in my life over the past few months), or a combination of the two. Regardless, the point is that I was moved to tears both during and after the service and that was a first for a young guy like me.

Of course, some cynics reading this will mutter something along the lines of, "Geesh! Even more proof that Jeff is far from the Lord and what His Word teaches because he's living by feelings and not faith..." Hardly my friends. Hardly.

Anyway, the few final comments I wanted to make on this issue of Christians celebrating Christmas has to do with my thought that perhaps -- just maybe -- the difference between the two camps (Christians who want to still celebrate Christmas for no other reason than to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and use it as a chance to witness to family and friends in one camp, and Christians who don't want to celebrate Christmas because of the pagan, worldly influences who would prefer to acknowledge the Lord's Feasts instead in the other camp) is indifference.

I'll explain what I mean by that so that I don't blatantly offend anyone of my brothers or sisters, but before I do I would like to state at the outset the following borrowed from DefCon...

To summarize briefly, I’m convinced by Scripture and conscience that Christians are not obligated to observe Christmas, and that Christians are not obligated to not observe Christmas. Christmas observance, or non-observance, (just like the observance or non-observance of any other day) plainly falls into the Biblical category of a matter of indifference and liberty (Romans 14-15; Col 2:16-23).

My point in publishing this material isn’t to advocate for, or against, the observance of Christmas (or any other day), but rather to make the case that a.) such things are matters of liberty and conscience in the light of Scripture b.) many of the popular myths surrounding the origins of Christmas, even within the church, are often dubious, and sometimes misleading/false and c.) many of the most strident objections to the observance of Christmas if applied equally and consistently can have far reaching [and quite probably un-Biblical, legalistic] implications in actual practice.

I felt it necessary to review that before I continue with this thought today because I really don't want anyone to feel like I'm trying to "attack", "condemn", "degrade", or "judge" them as if to say that they're "wrong" in their decision to bypass the celebration of the Messiah's birth the other day.

As evidenced by the above excerpt, I truly believe that God's Word gives us the liberty to choose to celebrate or to not celebrate such a holiday, and if you disagree with my conclusion then that's fine, but it's really between me and the Lord.

This blog is His and even though I might share some personal experiences here with all of you it's never about me, but always for His glory, honor, and praise as well as for the edification of the Body. I don't open up to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ because I'm looking for a pat on the back. Likewise, I don't open up to my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ with the expectation that they'll treat me no differently than the non-believing world. No, I don't somehow enjoy being a masochist.

Again, you have every right to disagree with my assessment and conclusions on this matter. You have every right to celebrate (or not celebrate) Jesus Christ's birth as you decide. I just think that people who disagree with me are wrong to level such strong charges especially if they call themselves my brother or sister.

Sure, we can agree to disagree, and you might genuinely believe that I am in error and are simply trying to correct me so that I'm in accordance with the truth. However, as we learned from some previous Bible studies (PART 1 / PART 2) it actually is ok for us to judge other people (mainly those within the Body of Christ), but the Scriptures are clear as to how we ought to go about doing such a thing. In other words, there's a "right way" and a "wrong way" to do it.

This controversy will affect each member of the Body of Christ in a different way. It will affect each member in a different way, but the reality is that I do not have to give account to any one of you who read this, nor to friends, nor to family even. Likewise, you do not have to give any one an account of your position either.

I don't know about you, but for that I am very thankful. With the knowledge and grace that has been extended to me, I have had to make a decision for which I will only give account to the One Who loved me, the One Who died to atone for my sins, and the One Who is coming again as King of kings!

Ok, moving on. What do I mean by the comment that "the difference may be indifference" when thinking about this topic today? For the answer, we have to look at those who Christians traditionally call "Three Wise Men", or the "Three Kings", or the "Magi" as God's Word calls them.

Personally, I think that these truths from the holy Scriptures about the Magi and our Sovereign Lord's use of them in the story of the birth of Christ is beautifully emblematic of the debate that's currently raging.

Think about it! My dear brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with my assessment often cite the "pagan influences and roots" found in the traditions of the Christmas season. They'll also cite passages like 1 Thessalonians 5:22 and say that God would not want us to mix "evil" with "righteousness" in any way, shape, or form even if we suggest that Christmas provides us with a remarkable witnessing opportunity because the'll just respond by saying the ends don't justify the means.

Really? Can someone please tell me why the Lord chose to mix evil with righteousness then when we read about the Magi travelling thousands of miles to bring glory, honor, and praise to His Son Jesus Christ?



I mean, let's not forget who these Magi were. Minister Dante Fortson had this brief write-up on them the other day that frames for us exactly who they were so that there is no confusion...

Who Were The Magi?

If you have never done a study on the Magi, you may be surprised by some of the things that I’m about to point out. For starters let’s toss out the tradition that there were only three of them. There were three types of gifts, not just three men. The Persians called them magus (magicians).

The next thing that needs to be understood is that the Romans could not conquer the Persians (Parthian Empire). The war between the two lasted from 92BC – 627AD. Herod was on pins and needles when the Magi came into town. Just imagine his position. Herod answered to Caesar, but the Persians answered to no one and they marched right into Roman territory. They were probably also traveling with a contingent of soldiers.

Now that we know a little bit about the background of the Magi, the big question is: “How did pagan magicians know where to look for Christ?” The answer may or may not surprise you, depending on how familiar you are with the Old Testament.

“Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.” – Daniel 2:48

Daniel was made “chief of the governors over all the WISE MEN of Babylon”. Why Cyrus the Persian took over, he kept Daniel in his position that was bestowed to him by Nebuchadnezzar. When we get to the NT, we find the following:

“Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem…” – Matthew 2:1

Now, I want to ask some challenging, but genuine and thought-provoking questions because these are the things I was led to prayerfully consider the other night as I read the Gospel accounts of Jesus' birth and young life.

Ladies and Gentlemen, how can we seriously suggest that it's flat out wrong for Christians to acknowledge and even celebrate the birth of their Lord and Savior -- especially if their hearts and minds are in the right place -- due to the appearance of "holiness sharing the stage with pure evil" when it was God who orchestrated every little detail of His Son's birth even including the presence and response of certain people alive back then (like the Magi) to it?

Furthermore, how can we say that it's somehow "an endorsement of evil" for Christians to celebrate Christmas even if their heart and mind is in the right place, when it's more demonstrative of God responding to those who were seeking Him?


For those who have been so quick to cite chapter and verse over and over again in response to the previous commentary and study without really taking a moment to seriously address any of the legitimate questions raised, how do you then reconcile this reality (God's use of the Magi in association with the story about the birth of His Son) with all the passages in which He warns us to keep our distance from things like witchcraft and from people like diviners and soothsayers?

Let's continue. Many people have cited the role of the Roman Catholic Church in establishing December 25th as a holiday that celebrates the birth of Christ. Yes, it's true. I'm not disputing that at all. I'm also not suddenly pro-RCC, pro-Catholicism, pro-Vatican, pro-Pope all of a sudden simply because I have decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus each year at Christmas. Besides, we're talking about two very distinct and separate things here so please don't try to suggest that I'm making a case for the aforementioned. The birth of Jesus Christ is recorded in the Holy Bible for us. Things like the veneration of Mary to the status of Co-Redemptrix isn't.

I wanted to bring up the Catholic connection for a specific reason though. Does anyone else find it interesting how the Sovereign Lord orchestrated things in such a way to allow for the Magi to arrive to bring glory, honor, and praise to His Son with gifts of "gold, and frankincense, and myrrh" (Matthew 2:11)?

After all, using the same arguments presented by those who suggest that Christians shouldn't celebrate Christmas in any way, shape, or form because it comes directly from the Roman Catholic Church and is therefore one of their "twisted traditions of men", I find it interesting that God allowed for the presentation of these gifts; gifts that resemble a lot of what we find used in Catholic churches and Catholic mass to this very day.

Again, to reiterate, this is not some kind of a tacit defense of Catholicism, but I'm just trying to make the point that if "guilt by association" is the charge being thrown around so casually here, then aren't those of you who have a problem with my stance also saying you have a problem with God for allowing such things -- from magicians -- in the presence of His holy, righteous, sinless Son Jesus Christ? I'm just asking because it needs to be asked.

By the way, I feel I have to point out that I am well aware of the probable prophetic symbolism attached to these gifts even despite the comments I just made. For instance, gold was a fitting gift for a king, frankincense was an incense used in temple ceremonies (Exodus 30:34), and myrrh was a spice that was often used for embalming. Perhaps God impressed these gifts on the Magi’s hearts to picture the various aspects of Christ’s ministry.

You know, there's one other item I noticed in connection with the Magi and the account of the birth of Jesus Christ. We'll look at the following passage first...

Matthew 2:1-12 (KJV) Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard [these things], he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, [in] the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found [him], bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

I want us to consider the response to the Messiah's birth as recorded in the Gospels for us like in the above account. Once again, the Magi play a key role here. Watch this!

To recap, God providentially arranged for the star to appear at the time of the Savior’s birth. Whatever this cosmic phenomenon was, it certainly got the attention of these Magi, and since it hung in the direction of Israel, they connected it with what they knew of the prophesied King.

Perhaps they had read the prophecies of Isaiah concerning the coming, "light to the Gentiles" (Isaiah 49:6), which the star certainly depicted. Immediately, they set off to welcome Him. Since the road was long, it took them some time to reach Jerusalem, and evidently the star did not guide them the entire way. They had to stop and ask Herod for directions, alerting him and the Pharisees to the event.

Did you notice anything strange about what we're told? To put it another way, did you notice anything strange about the people's response to what the Magi told them? They exhibited indifference to Christ's birth! Who were the "they" I'm speaking of? Of course, they were the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Although the Pharisees knew the prophecy, they were not anticipating its fulfillment as the Magi were.

Here's what was particularly fascinating to me because I never caught it before. These Magi came from the East probably something like thousands of miles (more than likely from Babylon as the students of the students of Daniel, which is why they were familiar with the Scriptures).

They knew this great leader, or this Messiah, was going to be born in Bethlehem. There had to be more than just three of them too. First of all, the Word of God never gives any specific number so this idea that there were three is absurd. If we think about this logically, then we can make an educated guess and say that men of their caliber, education, and wealth would never have traveled that far just the three of them.

I mention this for a very specific point too. Aside from the fact that these facts demonstrate to us how too many Christians don't know this story as well as they should, the point in bringing this up in the context of this piece is to communicate how the message was very clear to those alive back then (or should've been) -- the Magi had arrived in a big way and made a major statement not only with all their pomp and circumstance, but with their words as to why they had come.

They had come to find out where the King of the Jews had been born. Folks, the mere fact that they even identified Jesus as the "King of the Jews" is very significant too. You would think that with this group of people before them, having traveled as far as they had with all the wealth surrounding them, and having spoken such unprecedented words that somebody (one of the Pharisees or Sadducees) would have done a double take and said, "Now wait a minute! Why did you come? You said you came to see the 'King of the Jews'? That is amazing!" But we know that never happened.

You would think that the Pharisees and the Sadducees who were knowledgable all about these things, about God's Word, and about these prophecies would've said, "Wait a minute! You say you've come all these thousands of miles and that you've been guided by this 'star', which has led you here to Jerusalem because you're looking for the 'King of the Jews'?" Wouldn't you think that they, because they knew the Scriptures as well as they did (or claimed to let alone the way they presented themselves to others), that they would've thought all of this and recognized that it was a very significant moment in time? I mean, there was even a great sense of expectancy in those days of some "great leader" who would come upon the scene to deliver all the people from Roman control.

Naturally, we would assume that the Pharisees and the Sadducees would've said, "Wait a minute! If you're telling us that the Messiah has been born, then we need to find out about this! We need to look into this right away! Let's go!" What did they do though? What was their response? Well, it was no different from what we've seen a lot of in the Comments Section of the previous piece -- they just quoted Scripture and said "Well, this is what the Scripture says..." and were done with it. The Magi probably already knew what the Scripture said too, and didn't need it parroted back to them, having been sort of like students of the Word themselves.

My dear friends, please look at this passage again very closely because I read this and see something quite similar to what transpired within this community of believers over the past few days.

The Pharisees and the Saduccees were indifferent to the news about the birth of Jesus Christ and just went about their business. In spite of ALL THE SIGNS that something significant was going on they were completely indifferent to it and just went about their business of probably following the letter of the Law, burning their incense, offering their sacrifices, and carrying out their responsibilities.

They were doing those things thinking they were pleasing the Lord when all of a sudden there came a group that arrived unexpectedly to point out that the prophecy had been fulfilled and it had absolutely no effect on them whatsoever!

The question I must ask is this: Are some of us Christians perhaps acting like the people in Bethlehem and Jerusalem who were alive back then -- indifferent to the birth of Jesus Christ? Clearly, there are some striking parallels between then and now, are there not?

It all reminds me of something I just read in a daily devotional from The Berean that I think is definitely applicable to this discussion also...

Matthew 9:10-13 (KJV) And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw [it], they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard [that], he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what [that] meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

In saying that He desires mercy and not sacrifice, Jesus is teaching that He prefers it when people practice mercy and not blindly follow ritual. He is not condemning the laws of sacrifice that He set up for Israel to practice until He fulfilled them, but explaining that He is more pleased with acts of forgiveness and kindness than strict external compliance to the law.

He is telling the Pharisees that, though they were exacting in keeping the letter of the law, they had completely missed its intent. In Matthew 23:23, He reminds them of this very point: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone."

It is good and right to tithe to God, even to be exacting in our accounting, but not at the expense of the far more important matters of justice, mercy, and faith! These weightier matters are a Christian’s priorities, so if a question of "What do I do?" ever comes up between practicing them and keeping the strict letter of the law, our judgment should lean toward these Christian virtues. If we can do both, all the better!

Jesus Christ is the personification of mercy. Exodus 25:17-22 describes the Mercy Seat constructed in the wilderness. Essentially, it was the golden lid of the Ark of the Covenant, on which were figures of two cherubim facing each other with their wings stretched out, covering the Mercy Seat. God, the pre-incarnate Christ, says in verse 22, "And there I will meet with you, and I will speak with you from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim which are on the ark of the Testimony." The Mercy Seat represented God in His dealings with sinful humanity, and the chief element He employs is mercy.

Now notice Romans 3:23-25: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth [to be] a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;"

This passage tells us that Jesus Christ is our Mercy Seat, but the translators have hidden it. "Propitiation" (Greek hilasterios) in verse 25 is literally "place of conciliation or expiation" or "Mercy Seat." The Septuagint used hilasterios to translate the Hebrew noun kapporeth ("Mercy Seat"). This Hebrew word’s root is kapar meaning "to cover" or "to conceal." This illustrates that the nature of God is to be merciful.

The apostle Peter writes in I Peter 2:21 that we are to follow in Christ’s steps, thus as Jesus Christ is merciful, we also are to show mercy in our judgments.

John O. Reid

The bottom line? The Magi (in general) were not God-fearing, holy, righteous people, or the kind we would think of as being Christians today. They were more akin to astrologers and magicians, or those who were familiar with evil, occult, pagan, Satanic traditions let's say. They were followers of "Zoroaster", "Chaldeans" maybe, and were believed by many to have the ability to read the stars, or manipulate the fate that the stars foretold. Again, think astrology and magic, which is a perversion and counterfeit form of astronomy and the supernatural/miracles.

So, the question I have for my dear brothers and sisters who simply want to chastise me and others like me for "mixing the things of God with the things of Satan" when it comes to a Christian celebrating Christmas for the right reasons (in what they believe is a direct violation of many verses, but mainly 1 Thessalonians 5:22), is how do you reconcile that position with what God orchestrated then? According to such an interpretation (that Christians celebrating Christmas for the right reasons has no redeeming value whatsoever), God violated His own Word, right?

Yet, the Sovereign Lord used the Magi to tell the story of one of the greatest events in all of human history -- the birth and young childhood of His Son and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He decided to use them for a very specific purpose because nothing that our Lord does is meaningless or random.

So, that's why I look at this fact and see a beautiful expression of Him not succumbing to, sharing the stage with, or coexisting with evil, but of demonstrating HIS CONTROL OVER ALL THINGS and showing that Jesus Christ came in to this world for all men (Romans 5:18) in order to fulfill His ultimate plans for humanity according to His perfect timing and will.

Might we say that He used those that people wouldn't expect to be the ones delivering a profound message (like the announcement that the Messiah had been born) to those who should've known better, or those who should've been expecting (and eventually rejoicing) at the very message the "unexpected ones" (the Magi) were delivering to make a point?

The Magi knew when and where to look for the Messiah. They also received messages from God as evidenced by the dream not to return to Herod.

Ladies and Gentlemen, could that be a crystal clear example of a fulfillment of Romans 8:28 and, if so, then an example of how He might use those of us who celebrate Christmas for the right reasons? I believe it could.

At this point, I'm not sure I could add anything else that I haven't touched upon already. This will be my final post on Christmas for 2010.

One more thing in closing. In the previous post, I was adamant about the fact that the Sovereignty of the Lord is the key point to accurately understanding this whole discussion. God is sovereign and so NOTHING that has happened, is happening, or will happen ever takes Him by surprise because He is in complete and total control from beginning to end. To put it another way, He has decreed and ordained all things from eternity past.

With that in mind, it's fitting then that He used a star to get the Magi's attention and lead them to His Son Jesus Christ. Why is that fitting, you ask? Check out what we read in the very first chapter of the very first Book of the Bible (emphasis mine)...

Genesis 1:16 (KJV) And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.

God created "the stars also" and they are under His sovereign control to be used as only He sees fit to use them. Use them He did! Absolutely beautiful!

Perhaps the greatest significance of the account of the Magi is that they responded to God's call via the star that was drawing them to seek Christ. We don’t know how much they knew about Him, but we know they sought Him.

Doesn't it work that way today? We don't know what it will be that God will use in drawing men and women to Himself through repentance and belief in His Son Jesus Christ. Isn't it possible that He could use an annual holiday like Christmas in much the same way as He used the Magi and the Star of Bethlehem both as a means of getting people's attention and as a way of speaking to those who already know Him (or should know Him)? As before, I'm just asking because I think it's a valid question.

Please understand that God providentially allowed them to find that which they sought -- not as an endorsement of their astrology or magic, but because they were seeking Him!

The Pharisees, who had the truth, were unaware, apathetic, and indifferent. They were not seeking their King. Isaiah 55:6 invites us to, “Seek the Lord while He may be found.” If you are seeking Him, He will guide you to Himself just as He did the Magi.

In that sense, perhaps the annual celebration of Christmas on December 25th is a modern day version of the star that our Sovereign Lord will use to lead some of the men and women (some of the men and women that He is already drawing) closer to Him.

Isn't that possible my friends?

God bless you.

Comments Posted (74)

Jeff: This is absolutely the best post I've seen in a while; especially on this subject! Thank you so much--for allowing God to speak to and through you.

May God bless you and yours through the coming year as you continue to serve Him so that you can better inform us.

Maranatha

Barbara in VA

Isiah 62:6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest, 7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.

Jeff, I agree with Barbara in Va! This was definitely inspired by the Holy Spirit! A great piece in which I will refer back to in the future when others try to condemn the keeping of Christmas as a day to celebrate the birth of Our Lord! God bless you Jeff and thank you for your humility and love.

Hi Jeff!
Wow, you couldn't be more wrong, at least about some of us!!
Indifference, hardly!!The issue is IF and HOW one would celebrate the Lord's birth. When Sola Scriptura is compromised, all sorts of things move in.
If Christmas, and by implication Easter, are such a great "opportunities" to witness about Christ, why in all the years we participated in them, never did we, or any of the Christian we know, actually lead anyone to Christ through them???
In fact, our participation was questioned by the unsaved that knew the history and practices of those holidays. We found ourselves in the awkward position of defending mixture. It is remarkable how quickly the world can spot us doing one thing, and saying another. It is also remarkable how different we are actually seen as, how our behaviour communicates "messages" to the unsaved that we don't intend to send.When we say Sola Scriptura, and do not live it totally, and then use our "liberty" to defend what we do, it does not serve the purposes of the kingdom very well.
As for the Magi, that was allot of speculation!! Perhaps way too much significance ascribed to them. It could be argued that they were just simply instruments used to fulfill prophecy,and the plan of God, much like Pharaoh or say, Judas.
However, a case can also be made that they weren't the Satanic priests you describe. See
https://www.raptureready.com/featured/kelley/jack151.html
for an explanation much different than the one you propose.
What is puzzling is how you can spend so much time studying, and decoding symbology, and sounding very necessary warnings, yet, something as blatantly unholy as Christ mass, you defer to liberty in Christ, the traditions of man, and what you want to do, as justification. The paradox is quite interesting.
Since the practice of Christmas, really resurfaced in earnest in the 1800s, we would all do well to read Foxe's Book of Martyrs(HT Dierdre) and see what has been historically important to the church for centuries. What our brothers and sisters gave their lives for, how their blood was shed, especially by Rome, in defence of Sola Scriptura.
The joy of the birth of Christ is unquestionable, the real events so much more awe inspiring than the watered down version our culture promotes and a joy that can be ours each and every day!
Marantha!!!

Jred,
It sounds like you are being a bit defensive. Where is the persecution coming from, someone quoteing scriptures? Ouch. I do understand what it is like for Christians to turn the sword on one another, but is that what is happening? Have you read the book of Daniel? Are you really suggesting that he trained them in sorcery?
The Pharisees and the Sadducees were indifferent because they enjoyed the status quo. Just like many in the church are indifferent today to the Lord's return because they LIKE the system that is currently set up. It suits them fine! The Pharisees, the Sadducees and many Christians have a good compromise with the world and Jesus showing up would just undercut it.
I was listening to a commentary the other day that was posted on Perry Stone and the teacher was saying that when Malachi was talking about the children's hearts returning to the father, he was talking about the church returning to the Fathers of our faith, Abraham, Isaiac, and Jacob. I thought that it was interesting because that is what I am seeing in God's sovereignty. The church returning to its Jewish roots and having a better understanding of the Father and His words.
The magi who were taught by Daniel took the Word of God seriously and did not neglect it. I hope to be that kind of sorcerer.
Until very recently Iraq (former Babylon) had a large Jewish population. Every time they the Persians sought to persecute the Jews, God intervened in a huge way. If the "fear of the Lord" is the beginning of understanding. It is probably the Persians had some understanding of the Lord.
I think the Lord is telling you not to celebrate Christmas and you don't want to give it up. I don't think it has anything to do with liberty or sin, I think it has to do with "do you LOVE me More than this?" It isn't an idol in itself, it is what people make it. Can you lay it down? Why does it make you angry that others have laid it down and are sharing the reasons why? I don't see how that is persecution.

These are my replies to your statements (in order)

Dear Jeff, What moved you to tears? Was it your soul (the flesh) or your spirit unto godly repentance? You haven’t really told us ‘what’ moved you.

So now anyone who does not agree with you is a ‘cynic’? I made it very clear in all my comments that I codemn no one, even sent blessings of peace to one writer for the weekend….

I thought our hope was that we would not be indifferent to the LORD’s Words…and that we would encourage each other till the end…

In the NIV version of Col 2:16 the cross reference listed is Leviticus 23:2 “These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies”. Why do Christians insist on using this verse to mean xmas, easter, halloween and such? What Paul is saying is that we are not judged (we are not SAVED by observing these feasts of the LORD because they were/are signs to His first appearing and then to His second).

When we speak of “liberty” I think we might consider that we are ‘free to obey the LORD, by His grace given’. We are not to ‘sin that grace abound’ and take our ‘liberty/freedom’ for granted. (Would your wife appreciate some super hot chick dressed in revealing clothes, come to your house and hang all over you, flirting with you? Heck no!!! )

Jeff, I want you to know I certainly don’t feel condemned or judge or anything by you or anyone on this website. I am curious though, if you are going to reply to my comment?....

Defcons excerpt gives us no more liberty than the Pope! I don’t get why you are putting confidence in what a guy says?

Please make clear what “charges” you are talking about.
cont

I totally agree, that you don’t owe me an account on anything you do. As Christians we can choose to be transparent though. And if we do, we open ourselves up to examination by the brethren (or others), which makes me wonder why you would post on xmas in the first place. If you were so confident in your position, why put it out there? If it is so ‘indifferent’ than why not keep to UFO’s and movies and such?.

""Really? Can someone please tell me why the Lord chose to mix evil with righteousness then when we read about the Magi travelling thousands of miles to bring glory, honor, and praise to His Son Jesus Christ?"" Jeff, I say this in love, but the LORD rebuke you for this statement. Do you think for a moment the Magi kept their magic making practices? Scripture states they were warned by GOD in a dream to go another way and not report back to Herod. Does GOD speak to unbelievers? John 9:31 We know that God does NOT listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who DOES his will. Acts 19:19 Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all [men]: and they counted the price of them, and found [it] fifty thousand [pieces] of silver. -- This is the power of GOD unto salvation!

Again, recorded around the time of the Feast of Tabernacles (which makes sense).

This point I agree on totally. The Magi may have not ‘known what they were doing’, but I bet when they came into the presence of GOD, they got it! (-:

It is very possible that the Pharisees and Sadducees “supposed indifference” was to cover their fear that Messiah had come without their knowing…. Remember JESUS’s Words in Revelation 3:9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not…..perhaps these Pharisees and Sadducees were practicing Kabalah. Remember JESUS’s Words in Luke 17:20 Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, "The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation,

“”The question I must ask is this: Are some of us Christians perhaps acting like the people in Bethlehem and Jerusalem who were alive back then -- indifferent to the birth of Jesus Christ? Clearly, there are some striking parallels between then and now, are there not?”” No, there is no parallel at all. To me, your statement sounds very churchy, like, “if you’re not here every Sunday, you probably don’t love JESUS”. Romans 8:5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
cont

‘’He is more pleased with acts of forgiveness and kindness than strict external compliance to the law.’’ I can agree with that to an extent. I think we can show acts of forgiveness and kindness without compromising prudence, truth and righteousness. Some of your statements show how we became a wicked nation allowing abortion to be legalized. By twisting things around especially Scripture we can make these blank statements fit anything: abortion, homosexual marriage and adoption, legalize sex with kids….

“”He is telling the Pharisees that, though they were exacting in keeping the letter of the law, they had completely missed its intent. In Matthew 23:23, He reminds them of this very point: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone." “”
Quote the rest of that chapter! The whole chapter sounds like the whore of Babylon 501c3 church!! Christians care more about the external worship of xmas and will fight to the end to be able to keep it (even though it is not Scriptural). Verse 32 is most alarming. “Fill up, then, the measure of the sin of your forefathers!” Ezekiel 20:4 Will you judge them, son of man? Then confront them with the detestable practices of their fathers and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign LORD says: On the day I chose Israel, I swore with uplifted hand to the descendants of the house of Jacob and revealed myself to them in Egypt. With uplifted hand I said to them, “I am the LORD your GOD. On that day I swore to them that I would bring them out of Egypt into a land I had searched out for them, a land flowing with milk and honey, the most beautiful of all lands. And I said to them, “Each of you, get rid of the vile images you have set your eyes on, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt. I am the LORD your GOD.

“”This illustrates that the nature of God is to be merciful.”” I hear you Jeff, but you have to be careful not to mix up mercy with truth. When someone is telling the truth its not that they are not being merciful.

“”Again, think astrology and magic, which is a perversion and counterfeit form of astronomy and the supernatural/miracles””. Yes, but there is no account of the Holy Spirit changing their hearts while they traveled to see King JESUS……

jeff

first I just want to make clear here, I never said it was not ok to celebrate the birth of CHRIST.

my whole point was it should be celebrated at the correct time of year, as to not confuse those seeking christ!!!
also all the pagan attributes should be removed, for the same reasons.

CHRIST"S birth should be celebrated at the feast of tabernacles in late september.
this is when he was born!!!
he was placed in mary's womb on dec 25th
that feast or holyday is the 7th and last holyday in GODS WORD!!!
as I have said in the last posting
7 is the holy # of JESUS CHRIST!!!
the 7th day is the day of rest or the sabbath, JESUS CHRRIST is our sabbath.
yes, I agree mostly with what you have said here, except that I believe that these magi who traveled all these miles had already converted to the GOD of abraham, jacob and issac!!! and believed on JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!

this is why GOD chose them!!!

the pharasees and saducces where threatend by the arrival of JESUS CHRIST!!! because they believed they would loose their standing as the chosen of GOD., and the romans would come and take away their happy little cushy easy life as the rulers of judea and it's people as slaves.

this is what I have been trying to explane for 2 years now!!! they still rule in judea and are trying to control the entire earth. as the new world order.

anyway I believe that the magi were the very first CHRISTIANS!!!
GOD is infalable and this lines everything up in that train of thought !!!!!!! AMEN

john

“”One more thing in closing. In the previous post, I was adamant about the fact that the Sovereignty of the Lord is the key point to accurately understanding this whole discussion. God is sovereign and so NOTHING that has happened, is happening, or will happen ever takes Him by surprise because He is in complete and total control from beginning to end. To put it another way, He has decreed and ordained all things from eternity past””. True! And that truth should make us want to be pure before Him in every way? Amen? Even if it includes following the narrow road and not participating in something the Holy Spirit is leading some to not participate in! Romans 9:22 What if GOD, choosing to show His wrath and make His power known, bore with great patience the objects of His wrath—prepared for destruction? (Scary enough?)
“”As before, I'm just asking because I think it's a valid question””. You “think” this is a valid question. But it comes from a belief in the church ‘system’ of how things are done. “Just walk the isle, say a prayer and get your fire insurance here at such and such Baptist church”. Or baptize your infants, confess to the priest, show up for the high holy days and people will see that you are a true believer.

""The Pharisees, who had the truth"" Did they? That is debatable. They had their idea of what their savior was going to be like and still do!, ""were unaware, apathetic, and indifferent. They were not seeking their King. Isaiah 55:6 invites us to, “Seek the Lord while He may be found.” If you are seeking Him, He will guide you to Himself just as He did the Magi.""

“”In that sense, perhaps the annual celebration of Christmas on December 25th is a modern day version of the star that our Sovereign Lord will use to lead some of the men and women (some of the men and women that He is already drawing) closer to Him””. Or it could be that antichrist is “drawing” people closer to him via sensual means instead of by Spirit and in Truth.

""Isn't that possible my friends?"" Jeff, anything is possible with GOD, but as David says, “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Psalm 51:6

Peace,
Deirdre

[email protected]:10pm,

Your comments actually made my point my friend!

You wrote...

"The issue is IF and HOW one would celebrate the Lord's birth."

I wholeheartedly agree. As cited in this article in the very beginning (in the excerpt from DefCon), I believe that Romans 14-15 and Colissians 2:16-23 places this issue "into the Biblical category of a matter of indifference and liberty", and so that clears up the "IF" portion of your statement.

Now, the "HOW" portion is also what I've been trying to emphasize too. If we approach it with the right heart and mind, then what's the problem?

Just because you (by your own admission) and other Christians in your sphere of influence never used Christmas as an opportunity to witness to a lost world doesn't mean that it can't be done by others.

In Christ,
Jeff ("JRed")

[email protected]:35pm,

For the record, I do not feel "persecuted" in the least bit my friend. Just the mere suggestion of using that word as if it somehow applies to a disagreement about doctrine with other brothers and sisters in Christ online is surprising to me. After all, I wrote extensively just a 2-3 weeks ago about Richard Wurmbrand and his testimony documented in "Tortured For Christ" and repeatedly called us all to task for thinking we're being "persecuted" for our faith when someone mocks or ridicules us especially when other members of the body are being tortured and slaughtered this very day because of their unwavering faith in Jesus Christ.

This comment was thrown at me in the previous post too, but I would just like to state -- once again, for the record -- that I most certainly DO NOT feel like I'm being "persecuted", or would even dare describe a Christian "debate" in those terms my friend.

Folks, this is how mature discussions are had -- one side gives it's perspective, and the other responds. My responses that formulate these posts are me "being a bit defensive" only in as much as that's the nature of any debate; to defend your position. I can assure you there's no anger, animosity, or ill will in my heart towards anyone who disagrees with me on this subject. I thought I went to great lengths to make that plain in this piece in the very beginning that you're free to disagree. I'm sorry that it wasn't crystal clear.

Your Brother In Christ,
Jeff ("JRed")

Dear Anonymous 4:10,
Amen and Amen!!

(Merry Christmas---happy death of the Christ) Why? because in the Mass a sacrifice is offerend again and again and again. To the RCC it is the Lord Himself they offer, when His Word says He died Once for all!

Every xmas eve the RCC CELEBRATES the RE-PRESENTATION of Christ on the cross. This eve to the day is considered a HIGH HOLY DAY THAT IS TO BE OBSERVED BY ALL CHRISTIANS. According to the Catholic church if you do not observe xmas and easter you are not considered a true christian!! AND if you do not accept the host (communion) you are not going to be saved.

In this same Mass not only do they recreate a death, but also the birth of Christ, again and again and again.
JESUS is from eternity to eternity and commanded us to recognize/remember His death at the Passover. You know what? He may have had us remember His death (more than His birth by virtue of commanding us to in the Scripture) because He knew we too were going to die because of truth!

Jeff, I appreciate a lot of what you've written over the last couple years and for sharing your heart. I say this is love to you:

What agreement is there between the temple of GOD and idols? For WE are the temple of the living GOD. As GOD has said,: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their GOD, and they will be my people." "THEREFORE COME OUT FROM THEM AND BE SEPARATE, SAYS THE LORD. TOUCH NO UNCLEAN THING, AND I WILL RECEIVE YOU,..." 2Cor6:16-18
2Cor7:1 SINCE WE HAVE THESE PROMISES, DEAR FRIENDS, LET US PURIFY OURSELVES FROM EVERYTHING THAT CONTAMINATES BODY AND SPIRIT, PERFECTING HOLINESS OUT OF REVERENCE FOR GOD.
Peace,
Deirdre

[email protected]:35pm,

I almost forgot. You also wrote...

"Are you really suggesting that he trained them in sorcery? "

I'm confused. When did I ever suggest that Daniel trained them in sorcery?

You concluded with...

"I think the Lord is telling you not to celebrate Christmas and you don't want to give it up. I don't think it has anything to do with liberty or sin, I think it has to do with 'do you LOVE me More than this?' It isn't an idol in itself, it is what people make it. Can you lay it down? Why does it make you angry that others have laid it down and are sharing the reasons why? I don't see how that is persecution."

First and foremost, can we just stop this? It's not about me or anyone else except our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. All of this -- all of it -- is for His glory, honor, and praise so why does it even matter what I "really" think especially when I feel I've poured out my soul already on this subject?

That's another thing. I'm sorry my friend, but please don't try to suggest that you know what is between me and the Lord (or that you know what I'm thinking and feeling). That's not right. Besides, this blog is a testament to me being an "open book" in a sense so that my testimony and witness is authentic and genuine for His glory, honor, and praise.

I'm led to believe that you may be a new visitor to this site b/c otherwise you would've had ample evidence over the past 2+ years of how I have publicly apologized for the times when I was in error about something. Why? Because the Scriptures tell us to humble ourselves. No, I don't always succeed in my attempts at that, and when I do it's by His grace and His grace alone.

Not that I owe you an explanation (just like you do not owe me or anyone else an explanation about anything that's between you and the Lord), but lastly, no, I won't "lay it down" because I do not believe that's what the Lord wants me to do in this case as evidenced by the information contained in the past two lengthy commentaries/studies on this subject.

In Christ,
Jeff ("JRed")

To celebrate the birth of our Savior and in essence our Salvation is more than proper. Do not let the deception of the comercialization of Christmas get in the way of you celebrating his Birth, whether he was born on the 25th or not. Satan would love for us to forget his birth and if you open your eyes you can see him trying to destroy this celebration in the world today. To actually celebrate in your heart and soul with loved ones and make it central why you gather is more than ok why shouldnt we proclaim our faith by celebrating the most important day in History a day when the Lord gave us the best gift of all Himself in human form. From that day many souls have been saved from hells fire. On the 25th I walked out into my backyard and looked up onto heaven and thanked God for his birth and his gift of eternal life and we celebrated him not Santa and all the comercial things just simply his gift.
God Bless You all
Sal

Jumbo shrimp
military intelligence
christians against Christmas

One of these is not like the others... If your basing your life solely upon the law aka legalistically, you probably will have nothing but the jewish feasts to celebrate. I suggest all who fall into this category within the LUF forumn gather up all the scriptures on faith you can and selah. You may re-discover what attracted you to the Lord in the first place which is liberation from the limits and boundaries of the legalism. The captives are FREE!

Dear Sal,
I think what you said was beautiful and from your heart. The matter here is not so much His birth. I think the lost world would have focus on 'births' of gods, whereas JESUS wants us to focus on HIS life. The whole of it.
Peace,
Deirdre

Deirdre,

My dear sister, why are you responding to this post as if I wrote it with you, or only you, in mind?

There were 100+ replies to my Christmas commentary. Not to mention additional messages sent vie email and Facebook. This was my follow-up in response to ANYONE who disagrees with my assessment of this heated debate. I'm sorry that you've taken it personally, but I cannot stress enough to you how I do not hold any anger, animosity, or ill-will toward you or anyone else who disagrees with me.

I'm having a tough time trying to figure out how to respond to all of these comments here too because I feel like (1) my statements are being ripped out of context, (2) that there's no point in going round and round in circles because I'm not trying to "win" anything, but simply putting my assessment out there and encouraging my fellow brothers and sisters to take it to the Lord in prayer, and (3) because I don't believe there's anything else I could add to this subject that I haven't addressed already I'm afraid.

I'll try anyway...

(continued in next comment)

(continued from previous comment)

> Why write about Christmas in the first place? Because I believed that this topic (the birth of Christ and whether to celebrate it on the 25th or not) was a little more important that writing speculative pieces about "UFOs" and movies. It's why there have been more Bible study type pieces and quotes from famous preachers -- I want to grow and mature as a Christian by learning about Him and His Word 9and applying it to my life) instead of just speculating all time with those symbolism studies.

> Thank you for the alternative view on the Magi. I will most certainly take a look at that soon.

> You wrote: "Jeff, I say this in love, but the LORD rebuke you for this statement. Do you think for a moment the Magi kept their magic making practices?" That's a whole other debate we could have, but we do know that the Magi were astrologers who read the stars and that's why they noticed the Star of Bethlehem, right? But even if that's the case, that's not the point I was trying to make here. We must remember the context. Those who encountered the Magi when they arrived knew they were Magi, and they knew what the Magi were all about -- astrology and magic. Thus, even though they revealed why they were there, the Pharisees/Sadducees disregarded them. Why is it a stretch to think that they blew off the Magi thinking, "Please! These astrologers are here to tell us about our holy Word and the expected birth of the Messiah? I don't think so!" After all, didn't they treat Jesus the same way? They even attributed His miracles to the power of Satan! That was my point.

> No, it's just that the hypothetical comment I came up with is the definition of being "cynical" in light of the statement just prior.

> You wrote: "Does GOD speak to unbelievers? John 9:31 We know that God does NOT listen to sinners. He listens to the godly man who DOES his will." Speaking and listening are two different things. True, He does not listen to sinners, but He most certainly speaks to unbelievers. Isn't that how each and every one of us was born again and saved? We were lost, non-believing sinners. He spoke to us each in different ways as He was drawing us to Him. We heard His call, heard the Gospel, repented, and believed in His Son Jesus Christ and what He did for us, right?

(Sorry, to be continued...)

(final piece...)

> You wrote: "Quote the rest of that chapter! The whole chapter sounds like the whore of Babylon 501c3 church!!" Deirdre, I agree, but the excerpt that prompted you to write those words came from another referenced source. I cited the source and preserved it word-for-word as an excerpt. Soon after, you wrote, "I hear you Jeff, but you have to be careful not to mix up mercy with truth. When someone is telling the truth its not that they are not being merciful." Again, those were not my words, but those that came from The Berean excerpt I referenced.

> You wrote: "'Again, think astrology and magic, which is a perversion and counterfeit form of astronomy and the supernatural/miracles'. Yes, but there is no account of the Holy Spirit changing their hearts while they traveled to see King JESUS..." Ok, now I'm really confused b/c moments earlier in a previous comment you lectured me on how "a case can also be made that they weren't the Satanic priests you describe" when you cited the Kelley study, or when you wrote, "Jeff, I say this in love, but the LORD rebuke you for this statement. Do you think for a moment the Magi kept their magic making practices?", but now this statement contradicts all of that! Which is it then?

> You wrote: "'The Pharisees, who had the truth' Did they? That is debatable." It's not debatable. That's the literal truth. It's why Jesus called them hypocrites. It's why He was furious with them for not knowing who He was b/c they had full access to the Scriptures and even knew them so well to the point where they could quote them accurately and at will. Now, "figuratively" speaking (if that's what you meant), no, they did not have the truth obviously.

> DefCon's excerpt is concise and because I agree with it 100% (it's a statement that supports both sides of this issue) I felt it was appropriate here. More importantly, it's entirely Biblical too.

> You wrote: "Dear Jeff, What moved you to tears? Was it your soul (the flesh) or your spirit unto godly repentance? You haven’t really told us ‘what’ moved you...You 'think' this is a valid question. But it comes from a belief in the church ‘system’ of how things are done. 'Just walk the isle, say a prayer and get your fire insurance here at such and such Baptist church'. Or baptize your infants, confess to the priest, show up for the high holy days and people will see that you are a true believer." These words truly saddened me b/c you've been here long enough to know me, to read the various Bible studies, and listen to the various podcasts, to know that that's just not true. I don't believe any of that and have worked tirelessly by His power to refute those misguided popular beliefs in contemporary Christianity.

Praying For Restoration Between A Brother And Sister In Christ,
Jeff ("JRed")

Jeff, as I read your post, I felt a kinship, I also was moved to tears at our church's Christmas Eve service, and, I felt the same move of the Holy Spirit as I read your post. I am with you.

As I read through the posts here, it was chililng. Clearly, your posting on Christmas has given rise to far more than just a Christmas controversy. It is one thing to disagree as we all learn together, but it is more than that. The tone of disagreement is what is chilling.

As I posted earlier, we are to treat each other with love and respect, gentleness and kindheartedness. Indeed Christ said the world would know us by our love for each other. It is clear that there is a spirit moving in these discussions that is displacing this love, and that is what I have found chilling.

Press on Jeff, you are not alone. I bear witness to the presence of the Holy Spirit in your company.

I had read Fortson's research the other day and wondered if you would see it. So glad to see you included it in this piece. Question? What do you make of his new book? I doubt you've read it yet, but I'm reffering to the premise. Having included that quote, you've most likely seen all the info on it that I have. Thoughts?

Many years ago, when we discovered the roots and traditions that make up Christmas, we did not stop the practice at that time. Neither did others it seems. These discussions, near as we can determine, are of a more recent time frame.
During this hour, as the Lord is bringing purification to His Bride, as the trappings of the world are falling off, as sanctification is progressing more deeply in the Body of Christ, these discussions are becoming more frequent, and testimonies of those who stopped, more much numerous.
If this was another topic, most would likely conclude that the Holy Spirit was at work, drawing His people to walk in Truth and away from traditions of man.
How sad, that His work in the lives of Christians is being called, legalism, kill joy, “pharissee ism”, liberty limiting, or worse, Satanic etc. This call to stop, is coming from the Lord, not the enemy.
For most of us, we were unable to clearly "see" until we just obeyed, and stopped. Then His grace showed us what we could not see while we were still participants.
As sanctification takes place, one understands the ways of God much more clearly. He is still the God that warns against ANY leaven in the loaf. The “tools” that are used to worship other gods have no place amongst the people of God, thus we are simply being told to stop!
It really is that simple. When one needs to come up with lengthy rationales, “interpretations”, assumptions etc, simplicity is lost, and most often, so is the Truth.
Maranatha!!!

I've enjoyed reading (although not in depth so far) these posts about the holiday season. Both camps have so many good arguments, good stuff Jeff.

:)

“How did pagan magicians know where to look for Christ?” The answer may or may not surprise you, depending on how familiar you are with the Old Testament.

“Then the king made Daniel a great man, and gave him many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon.” – Daniel 2:48

Daniel was made “chief of the governors over all the WISE MEN of Babylon”. Why Cyrus the Persian took over, he kept Daniel in his position that was bestowed to him by Nebuchadnezzar. When we get to the NT, we find the following:

Where do you get that the magi are pagan if they were trained by Daniel? Do you think he himself would risk his life to serve the one true God and then deny God in the realm of "education"? Everything Daniel knew and was, was because of God. These magi were BELIEVERS (they believed Daniel's teaching on the coming KING of the Jews), and like all believers they left their home to follow HIM.
Does your aticle not accuse the wise men of being sorcerers? Was Daniel also a sorcerer, he was after all called the cheif magician.
You want to celebrate Christmas. Fine. But do you have to make accusations against the magi to do it? The magi could have been part of the Babylon Jewish population.
Jred, I have been reading your blog for over a year. And I believe that we could agree that there is "information" that has been lost. I believe that much of atrology is a perversion of the signs God has put in the sky. I have watched the star of Bethleham and I believe that all HEAVEN and earth proclaim the glory of God.

...you were writing very careful... considerate...and in Truth

..thank you.

Lone

Jeff,
I can see where it sounded confusing about the Magi. Certainly I meant that their hearts were changing (but there wasn't an account of that. Surely they wouldn't bow down to just anyone). I responed to your post as if we were in the same room...writing can be so ambiguous...Sorry if I offended you with my way of responding.

If you think that it is ok to celebrate a baptised roman catholic festival (that is clearly pagan and the RCC is clearly wrong)than all I am saying is examine the Scriptures alone (Sola Scriptura) and see what He says about all of this. Between me and the others who have posted so much info, there should be enough for you to read and pray on about this subject. The very fact that you went to a 'church' to 'celebrate' this pagan festival says a lot.

All and I mean ALL churches are daughters of their whore mother Catholicism. I know...strong words...but I've been there and done that with enough denominations to know what I say.

It seems to me that you have one foot in the church door and one in the Word. And this is not uncommon for a lot of people. I was once there myself. Wavering back and forth, trying to make sense of so much 'doctrine'. But when you see the whole picture from the Word that an enemy has come in to decieve and will lead MANY astray by cunning doctrines, I had to obey 2Cor6 and come out!

You know, when Shoshana wrote you and said she was in tears, it wasn't because you offended her. No way. I relate to exactly what she said, for my heart breaks too. I too was there. I put up the xmas trees and sang the songs and thought for sure I was honoring the LORD. But I was wrong and no one but the LORD showed me that I was. Why? Because EVERYONE is doing it! The LORD told us that when we recieved the Holy Spirit, He would teach us all things and convict us of all things too.
cont

Sometimes we want such a clear Scriptural Word for what we are seeking and we may not find it. However the LORD will show His children what He wants. Let me tell you a short testimony. I wanted to get a third piercing in my ear about a year ago. I read through the Scriptures, found varying verses pro and con. So off I went to get my ear pierced. While I was waiting I heard in my spirit, "not now". I wanted the piercing: it was a totally flesh centered want and I justified thinking it was not a big deal. However, I also knew in my spirit that the still small voice I heard was the Spirit. I wavered. I got my ear pierced and within an hour I had shooting pain. It never got red or pus, but it hurt. I wanted to endure the pain for the sake of my idol! On the eighth day I looked in the mirror and repented to the LORD. As soon as I took the earing out I was pain free. I was altogher shocked and humbled that I (who profess JESUS) would compromise for the sake of a tiny earing! What a dork I am!

I have a grown son whom I celebrated xmas with. We had a birthday cake for JESUS and focused the whole day on Him. We gave gifts and were sweet with our friends and neighbors; parties, giving, volunteering with toy runs, church, you name it we did it and we always steered our kids to the Lord. However, my son does not walk with the LORD. And xmas is neither here nor there to him. He is most definetly INDIFFIRENT to it! Our other children however, who are teens, did a long Bible study on xmas and came to their own conclusions via the Holy Spirit, that they were not to engage in this type of activity.

Jeff, truth is the power unto salvation. In my walk with the LORD I want so badly NOT to compromise. Case in point: would I give CPR to someone with AIDs-yes! Would I invite a prostitute into my home who has herpies and let her eat off of my plates-yes (and I have). Would I talk with a pot smoking, strung out twenty yr old--yes. Would I share JESUS with a stripper outside her club--yes. But I wont go into clubs, share needles or smoke pot just to get along or prove that those things couldn't affect me. We are to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. When we "do" as the whole world does, we are viewed as no different than the world.
I know people who have used the birth control pill for years never knowing it was a an abortifacient (something that causes abortions). But as soon as they found out the truth, they stopped using the pill. Not wanting to have a baby is one thing, killing him/her is another!
cont

(erg I think I may have lost some writing oh well, sorry if this is a repeat)

Sometimes we want such a clear Scriptural Word for what we are seeking and we may not find it. However the LORD will show His children what He wants. Let me tell you a short testimony. I wanted to get a third piercing in my ear about a year ago. I read through the Scriptures, found varying verses pro and con. So off I went to get my ear pierced. While I was waiting I heard in my spirit, "not now". I wanted the piercing: it was a totally flesh centered want and I justified thinking it was not a big deal. However, I also knew in my spirit that the still small voice I heard was the Spirit. I wavered. I got my ear pierced and within an hour I had shooting pain. It never got red or pus, but it hurt. I wanted to endure the pain for the sake of my idol! On the eighth day I looked in the mirror and repented to the LORD. As soon as I took the earing out I was pain free. I was altogher shocked and humbled that I (who profess JESUS) would compromise for the sake of a tiny earing! What a dork I am!

I have a grown son whom I celebrated xmas with. We had a birthday cake for JESUS and focused the whole day on Him. We gave gifts and were sweet with our friends and neighbors; parties, giving, volunteering with toy runs, church, you name it we did it and we always steered our kids to the Lord. However, my son does not walk with the LORD. And xmas is neither here nor there to him. He is most definetly INDIFFIRENT to it! Our other children however, who are teens, did a long Bible study on xmas and came to their own conclusions via the Holy Spirit, that they were not to engage in this type of activity.

cont

Jeff, truth is the power unto salvation. In my walk with the LORD I want so badly NOT to compromise. Case in point: would I give CPR to someone with AIDs-yes! Would I invite a prostitute into my home who has herpies and let her eat off of my plates-yes (and I have). Would I talk with a pot smoking, strung out twenty yr old--yes. Would I share JESUS with a stripper outside her club--yes. But I wont go into clubs, share needles or smoke pot just to get along or prove that those things couldn't affect me. We are to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. When we "do" as the whole world does, we are viewed as no different than the world.
I know people who have used the birth control pill for years never knowing it was a an abortifacient (something that causes abortions). But as soon as they found out the truth, they stopped using the pill. Not wanting to have a baby is one thing, killing him/her is another!

You can have all the warm fuzzies you want about xmas but it is not a witness to the world of Who the true Savior is.

Peace,
Deirdre

Dear Jeff,
PS. You listed Joseph Herrin on your side bar as a good site to go to. Perhaps reading this
https://www.heart4god.ws/id585.htm
from his site may prove to be better than my words? He is older in age and has walked with the LORD quite some time now...
Peace,
Deirdre

Jeff, I loved both of the posts you have a heart for JESUS. Stay strong Brother! satan loves stirring things up between believers . God talks to us each differently , I myself don't have a tree we put our gifts around Joseph Mary and Jesus , its a great conversation starter...... I'm here to plant as many mustard seeds as I can in these last days and any day is a good day . But I have to say Christmas is Awe inspiring . Jesus I believe smiles at his children celebrating his birth, weather it was conception or actual birth, But the true miracle was conception. Was it not? That is when life begins! And that is what I celebrate .
In Christ!

Dear Jeff,

let me tell you a bit about myself before I continue. I responded twice in your previous post - the one who had been a Roman Catholic for about twenty years.

I was born and raised as a Catholic. And I was devout - I tried my best to follow the teachings and traditions of the Roman Catholic church, believing it would please God. Now that I learned the truth about that religion, I just find it disgusting to take part in any RC tradition. I don't think you truly understand how much that harlot church mocks God.

I don't understand why you keep using the wise men to justify your act of celebrating Christmas. It doesn't make sense. Jeff, throughout the world there were gentiles who truly believed in God (do you want examples; search the scriptures). And the wise men were one of them. Again, I perceive you want to justify your act because it 'feels good' and you think you are pleasing God. Think again. Roman Catholics try to be good, thinking it pleases God when the truth is they are only increasing his wrath. Jeff, you are a man full of knowledge - you know the truth about Christmas, yet you refuse to let it go. Just let it go. Let it go.

There will always be Christians like us who will never take part of the December 25 celebration. And no, we are not indifferent of the birth of Jesus Christ - on the contrary we are far more interested in knowing the actual date of his birth. We desire to know Christ more, but not through vain traditions of men! Stick to the scriptures. The Roman Catholic church is Satan's powerful tool of deception.

Jeff, you know a lot. Again, you are a man full of knowledge! I just can't believe you are partaking in a twisted pagan tradition. Incorporating Jesus Christ in a vile tradition is just a perfect lure for us Christians - a deception.

Jesse

@Anon 7:11, please sign your post with something unique so I can ignore your babbling b.s. You've obviously taken over this blog and are holding it hostage with your complete lack of common sense. But dont feel to entitled it's happened many times before...

"Just because you (by your own admission) and other Christians in your sphere of influence never used Christmas as an opportunity to witness to a lost world doesn't mean that it can't be done by others."
Is that what the writer said? I took the writer to mean that their efforts to use these pagan holidays to lead others to Christ led to no fruitation. I would agree with that statement. I have used Christmas pagents to try to lead the unsaved to Christ. I have never met anyone in my thirty plus years of church attendance who was "saved" or whose life was changed during a Christmas performance. It is JUST another STORY to them. Like Santa, the easter bunny, ect....

Anonymous 8:47
said...
please sign your post with something unique so I can ignore your babbling b.s.
What does b.s. stand for?

Zac Loh is an Indonesian Christian Pastor who is my friend on Facebook. He wrote this today: Do you not drink water and eat food? Do you not look before you cross the street? Don’t you ever go to sleep?



Grace is not anti-do’s-and-don’ts. Grace gives us the ability to rule the do’s-and-don’ts. Grace gives us sensibility and wisdom. Grace gives us divine perspective. Grace gives us the real freedom. Not a false sense of freedom.



Are you burdened by the demands of life, and oppressed by religious demands and demands of society, demands placed on you?


Go for the real freedom. Do not lean on a false freedom. Do not replace the bad with the false.

This expresses my opinion completely. Christ came to set us free. When we get all bound up in the do not's we end up right back where we came from. We are free to worship Him in spirit and truth as He leads us individually.

"Therefore don't let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come, the substance is the Messiah." Colossians 2:16-17

"After there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them: "Brothers, you are aware that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles would hear the gospel message and believe. And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving the Holy Spirit, just as He also did to us. He made no distinction between us and them, cleansing their hearts by faith. Why, then are you now testing God by putting on the disciples necks a yoke that neither our forefathers nor we have been able to bear? On the contrary we believe we are saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus in the same way they are." Acts 15:7-11

"For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written: Cursed is everyone who does not continue doing everything written in the law." Galatians 3:10

Rob,
Is someone under law who is listening to the Holy Spirit and obeying what He says to do? Or is someone under law who obliges themselves to the harlot church?
Deirdre

Deirdre, your question like your argument is absurd. I'm sure you regret posting it.

... i get that the Magi came to seek the Messiah...they listened to God. But his chosen people, besides Mary and Joseph, were blind to his arrival although it was written, and Daniel prepared for it long ago.
...and so it is today...God speaks to us and we respond in faith, and his chosen people are still blind. We the church will be removed and then God will deal with Israel.
...let's not sin by condemning who celebrates Christmas...we do not know each others heart...beside the fact that we are sealed by his Holy Spirit. Let us be found building up each other, not tearing down.
...want to stand for Christ...what have any of you done to stand for Christ and the new "No tell policy"???? How can such a thing happen in a Christian country???
...blessings of God's peace rest on each of you this day!

Enough, let's play devil's advoacate and assume he is a whiley ol' serpant advantaged with every event large and small held in his twisted mind and with full access at all times past to these events.
Now, let's further conclude that the Catholic church is merely a religous utility in satans arsenal, like a lie or a good lawyer...
So your stating that with all of these resources at his hands, he chooses to manipulate sincere believers into worshipping The Son of God on Dec. 25 as His birthday?

But wait! Phsyce! it's not actually the authenticate date of Jesus' birth. Now the devil has you passionately and with heartfelt passion worshiping and giving thanks for His graceful and merciful act but it's not ont he correct date.
I get the sense that there would be no debate whatsoever, had i worshiped His birthday on Dec. 5 or maybe Oct. 13. How about Aug. 22?

It's been stated countless times in uppper and lower case. It is about the heart and what is in it that God looks upon.
Stop with the false humility and admit that you may be worng. Only then can you downgrade to just arrogant.

Jeff,

Your post is so profound that it's tough to adequately touch on everything & express how much I appreciate and am grateful to God for everything you eloquently stated, and that He guided your words and thoughts to beautiful completion with this Christmas post. You have a tremendous gift for conveying your thoughts and I appreciate all the hard work you've put into both Christmas posts; it shows. Thank you.

The Magi, the Star of Bethlehem...yes, such beautiful, powerful, life-altering events! Even the Heavens proclaimed the magnificent birth of our Savior - The Sign to proclaim Christ's 1st Coming. The Magi gifts were powerfully symbolic, and when they saw young Jesus they "fell down" and worshipped Him!:

Gift of Gold - (King)

It's believed that the gift of gold financed Mary & Joseph's flight to Egypt, and the Heavenly city and its streets, the New Jerusalem, will be completely fashioned of pure gold! (Rev. 21:18-21)

Gift of Frankincense - (Priest)

The Magi’s gift of frankincense to the little child in Bethlehem is symbolic of sacrifice, Christ’s sweet savor, and His Heavenly role as our eternal High Priest.

Gift of Myrrh - (Prophet)

The Magi's gift of myrrh - a valuable gum resin which oozes from gashes cut in the bark of the Commiphora tree. The resin hardens into tear-dropped chunks and is powdered to make medicinal ointments and perfumes. (The gashes are poignant reminders of the wounds Christ received when flogged by Roman soldiers.)

I love how the Bethlehem Star came to rest precisely above where Jesus was located; how fabulous is that? The sun, moon & stars are designated in God's word to serve as "signs" (Luke 21:25 - "And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon and in the stars;" which we're seeing through birth pangs today to serve as signs for Christ's 2nd Coming!) and, as you pointed out from Genesis, "He made the stars also;" the Star of Bethlehem was indeed a miraculous Sign! The Bible also speaks of The Sign in Heaven at Christ's 2nd Coming in Matthew 24:30 -

"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

Surely this Heavenly sign at Christ's 2nd Coming will not be met with "indifference!" The indifference aspect of celebrating Christ's birth that you mentioned may, perhaps, be prophetic as a common demoninator for our end times' generation...that His miraculous, virgin birth may be, sadly, met with indifference and not celebrated at all each year. Potential shades of II Timothy 3...wordly concerns engulfing us vs. setting our minds on things (Him) above.

(continued...)

(continued from previous post)

I was touched by your story that you were moved to tears during your Christmas Eve church service and its impact on your heart. Your story is quite simple, and no psychoanalyzing is necessary at all with questions posed to you of why you cried! (tears are God-given at birth, serve a physical & emotional purpose, and also convey a tender, receptive heart). Christ's conviction touched you, and you came before Him, in essence, with pure child-like faith and devotion (Matthew 18:3 - "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children..."). Your tears were your "sign!" Christ showed you the way, and you followed His divine direction. Can you imagine your life today without Christ's potent intervention & direction of your steps?

I wonder if perhaps the Christmas debate is a diversion as well (tactic driven by the enemy) to distract our minds off of our Savior's birth, with the energy instead being partially devoted to defense of such, while simultaneously preventing us from the opportunity to witness to the unsaved while there's still time, and also watching for His soon coming in the clouds. The Bible says that He will return when we don't expect Him! Luke 12:40 - "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." Wow...

I wonder how many more Christmas seasons we'll be given on earth to celebrate Christ's birth? The tribulation seems close, and tomorrow is never guaranteed: James 4:14 - "Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away."

Please come quickly, Lord!

Diedre, many people say that they are listening to the Holy Spirit but that doesn't prove that they are. If what they say lines up with the Word then we can test if what they are saying is truly from God. The scripture states "Therefore don't let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come, the substance is the Messiah." God is not going to tell us to judge someone based on what feast day he or she celebrates as unto the Lord if His Word explicitly tells us not to do the same. Those of you who are acting as spiritual judges need to repent before God and also your brothers and sisters whom you have offended. My hope is that you will do this beginning now and from now on, blog about things that are edifying and uplifting to the body of Christ.

Some more thoughts:

We all agree, all should be and are focused on Jesus during this day. As such, we are all of the same spirit.

That is pretty interesting that the majority of the people posting that Christmas should not be celebrated are posting as anonymous, while the majority of those who see the value in using Christmas to bring people to Christ use their names. Why are you hiding?

I have personally seen people saved during Christmas services at our church. Without question, at least at the spirit filled church I attend, the Holy Spirit honors his peoples celebrations during Christmas services.

I could be wrong, but I think there is a fair chance we would have the same conversations with the same people on the same sides regarding the rapture being pre or mid/post trib and pre or post /a millennium. Perhaps I'm wrong about this crowd, however, I have seen a correlation, and even had one person tell me on another blog that Jesus was not God, that the Bible never made that claim, and that is one reason Christmas should not be celebrated.

It would be interesting to see just what all the anonymous folks really believe. For the record, I'm pre...trib and millenial.

Dear Anonymous 9:08
You correctly understood my point, but Jeff didn't seem to.
We don't know anyone whose testimony includes them being drawn by the Father through these holidays, into a conviction that resulted in new birth. Emotionally impacted at times by beautiful music, or maybe some increase in knowing the "story",but that was about it.
Participants assign much more significance than what the unsaved "see". It is not an "outreach" tool for all practical purposes and apparent "results". It is reasonable to conclude. that there is no fruit of repentance using these devices, because the Holy Spirit is not at work in using those "tools".
With the customs of trees, yule logs, holly, over eating, over spending etc. laid aside, what's left is now Magi as a rationale to continue a practice that has no scriptural command???? Sounds like a stretch.
Side note: The discussions in the Bible re:keeping special days or not, were regarding Jewish holy days and feasts, not just any pagan feasts. Believers were not to keep them in order to obtain righteousness, but they could keep them if they wanted to. However they were not pagan feasts being discussed. Huge difference!
Maranatha!!!

I agree that the spirit issuing from these comments seems to be a spirit of dissension. Please read this post from T. Austin Sparks:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/daily-open-windows/28-december/180308235321102

I stopped reading your text though they are interesting they are too long. Have a happy 2011.

Jeff


We can remember the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ/Yahashua haMashiach

but it certainly was not on dec. 25th !

The real time of the year is easily calculated by the service of the priests of Zachariah- his duty of the house of Abia was in may/june and Mary/Mirjam was pregnant 6 months later.
That sets the time of birth around sept/oct.- Feast of tabernacles.


Then you say that YHVH uses Magi/heathen to proclaim His gospel to.

I disagree with that.
Do you remember what Jesus/Yahashua
told us, what He came to do ?
To restore the house of Israël !


And what I see in the story is,
that these Magi were descendants of te lost people of Israël,
because they knew Scripture !

And to be reconciliated with YHVH they have to come out of Babylon
and out of man-made traditions and 'magic'
and accept Jesus/Yahashua as Lord and Saviour !


They are the first to hear about the good news of the restoration of the house of David-
see Acts 15:16


This is what I found elsewhere:

In Genesis 48:19, in a finer detailed Covenant Promise to the Body, Ephraim, the son of Jacob, who was the patriarch of the 12 Tribes of Israel, is divinely promised that out of him, a “multitude of nations” would originate.

Bible history subsequently confirms that the 10 Northern Tribes of Israel (as opposed to the 2 Southern Tribes, which later became known as the Jews), issued forth from the descendants of Ephraim.

After the fall of Samaria (capital city of the Northern 10 Tribes) in 721 BCE, these 10 Tribes were deported as slaves to Babylon, under the rule of king Nebuchadnezzar. From here, they were dispersed among the nations - and today they are referred to as “The 10 Lost Tribes of Israel”.


Today there is no definite trace of these 10 tribes and many theories exist about their destination. Josephus, a Jewish historian who lived in New Testament times, was appointed by the Roman Empire to complete a historical record of the Jews, He refers to the existence of great numbers of these exiles of Israel, who, during his time, lived “across the Euphrates river amongst the nations.” (Antiq. XI,2)


The New Testament authors also refer to these Israelites “in the Dispersion” - a Prophetic concept (referred to also in Ezekiel 34:11-16).

The Old Testament in several places also refer to this group as the ‘Harlot Bride’ of YHVH, who was repudiated by Him. (Refer James 1:1; 1 Peter 1:1,2; Jeremiah 3:6-8; Hosea ch. 1 & 2; Isaiah 54:1-8 and follow up other cross references in your Bible).


Messiah Himself makes an astonishing claim in Matthew 15:24: “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” And again, in Matthew 10:5,6: “Do not turn your steps to pagan territory, and do not enter any Samaritan town; go rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel.” (Also John 11:52).


And the hidden secret
that was revealed to Paul was,
that the gentiles could joint with Israël
to inherit the promises as well-
see Romans 11:17

Refer: The Original True Gospel
https://www.revelations.org.za/Gospel.htm


May the Lord bless and keep you

Jeff, your tears were the result of a beautiful act of worship and love for the King of kings. It's too bad there are those who feel it is their job to judge your heart, and in finding your gift faulty, they knock it out of your hands into the dirt. So sad we have come to this, brothers and sisters. If any of us presumes to KNOW the heart of another's actions, and presumes to accuse others in the Bride, if you think you are the mouthpiece of God, go and read Job, start at chapter 38 where He shows up, after everyone else has been running their mouths. One thing I will say, this discussion has shown me where I have had a judgmental spirit towards others in the Bride, and Lord I repent of it, please forgive me. Let us NEVER presume to know the true heart of another, nor how the Lord Himself calls that dear one of His. We are all part of His body, yet He loves us all individually. Lord forgive us for tearing Your beloved ones down.

Dear Rob,
I am copying and pasting your reply and will reply in between what you said. I will use capital letters so as not to confuse who said what (it is not an exclamation ok? (-: )

Diedre, many people say that they are listening to the Holy Spirit but that doesn't prove that they are. If what they say lines up with the Word then we can test if what they are saying is truly from God. ROB, I TOTALLY AGREE WITH THIS. The scripture states "Therefore don't let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come, the substance is the Messiah." God is not going to tell us to judge someone based on what feast day (AGAIN, YOU MUST UNDERSTAND THAT XMAS AND EASTER ARE NOT “FEAST DAYS”-THAT IS WORDAGE FROM THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH.) FIRST, YOU ARE USING THE WORD “JUDGE” AS IF I AM “CONDEMNING” YOU. WE ARE TO JUDGE (DECIDE BY THE WORD OF GOD) IF SOMETHING IS ACCURATE/RIGHT. I NEVER CALLED ANYONE A NAME OR SAID “YOU ARE GOING TO HE-L”. IF YOU TAKE AN NIV OR GET ON THE NET AND GO TO https://www.bible.cc/colossians/2-16.htm YOU CAN LOOK UP ANY VERSE AND CROSS REFERENCE IT. CROSS REF WILL HELP THE READER UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WORD IS SAYING. HERE ARE THE CROSS REFS TO COL 2:16. Leviticus 23:2 "Speak to the Israelites and say to them: 'These are my appointed feasts, the appointed feasts of the LORD, which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies. 1 Chronicles 23:31 and whenever burnt offerings were presented to the LORD on Sabbaths and at New Moon festivals and at appointed feasts. They were to serve before the LORD regularly in the proper number and in the way prescribed for them. Nehemiah 10:33 for the bread set out on the table; for the regular grain offerings and burnt offerings; for the offerings on the Sabbaths, New Moon festivals and appointed feasts; for the holy offerings; for sin offerings to make atonement for Israel; and for all the duties of the house of our God.
CLEARLY THE WORD OF GOD IS SPEAKING OF HIS FEASTS AND SERVICES, WOULD YOU NOT AGREE? PAUL IS SAYING “AS A BELIEVER IN CHRIST, YOU ARE NO LONGER UNDER THE OBLIGATION OF KEEPING THESE FEASTS AS WAY OF OBTAINING, SALVATION BECAUSE JESUS AND HIS WORK ON THE CROSS IS COMPLETELY ENOUGH SALVATION FOR US! IF YOU READ GALATAIANS, PAUL WAS TRYING TO ENCOURAGE THE PEOPLE TO GET OUT OF THESE OLD WAYS AND TO UNDERSTAND THAT THEY WERE FREE. ALL THEY HAD TO DO WAS GO TO JESUS, NOT OFFER LAMBS, PIGEONS AND SUCH. Those of you who are acting as spiritual judges need to repent before God and also your brothers and sisters whom you have offended. My hope is that you will do this beginning now and from now on, blog about things that are edifying and uplifting to the body of Christ. ROB, ALL I HAVE DONE IS PRESENT SCRIPTURES.
Peace,
Deirdre

Sorry if that was a repeat. My internet is not working too well.

PS. Rob, you said I needed to repent. I am open. Show me by using GOD's Word that is is ok, acceptable, honorable to the LORD, to celebrate xmas. Show me in His Word that xmas and easter are indeed feasts of the LORD-feasts that He instituted and says we can enjoy. Because when you say I need to repent, you are saying that I have sinned and if I have sinned, you are absolutly right, I need and should repent.
Peace and with sincerity,
Deirdre

Great Post :-) Jeff have you seen the documentary called " The Star " ? I watched it Christmas Eve with my children and we were very blessed. The author speaks a lot about the Magi. IMHO it is a must see for Christians. This guy loves Jesus and is a solid Christian.

Also I took my kids to see the Chronicles of Narnia this past week and their was an advertisement about the North Pole. Santa's kid Arthur narrated it and Santa arrives in a Spaceship. My son said " Look it's Satan and he got rid of his reindeer" I was blown away.

Rob said "Therefore don't let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a sabbath day. These are a shadow of what was to come, the substance is the Messiah."
Is Christmas a new moon or Sabbath day?
If anyone is being "attacked" becaue of their beliefs on this forum it is Deirdre. By the way Deirdre, I am enjoying your comments. I don't see them as unkind or judgemental. You have been given information that only few can recieve. You are the one who is walking down a straight and narrow path. It is hard to reject Christmas and wordly teachings we have all been brought up with. I don't think for one second you did it because you are legalistic or some one who takes the fun out of things. I think you love God more than the praise of man. You are an inspiration. I know the Holy Spirit is leading you because I know of Holy Men and Women who no longer celebrate Christmas because of the Holy Spirit's leading. These people are fun loving, holy people. Not one of them is a religious hypocrite. Not one of them is anything that those who do not celebrate Christmas are being accused of on this blog. Not one of them is JUDGEMENTAL about those who celebrate Christmas, they are all just willing to share what God has shown them, and it is Convicting. People have only two choices, chose God, or get angry with the messenger. Get angry at them messenger...WINS, hands down.

Concerning Col. 2:16-17.
These verses get twisted all to often by those who think that the Holy Days and Sabbath have been done away with. So lets break it down. Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you IN food, or IN drink, or IN respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which ARE(are is present tense) a shadow of things TO COME(to come is future tense); but the body is of Christ.

What sorts of people were condemning the brethren there, and for what cause? Was it due to Jewish influence—a strong-arm attempt to make the Colossians observe these days as orthodoxy generally asserts? Let us dig deeper.

What was the problem affecting the Church at Colosse? Reading the chapter in context will give you some insight into the situation they were in. Therein Paul writes of men with “enticing words” (v. 4) bringing in “philosophy and vain deceit,” “tradition of men,” “rudiments of the world” (v. 8), “voluntary humility,” “worshipping of angels” (v. 18), and “neglecting of the body” (v. 23), having “fleshly mind[s]” (v. 18), forbidding to touch, taste, or handle (v. 21)—all “commandments and doctrines of men" (v. 22). None of these issues are derived from Torah, so why should we then suspect that these men would be pushers of Mosaic Law who condemned the church for not keeping the Sabbath, New Moons, or Feast days?

According to Zodhiates (1991), Gnostics were bringing in their false doctrines that included, among other things, asceticism on one hand (with a complete denial of sexual and other bodily appetites) and unrestrained indulgence of the body on the other (p. 662). Burdick (1995) stated in a similar manner that "since the body was considered evil, it was to be treated harshly. This ascetic form of gnosticism is the background of part of the letter to the Colossians" (p.1905).

De Lacey (1993) determined that the judgment was not from Judaizers seeking to enforce Feasts upon the Church, but rather from those who took exception to particular aspects of the church’s practice of observing God’s holy days:

The “judgment” seems to be criticism of the Christians' present practice, apparently of eating and drinking and enjoying Jewish festivals [i.e., God's festivals (Lev 23:2, 4)], in contrast to those whose watchword was 'do not handle, do not taste, do not even touch' (Col. 2:21) (p. 403).

De Lacey (1982) ascertained that:

The judge is likely to be a man of ascetic tendencies who objects to the Colossians’ eating and drinking. The most natural way of taking the rest of the passage is not that he [the ascetic judge] also imposes a ritual of feast days, but rather that he objects to certain elements of such observation (p. 182).

continued in next post

Concerning Col. 2:16-17.
These verses get twisted all to often by those who think that the Holy Days and Sabbath have been done away with. So lets break it down. Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you IN food, or IN drink, or IN respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which ARE(are is present tense) a shadow of things TO COME(to come is future tense); but the body is of Christ.

What sorts of people were condemning the brethren there, and for what cause? Was it due to Jewish influence—a strong-arm attempt to make the Colossians observe these days as orthodoxy generally asserts? Let us dig deeper.

What was the problem affecting the Church at Colosse? Reading the chapter in context will give you some insight into the situation they were in. Therein Paul writes of men with “enticing words” (v. 4) bringing in “philosophy and vain deceit,” “tradition of men,” “rudiments of the world” (v. 8), “voluntary humility,” “worshipping of angels” (v. 18), and “neglecting of the body” (v. 23), having “fleshly mind[s]” (v. 18), forbidding to touch, taste, or handle (v. 21)—all “commandments and doctrines of men" (v. 22). None of these issues are derived from Torah, so why should we then suspect that these men would be pushers of Mosaic Law who condemned the church for not keeping the Sabbath, New Moons, or Feast days?

According to Zodhiates (1991), Gnostics were bringing in their false doctrines that included, among other things, asceticism on one hand (with a complete denial of sexual and other bodily appetites) and unrestrained indulgence of the body on the other (p. 662). Burdick (1995) stated in a similar manner that "since the body was considered evil, it was to be treated harshly. This ascetic form of gnosticism is the background of part of the letter to the Colossians" (p.1905).

De Lacey (1993) determined that the judgment was not from Judaizers seeking to enforce Feasts upon the Church, but rather from those who took exception to particular aspects of the church’s practice of observing God’s holy days:

The “judgment” seems to be criticism of the Christians' present practice, apparently of eating and drinking and enjoying Jewish festivals [i.e., God's festivals (Lev 23:2, 4)], in contrast to those whose watchword was 'do not handle, do not taste, do not even touch' (Col. 2:21) (p. 403).

De Lacey (1982) ascertained that:

The judge is likely to be a man of ascetic tendencies who objects to the Colossians’ eating and drinking. The most natural way of taking the rest of the passage is not that he [the ascetic judge] also imposes a ritual of feast days, but rather that he objects to certain elements of such observation (p. 182).

continued in next post

Concerning Col.chapter2. Some seem to misinterpret what it is telling us. So lets break it down. Colossians 2:16-17 Let no man therefore judge you IN food, or IN drink, or IN respect of a holy day, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days: Which ARE(are is present tense) a shadow of things TO COME(future tense); but the body is of Christ.
Sarah,

I'm pasting below part of a paper I wrote on the Biblical Holy Days that deals with Paul's writings (specifically Col 2:16,17; Gal 4:9,10; & Romans 14:5,6):

Didn't Paul Do Away With The Holy Days?

Many of the seeming contradictions in some of Paul's letters are due to either translation errors or biased misinterpretation. We will investigate the three main arguments that have sprung from these personal interpretations of the Scripture that are most used to try to contradict the fact that Christ and His disciples, including Paul, all kept the Holydays—the texts found in the letters to the Colossians, the Galatians, and the Romans.

Colossians 2:16

Paul addressed the brethren in Colosse, advising them, "Do not let anyone then judge you in eating or drinking, or in respect of a feast, or of the new moon, or of the Sabbaths" (Col 2:16). What sorts of people were condemning the brethren there, and for what cause? Was it due to Jewish influence—a strong-arm attempt to make the Colossians observe these days as orthodoxy generally asserts? Let us dig deeper.

What was the problem affecting the Church at Colosse? Reading the chapter in context will give you some insight into the situation they were in. Therein Paul writes of men with “enticing words” (v. 4) bringing in “philosophy and vain deceit,” “tradition of men,” “rudiments of the world” (v. 8), “voluntary humility,” “worshipping of angels” (v. 18), and “neglecting of the body” (v. 23), having “fleshly mind[s]” (v. 18), forbidding to touch, taste, or handle (v. 21)—all “commandments and doctrines of men" (v. 22). None of these issues are derived from Torah, so why should we then suspect that these men would be pushers of Mosaic Law who condemned the church for not keeping the Sabbath, New Moons, or Feast days?

According to Zodhiates (1991), Gnostics were bringing in their false doctrines that included, among other things, asceticism on one hand (with a complete denial of sexual and other bodily appetites) and unrestrained indulgence of the body on the other (p. 662). Burdick (1995) stated in a similar manner that "since the body was considered evil, it was to be treated harshly. This ascetic form of gnosticism is the background of part of the letter to the Colossians" (p.1905).

De Lacey (1993) determined that the judgment was not from Judaizers seeking to enforce Feasts upon the Church, but rather from those who took exception to particular aspects of the church’s practice of observing God’s holy days:

The “judgment” seems to be criticism of the Christians' present practice, apparently of eating and drinking and enjoying Jewish festivals [i.e., God's festivals (Lev 23:2, 4)], in contrast to those whose watchword was 'do not handle, do not taste, do not even touch' (Col. 2:21) (p. 403).

De Lacey (1982) ascertained that:

The judge is likely to be a man of ascetic tendencies who objects to the Colossians’ eating and drinking. The most natural way of taking the rest of the passage is not that he [the ascetic judge] also imposes a ritual of feast days, but rather that he objects to certain elements of such observation (p. 182).

The underlying Greek text fits this explanation well. The Greek word translated “in respect” in verse 16 is meros, which is better rendered “ a particular” (Bullinger, 1976, p.642). In other words, Paul was exhorting them to not take judgment for eating, or drinking, or any other particular of observing these Feast days.

continued in next post

Let us gain additional knowledge by reading a little further in the passage.
Do not let anyone then judge you in eating or drinking, or in any particular of a Feast, or of the New Moon, or of the Sabbaths (which are a shadow of things to come), but the Body of Christ. (Col. 2:16,17)

Paul uses the phrase “body of Christ” in various letters (I Cor.10:16; 12:27; Eph. 4:12) to figuratively denote the body of believers—the church. In this very epistle to the Colossians, he utilizes this same figure (1:18; 1:24; 2:17,19; 3:15). With this insight, the meaning of these verses is clear. Shortened to the core subject, we can read, "Do not let anyone then judge you ...except the Body of Christ."

These passages of Scripture do not state that the Sabbath and holy days are no longer required to be observed, but rather that the church shouldn't be judged by outsiders for the manner in which they do observe them. Paul's comments in these verses preserve the fact that the church (including these Colossian gentile believers) were rejoicing in the observance of the 7th day Sabbath, the New Moon, and the Annual Feasts of God, for there would have been no basis for the objections to the eating and drinking aspects of these days by the ascetics if the case were otherwise

I'm praying we can all come to the same knowledge of our Lord and Savior. As Paul states "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ"(1Cor,11:1) and "Therefore let us keep the feast."(1Cor.5:8).

In much love, Kevin

Dear Jeff,
It is with much prayer that I write this last comment on your website. I believe the LORD would have me be silent. Though I will always hold to my position 'against the celebration of xmas', that is but one thing in my life as a Christian trying to walk after the heart of the LORD. Though I am under my husbands authority and he knows of all that I have written here, the LORD is showing me not to comment here anymore. I pray that it will go well with you and your family! I may check in every now and then and see what new articles you've put up, but as far as commenting, I know the LORD will hold me accountable for every word that I speak, so I am going to rest in silence under HIS authority.
Dear John,
I pray all goes well with you and yours! Keep up the good work of telling the truth.
Dear Shoshana,
You are a sweet heart! I hope to be able to meet you some day! If you want to email me ([email protected])
Dear Anonymous Folks that were in agreement with me,
GOD bless you too and may it go well with you as you shluff off this world and embrace the LORD YESHUA in every way!
To those that did not agree with anything I said, again, I hold no contempt, ill feelings. I pray you grow in your relationship with the LORD and read HIS Word every day!
With all Sincerity and blessings of peace,
Deirdre

Wanted to share a site for viewing and consideration...

www.michaelrood.tv

Watch the videos Truth or Tradition Part 1 and Part 2. This may help clarify some questioned points of this discussion.

Blessings to all. Praise be to YHVH forever! He is good!

Hi everyone, I've been struggling with questions around celebrating christmas for a very long time. This year I decided to really ask the Lord for guidance wrt this - I do not want doctrines/ ideas/answers/interpretations/misinterpretations of men any longer. On 24 Dec my prayers was dedicated to asking Jesus Christ for guidance. On 25 Dec I was reading Lev 10 (Amplified Bible) during my morning Bible study and found my final guidance/answer. Btw, my way of studying my Bible is by reading it from front to back and following up on all cross-references - when I'm through with Revelations I start with Genesis again so I wasn’t going eeny meeny miny mo and reading where the pages opened ‘by chance’. God ALWAYS knows when I'm going to be where in the Bible and when I'm going to need certain guidance/answers. He’s never failed in giving me answers from His Word which we know is alive. How can one ever thank Him enough for His loving guidance? Anyway, I’ll paste the parts that gripped my attention – you can read the whole chapter by yourself if you so want.

God bless you and keep you!

1 AND NADAB and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange and unholy fire before the Lord, as He had not commanded them.

2 And there came forth fire from before the Lord and killed them, and they died before the Lord.

3 Then Moses said to Aaron, This is what the Lord meant when He said, I [a][and My will, not their own] will be acknowledged as hallowed by those who come near Me, and before all the people I will be honored. And Aaron said nothing.

Footnotes:
• Leviticus 10:3 Perhaps few believers have ever identified themselves with Nadab and Abihu, and yet few, if any, of us have not done exactly what they did in principle. Their sin, which God took so seriously and which proved fatal to them, was not a mere matter of failing to obey the letter of God's law for priests. Their inexcusable folly was in trying to please the Lord their way instead of His way. Who of us cannot recognize himself as the offerer of this prayer, with only the details lacking: "O Lord, make me rich! Then I will make large donations to Your interests!" Yet our very poverty may be the means to the end which He has in love and wisdom planned for us, the ultimate purpose of our creation, perhaps, which substitution of our will for His will would utterly defeat. No wonder God removed Nadab and Abihu from the earth! They, like ourselves, had acted like the child of a great painter who attempted to work on his father's priceless canvas instead of on the tablet assigned to him. They, like the child, were banished from the father's presence. And every believer does well to recognize the importance of being entirely surrendered to "God's will; nothing more; nothing less; nothing else; at any cost." And that does not mean first making an unholy alliance in marriage, or in business, or in thought, and then adjusting it to God's will. Remember Nadab and Abihu, who "offered strange and unholy fire before the Lord." It does not pay.

Hi everyone, I've been struggling with questions around christmas for a very long time. This year I decided to really ask the Lord for guidance wrt this - I do not want to listen to doctrines/ ideas/answers/interpretations/misinterpretations of men any longer. On 24 Dec my prayers was dedicated to asking Jesus Christ for guidance. On 25 Dec I was reading Lev 10 (Amplified Bible) during my morning Bible study and found my final guidance/answer. Btw, my way of studying my Bible is by reading it from front to back and following up on all cross-references - when I'm through with Revelations I start with Genesis again so I wasn’t going eeny meeny miny mo and reading where the pages opened ‘by chance’. God ALWAYS knows when I'm going to be where in the Bible and when I'm going to need certain guidance/answers. He’s never failed in giving me answers from His Word which we know is alive. How can one ever thank Him enough? Anyway, I’ll paste the parts that gripped my attention – you can read the whole chapter by yourself if you so want.

God bless you and keep you!

1 AND NADAB and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange and unholy fire before the Lord, as He had not commanded them.

2 And there came forth fire from before the Lord and killed them, and they died before the Lord.

3 Then Moses said to Aaron, This is what the Lord meant when He said, I [a][and My will, not their own] will be acknowledged as hallowed by those who come near Me, and before all the people I will be honored. And Aaron said nothing.

Footnotes:
• Leviticus 10:3 Perhaps few believers have ever identified themselves with Nadab and Abihu, and yet few, if any, of us have not done exactly what they did in principle. Their sin, which God took so seriously and which proved fatal to them, was not a mere matter of failing to obey the letter of God's law for priests. Their inexcusable folly was in trying to please the Lord their way instead of His way. Who of us cannot recognize himself as the offerer of this prayer, with only the details lacking: "O Lord, make me rich! Then I will make large donations to Your interests!" Yet our very poverty may be the means to the end which He has in love and wisdom planned for us, the ultimate purpose of our creation, perhaps, which substitution of our will for His will would utterly defeat. No wonder God removed Nadab and Abihu from the earth! They, like ourselves, had acted like the child of a great painter who attempted to work on his father's priceless canvas instead of on the tablet assigned to him. They, like the child, were banished from the father's presence. And every believer does well to recognize the importance of being entirely surrendered to "God's will; nothing more; nothing less; nothing else; at any cost." And that does not mean first making an unholy alliance in marriage, or in business, or in thought, and then adjusting it to God's will. Remember Nadab and Abihu, who "offered strange and unholy fire before the Lord." It does not pay.

Hey Jeff, this is Marshall. While I disagree with you on the issue of celebrating our Lord's birthday on Christmas, I feel the need to defend you. My wife and I are in the same situation that is going on here. I do not believe in celebrating Christmas, or our Lord's (she is saved also) birthday on December 25th, she does. What I do not do is question her salvation or her love for God. Our adversary the devil is using this issue to cause division in the body of Christ. His influence is seen is some of the posts. I do testify to all that Jeffrey Radt is saved and fears the Lord, and while I disagree with you on this issue, your works and trials do bear witness of you that you are the Lord's, and he is yours. The Lord give us wisdom and discernment and grace not to cast off them of the body of Christ that we have disagreement with when so many other times we see the Lord's hand at work here. May God protect you and yours, Jeff, from the onslaught of Satan and his hordes, and may he protect all of us from division and strife that we be destroyed. God be glorified. His will be done.

Hi everyone, I've been struggling with questions around christmas for a very long time – years to be exact. I always celebrated the day because I WANTED to and I think the WANTED may be real reason for why we keep finding excuses to do it. This year I decided to really ask the Lord for guidance wrt this - I no longer wanted doctrines/ ideas/answers/interpretations /misinterpretations of men, I wanted His answer. On 24 Dec my prayers was dedicated to asking Jesus Christ for guidance. On 25 Dec I was reading Lev 10 (Amplified Bible) during my morning Bible study and found my final guidance/answer. Btw, my way of studying my Bible is by reading it from front to back and following up on all cross-references - when I'm through with Revelations I start with Genesis again so I wasn’t going eeny meeny miny mo and reading where the pages opened ‘by chance’. I find that God blesses me abundatly with His guidance when I do it this way – He ALWAYS knows when I'm going to be where in the Bible and when I'm going to need certain guidance/answers. He always has an answer ready for me, right time and right place. How can one ever thank Him enough? Anyway, I’ll paste the parts that gripped my attention – you can read the whole chapter by yourself if you so want.

God bless and keep you!

1 AND NADAB and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and offered strange and unholy fire before the Lord, as He had not commanded them.

2 And there came forth fire from before the Lord and killed them, and they died before the Lord.

3 Then Moses said to Aaron, This is what the Lord meant when He said, I [a][and My will, not their own] will be acknowledged as hallowed by those who come near Me, and before all the people I will be honored. And Aaron said nothing.

Footnotes:
• Leviticus 10:3 Perhaps few believers have ever identified themselves with Nadab and Abihu, and yet few, if any, of us have not done exactly what they did in principle. Their sin, which God took so seriously and which proved fatal to them, was not a mere matter of failing to obey the letter of God's law for priests. Their inexcusable folly was in trying to please the Lord their way instead of His way. Who of us cannot recognize himself as the offerer of this prayer, with only the details lacking: "O Lord, make me rich! Then I will make large donations to Your interests!" Yet our very poverty may be the means to the end which He has in love and wisdom planned for us, the ultimate purpose of our creation, perhaps, which substitution of our will for His will would utterly defeat. No wonder God removed Nadab and Abihu from the earth! They, like ourselves, had acted like the child of a great painter who attempted to work on his father's priceless canvas instead of on the tablet assigned to him. They, like the child, were banished from the father's presence. And every believer does well to recognize the importance of being entirely surrendered to "God's will; nothing more; nothing less; nothing else; at any cost." And that does not mean first making an unholy alliance in marriage, or in business, or in thought, and then adjusting it to God's will. Remember Nadab and Abihu, who "offered strange and unholy fire before the Lord." It does not pay.

FYI...

Sorry for the lack of communication in these parts from my end, but I just returned home about an hour ago after being admitted to the hospital early Tuesday morning.

The culprit? Remember that cold/flu/sinus infection that I've been battling on-and-off for about 3-4 weeks now? Well, it came back with a vengeance Monday night to the point where it caused me to pass out Tuesday morning. Anyway, I'm back home now and my wife has the unenviable task of taking care of a sick husband and two little ones who have just been diagnosed with strep throat too.

I haven't read the last 18 comments that I just approved and published either, but will get to that some time soon.

Thanks for your patience and understanding.

In Christ,
Jeff ("JRed")

Jeff: I am so sorry for your illness! May God heal you completely and soon; and may He give your wife the strength she needs to deal with a sick family!

Also, may God protect you in the days ahead as the enemy ramps up his attacks.

Maranatha - Barbara in VA

Jeff, Thank God that you are ok and at home. I had a feeling something was up, since it is not like you not to update the comments section and thought that you were either ill or needed a hiatus from the blog for awhile. Anyway get plenty of rest and take some Jewish Penicillin (Chicken Soup)and you will be well in no time. Prayers also being said by all I'm sure. God bless you brother!

Esther 9:18-23 talks about the feast of Purim, which was observed by the Jews to commemorate their victory over terrible persecution. The celebration included rejoicing, feasting and the giving of gifts. This feast wasn't ordained, at least scripturally by the Lord, but I am sure that He allowed it and was pleased with His people. How much more would it be right to commemorate our victory over our oppressor satan, through the coming of the one who was promised to deliver us. Sid Roth, a Messianic Jewish believer used to always say "Christmas is a Jewish holiday".

This is the last comment I'm going to make on this subject. Be at peace with whatever you believe. I'm sure the Lord is pleased with both sides as long as your heart is right with Him. Remember, we are under the law of liberty. Follow Christ and be guided by Him in all of your decisions.

I stumbled across this today. It's called Qlimax and is an annual techno dance festival. Please check this out JRed, it is so over the top, in your face PreProg. If you check out the themes for the "festival" over the years, it's a clinic on programming. I've checked out some youtubes and the audience size is immense. Please watch this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QanFfRmz1Mo

-STK

Dear Jeff,
I am sorry to hear that you were sick, I pray for your speedy recovery.
Deirdre, I woke up this morning feeling convicted about posting on this site. I enjoy Jeff's work and I enjoy the comments, but I felt that it was no longer wise to post here.
I think it is a lot like a pastor who does a convicting Bible study but in the end is more comfortable with the tradition's of man than God's holy Word. I feel like the defense of "christmas" is an attack on posters like you, while they claim that you are the one being judgemental. They quote scriptures out of context that are easy to refute, they curse their opponents (rude remarks directed at you and curses toward another poster), and they claim themselves as victims.
Deirdre is a woman of God, and I have listened to the "men of god" attack her verbally because they could not challenge her scripturally. It is more wordly than the celebration of Christmas.

A story about perspectives:

Christmas in a German Labor Camp during WWII

https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1910

LTRP Note: The following is from Anita Dittman’s book, Trapped in Hitler’s Hell, the true story of a Christian Jewish teenager during WWII in Germany. We have posted this excerpt before but are doing so again for those who may not have read it. While many are concerned over the economy, the growing immorality in our culture, and an increasing amount of deception in the Christian church, Anita’s Christmas story helps put things in perspective. In spite of all the struggles and sufferings that happen in this world, the one who belongs to Jesus Christ through faith by His grace can indeed say: The Lord is always faithful, just, and good.

I think that God knows our hearts in all the things we do. I let my kids go out for Halloween but I condemn witchcraft and Satanism. The peculiar thing about this Christmas season for me was that only one person outside my family wished me a Merry Christmas. It was a middle eastern man working at a gas station, if I had to guess I would guess he was a Muslim. Strange huh? He was the only one.

God Bless us one and all.

Jeff this post was absolutely beautiful.

Do not be troubled by those who condemn you! Have heart. I can tell you have a very kind spirit. You're like me, I know I can't please everyone, but I certainly do love it I know my words are having a positive influence on everyone.

And feel better man. I've been ill and dehydrated for a few days but I'm recovering. God bless.

PS - the Lord had His hand on these studies! I was very blessed by both of them. Perhaps this is confirmation that the Lord is leading you to do more of these kinds of studies. Have you ever thought about writing a book? I love reading your entries for the same reason I love to read CS Lewis: I always feel like I'm sitting down with an old friend to have a stimulating conversation. Keep learning and sharing in the spirit! You are a blessing.