During the time I lived on a kibbutz in Israel, Christmas approached. My little Scottish friend, Jackie (the one with the dog in What Shall Be the Sign of Thy Coming?), and I took a tractor and trailer down to a nearby pine tree plantation and ‘borrowed’ a tree, while Areis, the German shepherd stood watch. Planted in a bucket in the common room given to us for the celebration, another friend, Janet, and I collected eggs from the vast chicken coops in which we then worked to decorate the tree. It was a bit of a mixture of Easter and Christmas. We blew out the insides of the eggs, then drew the faces of all the volunteers on to an egg each, before somehow affixing a string to them.
While the volunteers from countries as diverse as Mexico, New Zealand, and Finland made merry at lunch on Christmas Day, the kibbutzniks worked or rested as normal. Only the Christians and Westerners celebrate Christmas in Israel. Israelis celebrate YHWH’s FEASTS (LEV. 23:1). Along with a few other national holidays such as Purim, Israel obeys a slightly corrupted form of the Old Testament Mosaic festival Laws. There are five of them: Feast of Unleavened Bread which is launched with Passover, Pentecost, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement or Yom Kippur, and Feast of Tabernacles. With two complete rest days each in Unleavened Bread and Tabernacles, and one in the other feasts, there are seven High Sabbaths in total in a year.
When pregnant with my oldest son, I found out the truth about these feasts and have been celebrating them with my family ever since, nineteen years ago. Christmas and Easter I discovered are pagan feasts not even in the Bible. Yahshua was not born on 25 December. Having been in Israel at that time, I know it was so cold then it often snows. It did in Bethlehem the year I was there. At one point I was working up in the date trees on my kibbutz. We would be lifted high up into the fronds with a cherry-picker. On the winter mornings my hands would be so cold I could barely work. It is much too cold to have sheep out in the fields like when the angels heralded Yahshua’s birth to the shepherds. That day in December is actually the mid-winter solstice. The day the sun starts to rise earlier and set later so as to herald the coming spring. The pagans worshipped the sun, not the Son. Their belief was that all the Sun gods from Osiris to Jupiter celebrated their birthdays then. The celebration was adorned with the pine tree of Adonis, the holly of Saturn, and the mistletoe. Streaming tapers represented the kindling of the new-born Sun god’s fire. For anyone who is interested, there are numerous sites about this on the Internet.
Christmas was incorporated into the Christian calendar by the Roman Church in order to attract more converts. This brought about a single apostate religion. Passover in the same way became Easter, named and celebrated for Ishtar, the Babylonian goddess of fertility. She was known and worshipped by ancient apostate Israelites as the Queen of Heaven (YER. 7:18 etc). The eating of chocolate eggs and bunnies was incorporated into this celebration for their symbolism of fertility.
The prophet Yeremyah (10:1-4) warns and laments: Do not learn the way of the heathen…for the customs of the people are vain! For one cuts a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman with an axe (I think Jackie and I had a saw in Israel). They decorate it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, so that it will not move.
Having for many years followed this custom myself, I must ask, how many Christians rise on Christmas morning and with their children do obeisance on their knees to a tree? What about, as I have, lying to our children about Santa Claus? I put cookies out for him! Then ate them myself before my three-year old arose in the morning. We didn’t have a chimney, so YHWH only knows what way I told my daughter he was going to get in. What lies we tell our children. And we are Christians! As if it is okay for anybody, for that matter.
The legendary Saint Nicolas, gift-giver to children, dates from 300 AD. I forget how he assumed the name Santa Claus. But the red suit dates from Coca Cola advertisements in the 1930s. That’s why it is red: because the Coke logo is red. I have, since my boys were born, just told my children he is a little fat, often bearded, man in a red suit. My children have never really known Christmas so they never missed it. One Christmas Day we were climbing Mt Coolum when a man with his young son asked us if we’d seen any reindeer. I can’t remember what I answered truthfully, but it did get the dad thinking.
As for Yahshua’s birth in a stable and all that; yes, it’s true. But He has not been a baby for a long, long time. Why should we continue to worship Him as such? This is akin to putting an image of our King on a crucifix, as do the Catholics, when He is no longer on the cross. And the practice of gift giving is rooted in Saturnalia, dedicated to Saturn, the god of agriculture. Gifts were exchanged by all during this celebration, a common one given to children being a clay doll. These are thought to represent the original human sacrifices to this god. Little wonder YHWH forbids the making of images like dolls and puppets in the second of the Ten Commandments. We threw out a big bag of dolls, figurines, and stuffed toys when convicted of this sin. And it saved me a lot of money no longer feeling obligated to buy all and sundry presents just because it was the season. I love giving gifts. But now I do it spontaneously, any time of the year.
While the Church commemorates these pagan feasts in ignorance, Satan rules her through the controlling forces of Tammuz (EZE. 8:14), so-called husband of Ishtar, and Ishtar herself, demonic principalities. Christmas and Easter is a fine thread that ties denominations to Babylon the Great, the mother of harlots (REV. 17:5). And in doing so, the Church has alienated the ancient people of the Book, the Jews. Our early New Testament Church was composed almost solely of Jewish people who all kept the Feasts of YHWH three times a year at Yerushalem, as a study of the book of ACTS will clearly show.
By abandoning these Hebrew roots, the Church has not only lost a wealth of treasure, but has become a stumbling block to YHWH’s ancient people. Where in the Bible does it state the erroneous idea in apostate Christianity that Yahshua and the apostles preached two Gospels–one for the Jews, and a different one for the Gentiles? Eventually the by then well-into-apostasy Roman Church did away entirely with the traditional observances of Feasts according to the holy Law.
So in brief (if it was possible), what are they again? Passover, Pesach, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread: two weeks after the OT new year at the equinox. Symbolises our Saviour replacing the slain lamb to free us from slavery to sin, sickness, accidents, having to go to Hell, and the curse of the Law. Fulfilled on the cross.
Pentecost (means fiftieth) or Feast of Weeks, Shavuoth: forty-ninth and fiftieth day after Passover, and commemorates NOT the falling of the Holy Spirit as thought, but the sign of the Gospel message being taken to the nations. The Holy Spirit had already been given to the disciples (JOHN 20:22). For us today it is the Firstfruit Offering, those Elect who are willing to give everything to their Saviour. Pentecost also symbolizes the seven weeks between the tribulation to come on modern Israel, and THE GREAT TRIBULATION, during which the Firstfruits Elect will be gathered (see What Shall Be The Sign of Thy Coming). Also fulfilled at original Pentecost, but is to see another greater fulfillment in the future.
Feast of Trumpets, Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year): first day of seventh Jewish month of Tishrei, about September. But celebrated for ten days until Day of Atonement. There are indications Yahshua may have been born on or near this Feast, as trumpets herald a king. This symbolises the first angelic trumpet call in the book of REVELATION (MATT. 24:31) to announce Yahshua Messiah’s coming to gather His Elect from the four winds, until the seventh and final angelic trumpet call which will see those Elect raptured to Heaven (I THESS. 4:16, I COR. 15:52). It is yet to be fulfilled.
Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur: a complete fast of twenty-four hours for sins of ignorance. A rest day devoted to prayer, worship, and repentance. Symbolic of the coming Great and terrible day of YHWH at the shaking of the whole earth, and spoken about in many Scriptures (MATT. 24:29, REV. 6:12-17), in which many nominal Christians will die and be saved out of the evil to come (IS. 57:1). Yet to be fulfilled.
Feast of Tabernacles, Succoth: fifteen days after Trumpets, five days after Yom Kippur, lasts for eight days. Jewish people erect temporary shelters and live in them. Symbolizes the final Seven Years of Tribulation coming upon the earth, in the midst of which the mark of the beast will be compulsorily instituted. The trees from which the tabernacles are made represent the nations. The fig tree is Israel. The olive tree is YHWH’s Elect. Yet to be fulfilled.
If one has not studied the Feasts of the Old Testament in any depth they may at first be difficult to understand. And my interpretation also confusing for Christians who have sat under denominational teachings about the last days, which have great holes in them and raise many unanswered questions. However I encourage you to stick with it and study the relevant Scriptures, remembering the Old Testament should not be separated from the New, for the OT is our blueprint or pattern for these end times. We cannot understand ANYTHING without it.