Grace and peace, Saints.
Well, another Christmas is upon us, and, again, millions of people will be spending money they don’t have to buy presents they can’t afford for people who neither appreciate nor need them. The line between the haves and the have nots will become broader and bolder, and people everywhere will remember why they always hated Christmas. Arguably, no other time reminds people just how poor they really are like Christmastime.
I can remember when I first came back to Germany, after getting out of the military, back in December, 1998, about a month before Christmas and about a week before the birth of my middle daughter. My then girlfriend, who is now my wife, and I had gone to the shopping mall to “window shop.” The mall was teaming with cheery people and screaming children, and the smell of cookies, cakes, and pies, and other baked goods filled the air. I was more grateful about being reunited with my girlfriend than I was about the approaching Christmas season, because she and I had been separated for about six months prior to this. As we walked hand in hand, perusing all the beautifully decorated confectionaries and bakeries with all their cakes, chocolates, pies, and cookies on display for all to see, it suddenly dawned on me that as beautiful as all of this was, none of it was free. Everything these stores had to offer cost money. And if you didn’t have the money to buy any of these things, then you were out of luck.
That was my situation: my wife and I were flat broke. And the better the food smelled, the more beautiful and sparklier the decorations were, and the happier the people looked, the broker I felt. And the fact that my wife was with me did not help matters at all. In fact, it made things worse.
My wife used to be a very cheap date. She just didn’t ask for much. But one thing she has always loved is roasted walnuts. And the time my wife most loves roasted walnuts is during the Christmas season. Now, roasted walnuts are always available somewhere in Munich year-round, but during the Christmas season, roasted walnuts are prolific. Everywhere you turn, there is someone selling roasted walnuts. Everywhere you walk, there are bags of roasted walnuts somewhere on display. And every five minutes, you are bumping into someone eating roasted walnuts. At Christmastime, roasted walnuts are literally everywhere.
So you can probably appreciate my chagrin as we passed store after store, confectionary after confectionary, and nut stand after nut stand, while the smell of roasted walnuts wafted through the air. But the only thing I have in my pockets is lint. Again, my wife used to be a cheap date, and she would understand if I didn’t have the money to get her what she wanted. She well understood, however, that she was a cheap date. And she knew that as a woman, she deserved a lot more than I could offer her. So, when my wife wanted roasted walnuts, she got roasted walnuts.
That day, however, there was absolutely nothing I could do. I was flat broke. So broke, in fact, that I couldn’t even pay attention. So broke, that if it weren’t for the lint in my pockets, they would have been completely empty. So broke, that if I had passed one of those Santa Clauses on the street corner ringing his bell asking for donations, he might have had a problem. Yes, I was that broke. And that wan “That’s OK baby” smile on my wife’s face didn’t help matters at all.
All this came back to me a couple of weeks ago, when I went to the mall and saw all the beautiful decorations, nativity scenes, and all the candy and baked good vendors situated in the center of the mall thoroughfare. And again this week, as I watched a news story on “Christmas stress,” and the fact that most people are highly relieved when Christmas is over, with its hustle and bustle of shopping for presents, decorating the house, and sweating over a hot stove cooking dinner for dozens of family and friends, not to mention the traffic jams and crowded airports that characterize the Christmas travel season.
As I considered this, I realized that Satan was at the bottom of it. Who else, but Satan, that old serpent and the father of lies, would take Christmas–the greatest day in the history of the world–and twist it, pervert it, and profane it, by turning it into a day that poor people dread, “middle-class” people regret, and rich people profane. Satan hates Christmas, not because the name of Jesus is glorified that day, because you and I know that that is certainly not the case. Satan hates Christmas because Jesus was born that day. And Satan knows that if Jesus had not been born, then Jesus could not have died. And it was Jesus’ death and the shedding of His blood that set you and me free from the curse of sin. The Bible says:
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, [Jesus] also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is the devil;
“And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).”
Satan is a defeated foe. He has been conquered by the Lord Jesus Christ. You and I, as Christians, are also conquerors through the blood of Jesus. Satan has no power over us except that which has been granted him by the Lord Jesus.
Satan is not happy about this at all. Of all days, Satan hates Christmas more than any other day. He would like nothing more than to wipe that day from history and from memory forever. He cannot, however, so he ops for the next best thing: to profane Christmas: to twist it, to pervert it, and, above all, to commercialize it. Satan makes Christmas about everything but Jesus. Christmas is not about Jesus. Christmas is about money—spending money, that is.
If you’re going to put up a Christmas tree, unless you live in or near the forest, you have to buy a tree. Then, unless you have the lights and ornaments from the previous year, you have to buy those. Then you have to buy lights and ornaments for the house. Then you have to buy presents for family and friends. Then you have to buy a “Christmas goose” or a ham and other food for the Christmas dinner. And, if you’re going to have family over who live in another state (or states), you might need to buy extra blankets, pillows, or even an extra bed or mattresses. And we can’t have people sitting on ten-year-old couches, can we? KA-CHING!
You may even have to buy a plane or bus ticket for a family member who is unable to do so. And if you have children, you may have to buy a Christmas present or two or three for them to give to their classmates at school. Add to that the box of chocolates for the mailman, the teachers, your boss, etc. etc.
Christmas is only a day long, yet the reverberations from this day can and often do reach all the way until the next Christmas. As you can see, Christmas is not at all about Jesus. Christmas is about MONEY. If you have money, you celebrate Christmas. If you don’t have money, you dread Christmas. This should not be.
As Christians, we need to think about why we do what we do. Romans 12:2 says that we should not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We should not be celebrating Christmas the same way the world celebrates Christmas. We should not have a Christmas tree, we should not be spending a lot of money on presents, and we should not be telling our children that Santa Claus is coming to town. The only thing we should be on Christmas is thankful that Jesus Christ was born into the world to take away our sins. We should be grateful for our salvation.
Christmas is nowhere to be found in the Bible. The Apostle Paul said that one man believes one day to be more important than others, while another man believes all days are the same. He went on to say that every man should be “fully persuaded in his own mind.” In other words, it is not necessary for Christians to celebrate Christmas, as Jesus never mandated we celebrate the day of His birth. I believe the reason He didn’t do this is because He knew that men would legalize His birthday the way the Pharisees legalized the Sabbath. And Jesus is about liberty, not slavery.
Now, there is nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of our Savior, especially in the antichrist climate in which we now live. But Jesus did not command us to celebrate His birthday. In fact, the first-century Church didn’t celebrate Christmas.
Whose idea was it then, to celebrate Christmas? Did you know that Christmas stands for Christ Mass? And who celebrates the Mass? Why, the Roman Catholic church. And the Roman Catholic church is a pagan institution. Christmas is pagan.
Let me illustrate. Did you know that the practice of giving and receiving presents is Satan’s perversion of the story of the wise men of the East, who came to visit the family of our Savior (when he was about two years old) and gave presents to the young child Jesus? Listen to Scripture:
“And when [the wise men] where 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” (Matt. 2:11).
Did you see that? The wise men gave gifts unto Jesus. Why? Because they knew that Jesus is God Almighty in the flesh, and that He was born to take away the sins of the world. Why, then, do we give each other gifts? Did any of us die for the sins of mankind? No, we did not. Then we ought not to be giving each other gifts, should we?
We don’t give Christmas gifts in our house. That’s for birthdays.
Let me share something else with you: Did you know that putting up and decorating a Christmas tree is an ancient pagan custom? Hear what the Bible says:
“For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.
“They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.
“They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good” (Jeremiah 10:3-5).
You will note that the verse addresses the fact that the Christmas tree can neither speak nor move, and that one must not be afraid of it. This would be a very strange thing to say, unless you understand that, in those days, the Christmas tree was an idol. It represented Nimrod, the first king of ancient Babylon. Nimrod was called “The Oak,” because of his great stature and strength, and was symbolized by trees, among other things. Gold and silver are representative of the sun and the moon, and represent Nimrod and his wife, Semiramis. Nimrod and Semiramis were both deified as the Sun God and the Moon Goddess, respectively.
People would erect the tree in their homes, deck it with silver and gold, and make their petitions of it. If they wanted something, they would write their petition on a piece of paper and attach it to the tree. In come cases, they would fashion a model of the desired object and set it under the tree.
And get this: the star, which people set atop the Christmas tree, represents Semisramis, the wife of Nimrod, and the queen of ancient Babylon. The star is a symbol of Semiramis in her aspect as the ancient Phoenician fertility goddess, Ashtoreth. The ancient Jews, including King Solomon, worshipped Ashtoreth with a star. Listen to this:
“Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god, Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them” (Acts 7:43).
Moloch is another name for Nimrod, and Remphan, according to the Oxford Dictionary of the English Language, is an “Egyptian goddess of the moon.” That would identify Remphan with Isis, who was also the Egyptian goddess of the moon. By now, you should know that Remphan is really Ashtoreth, who is really Semiramis, the wife of Nimrod.
Ashtoreth is the same goddess you see on the Starbucks logo with the star on her crown, only there she goes by a different name.
So, with the star on top of the Christmas tree, you have Nimrod and Semiramis, the first King and Queen of ancient Babylon, the worldwide center of paganism for thousands of years, in your living room.
1 Corinthians 10:19-20 of the Holy Bible says that behind every idol is a demon. Since the Christmas tree is really an idol, then once you set up a Christmas tree in your house, you are inviting a demon into your home. Now, is there any wonder that so many murders just happen to occur on Christmas in homes all over America every year? Remember Jon Benet Ramsey?
We don’t have a Christmas tree in our house: that’s for idolaters.
Finally, most people of European, and, especially German descent, know that Santa Claus or Sankt Nikolaus, is an old European folk character, which went house-to-house accompanied by a demon called Krampus (sometimes there were two such creatures), of which elves are merely a symbol. And everybody was scared of him.
We don’t recognize Satan Claus in our house: that’s for pagans.
See what Satan has done? He has completed perverted and distorted the true meaning of Christmas and turned it into something that only the rich and pagan can relate to. What a shame!
I said all that to say this: What people call Christmas is not really a celebration of the birth of our Savior. Christmas, as the world celebrates it, does not glorify God: it glorifies Satan. Satan hates Christmas, so he does his level best to destroy what should merely be a day of gratitude and joy that Jesus came into the world to take away our sins. Satan makes Christmas about everything but Jesus. Christmas is not about all the things that it has been associated with. Christmas is about Jesus Christ and His triumph over sin and Satan.
So, if you are not where you would like to be financially this Christmas, don’t worry. If there are no Christmas presents, don’t worry. If you have not been invited to Christmas dinner with friends or family, don’t worry. If you don’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend with whom to cuddle up in front of a Christmas fire, don’t worry. If you are in a tent in Afghanistan, Iraq, South Sudan, Syria, or any of the other trouble spots in the world, far away from family, don’t worry. If you don’t have a “Christmas tree,” don’t worry. If there is no snow where you live, don’t worry. If you are homeless and sleeping in a shelter, on the streets, in your car, or at a friend or relative’s house, don’t worry. If you are a police officer, an emergency room surgeon or staff, a nurse, a fireman, a pilot, a bus driver or taxi driver, or anyone else who can’t be at home because of your job or other responsibilities, don’t worry. And if you are just plain alone this Christmas, don’t you worry. Christmas is not about any of these things. Christmas is about one thing or should I say one Person: Jesus Christ.
The only thing that makes Christmas important is that Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, was born in a manger in a little town called Bethlehem of Judea. Jesus Christ is God Almighty and was born into this world for one reason and one reason only: to die for the sins of the world, including yours and mine. If you think about it, the only people to whom Christmas really means any thing are Bible-believing Christians. If you are not saved, then you probably have no idea what Jesus did for you. And if you do know what Jesus did, but aren’t saved, then you probably couldn’t care less. You’re probably just happy you get a day off from work, right? But, if you think about it, even this is something you should thank the Lord Jesus for.
The best thing you can do for yourself this Christmas is to really get to know the Man for whom the day is named: You can talk to Jesus about anything. I talk to Jesus all the time, and I never worry that He is going to go and tell somebody what I told Him. That’s because, unlike our fake friends, Jesus really cares. Jesus is Holy. He never sinned in His whole life. But He was born into this sinful world just like you and I were, and He was tempted just like you and me. So He understands what you and I are going through.
Jesus wants to have a relationship with you today. But in order to have a relationship with Him, you have to come to Him with a true heart.
The Bible says, that if we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord shall not hear us (Ps. 88:7). Our sins are the only thing standing between Jesus and us. But if we accept what Jesus did for us, His death and the shedding of His blood on the cross for our sins, then Jesus will come into our hearts and be our Friend. The Bible says that Jesus sticks closer than any brother. Once you got Jesus for a Friend, you truly have a Friend.
If you are ready to make Jesus your Friend today, just close your eyes wherever you are, and talk to the Lord Jesus. This is called prayer. Say something like this:
“Lord Jesus, I understand now that Christmas is not about food and family gatherings, Christmas parties, presents, or a Christmas tree. I understand now that Christmas is not about being with friends, or cuddling up with a loved one in front of the fire. Christmas is about you and the sacrifice you made for me. I accept your sacrifice for my sins, Lord Jesus. Please come into my heart and be my Lord and my Savior. My friend.”
If you prayed that, or something like that, then you are now a Christian, and next Christmas, you will celebrate Christmas for the right reason and in the right way.
Thank you for joining me for this special Christmas 2015 edition of the Gospel Light and Truth Crusade. Find us on the web at www.GospelLightAndTruth.org. You can also visit our blog at www.TheStillMan.com. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel and also our podcast on iTunes, soon to be on Spreaker and other podcast venues. For your convenience, you may download the podcast of this article below.
And, as always “Be encouraged and look up, for your redemption draweth nigh.
The Still Man