According to a Roman almanac, the Christian festival of Christmas was celebrated in Rome by AD 336. In the eastern part of the Roman Empire, however, a festival on January 6 commemorated the manifestation of God in both the birth and the baptism of Jesus, except in Jerusalem, where only the birth was celebrated. During the 4th century the celebration of Christ's birth on December 25 was gradually adopted by most Eastern churches. In Jerusalem, opposition to Christmas lasted longer, but it was subsequently accepted. In the Armenian Church, a Christmas on December 25 was never accepted; Christ's birth is celebrated on January 6. After Christmas was established in the East, the baptism of Jesus was celebrated on Epiphany, January 6. In the West, however, Epiphany was the day on which the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus was celebrated. Encyclopedia Britannica.
Christmas was not celebrated, commemorated, or observed, neither by the apostles nor in the apostolic church. It was sufficient for the early Christians that Jesus, their Lord and Savior, had come in the flesh, the day and the time of His birth had no relevance to them, because Jesus had returned to heaven. It was the risen, exalted Christ whom they looked to, not to a babe laid in a manger. Jesus Christ is no longer the "Christ-child," but the exalted Lord of all.
In pagan Rome, many years before the resurrection of our Lord, there was a yearly feast celebrating the Roman god Saturn. This time of celebration was always situated around the December 17th - 23rd time frame, which was also called the Winter Solstice.
The pagan year is a period of days, months and times that revolve around the seasonal changes of the earth (winter, spring, summer and autumn). The Winter Solstice is a day or period of days in the winter when the days are shortest (light) and the nights longest (darkness prevails). This is usually a time in their festivities of drunkenness, revelry and debauchery (perversion).
The Pagan Romans called this celebration "The Feast of Saturnalia," in honor of their god Saturn. Notice how close the name and sound of SATAN and SATURN are. This festival was celebrated then from the 17th to the 23rd of December. It was a time of merrymaking, and on the last two days exchanging "gifts" from house to house in honor of Saturn.
"Saturnalia" - was the name of an ancient Roman festival given in honor of Saturn, the Roman harvest god. The festival began on Dec.17th and lasted for seven days. On the first day, public religious ceremonies honoring Saturn took place. On the second day, many families offered sacrifices of young pigs. The Saturnalia festival was a gay occasion. Schools closed and all public business stopped. Courts of law closed their doors, and no criminals could be punished. Families held their banquets and even slaves were free to attend the festival. The last days of the festival were spent visiting and exchanging presents. Some of the gifts were little clay images called "sigillaria", which means small images (idols). style="font-size: small; color: #FF0000;">World Book Encyclopedia.
Then on the 25th of December, they began the new Celebration of "The birthday of the unconquerable Sun" (Natalis Solis Invicti). The ancient pagans believed that the sun would die during the winter solstice and then rise again from death as the solstice ended and the days of light began to lengthen, with the sun climbing higher in the sky, regaining its dominance. December 25 was also regarded as the birth date of the Persian/Iranian mystery god Mithras, the Sun of Righteousness, the god of light, the Grand Deliverer. The Sun God Mithras was a popular deity in the Old Roman Empire, whose cult penetrated the Roman world in the first century B.C.
"This festival has been commonly believed to have had only an astronomical character, referring simply to the completion of the sun's yearly course, and the commencement of a new cycle. But there is indubitable evidence that the festival in question had a much higher influence than this--that it commemorated not merely the figurative birthday of the sun in the renewal of its course, but the birth-day of the grand Deliverer...the Sun-God and great mediatorial divinity." Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons or The Papal Worship, Loizeaux Brothers, 1916, pp. 94, 97.
Mithra was known as Horus in Egypt, Tammuz in Babylon and various appellations in other ancient mythologies:
The Sun-god Osiris and his consort, Isis, together with Re-Atum, the "Father of the Gods," were regarded by the ancient Egyptians as the supreme rulers of a Golden Age of plenty called Zep Tepi or the "First Time." Their kingdom ended abruptly when Osiris was murdered by his evil brother, Seth or Typhon. The childless Isis searched for the dismembered body of Osiris, which she then reassembled and resuscitated long enough to conceive a son named Horus. Horus was believed to be the reincarnation of Osiris, and the new husband of Isis, whose destiny it was to repossess the Kingdom of Osiris from the control of Seth.
|The Horus myth is a perversion of the Genesis account of God's judgment of Nimrod and the Babylonian religious system from which Egyptian mystery religions derived. |
This fable forms the basis of Freemasonry and other occult belief systems.
Mormons, whose founder was a Freemason, believe that Satan is the brother of Jesus, just as Seth was the brother of Osiris.
"In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, 'about the time of the winter solstice.' The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves - Yule day - proves at once its Pagan and Babylonian origin. 'Yule' is the Chaldee name for an 'infant' or 'little child' and as the 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, 'Yule-day,' or the 'Child's day,' and the night which preceded it, 'Mother-night,' long before they came into contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide in the realms of paganism was this birth-day observed." The Two Babylons, pp. 93, 94.
"Mother night", which today is called, "Christmas Eve", has nothing to do with Mary, the mother of our Lord, it was observed centuries before Jesus was born. Semiramis (Nimrod's wife) was the inspiration for "Mother night," and "Child's day" was the birthday of her son (Tammuz), the sun-god.
Obviously Satan knew that Jesus would leave heaven and be born of a virgin to become the Saviour, and mediator between God and man, so he created a counterfeit Virgin and child, to confuse the people and take away their worship from God. The counterfeit Virgin was a beautiful witch named Semiramis.
After the flood, the survivors multiplied and built the city of Babylon. Semiramis became the Queen of Babylon and married Nimrod (historically known as the husband of his mother). When Nimrod was put to death, Satans phony virgin, Semiramis, gave birth to another child, Tammuz (who became the sun god, Baal) and claimed that he was Nimrod reincarnated.
The satanic cult that was formed around them was so powerful that it spread around the world. When the people of Babylon were scattered to various parts of the earth, they took with them the worship of the divine mother and child. Satan had successfully set up his own counterfeit religion long before Jesus was born. Semiramis became known by many names, and as time went on, monuments of the goddess and her child appeared in many nations.
Babylon: Semiramis and Tammuz (BAAL)
China: Shing Moo (Holy Mother)
Greece: Aphrodite (goddess) "The Mediatrix"
India: Devaki (goddess) Crishna (child)
Rome: Venus (goddess) Jupiter (child)
Ephesus: Diana (the mother of gods identified with Semiramis)
Egypt: Isis (goddess mother) Horus (child)
Scandinavia: Disa Pictured with a child
Israel: Ashtaroth (goddess) Baal (child) (Judges 2:13)
"Even in Tibet, China, and Japan, the Jesuit missionaries were astonished to find the counterpart of Madonna and her child as devoutly worshipped as in papal Rome itself." The Two Babylons, Hislop, p.20
Religion played an essential role in the world of ancient Rome. By giving official status to Christianity, Emperor Constantine brought internal peace to the Empire. Constantine was a brilliant military commander, he had the genius to recognize that after declaring Christianity the "state" religion, and forcing all the pagans of his empire to be baptized into the Roman Church, there was need for true union between paganism and Christianity. The Constantine-led Roman Church reinterpreted (i.e., "Christianized") pagan symbols, forms, customs, and traditions in order to make Christianity palatable to the pagans, they were still able to worship their old gods, but under different names. They took Saturnalia, and adopted it into Christianity. Since the 25th of December was the birthday of the sun-god, the Roman Church took this pagan ritual and worshiped the Birthday of the Son of God. Jesus Christ was presented as the Sun of Righteousness [Malachi 4:2] replacing the sun god Mithras.
"...within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and...not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance. How, then, did the Romish Church fix on December 25th as Christmas-day? Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it the name of Christ." The Two Babylons, p 93
"Christianization" of Pagan Customs, Symbols, and Terminology - Christianity had to undergo a transformation so that pagan Rome could "convert" without giving up its old beliefs and rituals. The actual effect was to paganize official Christianity. "'A compound religion had been anufactured, of which ... Christianity furnished the nomenclature, and Paganism the doctrines and rights.' The idolatry of the Roman world, though deposed from its ancient pre-eminence, had by no means been demolished. Instead of this, its pagan nakedness had been covered with the garb of a deformed Christianity" Vine, W.E, Gospel Tract Publications. The Collected Writings of W.E. Vine, Volume 5. Glasgow, Scotland, 1986, pp.436-439.
Pagan holidays were reclassified as Christian holidays (holy-days), and pagan customs involving vestments, candles, incense, images, and processions were all incorporated into church worship and continue today. The idea of confessionals, and celibacy for the priesthood came from the ancient Babylonian system.
The logical person to replace the Great Mother of paganism was Mary, the mother of Jesus. It mattered not to pagan Rome whether they worshiped the goddess mother and her child under the Egyptian names of Isis and Horus, or the Babylonian names of Semiramis and Tammuz, or the Roman names of Venus and Jupiter, or under the names of the "Virgin Mary" and the "Christ- child.". Either way, it was the same old idol-religion.
Constantine used religion as a political tool, and started to introduce the Babylonian mystery religions in 313 A.D. which then established a foothold with the holding of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D.
In 375 A.D., the Church of Rome under Pope Julius I merely announced that the birth date of Christ had been "discovered" to be December 25th, and was accepted as such by the "faithful." The festival of Saturnalia and the birthday of Mithras could now be celebrated as the birthday of Christ, even though the early church fathers stated for the record that it was blasphemous to celebrate this festival. Following the lead of Rome, the Church at Jerusalem commenced the celebration of Christmas, around 440 A.D.
The Roman Catholic church started having a blasphemous "Mass" for "Christ", shortened to "Christ's Mass" which is now today's Christmas. The Catholic "Christ's Mass" is performed in celebration of Christ's birth. In this mass, Jesus is considered both the priest and the victim, represented by the Catholic priest who offers Him as a sacrifice each time the mass is performed. In offering this "sacrifice," the priest believes he has the power to change the bread and the wine of the Communion into Jesus' literal flesh and blood, requiring the people to worship these elements as they do God Himself. This is obviously a denial of the gospel (a re-doing of the sacrifice for sin), see Hebrews 9:12, 24-26; 10:10-14.
For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer Himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews 9:24-26
Around 1563, the Roman Catholic Church, at The Council of Trent, made it a death sentence for anyone who said the bread and wine used in Holy Communion were only symbolic.
Canon 1. If anyone denies that in the sacrament of the most Holy Eucharist are contained truly, really and substantially the body and blood together with the soul and divinity of our Lord Jesus Christ, and consequently the whole Christ, but says that He is in it only as in a sign, or figure or force, let him be anathema. [Damned as a Heretic] Council of Trent, session 13, chapter VII
A study of the inquisition reveals how multitudes died on racks, were tortured, or burnt at the stake, because they defied The Council of Trent, they denied that the bread and the wine of the Communion mystically changes into Jesus' literal flesh and blood. Notice that the wafers used at Mass' are little sun-shaped discs, it all stems back to Babylon and Sun-Worship. Millions of people were killed at the hands of the Popes and Catholicism as heretics for taking a stand on the Word of God. Even today, all the Popes during the Vatican II council and since, have accepted the ratification of the entire council on this decree.
When the Puritans came to power in England under Oliver Cromwell, Christmas celebrations were banned by law for reason of its pagan character. Penalties were exacted for celebrating Christmas, and for staying home from work on Christmas day. Riots broke out after the banning of Christmas, and in 1660 the Catholic, King Charles II restored the celebrations.
It was left to the Puritans to denounce everything. For them, Christmas was rightfully part popish, part pagan, and was forbidden to be kept as a holiday or feast day. The attack began in 1644 when the Puritans controlled the Parliament; December 25th was changed to a Fast Day. By 1647, even the Fast Day was abolished as a relic of superstition, synonymous with the Church of Rome. No observation on December 25th was any longer permitted, but the day was to be observed as a normal market-day. Christmas was accurately depicted by such names as the Profane Man's Ranting Day, the Superstitious Man's Idol Day, the Papist's Massing Day, the Old Heathen's Feasting Day, the Multitude's Idle Day, and Satan-that Adversary's-Working Day. In those days, any Christmas celebrations would be broken up by troops, who would tear down decorations and arrest anyone holding a service. Some who celebrated it in Europe were also thrown into prison. Because of the riots that broke out following the banning of Christmas, the celebrations and revelry were restored in 1660 by King Charles II, a Catholic Sulgrave Manor, "A Tudor Christmas," p.3
The Puritan tradition was brought to New England. Colonists copied the English laws known as the Blue Laws, and America's settlers rightfully considered Christmas a "popish" holiday. Christmas was forbidden as "unseemly to ye spiritual welfare of ye community".
"A broad element of English Christianity still considered Christmas celebration a pagan blasphemy. The Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Calvinists and other denominations brought this opposition to early New England and strong opposition to the holiday lasted in America until the middle of the 18th century." "The Origins of Christmas," Rick Meisel, Dec. 19, 1993, p.4 - Quoting from a 23rd Dec. 1983 USA TODAY article.
But eventually, immigrants brought with them Christmas customs from many lands. Henry Ward Beecher, a Congregationalist, wrote in 1874 of his New England boyhood:
"To me Christmas is a foreign day, and I shall die so. When I was a boy I wondered what Christmas was. I knew there was such a time, because we had an Episcopal church in our town, and I saw them dressing it with evergreens, and wondered what they were taking the woods in the church for; but I got no satisfactory explanation. A little later I understood it was a Romish institution, kept by the Romish Church."
In the early 1800s several founding members of the New York Historical Society revived the Christmas tradition. Before then, it was illegal in colonial Massachusetts to even take December 25th off work. It was banned in Massachusetts in 1659, and this law remained on the books for 22 years. In Boston, public schools stayed open on December 25th until as late as 1870. It wasn't until 1836 that any state declared Christmas a holiday (Alabama), and then there were no more state declarations until the Civil War. It was not until 1885 that all federal workers were given Christmas Day off.
The nineteenth century social and spiritual revolutions in England and America inevitably led to a mass departure from Puritanism. In Britain as early as 1841, Punch [a British periodical] suggested that the Christmas season should be a time for helping the poor and hungry, a sentiment that was given impetus by Charles Dickens in his Christmas Carol two years later.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon proclaimed as late as 1871, that:
"We have no superstitious regard for times and seasons. Certainly, we do not believe in the present ecclesiastical arrangement called Christmas: first, because we do not believe in the mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be said or sung in Latin or in English; and secondly, because we find no Scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Saviour; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because [it's] not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Saviour's birth, although there is no possibility of discovering when it occurred. ..." Spurgeon, C.H. "Joy Born At Bethlehem," A sermon: delivered on a Lord's Day Morning, December 24th, 1871. Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, pp. 697-698.
The so-called Christmas customs and traditions were later concocted more for commercial purposes than for religious. Merchants sell more of almost every kind of product during the Christmas season than at any other time of year. Will you continue to buy from the merchants of Babylon? Revelation 18:10-11