Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Are You A Truth Seeker?

The post below is reprinted in its entirety with permission from its author, Dr. Donald Ward.

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Dr. Donald Ward
Are you a truth seeker? What does the word truth mean to you? Do you understand how precious truth is? The greatest truths of the ages center on the answers to the questions of: Who is God? What is God? and What is His purpose? And the corollary to those questions are the same ones as they relate to humanity: Who is man? What is man? and What is his purpose? Could you provide a convincing answer to each of these questions?

The libraries and the Internet abound with information, and knowledge is being rapidly increased. Yet the truth that will truly set a person free from fear, ignorance, superstition and the dogmas of man is more and more difficult to discover. The apostle Paul prophesied that humanity would ever be learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2Timothy 3:7).

I believe that most people would say that they are truth seekers. But there is a great paradox that is operant in our society when it comes to seeking the truth. People want to know the truth about individuals, they want to know the truth about the people they do business with, they want to know the truth about politicians and celebrities; but this obsession has no transcendental purpose. When so-called juicy bits of gossip are aired, do those revelations raise our sights to become more noble and honorable people?

Does digging up the dirt and throwing it in the faces of others produce behavioral change? Or is this just another form of voyeurism in which people are entertained by viewing the dirty laundry of their fellow humans? And in some cases, living their lives vicariously through others.

All of the social barometers cry out loud and clear that our society continues to slide and slouch toward Sodom and Gomorrah. One of the discussion panel news programs closes with each panel member articulating the “outrage” of the week. But it seems that people are no longer outraged to the point of action about anything. And if they do raise their voices, it is usually through violent protests that serve to further exacerbate the tensions that caused the problems in the first place.

We have been desensitized and dumbed down to the point that almost no one dares to take a stand about anything. So once again, are you a truth seeker, and would you have the courage to embrace the truth and act on it?

We need what I call “3C” people: people of conviction, commitment and courage. Conviction comes from knowing within your heart and mind that a certain principle is right, just and good. Commitment has to do with realizing that the things you have been taught and convicted of are to be held in sacred trust and defended with all your being. And courage is really a product of conviction and commitment, to the degree that you are convicted and committed, you will respond courageously.

It is ironic and paradoxical that Americans will spend billions of dollars digging up dirt, printing gossip and broadcasting it, while the greater issues of life go unanswered. What happens to us after we die? Do good people literally go to a place called heaven that is filled with eternal bliss? Do bad people literally go to a place called hell where they are tormented in hell fire forever and ever? Do you have an immortal soul? And if so, where did it come from? Did God create a good, pure and righteous immortal soul and place it in a sinful body and then challenge you to “save your soul?”

These are just of the few great questions of life. But no one really pays much attention to these questions. Even the people who claim to believe in God have to a large degree made God over in their image to conform to their lifestyle and to their notions about what is acceptable to God and what is not. As a result, that which is good is called evil, and that which is evil is called good.

The Desire for Social Acceptance

Talk shows abound with everybody under the sun giving their opinion on whatever the talking point of the day is. But who or what is their authority? In turn, talk show hosts will then editorialize and give his/her point of view. But little is done to really challenge the foundational understanding of why we are on this earth.

Even when a guest might bring up certain principles that are backed by the Bible, the quick response by the hosts is to state that there are many interpretations of the Bible and he/she doesn’t necessarily see it that way. So even the plain words of the Bible are dismissed as just another opinion. Thus in effect agnosticism reigns supreme. No one knows anything absolutely; it is all reduced to a matter of personal opinion.

People are somewhat comforted by this, apparently believing that their position is justified. We are left with the erroneous position that one opinion is just as true as another. This kind of sloppy reasoning leads to people creating God in their own image—as a result they delve into more and more aberrant ways of expressing their so-called individuality and spirituality.

The greatest fear of humankind is social ostracism. People will do almost anything to remain a part of whatever social structure they are in. From the jet set to the corporate set to the political set to the media set to the man on the street to main street America to the gangs in the ghetto, the emphasis is on pleasing those who make the images.

If you don’t fit the image, if you are not politically correct, if you don’t do as they do, then you are out. There is indeed a tyranny of the peer group at every level of our society.

As a 3C person you can break the chains that bind you and be set free.

Humankind has been deceived and enslaved through fear, ignorance, superstition and the dogmas of man. The world is currently being enslaved more and more in the name of freedom, but that freedom is in fact just another form of slavery. There is only one path to true freedom, which Jesus Christ proclaimed: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8:32). These are the truths that will determine your future and the future of your children.

The truth is: You were born for a great transcendental purpose. You were born to become a member of the family of God. The truth is: God exists and earnestly desires to have a relationship with you. The truth is: Man does not have an immortal soul. We must receive eternal life from our Creator. The truth is: Humans have no consciousness after death. The truth is: You do not go to heaven when you die. The truth is: God is going to resurrect the faithful at the sound of the seventh trumpet when Jesus comes again. The truth is: You will rule on the earth with God and Christ as kings and priests. The truth is: Sinners will not burn forever and ever in hell fire. They will be burned up and become ashes under the feet of the righteous.

The truth is: Jesus was not born in December, and nowhere do the Scriptures even suggest that we observe His birthday at any time during the year. The truth is: Jesus was not crucified on Good Friday, and He not did rise from the grave on Sunday. The truth is: There will not be a rapture of the Church before the great tribulation. These are just a few of the truths that you can and should know.

Satan and his agents would have you believe the very opposite of these precious truths. Satan is the master of deceit and is deceiving the whole world. You must come to love the truth as much as you love your life. So now is the time to take to heart the words of the apostle Paul in his epistle to young Timothy: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). Paul further admonishes the ministry to preach the word, for the time will come when people will turn from the truth and be turned to fables (2 Timothy 4:1-4).

And above all, develop a deep abiding love of the truth so you will not be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine and be deceived. “And with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).

So ask yourself: Am I a truth seeker? Do I love the truth?

It is a matter of life and death.

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Published in its entirety with permission of the author Dr. Donald Ward.



Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Family Name - Bear it with Honor


Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (Exo 20:7 KJV)

The most common interpretation of the 3rd Commandment is that we should not use God's name irreverently or use his name in a curse. It is indeed the case that we should not do that.

But it means so much more and it carries with it a much broader meaning. I hope to illustrate that today.

The word that is translated "take" is the Hebrew word nâśâ'
and one of its meanings is - to carry or bear continuously

The word that is translated "vain" is the Hebrew word shâv'
and one of its meanings is - “in the sense of desolating or disgracing”

So, to take a name in vain could be translated - to carry or bear that name in the sense of desolating or disgracing it

The opposite would be to bear that name with honor. So we could either take God's name and bear it with honor or we could bear it disgracefully.

It is a common practice that customarily when a man and a woman marry, the woman takes the surname of the man. For example -

When my mother agreed to be my father's bride and they were married, she took his last name. She no longer used her maiden name and became known as Doris Radcliff. Her new name was officially changed to Radcliff as all the documentation and paperwork was done with all the service bureaus and social security administration to make it so. As such, she became a member of the Radcliff family and took on the capacity to represent us in a certain areas - at the bank, at my school, when speaking with utility companies, at church, in the neighborhood, etc. Her actions now reflect on the whole Radcliff family.

Similarly, when my brother and I were born, we took our father's last name. Our actions too reflect on the whole Radcliff family.

Now what about all of us? Who are are we? Are we not sons and daughters of God and the bride of Christ? Guess whose name we have taken.

Our conduct does not just project ourselves only. It reflects on each and every affiliation we have. It reflects on us a family members, it reflects on us as Americans, it reflects on us as Christians.

That's how stereotypes are formed. It is assumed that we all act the same. The way one person acts is the way all people of that affiliation act. If one child acts a certain way, it is assumed that their behavior is sanctioned by the parents and all the kids act that way.

How often have we thought, "well his mother should have taught him better". Maybe his mother did teach him better. Maybe his mother has been trying for years to get it into his head to have some manners and show some respect. But if the kid continually misbehaves anyway, doesn't it still reflect poorly on the parents? If it gets bad enough the kid gets a bad reputation and the family name can become a byword and elicit a negative reaction among civilized society. For example -

How would you like to have been Paula Hitler, Adolf's little sister? After WWII, she lived under the assumed name Paula Wolf until she died and then "Paula Hitler" was put on her wooden grave marker. Or maybe you would like to be serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer's little brother David Dahmer who changed his last name and still today lives in anonymity.

In the military, there's an offense called "conduct unbecoming an officer and a gentleman" or as it's been reduced to now "conduct unbecoming". It means that a military man, usually an officer of some rank is expected to conduct himself a certain way. When he does not, he can be brought up on charges, court martialed and dismissed from the military. The charge seems to have been first codified under the British Naval Discipline Act of 10 August 1860, which says; "Article 24: Every Officer subject to this Act who shall be guilty of Cruelty, or of any scandalous or fraudulent Conduct, shall be dismissed with Disgrace from Her Majesty's Service; and every Officer subject to this Act who shall be guilty of any other Conduct unbecoming the Character of an Officer shall be dismissed, with or without Disgrace, from Her Majesty's Service."

Why would they institute something like that, where a man can be dismissed from the military based on his conduct? What does one man's actions have to do with the rest of the Navy? Because it reflects poorly on the whole Navy. They have a standard they're expected to live up to in order to uphold a certain image. The character of the individual reflects on the whole organization.

If someone claims to be a Christian they bear the name of Christ. There are certain expectations about how they should act and what words they will use or won't use. Maybe you expect them to dress a little more modestly or treat people with a little more compassion and understanding. Sometimes people change their manner of speech around a person who claims to be a Christian. I have personally had people apologize for using foul language in my presence. You probably have too.

Many non-Christians scoff at the idea that Christianity is directly inspired by God. They look at the lifestyles of those calling themselves "Christian" and see nothing but hypocrisy; people no different than they are except for their pious attitudes and the labels they apply to others. People have used Christians' behavior as an excuse not to believe in God or not to become a Christian. They call them hypocrites because they claim Christ's name but their actions are not consistent with Christ's teachings. It's called "incongruency". Their actions are not congruent with their expectations for one who takes Christ's name. It is not in harmony with expectations. It doesn't fit.

When we take the name of God and His Christ, we are expected to conduct ourselves a certain way. We have been set apart, sanctified. (1Cor 6:11) We have a standard we're expected to live up to and to uphold a certain image. We are not of this world. (John 17:16) We have been translated into the Kingdom of His dear son. (Col 1:13) As such, we are ambassadors of that Kingdom, (2Cor 5:20) representatives of the Kingdom of God in this evil world. We are to be good soldiers of Christ bearing all things with dignity and honor and humility. (2Tim 2:3) We are to uphold the family name and bear it with honor.

Turn to Ezekiel chapter 36. How does God deal with people who have taken his name in vain and profaned it among the nations? What happened when the people of Israel disgraced God's name?
Eze 36:16-20 KJV Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (17) Son of man, when the house of Israel dwelt in their own land, they defiled it by their own way and by their doings: their way was before me as the uncleanness of a removed woman. (18) Wherefore I poured my fury upon them for the blood that they had shed upon the land, and for their idols wherewith they had polluted it: (19) And I scattered them among the heathen, and they were dispersed through the countries: according to their way and according to their doings I judged them. (20) And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said of them, These are the people of the LORD, and are gone forth out of his land.

Seeing the pathetic state of the exiles, the pagan peoples said in scorn, “These are the people of God???” And, “What kind of weak God must Yahweh be that he would claim such as these to be his people?” And God's name was blasphemed among the heathens as a result. The way the people acted actually diminished God's name and his reputation among the nations. His family name was tarnished.

But there's hope.... God in his infinite mercy will take pity on them but notice why. Was it for the sake of the people?
Eze 36:21-28 KJV (21) But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. (22) Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. (23) And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, saith the Lord GOD, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes. (23) For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. (25) Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. (26) A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (27) And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. (28) And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.

God's name is sanctified, set apart as holy, in each of us before their very eyes. We are the Israel of God now. (Gal 6:16) As we walk in his statutes and keep his judgments and do them others will notice and God's name will be sanctified and glorified.

The last thing any of us wants to do is bring shame to the family name. We have taken the family name of our Father and of his Christ. Let us remember to bear God's name with honor. Our actions are attributed to ALL Christians, fair or unfair, as we represent Christ. Let's let our light so shine before men that God will be glorified. (Matt 5:16)

And let us take to heart all that the 3rd Commandment brings to bear -

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (Deu 5:11 KJV)

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

If Jesus Be the Messiah, Tell Us Plainly. He DID!

Jesus was often asked if He was the coming Messiah. If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. (John 10:24) The thing is, he had told them plainly many times, that is, anyone well versed in the Scriptures, by using a technique called "remez".

For instance, if I were to use this phrase in conversation with you, "As for me and my house", you could easily finish it by saying, "we will serve the LORD"  because you are quite familiar with this scripture in Joshua 24:15. I would be able to convey the entire scripture and the message it carries without saying it because your mind easily fills in the rest and you know exactly what is meant by it.

Well, Jesus used the same technique many times throughout the Gospels. Take a look at what Jesus said in Luke 19:10 for example -

Luke 19:10  For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

There are two such "remez-type" references in this one sentence and in that day the Jews, who were very well schooled in the scriptures and memorized entire chapters, would have known immediately what he meant.

The first is when he referred to himself as the "Son of man". See how this hearkens back to the book of Daniel.
Dan 7:13-14  I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.  (14)  And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
This is obviously talking about the Messiah returning to set up the everlasting Kingdom of God. By referring to Himself as the "Son of man", he was telling those who knew Scripture that he was indeed the One to come, the Messiah. So, He DID tell them plainly.

They were without excuse as Jesus referred to Himself as the "Son of man" 82 times in the Gospels! 


The second remez in Luke 19:10 referenced the words, "seek", "save" and "lost". For this one, we go back to the book of Ezekiel.
Eze 34:11  For thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out.
Eze 34:16  I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.
Eze 34:22  Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

Whom did it say seeks and saves that which was lost? Clearly and plainly, the Lord GOD!

To those who knew their Scripture, by referring to Himself as the one who came to seek and save that which was lost, Jesus was plainly telling them that He was that One, the Messiah.

The rest of Ezekiel chapter 34 condemns the religious leaders of the day for not seeking after that which was lost and tending the flock over which they had been given charge to shepherd. Likewise, in addition to claiming Messiah-ship, Jesus was doing the same through the remez in Luke 19:10.

All this in just one sentence!

Jesus DID plainly tell them that He is the Messiah! If any man have an ear, let him hear.


This just goes to show that we must know our Scripture well if we are to fully comprehend the Word of God and show ourselves approved unto God, rightly dividing the word of truth! (2Tim 2:15)

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Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Year's Day - is it of God?

The post below is reprinted in its entirety with permission from its author, Ken Murray -
https://www.facebook.com/notes/ken-murray/new-years-day-is-it-of-god/10205845683765624

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Here is my latest email Newsletter to Central Asia and many people in other areas of the World...

Hello fellow brethren in India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and elsewhere around the World,

The “Silly Season” of this World, following ancient pagan customs is now past, for the moment, until of course “Valentines Day” takes hold of people’s attention in February.

It is a relief for us Christians who love God and God’s true Holy Days, that He has commanded us to keep, that this current hedonistic pagan season is over.

We will be looking forward to the true start of the new year, when God says it begins in the Northern Hemisphere’s Springtime and not as Satan likes it, in the Northern Hemisphere’s dead middle of winter.

Meantime, we have this very enjoyable Sabbath day to relax and be spiritually refreshed.

So let me ask you a question: New Year’s Eve – is it of God?
In my last newsletter to you, I wrote about the pagan Saturnalia festival historical connections to Christmas and how it was syncretised by the Roman Catholic church into their philosophy of christianity.
What about New Year’s Eve?
Is it of God?
Would Jesus Christ keep New Year’s Eve?

Christmas to New Year – 8 day Counterfeit of God’s Holy Days
Very few people are aware of how the eight days of Christmas to New Year’s Day are also a counterfeit by Satan of God’s “appointed” Holy Days of the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles and the 8th Day or Last Great Day.  Read on to find out more.

How did the celebration of New Year's Eve begin?
Why is the beginning of a year placed in the dead middle of winter?
Where did the many customs surrounding it originate?
Is New Year’s Eve celebration, something that a true Christian should be observing?
Is the 1st January the true beginning of a new year or has God commanded a different time of the year?
Is it God who has the authority to determine when a new year truly begins or mankind?

New Year’s Eve festival is an ancient Pagan Custom
New Year's is one of the oldest and most universal of all pagan traditions.
The custom of celebrating it has remained essentially unchanged for 4,000 years.
"Mesopotamia," writes Earl W. Count, "is the very ancient Mother of Civilization. Christmas began there, over four thousand years ago, as the festival which renewed the world for another year. The 'twelve days' of Christmas; the bright fires and probably the Yule log; the giving of presents; the carnivals with their floats, their merrymakings and clownings, the mummers who sing and play from house to house; the feastings; the church processions with their lights and song -- all these and more began there centuries before Christ was born. And they celebrated the arrival of a new year." ("4000 Years of Christmas", Earl W. Count, pages 20-21.)
That is how it began. The celebration of New Year's began in ancient Babylonia in Mesopotamia. It was a pagan custom of ancient sun-worship 2000 years before the birth of Jesus.

The celebration of New Year's festival is never once commanded in the Bible
Jesus and the apostles never observed New Year’s Eve. Moses was inspired and commanded by God to forbid such customs of the heathen:

Deuteronomy 12:30-31
"Take heed to yourself that you be not snared by following them, after that they be destroyed from before you; and that you inquire not after their gods, saying 'How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.' You shall not do so unto the Eternal your God: for every abomination to the Eternal, which He hates, have they done to their gods ...." (Deuteronomy 12:30-31)

So, does it really matter?
Is it alright to compromise with God?
After I wrote about the falsity of Christmas, an old past College friend of mine, responded and wrote to me:

“God loves pagan festivals! His love excludes no one, nor their festivals.”
But is that true that God loves paganism?
Along with what Moses would say to him, as we have just read in Deuteronomy 12:30-31, here is what Ezekiel would say to this man:
Ezekiel 11:12: "And you shall know that I am the Lord: for you have not walked in my statutes, neither executed my judgments, but have done after the manners of the heathen that are round about you."

Here is what Jeremiah would reply to this man:
Jeremiah 10:2-4  “Thus says the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
Jer 10:3  For the customs of the people are vain…”

Here is what Isaiah would reply to this man:
Isaiah 55:7-9  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
Isa 55:8  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord.
Isa 55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

When it comes to the choice to keep the ways of this world, such as Christmas or the truthful Way of God in the right spirit, we need to remind ourselves of these verses in Ezekiel, Jeremish, Isaiah and Proverbs.
Proverbs 14:12; 16:25:  “There is a way which seems right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”

So, don't say "it doesn't matter." It does matter to God whether we compromise and adopt the customs of the heathen about us.

New Year’s is a Pagan Roman Feast
Over history. the New Year's festivities that had originated in Babylon found their way to Greece and finally to Rome. The Romans called it "Saturnalia" -- in honour of their false god of Saturn.
Among them it was extremely popular, just like today, it was a time of revelling, drinking bouts, partying and orgies.

It was Julius Caesar, Emperor of pagan Rome, who instituted the New Year's festival on January first. In 46BC Caesar developed his Julian calendar centred on the Sun not the Moon.
He transferred to the first day of January all of the licentious customs surrounding the Roman Saturnalia mid-winter season.
"The first day of the Saturnalia shifted during the lifetime of Rome ... it began around the middle of December ... and continued until January first. In its midst was December twenty-fifth, the day, as the Romans calculated, when the sun was at its lowest ebb ...." ("4000 Years of Christmas", Earl W. Count,  page 28.)

“In early times, the ancient Romans gave each other New Year’s gifts of branches from sacred trees. In later years, they gave gold-covered nuts or coins imprinted with pictures of Janus, the god of gates, doors, and beginnings. January was named after Janus, who had two faces—one looking forward and the other looking backward” (World Book Encyclopaedia, 2001).

“In 46 B.C.E. the Roman emperor Julius Caesar first established January 1 as New Year’s day. Janus was the Roman god of doors and gates, and had two faces, one looking forward and one back.  Caesar felt that the month named after this god (“January”) would be the appropriate “door” to the year.  Caesar celebrated the first January 1 New Year by ordering the violent routing of revolutionary Jewish forces in the Galilee.  Eyewitnesses say blood flowed in the streets.  In later years, Roman pagans observed the New Year by engaging in drunken orgies—a ritual they believed constituted a personal re-enacting of the chaotic world that existed before the cosmos was ordered by the gods.” (U.S. News and World Report December 23, 1996)

But how did such a pagan festival day ever get syncretised into this World’s so called "christian" calendar?
Here is the answer from church history around 375 A.D, when Emperor Constantine imposed the catholic version of "christianity" on the Roman world.
"There were many immigrants into the ranks of the Christians by this time," writes Earl W. Count. "The Church Fathers discovered to their alarm that they were also facing an invasion of pagan customs. The habit of Saturnalia was too strong to be left behind. At first the Church forbade it, but in vain" ("4000 Years of Christmas", Earl W. Count, page 31).
Rather than resist the influence of pagan customs, the Catholic Church fathers compromised and simply syncretised it into their own philosophical version of Christianity.
"The Church finally succeeded in taking the merriment, the greenery, the lights, and the gifts from Saturn and giving them to the Babe of Bethlehem .... The pagan Romans became Christians -- but the Saturnalia remained!" ("4000 Years of Christmas", Earl W. Count,, page 31.)

There is something even more insidiously diabolical in the Catholic history of New Year’s Day, which you will see, as we continue exposing this phoney New Year’s Day. You will see how it was used for evil and not good.

New Year’s Day the Catholic “Feast of the Circumcision”
New Year’s day did not become a holy day for the Roman Catholic Church until 487AD when it was declared to be the “Feast of the Circumcision”:
“Our “New Year’s Day, “the “Feast of the Circumcision,” was called the octave of Christmas as early as 487, AD, and was instituted by the Church to commemorate the ceremony of the Jewish law which the Saviour submitted. In the time of Numa the old Roman heathens dedicated the day to Janus, the double-faced deity…” (Savage J., editor. The Manhattan and de la Salle monthly. New York Catholic Protectory, 1875 Original from the New York Public Library Digitized Jul 13, 2006, p. 2)

“The Feast of the Circumcision has been observed in the Roman church since 487AD and in the Anglican church since 1549AD.” (Douglas GW, Compton HD. The American book of days: a compendium of information about holidays, festivals, notable anniversaries and Christian and Jewish holy days, with notes on other American anniversaries worthy of remembrance. H. W. Wilson Co., 1957 Original from the University of California Digitized Sep 25, 2008, p. 2)

8 Days Counterfeit of God’s Holy Days
The 8 days of Christmas to New Year’s gave the Catholic, as well as Anglican, Church an 8 day festival with a ‘holy day’ at the beginning and the end, similar in that respect to God’s Feast of Tabernacles and 8th Day – Last Great Day (Leviticus 23:34-35).
The Roman Catholic church determined that if Jesus was born on December 25th (even though he could not have been), then they reasoned wrongly that Jesus was circumcised 8 days later, and therefore He would have been circumcised on the 1st January, hence their wrong rationale for New Year’s being ‘the Feast of the Circumcision.’

It should be added that there is no indication in the Bible that Jesus’ circumcision should be celebrated.

New Year’s Day “Feast of Circumcision” used for evil purposes by the Roman Catholic church
In the Roman Catholic church, Jesus’ circumcision was believed to have “initiated the reign of Christianity and the death of Judaism.”
As a result of this Catholic labelling, throughout the Medieval Period, the first day of January was blatantly anti-Jewish.
On that day, synagogues were ransacked or burned, Jewish books were publicly burned, and Jews were tortured and killed.
In keeping with this anti-Jewish trend, Pope Gregory XIII decreed on New Year’s day, 1577, that all Roman Jews were to attend a special Catholic “conversion service” which was to be held in Jewish synagogues every Friday night.
A year later, on New Year’s day, Pope Gregory signed into law a tax on Jews to pay for a “house of conversion” used to convert Jews to Christianity. Again, in 1581, on 1st January, Gregory ordered the confiscation of all sacred literature from the Jewish community, leading to the death of thousands of Jews.
In Catholicism, each “Saint” is awarded a particular day on which to be honoured.
31st December, New Year’s Eve, is “Saint Sylvester Day,” and celebrations dedicated to his memory are held on that night.
Who was this so-called saint Sylvester?
Sylvester was the Roman Pope who reigned during the Council of Nicaea (325 AD).
Prior to the council, Sylvester managed to convince Constantine to ban Jews from Jerusalem. Then, during the council, Sylvester “arranged for the passage of a host of viciously anti-Semitic legislation.”  (http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/newyearshistory/
 
 ).

The idea of celebrating any kind of “New Year’s day” is clearly without scriptural backing.
The fact that our modern celebration of January first as New Year’s day is linked directly to paganism and prejudice should pull us up in our tracks, and cause us to reject observing such pagan customs, that God loathes.
New Year’s is just one more example of man’s rejection of the Word of God while illicitly taking from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

When Does God Begin the New Year?
We need to remember that it is God Almighty who created the Universe.
He set the heavenly bodies in their courses at Creation. It is by His "master-clock" that time is determined.
The first month of God's sacred calendar is called, in the Bible, "Abib".
It means the month of "green ears." Later, the Jews called it "Nisan" which is a Persian Babylonian word having the same meaning.

God's sacred calendar year begins in the spring, not in the dead middle of winter.
Notice Exodus 12:1-2, "And the Eternal spake unto Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the FIRST MONTH OF THE YEAR TO YOU."
Yes, only God has the authority to set the date of the beginning of the new year.
The earth's rotation regulates the length of a day and the lunar phases indicate the length of a month. The orbit of the earth around the sun dictates the length of a year.
It was in the month of Abib (Hebrew) or Nisan (Persian) that Israel came out of Egyptian captivity under Moses (Exodus 34:18). The Hebrew month Abib overlaps the months of March-April on the pagan Roman calendar in use today.
Satan, however, has cleverly deceived the world into believing the new year begins on 1st January.
God placed the beginning of the sacred year in the early spring to mark the beginning of the seasonal harvests. The two annual harvests in Palestine foreshadowed God's Plan for the twofold spiritual harvest of people to be born into His Kingdom as part of God’s Family.

The Bible speaks of a great false religious system which will "think to change times and laws" (Daniel 7:25).
This system has deliberately thought to change the beginning of God's calendar year in an attempt to hide God's Plan for the salvation of mankind. But mankind has no authority to change God's "master-clock."

Pagan symbolism ingrained into New Year’s Eve festivities
New Year's Babe?
"Actually, the New Year’s Babe is far older than he looks. In ancient Greece, it was customary at the great festival of Dionysus to parade a babe cradled in a winnowing basket. This was taken to symbolize the annual (or periodic) rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. The ceremony is portrayed on a sarcophagus now in the Fitzwilliam at Cambridge, England. Two men, one bearded, the other in the flower of youth, are shown carrying the infant in the winnowing basket… (New Year: Its History, Customs, and Superstitions, p. 67)
The symbol of a baby for the new year was common in pagan practice, and the Catholic church disallowed it for centuries. Eventually these religious leaders gave in to the pressure, allowing infants to be used during celebrations that took place during this time of year, but with one adjustment.
The New Year's Babe was transformed by the Catholic church into the Babe of Bethlehem, a symbol of Christ.
The New Year’s babe is no less than a symbol of Dionysus, a Greek god of wine! It was in his honour that the Greeks held the festival of the wine-press in January. It is no wonder that New Year’s Eve parties have become an excuse to drink. More than any other holiday, New Year’s Day holds the record for the most alcohol consumed on any one day!
As sophisticated as we might think our society is in our modern age, we are still worshiping the god of alcohol!

"Father Time"
Another symbol of New Year's celebrations is equally pagan! It is the familiar figure of a white-haired man carrying a scythe. What does he represent? The ancient Greek god Cronos. It is from the name "Cronos" we derive our "chronograph" which measures time.
Among the Greek gods, Cronos originally cut a swath of human sacrifice, with his sharpened scythe! The "silent reaper" anciently "reaped" little children in horrible episodes of mythical cannibalism. This Greek rite of human sacrifice was adopted by ancient Rome, where human sacrifice was practiced at least until 300AD.
Strange as it seems, the professing Christian world praises and practices customs and days of pagan origin, thinly cloaking them in "Christian" sounding names! You too, may have accepted these vain traditions of men, never realizing they are pagan to the core and certainly not condoned by God
In fear of a prophecy that he would be in turn be overthrown by his own son, Kronos swallowed each of his children as soon as they were born.

In art, Cronus was depicted eating a baby or carrying a sickle used to gather the harvest.  This was also the weapon he used to kill his father.
Do you seriously believe that “God loves pagan holidays”, as my dear friend from my old College days, believes?

"In VAIN do they worship me," said Jesus Christ, "teaching for doctrines the commandments of men!"
Jesus said it is possible to worship God,  to venerate the name of Christ, but still do it all in vain.
"Full well you reject the commandments of God, that you may keep your own tradition," He continued, "... making the Word of God of none effect through your tradition, which you have delivered!" (Mark 7:7, 9, 13)

The Modern Attitude of Compromise
Many people will confess, when forced to, the pagan origin of these days.
Sadly, they stubbornly refuse to stop observing them!
They seemingly just do not care, but foolishly follow the crowd.
There is a general “don’t care” attitude in the world today, along with a total disrespect for God and God’s instructions of how we should live our lives wisely.
God is their Judge!
Excessive alcohol and drug use as well as promiscuous behaviour, has become common at New Year's Eve events.
Today, New Year's Eve has become a time for people to wallow in excesses of liquor and drugs and illicit sex.
The modern attitude, just like the ancient Romans, seems to be, "have a wild time on New Year's Eve, and turn over a new leaf on New Year's Day."

Most people seem to have foolishly and ignorantly convinced themselves that God is out of the picture for good. They falsely believe that God is not concerned with their modern revelling, drunken parties, and fornication.

New Year's resolutions are simply empty and meaningless, usually trifling matters of jest. Few people make a lasting change.

Will God intervene and put an end to Paganism in our Nations, just as God did to Israel?
Read, in 2Kings 17:15-18, the reason why God Almighty took ancient Israel into captivity:
"And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them; and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that they should not do like them!"
The Northern 10 tribes of Israel never returned as a nation to the land of Palestine.

What was the result of Israel following the customs of the heathen nations around them?
"Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight .... and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers, until he had cast them out of his sight .... so was Israel carried away out of their own land to Assyria unto this day. (II Kings 17:18, 20, and 23.)

History is getting ready to repeat itself.
Revelation 18:2-10:
"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power, and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he said mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen.
"Her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues!"

So, let me ask you a question?
Will you be keeping Satan’s deceitful Christmas and New Year’s Eve this year or will you stay faithful to God and “worship God in spirit and in truth”? (John 4:23-24)

Want to learn more about God’s wonderful Holy Days, rather than the phony holidays of this World?
If you would like to know more about God’s true Holy Days compared to this World’s deceitful “worldly christian holidays”, why not read the following Bible study guides:
God’s Holy Days or worldly holidays?
http://www.ucg.org/booklet/holidays-or-holy-days-does-it-matter-which-days-we-observe/
 

AND:
“God’s Holy Day Plan” at:
http://www.ucg.org/booklet/gods-holy-day-plan-promise-hope-all-mankind/
 


Keep in touch.
Warm regards,
Ken Murray
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I strive to be as the Bereans spoken of in Acts 17:10-11 receiving the word with all readiness of mind, and searching the scriptures daily, whether those things are so. Check up on me in your own bible. Should you find me in error please let me know immediately. We must prove all things (1Thes 5:21) and rightly divide the word of truth (2Tim 2:15) together lest we be deceived. (Matt 24:24)

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