CHRIST AND CHRISTMAS
The Truth and the Lie
Robert A. Grove
This is a transcript of a public message given by Robert A.
Grove. It was transcribed for the purpose of putting it into
print, by one who was blessed by it. It has been edited some for
the purpose of clarity.
Our hope is that you will be as those in Berea of whom we are
told in Acts 17:11: "These were more fair-minded than those in
Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness,
and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these
things were so."
Having this attitude we trust that you will then obey these
exhortations from the apostle Paul, I Thessalonians 5:20-22: "Do
not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.
Abstain from every form of evil."
I want to express my thanks to the Lord for those who
transcribed, edited, proofread and typed so that this message
could be put into print. Without your labors it would never have
been completed. Believing you have done this work as unto the
Lord, I want to remind you that He has promised "...whatever you
do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that
from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance;
for you serve the Lord Christ." (Col.3:23 & 24) In addition, I
want to express my personal gratitude to you all.
Robert A. Grove December 13, 1996
John 1:1-10 -- "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was
with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning
with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not
anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was
the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the
darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God,
whose name was John. The same came for a witness to bear witness
of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not
that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was
the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the
This is the one of whose birth we are supposed to celebrate at
this time of year.
"The one who was the true light that lighteth every man that
cometh into the world. He was in the world and the world was
made by him and the world knew him not. He came to his own and
his own received him not." (John 1:9-11).
And that is just as true today as it ever was. Almost everyone
in the world, at least in our society in our country [USA], will
come together to celebrate His birth-----some with the knowledge
of Him as their Lord and Saviour and others as rank Christ
rejecters. They want nothing really to do with Hs death, His
burial, his resurrection, and His life for them. But this is a
nice time to come together, have warm thoughts of each other,
give gifts and sell gifts. There are a lot of people who get
very enthusiastic at this time of year, primarily because they
want to sell, which makes them money. This is the time of year
that, many in the retail trade say, can actually make or break
the year for them, November through December.
The world doesn't know Him today any more than it did then. And
the Christ whose birthday they allegedly celebrate is not the
Christ that I love, not the Christ that died for me. It is some
John 1:12-17 -- "But as many as received him, to them gave he
power to become the sons of God even to them that believe on his
name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the
flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word was made
flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory the glory as
of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
John bare witness of him, and cried, saying. This was he of whom
I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me; for he
was before me. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and
truth came by Jesus Christ."
When we think about the Lord Jesus Christ, those two
characteristics, those two attributes are truly characteristic
of him. Grace, unmerited favor extended to me and to you as the
Lord Jesus Christ suffered and died for my sins. Grace and truth
-- truth. Years later, after his birth, He was standing before
Pilate. Pilate asked a question, "What is truth?" And that is
certainly a question that many people in the world today ask,
"What is truth?" What all prompted, or was behind, that
expression on Pilate's part?
Look at John 18 and let's look at that context a little bit.
What all was in his mind? The Roman government at that time, as
I understand it, was favorable to the worship of any and all
gods. They had conquered many nations and with them of course
came many beliefs. Many idolatrous gods were worshiped. Many
pagan deities were worshipped. The goal of the Roman government
was, basically, to get all people everywhere to live peaceably,
under their control and government. Therefore, they wanted to
appease all the gods. And Pilate, undoubtedly, had some
background and some understanding of that.
Let's look at John 18:33-37 -- "Then Pilate entered into the
judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art
thou the King of the Jews? Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this
thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me? Pilate
answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests
have delivered thee unto me: what has thou done? Jesus answered,
My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this
world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be
delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus
answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end I was born,
and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear
witness unto the truth."
This is the reason I was born. This is why I came into the
world, to "bear witness of the truth. Everyone that is of the
truth heareth my voice." And, of course, that means that
Christians should be of truth, right? We should be of truth. We
have heard the voice of the Lord Jesus Christ as he called,
"Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden..", and we
have accepted that call. And so a characteristic of our lives
should be as his life of truth, and the Lord said that he came
to bear witness of the truth. Pilate said unto him, "What is
truth?" I am sure that Pilate had, throughout his life, heard
all kinds theologies and all kinds of theories as to how to
please God and how to be accepted of God. In fact, Pilate was
probably well aware of the very roots of the celebration of
Christmas. He probably was well aware of it because it far
predates the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is no
historical question about it.
I will read from material that I have never read from before. It
is on the subject of Christmas, its carols and its legends. It
is much easier reading than Hislop's, "The Two Babylons", which
I have read before. It clearly indicates that, basically,
everything that is a part of the celebration of Christmas has
pagan origin and goes back well beyond the birth of the Lord
Jesus Christ. Pilate knew that. And the Roman government was
involved in trying to keep peace among all the various pagan
deities, wanting them to get along with each other, not to argue
and fight. In their system of government, they deferred to all
pagan gods and goddesses and the various holidays that were a
part of it. Pilate had that background. And so when the Lord
Jesus Christ said that he came to bear witness of the truth,
Pilate had reason, undoubtedly, to say, "Well, what is truth?"
And exactly the same thing is true today. As most of the world
sees Christendom (I use that term to describe religion that
claims to be based on the Bible), it sees the mixture of
paganism, heathenism, Judaism and Christianity, all mixed into a
big stew. Lies and truths all mixed together and spoken by the
same people. People have every reason to back off and say, "What
Hopefully, I can illustrate more surely what I am thinking about
as we go on. Pilate is there before the Lord Jesus Christ, the
one by whom came truth. "The law was given by Moses, but grace
and truth came through Jesus Christ." Turn back to John chapter
4. This is the account of the woman at the well. The Lord has
asked her for a drink of water. Then He told her that if she
knew who had asked her for a drink that she would have asked of
him a drink. He told her that the water he could give her would
spring up into ever lasting life and she would never thirst
again. She wanted to know where he would draw the water from
because the well was deep and he did not have anything to draw
the water with. Finally He, I think, focuses her attention on
what he is really addressing----her spiritual thirst----when he
tells her to go get her husband and she says, "I don't have a
husband." And he said, "It is well said you don't have a husband
because you have had five husbands and the man you are now
living with is not your husband." Then she realized that he
wasn't simply talking about H2O but that he was talking about
the spiritual thirst that she, and everyone else has, until they
accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
Shortly after that she goes on: John 4:19-23 -- "The woman saith
unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers
worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is
the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her,
Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in
this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye
worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation
is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true
worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for
the Father seeketh such to worship him."
If you are going to worship the Father, you are going to have to
worship Him in spirit and in truth. Again, if we are going to
bring honor to the Lord Jesus Christ, in anything that we do, it
is going to have to be something that is true, a part of truth.
It can't be a lie, or a part of a lie, or a mixture of truth and
lies. It's got to be true!
John 4:23 -- "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true
worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for
the Father seeketh such to worship him."
Those are the kind of people that the Father wants to worship
him. Now look at John 14:3-6. "And if I go and prepare a place
for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself, that
where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and
the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not
whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith
unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh
unto the Father, but by Me."
So we find that the Lord Jesus Christ said, "I have come to bear
witness of the truth." It was said of him that by Him came
truth. He said, "If people are going to worship Me, true
worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth." And here He
said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." So if we are going
to do anything that will be honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ,
it is going to have to be what? TRUTH! If it's not true, it
won't be honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now somebody tell me, what is the story of Christmas? What is
supposed to have happened on the 25th of December? Santa Claus
comes down the chimney. Christ was supposed to have been born.
So the story is that Christ was born on December 25th. Right?
And the story is that on December 25th Santa Claus comes down
the chimney. Three wise men came to visit the Lord Jesus Christ
in a manger in Bethlehem. The wise men brought gifts to Him.
King Herod was looking for Him. Santa flies from the North Pole
and drops gifts at every house where the children have been
good----in one night! There was no room at the inn. It sounds
like a jigsaw puzzle scattered all over the place.
Of all that has been said so far, how much is true? Jesus was
born in Bethlehem. King Herod was looking for Him. The wise men
brought gifts. Other than that, virtually everything else said,
as far as what is part of the Christmas story, is not true. When
a child grows up, they are going to be in the same place that
Pilate was. They are going to ask, "What is truth?" Because
there are some other parts of the story that are true. It is
true that the Lord Jesus Christ was born. That's true. Also, the
Bible tells us that He was born of a virgin. That's true. But
that's just as hard to believe as it is to believe that Santa
Claus comes down a chimney or manages to get down all the
chimneys all over the world from the North Pole in the same
12-hour period of time or less. That's almost as hard to
believe---and yet it's true. And if you are going to believe it,
you are going to believe it by faith. But if you've had your
faith affected already, before you've come to the place where
you can believe it, because somebody has lied to you, then
that's going to be hard to believe. Also it's a fact that the
Lord Jesus Christ lived a perfect, flawless life under the
Mosaic law. He did no sin; there was no guile found in His
mouth. That is hard to believe! It is a fact that Jesus Christ
was Emmanuel, that being interpreted, "God with us." That is
hard to believe.
And you come along later in life, and you run into a Jehovah's
Witness, and he points out to you the story you were told when
you were a kid, about Santa Claus and Christmas and Christ being
born on December 25th, was all a lie. And now you are an adult
and you realize that, yes, it was a lie. It really wasn't Santa
Claus; it was my mother and dad. Mark told us that when he was a
boy, he was told that if you opened your eyes, between the time
you went to bed and got up the next morning, Santa Claus would
put pepper in them. The legend and the lie have a lot of facets
and are only limited by the imagination of the particular
parents or preacher or whoever is promoting the legend. But you
run into a Jehovah's Witness and he is pretty slick. He knows
his stuff and you will have to admit that you have been conned.
They've had an ad running on the Fredericksburg radio a couple
of times. A little girl goes into a furniture store and she
wants to ask a question. So he immediately tells something about
the finance program and she says, "No, that's not the question."
He said, "What do you want to ask me about?" She wants to know
if there is a Santa Claus. Well, he never does answer the
question. He won't answer the question but she says, "You're
saying that there is no Santa Claus." The next ad that followed
that one was similar. She came back in again with the same
question. About that time, Santa comes in the door, "HO HO!" Now
she is convinced that there really is a Santa Claus, because he
came in the door. Again, what are they doing? They are promoting
But again, back to what I was saying. This JW points out the
fact that you were lied to about Christmas. They don't celebrate
Christmas. I spoke to a fellow that was picking up garbage the
other day. He asked, "Are you ready for Christmas?" I said, "I
guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be. I don't celebrate Christmas.
I love the Lord Jesus Christ and I read the Bible, but I really
don't find anywhere where I should celebrate His birth. So I
don't celebrate Christmas." He said, "Well everybody has their
own beliefs." He said that Mr. A., whom he worked for, didn't
celebrate it either and that he was a JW. I said, "Well, I'm not
a JW, but I don't celebrate Christmas." I don't know how Mr. A.
got to be a JW; but at some point in time, he accepted the fact
that Christmas was pagan and that the story of the birth of
Christ on the 25th of December was a lie. And along with that,
he may have been told that, actually, the fact that Jesus Christ
was Emmanuel, "God with us", wasn't true either. And the fact
that he rose from the dead wasn't true either. And the fact that
you can accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and be born
again----that wasn't true either. And right on down the line
they go because that is what they (JWs) teach. They do use the
fact that they are accurate in their understanding of the origin
of the Christmas celebration. And so you wind up with people who
are vulnerable for that question, "What is truth?"
Many who have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their personal
Savior have allowed the devil, the god of this world, through
the Roman Catholic church, to come up with a mixture of paganism
and Christianity, that has been spiced and sweetened up, by
calling it the celebration of the birth of the Son of God,
rather than the sun in the heavens. They celebrate by the use of
trees, trinkets and things the pagans used for the purpose of
worshiping the sun but claim this is celebrating the birth of
Jesus Christ. They have allowed the devil to convince them that
they can do this and it can in some way be honoring to the Lord
Jesus Christ. In reality, it cuts the bottom right out from
under the credibility of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe
that if we were gripped by that and proved it to ourselves,
then, to me, it puts the whole celebration in a different light.
It isn't something that's not all that bad, that I don't do
because it doesn't honor the Lord. It's bad!! It's terrible!!
It's one of the tricks of the devil.
I'll read from this book titled Christmas in Carol, Custom, and
Legend. I won't try to read all of it, but it's basically a song
book. But in the front part of it and after each section of
carols, they make some effort to indicate where they came from.
The amazing thing to me is that the dishonesty and the falsehood
of the celebration of Christmas isn't something that only I
know, or that only we know, or that only we and the JWs know.
Everybody knows. Everybody knows, that has done any studying on
the subject. It's common knowledge; there is probably not a
religious leader in the world that doesn't know it. And when you
talk to them, they won't discuss it, in most cases, because even
though they know it, they're not going to change. After all,
they get more people to come to church at Christmas than at any
other time. Well fine---but what are you doing with what you're
apart of for the rest of the year? What effect is that going to
have on you? The writer here says:
"Christmas, the greatest of all festivals is celebrated over the
modern world through the observance of both religious and
secular customs which are a heritage of many centuries. The
Story of the Nativity has inspired songs, legends, and beliefs;
and these have been contributed by every land to the great
treasury of music and traditions which are now the background
for Christian observance. Yet there are many other elements, now
an integral part of the great celebration, which had their roots
in pre-Christian times."
In other words, they far predate the birth of the Lord Jesus
Christ. They were celebrated long before He was born.
"The beautiful tree, the green decorative sprays, the fire, the
lights, the spirit of good fellowship and gift giving come down
to us from pagan sources."
I only have partial objection to that. Maybe as they are
involved in the celebration of Christmas, that's a true
statement. But good fellowship doesn't come from pagan sources.
True fellowship can only be in our relationship with God. But
I'm sure that what they are describing as part of the Christmas
celebration may come from pagan sources.
"Christians took the most beautiful and appealing things from
pagan beliefs which had existed before Christianity and endowed
them with a new spirit."
Can you do that? As far as God is concerned? No! The interesting
thing is that, as you study the scripture, you find that the
sources from which they took "the most appealing of pagan
beliefs," as they put it, are the very sources and are the very
practices that God judged Israel for over and over and over
again. Many, many thousands of people died at the hand of God
because Israel tried to practice some of these most appealing of
"The customs were changed little, but the spirit was new; and
because of this new spirit---the spirit of God's gift to
man---the customs took on new beauty."
I don't know personally, from having researched it myself, but I
have been told that the title of 'Pope' basically means "bridge
builder." He is in the business of building bridges between
paganism and Christianity, one thing and another, and if you
follow the history of the Roman Catholic church, that's what
they've done down through the years. They've built bridges. But
not to stand for truth! But to mix truth with error and make
what out of it? A lie! You can't mix truth and error and improve
the truth. Nor can you improve the error. You destroy the truth,
and the error is still an error.
THE WORD CHRISTMAS
"From the earliest days of Christian
churches, festivals celebrating the birth of Christ have been
held. In England this festival was known as Christes messe which
meant Christ's mass. From this comes the word Christmas. It is
often represented as XMAS because X is the Greek equivalent of
Ch and Ch represents Christ."
So it goes back to Rome again. And when they use the term
Christians (I think we have discussed this in the past), in most
cases, historically, it is referring to Roman Catholics because
historians trace the so-called "Christian churches" back to
Rome. And so when they talk about the early church or early
Christians, they are talking about the Roman Catholic church.
You can't come to the word of God and find anybody celebrating
the Mass, to say nothing of Christ's Mass. There is no such
thing. The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ suffered once. And he
doesn't have to be offered time after time, in contrast to the
sacrifices that were offered under the law system--- "but once
in the ages."
THE DATE OF CHRISTMAS
"The date of the celebration of Christmas
varied during early centuries of Christianity because there was
no historical record of the exact date of Christ's birth."
Let's stop for a minute and you think. What are we told about
this book (holds up the Bible), relevant to what it provides for
us, as far as instructions to serve the Lord and praise the
Lord? "All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is
profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for
instruction in righteousness that the man of God may be perfect
or mature thoroughly furnished unto all good works." That is
where? II Timothy 3:16-17. So if the statement is true, and it
is true that there isn't any historical basis for selecting the
25th of December, then it would have to follow that we are not
told in the scriptures on what date he was born. Therefore, it
would have to follow that it isn't important for us to know. And
if you go one step further, since we're not told to celebrate
His birth and His word furnishes us to all good works, then it
would be obvious that to celebrate Christ's birth wouldn't be a
"The date of the celebration of Christmas varied during the
early centuries of Christianity because there was no historical
record of the exact date of Christ's birth. In some churches it
was observed in December, while others celebrated it in January,
April, or in May. Perhaps the winter solstice festival of the
pagan Romans, Gauls, Teutons, and Britons had much to do with
the establishment of the date of Christmas."
The writer says "perhaps," and I believe this assumption is true
because pagans celebrated the birth of the sun at that exact
time. Other secular history makes this clear. I think the
writer, who is obviously in favor of the celebration of
Christmas, does everything that can be done to put Christmas in
the best light and so suggests that this is what happened. Well,
I believe there is no doubt, what is described is exactly what
"The Northern people worshiped the sun as the giver of life and
light. Their festivals in its honor took place near the shortest
day of the year when the sun seemed to stand still for twelve
days before it began its upward climb which resulted in Spring
and the coming of new life to the world. In the North, the sun
was thought of as a wheel which was known as hweol, and it is
perhaps from this word that the term Yule [Norwegian, Jul] was
derived. Among the Romans" (and I am not reading everything)
"the Saturnalia holiday lasted from December 17th to December
24th. Another holiday was Kalends on January 1st which marked
the beginning of the new year. Both of these holidays were
celebrated with feasting, great merriment and the giving of
gifts. Homes were decorated with evergreens."
And when they talk about great merriment, it is easy to think
that maybe that's very innocent merriment, but it really wasn't.
Those pagan holidays were characterized by immorality of the
grossest sort, and as part of it, there were rites of fertility
and things of that nature. It wasn't something that was
"In Pagan Rome, December 25th was celebrated as the birthday of
Mithras, a prophet of the sun worshipers. Perhaps these Roman
holidays had their influence in the selection of December 25th
as Christ's birthday. Justification for the choice was given by
St. Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople at the end of the
fourth century. In a discourse he said, 'On this day also the
Birthday of Christ was lately fixed at Rome in order that while
the heathen were busy with their profane ceremonies, the
Christians might perform their sacred rites undisturbed. They
call this (December 25th), the Birthday of the Invincible One
(Mithras); but who is so invincible as the Lord? They call it
the Birthday of the Solar Disk, but Christ is the Sun of
Righteousness.' About 336 AD, the Church of Rome definitely
fixed the 25th day of December as the birthday of the Lord.
Since the fifth century most of the Christian world has
celebrated that day as Christ's Birthday."
So it has nothing to do with when Christ really was born.
Therefore, it's not true.
"Gradually, as certain pagan customs of holiday celebrations
were assimilated into the Christmas festival, the activities
took on gaiety and often frivolity.....In time there was
reaction to the more frivolous until in certain countries,
England for example, the observance of festivals was entirely
When the United States was settled, the celebration of Christmas
was an illegal activity. I don't believe that it was just
because of the frivolity that was involved. I believe that, as a
result of the reformation, many people realized that the source
was pagan and Roman Catholic, and thought, "We've left Roman
Catholicism in protest and we are not going to bring their
practices with us, such as Christmas and Easter and things of
CAROLS AND CAROLING
"Some carols, evidently of pagan origin,
were adopted by Christians and given new words. Many of the
carols were danced as well as sung which kept them from being
approved by the church for centuries. The word carol was
associated with dancing until the 14th century. It is said that
St. Francis and his brethren sang simple carols at the first
presentation of a life-sized representation of the Nativity
In the nativity scene, what do you find? Don't you find three
wise men, and you find them in a manger with the babe and
sometimes the shepherds, too, I guess. Is that true? Where do we
find the accounts of the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ? In what
books? Luke and Matthew. Mark and John don't have any record of
that part of Christ's life. Luke and Matthew. But when you
compare those two accounts, it's obvious that the shepherds were
told, by the angels, of the birth of Christ, when he was at
Bethlehem, at the time that he was born. And they found him
where? In a manger. In contrast, by the time the wise men came,
some time had lapsed. And when they found the Lord Jesus Christ,
they found him where? In a house.
How many wise men were there? Nobody knows. Why do people assume
there were three? Because they brought three types of gifts,
which in no way would indicate that there were just three men.
It could have been a hundred men for that matter. It could have
been 25. It could have been three. But there is no reason to
believe that it was three men. I don't think that three men
normally made it a practice to travel in that country, in that
way together, especially carrying gold, frankincense and myrrh.
They had as much trouble with robbers and that kind of people as
we do, in fact, maybe more.
"To inspire greater religious feeling, and help in
the interpretation of the story of the birth of Jesus, St.
Francis of Assisi conceived the idea of building a life-sized
representation of the Nativity scene. The Pope gave him
permission to do so, and in 1223 he built a full-sized stable
next to his church in Graecia, a village near Assisi, in Italy.
In it he created the Nativity scene with living people and
animals. The people who came were much impressed. From this
beginning the idea spread all over Europe. The creche was used
in homes as well as in the churches and through the ages it has
been built in all forms, large and small from the crudest to the
THE THREE WISE MEN
"The Three Wise men (also referred to as the
Three Kings and as the Magi) are always a part of the Nativity
scene. The story of their visit to the Christ Child is told in
St. Matthew, and they are in themselves familiar symbols of
Christmas. According to medieval legend, they were Melchoir,
King of Arabia, who brought a gift of gold; Gaspar, King of
Tarsus, who brought myrrh; and Balthasar, King of Ethiopia, who
That is according to legend, not the word of God.
"Some authorities believe that gift giving at this time of the
year was a carryover from the pagans. The Romans gave presents
during the celebrations of Saturnalia and of Kalends.
"Our present day custom of providing for the less
fortunate at Christmas is undoubtedly an outgrowth of an old
legend. This legend says that every Christmas Eve, the Christ
Child wanders all over the world asking for food, shelter, and
Again, is that true? "One of the possible origins of the idea
that Santa Claus descends the chimney to bring gifts has already
been given." One story was of this Roman Catholic who became St.
Nicholas. The story was that Nicholas heard of a man with three
daughters and the father didn't have enough money to make a
dowry for them so he was going to sell them. And so Nicholas
dropped three gold bags at three different times down a chimney
so that they could each have a dowry. And so they thought this
story may be one possible origin. The other story (there are at
least two others) associates this custom with the early German
Goddess Hertha, goddess of domesticity. "She was believed to
descend the chimney through the smoke and guide the tellers of
fortunes. At one time the Germans baked cakes in the form of a
slipper which was supposed to be that of Hertha; these were
filled with gifts for the children. In later times, it was the
custom to clean the chimney at the beginning of the New Year so
that good luck could enter the household. It is quite likely
children were told that if they were good, Santa Claus would
come down the chimney and bring them gifts.
"Of all Christmas symbols none is more familiar
than the Christmas tree. The decorating of the Christmas tree is
one of the most beloved Christmas customs and prevails wherever
trees are available in either living or artificial form. From
earliest times the ancients held nature in great reverence."
What does the scripture say about that? In Romans 1 we read,
that they "worshipped and served the creature more than the
"All things had their gods, among them water, the meadows, and
the trees. Evergreen, therefore was not only for decorative
purposes but because it was possible to thus bring a part of
nature indoors. For the feast of Bacchus in Roman times trees
were decorated with trinkets. Among the trinkets were masks of
Bacchus. Those trees toward which the wind turned the masks were
supposed to be endowed with great fertility. In the celebration
of the pagan Yule season, the ancient sun-worshiping Teutons are
said to have decorated fir trees, for they likened the sun to
the spreading and blossoming of a great tree. Some tell us that
our own Christmas tree decoration is symbolic of this celestial
sun tree of the ancient pagans; the lights represent the
lightning, the decorations the sun, the moon, and the stars,
while the little animals hung in the branches represent the
sacrifice of animals made to the sun god.
"Mistletoe was often hung over the entrances to
homes of the pagans in Scandinavian countries to keep out evil
spirits. An old Scandinavian myth tells of the seemingly
invulnerable god, Balder, who was struck down by a dart made of
mistletoe, and it was decreed that the plant must never again be
used as a weapon. Frigga, who was the Goddess of love,
henceforth, gave a kiss to anyone who passed under the
mistletoe. The Druids who were members of a pagan religious
order in ancient Gaul, Briton and Ireland held the mistletoe in
such reverence that if enemies met under it in the forest, a
truce was declared for the day. Later, among Christians, it came
to symbolize the healing power of Christ.
THE YULE LOG
"The Druids' custom was to light fires during the
Yule season to burn out the sins and evils of the past year.
"For centuries bells of churches of every land have
pealed forth the glad tidings of the birth of Jesus. In medieval
times, the bells tolled for an hour before midnight on Christmas
Eve, and then on the hour their voices changed to a joyous
ringing. The tolling was to warn the powers of Darkness of the
approaching of the birth of the Savior. It was believed 'the
Devil died when Christ was born.'"
I wish that were true. But sad to say, it's not true.The devil
is alive and well today.
"And in England, the tolling was known as 'Tolling the Devil's
knell.' As a result, bells have become a part of our Christmas
decorations, mostly in imitation form. They are also prominent
in Christmas card designs."
Again, obviously, the writer has every intent to support and
encourage, rather than discourage, the celebration of Christmas.
But I think that, to me, to keep it simple, I think we need to
back off and just look at it and say, "Well, is it true?" How
much of the Christmas story is true? Again, just to go back and
reflect a little bit on the three wise men. If you go to Matthew
chapter 2 you will find that there were wise men, and you will
find that they brought gifts. They didn't come to the manger.
And it's interesting. Let's look at Matthew chapter 2. It's an
interesting thing that while the shepherds were told of peace on
earth, good will towards men, it's also true that for those
mothers of Israel who had children two years old and
younger-------males two years old and younger----- that was a
sad day. Let's start with verse 1:
Matthew 2:1-7. "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea 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 Judea; 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 secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time
the star appeared."
What was he (Herod) trying to establish? At least he is trying
to establish the age of the child.
Matthew 2:8-11 "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 (not into the stable but 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."
How many of them were there? We don't know. To imply that there
were three doesn't seem to be reasonable and logical.
Matthew 2:12-14. "And being warned of God in a dream that they
should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country
another way. And when they were departed, behold the angel of
the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take
the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou
there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young
child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child,
and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt."
It's interesting how many times that the words "young child" are
Matthew 2:15-16. "And was there until the death of Herod; that
it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the
prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod,
when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding
wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in
Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and
under according to the time which he had diligently enquire of
the wise men."
There is no doubt, this wasn't a happy day for them. And they
would reflect back at that period of time and it wouldn't be
with joy and rejoicing. I think we generally forget that. But
the important thing was that it was two years old and under, and
I am sure he spanned more time than was necessary. In other
words, let's say, based on his calculations, that the child was
possibly a year old. By going two years, he picked up that much
extra tolerance, and going down to all of them under, he figured
he could sweep it clean-----two years old and under.
So again, it is not an accurate representation of the biblical
account. Obviously, Santa Claus is a lie. And again, when you
think of the next most prominent celebration, it's very similar
because its origin is the same. That celebration, in the
so-called Christian religion, is the celebration of Easter,
allegedly celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What
about Easter? Most of the activities that are surrounding that
celebration are also from pagan origin, far predating the
resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. And then we cap it by
telling kids that rabbits lay eggs.
WHY? It's ridiculous! But that's what we tell them! And so we
take something that did happen---the Lord Jesus Christ did
suffer and did die and was raised the third day for our
justification. That's true! Then we mix with it a lot of things
that have their roots in paganism and idolatry that far predate
the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, to say nothing of his
resurrection. Again, mixing a lie with truth. And then we add
the little dimension of the Easter bunny and the Easter eggs
laid by rabbits, and then we present that to children.
You think the god of this world is so blind, so stupid, that he
didn't know what he was doing when he did that? No, I believe
the opposite. He knew exactly what he was doing. And anytime you
take something that is true and pure and holy and you mix that
with a lie, something that is not true, you do not bring honor
and glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. Because truth came by him.
He came to bear witness to the truth. He was the truth. And
therefore, to try to serve him, to please him, we must say and
do what is true. Religion today (sectarian, denominational
religion) takes truth and mixes it with a lie, which they say is
to promote truth. All they do is discredit the truth.
And that's why we as Christians, as we come to realize what is
truth, need to hate that kind of sin, that kind of mixture. One
of the things that God did not want, never has wanted for his
people, was mixture. When you go back into the old scriptures,
as well as into the writing of the apostle Paul, separation of
truth from error is what God wanted. Over and over again, and in
many ways, he taught that. The nation Israel was not to sow its
fields with diverse kinds of seeds. Why? God wanted distinction.
They were not to wear clothes of diverse kinds of material. God
wanted separation and distinction. They weren't to inter-marry
with the nations of other lands. Why? God didn't want
illegitimate mixture. God didn't want his people Israel to take
on the practices that were authored by the Devil, the worship of
It's exactly what God didn't want. And that is exactly what the
devil has been able to do, with nominal Christianity today. To
mix truth with error. And it makes both a lie. It makes it a
dirty, vile thing.
Turn to Ephesians 4:25 -- "Wherefore putting away lying, speak
every man truth with his neighbor; for we are members one of
Put away lying! Speak truth. Look at Colossians chapter 3. We as
Christians have no basis, no rhyme nor reason, that could
possibly justify participating in anything with the magnitude of
dishonesty in it that the celebration of Christmas and Easter
Colossians 3:9-10. "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have
put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man,
which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that
There is no doubt that at this time of year, there is much
beautiful music written. The thought of giving to the poor
certainly would appeal to anyone. The joyful times of families
together, good food (too much food in many cases), times to
visit and times for mothers and wives to prepare and cook and
look forward to having all the family together in the family
atmosphere and all that. Certainly none could speak against
those things. But when they are mixed with a lie about really
The most important One that ever moved on this earth, the Lord
Jesus Christ, then you and I need to find another time to have
those activities. Certainly times of the family being together
don't have to depend on everybody in the world doing the same
thing at the same time. We can have those times among our own
families-----times for wives and mothers and daughters and
daughters-in-law to get together and cook, to have time of
fellowship and maybe even eating too much. Those times don't
have to be the times that the world dictates. The god of this
world, the devil, dictates, as he has created through the Roman
Catholic church a mixture of paganism and idolatry and mixed it
up in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ-----to say nothing of
mixing it with the mass, the resurrection and crucifixion of
Jesus Christ. There is no place for those who know Jesus Christ
as their personal Savior and who want to please Him to have any
part in that. And yet, the vast majority of people in the world
are like robots, lock-stepping down the road at this time of the
year to celebrate Christ's birthday.
Was Christ born in December? Probably not. I hope everybody
recognizes that. Most people know that it's not true. If we
pretend that He was, then down the road the god of this world
can begin to work on us. He certainly will work on our young
people if they are raised by parents who promote this lie. He
may be able to shake confidence in the truth because we believe
or promoted this lie. Will it cause them to trust what they read
from this book (holds up the Bible) when, in some way, they come
to realize that they have been deceived by parents and preachers
who said the Christmas story had its roots in the Bible? No! It
won't tend to cause them to trust what they would read from this
book. It will be inclined to cause them to say what the vast
majority of people in the world today say, educators and the
educated, particularly: that this (holding up the Bible) is a
compilation of myths and stories that were handed down from
father to son and father to son and finally somebody put them
down in writing, and then it was translated and re-translated
and we don't know whether it's accurate or not. Those deceived
may feel that the gospel is like a lot of other stories, like
the story of Santa Claus and the story of Christmas.
What is this lie doing? It's having its part in sending souls to
HELL----- because it causes thinking people to question, "What
is truth?" relevant to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ? The
question is raised because "The Truth" is mixed with "The Lie."
May God help all humble believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to
recognize him as LORD----- and Savior and obey Ephesians 5:11.
"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness,
but rather expose them."
For additional evidence as to the roots of the celebration of
Christmas see the following:
2.The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop.
3.The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Gibbons.
updated December 22, 1996 by [email protected]
For REVELATIONS ON CHRISTMAS from the New Covenant Church of God, see the following sections:
Section 28 |
Sincerely and honestly, at this time and always, we wish you the
joy from above that only the Lord Jesus Christ can give.
At this time of the year it is customary to send Christmas cards
to relatives, friends and acquaintances. Although we appreciate
your thoughtfulness, we cannot in good conscience toward God and
His Word take part in the exchanging of Christmas cards or in
the celebration of Christmas or any other religious holy-day,
month, time or season.
Let us tell you why. It is significant that there is no Biblical
precedent for observing such a day. The Word of God "thoroughly
furnishes" every Christian "unto all good works", yet it does
not furnish us to observe Christ's birthday (2 Tim. 3:16, 17).
The early Galatian Christians were even rebuked for observing
days (see Gal. 4:10, 11)*.
One need not go far, however, in his search for the origin of
Encyclopedias and reference works unite in telling those who
consult them that Jesus Christ was not born on December 25th.
After the birth of Christ, the precious name of Christ was
merely yoked up with the ungodly heathen festival Saturnalia.
The Christmas tree, holly, mistletoe, Yule Logs, Wassail Bowl,
wreathes and (yes!) Santa Claus figured prominently in
idolatrous practices and popish traditions.
Because we love Christ and the Bible more than the traditions of
men, we believe we cannot "put Christ in Christmas" but must
take His Holy Name out of this unholy and pagan Santa-mas. We
seek, not to celebrate His birth, but to demonstrate the fact of
His death-conquering life to a pleasure-mad world of dying souls.
For these reasons we cannot wish you a "Merry Christmas", but
beseech you instead to turn your eyes away from "Christmas
trees" to the "Christ of Calvary" (Gal. 3:13) and see by faith
the One who died there for your sins. If you already know Him,
then we beseech you to "Set your affection on things above and
not on things on this earth" (Col. 3:2).
We wish you then, not a Merry Christmas, but a Joyous Eternity!
Reprint from "Sound Words" No. 18, January 1975
updated December 1, 1996 by [email protected]
This page was created on 7 April 1998
Last updated on 7 April 1998