The Pagan History of Christmas
Dr. Joel Ehrlich
The Christian Church and much of Judaism is entrenched deep in the ancient Babylonian mystery
religion, only today it is referred to as 'culture' or 'traditions.' The seventeenth
chapter of the book of Revelation speaks of a mysterious woman who rides a beast. It
shows that at the end of the age, most of the earth would be drinking out of her hand.
With the excessive compromise that has taken place in Judaism and Christianity, that
time has arrived. Her method of intoxication is merriment, festivity, drink, and most
of all, materialism. This materialism is the free enterprise, or capitalistic system.
1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me,
saying unto me, come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that
sitteth upon many waters; 2 With whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication,
and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.
3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of 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. 4 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.
All of G-d's people, as well as the secular earth, are guilty of giving in to Babylon's pageantry
and paganism. Most Christians and Jews either don't know or care to know the truth of
these pagan ties. Christians rationalize that they are worshipping Jesus, while Jews
see no harm in Hellenizing their Channukah to spice it up. These people have become drunk
from drinking from this ancient mystery cup. They don't even recognize the sign of their
drunkenness, which is complacency and indifference. Refusing to heed G-d's call to be
sanctified and to come out of Babylon, they express their hypocrisy by refusing to honor
G-d's ordained feasts and holidays.
A recent news article from the Scripps Howard News Service states in their article, "Christmas
Celebration Crosses All Faiths."
"Christmas remains America's favorite holiday-a religious celebration that transcends
the nation's increasingly multicultural society. Eighty-three percent of the adult residents
of the United States-including Jews, Muslims and atheists-say they put a decorated tree in
their homes. Fifty-nine percent say there is no holiday they love more than Christmas."
What is Christmas and from where did it originate? Yule is the Chaldean name for 'infant'
or 'little child.' In ancient Babylon, the 25th of December was known as Yule day or the
birth of the promised child day. This was the day of the birth of the incarnate sun, who
appeared as a baby child to redeem a world bound in darkness. It was an essential belief
of the Babylonian religious system, that the sun god, also known as Baal, was the chief god
in a polytheistic system. Tammuz was also worshipped as the god incarnate, or promised baby
son of Baal, who was to be the Savior of the world.
It is interesting that a review of the New Covenant Scriptures reveals that no early believers
reverenced Yeshua's birth. Instead, as is the Jewish custom of faith, they were told to commemorate
his death. [I Corinthians 11:26]
We find in the Catholic encyclopedia that Christmas was not even among the earliest church
festivals. It was not until the latter part of the fourth century that the Roman Church began
observing December 25th as Jesus' birthday. By the fifth century A.D., the Roman Church ordered
the birth of Messiah to be forever observed on December 25th. At the time of this decree,
the Roman Church knew full well that the pagan religious cults throughout the Roman and Greek
worlds celebrated the pagan sun god, Mithra, on this self same day. This winter festival
was known as the Nativity of the Sun. It was also known in the Roman Empire as Saturnalia
[another name for sun worship].
Note: In 46 BC, when the Roman "Julian
Calendar" was adopted, December 24th was the shortest day of the year. Therefore,
December 25th was the first annual day that daylight began to increase. Thus, the origin
of the REBIRTH or Annual Birthday of the Invincible SUN.
In accordance with the Roman "Julian calendar," the "Saturnalia" festival
appears to have taken place on December 17th; it was preceded by the "Consualia" near
December 15th, and followed by the "Opalia" on December 19th. These pagan celebrations
typically lasted for a week, ending just before the late Roman Imperial Festival for "Sol
Invictus" (Invincible Sun) on December 25th.
In 1582 AD. Roman Catholic Pope Gregory the XIII caused the current "Gregorian Calendar" to
be adopted, in order to eliminate the solar time shift error introduced by the "Julian
By December 1582 AD the shortest day of the year had shifted 12 days on the Roman "Julian
Calendar" to Wednesday, December 12, 1582.
However, the Original December 25th 'Birth Date' was retained for all pagan Sun gods
by the Roman "Saturnalia" and "Sol Invictus" traditions; which
were now called the "Twelve Days of Christ Mass."
On the new Roman Catholic Gregorian calendar the shortest annual day was numerically
shifted back 10 days to the 22nd of December, where it remains to this day; while the
original order of the days of the week remained unchanged.
Therefore, Wednesday, December 12th, 1582 AD, became Wednesday,
December 22nd, 1582 AD, and the True Sabbath Day remained unchanged.
Yahweh, the Only True Self-existent Eternal Creator, would never have allowed
The True Messiah to be born on or near the December 25th birthday period of the pagan
Sun gods; during the time in which virgins were sacrificed, murder was commonplace, and
orgies the norm. This would be an entirely unacceptable association.
The winter festival was very popular in ancient times, and marked a time of rejoicing and
festivity. Much of our present day customs involved in the Christmas season are a direct
inheritance of the Roman winter festival of Saturnalia. These days involved gift giving,
colored lights to ward off evil spirits, festive meals, and of course, decorated trees.
The present day Christmas tree also goes back to the worship of sacred trees in the ancient
Babylonian system. The green evergreen symbolized the incarnate Baal coming to life through
the incarnate baby Tammuz. The custom of decorating and worshipping trees spread throughout
the known world, with the variety of tree used selected according to the natural growth of
each area of the world. The Druids worshipped the oak tree, the Egyptians worshipped the
palm tree, while in Rome it was the fir tree.
There are at least ten references in the Bible warning that these green trees were associated
with idolatry and pagan worship. Jeremiah 10:1-4 details
the Israelites following the very pagan customs practiced today.
"Hear ye the word which the LORD speaketh unto you, O House of Israel: Thus saith
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. For the customs of the people are vain; for one cutteth
a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck
it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move
The reason G-d warns against the worship of the signs of heaven in association with this
custom is that it was associated with the worship of the sun.
The very term, Christmas, comes from the sacred Christ-mass, where the Pope in the role of
the High Priest of the mystery Babylon religion introduces the people to the concept of trans-substantiation.
Using the wine and round wafers to reflect the life of Baal, the sun god, the name of Jesus
replaces the ancient pagan custom. The wine and wafers are now said to be the transformation
of the actual blood and body of Messiah within the person who ingests them. People, thereby,
relive again and again the death and resurrection of the incarnate god.
Israelites performed this same ritual in their worship to the Queen of heaven and the incarnate
Jeremiah 44:18, 19, 23
18 But since we left off to burn incense to the Queen of heaven, and to pour out drink
offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and
by the famine. 19 And when we burned incense to the Queen of heaven, and poured out drink
offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings
unto her without our men. 23 Because ye have burned incense, and because ye have sinned
against the LORD, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD, nor walked in His law, nor
in His statutes, nor in His testimonies, therefore, this evil is happened unto you, as
at this day.
It would surprise most Christians to learn that the history of the church is filled with
historic battles over these very doctrinal issues. Many of the reformation movements
in the church made drastic attempts to get away from these pagan holidays.
Calvin, in 1550, instigated an edict concerning church holidays. A ban was passed against
observing various church festivals, which included Christmas. In a tract on the necessity
of reforming the church, Calvin exclaimed: "I know how difficult it is to persuade the
world that Yahweh disapproves of all modes of worship not expressly sanctioned by His Word."
John Knox, in the Scottish reformation, repeatedly confronted the Catholic Church, contending
that true worship must be instituted by G-d, not derived from the traditions of men. At the
heart of his argument was an appeal to Torah, especially, references to Deuteronomy 4 and
12, which states that one must not add to nor subtract from G-d's word.
John Knox, History of the Reformation in Scotland, 1950, Vol. 1, page 91 states the following: "That
Yahweh's word damns your ceremonies it is evident; for the plain and straight commandment
of Yahweh is, 'Not that thing which appears good in thy eyes, shalt thou do to the LORD thy
Yahweh, but what the LORD thy Yahweh has commanded thee, that do thou; add nothing to it;
diminish nothing from it.' Now unless that ye are able to prove that Yahweh has commanded
your ceremonies, this His former commandment will damn both you and them."
The holidays of Christmas and Easter were banned from the Church of Scotland.
David Calderwood [1511-1651], representing the Scottish ministries, asserted in reference
to Christmas and Easter: "The Judaical days had once that honor, as to be appointed
by Yahweh Himself; but the anniversary days appointed by men have not like honor. This opinion
of Christ's nativity on the 25th day of December was bred at Rome."
David Calderwood then exposed the Roman claims made for the 25th of December as the day of
Messiah's birth. He argues that the Apostles never ordained it. He said the following: "Nay,
let us utter the truth, December-Christmas is a just imitation of the December-Saturnalia
of the ethnic [heathen] Romans, and so used as if Bacchus [another name for the sun god],
and not Messiah, were the Yahweh of Christians."
George Gillespie [1613-1649], a premier Scottish theologian, wrote in a book published in
1637 called A Dispute Against the English Popish Ceremonies Obtruded Upon the Church of Scotland. "The
holidays [reference to Christmas and Easter] take a severe beating on a number of accounts.
Sacred significant ceremonies devised by man are to be reckoned among images forbidden in
the second commandment in regards to worshipping idols."
The English Puritans fought to ban the worship of Christmas and Easter. They resorted to
Galatians 4:8-11, which many Christians have used to say that it is referring to G-d not
wanting believers to worship Jewish holidays. However, this is wrong on several accounts:
1. These scriptures are specifically referring to a people brought near to G-d through Messiah,
who were former pagans.
2. Apostle Paul himself, as detailed throughout the book of Acts, worshipped the LORD ordained
3. If we were taking these scriptures as an argument for Messiah doing away with Torah, then
this would put it in direct conflict with Yeshua's statement in Matthew 5:17, where he stated
he did not come to do away with Torah, nor the prophets.
8 How best then, when ye knew not G-d, ye did service unto them which by nature
are no gods [obviously referring to pagan heathen practices]. 9 But now, after that
ye have known G-d, or rather are known of G-d, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly
elements, where unto ye deserve again to be in bondage? 10 Ye observe days, and
months, and times, and years [reference to pagan holidays]. 11 I am afraid of you,
lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain.
History records that when the Puritans came to power in England, Parliament, in June,1647,
passed legislation abolishing Christmas and other holidays. In this legislation, they
wrote the following: "For as much as the feast of the nativity of Christ, Easter,
and other festivals, commonly called holy days, have been here-to-fore superstitiously
used and observed; be it ordained that the said feasts, and all other festivals, commonly
called holy days, be no longer observed as festivals."
The American Puritan movement took an even stronger stand against these pagan holidays. Samuel
Miller, a Puritan and professor of history and church government at Princeton Seminary, stated
in 1896 in his book, why Presbyterians reject the holy days of Christmas and Easter. He stated
that "the Scriptures were the only infallible rule of faith and practice, and that no
rite or ceremony ought to have a place in the public worship of Yahweh, which is not warranted
in Scripture. Not only does the celebration of non-biblical holidays lack a scriptural foundation,
but the scriptures positively discount it." [Miller, pgs. 65,74]
Presbyterians were not the only ones who maintained a strong stand against Christmas, as
there were many other Christians who held to similar convictions. As a matter of fact, the
famous preacher, Charles Spurgeon, stated in a sermon given on Christmas Eve, December 24th,
1871, the following:
"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 English; and secondly,
because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the
Savior; and, consequently, it's observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority." [C.
H. Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, 1971, pg. 697]
Opposition to these church holidays remained in American Presbyterianism through the latter
half of the 19th century. Speaking following the Civil War, historian Ernest Trice Thompson
wrote the following:
"There was no recognition of either Christmas or Easter in any of the Protestant churches,
except the Episcopal and Lutheran. For a full generation after the Civil War, the religious
journals of the South mentioned Christmas only to observe that there was no reason to believe
that Jesus was actually born on December 25th; it was not recognized as a day of any religious
significance in the Presbyterian Church" [Ernest Trice Thompson, Presbyterians In the
South, 1973, Vol. 2, pg. 434.]
FSCG Note: Alabama was
the USA State to recognize Christmas, and did not do so until 1836. ["Tidbits," Cheyenne,
Wy. 82007, Burchett Publishing, Issue #271 ]
It was not until the turn of the 19th century that various Christmas customs began appearing
in Presbyterian churches. There began to be reports of: 1) Frivolities like Saint Nicholas
in children's Sunday schools. 2) Use of Christmas trees and other festivities.
The appearance of Easter and Christmas in the official calendar of the Southern Presbyterian
church did not actually occur until the late 1940s and 1950s, as a work of growing apostasy
in the church. Even so, as late as 1962, the Synod of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland
stated that they rejected the celebrations of Christmas and Easter [History of the Free Presbyterian
Church of Scotland, 1893-1970, pg. 383].
Christmas has clearly brought an infusion of paganism into the church that was initially
prohibited among all of G-d's people.
II Corinthians 6:14-18 states
14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship hath righteousness
with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord
hath Messiah with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what
agreement hath the temple of G-d with idols? For ye are the temple of the living G-d; as
G-d hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their G-d, and they
shall be My people. 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the
LORD, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 and will be a Father
unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the LORD Almighty.
It is certainly clear from all that we have read, that an end time apostasy has come upon
both Jews and Gentiles. Both have strayed far from the original precepts of the faith,
and there will be a heavy accounting before the LORD for this. These holidays represent
only part of the great apostasy that has come upon G-d's people in the latter days. They
cumulatively fulfill what are known as the latter day prophesies that predict a great
apostasy before the coming of Messiah. G-d is calling for both Christians and Jews to
come out of their compromised faith and return to their original calling, before the
coming of the great and awesome day of the LORD.
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