Jesus said,” If you love me you will obey ME”.

By Michael Bunker
editor@lazarusunbound.com

“Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Exodus 23:2)

November 21, 2001 — In my last article, dated November 16th, I spoke at length about a topic that I think is one of the most neglected topics in Christendom. I spoke about the Conscience. The conscience is the organ of communication with God that we should use to regulate our daily behavior. The numerous warnings in scripture about protecting and heeding the conscience are vital to our understanding of how we are to operate in these perilous times. The ultimate test of the Conscience, for each of us and for those around us, is how well we are willing to entertain truth. Will we shun truth in favor of comfort? Will we reject truth in favor of compromise? Moral and philosophical cowards are willing to relegate “truth” to a subjective thing, anesthetizing the conscience rather than guarding it.

They will say “Whose truth?”

Every year, such a conscience test presents itself. During the time of year that people call “The Holidays”, we have a wonderful test of how people regard “truth”, and how willing they are to sear their own consciences. For the nominal “Christian” — the ultimate test is Christmas.

Why, you may ask, do I continue to term this “holiday”, the Christ Mass? Because it is a holiday of (and for) papists. Here is the definition of Christmas from the Catholic Encyclopedia: The word for Christmas in late Old English is Cristes Maesse, the Mass of Christ. A “mass” is the prayer for the soul of one who has died, it is a celebration of death. The Catholic Encyclopedia goes on to say, rather blatantly: Christmas was NOT among the earliest festivals of the church. In fact, one of the earliest of the Catholic writers said, “that in the scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday.

Charles Spurgeon is considered by most evangelicals to be one of the greatest of the Protestant preachers of the 1800’s. Virtually every seminary and all of the mainline churches honor the preaching and teaching of Spurgeon, although most have since rejected the basis of his teachings on the doctrines of grace and election. Here is what the great historical Baptist preacher Charles H. Spurgeon had to say about the Christ Mass:

“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 any mass at all, but abhor it, whether it be sung in Latin or in English: Secondly, because we find no scriptural warrant whatever for observing any day as the birthday of the Savior; and consequently, its observance is a superstition, because not of divine authority. Superstition has fixed most positively the day of our Savior’s birth, although there in no possibility of discovering when it occurred. It was not till the middle of the third century that any part of the Church celebrated the birth of our Lord; and it was not till long after the western Church had set the example, that the eastern adopted it. Because the day is not known. Probably the fact is that the ‘holy’ days were arranged to fit in with the heathen festivals. We venture to assert that if there be any day in the year of which we may be pretty sure that it was not the day on which our Savior was born it is the 25th of December. Regarding not the day, let us give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son.”

I wish I could say that, for most people, this is the first they heard of such a thing. I doubt it. The exposition of the Christ Mass has been widespread in the past few years. Yet most will only shrug at the information, and do nothing about it.

Why is that?

The Bible says that we are to hold TRUTH in the highest esteem, that we are to harden not our hearts against it, and that we ought to pursue truth OVER comfort, compromise and peace. The bible implores the Christian to harden not his heart against the truth, and to lend not his members over to uncleanness and paganism. What fellowship do we have with the MILLIONS of antichrists who brazenly celebrate this holiday according to the traditions of the world?

Will we not hear God? Will we not hear the scripture? Will we not hear the past heroes of our faith?

If we will not hear God, and we will shun the scripture or our church fathers – let us hear from the reprobates on the matter. What follows is a pamphlet put out by a group of homosexuals and lesbians regarding Christmas. There is more truth here, although from a skewed and perverted angle — than most professing “Christians” are willing to accept:

Why We All Celebrate At Christmas-Time — (from the ‘Pink Triangle Trust’)

We all (well, nearly all) celebrate at Christmas-time because everyone else is doing so, and we don’t want to miss out on the fun. People have been doing so at this time of year since prehistoric times, but why is everybody celebrating? The answer is that in the world’s northern hemisphere it is the time of the winter solstice (about December 22).

Midsummer Day is June 24 each year, but the longest day (the summer solstice) is actually about June 21. After that date the period of daylight gets shorter every day, and night-time gets longer. At the winter solstice the turning point is reached and, from then onwards, the daylight hours will increase and those of darkness decrease, until the next summer solstice.

Survival through the winter, any winter, could be a hard struggle in bygone ages, so the turning point of the year was definitely the time to celebrate. Afterwards people could start looking forward to springtime and to summer.

The ways to celebrate Christmas-time have varied through the ages, but eating special foods, and drinking with friends, has always played a central part. It brightens up the long dull winter season. Think how long and bleak winter would seem without it!

Our customs show the wide variety and origins of our present winter solstice celebrations …

Why December 25?

For millennia, the promise of spring and summer has been more important than we can easily imagine today. Perhaps that is why early cultures introduced evergreen decorations (laurel or holly) into their homes – they are hope- filled symbols of life in the winter gloom.

In ancient Egypt the birth of the god Horus, the son of Osiris and Isis, was celebrated on December 25.

In the Roman world, there was the Saturnalia, the festival of Saturn, the god of harvests. Originally this took place on December 19 but it was extended for seven days. It was the merriest festival of the Roman year. All business stopped. Slaves were given temporary freedom to say and do what they liked, and certain moral restrictions were eased (the modern equivalent being the office party). The holiday concluded on December 25 with a great feast, when presents were exchanged. In addition, towards the end of the Roman empire, there was the celebration of the birth of the Unconquered Sun (natalis solis invicti), on December 25 of course. The god Mithras had a large following in the empire, particularly amongst the military. After midnight, on the first moment of December 25, the Mithraic temples would be lit up, with priests in white robes at the altars, and boys burning incense, similar to what happens today in Roman Catholic churches. At sunrise the priests would declare: “The god is born”. Mithras was the principal Persian deity by the 5th century BCE. He was rock-born of a virgin goddess on December 25 and shepherds were the first to learn of his birth. He came from heaven and redeemed believers from their sins.

Among Celtic and Germanic tribes, the winter solstice was held in veneration from earliest times. And for Norsemen, too, the time had a special meaning. Their deities were active on earth from December 25 to January 6.

Trees and Logs

A tradition which stems from the old Norse custom of burning oak logs in honour of the god Thor is the yule log. It survives today as a chocolate-covered cake for Christmas teas.

Originally a log was placed on the fire as the yule log. It was one of the most important parts of Christmas Eve. It burnt throughout the night, and it was held to be unlucky if the fire went out. On Christmas Day morning the log was replaced by a young fir tree to represent rebirth.

From this tradition may stem the idea of decorated Christmas trees brought to Britain from Germany in Victorian times.

Mistletoe

Mistletoe was a sacred plant for the Druids, while for Romans it was a symbol of peace. Enemies were supposed to discard their arms and declare a truce under it; hence the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe.

Greetings Cards

These date from the 1840s and became popular from the time of the introduction of stamps and the penny post.

Father Christmas

The jolly fat man with long white beard, in a red outfit and shiny black boots, who gives presents, is the result of a collection of traditions.

Father Christmas, a character from medieval mummers plays, has merged with St Nicholas, the Christian patron saint of children, to become Santa Claus. His sleigh was first shown by illustrators in the 1860s.

Christmas Abolished

Onto deeply loved festivals Christians superimposed the story of the birth of Jesus Christ. The word ‘Christmas’ means the day on which a mass is said for the soul of Christ. The takeover is often brazen, and it is extremely unlikely that Jesus was born on December 25. In fact in 1652 Christians decided to scrap Christmas altogether and passed a law forbidding any observance of it. The festival was restored in 1660.

The pagans are rightly declaring that Christmas belongs to them, and they would like to have it back. I say we should surely give it to them. It is abominable that the pagans and idolators would know more about the practice of Christmas than the average professing “christian” does.

Their facts are correct. The early colonists forbade the celebration of the Christ-Mass, knowing full well that it was a pagan and ungodly practice.

Let us hear from the great Puritan thinker, A.W. Pink on this subject, here is an excerpt from his thoughtful article on this subject:

“Christmas is coming!” Quite so; but what is “Christmas?” Does not the very term itself denote its source — “Christ-mass.” Thus it is of Romish origin, brought over from Paganism. But, says someone, Christmas is the time when we commemorate the Saviour’s birth. It is? And who authorized such commemoration? Certainly God did not. The Redeemer bade His disciples “remember” Him in His death, but there is not a word in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, which tells us to celebrate His birth. Moreover, who knows when, in what month, He was born? The Bible is silent thereon. Is it without reason that the only “birthday” commemorations mentioned in God’s Word are Pharaoh’s (Genesis 40:20) and Herod’s (Matthew 14:6)? Is this recorded “for our learning?” If so, have we prayerfully taken it to heart?

And who is it that celebrates “Christmas?” The whole “civilized world.” Millions who make no profession of faith in the blood of the Lamb, who “despise and reject Him,” and millions more who while claiming to be His followers yet in works deny Him, join in merrymaking under the pretense of honoring the birth of the Lord Jesus. Putting it on its lowest ground, we would ask, Is it fitting that His friends should unite with His enemies in a worldly round of fleshly gratification? Does any truly born-again soul really think that He whom the world cast out is either pleased or glorified by such participation in the world’s joys? Verily, the customs of the people are vain; and it is written, “Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil” (Exodus 23:2).

Some will argue for the “keeping of Christmas” on the ground of “giving the kiddies a good time.” But why do this under cloak of honoring the Saviour’s birth? Why is it necessary to drag in His holy name in connection with what takes place at that season of carnal jollification? Is this taking the little ones with you out of Egypt (Exodus 10:9,10) a type of the world, or is it not plainly a mingling with the present-day Egyptians in their “pleasures of sin for a season?” (Hebrews 11:25). Scripture says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6). Scripture does command God’s people to bring up their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4), but where does it stipulate that it is our duty to give the little ones a “good time?” Do we ever give the children “a good time”when we engage in anything upon which we cannot fittingly ask the Lord’s blessing?

The Presbyterian minister Abraham Anderson, in his work Lectures on Theology, said:

“Christmas, or the Nativity, is unauthorized. The time is utterly unknown, being left in impenetrable darkness by the Holy Spirit in the divine records; and no doubt this was done because the knowledge of it was unnecessary, and in order to repress will-worship. In a word, while fast-days are appointed on account of the duty to be performed, in set days, or periodical days, the duty is observed on account of the day; and therefore the day must be of divine appointment, or it is sinful.”

Robert Nevin, a reformed minister said this in 1893:

“If the Apostle Paul were permitted to revisit earth, we might imagine him addressing them somewhat after the following manner: — ‘Ye men of a half-reformed Church, ye observe days and times. Ye have a whole calendar of so-called saints’ days. Ye observe a Holy Thursday and a Good Friday. Ye have a time called Easter, and a season called Lent, about which some of you make no small stir. Ye have a day regarded especially holy, named Christmas, observed at a manifestly wrong season of the year, and notoriously grafted on an old Pagan festival. And all this while many of you refuse to acknowledge the continued obligation of the Fourth Commandment. I am afraid of you, lest the instruction contained in my epistle, as well as in other parts of Scripture, has been bestowed upon you in vain.’”

And so I leave this issue to you and your conscience. You may, if you wish, continue on that wide and well worn path of fellowship and merriment that so many share with the unbelieving world, or you may heed the call of God, the call of the scripture and the words of those wise and honored teachers of our past. Either way, it is between you and your God.

It can be well noted, though, by the only spiritual authority that matters, that you have been told — therefore the responsibility lies with you.

I am your servant in Christ Jesus,
Michael Bunker

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About Debylin

The Lord is gracious and is just and I am thankful that He has before the foundations of the World chosen a remnant to call His own.
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9 Responses to Jesus said,” If you love me you will obey ME”.

  1. Great post! Praise God! I agree! I just went through a bumpy December because I have renounced Christmas after much research (Easter too). Both my sister and best friend of 30 years think I’m in some kind of cult because I am trying to obey God and not the traditions of men. (Mark 7:7) And they are both Christians! I don’t get a lot of time to spend on line but will follow your blog weekly.
    Chris Egbert

  2. john says:

    Greetings – As a pastor – spirit-filled church – I know these traditions and agree with them for the most part.
    My biggest problem with Christmas is more the money spent needlessly.

    Although there is a lot of things in the beginning that are troublesome – you pointed out many of them. I don’t believe we should be divisive – people are at different levels of their walk with God. Why blow someone out of the church because of hard preaching against Christmas and traditions.

    Yuo fail to mention many good things about Christams – ONe of the few times the family comes to together in our sociity. Some gift giving is nice. Christmas time serivces drwaws some poeple to church – and those churches that truly preach the gospel see people get saved.

    Messages of the birth of Christ are good things. Navity scenes witness to Christ in our secular society.

    Many of the traditions have been fully ‘Christianized” – similar to the Salvation Army in the early days – taking popular bar songs and Christian lyrics to them – Some familiar Hymns to them – nobody would know today that they were a bar song.

    If a song, a life or a building (we meet as a church in a former bar converted into a church and God’s Spirit is here) can be redeemed cannot some traditions also be redeemed for the glory of God.

    People need some freedom to make choices for their own families – the church has often be to demanding of telling people what is right or wrong. If the Bible says it is wrong – we hold to that – like premarital sex etc.

    Some things you give guidelines and let the people make choices – respecting people on the way. I have seen legalistic attitudes turn new believers away – like if some one come with a tattoo and nose rings (or other rings) Do i agree with them no – but I am going to love them.

    The bigger reason – is that they persecuted the early Jewish believers – did away with the Biblical feasts.

    I know many will argue with me. I believe in preaching repentance of Sin, the blood of Christ, one must be born again – be spirit filled, but also God’s love and grace and liberty.

    Blessings

    • Debylin says:

      Well first let me say, thankyou for taking the time to comment.
      I believe that we are called to obey the scriptures first and foremost. I don’t recall anywhere that is says we can compromise, even for the sake of evangelism. God does not need our help in this area. We are called to be witnesses and to walk in the truth. Traditions cannot be redeemed for the Glory of God. We are told to not add to scripture, yet it is being done all the time. Jesus was not born in December. If we were supposed to celebrate His birth it would have stated it. As well people can make any choice they want for their families, it does not mean that they will be right ones according to the truth. Again its about compromise. People don’t want to give up Christmas because it feels good, they like the lights, presents etc. Christmas has not been around for a long time and it was against the true church to celebrate it. Please do a history of the church and Christmas and you will see. The disciples didn’t celebrate His birthday, why is that? Because they knew he would be against it.We celebrate passover and the Lords table. The biblical feasts are biblical. Bottom line… Christmas has nothing to do with the true Jesus Christ, the one of the bible. It is a man made tradition for man’s own selfish reasons. God wants obedience NOT sacrifice. So again it is about choices….IF YOU LOVE ME YOU WILL OBEY ME. NO compromise. If you want more information on this topic and many others, especially about the doctrines of Grace go to www. biblicalagrarianism.com
      Debylin

  3. Christine says:

    Here are some scriptures to consider when contemplating if God will be pleased if we follow traditions that come out of paganism.
    Chris

    Jer 10:1 Hear the Word which Jehovah speaks to you, O house of Israel.
    Jer 10:2 So says Jehovah, Do not learn the way of the nations; and do not be terrified at the signs of the heavens; for the nations were terrified at them.
    Jer 10:3 For the ordinances of the people are vanity. For one cuts a tree out of the forest with the axe, the work of the hands of the craftsman.
    Jer 10:4 They adorn it with silver and with gold; they make them strong with nails and hammers, so that it will not wobble.

    Jer 16:19 O Jehovah, my strength and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the nations shall come to You from the ends of the earth and say, Our fathers have inherited only lies, vanity, and there is no profit in them.
    Jer 16:20 Can a man make gods to himself? But they are not gods!
    Jer 16:21 And, behold, I will make them know; this time I will cause them to know My hand and My might; and they shall know that My name is Jehovah.

    Eze 22:26 Her priests have violated My Law and have profaned My holy things. They have not divided between the holy and the common, and between the unclean and clean they have not taught. And they have hidden their eyes from the sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.

    Deu 4:2 In order to obey the mitzvot (orders) of Adonai your God which I am giving you, do not add to what I am saying, and do not subtract from it.

    Deu 12:29 When Jehovah your God shall cut off the nations from before you, where you are going in to possess them, and you shall possess them, and shall live in their land,
    Deu 12:30 take heed to yourself that you not be snared to follow them after they have been destroyed before you; and that you not inquire after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? And I shall do so, even I.

    Lev 18:2 “Speak to the people of Isra’el; tell them, ‘I am Adonai your God.
    Lev 18:3 You are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Egypt, where you used to live; and you are not to engage in the activities found in the land of Kena`an, where I am bringing you; nor are you to live by their laws.
    Lev 18:4 You are to obey my rulings and laws and live accordingly; I am Adonai your God.
    Lev 18:5 You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai.

    Mar 7:8 “You depart from God’s command and hold onto human tradition.
    Mar 7:9 Indeed,” he said to them, “you have made a fine art of departing from God’s command in order to keep your tradition!
    Mar 7:13 Thus, with your tradition which you had handed down to you, you nullify the Word of God! And you do other things like this.”

    And the mystery is this: Because of Christ Jesus, the good news has given the Gentiles a share in the promises that God gave to the Jews. God has also let the Gentiles be part of the same body. (Eph 3:6 CEV)

    And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
    (Rev 12:17 KJV

    Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. (Rev 14:12 KJV)

    Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. (Rev 22:14 KJV)

    • Debylin says:

      Thankyou for these scriptures Chris, I appreciate the time it took to look them up. If people only would read the word and be obedient to it then the Lord will bless them and make them His own.

  4. Christine Egbert says:

    Thanks! Here are a few more that shoulld be considered:
    Mat 5:17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Mat 5:19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
    AND . . .
    1Jn 2:3 And by this we know that we have known Him, if we keep His commands.
    1Jn 2:4 The one saying, I have known Him, and not keeping His commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that one. 1Jn 2:5 But whoever keeps His Word, truly in this one the love of God has been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him.
    1Jn 2:6 The one claiming to rest in Him ought so to walk himself as that One walked.
    Chris

  5. Pastor peter G.S NJERU says:

    i would like to get all information from you brethren for we desired your spirit is all concerning the truth of the bible according to the obedient of God’s laws. we have come across some of the truth from you and the church of God which is by the name THE OBEDIENT CHURCH OF GOD from Canada and USA, so please we need all the true messages of the coming kingdom which now we believe we are near the end accordingly to all God’s prophets. we need one of you to come and rebuke and correct all the errors which we were taught by previous false teachers. we would like to meet all the truth from you brethren as Paul to Timothy, here in church of God Sabbath Kenya East-Africa i personal i would like to meet up with you before the end time. thank you for this information from the website which i have agreed with you and the spirit you have to me may God bless you. please we would like to have your email address and post office address from there for further information.

    yours faithfully Pastor PETER G.S NJERU
    ADDRESS :P.O BOX 521-60100 EMBU-KENYA EAST-AFRICA.

  6. Raul Hills says:

    I was looking for information on this subject and found your blog, it hit the spot! Thanks for taking the time to do this I really appreciated it. I’ll be back to check for new posts! Have a good one.

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