Tuesday, 30 December 2014

A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD

By Pastor Mike Taylor

http://www.churchofgod-usa.org/biblical-teachings-from-the-word-of-god.html

Peter 2:5, 9 "You also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ
... 2:6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,

2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that you should show forth the praises of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelouslight."

I had a dear sister ask me what will we be (the saints borne of God) during the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ ? She understood that we will be given duties by our Lord and Savior, but her question was “will we rule over the people still living after the tribulation? Besides what will we be? Will there be mortals able to sin during this time?” Good set of questions and those that I feel need further exploration by looking at scripture to get an idea of just what we will be and our task during this 1000 year reign after the rebellion during the great tribulation is put down by our King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ. Let’s start in Romans on our journey to identify our future destination and responsibilities that our Lord will impart to all that are found in Him at His coming. Paul speaking by the power of the Holy Spirit reveals what we will be: Roman ch. 8,

8:17 "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint­heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

8:18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.


8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God."

Can you fathom what these verses means? It is almost too glorious to ponder and beyond our immediate comprehension of its full implications. Verse 17 says we will be “joint heirs” of our Savior Jesus Christ. Heirs of what? Simple answer is that all that He
is in a spiritual body, in Spiritual matters, in the ability of our mind to comprehend, and in the inheritance that He, our Savior Jesus Christ has, we will be given the same inheritance. We will be just like our Savior. I’m reminded of what the apostle John wrote in:

1st John 3:2, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” Oh, how glorious will that be!

We have been adopted into the Family of God Almighty, our Father in Heaven. Our God and our Savior will be the source of all of our glory and power upon this earth during a time when the earth is restored to its former glory as during the Garden of Eden. It will be a perfect environment with no war, no inclement weather, no disease, and no tempter of the nations. Satan will be given his forced Sabbath rest of 1000 years from being the source of all temptation and lies and chained in a bottomless pit. It will be a near perfect world, but sin will still be around. We, the Saints of God, will be sinless, immortal and of the same new body that our Lord was resurrected with when He came out of the tomb and appeared to the living. He was able to walk through walls, but be handled and able to eat, but disappear at will. He had a new glorious body, and we will have the same body as He does. Jesus explained this to Nicodemus when he came to Him in the night: John chapter3,

3:3 "Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

This totally confused Nicodemus as the following verses after this show that he did not understand what Jesus meant. Jesus went on to explain of being borne of the Spirit and of water (baptism that shows that a man or woman understands that they are buried with Jesus Christ and are dead to the world, but raised a new creature in Him, by obediently following His footsteps in our life) a man cannot inherit the Kingdom of God


or enter therein unless he is born again. He then said something that many overlook what we will be when He changes us into His likeness:

3:7  "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit."

Did you catch that? We will be as the wind. We see the effects of the wind through the trees, but we cannot see the wind,, but its effects on the material world. Spiritual bodies will come and go much as the wind, but appear at will to whomever we decide to let see us. It’s the ultimate description (to illustrate something we can comprehend) of our bodies when Captain Kirk on Star Trek says “beam me up, Scotty.” Our bodies will move at lightning speed without aid of some transporter as on some popular outer space program.

When Jesus comes for His saints, there will be an awards banquet in heaven. We call it the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Here Jesus will impart to each of His saints a measure of ruler­ship by the deeds they have done for Him in this life. Paul speaks of the revealing of what we have done in the body in this life, and what we have done for Jesus Christ and  its eternal rewards: 1st Corinthians:

3:9 "For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.

3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeththereupon.

3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;


3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.

3:14  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.

3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

What we have done in this life for Jesus Christ will stand and for that we will receive a reward, much like the following parable given by Jesus.

Note the parable of the talents: Matthew,

25:14 "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods"
Jesus is this man, who has gone to heaven and is sitting beside God the Father in Heaven and delivered unto us the servants, His goods. What goods? Let’s read on.

25:15 "And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey."

In ancient times, a talent was a measure of gold. It was the most precious of all possessions. I ask you, what is the most precious possession our God has given us, besides His only Begotten Son? I tell you plainly, it’s HIS WORD! It is His instructions for living, for His reaching us and teaching us by His Holy Spirit unto repentance and using that same Word to reach others.

25:16 "Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.

25:17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.

(Each of these servants added to what he was given, by sharing that Word with the world around him. What did each gain? They gained souls of men by sharing the Word


with other men. How much of an impact does that Word have on the world? We may never know fully till it be revealed to us at this Marriage Supper, but we are commanded to share it with all who will listen.)

25:18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.

25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
25:20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
25:21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
25:22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
25:23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.

25:24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:

25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
25:26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
25:27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
25:28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.

(This unfaithful and unprofitable servant hid His Masters goods, His Word, away and shared it not with those around him. Woe to those who fail to follow the command of our Lord Jesus.)

25:29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.

25:30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Did this man believe or just mouthed the words? Only God knows, but to hide away what we have been given determines our reward or our lack thereof. Each of these faithful servants were given a reward. They were made rulers over many things! Listen to what Jesus reveals to John the Beloved in Revelation:

» Revelation 2:7, 26; 3:21: "To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. . . . I will give power over the nations. . . . I will grant to sit with Me on My throne."

» Revelation 5:9­10: . . . "You . . . have redeemed us to God by Your blood out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, and have made us kings and priests to our God; and we shall reign on the earth."
» Revelation 21:7: "He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son."
Note that verse 9 of Revelation chapter 5 says we will be kings and priest before God. We have established that we will rule on this earth in the coming Kingdom of God according to our deeds done in this life for our Lord and Savior, but what about priest? What will be our duties as priest? Jesus Christ embodies all that is royal for a King, but is also our High Priest. He calls us kings and priests. If priest, then who will be minister to?

In ancient Israel, the priest were the ministers of God. They provided direction to the people and point them to God. They did the sacrifices given by the people for the atonement of their sins daily. Although the nation of Israel became blinded by the ceremonies of sacrifices in the Temple being a forerunner of the Supreme Sacrifice in the body of our Lord and Savior, they were the keepers of the oracles of God and were to be a priestly nation to shine before the Gentile world and lead them to God. We know that they failed miserably in their departure from following after God in spirit and in truth. They knew scripture inside and out, but failed to glean the central message when their Messiah was standing right before them.


PRIEST BEFORE GOD

There are four things that we can learn here about a priest, and actually three of them are spin­offs of the first one, which is this:

1.        A priest has access to God in Ancient Israel that other people did not have. Now because he had access to God, we therefore understand that the priest served God personally. Think of this in relation of the life that’s coming, but do not detach it from today. Remember, you are a royal priesthood.
2.   The priest ministers to others.
3.       The priest was actually ministering to the average Israelite who came to him whenever he represented him before God. in the Old Testament and we will minister to the mortals who need still a Savior.
4.        He therefore had to have something to give. He had to have something to give to the Israelite, and he also had to have something to give to God. So it will be in the Millennium. We will be our Lord Jesus ambassadors, priest of the Most High God and preach the everlasting Gospel to those who still need a Savior. Each will know our Lord in their minds, but need it in their hearts. The price Jesus paid for sinful mankind will extend to those born during this time.You ask, "are mortals in the Millennium"? That was one of the questions needing to be answered.

During this time of blessed peace and security that comes upon the earth, there will be people that will enter into the Millennium as mortal men and women. The Bible speaks of them  in Isaiah,
65:20 "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

65:21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

65:22  They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for


as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

65:23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

65:24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

65:25 The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD."
Verse 20 speaks of the sinner? Yes, men will still have a mortal sin nature, but not to the extent as in our world now, as the tempter has been locked away for a 1000 years. We will be the teachers of the ways of God as spoken in Isaiah:

30:21 "And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. "

We, as priest, will teach them the Way of the Lord and point them to the cross. Understand, Jesus will be known to all, as the sea covers the earth. Hebrews chapter 8:

8:11 "And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest."


All people on earth will be subject to the righteous rule of Jesus Christ as He sits on the Throne of David and all the earth will know Him…..in their mind they will know, but in their heart they still possess a sin nature. How many people will enter a 1000 year reign of righteous rule by our Lord Jesus Christ? The number is unknown, but remember that out of 8 souls that were saved out of the flood during the life of Noah, the whole earth has been populated. How many souls can be borne in a thousand years, coupled with the fact that men will live extremely long lives, as it was in the days of Methusaleh who lived almost a thousand years, pre­flood.  So the population will grow exponentially. Millions may be born in that time. That’s where we come into our responsibility. As kings and priest of the King of Kings, our job, our commission is to be rulers, yes….priests to the people to point them to the Savior, most definitely. We are being instructed in righteousness right now, on this earth, in this time we have left. True Christians are being instructed by God from their Bibles and the work of the Holy Spirit in all who have been called unto repentance. It is a mortal attempt to being conformed to His likeness in this life, but we take on His likeness when Jesus comes and we will be perfected, as we have been changed into His glorious likeness.

I Corinthians 6:9 ­ 11


"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind. Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed (you are changed), but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."

I Corinthians 1:26 ­ 31

"For you see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:"

God has chosen the humble, not the proud. He has chosen the poor, not the rich. He has chosen the weak, not the noble or strong. He has chosen a select group of people of this earth that you would not consider leaders in this life, but by the Holy Spirit, as 1st Corinthians 6:11 states, we are being changed into His likeness, one day at a time. We are being sanctified, as He also justified by His blood. Romans,


8:29 "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified."

We have an appointment with the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, very soon. One of these days in the near future, Jesus will break out of eternity into our time and say “come up here.” And we will be changed in an instant in the twinkling of an eye.

1st Corinthians:
15:49 "And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up invictory."

You ask, “how do I become one of these kings and priest?”It’s so simple, that a child can do it. Want to know the secret to obtaining such a high honor of a king and a priest in God’s Kingdom? John 6,

6:28  "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?


6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”

Believe with your heart and ask Jesus to come into your heart and life, and by example, live as He lived, as  humanly possible.

And so my reader, thus will begin your eternal destination of being a king and a priest before our God, to lead other men who enter the Millennium to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. We will rule righteously and give the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ unto the living mortals who still have their free moral will to accept or reject the message. We will not coerce anyone to believe and accept, but as Jesus does by His Holy Spirit now, we will point them to the same cross that we came to know, and the same perfect sacrifice that we accepted upon our own lives for the remission of sins, our Lord, Savior and soon coming King, Jesus Christ. So come Lord Jesus, yes, Amen. Come my Lord. We await our reward of being kings and priest before You. That is our glorious future of all who believe on His name, by faith and obedience to His call. Will you be counted as being changed into the likeness of Almighty God? Or will your future be different, because you have rejected His call, rejected His payment for your sins in His own blood. Today, not tomorrow, is the time to make your futue sure and set in stone. In comes down to the object of the whole writing of Holy Writ, your bible, in this one passage in your bible, the point of the whole Bible:

John 3:16­18 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him, might be saved.
He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

It is that simple…believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, as the Son of God, crucified for your sins and mine, raised from the dead, and lives forevermore, and waiting to return for His Bride, and so we shall ever be with the Lord. Accept Him by faith into your heart and soul, with a simple prayer of repentance for being a sinner and needing a Savior, for all have



sinned and come short of the glory of God. That Savior, is Jesus my Lord. Oh, won’t you join us, those who have already accepted Jesus as personal Savior? It will be most glorious, and unimaginable to comtemplate what God has in store for us who believe in Jesus by faith.
1st Corinthians:

2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God

This is Pastor Mike Taylor praying for your salvation through Jesus Christ, our Lord. If there be any need for prayer, counseling, or just a listening ear, email me at realteam1999@sbcglobal.net,God bless you all till we meet at Jesus feet.

Monday, 15 December 2014

THE TRUTH ABOUT CHRISTMAS

BY PASTOR MIKE TAYLOR

 John 4:23  “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”


Those who wish only to honor and worship our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ take the time each year to commemorate the birth of our Lord during this time known traditionally as Christmas. But to do so must be out of a pure understanding of what was accomplished on a clear Bethlehem night so long ago, now nigh 2000 years.  We must honor the birth of our Savior with the knowledge of the truth of his birth. As the above verse attest, God wishes to be worshiped, but in Spirit and in truth. So I take this time each year to remind brothers and sisters in Christ, “what is the truth of the birth of our Savior?” When we learn the truth of His birth, then it is upon each of us to decide whether to follow the truth of God, or follow the traditions of  men. The following is a message I wish to pass on to like minded believers in the life of the greatest human that ever lived, Jesus the Christ or Messiah.

Traditionly, it is the Christmas season, again. A time of joy about the birth of our Savior, a time of good will toward men, and family getting together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  Many Christians view this time as a most holy time when Jesus Christ was born in a manger, as God in the flesh, and was announced to the world via shepherds tending their flocks in the fields by night. But is it the truth of His birth? Not to offend anyone who looks on this season with much anticipation of what it has traditionally held, even from the time I was a boy. Who doesn’t  like pretty decorations, giving gifts to a small child, having big dinners, and family joining in festivities of the season? Somewhere in that mix, we may, I repeat…”MAY” (many don’t) take time to acknowledge that the season was designed to honor and worship the birth of our Savior. In our morally challenged nation of modern USA (and for that matter, the world) this time of year has evolved into a time of parties, revelry, debauchery, greed, and sinful displays that honor the flesh, but do NOT honor God. Those who wish to honor God, and the birth of our Savior MUST know the historial truth behind what our modern era calls “Christmas” and here it is.


THE TRUTH OF CHRISTMAS


Many centuries ago, the Roman Catholic Church in all its religious and dictatorial desire to give “honor” to the Savior, imposed a set date of December 25th as the date that Jesus was born. First, I wish to take an historical position, and foremost and more importantly, a biblical position on this most human of traditions that comes in the winter every year of our modern times.

FIRST, THE BIBLICAL ACCOUNT

Is there anything that we can look to that determines what day exactly, that Jesus Christ was born?  No, not exactly as the bible does not pinpoint the exact day of our Saviors birth.  But we can come close to the month and season of His birth from scripture and it wasn’t in December. How do I know? Scripture gives an account of the birth of Jesus in relationship of the birth of John the Baptist and that of Mary being with child. Let’s start  our discovery with the father of John the Baptist. John, who became the forerunner of the proclamation of the Messiah, was the second cousin of Jesus Christ. John the Baptist had as his father a member of the priesthood called by the name, Zacharias. . Zacharias was given the priestly duties before the Lord at set dates in the course of 24 priest that performed their duties at set times of the year. Zacharias duties fell on the course of Abijah, as we find in Luke chapter 1:

1:5  “THERE was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

1:6  And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

1:7  And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

1:8  And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office before God in the order of his course,

1:9  According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.”

From the time of King David, there were 24 courses of priests assigned to theTemple, and the course of Abijah was the 8th course as a permanent assignment. Each course of priests served for 7 days (1 Chronicles 9:25), twice a year. Their week long service at the Temple began and ended on the Sabbath (2 Chronicles 23:8).

We know from studying scripture and knowing how the course fell that Zacharias was given these duties during the 10th week of the Jewish year, or about Sivan 12-18, which falls on our calendar in the month of May/June.

We can read about the encounter that Zacharias had with the angel Gabriel in the subsequent verses that speak of the proclamation that Zecharias and  Elisabeth would have a child and his name was to be John. But to pinpoint the near date of the conception of John the Baptist we look to these verses in that same passage of Luke:

1:23  “And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

1:24  And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

1:25  Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

So by taking this scripture, we can determine that John the Baptist was conceived in June sometime, and Elisabeth hid herself for 5 months.”

How does this relate to the birth of Jesus? We read further down in Luke and we come to the angel now appearing to Mary, the earthly mother of our Savior.

1:26  “And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

1:27  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

1:28  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

1:29  And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

1:30  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

1:31  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.”

Luke makes a pointed effort to show that in the “sixth month” meaning from the time of John the Baptist being conceived, an angel also came to Mary and she became pregnant by the Holy Spirit with Jesus.

1:36  “And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.”

By taking this biblical account of the conception of John the Baptist, who would be born 9 months later, we find that John was born sometime in the spring, or sometime in March or early April on our calendar, and in the Jewish calendar, the month of Nisan, around Passover time. Simple math allows us to calculate the approximate time of the birth of Jesus by taking the time of Mary coming to Elisabeth who was 6 months pregnant, and Mary having just conceived shows that Jesus would be born 6 months after John’s birth, around the time of the fall, or approximately, during the Feast of Tabernacles celebration in the month of September or early October. Which makes a lot of sense, as the meaning of the Feast of Tabernacles is “God with us.” God came to live amongst us as a living, breathing human being during this time.

There are many more clues that people overlook when they falsely embrace the birth of our Lord. It is noted that the angels came to the shepherds who were tending their flocks in the fields around Bethlehem. We know that the weather there is similar to ours, as it is on the same latitude as we are in the Midwest, so their winter, if it were in December, could be very cold and snowy with no grass growing on the hills. Also, these sheep or lambs were being tended, possibly for the temple sacrifices that would begin in the fall during the Day of Atonement and they would not risk the death of fragile lambs to cold weather.

Another clue is that Joseph was commanded to go to his place of birth to be counted for taxes by the census of Quirinius, as taxes would be leveled when the farmers had the proceeds from their crops and were full of money. Also, they would naturally gather to celebrate a festival during this time, or the Feast of Tabernacles, so the town was packed with feast observers, hence Mary and Joseph could find no room at the Inn for lodging.

Why is this all important? It was commanded by Jesus to observe His death and resurrection, but no where is there a commandment to observe His birth. Then why do we do it? Simply, it is tradition that was started by the ruling theocracy, or the Roman Catholic Church. Is there anything wrong with observing the birth of Jesus Christ? No, not in itself, as we are joyous and thankful that He did come, as a child and grow into a man, full of grace and truth with one mission, to save the world of its sins. But for some reason, men find no threat coming from a cute little baby lying in a manger, but have a hard time acknowledging the risen Savior who will come back as a ruling and reigning Warrior King with a rod of iron to put down all sin and rebellion found on this earth.

SECOND, THE HISTORICAL ASPECTS OF CHRISTMAS

"One prolific writer in the early church fathers was Irenaeus, the bishop over all the churches of Asia Minor. He was designated a saint by the Roman Catholic Church, and was the bishop following John the apostle and Polycarp. Irenaeus was bishop in about 170-180 AD, and wrote about all the church observances. Nowhere is Christmas mentioned or the observance of a day for the supposed birth of Yeshua. You can read Irenaeus' writings in English at the Wheaton University website, and check it out for yourself.

“The Catholic encyclopedia states that shortly after the Council of Nicea in 325 AD, a pope assigned December 25th as the day for observing the birth of Jesus. Then in the 5th century AD, another pope made it church law, that all Christians would observe December 25 as Christmas, forever. Think about it, the date of December 25 was chosen over 300 years after the death of Jesus, as the date of His birth; and 400 years afterwards it was institutionalized as a mandatory church observance.” (Paganism in Christmas, Reinhold.)

Oh how people love to participate in all the man-made aspects of Christmas; the glittering lights, the evergreen tree, the giving of presents, and the entire merchant push for their biggest sales period of the year. While some Christians will say that "we ought not to commercialize Christmas", or "let's put Christ back in Christmas", those are just slogans to perpetuate what is historically something we must admit, it is a pagan festival. Jesus Christ is NOT in Christmas, as the day proclaims.  Are you shocked? You should be if you’re a true follower of Jesus Christ. Let’s see what this time in history is really about, and how Jesus our Savior was added to this celebration and it’s not based on Christian principles of worship.

As mentioned, three hundred years after the resurrection of our Lord, the Roman Catholic Church by edict proclaimed the date of December 25th as the official date of the birth of Jesus. Years later, the Emperor Constantine designated and approved this date by stating the following:

"On the venerable Day of the Sun let the magistrates and people residing in cities rest, and let all workshops be closed. In the country, however, persons engaged in agriculture may freely and lawfully continue their pursuits; because it often happens that another day is not so suitable for grain-sowing or for vine-planting; lest by neglecting the proper moment for such operations, the bounty of heaven should be lost."

I’m going to reveal some details that most Christians do not understand or realize where these traditions came from. The popes ordered Christmas to be instituted on the birthday of Sol the sun-god, because the Roman pagans already observed Sunday to honor Sol and the winter solstice period was already observed as Sol's birthday. This was an overt means to convince the people that Sol (the sun) and Jesus were the same person. The winter solstice occurs on December 21, and Saturnalia was kept from December 17-24. Then on December 25, Brumalia was the celebration of the rebirth of the sun-god. This is called Mithraism.

To get a secular definition of the meaning of this tradition, all one has to do is look at any dictionary, or online at Wikipedia at the following URL:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas

The tradition is historical, and has nothing to do with Christianity as a religion. So who was Sol the sun-god? It was a continuation of the Ba’al worship from ancient days. It was present in Egypt and back to ancient Babylon. December 25 was the birth day of Tammuz, the son of Semiramis, and the so called rebirth of Nimrod his father. Note that Semiramis married her own son, by Nimrod, as the risen king. (incest) The ancient legend is that a green tree sprang up on Brumalia, with the stump symbolizing Nimrod (Ba’al) and the green tree Tammuz. This festival is nothing more than witchcraft institutionalized in the church today as Christmas. It is Ba’al worship. Many Christians hold up their noses over ancient Israel who worshiped YHVH and also worshiped the baals. They think they would never do such things themselves. However, they are practicing the same Ba’al worship that people were criticized in the scriptures over 2500 years ago.

Although the early Roman Catholic popes knew of the pagan origins of these celebrations that did not concern them, as they felt that substituting Christ in a pagan tradition would satisfy the new converts into their mainstream religion.

Jeremiah warned of this practice when he wrote of a passage that sounds much like a Christmas tree:

Jeremiah 10:3-4 “For the customs of the people are a delusion; because it is wood cut from the forest, the work of the hands of the craftsman with a cutting tool. They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers so that it will not totter.”

I don’t wish to pour water on your parade, as many Christians celebrate the season with a pure heart and again, only wish to honor the Lord Jesus by being in church and being mindful of the beginning of the salvation of the world. Is it wrong to celebrate Christmas even with all the added tinsel and trappings of a man made holiday? You have to decide. Does God condone connecting His Holy Name, Jesus Christ, and a name above every name with a tradition that seeks pleasure of the flesh, but sprinkles in piety to season the stew? I am reminded of a verse that jumps out at me:

"Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them [the pagans in their customs] . . . that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God: for every abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods" (Deuteronomy 12:30-31).


 Remember again what Jesus said and opening this message,  in John 4:24,

4:23  “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.

4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth, meaning we must worship to the fullest of God's intent as revealed in His Word, with every act guided and determined by His revealed truth. Yet, how many corners do we cut when we feel it serves us better at the time? We do not add to it, or take away from it. 

By blending in different worldly traditions in our misguided attempt to worship and honor God we are missing the mark and by doing so, sinning against God. The world's theologians call this process syncretism, which means "the combination of different forms of belief or practice; the fusion of two or more original forms."  Example is the incident of the Golden Calf found in your bible that the Hebrew people has Aaron fashion for them (Exodus chapter 32), that blends the worship of the true God with the worship of false gods, and the result is proclaimed to be worship of which men believed the true God  would approve of. Does God now or did He then, approve? What was the judgment of the Hebrew people when they tried to mix paganism with the worship of Jehovah? Exodus:

32:7  “And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves:

32:8  They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”

God intended to wipe the children of Israel away in His hot anger, but Moses interceded for whole of the people and God spared them for Moses plea, but punishment was instituted by Moses and the tribe of Levi. You can read verses 9-26, which ends with these verses to the judgment that was enacted for their great sin:

32:27  “And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbor.

32:28  And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men.

32:29  For Moses had said, Consecrate yourselves today to the LORD, even every man upon his son, and upon his brother; that he may bestow upon you a blessing this day.

32:30  And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the LORD; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.”

God and Moses were deeply offended when the people tried to celebrate a God of their own minds, by redefining Him and controlling Him to their own desires. I’ve had people tell me that they don’t care if Christmas started as a pagan ritual as it’s their way of praising God. Is not this person doing the same thing as the Israelites did in the wilderness when they substituted a golden calf, as god of their own desire, for the true God of Heaven? Are you doing the same thing? At this time of the year, let us examine our hearts and minds and determine, are we worshipping God in spirit and in truth, or are we making a god of our own desires as Israel did? I leave it to the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life and Holy conviction.
Joshua  24:15  And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
As I started this message, I wish to offend no one, but as a Christian, a true believer,  you must know the truth of what the Bible says is the real season of the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Now I leave it to your own conscience and good will wishing only to serve our God with true worship.

                                                               Merry Christmas?



This is pastor Mike Taylor, wish God’s salvation in your life though Jesus Christ our Lord. If you have any need for prayer, for counseling, or just to listen, send me an email to realteam1999@sbcglobal.net,  God bless you, till we meet at Jesus feet.