This Time of Year

As we would all be aware, earlier this week many people observed Christmas and next week possibly even more will observe New Year’s Eve. During Christmas, there were many celebrations around a tree and much giving of gifts, and at the New Year, there are usually great displays of fireworks. And yet, most people observing these activities do not understand what they mean or the origin of them. It is usually considered that these times are a time of rejoicing and happiness, but research shows in too many cases that this is not true.

In the Australian Daily Mail of 12th December, 2018, we find that “for some, the festive season sparks a rise in domestic violence and theft. With booze flowing and families gathered under one roof, tensions can run high and lead to a spike in domestic violence. Thefts are also on the rise over the Christmas period, as people scramble to get gifts for their children and loved ones that they simply can’t afford.

“Domestic violence is a growing issue in countless Australian homes. With the festive season now in full swing, recent data obtained by Daily Mail Australia shows an increase in violence on Christmas morning and again on New Year’s Eve.”

So, for these unfortunate ones, celebration of these festivals results in violence or even death caused partly by alcohol-induced road accidents and partly by murder. It is not a good result.

While Christmas is supposedly a Christian holiday, many non-Christians also observe it. In a 2013 Pew Research Center report, around 87% of non-Christians, including within the U.S.A., roughly 75% of Buddhists and Hindus celebrate Christmas. In a recent survey, even 32% of Jews had a Christmas tree in their house.

There is no shortage of information on the origins of Christmas: the fact that it was celebrated many centuries before Christ was born, and even the fact that His actual birth date is unknown. Often newspapers will have general interest articles on this subject and there are plenty of websites that also provide the facts. But generally, most people have no concern whatsoever about the Pagan origins of the festival.

Regarding New Year’s Eve, this again is observed around the world. Here in Australia, capital cities boast about how many tons of fireworks they are going to burn or explode in a spectacular festival. Very few realise that during ancient New Year’s celebrations around this time, fires and loud noises were used by pagans to worship their gods such as the double-faced Roman god Janus or the Germanic god Wodan; dispel ghosts of the dead and evil spirits and bring good luck in the ancient world. Later, with the invention of gunpowder, the fires and loud noises were replaced by fireworks. Again, this information is freely available on websites, but again, most people just enjoy the fun with no consideration for truth.

So, what does God say about all of this. Does it please Him, or does He totally condemn it?

In Exodus 12:2, God declared when the year was to begin. “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” This was the month of Abib (Deuteronomy 16:1) which means “ears of corn.” It was in Spring, not mid-winter, and there was no command to celebrate the New Year according to the Hebrew calendar.

When God led the Children of Israel into the land He was giving them, He provided strict instructions not to inquire after their gods, saying, “How did these nations serve their gods? I will also do likewise.” He commanded them not to worship Him in the way of the nations that they were dispossessing (compare Deuteronomy 12:30-31).

When truly considered, the current seasonal festivities are purely entertainment with no real meaning. They are actually inspired by Satan to replace and hide the knowledge of God’s true festivals. Remember that Satan deceives the whole world (compare Revelation 12:9).

In contrast, the true festivals that God has given to us reveal His plan of salvation for all mankind. They have a real meaning and give a great hope that is totally absent from what the world generally observes, and what Satan has inspired. We should be very thankful to God that He has given us this hope and understanding of His purpose through His Holy Days. Therefore, we should have nothing to do with the holidays inspired by Satan but observe all of God’s commanded Holy Days instead.

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