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Why Do We Observe Pagan Festivals?


Why Do We Observe Pagan Festivals?--continued

 

Concerning Messiah’s birth, most serious Bible scholars know that the Messiah was not born on December 25. They freely admit that it was a pagan holiday and many sources will even go so far as to admit that it was the birthday of Mithra (also known as ‘Tammuz’ by the Babylonians and as ‘Esus’ by the Druids)—a pagan deity that was proclaimed by his followers as the savior. So why would we want to celebrate the birth of a pagan deity, especially when the Bible shows us the day upon which the Messiah was really born? (Please see the studies, Appointed Times I and Appointed Times II.)

Rome mandated observance of December 25 in the 4th century and it has carried forward to this day. Our pastors, realizing that it is pagan, mollify us with the apology, “We won the pagan day for the Lord!” But did we win this pagan day for the Lord, or did we simply paganize ourselves a little more?

Did not Moses warn the Israelites “thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations” (Deuteronomy 18:9), and did not Jeremiah admonish the people, “learn not the way of the heathen” (Jeremiah 10:2)? And did not Paul warn us that false deity worship was really the worship of devils?

"…the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to Elohim: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils." (1 Corinthians 10:20)

With respect to our worship of the Most High and His son, who gets the glory in the courts of Heaven when believers worship on the days appointed for the pagans? Would the Creator have been glorified had Job bowed down before his Christmas tree (Jeremiah 10:2) in order to get a present?

Why do we celebrate the Messiah’s resurrection on ‘Ishtar’ (Easter) Sunday? The pagans celebrated the fertility festival of Ishtar on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox, long before the birth of the Messiah. Rome also mandated this holiday and we follow it to this very day. The Bible gave us the Biblical feast of Firstfruits as the day of Messiah’s resurrection. (See for example, 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 for Paul’s understanding.) Would the Creator have been glorified had Job taken a bite of an Easter ham sandwich with his face “toward the east” (Ezekiel 8:16) for the Ishtar sunrise service?

Why, in spite of Messiah’s own words that He died on the Passover (Luke 22:16) do we still refuse to observe this Biblical appointed time in commemoration of His death? In short, why do we ignore all the Biblical holy days—established to foretell and witness to every significant event in the life of Messiah—which the Law commands us to observe and instead keep our own pagan holidays because we are wedded to the ‘tradition of men?’ Why do we violate the Sabbath of the Most High—a weekly commemoration of His creation—in favor or ‘the day of the sun’ which was celebrated by the pagans for centuries prior to the coming of Messiah? Why do we take into our bodies the ‘unclean’ and the ‘abomination’ (Leviticus 11:7-10) in the form of swine, shellfish, snake, etc., in direct contradiction to the commandments of the Most High?

If we put aside the flawed mainstream interpretations of Paul’s letters, what possible argument could be used to persuade good Christians that the Law of the Most high is bad while pagan festivals and practices are good? It seems almost silly to argue that “we’re not under the Law” (an argument shown to be based upon fallacious interpretation of Paul’s writings; please see the study, "The Law") so that we can keep pagan practices. Would we possibly fall for such a deception if it were not for the fact that we had been raised to believe these things as children? Perhaps that is why Jeremiah gave the following prophecy concerning the Gentiles.

"O LORD, my strength, and my fortress, and my refuge in the day of affliction, the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no profit." (Jeremiah 16:19)

Perhaps that is also why John would make the following prophecy concerning the end-time body of believers who might still need to be cleansed from pagan practices:

"Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of Elohim, and the faith of Yahoshua." (Revelation 14:12)

"And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen… 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." (Revelation 18:1-4)

We see here that in addition to having the testimony of Messiah, the end-time saints will also be keeping the commandments of the Most High—just as every ‘great’ character of the Bible taught. That is why the early Nazarenes were observing the Pentecost (Acts 2), why Paul had to “keep this feast that cometh in Jerusalem (Acts 18:20-21, KJV), why Paul exhorted the Corinthian congregants to “keep the feast” (1 Corinthians 5:6-8 ) and why Paul made observance that “the fast was already now past” (Acts 27:9). Prior to the negative influences of Rome on the Nazarenes, they were observing the “Feasts of the LORD” in accordance with His Law!

May the Most High bless you as you continue to study these issues!

Shalom!