THE MISSION OF HOLLYWOOD



If i may ask, “DO YOU KNOW THE MISSION OF HOLLYWOOD?”

I came across some mind boggling and startling statements today written by Bertrand Russell in his book which I downloaded today titled, “The Scientific Outlook” published 1931, page 158. According to Bertrand, the mission of the cinema, media, hollywood and entertainment industry is to achieve uniformity in the world. Through the media the world will unconsciously and consciously wonder after the beast, make an image to the beast and readily receive the mark of the beast as prophesied in Revelation 13:11-16.

Take time to read what this great philosopher wrote over 86 years ago about the media.

He wrote:

“Perhaps the most important of all the modern agents of propaganda is the cinema. Where the cinema is concerned, the technical reasons for large-scale organizations leading to almost world-wide uniformity are overwhelming. . . . The great majority of young people in almost all civilized countries derive their ideas of love, of honour, of the way to make money, and of the importance of good clothes, from the evenings spent in seeing what Hollywood thinks good of them.”

Here comes the most startling statement from this great philosopher. It is imperative to note that this not Ellen White speaking through her inspired writings, this is not a quote from the Bible, rather this is a philosopher and a Nobel prize winner who little or not to deep relationship with God, although he believed in God.

He said:

“I doubt whether all the schools and churches combined have as much influence as the cinema upon the opinions of the young in regard to such intimate matters as love and marriage and money making. The producers of Hollywood are the high-priests of a new religion”

No wonder we were told that Daniel 3 will repeat itself to the letter. It was the music and entertainment that brought unity to all men in the world which made it easy for them to worship the the golden image to the beast and to receive the mark of the beast. It was the also the false prophets or lamb-like beast of Rev 13:11,12 which is a Protestant America that will seek to use spiritualism and all the abominations of the world to deceive people to make an image to the beast and to receive the mark of aliegence. Rev 16: 13, 14; Rev 19:20.

The battle field is the mind

The mind is the battle field and from it proceed all the issues of life. This is what Mrs. Ellen G. White wrote over 117 years ago about the media and entertainment of her time:
“I feel alarmed as I witness everywhere the frivolity of young men and young women who profess to believe the truth. God does not seem to be in their thoughts. Their minds are filled with nonsense. Their conversation is only empty, vain talk. They have a keen ear for music, and Satan knows what organs to excite to animate, engross, and charm the mind so that Christ is not desired. The spiritual longings of the soul for divine knowledge, for a growth in grace, are wanting.
I was shown that the youth must take a higher stand and make the word of God the man of their counsel and their guide. Solemn responsibilities rest upon the young, which they lightly regard. The introduction of music into their homes, instead of inciting to holiness and spirituality, has been the means of diverting their minds from the truth. Frivolous songs and the popular sheet music of the day seem congenial to their taste. The instruments of music have taken time which should have been devoted to prayer. Music, when not abused, is a great blessing; but when put to a wrong use, it is a terrible curse. It excites, but does not impart that strength and courage which the Christian can find only at the throne of grace while humbly making known his wants and, with strong cries and tears, pleading for heavenly strength to be fortified against the powerful temptations of the evil one. Satan is leading the young captive. Oh, what can I say to lead them to break his power of infatuation! He is a skillful charmer luring them on to perdition.” Adventist Home, 407.
“All should guard the senses, lest Satan gain victory over them; for these are the avenues of the soul.” Adevntist Home, p. 401.
“Satan and his angels are busy creating a paralyzed condition of the senses so that cautions, warnings, and reproofs shall not be heard; or, if heard, that they shall not take effect upon the heart and reform the life. My brethren, God calls upon you as His followers to walk in the light. You need to be alarmed. Sin is among us, and it is not seen to be exceedingly sinful. The senses of many are benumbed by the indulgence of appetite and by familiarity with sin.We need to advance nearer heaven.” Adventist Home, p. 401.
The Question we all need to ask ourselves is, what is in my heart? Is christ abiding or satan through the nonsense of hollywood?
I live you with this questions and with this quote:
“If Christ is not abiding in us, the Satanic will appear in our words or actions.” Review and Herald, Dec. 22, 1885.

Grace: The Power to Overcome All Sin (Part 1)


Let me start by asking: Who is a Christian?

I know some will quickly give an answer by saying, “A Christian is one who is Christlike.”

This is definitely true. In fact Mrs. White wrote clearly that “to be a Christian is to be Christlike.”— Adventist Home, 427. But when we take time to study those who profess to be Christians in our environment and in the Church of God, this question lead us to ask another question: “Did Christ sin in thought and deed?”

The answer to this question is an emphatic No. He didn’t sin. It was written of Christ:

“For he [God] hath made him [Christ] to be sin for us [humanity], who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” 2 Cor. 5:21 (emphasis supplied).

“And ye know that he [Christ] was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5 (emphasis supplied).

Who then is a Christian?

A Christian is one who have experienced deliverance from the power of sin Satan and the world. Therefore, Christianity is a religion that teaches deliverance from the power of sin, Satan and the world. A life that has not experience deliverance form the power of sin is not a Christian life in truth. He may profess to be a Christian but in reality he is not; he is still in bondage to the power of sin, Satan and the world. “A Christian has victory over his besetments, over his passions.”— White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 1, p. 158. Christ is not a minister of sin and His followers should not be the minister of sin like wise (Gal. 2:17). It was written of Christ that He hate sin but loves righteousness. “Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity” Heb 1:9.

It is also written of the true Christian that, “He hates sin . . . The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life, which have heretofore been preferred before Christ, are now turned from, and Christ is the charm of his life, the crown of his rejoicing.”— White, Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 2, p. 294.

The primary purpose Christ came into this world is to save His people from their sin. Angel Gabriel told Joseph the mission of Christ when he appeared to him in a dream. He said, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matt 1:21.

It is imperative to note that the Angel didn’t say, “He shall save his people in their sins.” Christ does not save in sin, but out of sin. John gave a similar record. He wrote that Christ “was manifested [revealed] to take away our sins” 1 John 3:5 (emphasis supplied). Satan seeks to present to professing Christians another gospel which is false. He wants them to believe that Christ will save them in their sin. Sin is powerful and until we understand this fact we cannot understand the power of grace. The failure to overcome sin daily lies in the failure to understand this fact that sin is powerful and controlling. Overcoming sin of any kind is not about trying, it is by grace. Overcoming sin lies in a power stronger than sin and outside of us. This is where grace comes in. The embodiment of grace is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.

Forgiving Grace

Grace is popularly defined as unmerited favor of Christ towards a repentant sinner. This is right and true. This definition steam from some Biblical accounts such as the flood account when “Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” despite living amidst a corrupt world that is “filled with violence”. (Gen. 6:8, 11). Or when Lot found grace in the sight of God before the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. (Gen. 19:19). Jacob, Joseph, Moses also found unmerited favor in the sight of God (Gen 33:10, 39:4, Ex. 33:12). These account and many more proves that when a soul finds grace in the sight of God finds unmerited favor. This unmerited favor is what Christ gave as a gift to humanity that they might be saved from sin, Satan and the world.

Paul wrote that, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Eph 2:8-9. It is by grace, the unmerited favor, of Christ extended to sinners like us that delivers us from the power sin. But this grace, being a gift, must be received by faith. The hand that receives this precious gift of grace is faith. Faith is not the power that saves. Grace is what saves. Faith is the invisible hand that receives from the omnipotent God that saves. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Romans 5:8-9. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” 1 John 3:1. Such grace is called forgiving grace. This grace justifies the sinner who believes in the atoning death of Jesus Christ and receives it by the hand of faith. This grace cleanses the soul that is defiles with sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. This grace reclaims the sinner from the garb and stronghold of sin.

What is your habit? Is it anger? Is it addiction to fornication, adultery, pornography, masturbation, gambling, lying, stealing? Do you indulge in drinking alcohol, smoking and gluttony? Are you struggling with sinful passions? You need the forgiving grace that delivers from any manner of sin. This grace does not just forgive but removes sin of the heart. John rightfully said, it also “cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. To cleanse means to take away or remove sin out of the heart in such a way that the stains and filthiness of sin will not be seen by God the Father anymore because of the antoning blood of Jesus Christ his Son who has made it so. Some may say, how is this possible? All you need do is have faith and it is so.

Despite the aforementioned definition of grace being an unmerited favor of Christ toward the repentant sinner. This grace is called FORGIVING GRACE. But this grace has a second part. Grace is not just forgiveness of sin, reclaiming or deliverance from its power. Grace is also the power and strength given to those who have experienced the new birth; those who have experienced the forgiving grace that they may daily overcome through the strength and power of Christ that works in them. This is what I call, the OVERCOMING GRACE. Many receive the forgiving grace and went on to rely on their strength in overcoming sin. They end up falling and rising, falling and rising believing this to be a true Christian experience. This is false.

If we are Christians, bearing the mark and stamp of Christ’s name upon our forehead, did Jesus Christ, sin, repent, sin, repent while he was here on earth? A true Christian should daily overcome every known sin, that the spirit of Christ reveals to him or her through the Law, by the power of Christ that Christ is willing to give them daily.

In our next article, we shall study carefully this OVERCOMING GRACE and see from the scripture how it can be obtained NOW.

 

 

 

 

IS SUNDAY THE LORD’S DAY?


To my Pentecostal, Catholic, Anglican, Methodist brothers and sisters. Have you ever search the Scripture to know what is TRUTH?

Isaiah wrote:

“To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” Isaiah 8:20

Moses also wrote:

“at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” Deut 19:15

Jesus Christ repeated the same words:

“in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” Matt 18:26

WHAT IS THE LORD’S DAY?

Apostle John said, “I was in the Spirit on the LORD’s DAY, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet” Rev 1:10

WHO ARE THE WITNESSES TO THESE FACT?

Witness 1: MARK

Mark said Jesus is the Lord of the sabbath (Seventh day) and not first day (sunday) or any other day.

“And he (Jesus) said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man (JESUS) is LORD also of the sabbath.” Mark 2:27, 28

Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath (Seventh day) and not the Lord of Sunday.

Witness 2: MATTHEW

Matthew also witness to what mark wrote that Jesus is the LORD of the sabbath day. Matthew said sabbath day, showing that the sabbath is a DAY that means one can’t decide to chose any other day apart from the DAY Jesus is LORD of.

“For the Son of man (JESUS) is LORD even of the SABBATH DAY.” Matthew 12:8

Witness 3: ISAIAH

Isaiah is another witness who identified the authority of God on the Sabbath by calling it “MY HOLY DAY.” No where in the Bible has GOD called the First day of the week (SUNDAY) my holy day.

“If thou turn away thy foot from the SABBATH, from doing thy pleasure on MY HOLY DAY; and call the sabbath a delight, the HOLY OF THE LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words” Isaiah 58:13

Witness 4: MOSES

The Sabbath is the seventh day, and the seventhday is Saturday and not Sunday. SUNDAY was never appointed as a holy day by God.

“And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.” Gen 2:2, 3

“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10 But the SEVENTH DAY IS THE SABBATH OF THE LORD THY GOD: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.” Exodus 20:8-11

Witness 5. LUKE

Luke a gentile convert to christianity, wrote that the disciples of Jesus went back home to keep the sabbath according to the commandment given to them by God. They would rather obey God’s commandment than anoiting Christ’s body.

“And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on. 55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid. 56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.” Luke 23:54-56

I pray the Lord will teach us his word better.

PART-TIME CHRISTIANS VS FULL-TIME SATAN


Someone once said, “part-time Christians can not defeat full-time Satan.” Who will deny this truth? Satan have a perfect understanding of our spiritual state and he will do all he can to prevent us from knowing our spiritual condition. We are in a Laodicean state of lukewarmness.

“Satan well knows that all whom he can lead to neglect PRAYER and the searching of the SCRIPTURES, will be OVERCOME by his attacks. Therefore he invents every possible device to engross the mind.”– The Great Controversy, p.519

YOU and I spend 3 hours a day, atleast, with our phone.

2 hours talking nonsense with people whom you should be leading to Christ.

2 hours watching soap operas, hollywood, nollywood, bollywood, gollyhood, robinhood, “porn-hood” and all the woods in the forest of worldliness.

We spend 6 hours atleast for sleeping and naps which it is a good thing to do.

10 hours working for our daily bread, some in banks, consulting firms, oil companies, schools, market place, shops etc

But less than 10 minutes with GOD and we expect to be overcomers!

Do you think Satan is a FOOL? He is perfectly studying your weak point? Like an hurricane or earthquake, he will come in like a flood to sweep us away.

“Satan is constantly at work; but few [Christians] have any idea of his activity and subtlety. The people of God must be prepared to withstand the wily foe. It is this resistance that Satan dreads. He knows better than we do the limit of his power and how easily he can be overcome if we resist and face him.”–Maranatha, p.60.

Leave all that you are doing NOW.

Spend just 10minutes with God NOW, asking him for grace and strength to be a full-time Christian. Confess to him your sins and acknowledge your sinfulness and weakness. Tell him about your struggles to overcome SIN, SATAN, and the WORLD.

Satan is watching you and he seeks to overcome you in your weakest point.

It is perfectly true that Satan is stronger than you. Infact who are we? If Satan could tempt Jesus, the Son of God, with the fiercest temptations man can never bear, he is able to tempt and harass us.

But read this, it is the promise from God to weak and fallen humanity:

“Through divine strength the weakest saint is more than a match for him (Satan) and all his angels, and if brought to the test he would be able to prove his superior power.”– Maranatha, p. 60.

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” Philippians 4:13

BE SERIOUS WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE, JUST AS MUCH AS SATAN IS SERIOUS WITH YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE TO SIFT YOU AWAY.

Investigative Judgment and the Blotting out of sin


This is just a short study about the blotting out of sin. The reader is advised to do his or her own personal thorough study of this grand subject. There is a lot to include but that will be left for future study. This should be seen as an introduction to future studies on different aspect of this subject such as the time of the judgment of the dead and the living, when will probation close for the church of God and the general public, the mark of the beast and seal of God, the latter rain and loud cry etc. I will only focus on the blotting out of sin of the righteous during the investigative judgment time period.

The gospel without Judgement is an incomplete gospel. In fact it is “another gospel” which is different from what Paul preached (Gal 1:6-9). Paul preached the complete gospel of Christ which comprises of righteousness, temperance and judgment.

“And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” Acts 24:24-25.

The judgment brings fear to unrepentant sinners as it does to Felix, but peace of mind to the righteousness in Christ as it does to David. For David said:

“Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. 2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” Psalms 26:1-2.

Therefore, the Judgement is intrinsically part of the gospel. No wonder the everlasting gospel preached by the first Angel message of revelation 14:6, 7 include in it the judgement our message.

“And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, 7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.” Rev 14:6-7.

But the question is: Which Judgement are we talking about? We have the investigative judgement, millennial Judgement and executive judgement. The first occupies our present focus, while the latter two will be discuss in future studies.

God shall judge both the righteous and the wicked at an appointed time. Every purpose and every work of both the classes shall be judged.

“And moreover I saw under the sun the place of judgment, that wickedness was there; and the place of righteousness, that iniquity was there. 17 I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.” Eccl 3:16-17.

But both the righteous and the wicked shall not be judged at the same time. They shall be judge at different time. The judgment will begin with the dead righteous and move to the living righteous. Then when the righteous dead and living are judged and rewarded with the touch of immortality at Christ second coming, the judgement will pass to wicked, both humans and angels, during the millennial time period.

During the millennial time period, the saints shall partake in the judgement of the wicked. Thus this means that the saints must have pass the test of the judgement before they can sit in the judgement with Christ to judge the wicked. The following text proves that the saints shall partake in the judgement of the wicked humans and angels with Christ.

“Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?” 1 Cor 6:2-3

“And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.” Rev 20:4

“I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.” Dan 7:21-22

If the above is true, that means the saints do not partake of the judgment of the wicked until their own case have been decided and they have been given immortality and they are seated with Christ on his throne of glory. (1 Cor. 15:42-44, 51-53).

The righteous must have been tested and examined and screened before they can be accounted worthy of immortality. Therefore, those who are accounted worthy at Christ second coming must have been screened prior to his coming with his reward in his hand. This period when the saints are tested, screened, and examined is called the investigative judgment time period which must precede the savior’s coming in the mid-air and the gathering of the saints.

The righteous must have overcome all of their defects and their sins must have been blotted out at this investigative time period before Christ comes to reward the saints. When the sins of the righteous are blotted out, they can no more remember them. All our sins are written in a book called the book of sin, although it is not specifically called the book of sin but these text indicate a marking down of or sins in a book. (Jer 2:22; Deut 32:34; Rom 2:5, 6). When the sins are blotted out both in life and in the book before the coming of Christ, this signifies that the saints will live before Christ as holy and blameless and shall not remember the sins anymore.

David prayed that his sins shall be blotted out. (Ps 5:19). Nehemiah and David prayed that the wicked sins should be retained or remembered and not be blotted out. (Neh. 4:5; Ps 109:14). When our sins are blotted out, it brings newness of life which will lead to glorification (Isaiah 44:22, 23). And God remembers them no more when it is blotted out in life and in the book. (Isaiah 43:25).

It is this time of refreshing we need to send up our sins to Christ that they may be blotted out in life and in the book. Only those whose sins are fully blotted out will have their name retained in the book of life and be rewarded with immortality. (Rev 3:5). We must fully overcome all sins during this investigative judgement hour before we can partake in the millennial judgment of the wicked humans and angels. I pray the Lord make us fit through Christ righteousness. Amen!

WHAT SHALL I DO ON THIS VALENTINE’S DAY?


For those who personally know me, I don’t believe in the Celebration of any pagan Holidays such as Christmas, New years, Easters, Sunday sacredness, even VALENTINE etc. But i have recently noticed the great importance of these pagan holidays to us as Christians.

Someone might rashly ask: “Why don’t you celebrate these holidays Mr Seyi?”

As I have humbly replied in the past, I reply again: “They are pagan and has satanic roots.”

But I have personally noticed over the years and also believe that God has allowed these pagan practices creep into the church for certain reasons:

1. To awaken the sleeping Laodicea Christians to the subtleness of Satan, the serpent of old, in making a shipwreck of our faith.

2. To give us opportunities in reaching out to the world but not to be partakers of its practices.

3. To make it a pleasant day for the poor and the afflicted by reaching out to them with foods, clothings, and Christian literatures.

4. To help family and friends keep their relationship burning as they live in the midst of this busy and occupied world where they often and tirelessly seek to make money and neglect quality time with each other.

Most professed Christians, like me, have not fully utilized the great opportunities of these PAGAN HOLIDAYS. All we rather see is Satan, negativity and how we can rashly teach others the satanic root behind them forgetting that this is a great avenue to win souls to Christ if properly done in the spirit of christ.

We can reach out to souls in a greater degree through this means than any other evangelistic method if we prepare our mind to do so through the help of Christ.

DO YOU KNOW?

Do you know that without the existence of these pagan holidays most Christians in nations, like my belove Nigeria, might not have days off at work. Many of us would be so preoccupied with ourself that we forget to have some days off from work for relaxation and to have precious time with families and friends?

Someone might say: “But we have the Sabbath as the day of rest.”

And I reply: “Yes it is true that the Sabbath is a day of rest if kept by the grace of christ. But who among us are actually keeping the sabbath as God ordained it in Eden?”

As an Adventist it is on the Sabbath day that the departments of the church fix all their meetings such as AYM, AMO, AWM, Singles ministries, sabbath school council meetings, and all other meetings that burdens the sabbath. Most times we do not find time to spend with our friends and family in nature as inspiration has instructed us to do, but we are often busy with church activities like Martha.

These holidays, though Pagan, have been given to us as an avenue to reach out to souls and tell them about Christ.

But it is unfortunate that many of us use this period of time only to condemn those practicing it without using this period to lead them to christ.

Don’t get me wrong.

It is good we tell the world the pagan link of all these holidays and teach them not to celebrate them as the world does.

But do you also know that the birthdays we celebrate in churches and in our houses have pagan origin? Nevertheless we all thank God on this day because our attention is not on self but on God for keeping us alive.

Therefore in like manner, we all can divert the attention of those who celebrates this pagan holidays from self to God by a determined effort to witness for Christ on this day.

PAUL USED THIS METHOD OF WITNESSING

Acts 17

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.

23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.

The Bible gave us the result of Paul using this method:

Acts 17

32 And when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked: and others said, We will hear thee again of this matter. . .

34 Howbeit certain men clave unto him, and believed: among the which was Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

ELLEN G. WHITE COUNSEL

“When you have a holiday, make it a pleasant and happy day for your children, and make it also a pleasant day for the poor and the afflicted. Do not let the day pass without bringing thanksgiving and thank offerings to Jesus.”– counsels on stewardship, 297.

“I saw that our holidays should not be spent in patterning after the world, yet they should not be passed by unnoticed, for this will bring dissatisfaction to our children.”– Adventist Home, 472.

“Would it not be well for us to observe holidays unto God, when we could revive in our minds the memory of His dealing with us? Would it not be well to consider His past blessings, to remember the impressive warnings that have come home to our souls so that we shall not forget God?. . .

The world has many holidays, and men become engrossed with games, with horse races, with gambling, smoking, and drunkenness….

Shall not the people of God more frequently have holy convocations in which to thank God for His rich blessings?”– Adventist Home, 476.

The holidays are approaching. In view of this fact, it will be well to consider how much money is expended yearly in making presents to those who have no need of them. The habits of custom are so strong that to withhold gifts from our friends on these occasions would seem to us almost a neglect of them. But let us remember that our kind heavenly Benefactor has claims upon us far superior to those of any earthly friends. Shall we not, during the coming holidays, present our offerings to God? Even the children may participate in this work. Clothing and other useful articles may be given to the worthy poor, and thus a work may be done for the Master.”– Messages to Young People, 311

In conclusion:

Let us avoid following the traditions and abominations of the world but let us use all opportunities in our disposal, even opportunities like this VALENTINE DAY, to tell someone about the sacrificial Love of Christ for the dying sinful world.

IDENTIFYING CHRIST BIRTHDAY: A BIBLE STUDY ON CHRISTMAS (Part 3)


WAIT A MINUTE! You need to study Part 1 and Part 2 before moving further.

In part 1 we identified the Priestly order among the 24 courses ordained by King David and we also saw from the Bible the various  months in the Jewish calendar. It would be advisable to study part 1 before studying part 2. The two tables in Part 2 summarizes part 1.

Also in part 1, we  clearly said that, “To understand Christ birth, we need to understand his cousin’s birth, John the Baptist. The Birth of John the Baptist will shed more light on Christ birth. Malachi wrote about John as the messenger that will prepare the way of the Lord.

“Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts” Mal 3:1.

Apostle John also wrote about John the Baptist:

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.” John 1:6-8.

John was to bear witness of Jesus and we could see in part 1 and part 2 that his birth bore witness of Christ birth as well. We concluded that Jesus must have been given birth during the 7th month of Tishri (September-October) not the generally accepted month of December 25th which from our study could likely be the month of His conception not birth. But let us see other evidences from Scripture and History.

Q: Why was Jesus named Immanuel?

The various evidences we saw in part 1 and part 2 has destroyed December 25th theory of Christ birth but we have other evidences to prove that this December 25th theory is totally wrong.

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” Isaiah 7:14

Immanuel means “God with us” Matt 1:23. Jesus Christ is the son of God and in Him was the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col 2:9). Therefore Christ was God in verity. He came to dwell or Tabernacle with us by partaking of the seed of Abraham (Heb 2:16) and of our flesh and blood (Heb 2:14) and did not take the nature of Angels.

John wrote that Jesus Christ, “dwelt among us.” John 1:14. The very word “dwelt” in Greek is skenoo which means “to make tent or encamp. To Tabernacle among us.” We have identified the likely date of Christ birth as 15th Tishri which is the beginning of the feast of Tabernacle. The feast of Tabernacle was celebrated because of the deliverance of Israel from the Egyptian bondage.

“Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.” Lev 23:42-43.

There is no coincidence with the Lord. He is a master planner. He sent his Son right on time to tabernacle with His people during the time of the feast of Tabernacle to become “God with us.”

Q: Why was there no room in the inn for Jesus earthly parents?

Luke 2:7-11 gives another strong evidence that the feast of Tabernacle was celebrated during Christ birth.

“And she [Mary] brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:7-11.

Why was there no room in the inn for Jesus earthly parents? The reason being that all the men in Israel has come to Temple in Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacle/ booths that was required by the Law of Moses. All the rooms had been occupied.

“Three times in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD.” Ex 23:17

“And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year’s end. 23 Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.” Ex 34:22-23.

Q: What were the Israelite to do when they attend the feast of in-gathering or tabernacle?

“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD . . .  Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: 43 That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God” Lev 23:33-34, 42-43.

During this feast of ingathering, everyone was to live in a temporary Booths (Tents or Sukkoth) as a memorial of their deliverance from Egypt.

Jesus birth typify the coming deliverance of God’s people out of the Slavery of Sin and worldliness because Jesus dwelt in a temporary place called a manger.

The feast of Tabernacle is an eight day feast (Lev 23:36, 39). If Jesus was born on the 15th day of the month of Tishri (September – October) which was the day the feast began, then this might be the reason why the Child Jesus was dedicated by performing circumcision on the 8th day. The 8th day was also the last day of the feast of Tabernacles, which falls on a Sabbath Day

And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” Luke 2:21.

Q: What about the shepherd?

I hope we enjoyed the fascinating Bible facts and evidences. Am sure many have not taken their time to look into this prior to this time. The Old Testament is the key in understanding the New Testament, we cannot ignore the Old Testament. Let us now move to some other facts and this time we would look at the season during that period.

“It is well-know among Biblical scholars that Jesus was not born in December, because the shepherds were never out in the fields with their sheep at that time.”[1] “The Gospels do not indicate when Christ was born. That the shepherds were watching their flocks in the fields at night (Luke 2:8), eliminates December. Because of cold weather and chilling rains at that time, sheep would not be unsheltered in the open at night.”[2]

“And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:8-11.

Adam Clark has this to say:

The reason why they watched them in the field appears to have been, either to preserve the sheep from beasts of prey, such as wolves, foxes, etc., or from freebooting banditti, with which all the land of Judea was at that time much infested. It was a custom among the Jews to send out their sheep to the deserts, about the passover, and bring them home at the commencement of the first rain: during the time they were out, the shepherds watched them night and day. As the passover occurred in the spring [March-April], and the first rain began early in the month of Marchesvan [or Bul], which answers to part of our October and November, we find that the sheep were kept out in the open country during the whole of the summer. And as these shepherds had not yet brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the 25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields; nor could he have been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the fields by night. On this very ground the nativity in December should be given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a chronological fact, which casts considerable light upon this disputed point. See the quotations from the Talmudists in Lightfoot.”[3]

Charles J. Ellicott also commented on Luke 2:8 as follows:

“The fact has been thought, on the supposition that sheep were commonly folded during the winter months, to have a bearing adverse to the common traditional view which fixes December 25 as the day of the Nativity. At that season, it has been urged, the weather was commonly too inclement for shepherds and sheep to pass the night in the open air, and there was too little grass for pasturage. In summer, on the other hand, the grass on the hills is rapidly burnt up. The season at which the grass is greenest is that just before the Passover (Mark 6:39; John 6:10); and, on the whole, this appears the most probable date. The traditional season, which does not appear as such till the fourth century, may have been chosen for quite other reasons—possibly to displace the old Saturnalia, which coincided with the winter solstice. It is noticeable that the earliest Latin hymns connected with the festival of Christmas dwell on the birth as the rising of the Sun of Righteousness on the world’s wintry darkness.”[4]

To be continued in Part 4 . . .

 

 

 

[1] Vance Ferrell, The real story behind: Christmas, Easter, and Halloween, p. 4.

[2] Gerhard Pfandl, Seventh-Day Adventist and Christmas, Newsletter.

[3] Clarke, Adam. “Commentary on Luke 2:4”. “The Adam Clarke Commentary”. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/luke-2.html. 1832.

[4] Ellicott, Charles John. “Commentary on Luke 2:4”. “Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers”. http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/luke-2.html. 1905.