"Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church…the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt." "Pagan customs centering around the January calendars gravitated to Christmas." "…In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his [Jesus] birthday. It is only sinners who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world" –Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 Edition, published by the Roman Catholic Church
And to settle "some" minds out there that place no stock in any boast of Catholicism, the Roman Church is not the only one that understands this simple historic fact…
"A broad element of English Christianity still considered Christmas celebration a pagan blasphemy. The Puritans, Baptists, Quakers, Presbyterians, Calvinists and other denominations brought this opposition to early New England and strong opposition to the holiday lasted in America until the middle of the 18th century." -The Origins of Christmas," Rick Meisel, Dec. 19, 1993, p. 4.
"…Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church…." -Encyclopedia Britannica, 1946 edition
"Christmas… It was, according to many authorities, not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian church, as the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of remarkable persons [eg Communion – death of Christ] rather than their birth…" "…A feast was established in memory of this event [the birth of Jesus] in the fourth century. In the fifth century the Western Church ordered it to be celebrated forever ON THE DAY OF THE OLD ROMAN FEAST OF THE BIRTH OF SOL [SUN], as no certain knowledge of the day of Christ's birth existed." Emphasis added. -Encyclopedia Americana, 1944 Edition
Since there is no evidence for the observance of Christmas in the Bible, the questions arise, What is its origin? and when did its celebration begin? Lector P. Walsdenstrom says: "The custom to celebrate the birth of Christ in the last part of December began first in the fourth century. Before that the sixth of January was celebrated."–Notes to Luke 2:8.
"How much the date of the festival depended upon the pagan Brumalia (December 25th) following the Saturnalia (December 17th-24th), and celebrating the shortest day of the year and the 'new sun'…cannot be accurately determined. The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia were too deeply entrenched in popular custom to be set aside by Christian influence…The pagan festival with it's riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit and in manner. Christian preachers of the West and the Near East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which Christ's birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mesopotamia ACCUSED THEIR WESTERN BRETHREN OF IDOLATRY AND SUN WORSHIP FOR ADOPTING AS CHRISTIAN THIS PAGAN FESTIVAL" Emphasis added. -The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge
"…within the Christian Church no such festival as Christmas was ever heard of till the third century, and…not till the fourth century was far advanced did it gain much observance. How, then, did the Romish Church fix on December 25th as Christmas-day? Why, thus: Long before the fourth century, and long before the Christian era itself, a festival was celebrated among the heathen, at that precise time of the year, in honour of the birth of the son of the Babylonian queen of heaven; and it may fairly be presumed that, in order to conciliate the heathen, and to swell the number of nominal adherents of Christianity, the same festival was adopted by the Roman Church, giving it the name of Christ." -The Two Babylons, p 93.
ORIGIN OF GIFT GIVING…
"The interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and MUST HAVE BEEN ADOPTED BY CHRISTIANS FROM THE PAGANS, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows." Emphasis added. -Bibliotheca Sacra (vol 12 pp 153-155)
What is the actual reason and purpose for this Pagan infiltration into Christianity? Ellen White put it best…
"This compromise between paganism and Christianity resulted in the development of "the man of sin" foretold in prophecy as opposing and exalting himself above God. That gigantic system of false religion is a masterpiece of Satan's power–a monument of his efforts to seat himself upon the throne to rule the earth according to his will." -The Great Controversy, page 50, paragraph 1 -Chapter Title: An Era of Spiritual Darkness
The giving the presents was a Roman custom. The yuletide and the yule log are remnants of old Teutonic nature worship."-– Schaff-Hersog Encyclopedia.
"From the first institution of this festival, the Western nations seem to have transferred to it many of the follies and censurable (XXX) practises which prevailed in the pagan festivals of the same season such as adorning the churches fantastically, mingling puppet-shows and dramas with worship, universal feasting and merrymaking, Christmas visits and salutations, Christmas presents and jocularity, and Christmas revelry and drunkenness…. The Christmas holy days, which by a law of Tehodosius the Greek (emperor A.D. 383-395) were to comprise fourteen days, …have borne so close a resemblance wherever they have been observed to the Roman Saturnalia, Sigillaria, etc., and to the yule feast of the ancient Goths, as to afford strong presumption of an unhappy alliance between them from the first."-– Ecclesiastical History, by Mosheim, Vol. 1, page 280.
"…The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves– yule day– proves at once its pagan and Babylonian origin. 'Yule' is the Chaldee name for an 'infant' or 'little child;' and as the twenty-fifth of December was called by our pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors 'yule day,' or the 'child's day,' and the night that preceded it 'mother night,' long before they came in contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide in the realms of paganism was this birthday observed."– The Two Babylons, pages 93& 94. "Little children, keep yourselves from idols."
Notice the devil's tricky way of using the gifts to pull the worship away from Jesus. If we were to gift gifts on birthdays, which we're not, why are we giving gifts to everyone BUT Jesus? Did the three Wise men hand the gifts to everyone in the neighborhood except Jesus? The fact everyone does that today pulls the reason for the worship off of Jesus and unto those your give the gifts to.
THE BIRTHDAY RITUAL The ritual of the cake, candles, wish, and presents serve to give thanks to sky luminaries for allowing the birthday celebrant to reach the annual cycle of their birth. The cake was baked for the Queen of Heaven. (Hot cross buns) It was decorated, and monogrammed with the celebrant’s name. The candles symbolized the sacred fire, carefully numbered for each annual cycle completed. The prayer chant and all the ritual procedures are carefully preserved, and it is a religious occasion. Witches regard the day of one’s birth the most significant event in a person’s life. Astrologers base everything on it. If the celebrant can blow-out all the candles, then a secret wish made to a GENIE (or JUNO if the person is female) will be granted. The birthday itself was a time of great superstition to a Pagan, so they were surrounded by their friends and relatives for protection.
"In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his [Christ's] birthday. It is only sinners [like Pharaoh or Herod] who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world."–Catholic Encyclopedia, 11th ed., art: "Natal Day."
CHRISTMAS STEMS FROM SUN WORSHIP?
The author of "The Two Babylons" identifies also the child, whose birth was so universally celebrated, with Nimrod, who built the tower of Babel, and says that he was worshiped by the name Osiris in Egypt, and Tammuz (the same one as Adonis the famous hunter) in Phoenicia and Assyria. (See page 56.) This Tammuz is also mentioned by the holy prophet, Ezekiel, who in a vision saw the women of Judah weeping for him. He is there spoken of in company with sun-worship.
"It was an essential principle of the Babylonian system that the sun, or Baal, was the one only god. (Notice, "BAAL?" As in Daniels day too?) When, therefore, Tammuz was worshiped as God incarnate, that implied also that he was an incarnation of the sun."–Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons, Loizeaux Brothers, page 96.
"This festival has been commonly believed to have had only an astronomical character, referring simply to the completion of the sun’s yearly course, and the commencement of a new cycle. But there is indubitable evidence that the festival in question had a much higher influence than this–that it commemorated not merely the figurative birthday of the sun in the renewal of its course, but the birth-day of the grand Deliverer…the Sun-God and great mediatorial divinity." -Ibid pp. 94, 97.
In Egypt, the son of Isis, the Egyptian title for the queen of heaven, was born at this very time, ‘about the time of the winter solstice.’ The very name by which Christmas is popularly known among ourselves – Yule day – proves at once its Pagan and Babylonian origin. ‘Yule’ is the Chaldee name for an ‘infant’ or ‘little child’ and as the 25th of December was called by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors, ‘Yule-day,’ or the ‘Child’s day,’ and the night which preceded it, ‘Mother-night,’ long before they came into contact with Christianity, that sufficiently proves its real character. Far and wide in the realms of paganism was this birth-day observed." -Ibid pp. 93, 94
In this way we trace sun-worship back to Nimrod, whose worship was universal in the old time. Again we have good reason to say: "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." Fact is people…
"The wassailing-bowl of Christmas had its precise counterpart in the 'Drunken Festival' of Babylon; The candles, in some parts of England, lighted at Christmas eve and used so long as the festive season lasts, were equally lighted by the pagans on the eve of the festival of the Babylonian god, to do honor to him, for it was one of the distinguishing peculiarities of his worship to have lighted candles on his alters. The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was equally common in pagan Rome and pagan Egypt. In Egypt that tree was the palm tree; in Rome it was the fir; the palm tree denoted the pagan Messiah, as Baal-Tamar; the fir referring to him as Baal-Berith…. On Christmas day the continental Saxons offered a boar in sacrifice to the sun, to propitiate her. In Rome a similar observance had evidently existed; for a boar formed a great article of Saturn, as appears form the words form Martial, 'That boar will make you a good Saturnalia.' Hence the boar's head is still a standing dish in England at the Christmas dinner, when the reason of it is long since forgotten. Yea, the 'Christmas goose' and 'yule cake' were essential articles in the worship of the Babylonian Messiah, as that worship was practiced both in Egypt and at Rome."— Ibid., pages 97, 100, 101.
THE PAGAN CHRISTMAS TREE…
"The Christmas tree, now so common among us, was equally common in Pagan Rome and Pagan Egypt. In Egypt it was the palm tree; in Rome it was the fir; the palm-tree denoting the Pagan Messiah, as Baal-Tamar, the fir referring to him as Baal-Berith. The mother of Adonis, the Sun-God and great mediatorial divinity, was mystically said to have been changed into a tree, and when in that state to have brought forth her divine son. If the mother was a tree, the son must have been recognized as ‘Man the Branch.’ And this entirely accounts for putting the Yule Log into the fire on Christmas Eve and the appearance of the Christmas tree the next morning. As Zero-Ashta, ‘The seed of the woman,’ …he has to enter the fire on ‘Mother night,’ that he may be born the next day out of it, as the ‘Branch of God,’ or the Tree that brings divine gifts to men." -The Two Babylons, p. 97.
"…the divine child born at the winter solstice was born as a new incarnation of the great god (after that god had been cut in pieces…on purpose to revenge his death upon his murderers.) Now the great god, cut off in the midst of his power and glory, was symbolised as a huge tree, stripped of all his branches, and cut down almost to the ground. But the great Serpent, the symbol of the life restoring Aesculapius, twists itself around the dead stock…and lo, at its side sprouts a young tree – a tree of an entirely different kind, that is never to be cut down by a hostile power -…and thus shadowed forth the perpetuity and everlasting nature of his power, how that after having fallen before his enemies, he has risen triumphant over them all. Therefore, the 25th of December, the day that was observed in Rome as the day when the victorious god reappeared on earth was held at the Natalis invicti solis, 'The birthday of the unconquered Sun." –The Two Babylons, p. 98.
Shall we have a Christmas tree? Will it not be like the world? We answer, You can make it like the world if you have a disposition to do so, or you can make it as unlike the world as possible. -R&H 12-11-1879
"Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the ways of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them. For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Forasmuch as there is none like unto thee, O Lord; thou art great, and thy name is great in might." -JEREMIAH 10:1-6
YULE TIDE AND YULE LOG:
"The Yule Log tradition comes to us from Scandinavia, where the pagan sex and fertility god Jul, or Jule (pronounced 'yule'), was honored in a twelve-day celebration in December. A large, single log (generally considered to have been a phallic idol) was kept with a fire against it for twelve days, a different sacrifice to Jul being offered in the fire on each of the twelve days." -Holidays and Holy Days, by Tom C. McKenney
"The Yule log was originally an entire tree, carefully chosen, and brought into the house with great ceremony. The butt end would be placed into the hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room. The tree would be slowly fed into the fire and the entire process was carefully timed to last the entire Yule season." -The History of Christmas; http://www.ridgenet.org/Szaflik/history.htm
This is where the Twelve Days of Christmas originated, which are now counted as the twelve days between "Christmas" and Epiphany (January 12th).
"Yuletide, meaning the turning of the sun or the winter solstice, has traditionally been a time of extreme importance in Scandinavia – a time when fortunes for the coming year were determined and when the dead were thought to walk the earth. For a long time, it was considered dangerous to sleep alone on Christmas Eve. The extended family, master and servant alike, would sleep together on a freshly spread bed of straw. " -The History of Christmas;
TO BE CONTINUED…..