Thursday, March 14, 2019

Holidays; Holy and Pagan: Chanukah and Christmas

Chanukah (Feast of Dedication) and Christmas


Biblical Month: Kislev

Secular Month: November/December

 And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's porch. Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, how long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. – John 10:22-24

Chanukah, to the misconception of almost everyone, like the Feasts of the LORD in Leviticus 23, Chanukah is for every Believer in Yeshua the Messiah.

Chanukah has a long history, longer than many people may think.  The majority of the people believe Chanukah was established and instituted between the 500 year gap of the writing of the Tanak (O.T.) and the Renewed Covenant (N.T.), during the time of the Levitical family of the Maccabees, when they took back the Temple from the Greco-Syrian invaders and rededicated it and got it back up and running again.  People think that since it has no connection to canonical Scripture, it has no relevance or place in their lives.  They think it’s purely a “Jewish thing”, when in reality King Solomon instituted it, the Maccabees re-instituted it  and made it what it is today, and Yeshua the Messiah celebrated it, and will re-institute it again when the 3rd Temple is built! 

Chanukah is NOT the “Jewish Christmas”; it has NOTHING to do with Tammuz, Santa Clause, or the birth of Jesus.  The only commonalities between Christmas and Chanukah is that we exchange and give gifts, which is more of a modern institution in reactions to Christmas, and it steamed from the fact that Jews gave (Tzedakah) charity on Biblical and Jewish holidays.  Also sometimes greenery is hung, not because of the reasons people do it for Christmas, but because the Maccabees used Chanukah to also celebrate a late Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) which is a type of harvest festival in which greenery was hung as decoration.

In I Kings 8 and II Chronicles 7, it speaks of King Solomon fulfilling the lifelong dream of his father David and himself, of having built the Holy Temple of YHWH.  It says the he “Chanukah-ed” it, dedicated it, and had a 7 day festival and ended it on the 8th day, hence 8 days of Chanukah, just as we have today.

In Ezra 6:16-17 it tells of the Babylonian exiles who have returned to Jerusalem and have built and Chanukah-ed the 2nd Temple.  Verse 16 says that “The children of the captivity kept the “Chanukah” of this house of G-D with joy.”

In I Maccabees 4:52-59 and II Maccabees 10:1-8 it recounts the reason we celebrate Chanukah today.  After Yehudah (Judah) Maccabee recaptures the 2nd Temple and began to cleanse it and restore the service of it, they were about to light the Holy Menorah when they discovered they only had enough oil for it to stay lit for one day.  It took 7 days to produce more, but they lit it anyway and a miracle occurred, the Menorah stayed lit a whole 7 days until more was made!

Apparently the dates for celebrating Chanukah have changed throughout the ages.  A new date for each time the Temple was built and dedicated, or cleansed and rededicated.  But to this day we keep the days set forth by the Maccabees in I Maccabees 4:59 and II Maccabees 10:8 because that was the last rededication until the Messiah returns to build the 3rd Holy Temple.  Chanukah today commemorates the rededication of the Temple, the defeat of the Greco-Syrian invaders, affirms our Jewishness, and commemorates the miracle of the oil. 

Because of II Maccabees 10:8 commanding the Jewish people to keep the 25th day of the month of Kislev and the 7 days that follow, we see Yeshua in John 10:22-23 keeping Chanukah!  If Messiah celebrated Chanukah, that’s good enough for me!  I want to do it to, I want to be as much like my Messiah as I possibly can, I want to do what He did, and experience what He experienced.

So what does Chanukah mean for Believers in Messiah Yeshua?

As mentioned before, the Temple is important to the Messiah, and He kept the Festival of Chanukah there.  But on a Spiritual level WE are the Temples of GOD (I Cor. 3:16; 6:15-20; II Cor. 6:15-18; Eph. 2:18-22) and every so often the invaders of Self and Sin desecrate that sacred place and we need to wage all-out war, kick out the invaders, cleanse and rededicate ourselves back to GOD and His Torah.  This is exactly what we do at Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement (Lev. 23:26-32), so I like to think of Chanukah as Yom Kippur part two!

Jews!  Stand up and be counted.  Rededicate yourself to GOD and His Torah.

Christians!  Toss out that Christmas tree (Jer. 10:3-4), and grab a Menorah!  The only “birthday” the Messiah celebrated at this time of the year wasn’t His own, but the Temples!  How could we not do likewise!?

Chanukah and Christmas

Once I received some snail mail by a Messianic evangelical missions group and the first words to greet my eyes in bold blue letters was “Merry Messiahmas!” I laughed at the idiocy and was annoyed by the ignorance and or blatant syncretism.  As if simply replacing the Greek word “Christ” for the Hebrew word “Messiah” makes the pagan holiday of Christmas okay for people to celebrate.  Breaking it down it’s,  “The mass of the Christ” which the Catholics instituted, that’s the Roman pagan roots, but taking it further back to its original roots in Babylon it’s, “Christ-Tammuz”, meaning, “The anointed one Tammuz”, which was Nimrod’s son, whom he had with his mother, who was eventually gored to death by a wild boar, in which people get that bore back for killing their god-man by eating the good ol’ Easter ham, and whom women mourn during Lent (Ezk. 8:14 ).

December 25th was never, and will never be the birthday of Yeshua the Messiah.

1.    December 25th is a solar date and We Jews go by the lunar calendar, the two do not coincide.
2.    It is claimed that no one knows for sure the exact date the Messiah was born.  However, we do know He was born on the first day of Sukkot, the Feast of Tabernacles and circumcised the 8th day of the Festival.  We were never commanded to celebrate His birth, but if you want to, please do it at the right time of the year, during Sukkot.
3.    December 25th however IS the birth date of the pagan gods; Tammuz, Mithra, and Saturnalias.

Christmas was instituted by the Emperor Constantine and the Catholic Church to try to make pagans feel comfortable and be more receptive to “Christianity”.  All they did was take a pagan holiday and slap a new name on it inside and out.
“Merry Messiahmas” is no different than what the Fox network’s primetime twenty something soap, “The O.C.” did years back by having the family on the show (who was at least part Jewish) combine Christmas and Channukah together and call it “Chrismukah.” Or a  cell phone commercial I once saw that blends all the holidays together and says, “Happy Christmaramahkwanzikkah (Christmas, Ramadan, Kwanza, and Chanukah).”  It is the Babel mentality that says, “We are all one, it’s all the same anyway, so let’s all love each other and get along.” 

Celebrating Christmas would be like being married, but celebrating your wife’s birthday on your X-girlfriends birthday!  Why?  After all we are the “Bride” of Messiah and He is our “Husband,” and that would be celebrating His birth on the day of a pagan god, our former lover!  Or it’s also like if I, a Jew, would take the Swastika and assign a new meaning to it, let’s say it is the cross of Messiah humbly bent, reaching out to all four corners of the earth!  That doesn’t fly does it?  Pretty sick, perverted and insensitive of me huh?  Well, how do you feel the Messiah himself thinks about Christmas?

Christians!  You claim you’re of the Messiah, if you are, then come out of Babylon and toss that tree (Jer. 10:3-4)!

Jews!  Stop the hellenization and assimilation, come out of Rome and Greece and be Jews!

I’m not saying grab a torch and pitchfork and hunt participants of Christmas down.  The majority of people simply doesn’t know or understand the pagan roots of Christmas.  To them it’s just the time of the year to be nice to everyone.  So if someone not knowing smiles and says to you, “Merry Christmas!” or even, “Merry Messiahmas!”  A kind, neutral, non-committal response would be, “Happy Holidays!”  That way you’re being kind, returning the sentiment without celebrating or endorsing a pagan day of a pagan god.  After all, it is the “Holiday Season,” and not only Christmas but Kwanza, Chanukah, and sometimes Ramadan fall around this time of year.  If and when the opportunity presents itself, in a loving, matter-of-fact way, expose the truth concerning the pagan roots of Christmas, the real time of the year Yeshua was born, and the truth about Chanukah and how it relates to the Believer.

Yeshua celebrated Chanukah; in John 10:22 we read that Yeshua was at the Temple at the “feast of the dedication,” this is the feast known as Chanukah. If Yeshua celebrated it, why shouldn’t we? If it was important to Him, why shouldn’t it be to us as well? Yeshua was Jewish and as believers in Messiah Yeshua we are grafted in to that tree (Romans 11).


Whose Birthday is it Anyway?

Growing up in a Christian home, sure we had a tree, lights and decorations, but it was never about Santa Clause, it was always about the celebration of the birth of Christ. “Jesus is the reason for the season,” was the slogan in our household. I know for many people reading this book the same is true. And although I have not celebrated Christmas for about 20 years I will always have very warm and fond memories of the holiday. But once I learned about the true origins of the lights, candles, wreaths, and tree and whose birthday it really was, I could no longer in a clear conscious observe this holiday.

“The word "Christmas" itself reveals who married paganism to Christianity.
The word "Christmas" is a combination of the words "Christ" and "Mass.
The word "Mass" means death and was coined originally by the Roman Catholic Church, and belongs exclusively to the church of Rome.

The ritual of the Mass involves the death of Christ, and the distribution of the "Host", a word taken from the Latin word "hostiall" meaning victim!
In short, Christmas is strictly a Roman Catholic word.

A simple study of the tactics of the Romish Church reveals that in every case, the church absorbed the customs, traditions and general paganism of every tribe, culture and nation in their efforts to increase the number of people under their control.

In short, the Romish church told all of these pagan cultures, "Bring your gods, goddesses, rituals and rites, and we will assign Christian sounding titles and names to them.” - David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International

It is also believed by some that the word Christmas is made up of two words, “Christ,” meaning “anointed” and “Tammuz (tmas),” referring to the pagan god Tammuz.

Yeshua was born as we have discussed earlier during the Feats of Tabernacles (Sukkot). So why was December 25th chosen and who was born on that day?

First of all we must continue to remember that Sukkot and Christmas go by two opposite kinds of calendars. The date for Sukkot is based on the Lunar Hebraic calendar and Christmas set by the solar Gregorian calendar. So December 25th is irrelevant to the Birth of Christ.

The supposed Christian Emperor Constantine instituted December 25th as the Birth date of Christ and later Pope Julius the First officially declared it as Jesus’ birthday. But the real reason behind December 25 being chosen is because pagans in Constantine’s empire was already celebrating the Winter solstice festival to Saturnalia who was said to have been born on December 25th along with other deities Mithra and Tammuz.

Celebrating Christmas would be like being married, but celebrating your spouse’s birthday on your ex-wife or ex-girlfriends birthday!  Why?  After all we are the “Bride” of Messiah and He is our “Husband,” and that would be celebrating His birth on the day of a pagan god, our former lover!  Or it’s also like if I, a Jew, would take the Swastika and assign a new meaning to it, let’s say it is the cross of Messiah humbly bent, reaching out to all four corners of the earth!  That doesn’t fly does it?  Pretty sick, perverted and insensitive of me huh?  Well, how do you feel the Messiah himself thinks about Christmas?

Sorry, if one is to be truthful, Jesus is NOT the reason for the season, but Tammuz, Mithra and Saturnalia are.

Lights, Trees, Wreaths and Greenery

In Paganism, Christmas is around the time of Yule on its calendar; winter is the darkest time of the year. Ancient pagans would make evergreen wreaths and set candles in them as phallic symbols in attempt to sympathetically and magically give power to mother nature to “spring” back to life, to make Spring come quickly so that the greenery of new life can return and the sun can regain strength.

“The truth is that all of the customs of Christmas pre-date the birth of Jesus Christ, and a study of this would reveal that
Christmas in our day is a collection of traditions and practices taken from many cultures and nations.

The date of December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god.

This was done long before the birth of Jesus.

It was noted by the pre-Christian Romans and other pagans, that daylight began to increase after December 22nd, when they assumed that the sun god died.
These ancients believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days later as the new-born and venerable sun.

Thus, they figured that to be the reason for increasing daylight.
This was a cause for much wild excitement and celebration. Gift giving and merriment filled the temples of ancient Rome, as sacred priests of Saturn, called dendrophori, carried wreaths of evergreen boughs in procession.” – David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International

“The origins of the Advent wreath are found in the folk practices of the pre-Christian Germanic peoples who, during the cold December darkness of Eastern Europe, gathered wreaths of evergreen and lighted fires as signs of hope in a coming spring and renewed light. Christians kept these popular traditions alive, and by the 16th century Catholics and Protestants throughout Germany used these symbols to celebrate their Advent hope in Christ, the everlasting Light. From Germany the use of the Advent wreath spread to other parts of the Christian world. Traditionally, the wreath is made of four candles in a circle of evergreens with a fifth candle in the middle. Three candles are violet and the fourth is rose, but four white candles or four violet candles can also be used. Each day at home, the candles are lighted, perhaps before the evening meal-- one candle the first week, and then another each succeeding week until December 25th. A short prayer may accompany the lighting of each candle. The last candle is the middle candle. The lighting of this candle takes place on Christmas Eve. It represents Jesus Christ being born.” -

And again we have the Catholic Church attempting to “sanitize” pagan rituals to other gods.

The same is to be said about the “Christ-Tammuz” tress, recall in our Easter section, that when Tammuz was gorged to death by a wild boar his blood spilled on some evergreen stumps and they grew into full trees overnight?

“Long before the advent of Christianity, plants and trees that remained green all year had a special meaning for people in the winter. Just as people today decorate their homes during the festive season with pine, spruce, and fir trees, ancient peoples hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows. In many countries it was believed that evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits, and illness.

In the Northern hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night of the year falls on December 21 or December 22 and is called the winter solstice. Many ancient people believed that the sun was a god and that winter came every year because the sun god had become sick and weak. They celebrated the solstice because it meant that at last the sun god would begin to get well. Evergreen boughs reminded them of all the green plants that would grow again when the sun god was strong and summer would return.
The ancient Egyptians worshipped a god called Ra, who had the head of a hawk and wore the sun as a blazing disk in his crown (And is why sun disks are seen behind all catholic icons). At the solstice, when Ra began to recover from the illness, the Egyptians filled their homes with green palm rushes which symbolized for them the triumph of life over death.
Early Romans marked the solstice with a feast called the Saturnalia in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture. The Romans knew that the solstice meant that soon farms and orchards would be green and fruitful. To mark the occasion, they decorated their homes and temples with evergreen boughs.
In Northern Europe the mysterious Druids, the priests of the ancient Celts, also decorated their temples with evergreen boughs as a symbol of everlasting life. The fierce Vikings in Scandinavia thought that evergreens were the special plant of the sun god, Balder.
Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes. Some built Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles if wood was scarce. - (italics mine)

“In Germany, the evergreen tree was used in worship and celebration of the yule god, also in observance of the resurrected sun god.
The evergreen tree was a symbol of the essence of life and was regarded as a phallic symbol in fertility worship.” - David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International

Lights were used to keep the winter stag god away and to call back and give more strength to the sun. This is but one of the reasons for the Yule Log as well, which was to be kept burning for 12 days, corresponding to the 12 days of Christmas.

“In Northern Europe, Winter festivities were once considered to be a Feast of the Dead, complete with ceremonies full of spirits, devils, and the haunting presence of the Norse god, Odin, and his night riders. One particularly durable Solstice festival was "Jol" (also known as "Jule" and pronounced "Yule"), a feast celebrated throughout Northern Europe and particularly in Scandinavia to honor Jolnir, another name for Odin. Since Odin was the god of intoxicating drink and ecstasy, as well as the god of death, Yule customs varied greatly from region to region. Odin's sacrificial beer became the specially blessed Christmas ale mentioned in medieval lore, and fresh food and drink were left on tables after Christmas feasts to feed the roaming Yuletide ghosts. Even the bonfires of former ancient times survived in the tradition of the Yule Log, perhaps the most universal of all Christmas symbols.

The origins of the Yule Log can be traced back to the Midwinter festivals in which the Norsemen indulged...nights filled with feasting, "drinking Yule" and watching the fire leap around the log burning in the home hearth. The ceremonies and beliefs associated with the Yule Log's sacred origins are closely linked to representations of health, fruitfulness and productivity. In England, the Yule was cut and dragged home by oxen or horses as the people walked alongside and sang merry songs. It was often decorated with evergreens and sometimes sprinkled with grain or cider before it was finally set alight.” -

Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way 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. – Jer. 10:1-4

Jeremiah 10:2 speaks of the pagans being dismayed at the signs of the heavens. This relates to the days becoming shorter and the sun losing its strength in winter. Verse 3 and 4 though it is dealing with making an idol, uncannily sound an awful lot like a Christmas tree. And if it is not symbolic of a phallic idol, then why do we set our gifts beneath it as a mock offering?

In relation to other greenery of the Christmas season, all of which was to coax the sun back in duration and strength so as to bring the greenery of Spring back to the earth. Mistletoe was sacred to the Norse and Druid peoples and was thought to possess healing powers and was able to ward off evil spirits and so was hung in doorway and above cribs.

Christmas Ivy was symbolic of eternal life and the god of wine, Bacchus. Laurel on the other hand represented Apollos. Again, both of which were used to encourage Spring to arrive early.

Holly was sacred to the Druids but in Roman times it was used, along with mistletoe in the celebration of Saturnalia, and so as to avoid persecution Christians of the day would deck their home in this. The white berries of Holly were considered semen from the god and the red berries of mistletoe were said to be menstruation of the goddess Diana. Mistletoe and Holly were hung in pagan temples and was thought to promote fertility and thus kissing under the mistletoe became a thing. Wood from the Holly was often used to make magic wands.

Virtually all Christmas customs, rituals and traditions can be traced back to Babylon, Rome to the Celts or Norsemen.


Advent has its origins in the Babylonian religion, where women would weep and fast for Tammuz whose physical body was gored to death by a wild boar and his spirit ascended to help rule the heavens as a sun god.

God took and showed Ezekiel the detestable pagan Babylonian sun worship going on under the Temple precincts.

Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the Lord's house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz. – Ezk. 8:14

“One of the earliest references to Christmas being celebrated on December 25 appeared in Antioch in the middle of the second century. At that time, Christians were still persecuted. An official determination was made in the fourth century, when the Roman emperor Constantine embraced Christianity, thereby ensuring the legality of Christmas celebrations. The Council of Tours in 567 established the period of Advent as a time of fasting before Christmas. They also proclaimed the twelve days from Christmas to Epiphany a sacred, festive season.” -

Again, Catholicism, stemming back to the days of Constantine just covered up blatant paganism and to unite a religiously divined empire.

“When Martin Luther started the reformation on October 31st, 1517, and other reformers followed his lead, all of them took with them the paganism that was so firmly imbedded in Rome. These reformers left Christmas intact.” – David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International

Father Christmas, Santa Claus, Saint Nick

Father Christmas, also known as Lord Frost is none other than the Roman god Saturnalia. To the Vikings he is none other than the All Father, Odin.

Santa Claus and or Saint Nicholas was again, the Roman Catholic Church’s attempt to bring further validation for Christians to celebrate the pagan festival along with their neighbors.

December 6, the date of his death is known as, “Saint Nicholas Day.” Santa Claus is simply a contraction for Saint Nicholas. He was a bishop in 3rd century Greece and famous for unexpected gift giving and later associated with the giving of presents during the season at the end of the year. He was quoted to say, “I am Nicholas, a sinner, Nicholas, servant of Christ Jesus.”

He was later imprisoned by Diocletian during the Christian persecution and later released by “Christian” Emperor Constantine. He also was said to have participated in the Council of Nicaea in 325.

Later this Popish saint evolved into a red suited jolly old man who snuck down people chimneys and left gifts for all.

Christmas Observance

Christmas was actually illegal to celebrate in America prior to the Civil War. The Puritans who came over from England saw the celebration as pagan and had nothing to do with true Christianity and or the birth of Christ.

“Henry the VIII may have suppressed St. Nicholas in 1542, but the Puritans tried to eliminate Christmas entirely in 1643. Shops were required to be open and churches closed, because of associations with "popery" and to stamp out the "misrule" that often led to drunkenness, excessive gambling and general licentiousness. Mince pies, mummers, holly and church services were all suppressed. This caused a lot of resistance that was expressed in a number of pamphlets being printed both for and against observing Christmas.” -

“In England, as the authorized Bible became available to the common people by the decree of King James the II in 1611, people began to discover the pagan roots of Christmas, which are clearly revealed in Scripture.
The Puritans in England, and later in Massachusetts Colony, outlawed this holiday as witchcraft.” – David Meyer, Last Trumpet Ministries International

So you see, the celebration and observance of Christmas and all its traditions has nothing remotely at all to do with the birth of Christ, and one is just simply fooling themselves to think that it is. It is pagan to the core and Believers in Messiah Yeshua should have nothing to do with it in regards to its observance or celebration. If one truly wishes to honor and celebrate the birth of Christ, Sukkot is the perfect time to recognize it, and if that is ones true intentions, then it shouldn’t be a problem transferring that to its proper time, rather than to continue to celebrate it on December 25th. One does not have to miss out on Winter holiday celebrations and festivities, as I mentioned earlier Chanukah is perfectly find for every believer in Messiah Yeshua to observe.