One in Messiah Congregation
קָּהָל אֶחָד בְּמָּשִׁיחַ
A part of the Congregation of Israel
27 S. Maple Street, Hohenwald, Tn. 38462
Phone – 615 712-3931
Today, we sadly use the Gregorian calendar from Pope Gregory; from the 1500’s.
Today’s date is Dec. 24, 2022
December -- the tenth month – now the 12th month
Middle English decembre
Old French decembre
Latin december "tenth month"
Latin decem "ten" + -ber (adj. suffix)
December had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 31 days long.
The God of Israel has His own Calendar: we are now in the 9th month of God, Chislev in Hebrew כִסְלֵֽו - in English, it is called Chisleu - day 29
Zechariah 7:1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of Yehovah came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu…
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New Moon report: this evening
Esth.2  So Esther was taken unto king Ahasuerus into his house royal in the tenth month, which is the month Tebeth, in the seventh year of his reign. טֵבֵת
Watch your heart and imaginations
 And Jeroboam
said in his heart, Now shall the kingdom return to the house of David:
 If this people go up to do sacrifice in the house of Yehovah at Jerusalem, then shall the heart of this people turn again unto their lord, even unto Rehoboam king of Judah, and they shall kill me, and go again to Rehoboam king of Judah.
 Whereupon the king Jeroboam took counsel, and made two calves of gold, and said unto them, It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem: behold your gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.
 And he Jeroboam set the one in Bethel, and the other put he in Dan.
 And this thing became a sin: for the people went to worship before the one, even unto Dan.
 And he made an house of high places, and made priests of the lowest of the people, which were not of the sons of Levi.
 And Jeroboam ordained a feast in the eighth month, on the fifteenth day of the month, like unto the feast that is in Judah, and he offered upon the altar. So did he in Bethel, sacrificing unto the calves that he had made: and he placed in Bethel the priests of the high places which he had made.
 So he Jeroboam offered upon the altar which he had made in Bethel the fifteenth day of the eighth month, even in the month which he had devised of his own heart; and ordained a feast unto the children of Israel: and he offered upon the altar, and burnt incense.
Prov.28  He that trusts in his own heart is a fool…
 … Yehovah said, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein;  But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:
 Therefore thus said Yehovah
of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with
wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.
 I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them.
 Thus said Yehovah of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of Yehovah.
 They say still unto them that despise me, The Yehovah hath said, You shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walks after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.
 For who hath stood in the counsel of Yehovah, and had perceived and heard his word? Who had marked his word, and heard it?
 Behold, a whirlwind of Yehovah is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.
 The anger of Yehovah shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days you shall consider it perfectly.
 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
 Am I a God at hand, said Yehovah, and not a God afar off?
 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? said Yehovah. Do not I fill heaven and earth? said Yehovah.
 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;  Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
Here is what the heart and imagination did to us from the past:
Christmas unwrapped – History channel
All this has nothing to do with God, or the Word of God, Messiah Yeshua.
As you will see, all this is just “made up” from the minds and hearts of the people from the past.
We will explore:
Saturnalia and Christmas
1. Is Christmas Really the Day Jesus Was Born?
2. When Christmas Was Cancelled
3. Washington Irving Reinvents Christmas in America
4. 'A Christmas Carol'
5. Who Invented Santa Claus?
This popular made up custom include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive, another lie…
December 25—Christmas Day—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.
How Did Christmas Start?
The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world.
Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter.
Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.
In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule (log) from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire.
The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.
The end of December was a perfect time for celebration in most areas of Europe.
At that time of year, most cattle were slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter.
For many, it was the only time of year when they had a supply of fresh meat.
In addition, most wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking.
In Germany, people honored the pagan god Oden during the mid-winter holiday.
Germans were terrified of Oden, as they believed he made nocturnal flights through the sky to observe his people, and then decide who would prosper or perish. Because of his presence, many people chose to stay inside.
Saturnalia and Christmas
In Rome, where winters were not as harsh as those in the far north, Saturnalia—a holiday in honor of Saturn, the god of agriculture—was celebrated. Beginning in the week leading up to the winter solstice and continuing for a full month, Saturnalia was a hedonistic time, when food and drink were plentiful and the normal Roman social order was turned upside down. For a month, enslaved people were given temporary freedom and treated as equals.
Business and schools were closed so that everyone could participate in the holiday's festivities.
Also around the time of the winter solstice, Romans observed Juvenalia, a feast honoring the children of Rome.
In addition, members of the upper classes often celebrated the birthday of Mithra, the god of the unconquerable sun, on December 25.
It was believed that Mithra, an infant god, was born of a rock. For some Romans, Mithra’s birthday was the most sacred day of the year.
Is Christmas Really the Day Jesus Was Born?
In the early years of Christianity, Easter was the main holiday; the birth of Jesus was not celebrated.
In the fourth century, church officials decided to institute the birth of Jesus as a holiday.
Unfortunately, the Bible does not mention date for his birth (a fact Puritans later pointed out in order to deny the legitimacy of the celebration).
Although some evidence suggests that his birth may have occurred in the spring (why would shepherds be herding in the middle of winter?) Bad logic, they do that all the time.
Pope Julius I chose December 25. Catholic
It is commonly believed that the church chose this date in an effort to adopt and absorb the traditions of the pagan Saturnalia festival.
First called the Feast of the Nativity, the custom spread to Egypt by 432 and to England by the end of the sixth century.
By holding Christmas at the same time as traditional winter solstice festivals, church leaders increased the chances that Christmas would be popularly embraced, but gave up the ability to dictate how it was celebrated.
By the Middle Ages, Christianity had, for the most part, replaced pagan religion.
On Christmas, believers attended church, then celebrated raucously in a drunken, carnival-like atmosphere similar to today’s Mardi Gras.
Each year, a beggar or student would be crowned the “lord of misrule” and eager celebrants played the part of his subjects.
The poor would go to the houses of the rich and demand their best food and drink. If owners failed to comply, their visitors would most likely terrorize them with mischief.
Christmas became the time of year when the upper classes could repay their real or imagined “debt” to society by entertaining less fortunate citizens.
When Christmas Was Cancelled
In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe.
When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas.
By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday.
The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell.
As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America.
From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston.
Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. Ha, ha….
By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.
After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas.
In fact, Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.
Washington Irving Reinvents Christmas in America
It wasn’t until the 19th century that Americans began to embrace Christmas.
Americans re-invented Christmas, and changed it from a raucous carnival holiday into a family-centered day of peace and nostalgia.
But what about the 1800s piqued American interest in the holiday?
The early 19th century was a period of class conflict and turmoil.
During this time, unemployment was high and gang rioting by the disenchanted classes often occurred during the Christmas season.
In 1828, the New York city council instituted the city’s first police force in response to a Christmas riot.
This catalyzed certain members of the upper classes to begin to change the way Christmas was celebrated in America.
In 1819, best-selling author Washington Irving wrote The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon, gent., a series of stories about the celebration of Christmas in an English manor house.
The sketches feature a squire who invited the peasants into his home for the holiday.
In contrast to the problems faced in American society, the two groups mingled effortlessly.
In Irving’s mind, Christmas should be a peaceful, warm-hearted holiday bringing groups together across lines of wealth or social status.
Irving’s fictitious celebrants enjoyed “ancient customs,” including the crowning of a Lord of Misrule.
Irving’s book, however, was not based on any holiday celebration he had attended—in fact, many historians say that Irving’s account actually “invented” tradition by implying that it described the true customs of the season.
'A Christmas Carol'
Also around this time, English author Charles Dickens created the classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol.
The story’s message-the importance of charity and good will towards all humankind-struck a powerful chord in the United States and England and showed members of Victorian society the benefits of celebrating the holiday.
The family was also becoming less disciplined and more sensitive to the emotional needs of children during the early 1800s.
Christmas provided families with a day when they could lavish attention-and gifts-on their children without appearing to “spoil” them.
As Americans began to embrace Christmas as a perfect family holiday, old (pagan) customs were unearthed.
People looked toward recent immigrants and Catholic and Episcopalian churches to see how the day should be celebrated.
In the next 100 years, Americans built a Christmas tradition all their own that included pieces of many other customs, including decorating trees, sending holiday cards and gift-giving.
Sir Henry Cole (15 July 1808 – 18 April 1882) was a British civil servant and inventor who facilitated many innovations in commerce and education in 19th century in the United Kingdom. Cole is credited with devising the concept of sending greetings cards at Christmas time, introducing the world's first commercial Christmas card in 1843.
Although most families quickly bought into the idea that they were celebrating Christmas how it had been done for centuries, Americans had really re-invented a holiday to fill the cultural needs of a growing nation.
Who Invented Santa Claus? Catholic
The legend of Santa Claus can be traced back to a monk named St. Nicholas who was born in Turkey around A. D. 280.
St. Nicholas gave away all of his inherited wealth and traveled the countryside helping the poor and sick, becoming known as the protector of children and sailors.
St. Nicholas first entered American popular culture in the late 18th century in New York, when Dutch families gathered to honor the anniversary of the death of “Sint Nikolaas” (Dutch for Saint Nicholas), or “Sinter Klaas” for short. “Santa Claus” draws his name from this abbreviation.
In 1822, Episcopal minister Clement Clarke Moore wrote a Christmas poem called “An Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” more popularly known today by it’s first line: “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.”
The poem depicted Santa Claus as a jolly man who flies from home to home on a sled driven by reindeer to deliver toys.
The iconic version of Santa Claus as a jolly man in red with a white beard and a sack of toys was immortalized in 1881, when political cartoonist Thomas Nast drew on Moore's poem to create the image of Old Saint Nick we know today.
· Each year, 25-30 million real Christmas trees are sold in the United States alone. There are about 15,000 Christmas tree farms in the United States, and trees usually grow for between four and 15 years before they are sold.
· In the Middle Ages, Christmas celebrations were rowdy and raucous—a lot like today’s Mardi Gras parties.
· When Christmas was cancelled: From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was outlawed in Boston, and law-breakers were fined five shillings.
· Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States on June 26, 1870.
· The first eggnog made in the United States was consumed in Captain John Smith’s 1607 Jamestown settlement.
· Poinsettia plants are named after Joel R. Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico, who brought the red-and-green plant from Mexico to America in 1828.
· The Salvation Army has been sending Santa Claus-clad donation collectors into the streets since the 1890s.
· Rudolph, “the most famous reindeer of all,” was the product of Robert L. May’s imagination in 1939. The copywriter wrote a poem about the reindeer to help lure customers into the Montgomery Ward department store.
· Construction workers started the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree tradition in 1931.
According to a Roman almanac, the Christian festival of Christmas was celebrated in Rome by AD 336.
In the Eastern part of the Roman Empire, however, a festival on January 6 commemorated the manifestation of God in both the birth and the baptism of Jesus, except in Jerusalem, where only the birth was celebrated.
During the 4th century the celebration of Christ’s birth on December 25 was gradually adopted by most Eastern churches.
In Jerusalem, opposition to Christmas lasted longer, but it was subsequently accepted.
In the Armenian Church, a Christmas on December 25 was never accepted; Christ’s birth is celebrated on January 6.
After Christmas was established in the East, the baptism of Jesus was celebrated on Epiphany, January 6.
In the West, however, Epiphany was the day on which the visit of the Magi to the infant Jesus was celebrated.
The reason why Christmas came to be celebrated on December 25 remains uncertain, but most probably the reason is that early Christians wished the date to coincide with the pagan Roman festival marking the “birthday of the unconquered sun” (natalis solis invicti); this festival celebrated the winter solstice, when the days again began to lengthen and the sun begins to climb higher in the sky.
The traditional customs connected with Christmas have accordingly developed from several sources as a result of the coincidence of the celebration of the birth of Christ with the pagan agricultural and solar observances at midwinter.
In the Roman world the Saturnalia (December 17) was a time of merrymaking and exchange of gifts.
December 25 was also regarded as the birth date of the Iranian mystery god Mithra, the Sun of Righteousness.
On the Roman New Year (January 1), houses were decorated with greenery and lights, and gifts were given to children and the poor.
To these observances were added the German and Celtic Yule rites when the Teutonic tribes penetrated into Gaul, Britain and central Europe. Food and good fellowship, the Yule log and Yule cakes, greenery and fir trees, gifts and greetings all commemorated different aspects of this festive season.
Fires and lights, symbols of warmth and lasting life, have always been associated with the winter festival, both pagan and Christian.
Since the Middle Ages, evergreens, as symbols of survival, have been associated with Christmas.
Christmas is traditionally regarded as the festival of the family and of children, under the name of whose patron, St. Nicholas, presents are exchanged in many countries.
The use of evergreen trees, wreaths, and garlands as a symbol of eternal life was an ancient custom of the Egyptians, Chinese and Hebrews.
Tree worship, common among the pagan Europeans, survived after their conversion to Christianity in the Scandinavian customs of decorating the house and barn with evergreens at the New Year to scare away the devil and of setting up a tree for the birds during Christmastime; it survived further in the custom, also observed in Germany, of placing a Yule tree at an entrance or inside the house in the midwinter holidays.
The modern Christmas tree, though, originated in western Germany.
The main prop of a popular medieval play about Adam and Eve was a fir tree hung with apples (Paradise tree) representing the Garden of Eden.
The Germans set up a Paradise tree in their homes on December 24, the religious feast day of Adam and Eve.
They hung wafers on it (symbolizing the host, the Christian sign of redemption); in a later tradition, the wafers were replaced by cookies of various shapes. Candles, too, were often added as the symbol of Christ.
In the same room, during the Christmas season, was the Christmas pyramid, a triangular construction of wood, with shelves to hold Christmas figurines, decorated with evergreens, candles, and a star.
By the 16th century, the Christmas pyramid and Paradise tree had merged, becoming the Christmas tree.
The custom was widespread among the German Lutherans by the 18th century, but it was not until the following century that the Christmas tree became a deep-rooted German tradition.
Introduced into England in the early 19th century, the Christmas tree was popularized in the mid-19th century by the German Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.
The Victorian tree was decorated with candles, candies and fancy cakes hung from the branches by ribbon and by paper chains.
Brought to North America by German settlers as early as the 17th century, Christmas trees were the height of fashion by the 19th century.
They were also popular in Austria, Switzerland, Poland, and Holland.
In China and Japan, Christmas trees, introduced by the U.S. missionaries in the 19th and 20th centuries, were decorated with intricate paper designs.
And you know the rest…
In closing for today,
Watch your heart and imaginations
Beware of the spirit of error
Beware of the "false image" of love.
Beware of "false feelings and emotions".
These pagan made up feasts, bring on loneliness, depression, suicide and oh yes, great debt.
Be safe out there; keep your eyes open if you are around crowds, malls etc…
As John said:
I have not written unto you because you know not the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.
By the way, our Sister Louise was born on Dec. 25 J