While there are many scriptures in the Bibles that commands us to observe the feast days of Yahweh, the bible is silent on the date of the birth of the Messiah and no scriptures can be found to support the celebration of Yahshua’s birth. While the celebration of the birth of our Saviour is not an issue, the date associated with His birth, i.e., December 25th, should be of concern to those of us who desire to obey and do the will of Yahweh.
How did December 25th come to be recognized as the birthdate of the Saviour, and what is its historical background? Encyclopedias, journals, newspapers, and religious blogs have all documented the history of December 25th extensively. Most of these writings link that date to the celebration of the feast of Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun), a pagan god.
The worship of the Sun, Moon, and other celestial bodies was very common in ancient times. So much so that In Deuteronomy 4:19 the people were admonished to “take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them”. In Deuteronomy 17 we read that serving and worshipping any other entity, whether the sun or moon or any of the host of heaven, was considered a “wicked thing” punishable by death.
Despite these warnings the worship of the Sun god continued to be so prominent that it began to influence the worship practices of traditional churches. According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, 'During the later periods of Roman history, sun worship gained in importance and ultimately led to what has been called a “solar monotheism.” Nearly all the gods of the period were possessed of solar qualities, and both Christ and Mithra acquired the traits of solar deities. The feast of Sol Invictus (Unconquered Sun) on December 25 was celebrated with great joy, and eventually this date was taken over by the Christians as Christmas, the birthday of Christ.’
Pope Benedict XVI, writing on the historical origins of Christmas, stated, “In Christendom the feast of Christmas took on a definite form in the fourth century, when it took the place of the Roman feast of "Sol invictus", the invincible sun…” Later, Pope Francis wrote “The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise.” This establishes a clear link between the worship of Sol Invictus and pagan deities.
Over the years, many practices with pagan origins have been assimilated into traditional worship. Such integration often occurred without critical examination of their alignment with biblical teachings. This evolution in worship practices underscores the admonishment found in 2 Timothy 2:15, where we are encouraged to 'Study to show thyself approved unto Elohim, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.' This scripture serves as a reminder of the importance of discerning and adhering to the true essence of spiritual teachings.
As we reflect on the historical and spiritual insights discussed, let us endeavor to align with the will of Yahweh. In seeking guidance and clarity, we echo the prayer of Psalmist David in Psalm 25:4-5: 'Show me thy ways, O Yahweh; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the Elohim of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.' This prayer reminds us to continually seek divine guidance and understanding in our spiritual journey.
The recognition of December 25th as the Messiah's birth date, is not supported by biblical scripture, but is rather intertwined with historical religious and pagan traditions. This highlights the importance of basing our observances on scriptural teachings, if our intention is to please Yahweh. In contrast to this date, the Bible delineates specific festivals that are rooted in scriptural authority, offering a clear guide for those seeking to align their worship practices with the teachings found in the Scriptures.
In Mark 7:15, Yahshua asserts, "There is nothing from outside a man that entering into him can defile him; rather, it's the things that come out of him which are those that defile the man." This often leads to the inference that Yahshua deemed all types of meats, including those previously considered unclean, as fit for consumption. But is that truly the message conveyed in this passage?
The context for these verses is a conversation between Yahshua and the Pharisees about ritual purity. In the beginning verses of Mark Chapter 7, the Pharisees and some scribes criticize Yahshua's disciples for eating bread without washing their hands, considering this act as defilement. Upholding the traditions of the elders, the Pharisees and Jews always washed their hands before eating, and practiced cleansing rituals with cups, pots, brass vessels, and tables. They question Yahshua, why do his disciples not adhere to the "tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?" (Verses 1 - 5). The discussion revolves around the notion of defilement in failing to wash hands before meals.
In response, starting in verse 7, Yahshua accuses the Pharisees of teaching man-made commandments as doctrines. He further criticizes them for neglecting Elohim's commandment in favor of adhering to human traditions, such as ritual cleansing of pots and cups, and many such similar practices.
It is worth noting that Yahshua does not address the topic of clean and unclean foods in this dialogue. Instead, His response is targeted at the criticism of His disciples eating with unwashed hands, which the Pharisees deemed defiling.
In verses 18 through 20, Yahshua explains to His disciples, "Whatever thing from outside enters into the man, it cannot defile him; because it enters not into his heart, but into his belly, and exits into the draught, purging all meats? And he said, that which comes out of the man, that defiles the man."
Some Bible translations, like the New International Version (NIV) and the American Standard Version, append interpretations to verse 19, suggesting that Yahshua "declared all foods clean" or "made all meats clean." However, these interpreted phrases do not feature in the original Greek text or the widely-accepted King James Version of the Bible. As per Deuteronomy 4:2, Yahweh warns against adding or removing from His words, something these translations seem to violate, leading many astray.
Contrary to popular belief, the discourse in Mark 7:14-23 primarily addresses the Pharisees' and scribes' traditional ceremonial practices rather than the concept of clean or unclean foods. Yahshua emphasizes that defilement arises from within an individual, not from what they consume. He lists numerous internal sources of defilement, including evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, and more.
Yahshua is not dismissing the laws concerning clean and unclean foods in this passage. Instead, He is challenging the Pharisees' reliance on external rituals and traditions over the state of their hearts.
Moreover, in Matthew 5:17-20, Yahshua clarifies that His intent is not to abolish the Law or the Prophets but to fulfill them, indicating that He did not aim to modify the dietary laws.
In Acts 10, Peter's vision of being told to eat unclean animals relates more to Yahweh's intention to extend salvation to Gentiles, not to alter dietary restrictions.
It underscores the universality of the Gospel, which transcends Jewish confines.
To sum up, though some might interpret the passage in Mark 7 to mean that Yahshua "legalized" unclean foods, this interpretation lacks corroboration from the broader context of Yahshua's teachings or other biblical texts.
Romans 6:14 is often misinterpreted and used to uphold the mistaken belief that the laws of Yahweh have been rendered obsolete. Yet, this interpretation is far from the truth. Those who invoke this scripture to advocate the annulment of the law paradoxically still uphold certain aspects of the law, which reflects clear inconsistency. Romans 6:14 states, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” This does not imply that Yahweh's commandments are abolished just because we are “not under the law, but under grace.”
Romans 3:23 acknowledges that “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of Elohim.” It's Yahweh's law that defines sin. This is confirmed by Romans 7:7, which says, “I would not have known sin, except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, 'You shall not covet.'" This indicates that Yahweh's law plays a crucial role in recognizing sin.
Additionally, Romans 6:23 declares that the wage for sin is death. However, while we were still sinners, Yahweh showed His love for us by offering His Son as a sacrifice (Romans 5:8). This divine act of love and mercy represents His grace. It is through His grace that we can hope for eternal life.
Galatians 4:4-5 states that Yahshua died to redeem those who were under the law, allowing them to be adopted as sons. Romans 5:8 reaffirms this, stating that while we were yet sinners, the Messiah died for us. These scriptures suggest that sinners, not law-abiding believers, are under the law. However, Yahweh extended grace towards us by sending His Son to atone for our past sins.
While the law couldn't justify us (Galatians 3:21), it "was added because of transgressions” (Gal. 3: 19) and acted as a tutor guiding us towards Messiah (Galatians 3:24). The penalty for transgressing the law was paid through Yahshua’s sacrifice. Relying on His grace, sin will no longer rule over us. We won't be required to pay the penalty the law mandates.
However, Yahweh’s pardon should not be misconstrued as permission to return to a sinful lifestyle. On the contrary, it should bring us closer to Yahweh. As Paul rhetorically asks in Romans 6:15, “What then? shall we sin because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.” In 1 Corinthians 15:10, Paul explains that it is by the grace of Yahweh that he was transformed, and this grace was not futile. Despite his tireless work to disseminate the Gospel, he remained firm in his belief in “all things which are written in the law and in the prophets” (Acts 24:14).
In conclusion, Yahweh's grace should not be construed as an excuse to disregard the law. Rather, it should be appreciated as a motivation to turn to Yahshua, to deepen our faith and understanding of Him. We must keep in mind that Yahweh's law remains active and vital in identifying sin. Yahweh's grace isn't a free pass to sin but a pardon for our past sins, and an opportunity to mature in faith and lead a life pleasing to Yahweh.
According to Romans 5:12 we have all sinned; and the penalty of sin is death (Romans 6:23). However, it is Yahweh’s will that all should be saved, even the vilest of sinners. No sin is too great for Yahweh to forgive, and he has promised the gift of eternal life to all, which can be obtained only through Yahshua the Messiah, our redeemer.
Yes, we have sinned and fall short of Yahweh’s mercies, but our Heavenly Father knows of our shortcomings and is ready to forgive us. That is why he sent his son to die for us, so we can obtain eternal life if we believe in him. John 3:16, 17 says “For Yahweh so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For Elohim sent not his son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
In I Timothy 1:15, Paul reminds us “that Yahshua the Messiah came into the world to save sinners."
Yahshua said in Luke 5:32 “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Eternal life is available to everyone "and the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely," Revelation 22:17.
We are dependent on Yahshua the Messiah for our salvation. Yahshua said "I am the vine, ye are the branches: . . . for without me ye can do nothing," John 15:5. Yahshua is therefore “able to save them to the utmost that come unto Elohim by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them," Hebrews 7:25.
Invite Yahshua into your heart today and he is ready and prepared to forgive you for your sins.
After Abraham's death, Elohim blessed Isaac and renewed the covenant with him. In Genesis 26: 3-4 Elohim said to Isaac. “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. The covenant was made “Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” Genesis 26: 5.
Yahweh has promise to show mercy to all those who keep His commandments in Deuteronomy 7: 9 reads “Know therefore that Yahweh thy Elohim, he is Elohim, the faithful El, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.”
In Luke 11:28, He has promised to pronounce a blessing on those who obey His word “… blessed are they that hear the word of Elohim, and keep it.”
While many live with the hope of eternal life, it is only those who keep His word will be allowed to enter the Kingdom. “Not every one that saith unto me, Master, Master, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 7:21. “For not the hearers of the law are just before Elohim, but the doers of the law shall be justified.” Romans 2:13
As we seek to do the will of Yahweh, let us be reminded that we are expected to keep all His commandments “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2: 10.
John said in Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”