What you are about to hear may stun you, hurt you, and be very hard to accept. Whether your religious tradition that you hold most dear is Christmas or Hanukkah, please understand that the truth from God's Word may hurt at first but it brings life, life eternal. [Hebrews 4:12]
It is a sin, an abomination, to suggest any non-Biblically commanded, man-made tradition is holy, or honors or pleases God in any way, even if such tradition has some connection to Israel or the Bible. IF YOU FOLLOW MAN-MADE TRADITIONS and DO THEM FOR GOD, if you elevate them to the level of holy, that is "doing them for God" - then God's says you are not among his people. The Pharisees (which is Modern Judaism) did that and Jesus (Y'shua) called them Sons of Satan, that they making disciples of hell.
Only obedience to God's Word pleases God. God gives us specific and detailed instructions on how to fellowship with him, worship him, obey him, and honor him in Scripture. Outside of what is specifically commanded in Scripture, if you create your own or adopt any non-Biblically commanded, man-made tradition in such pursuits, you only build a wall between you and God angering him and breaking fellowship with him. Regardless of your intentions, or traditions, or reasons why you "feel" your tradition is important, if you do it in an attempt to honor or please God in any way, you have committed an abomination by adding to his specific detailed instructions.
In your pursuit of God, DO WHAT GOD SPECIFICALLY SAYS AND NOTHING ELSE... and in doing so you know beyond a shadow-of-a-doubt that you are doing God's Will and are pleasing God.
OBEDIENCE: SO Simple a Child Can Do It.
"For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.
And his commandments are not burdensome."
- 1 John 5:3
It is easier, safer, and wiser to stick strictly to following the Word of God alone than to have the time and wisdom to fully research every man-made traditions and teachings. Stay focused my friends, do not stray from what you know to be pure, reliable, and true: the Word of God.
The Bible is God's Word? Yes. So when you read the Bible and when you see “And the LORD said” or “Jesus said” and it is a command, and you see it in quotes or red letters, then it is something that you cannot argue against but should obey as a matter of trust and faith in him. It's pretty straight forward. Right!?
So do you follow God or men? Do not to be seduced, confused or swayed by the arguments of men that we don't have to obey what God says. [ Isaiah 8:20 NLT | Isaiah 9:16 NLT | Jeremiah 16:19 ] God our Heavenly Father is our parent not man, so we should always remain focused only on what God says. It is very simple, if we love God then we should want obey him because we want to please him!
It’s not hard to figure out. Interesting enough, this is so simple a child can do it. In fact, God made it so simple and easy to understand because he wanted everyone to be in right relationship with him, even little children. It is so straight forward and so clear to understand that there is no need to get bogged down in theological and doctrinal issues or debates.
"Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit...
Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible,
by the word of God, which lives and abides forever."
- 1 Peter 1:22-23
Above All Else, Guard Your Heart
Your mission, should you chose to accept it ...
is to remain pure in thought by remaining focused on Scripture alone [Psalms 119:9-11 | Proverbs 4:23 NIV].
Only following the Word of God can make you pure and complete in him, in his Plan and Purpose for Your Life. Do not stray from God's Word.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God MAY BE COMPLETE (perfect, lacking nothing), equipped for every good work." - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
"How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word." - Psalms 119:9
"Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you." - Apostle Paul, 2 Timothy 1:14 NLT
"My son, guard my words, And treasure up my commands with you. Guard my commands and live, And my Torah as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; Write them on the tablet of your heart." - Proverbs 7:1-3 TS2009
"I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!" - Psalms 119:32
TO GUARD, TO KEEP
in the Bible, it means to protect, to preserve, to keep (pure), to build a hedge/fence, to defend from outside influences.
"Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it."
- Proverbs 4:23 NIV
“All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it – do not add to it nor take away from it."
- Deuteronomy 12:32 TS2009
"Do not add to his words, or he may rebuke you and expose you as a liar."
- Proverbs 30:6 NLT
It is an abomination is to suggest that Messiah would ever endorse Christmas or Hanukkah as a holy day to be observed, because that would be adding to the commandments of God, a sin, and we know the Messiah did not sin. It is God alone who defines in God's Word how we are to worship him, honor him, obey him, and please him. All of God's commanded "official" and "Biblical" holy days are clearly outlined in Leviticus Chapter 23. Hanukkah and Christmas are not on the list and thus ARE NOT "holy" or "righteous" or pleasing to God. To suggest otherwise will only anger God because you are adding to his instructions, the Scripture, a serious crime against God [Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32].
IT IS NOT that all tradition is evil, the problem is: IN ELEVATING any man-made tradition or non-Biblical commandment TO THE CONCEPT OF HOLINESS, a part of the path of righteousness, or that it pleases God in any way. God probably does not care if you celebrate your country's independence day with a cook-out (bbq), picnic, and fireworks show - just don't think that it will bring you closer to God in any way. Don't talk about it like it is the "holy" or "righteous" thing to do, because by doing so you will only anger God by perverting his Word, his standard - by adding to God's perfect instructions (God's Word).
Man-made Traditions ARE NEVER HOLY
By observing Christmas or Hanukkah as holy, special, or set-apart unto God, you have perverted God's commanded Holy Days in Leviticus chapter 23 by mixing what is common with that is holy AND you have just added to God's Instructions (God's Word). You have just committed multiple abominations and sins that God hates most. So in your attempt to do something holy to God, you have just terribly angered him and he will distance himself from you, for we are to only worship God in the manner that God specifically declares in God's Word, and in no other way.
they have "done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things.
They have made no distinction between the holy and the common ..." - Ezekiel 22:26
Perfect means lacking nothing, whole or complete. We have no need of other holy days. What God has ordained is perfect. Leviticus Chapter 23 reveals God's heart as to what his holy days are that we are to observe. Stand firm on the PERFECTION of God's Word! Do not add to or take away from God's Word [Deuteronomy 4:2; 12:32]. Since when does God need our help to set standards of holiness and righteousness that have already been established forever? Who are we to consult the Almighty Creator of Heaven and Earth?
Isaiah 55:8-9 "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."
All of God's commanded "official" and "Biblical" holy days are clearly outlined in Leviticus Chapter 23. Hanukkah and Christmas are not on the list. Who told you to observe Christmas or Hanukkah? It was not God!
God has never endorsed or declared Christmas or Hanukkah as "holy" or "righteous" because God clearly defines these things as commands in the Bible - and not obeying these commands is the very definition of sin (1 John 3:4). To suggest these holidays should be observed as a way to please God, to get close to God, or as something that is holy and special - is a clear abomination because you have just added to the instructions of God. Stay focused my friends! The only path of righteousness is Scripture. The traditions of men are empty calories. They may fill you up but do not feed or nourish you for they cannot. They are often a complete waist of your time, since they absolutely cannot get you closer to God, nor please him in any way.
Did Jesus (Y'shua) Celebrate Hanukkah?
Many who love their Hanukkah traditions from Judaism and who claim to be a disciple of Jesus (Y'shua) often quote from John Chapter 10 claiming that Jesus (Y'shua) observed it. John 10:22-23 "Now it was the Feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon's porch." The entire account is recorded in John 10:22-42. SO, let us look at the rest of the chapter to understand the context.
John 10 only places the Messiah at the Temple during one of the 8 days of Hanukkah, not the entire event, in fact it said he left. Interesting enough in verse 26, Jesus (Y'shua) declares to those celebrating Hanukkah as not being among his sheep. SO is John chapter 10 conclusive proof Jesus (Y'shua) endorsed Hanukkah? No.
Here are a few highlights from John chapter 10:
(24) So the Jews gathered around him...
(26) Jesus (Y'shua) said: "but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep."
(27) "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
(30) "I and the Father are one."
(31) The Jews picked up stones again to stone him.
(39) Again they sought to arrest him, but he escaped from their hands.
The Messiah was in the Temple many, many, many times. It is wrong assume that he endorsed everything going on there. Remember the overturning of the tables incident?
It s an abomination is to suggest that the Messiah endorsed Hanukkah as a holy day to be observed, because that would be adding to the commandments of God, a sin, and we know the Messiah did not sin. John chapter 10 only places the Messiah at the Temple during one of the 8 days of Hanukkah, not the entire event and it never says he commanded us to observe Hanukkah, nor does it reveal he endorsed, participated, or supported Hanukkah in any way. By tradition alone, and not what is plainly written, can one connect that verse say the Messiah celebrated it. This is a sin because you have added to Scripture. What is even worse is the traditional prayers of Hanukkah stating that God commanded it.
Jesus/Y'shua did not command the observance of his birth, Christmas or Hanukkah. Do not get confused or easily led astray. To not obey a command is a sin. Hanukkah and Christmas are not commands. God's Word reveals God's perfect plan for us which does not need adding to or taking away from. Did God need your input to add to his perfection? I think not. Stop doing your own "feel good" things and stay focused on what God really want us to do. God has a perfect plan to make us holy, so in the path of righteousness stay on God' path. Anything else is a distraction off the path of holiness.
There is nothing holy or righteous about Hanukkah or Christmas - so says the God of Israel. Doing them does not please God.
Is Christmas Pagan?
At the heart of Christmas is the idea of celebrating the birth of Jesus (Y'shua). While this may seem innocent there is much more pagan and man-made traditions that reveal it is not of God. In fact, there is very little "Christian" about it. The Bible does gives us an narrative of the Messiah's birth but here is the problem: 1) Jesus (Y'shua) did not command us to observe his birth so we know that it does not please God or is in any way the "righteous" or "holy" thing to do. 2) Christmas (Christ's Mass) is actually a Roman Catholic holiday that adopted December 25th, the birth-date of a pagan God, and then tried to "Christianize it."
Most know or "feel" that the tradition of Santa Claus might be wrong but that is just the tip of the iceberg, there is so, so much more. Without diving into the volumes of pagan traditions involved in Christmas, I will suggest you research "origins of Christmas" on the Internet. Look for articles and videos on the origins of traditions like the "Christmas Tree," "Yule Log," "Santa Claus" and such. These things will shock you, like Santa Claus eating children who are "naughty."
The Bible does actually mention the pagan worship of a Christmas-type tree in Jeremiah 10:1-4
"Hear the word that the LORD speaks to you, O house of Israel. (2) Thus says the LORD: "Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them, (3) for the customs of the peoples are vanity. A tree from the forest is cut down and worked with an axe by the hands of a craftsman. (4) They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with hammer and nails so that it cannot move."
Do You Follow God or Men?
Who told you to observe Christmas or Hanukkah? It was not God!
The Traditions of the God of Israel are commandments and if we don't do them it is a sin (1 John 3:4). The Traditions of Men have no value if your true purpose is the please God. It is important to "guard" - to hold fast to - to not turn to the left or the right away from the commandments, to not get distracted away them, to stay focused on what is holy, on what is righteous, on what is pleasing to God.
Of all the thousands of cool things that happened in the Bible, which is worthy of making it a memorial/holy day? How would you choose? And how can you say one is of more value than the other? You cannot. You can only say that we should obey the commanded memorial/holy days (Leviticus 23) as we were taught by Torah - God's own instructions. We only have a limited amount of time - let us stay focused on the commandments - which PROVE our love - which PROVE a righteous path - other ways do not.
If any traditions are okay, there is a memorial day I would value more than Hanukkah and Christmas, it would be David killing Goliath. But if I make this such a holy day and reverence it as others do Hanukkah and Christmas then I would be getting off track, missing the mark (sinning), TURNING to the left or the right away from God's Way?
Do not Mix what is Common with what is Holy
We are commanded not to mix the common with the holy. I suggest mixing traditional holidays (Jewish or Christian) from any source and treating them with the same reverence as God's Holy Days is a sin.
Can we worship God in any manner that we want? I think not! We may only worship God in a way that he specifically has outlined in the Scripture. In Leviticus 23, God clearly outlines his appointed Holy Days that we are commanded to obey. To not do so is sin.
"... (they) offered unauthorized fire before the LORD, which he had not commanded them. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed them, and they died before the LORD." - Leviticus 10:1-2
"Her priests have done violence to my law and have profaned my holy things. They have made no distinction between the holy and the common..." - Ezekiel 22:26
"You are to distinguish between the holy and the common... you are to teach the people of Israel all the statutes that the LORD has spoken to them by Moses." - Leviticus 10:10-11
"They shall teach my people the difference between the holy and the common, and show them how to distinguish between the unclean and the clean." - Ezekiel 44:23
How does one celebrate Hanukkah or Christmas? You first start by temporarily throwing out your faith in the Messiah and following Rabbinical Judaism (Hanukkah) or Roman Catholicism (Christ's Mass), for you can only serve one master. Hanukkah and Christmas are not a commanded holy day by God. It is not holy, nor does doing it make you any closer to God (as God has defined doing his Will in the Scriptures). Hanukkah is a tradition of Rabbinical Judaism (Pharisee-ism) and Christ's Mass is an official holy day of the Roman Catholic Church. These man-made holidays will make you closer to them, but not to God.
Stay focused on the one who gives you salvation, the God of Israel and his Word.
If you indeed seek to obey God then your eternal reward is from God. If you seek to obey men, your temporary reward is from men and will be destroyed.
They are Watching You!
You may not know, but many people are watching you and it is not Big Brother, it is your little brothers and sisters in the faith. They are looking to their older siblings to teach them by their example how to live a righteous life holy and pleasing to God. So let our walk be a perfect example set by the Word of God alone. For Christmas and Hanukkah are just one of a thousand traditions from Christianity and Judaism that are non-Biblical. And if we teach one non-Biblical tradition from Christianity or Judaism as the right thing to do, then does this not also lead our little brothers and sisters down the wrong path? That in their life as a disciple THEY CAN LOOK outside of Scripture to what is holy and pleasing to God.
Stick to Scripture - it is the ONLY standard of truth - the ONLY path of righteousness.