Sungod Worship and the Advent of Jesus’ Birth

“Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:20-24

I was taught as a child to believe that Santa Claus brought me presents on the same day that the Christ child was born. I even received the occasional gift from Jesus, because I know my parents struggled with the blending of all of the traditions. Hopefully, everyone that is reading this blog won’t be crushed to learn there is no Santa Claus, but what if Jesus was born at a different time of year?

I took learning about Santa Claus being a fairy tale very well when I eventually realized his writing was very similar to my Mom’s. I thought it was a well intentioned deception and I carried on the tradition with my children. I was more disturbed to discover that Jesus was not born on December 25th, likely not even December at all, and just like Santa, most church leaders knew that too. So why all the lying around a supposed sacred day when the Saviour of the whole world is said to be born? The purpose of this blog post is to defend the faith and not make excuses for all the lying. December is full of lies and scripture tells us the identity of the father of lies. This entity is also the god of light.

Joh 8:42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.
Joh 8:43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word.
Joh 8:44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
Joh 8:45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me.

Has anyone ever wondered why no one in the New Testament celebrated the birth of Jesus, and why we are not even given a date or month? It is not that hard to understand. Early followers of Jesus were Jewish and it was only heathen nations that celebrated birthdays of important people. God’s people were commanded by Yahweh not to act the way of the nations. The Mishnah Torah, which was passed down oral instruction from the Sages detailing how to properly keep the written Torah, says the following:

And these are the festivals of the gentiles: the Calends,* the Saturnalia,^ the commemoration of empire,”* the anniversaries* of kings, and the day of [their] birth and the day of [their] death.” Mishnah ABODAH ZARAH

I am not suggesting we are to follow the commands in the Mishnah; however, it sheds light on what is really going on in December. Calends was the eight days after the winter solstice, and the Saturnalia was the eight days before the winter solstice. The winter solstice was very important because it was the “birthday” of the sun god. We use the Gregorian Calendar in 2020, but in the first century, they were still using the Julian calendar. Depending on the calendar and the sun god myth one is using, the sun is “reborn” about three days after the winter solstice. This is when the length of day gets noticeably longer.

The birthday of Jesus was placed on the same day as the sun god’s birthday as a result of many people from the nations becoming “Christians” by the second and third centuries, and they were accustomed to celebrating their former god’s birth. It is also not hard to see all the sun worship imagery that is still part of the major Christian denominations.

We can get an approximate time for the birth of Jesus by looking at scripture. John the Baptist was born before Jesus, and there is much information on the events surrounding John’s birth.

Luk 1:5 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth.
Luk 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.
Luk 1:7 But they had no child, because Elizabeth was barren, and both were advanced in years.
Luk 1:8 Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty,
Luk 1:9 according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.
Luk 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense.
Luk 1:11 And there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.
Luk 1:12 And Zechariah was troubled when he saw him, and fear fell upon him.
Luk 1:13 But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John.
Luk 1:14 And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth,
Luk 1:15 for he will be great before the Lord. And he must not drink wine or strong drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.
Luk 1:16 And he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God,
Luk 1:17 and he will go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready for the Lord a people prepared.”

Zechariah was a priest in the division of Abijah, and it is recorded that he and his wife “were both righteous before God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and statutes of the Lord.” This is a side note, but it is worth mentioning a couple people in the New Testament were blameless before God, keeping the commandments and statues of Yahweh. We find the priestly order of Abijah spoken of in the book of Chronicles when David organized the Levite’s service in the temple.

1Ch 24:1 And as for the sons of Aaron, these were their divisions. The sons of Aaron were Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.
1Ch 24:2 And Nadab and Abihu died before their father, and they had no sons, so Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests.
1Ch 24:3 And David, with Zadok of the sons of Eleazar and Ahimelech of the sons of Ithamar, divided them according to their appointments for their service.
1Ch 24:4 And more sons of Eleazar were found as heads of the men than the sons of Ithamar, so they divided them to the sons of Eleazar to be sixteen heads over the house of the fathers, and to the sons of Ithamar over the house of the fathers were eight heads.
1Ch 24:5 They divided them by lot all alike, for they were commanders of the sanctuary and commanders of God from among the sons of Eleazar and the sons of Ithamar.
1Ch 24:6 And Shemaiah the son of Nethanel, the scribe, from the Levites, recorded them before the king, the princes, Zadok the priest, Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, and the heads of the families of the priests and Levites, one father’s house drawn by Lot for Eleazar and one drawn by lot for Ithamar.
1Ch 24:7 And the first lot went out to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah,
1Ch 24:8 the third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim,
1Ch 24:9 the fifth to Malkijah, the sixth to Mijamin,
1Ch 24:10 the seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah,
1Ch 24:11 the ninth to Jeshua, the tenth to Shekaniah,
1Ch 24:12 the eleventh to Eliashib, the twelfth to Jakim,
1Ch 24:13 the thirteenth to Huppah, the fourteenth to Jeshebeab,
1Ch 24:14 the fifteenth to Bilgah, the sixteenth to Immer,
1Ch 24:15 the seventeenth to Hezir, the eighteenth to Ha-Pizzez,
1Ch 24:16 the nineteenth to Pethahiah, the twentieth to Ezekiel,
1Ch 24:17 the twenty-first to Jakin, the twenty-second to Gamul,
1Ch 24:18 the twenty-third to Delaiah, the twenty-fourth to Maaziah.
1Ch 24:19 These were their appointments for their service to come into the house of Yahweh according to their custom by the hand of Aaron their father, as Yahweh the God of Israel had commanded him.

Abijah served the eighth cycle of service in the temple. All the priests served during the feast days so those times would not be counted. The first cycle would start at the first of the year on the Hebrew calendar starting in our late March or April. If this was Zechariah’s first cycle in the temple that would put the timing in late May or June when Elizabeth would have conceived.

Luk 1:34 And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”
Luk 1:35 And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.
Luk 1:36 And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren.
Luk 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
Luk 1:38 And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.
Luk 1:39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah,
Luk 1:40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.
Luk 1:41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,
Luk 1:42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!
Luk 1:43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?
Luk 1:44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.
Luk 1:45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Jesus was conceived six months after John, around January by our calendar. That puts the birth of Jesus sometime in September. If Zechariah was on his second cycle of service in the temple, then that would push everything up approximately six months which would bring the birth of Jesus in the spring. Either way, we can determine it is not December, and if the date were important it would have been recorded in scripture. My personal opinion is that His birth fits nicely with the fall feast of tabernacles.

Joh 1:14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

The words “dwelt among us“, come from Strong’s G4637, which refers to living in a tabernacle or temporary structure.

G4637
σκηνόω
skēnoō
Thayer Definition:
1) to fix one’s tabernacle, have one’s tabernacle, abide (or live) in a tabernacle (or tent), tabernacle
2) to dwell

This language resembles the fall feast of tabernacles, all speculation of course.

Lev 23:33 Then Yahweh spoke to Moses, saying,
Lev 23:34 “Speak to the Israelites, saying, ‘On the fifteenth day of the seventh month, this shall be the Feast of Booths for seven days for Yahweh.
Lev 23:35 On the first day there shall be a holy assembly; you must not do any regular work.
Lev 23:36 For seven days you must present an offering made by fire to Yahweh. On the eighth day it shall be a holy assembly for you, and you shall present an offering made by fire to Yahweh; it is a celebration; you must not do any regular work.
Lev 23:37 “‘These are Yahweh’s festivals, which you must proclaim, holy assemblies to present an offering made by fire to Yahweh—burnt offering and grain offering, sacrifice and libations, each on its proper day—
Lev 23:38 besides Yahweh’s Sabbaths and besides your gifts and besides your vows and besides all your freewill offerings that you give to Yahweh.
Lev 23:39 “‘Surely on the fifteenth day of the seventh month, at your gathering the land’s produce, you shall hold Yahweh’s festival for seven days; on the first day there shall be a rest period and on the eighth day a rest period.
Lev 23:40 And on the first day you shall take for yourselves the first fruit of majestic trees, branches of palm trees and branches of a leafy tree and of a brook’s poplar trees, and you shall rejoice before Yahweh your God for seven days.
Lev 23:41 And you must hold it as a festival for Yahweh for seven days in the year; it shall be a lasting statute throughout your generations; in the seventh month you must hold it.
Lev 23:42 You must live in the booths for seven days; all the natives in Israel must live in the booths,
Lev 23:43 so that your generations shall know that I made the Israelites live in booths when I brought them from the land of Egypt; I am Yahweh your God.'”
Lev 23:44 Thus Moses announced to the Israelites Yahweh’s appointed times.

Many churches employ an advent wreath with candles and pine cones this time of year. The symbolism is supposed to have a relationship with the birth of Jesus. Here is the explanation of the symbolism of this Roman Catholic tradition from catholiceducation.org:

“The Advent wreath is part of our long-standing Catholic tradition. However, the actual origins are uncertain. There is evidence of pre-Christian Germanic peoples using wreathes with lit candles during the cold and dark December days as a sign of hope in the future warm and extended-sunlight days of Spring. In Scandinavia during Winter, lighted candles were placed around a wheel, and prayers were offered to the god of light to turn “the wheel of the earth” back toward the sun to lengthen the days and restore warmth.”

The pine cones in the fertility wreath are important symbols in sun god worship (the god of light) as well as the candles. This is the reason the people of Yahweh were not allowed to sell them to the people of the nations to use as symbols to worship their gods. This is also found in the Mishnah Torah which sheds light on what was going on during these heathen festivals. From Mishnah ABODAH ZARAH:

  1. These things it is forbidden to sell to the gentiles:’ fir-cones, white figs vfith their stalks, frankincense, or a white cock. R. Judah says: One may sell a gentile a white cock among other cocks, or, if it is by itself, cut off its spur and sell it to him, because they do not sacrifice to an idol what is defective. All other things, if [any idolatrous use is] not specified, are permitted to be sold; but if [any idolatrous use is] specified, they are for­ bidden.

The red berries in the pictured advent wreath are also a fertility symbol used in sun god worship. The wreath has always represented the entrance to the womb, just like the cut off tree is a phallus symbol related to the Nimrod myth. Nimrod was the original sun god as well as his son Tammuz. Tammuz worship is spoken of throughout scripture. Tammuz’s mother was impregnated by the rays of the sun, after her husband Nimrod was killed, as the myth goes. People who do not know Yahweh and the truth will say that the virgin birth of Jesus is just a retelling of this myth. Why wouldn’t they? Christianity has blended the two religions so well they are actually celebrating this myth rather than anything about the living son of God. If any of it was about Jesus, the world would not be partaking, and it would not employ symbols of other gods.

The wreath and the tree go together in sun god worship. A person can say “that is not what it means to me”, but what it means to you personally is irrelevant. What does it mean to Yahweh, the creator of the world, and His son? This is the important question, and fortunately the answer is told to us everywhere in scripture: do not have anything to do with these things. “Learn not the way of the heathen”.

So what does this all mean? Can Yahweh and His son Jesus, or Yeshua in Hebrew, be pleased with all of this fuss about sun gods and birthdays, pine cones, wreaths and the lot? What does Yahweh think about blending His things with those of the adversary, the god of light? Thankfully Yahweh left no room for doubt concerning these things:

Deu 12:29 “When Yahweh your God has cut off the nations whom you are about to go to, to dispossess them before you, and you have dispossessed them, and you live in their land,
Deu 12:30 take care so that you are not ensnared into imitating them after their being destroyed from before you, and so that you not enquire concerning their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods, and thus I myself want to do also.’
Deu 12:31 You must not do so toward Yahweh your God, because of every detestable thing they have done for their gods Yahweh hates, for even their sons and their daughters they would burn in the fire to their gods.
Deu 12:32 All of the things that I am commanding you, you must diligently observe; you shall not add to it, and you shall not take away from it.”

In the opening scripture, Jesus was speaking to a woman from the northern kingdom. The northern kingdom of Israel was divorced by Yahweh for adultery, which was going after foreign gods and idolatry. They worshipped the same gods that are worshipped at the winter solstice, with the same sort of symbols many try to worship Yahweh with today during the Yule celebrations.

It shouldn’t be any surprise that greenery, trees, wreaths and pine cones are being displayed joyfully in every shop and home. They have been for thousands of years during the winter solstice, by the nations, and Yahweh warned His people to not use these symbols. Hopefully the reader will worship Yahweh in “Spirit and Truth” and not be ensnared by all of the sun god worship that happens this time of year. There certainly are many lies and deception that are encountered in the “most wonderful time of the year”.

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