Don't say "it
doesn't matter." It does matter to God whether we adopt the customs of the
heathen. Your Bible says, "Learn not the way of the heathen" (Jeremiah 10:2).
A Pagan Roman Feast
The New Year's
festivities that had originated in Babylon found their way to Greece and
finally to Rome. The Romans called it "Saturnalia" -- in honor of Saturn.
Among them it was extremely popular -- a time of revelings, drinking bouts,
orgies -- finally ending in HUMAN SACRIFICE!
"The first day of the
Saturnalia shifted during the lifetime of Rome ... it began around the
middle of December ... and continued until January first. In its midst was
December twenty-fifth, the day, as the Romans calculated, when the sun was
at its lowest ebb ...." (E. W. Count's "4000 Years of Christmas", page 28.)
It was Julius
Caesar, Emperor of pagan Rome, who instituted the New Year's festival on
January first. In 46 B. C., Caesar adopted the Julian calendar. He
transferred to the first of January ALL of the licentious customs
surrounding the Roman Saturnalia!
Accepted by "Church
But how did such a
thoroughly pagan day ever insinuate itself into our modern "Christian"
Read the answer
from church history -- about 375 A.D. This is the period Emperor Constantine
imposed "Christianity" on the Roman world.
"There were many
immigrants into the ranks of the Christians by this time," writes Earl W.
Count. "The Church Fathers discovered to their alarm that they were also
facing an invasion of pagan customs. The habit of Saturnalia was too strong
to be left behind. At first the Church forbade it, but in vain" (page 31).
Rather than resist
the influence of pagan customs, the Catholic Church fathers compromised!
finally succeeded in taking the merriment, the greenery, the lights, and the
gifts from Saturn and giving them to the Babe of Bethlehem .... The pagan
Romans became Christians -- but the Saturnalia remained!" (E.W. Count, page
have gone A STEP FURTHER!
present a gift to Jesus Christ on the day they falsely assume to be His
birthday, the world is
busily trading presents among themselves! Christ has been not only forgotten
at Christmas time, but is not so much as toasted amidst the partying of New
During the Middle
Ages many of the ancient Roman customs were maintained and augmented by the
incoming heathen rites of the Teutonic peoples. It was during this period
that the customary yule log and mistletoe were added to the popular New
Year's festivities. The yule log is a carry-over from the bonfires of
sun-worship, and mistletoe is a parasite used in Druid rites as a symbol of
customs were added, the date of New Year's celebrations was temporarily
changed to March 25, to coincide with the Germanic spring rites of
Gregory re-instituted the ancient pagan Roman date of January first. He
imposed it on the whole Western world in 1582 when his Gregorian calendar
"reforms" were accepted. All Roman Catholic countries accepted this change
AT ONCE! Sweden, Germany, Denmark and England, the strongholds of
Druid customs, finally acquiesced to Rome in the 1700's!
The Modern Attitude
Today, New Year's
Eve has become a time for people to wallow in excesses of liquor! The modern
attitude seems to be, "have a wild time on New Year's Eve, and turn over a
new leaf on New Year's Day!"
resolutions are empty and meaningless, usually trifling matters of jest! Few
people make a lasting change.
Most people seem
to have convinced themselves that God is out of the picture for good. That
God is not concerned with their modern revelings, drunken parties,
What does God have
to say about New Year's? Does He condone observing a pagan festival?
practicing pagan customs in the name of Christ?
God Labels New
God Almighty does not
compromise! Notice the Eternal's stern warning to Israel as they conquered
the pagan nations of the promised land:
"Take heed to
thyself that thou be not snared by following them, after that they be
destroyed from before thee; and that thou INQUIRE NOT AFTER THEIR GODS,
saying 'How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.'
THOU SHALT NOT DO SO UNTO THE ETERNAL THY GOD: for EVERY ABOMINATION
to the Eternal, WHICH HE HATETH, have they done to their gods ...."
What were the
customs God hates and condemns in Deuteronomy? What are those pagan rites
that are an ABOMINATION to Him?
Greek God of WINE!
Theodor H. Gaster
writes concerning the familiar "New Year's babe":
"Actually the New
Year babe is FAR OLDER than he looks. In ancient Greece, it was
customary at the great festival of Dionysus to parade a babe cradled in a
winnowing basket. This was taken to symbolize the annual (or periodic)
rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility!" (New Year.)
Who was this
None other than Bacchus
-- the god of wine! In his honor the Greeks held a festival called the
"Festival of the Wine-Press" at the time which corresponds to our months of
more alcoholic beverages are consumed during the "holiday season" than at any
other time of the year! New Year's Eve is noted for its licentious, wild, and
wanton partying. People are deceived by riotous pagan holiday spirits -- for
the most part emanating from liquor bottles -- all the while calling it
symbol of New Year's celebrations is equally pagan! It is the familiar figure
of a white-haired man carrying a scythe. What does he represent? The ancient
Greek god Cronos. It is from the name "Cronos" we derive our "chronograph"
which measures time.
the Greek gods, Cronos
originally cut a swath of HUMAN SACRIFICE with his sharpened scythe!
The "silent reaper" anciently "reaped" little children in horrible episodes
of mythical CANNIBALISM! This Greek rite of human sacrifice was
adopted by ancient Rome, where human sacrifice was practiced at least until
300 A. D.
No wonder God Almighty
warns the pagan New Year's celebration is AN ABOMINATION to Him! See
Strange as it seems,
the professing Christian world praises and practices customs and days of
pagan origin -- thinly cloaking them in "Christian" sounding names! You
too, may have accepted these vain traditions of men, never realizing they
are PAGAN TO THE CORE!
do they worship me," said Jesus Christ, "teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men!"
Jesus said it is
possible to WORSHIP GOD -- to venerate the NAME of Christ --
and still do it ALL IN VAIN!
"Full well YE
REJECT THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, that ye may keep your own tradition,"
He continued, "... making the Word of God of none effect through your
tradition, which ye have delivered!" (Mark 7:7, 9, 13.)
Many people will
confess, when forced to, the pagan origin of these days. But they
stubbornly REFUSE to stop observing them! God is their Judge!
Don't you make
When Does God
Begin the New Year?
Remember! It is
God Almighty who created the Universe. He set the heavenly bodies in their
courses at Creation. It is by His "master-clock" that time is determined.
rotation regulates the length of a day -- the lunar phases indicate the
length of a month. And the orbit of the earth around the sun dictates the
length of a year!
But ONLY GOD
has the AUTHORITY to set the date of the beginning of the new year!
calendar year begins in the spring -- not in the middle of a dead
winter! Notice Exodus 12:1-2, "And the Eternal spake unto Moses and Aaron
in the land of Egypt, saying, This month shall be unto you the beginning
of months: it shall be the FIRST MONTH OF THE YEAR TO YOU."
The first month
of God's sacred calendar is called, in the Bible, "Abib". It means the
month of "green ears." Later, the Jews called it "Nisan" -- a Babylonian
word having the same meaning.
It was in the
month of Abib or Nisan that Israel came out of Egyptian captivity under
Moses (Ex. 34:18). The Hebrew month Abib overlaps the months of
March-April on the pagan Roman calendar in use today.
God placed the
beginning of the sacred year in the early spring to mark the beginning of
the seasonal harvests. The two annual harvests in Palestine foreshadowed
God's Plan for the twofold SPIRITUAL harvest of souls to be born
into His Kingdom.
speaks of a great false religious system which will "think to change times
and laws" (Dan. 7:25). This system has deliberately thought to change the
beginning of God's calendar year in an attempt to hide God's Plan for the
salvation of mankind! But man has no authority to change God's
has cleverly deceived the world into believing the new year begins on
The very same
pagan practices God condemns in the Old Testament are being perpetuated in
our modern world today!
The very same
festivals of paganism adopted by ancient Israel have become an integral
part of this modern society!
Read, in II
Kings 17:15-18, the reason why God Almighty took ancient Israel into
captivity: "And they rejected his statutes, and his covenant that he made
with their fathers, and his testimonies which he testified against them;
and they followed vanity, and became vain, and went after the heathen that
were round about them, concerning whom the Lord had charged them, that
they should not do like them!"
What was the
result of Israel following the customs of the heathen nations around them?
LORD was very angry with Israel, and removed them out of his sight
.... and afflicted them, and delivered them into the hand of spoilers,
until he had cast them out of his sight .... SO WAS ISRAEL CARRIED AWAY
OUT OF THEIR OWN LAND TO ASSYRIA UNTO THIS DAY!" (II Kings 17:18, 20,
returned as a nation to the land of Palestine!
Israel was lost!
Its true identity was concealed until modern times! Now there is proof
that the lost ten tribes of ancient Israel migrated to Northwestern
Europe. The chief peoples among them have become the United States and
British Commonwealth today!
Will Be Punished!
Do you suppose
God has changed His mind about compromising with paganism?
"For I am the
LORD, I CHANGE NOT!" warns the Eternal in Malachi 3:6. This same
reminder is repeated in Hebrews 13:8.
Speaking to the
modern nations of Israel today, Almighty God says, "As for you, O house of
Israel, thus saith the Eternal God; Go ye, serve ye every one his idols
and thereafter also, if ye will not hearken unto me: but POLLUTE YE MY
HOLY NAME NO MORE with your gifts and with your idols" (Ezek. 20:39).
In other words,
God is saying, "Be pagan if you insist; but quit calling it Christian."
God continues to
warn modern Israel against the
paganism, in Hosea 2:11:
"I will also
cause all her mirth to cease, HER feast days [days THE PEOPLE
chose], HER new moons [marking the beginning of the pagan New
Year], and her sabbaths, and all her solemn feasts." Notice that these
were Israel's feast days -- those Israel had acquired from the pagan
nations around them -- NOT those God had originally instituted
through His Bible! "And I will visit upon her the DAYS OF BAALIM,
wherein she burned incense to them ..." (verse 13)!
The very same
punishment awaits any nation today that forsakes God's law as revealed in
His Holy Bible, and turns to the customs of pagan nations -- observing
pagan days of worship!
Does it make any
difference if YOU continue observing pagan customs -- like New
Year's? IT CERTAINLY DOES! God says so!
What You Should Do
God Almighty prophesies a final revival of Babylonian religion in
great power just before He cuts short man's misrule of this earth. Read
His warning in Revelation 18:
"And after these
things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power, and
the earth was lightened with his glory. And he said mightily with a strong
voice, saying, Babylon the Great is fallen, is fallen.
and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the
merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her
delicacies. And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of
her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive
not of her plagues!"
celebration began in Babylon 4,000 years ago. It is practiced today by
almost every people on the face of the earth. Satan the Devil has indeed
deceived the whole world! (Rev. 12:9.)
But God Almighty
has sent His ministers to warn this world -- to cry aloud, and spare not,
and SHOW HIS PEOPLE THEIR SINS (Isa. 58:1). Punishment will not be
May God help you
to HEED THIS WARNING, and FORSAKE THE PAGAN PRACTICES of
this modern world!
William H. Ellis
Truth - December, 1964 - Ambassador Press]
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