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He Tabernacles Among Us

He Tabernacled Among Us
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In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth. — John 1:1, 14, TLV —

It may be a surprise to hear this, but it is a fact that Yeshua was not born in the middle of winter, be it December 25th, January 6th, or any other winter date religion has concocted—it is a biblical impossibility for Him to have been born in the winter months. This presents us with some important questions: Can we know when He was born? And if so, how does that effect the popular holiday Christmas?

The issue of Christmas is a much bigger topic than I can fully address in this message and warrants an entire teaching on its own. I will, however, give some attention to that second question toward the end of this article.

While it may remain inconclusive on the exact year He was born—which I feel based on the evidence I have reviewed that sometime between 3 B.C. and 1 B.C appears to be the most likely window—I do feel we can narrow down the time of year and perhaps even exactly when on the Hebrew calendar He was born based on known historical facts related to specific elements of what we are told in The Bible. While I have tackled this investigation in the past, like many others I have been left without a solid conclusion. It seems most people who study this matter have landed on a “best possible window” of when the birth of Yeshua occurred, that “window” being sometime between just before the biblical Passover celebration and shortly after the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles).

Having researched this topic further, I believe I can now say with a good amount of certainty that Yeshua was born during the Feast of Sukkot. Some would go as far as saying He was born on the first day of the Feast and circumcised on the eighth day. I intend in this message to show that all of the best information available, so far as I am aware, leads us to a conclusion that what “Christianity” refers to as the nativity indeed is connected with the Fall Feast of Tabernacles, which is celebrated sometime between late September and early October—varying each year because it is based on the Hebrew calendar.

With that, let’s begin our investigation into when Yeshua was born and see if it truly does lead us to the biblical Feast of Sukkot.

The Lambing Season

I want to start here because I feel that this study needs to begin by dispelling a myth that has been created. A popular Messianic Rabbi, Jonathan Cahn, presents a belief that Yeshua was born during Passover. While the majority view among Messianic and Hebrew Roots Movement Believers is that Yeshua’s birth took place during the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles)—which I will be contending remains the correct conclusion—there are points in the argument toward Sukkot that could also lead to Passover.

While some of these points—like the order of Abijah, which we will look at in a moment—certainly could definitively lead us to one or the other, Rabbi Cahn’s argument rides heavily on his proposal that the spring season must be correct because, according to his presentation, that is the lambing season. Luke 2:8 tells us that when Yeshua was born there were shepherds living in distant fields with their flocks, guarding the sheep by night. In the next section I will go into more detail on this part of the biblical record, but for now let’s focus on what Rabbi Cahn states. And please understand this is not written as any type of personal attack on the Rabbi, but simply that I am presenting his views and why I believe they are ultimately wrong. I am sure, being a studied Messianic Jewish Rabbi, that I would agree with him on more than I would disagree with him on.

According to Cahn this passage in Luke must refer to the lambing season because of the specific mention of guarding the flocks at night. He contends that this statement tells us that the reason they would need to guard the sheep is because they were giving birth to their young. Of course, this would be a huge reach seeing as livestock animals in ancient Israel during the time of pasturing in distant fields, without the protection of housing, would have been in constant danger from large predators like lions or bears (1 Samuel 17:34-36, 1 Kings 13:24). Thus, it stands to reason that the shepherds were always watching their flocks at night throughout the portion of the year when they were living in distant fields with them.

But is the springtime between March and May the “lambing season” in Israel? At this point I want to propose that not only is there no “sole lambing season” to be considered but the testimony of some of the leading Hebrew scholars of their time will indicate that there is a fall lambing season that may have been every bit as big, if not bigger, than a spring lambing season. Menahem Haran, Ph.D. (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) states the following in an article titled Seething a Kid in its Mother’s Milk:

The lambing season depends on condition of grazing which, in turn, varies according to climatic areas within the country, and the annual amount of rainfall and edible herbage. Goats and sheep are in heat generally through the summer months, from June to September, and gestation takes five months. Thus, lambing begins mainly in November and continues into the winter months. Taking into account the ecological differences and oscillations in the country's various regions, it appears that the first lambs and kids were born at about the time of the feast of ingathering. At any rate, the festival of ingathering was the annual pilgrim feast closest to the period of lambing.

I addition to Haran, Rabbi Jacob Milgrom, a highly regarded Jewish scholar, states in The Anchor Bible: Leviticus 1-16, also in reference to the connection of the biblical prohibition to boil a young goat in it’s mother’s milk:

The attribution of this prohibition to Sukkot would appear to be justified both from its position in the biblical text, where it occurs after injunctions concerning the other two pilgrimage festivals, Pesach and Shabuot (Exod 23:18-19a; 34:25-26a), and from its zoological basis, because goats drop their young in the rainy season, which begins in autumn.

Another more modern resource is a study that was published by the Oklahoma State University titled A Breeding Program for a Fall Lambing Program. Written by Extension Sheep Specialist Gerald Q. Fitch, the article states:

There are many advantages to lambing in October and November in Oklahoma. Small grain pastures can be utilized by the lactating ewes, which have lambed during the mild fall weather. There are no parasite problems for the growing lambs, and the lambs can be sold on the high April and May markets before the summer heat arrives. The only lambs that need to be carried through the summer are replacement ewe lambs.

The suggested schedule is designed to have lambs born during October and November and cleanup lambing in January and early February.

Something also worth considering in this discussion are the likely breeds of sheep in first century Israel, of which the Jacob sheep and the Awassi sheep seem the most likely candidates. The Jacob sheep appears to be a little more seasonal to spring lambing, but some sources say they can birth new lambs twice a year, indicating a fall lambing season. The Awassi, on the other hand, are often bred in the later spring months and birth new lambs in September and October. Keep in mind that in ancient times there were no freezers to store meats in so raising different breeds of livestock animals that would produce at different times of the year would have been much more essential to life.

The Jewish Mishnah Bekhorot 9.5-9.6 offers some additional insight into this. It tells us that there are three unique seasons of lambing, kidding, and calving in ancient Israelite culture, which would certainly include the practices during the time when Yeshua was born. In a passage where a Rabbinic designation regarding tithing cut-offs with these three seasons, it states:

There are three times during the year designated for gathering the animals that were born since the last date for animal tithe: Adjacent to Passover, and adjacent to Shavuot, and adjacent to Sukkot. And those are the gathering times for animal tithe; this is the statement of Rabbi Akiva. Ben Azzai says the dates are: On the twenty-ninth of Adar, on the first of Sivan, and on the twenty-ninth of Av. Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon say that the dates are: On the first of Nisan, on the first of Sivan, and on the twenty-ninth of Elul. And why did Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon say the twenty-ninth of Elul, and why did they not say the first of Tishrei? It is due to the fact that the first of Tishrei is the festival of Rosh HaShana, and one cannot tithe on a Festival. Consequently, they brought it earlier, to the twenty-ninth of Elul. Rabbi Meir says: The beginning of the new year for animal tithe is on the first of Elul. Ben Azzai says: The animals born in Elul are tithed by themselves, due to the uncertainty as to whether the halakha is in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Meir, i.e., that the new year begins on the first of Elul, or in accordance with the opinion of Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon, which would mean that the new year begins on the first of Tishrei.

According to the opinion of Rabbi Elazar and Rabbi Shimon, with regard to all animals that are born from the first of Tishrei until the twenty-ninth of Elul, those animals join to be tithed together. If five were born before Rosh HaShana and five after Rosh HaShana, those animals do not join to be tithed together. If five were born before a time designated for gathering and five after that time designated for gathering, those animals join to be tithed together. If so, why were three times stated for gathering the animals for animal tithe? The reason is that until the time designated for gathering arrives it is permitted to sell and slaughter the animals. Once the time designated for gathering arrives one may not slaughter those animals before tithing them; but if he slaughtered an animal without tithing it he is exempt.

All of this essentially tells us that two of the most highly regarded Hebrew scholars felt that the most significant time for lambs and goats to give birth is during the Feast of Sukkot and that ancient Rabbis decided that there needed to be a separation of three periods of tithing newborn livestock animals because all three of the Torah-established Feast seasons were times when the animals would give birth.

Seeing as Yeshua is both our Passover Lamb and our scapegoat it would seem that if any season of lambing is most significant it would be the one paired together with the kidding season in the fall. This would also harmonize better with passages like John 1:14 where we are told Yeshua came to tabernacle with us.

In addition to this, if as Rabbi Cahn proposes that the “guarding their flocks at night” statement is significant toward when animals were born, it becomes irrelevant seeing as animals were being born all throughout the pasturing season. The bottom line on the matter is that the proposal that a lambing season is a significant clue toward when Yeshua was born only serves to give us a window that matches when the shepherds were living in distant fields with their flocks, which I will now discuss.

Shepherds In Distant Pastures

Now there were shepherds in the same region, living out in the fields and guarding their flock at night. — Luke 2:8, TLV —

Having already looked at one aspect of this passage, the proposal that the language of this passage relates to the time of years when livestock animals gave birth, I now want to turn our attention to the first portion of this verse. In addition to telling us that these shepherds were guarding their flocks at night it also tells us that they were living out in the fields.

While we cannot draw any definitive conclusion of the timing of Yeshua’s birth based on when sheep or goats gave birth, as this occurred during the time around Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot, the statement that the shepherds were living in the fields with their flocks of sheep and goats does give us a window of time to work with. The Babylonian Talmud: Beitzah 40a states the following:

Pasture animals are such as are led out about [the time of] Passover and graze in [more distant] meadows, and who are led in at the time of the first rainfall (October-November).

This tells us that it was the general practice of shepherds to live out in the distant fields between shortly before Passover and returning to their homes where livestock would be housed for the winter months shortly after the Feast of Tabernacles. In this time the shepherds were typically young boys old enough to tend to the flocks but not yet of an age where Feast attendance was required—the Torah tells us that men age 20 and above are required to attend the Feast celebrations.

We see this in the record of David when the prophet came to his home to anoint the next king of Israel. After passing by David’s brothers the father was asked if he had another son, to which he replied: “There’s still the youngest, but right now he’s tending the sheep” (1 Samuel 16:11). The indication, particularly as the narrative goes on to say they had to send for young David, is that he was living out in the distant fields with the family’s pasture animals exactly as the Talmud records was the practice in ancient Israelite society.

An important point to consider is that the location for where Yeshua was born, as described in The Bible, is most likely a place where animals were housed in the winter months. There is an alternate though similar possibility for where He was born we will look at in a moment. However, for right now we will focus on what seems most certain, that He was born in a location that housed lambs.

We know that He was born during a time when the shepherds were living in the distant fields with their flocks, and we know that this occurred in a window of just before Passover until just after Sukkot. This is the time period that aligns with the Gospel record, is supported by the historical record of the Talmud, and falls within the same window of time when the winter housing for pasture animals would not be utilized for the animals themselves.

Now, perhaps it is speculation, but my opinion is that the most appropriate time for such a facility to house a woman about to give birth and subsequently her infant child immediately after giving birth would be in the fall after the stalls had been cleaned and aired out for about six months or so. Throughout the spring and summer scavenging insects and animals that would feed on the excrement left by the animals would also help clean them out and by the fall months they would be a much more tolerable living quarters should a young family expecting a child need to utilize such a facility.

This, of course, doesn’t prove that He was born in the fall months correlating with the Feast of Tabernacles. We will look at some stronger evidence for this later in this article. It does, however, make good logical sense and shows a sense of caring by The Father in orchestrating the whole event. After all, while Yeshua was ultimately sent to suffer, it was not in His birth that He was nor was Miriam and Yoseph to suffer either. So it is nice to think that at least there is a good possibility that The Father made sure the required place of birth, where lambs were born, would at least be as hospitable as possible.

The Tower Of The Flock

You, tower of the flock, hill of the daughter of Tziyon, to you your former sovereignty will return, the royal power of the daughter of Yerushalayim. —Micah 4:8 (CJB)—

I want to take a moment here and share some thoughts on a matter that currently I have to regard as a theory because I myself have not had a chance to fully research it to draw a definitive conclusion as of yet—and as is sometimes the case may never find information that satisfies me toward such a conclusion. However, there seems to be good research and scholarly claims that Yeshua was born in a place near Bethlehem called Migdal Eder, which basically means “the tower of the flock”. With a simple Internet search you can easily find numerous articles about this.

This is the location where Pesach (Passover) lambs were raised until the time of the Passover offering. Among the associated claims surrounding this theory include, in addition to it being prophetically spoken through Micah as seen above, are that the same type of stone “mangers” were in use here as found throughout Israel—though these in this location were only used for the Pesach lambs—and that discarded Temple garments used by the Levite Priests were repurposed for wrapping the lambs (the swaddling clothes). While I do not know if this can ever be definitive to where Yeshua was born, there is certainly a good case to be made.

What I find most interesting about this theory is that it would seem to be a major strike against the theories claiming that Yeshua was born in the spring during the Passover season—at least in my opinion, again. The reason I would state this is, just as we have already seen, those areas where young lambs were kept would not be ideal for housing an expectant mother such as Miriam and ultimately her infant child. Also the time of preparing the Passover lambs would see this location crowded and busy with animals everywhere and priests tending to them

It would seem logical that if the fall months when any housing used for livestock animals would be at it’s most ideal condition for housing people, then how much more an area designated solely for the Passover lambs? After all, the Passover lambs were to be a year old, so they were dealing with those that were born in the spring and those that had reached the required age for the Passover offering (those born the previous year). After weaning the newborn lambs, they would no longer need the strict “safety” of the Migdal Eder (tower of the flock) and would continue to grow in the pastures. While the Migdal Eder region may have been utilized during the winter months for these sacred lambs, it would seem that this are was likely not in use at all during the fall months.

In addition to the process of tending to the newborn lambs, it seems that this location was also where the year-old lambs were prepared for the Passover sacrifices. This would mean that in the spring surrounding the time of Passover itself this place would be extremely busy and packed with lambs—the newborns and that year’s Pesach lambs. Conditions likely would not be very good for a baby to be born at this time, but a fall birth during the timing of Sukkot when this location would have very little going on seems quite ideal.

Hence, I would contend that this shows through simple logic that Yeshua, had He been born at this site as some propose, would have had to be born during the fall months, most likely in conjunction with the fall feast season of Sukkot.

The Order Of Abijah

In 1 Chronicles chapters 23 and 24 we read about a decision made by King David to divide the Levite priesthood into orders for a rotation to perform Temple duties. As there would be a Temple built and the need to transport the Tabernacle would come to an end it was determined that this would be a better course of action.

1 Chronicles 24:7-18 tells us the 24 orders and the eighth is listed as the order of Abijah. This is significant to this study as the father of John the Immerser was Zechariah, and he was a member of the order of Abijah (Luke 1:5). This means that we can determine the times when John’s father was serving in The Temple.

Why is that significant? Because it reveals that John would have been born during one of the major Feast seasons—either the spring Passover season or the fall Sukkot season. Since John was born six months prior to Yeshua, then Yeshua would have been born on the other Feast season.

When the days of his priestly service had been completed, he went home. After these days, his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and hid herself for five months, saying, “Adonai has done this for me! In these days He looked upon me, to take away my disgrace among the people.” — Luke 1:23-25, TLV —

Here we find our first clue toward determining when Yeshua was born. If we know when Zechariah served in The Temple, we can determine roughly when his wife became pregnant with John and then determine when John may have been born.

Luke 1:26 tells us that in the sixth month the angel came to Miriam (Mary). This would be the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, as revealed by the context in the previous verses telling us that she hid herself away for five months. So from here we know that there was a six-month separation between Elizabeth’s pregnancy and Miriam’s, and subsequently the children would be born six months apart. So, if we can know when Zechariah served in The Temple we can know when John was born, and if we can know when John was born we can estimate six months later and know when Yeshua was born.

But there’s a problem. Because there were 24 orders for service and twice as many weeks in the year, each order of priests served twice in the year. The record in Luke does not tell us which of Zechariah’s times of service was being referenced. However, we can still look at when his times of service were and begin our journey into determining when Yeshua was born.

The Mishnah states: “When the time arrived for the members of a certain priestly watch to ascend, the priests and Levites of that watch would ascend to Jerusalem to perform the Temple service.” But to determine when Zechariah would have been doing his Temple service there are two important records researchers turn to. The first is the Babylonian Talmud, where it is said that the date of the destruction of The Temple in 70 A.D. occurred on the first day of the biblical week (between what we would today call sunset Saturday evening and sunset Sunday evening) coinciding with the time the order of Jehoiarib was serving. The other record comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls, where a calendar was found outlining the times of the priestly Temple service schedule. Regarding this, Geza Vermes states in his book The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls In English, prefacing the translation of this calendar:

Eleven fragmentary manuscripts from Cave 4 present in various forms the peculiar ‘solar’ calendar – constructed in six-year sequences – of the Qumran Community. Their year consisted of twelve months of thirty days each, plus four extra days added to each of the four seasons. Some documents from 4Q (320 and 321) attempt to combine this calendar with the various priestly courses which served in turn in the Temple for a week at a time from one sabbath to the following Friday.

With these records experts have determined the timing of when Zechariah would have been serving in The Temple. The two times when the order of Abijah served were the tenth and thirty-fourth weeks of the year. This places Zechariah’s times of service just before the Feast of Shavuot (Pentecost) and shortly before Hanukkah. This would mean that between Elizabeth and Miriam one likely would have conceived shortly after Shavuot and the other around the time of Hanukkah.

While this does not tell us really when Yeshua was born, it locks in the probability that His birth was connected to one of the primary Feast Seasons, either at Passover or Tabernacles. This is an important detail as we continue to look at other points in examining the biblical narrative and what the history tells us.

Up to this point I have presented “clues” used in the discussion of when Yeshua was born that, though they still lean more toward Sukkot (The Feast of Tabernacles), are also often used to support the claims He was born during Pesach (Passover). On the one hand we have a defined window of time when He had to be born, between early spring and later fall, and on the other we know now He had to be born during one of the two Major Feast Seasons. Now I want to turn our attention to the remaining “clues” which exclusively point to Sukkot. It is important to also note that I am not aware of any piece of evidence regarding what time of the year Yeshua was born that is exclusive to Passover—in that it would only apply to a Pesach nativity event. The only I am aware of that has been presented as such is Rabbi Cahn’s theory about the lambing season, which we saw is clearly debunked by numerous historical and scholarly records.

The Aggadta DeShim’on Kefa

One of the most compelling clues about when Yeshua was born is a unique piece of Jewish folklore titled Aggadta DeShim’on Kefa (The Tale Of Simon Peter). It’s a fictional piece, of course, but it does contain some interesting statements regarding the biblical Feasts and prophetic significance appointed to them by followers of Yeshua.

You may wonder why I would defer to a piece of fiction as evidence toward when Yeshua was born, but we must remember that even within such literature facts often present themselves. Most good fictional stories incorporate a lot of true facts in them to make the story believable. Not too long ago I read a novel, something I rarely do—I prefer to study real history and facts about The Bible. But this book caught my attention because it was a fictional story about holocaust survivors. What caused me to even pick it up to read was how the author, a professional journalist, heavily researched the events of the holocaust and the practices of The Third Reich in Nazi Germany as well as the testimony of real-life holocaust survivors prior to writing. So while the story was ultimately fiction, it was built on a mountain to true events and told as it would have really happened.

Such is the case with the Aggadta DeShim’on Kefa. It is said to be written as a bit of a hate piece against “Christians” who had developed into a strongly anti-Semitic movement opposed to the Jewish people. The proposed medieval dating of the work would show that “Christianity” and “Judaism” had already been long divided with an established history of persecution toward the Jewish people from “Christians”.

In this fascinating literary work there is are words given about the sacred Feast days and how they were appropriated by “Christianity” and connected prophetically with important events in the life of Yeshua. Let’s take a look at what it says:

Therefore, he commands you not to celebrate the Feast of the Unleavened Bread but instead celebrate the day of his death. Instead of the Feast of Weeks, you will celebrate the forty days from the moment he was stoned until his ascension to heaven. Instead of the Feast of Booths, you shall celebrate the day of his birth, and on the eighth day after his birth you will celebrate his circumcision.

Here we see that the three major feast times—Pesach, Shavuot, and Sukkot—are associated with an important event in the life of Yeshua. So let’s look at the first two. It says that instead of celebrating the Passover and Week of Unleavened Bread we are to celebrate the day of His death. This we see in practice to this day with the perversion called Easter where the actual Passover is ignored and “Christians” go out into a field looking for painted eggs, a practice directly associated with the Wiccan religion, thinking that it somehow celebrates Yeshua’s resurrection. Then we have the Feast of Weeks (Shavuot) listed here as connected with His ascension. We know that this is still the practice of “the churches” as they celebrate what they may call Whitsuntide or Pentecost Sunday instead of the actual biblical Feast of Shavuot.

So the author of this piece absolutely has two of his three claims correct. “Christians” celebrate Easter instead of Passover and Pentecost instead of Shavuot.

But then we come to that third one. This indicates that during at least some point in history “Christians” or perhaps even the earliest of Yeshua’s followers prior to any deviation from truth celebrated His birth in connection with Sukkot—The Feast of Tabernacles. It doesn’t prove that they did, but even if it is saying in a particularly vague way that Christmas on December 25th is a replacement of the biblical Sukkot celebration it essentially links Yeshua’s birth to The Fall Feast Days.

Born In A Sukkah?

Have you ever seen a “ChristianNativity Scene?

Of course this is a rhetorical question as undoubtedly you have seen these miniature displays depicting what people believe the setting of Yeshua’s birth looked like. Unless, of course, you live in a remote part of the world void of any influence of “Christianity”—in which case you likely would not be reading this article either.

Whether you are looking at one of the smaller home displays or a grand life-size model that may even feature live actors these Nativity Scenes display one thing that never seems to draw a lot of attention, though it probably should. If you take your focus off of the baby, look past Miriam and Yoseph, and before turning to the shepherds and the sheep in the display you will notice the shelter that they are all in.

Now let me ask you something that you are more likely to say “no” to, unless you have some basic knowledge of Jewish culture: Have you ever seen a sukkah?

This is a structure that is built for the celebration of the Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles). There is some debate as to whether or not there is a mandate to build these for the feast outside of the land of Israel, and both sides make compelling arguments. While I do feel that the language of the commandment leans toward the argument that only those of a true Israelite bloodline living in physical Israel have an actual Torah mandate to build these, I also think that it’s commendable to build one wherever you may be so long as weather conditions permit and it would not be a burden on you—as building such a structure may cause physical or financial struggle for some people. I am also aware of people who live in regions where it is simply too cold and windy to build such a flimsy structure that would either be destroyed or near impossible to maintain during the Feast.

But the point here is not to dive deep into the debate about whether or not you can celebrate Sukkot without a sukkah. Rather, I want to draw your attention to the fact that a “Christian” nativity scene and a sukkah used during the Feast of Tabernacles are essentially identical in appearance.

Both are flimsy-looking structures. Both have three walls typically with the entire front open and neither having a functional door. Both have the walls made out of semi-weak materials such as weathered wooden planks or bamboo. Both have a roof made of leafy materials. Both typically have about enough room for only a few people to dwell under the roof within the structure—though some faith communities today build a larger sukkah able to house a crowd, but this is not the traditional practice.

I find this to be particularly interesting considering that the evidence continues to point us toward this Fall Feast season as being the time of the year when Yeshua was born.

Luke 2:7 states: “She [Mary] wrapped Him in strips of cloth and set Him down in a manger, since there was no room for them in the inn.” Interestingly enough, this word manger appears to be directly related to the Hebrew word sukkah. If you were to do a word study on sukkah you would find out that this is not a word limited to a traditional temporary structure built exclusively for the Feast of Sukkot, but that it is loosely used for various structures—including barns used to house livestock animals. Interestingly, the first use of this Hebrew word in The Bible is not in Leviticus 23 where it is applied to the commandment to build a sukkah for The Feast, but in Genesis 33:17 where is says, “…but Jacob journeyed to Sukkot and built a house for himself, and for his livestock he made booths. That is the reason that place is called Sukkot” (emphasis added). That word booths in the passage is the Hebrew word sukkah.

Isn’t it interesting that the first place in The Bible where Sukkot and sukkahs are mentioned is in association with structures to house livestock animals and all indications keep telling us that Yeshua, The Lamb of God, was born in a structure that could absolutely be called a sukkah during the Feast of Sukkot?

Now, some people would go as far as to say He was born in one of the traditional sukkahs used during the feast. There is really nothing solid to substantiate that and while it may sound all nice and prophetic the language of The Bible seems to clearly point toward a structure that was used for housing animals, not one that was built for celebrating the feast. But it is certainly worth nothing that the Hebrew word sukkah is first used to describe the exact type of structure that Scripture indicates Yeshua was born in.

Another indication that supports this might be John 1:1, 14. Here is says: “In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and tabernacled among us. We looked upon His glory, the glory of the one and only from the Father, full of grace and truth” (emphasis added). Why did the apostle choose this particular word? It is the Greek skénoó (σκηνόω) and literally is used to refer to a tent, tabernacle, or temporary shelter that one would live in. Throughout all of the “clues” surrounding this matter, it’s as if Scripture is shouting to us that our Messiah was born during Sukkot—especially when the opening statements of John’s Gospel say that He tabernacled among us.

The Census Of Quirinius

Now it happened in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus to register all the world’s inhabitants. This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone was traveling to be registered in his own city.

—Luke 2:1-3 (TLV)—

In all of the various points taken from the biblical record that “clue” us in on when Yeshua was born, it seems I don’t ever see anyone look to the census that is mentioned in the beginning of Luke’s narrative of the events surrounding His birth. What’s interesting and also concerning, however, is that this census just might be the smoking gun that ends the debate over what time of the year He was born.

The chapter opens telling us that there was a census being conducted that required everyone to register in the place of their birth. There is some debate as to whether or not such a census ever took place where everyone was required to return to their birth home. However, for the purpose of this writing the assumption is that The Bible is The Word of God and therefore true. If The Bible says that this census occurred, then my position is that it happened exactly as Scripture declares. The Bible is first and foremost a Book of faith, and as such there are many things contained in its pages that we must accept by faith. This is a lesson some self-professed “scholars” within “Christianity”, Messianic Judaism, and the more controversial Hebrew Roots Movement would do good to consider as they tend to want to discard anything they can’t “prove” with whatever they consider to be credible facts. Sometimes the quest for facts can cause you to miss the truth.

This is not to say facts are unimportant. Certainly when they present themselves they are an invaluable resource in support of biblical truth. But when there is a lack of supporting physical evidence, we must still believe that The Bible is true because of our faith. Otherwise you may find yourself going down a path of religious dogma that will end badly. Some, I have noticed, in the overall “Torah-keeping movement”, regardless of what anyone is labeling it (Messianic, Hebrew Roots, Jewish Roots, Torah-[fill in the blank], etc.), have even begun to make heretical and blasphemous statements because they think they figured something out and in so doing skipped right on past logic and common sense. I recently addressed such a matter in an article titled The Two Pillars Of Truth.

So, while some have chosen to debate this census with claims that there are no known extrabiblical records of it or that there is nothing in Roman records to support a requirement to register in one’s town of birth, for the purposes of this message we will conclude that the biblical record is accurate because it is The Bible and my belief is firm that The Bible is true and cannot lie. As such, anyone who believes The Bible is truth should be willing to evaluate biblical records from such a perspective. If you do not believe The Bible is the true Word of God, then we are on totally different pages and will not be in agreement on anything anyway.

This begs the question: Can we determine what time of the year this census was conducted?

Actually, as it turns out we can. The late Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (1851-1939) was a recognized archaeologist and Bible scholar of his time. This is what he had to say in his published book Was Christ Born At Bethlehem? A Study on the Credibility of St. Luke:

But, when such a plan of tribal numbering was adopted, the time of year had to be carefully considered. In the first place the winter months had to be avoided, during which travelling was often difficult, and in which unfavourable weather might cause great hardship and even prevent the plan from being carried out. As the day had to be fixed a long time beforehand, it must have been fixed in the season when good weather could be calculated on. In winter, weather might be good or it might be bad, and at best it would be cold and trying.

That a day was fixed by the authorities, and that it was not left to the discretion of the people to go when they pleased (as in Egypt people seem to have been permitted to send their enrolment papers at any time they pleased within the year), seems to follow from the fact that Joseph and Mary travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem at the very time when the birth of the child was approaching. Moreover, the advantages of the plan in ease and speed would have been sacrificed, unless a day had been fixed for the numbering.

Further, it was urgently necessary that the time which was fixed should not interfere with agricultural operations — that it should not come between the earliest date for the first harvest and the latest date for finishing the threshing, and getting in the grain and the fine straw from the threshing floors. The harvest varied considerably in different parts of the country, and reaping extended over about seven weeks, beginning from the middle of April.

Taking these circumstances into consideration, we may say with considerable confidence that August to October is the period within which the numbering would be fixed.

Ramsay goes on to note that this does not cause a problem with the traditional “Christian” dating of the nativity event—be it December 25, January 6, or any other—because it is well known this tradition of a winter nativity is not early in origin, it has varied across different sects and time periods, and that the known earliest belief was different. To put that into more simplistic terms, the truth is not hindered by a later developed non-truth or if people are going to insist on believing a lie the truth still stands as the truth.

Now, with this point of information in the mix, it seems quite certain that we can conclude that Yeshua was born during the biblical Feast of Sukkot (Tabernacles). You see, many of the points reviewed in seeking to determine the time of year He was born—the lambing season, shepherds in the fields, etc.—can apply to either the spring Passover season or the fall Tabernacles season. Factoring in the order of Abijah solidifies that He was most likely morn on one of the major Feast periods. But knowing that the Romans conducted censuses between August and October leaves us with a window of time where only one Feast season falls: Sukkot. And this comes along with compelling, though less substantial on their own, points like the Aggadta DeShim’on Kefa and the similarity of sukkahs and traditional “ChristianNativity Scenes.

I often say, as I have in the opening of this article, that it’s a biblical impossibility for the nativity event to have taken place in the middle of winter. The Gospel record tells us things, as we have reviewed in this study up to this point, that assure us Yeshua was not born on December 25, January 6, or any other winter date people may come up with. But, despite what some very popular preachers and rabbis have said on television, in books, and from their pulpits it seems clear at this point that it’s also a biblical impossibility for the nativity event to have occurred during the spring Passover season either.

I would contend that the census is more of a “smoking gun”, as the saying goes, for the dating of Yeshua’s birth. Unlike the fictional story that certainly plays a key role in the discussion or the clear similarity between what sukkahs look like and what “ChristianNativity Scenes look like, the census is listed in The Bible as a historical fact. This means that knowing the Romans conducted their census between August and October, along with points like the order of Abijah that solidify He was born during a major Feast season, all of the evidence combined tells us with a good amount of certainty that He was born during the Feast of Tabernacles season.

Now, from there I would say that it becomes a matter of personal opinion. Some would contend that He was born on The Day of Shofar Blasts (Yom Teruah), which is also the date of the civil new near on the Hebrew calendar called Rosh Hashanah. This has some merit to it, as there is the point of the shofar blasts announcing His arrival into the world. However, in just a moment I will show why I personally believe this is not the best day to place His birth. The other primary timing that has been proposed regarding a Fall Feasts birth is the Feast of Sukkot itself—born on the first day of the feast and circumcised on the eighth day that is also connected with a celebration called Simchat Torah (Rejoicing in The Torah).

I would say this latter view, Sukkot, has some pretty strong points that surround it. First and far from least, as already noted, is that John 1:14 says that The Word became flesh and tabernacled with us—hence the title of this piece. Then we add in those points that can only apply to the fall feast season. But there is one more thing I feel is worth considering.

The Prophetic Pattern Of The Feasts

When it is settled that Yeshua was born during the Feast of Sukkot there becomes a prophetic pattern that is established throughout the seven original feasts outlined in The Torah. Now this is not to say Hanukkah and Purim, the two other feasts established in The Bible, are of any less significance. Scripture indicates that Yeshua participated in both celebrations (Purim in John 5:1 and Hanukkah in John 10:22-23) and Yeshua’s birth being on or around Sukkot would make His conception in the virgin womb of Miriam on or around Hanukkah. Additionally, Deuteronomy 18:15-19 is a commandment in The Torah to shema (hear, listen to, follow, and obey) Yeshua as the prophet like Moses. This makes Hanukkah and Purim just as much commanded feasts as the original seven.

Despite this, there are those who contend that Hanukkah and Purim should not be celebrated because there is no commandment to celebrate them in The Torah. This comes from people who don’t seem to really know The Torah as well as they claim. In addition to the Torah commandment to shema the prophet like Moses, 1 John 2:6 builds on this by saying under apostolic authority that anyone who claims to belong to Him must walk as He walked. It does not give us an option. It does not give exceptions, loopholes, or special clauses. It says we must walk as He walked. Think about that as you watch “Christians” the world over doing anything but what Yeshua did. I know they think they are doing what He did, but they pick out the “nice” things from the Gospel record and then pervert them. This will become much more clear as you read on.

Now, a Sukkot birth launches a pattern within the feasts that carries through to the final two feasts to have a prophetic fulfillment in Yeshua’s life and ministry in the yet to come future. Consider this:

Sukkot, Yeshua is born where He came to tabernacle among us. Perhaps He was even born on the first day of the feast and circumcised on the eighth day connecting this covenant sign with the day of rejoicing in The Torah.

Pesach, Yeshua was crucified on The Passover where He would become Yah’s Passover Lamb, as referenced by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 5.

Unleavened Bread, While the Feast of Matzot is a seven day celebration where we refrain from eating leavened bread for the week, it was on the first day of this feast that Yeshua lay in the tomb. Matzot is often referred to as “the bread of affliction” and the significance is revealed as Yeshua was afflicted—just read Isaiah 53:5.

First Fruits, The first day of the week following The Sabbath Day during the overall Pesach week is The Day of First Fruits where the priest would wave the offering before Yah. It is also the day that Yeshua rose, most likely during what we would today call ‘Saturday’ evening following the sunset. Contrary to popular tradition, He did not rise from the tomb the following morning as Scripture plainly tells us it was nighttime when He rose. Paul also references this in 1 Corinthians 15:20 where He refers to Yeshua as the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Shavuot, As we have already seen through the record of the Aggadta DeShim’on Kefa, The Feast of Shavuot (or Pentecost) is associated with Yeshua’s ascension back to The Father. Additionally, it was on the day of this feast that The Ruach promised by Yeshua was poured out. Interestingly, as a side note, Shavuot celebrates when The Torah was given at Sinai and the Shavuot following the resurrection is where The Spirit that causes true covenant Believers to obey The Torah was given (see Ezekiel 36:27).

Yom Teruah, This is the first of two remaining feasts that are yet to be fulfilled in this pattern. It is the day when the shofar is blown one hundred times, concluding with a blast held as long as possible often referred to as the final trump. Does that sound familiar? Now, let me be clear that this is not any attempt to set a date. In fact, it is impossible to set a date of The Day of Shofars because it is the one feast that technically relies on the sighting of the new moon. While I do feel that modern celebration of biblical feasts are best kept according to the established dates commonly referred to as the Hillel II Calendar, prophetically this one feast cannot truly be dated and some even claim it is connected with the phrase no man will know the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32).

Yom Kippur, The final date on the prophetic timeline of the biblical feasts is The Day of Atonement. It would seem logical that this day when ancient Israel offered the atonement sacrifice each year that Yeshua would also perform the final action of His mission following His return.

Now, clearly there is always potential for such theories as these to be wrong, and that is why I emphasize that I am not setting dates or making actual predictions, but merely pointing out that there is a prophetic pattern in the feasts that appears to align with the major actions in the life of Yeshua—the virgin birth, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the ascension and outpouring of The Spirit. This would indicate that His return at the sound of the final blast of the shofar and His final act of atonement should also align with the remaining two feasts.

A good friend of mine in ministry, Brother Gary Simons of Triumph In Truth, often says that when “Christians” move The Sabbath Day or make it a concept where you can rest on whatever day fits your schedule they destroy the prophetic picture. There is a lot of truth to this as even the Millennium is essentially a Sabbath following six periods of one-thousand years each. So claiming that “Sunday” is a “Christian Sabbath” or saying that as long as you don’t work at least one day of a given week you are really destroying the prophetic picture of The Sabbath.

The same holds true for the biblical Feasts that all point to Yeshua and all align prophetically with His life, His mission, and the overall Gospel message. When “Christianity” divorced itself from the Hebraic foundations of Scripture and invented its own holidays, rejecting the biblical Holy Days as “Jewish”, it destroyed the prophetic picture of the Feasts. And so now I want to turn our attention to the other side of the coin regarding the matter of Yeshua’s birth.

Christianity’s ‘Other Jesus’

You seem so gullible: you believe whatever anyone tells you even if he is preaching about another Jesus than the one we preach, or a different spirit than the Holy Spirit you received, or shows you a different way to be saved. You swallow it all.

—2 Corinthians 11:4 (TLB)—

So, having established that it is not only a biblical impossibility for Yeshua to have been born on a winter date and that we can conclude with a good amount of certainty that He was born in conjunction with the biblical Feast of Sukkot, I have a question to ask: Who is this imposter that was born on December 25th (or January 6th, or some other biblically impossible winter date)?

The Bible literally warns us against any other Yeshua than the actual Messiah of Scripture, and yet the entire “Christian” world celebrates the birth of who they call “Jesus” on a date that we can know with absolute certainty is not the date of the birth of the real Yeshua. So, this really begs us to ask who exactly it is that “Christianity” is celebrating. After all, having established that Yeshua was absolutely not born in the winter also establishes that any “Jesus” whose birth is being celebrated in the middle of winter must be another “Jesus” than that preached by the apostles—the exact thing that the Paul said gullible people swallow as they do with all of religion’s lies.

We need to be real about this matter. This isn’t just a matter of semantics or a harmless tradition that has taken root. This is a matter of an outright lie, something that is absolutely not true and can be proven as such. Even if you hold to the weaker theory that Yeshua was born in the spring and are not convinced otherwise by the points I have shared, the evidence undeniably shows that He could not possibly have been born in the winter. And the Apostle’s warning is against any other “Jesus” than the Yeshua presented in The Bible. This is just that serious of a matter.

People debate over things like whether or not Christmas is a pagan holiday. Some are even being dishonest and formulating their own definitions of the word “pagan” in order to say it’s not, ignoring everything the most reputable dictionaries and word etymology sources say regarding this word and hand-picking one part of a definition from one resource and saying “this is how we are going to define the word pagan” in order to support their agenda to say Christmas is not pagan. I’ll be going deeper into this in another message, but for now I want to quickly go through a proper definition of the word pagan.

Pagan originates from a Latin word, paganus, which was a reference to peasants, country-dwellers, and perhaps even those outright deemed “the poor”. It became associated with polytheistic religion as a general term because this was considered the religion of the paganus (country-dwellers, peasants). Thus, as a reference to anything regarding religion the word pagan is a reference to a polytheistic religion. This is especially true to what this word meant during the time period Christmas first arrived on the scene in the fourth century—remember, for about the first 300 years of anything that can even remotely be labeled “Christianity” nobody knew of or celebrated Christmas, the feast of the nativity, or anything else anyone may want to call it. The only mid-winter religious festival we have record of early Believers keeping within the context of The Bible is Hanukkah.

Additionally, having reviewed many dictionaries, I can say with confidence that the word is also associated with the Wiccan religion and even includes worldliness, secularism, commercialism, and vanity as a part of what it means to be pagan. These are also all things associated with the overall celebration of Christmas. Ask the practitioners of the witchcraft religion of Wicca and they all lay claim to this holiday as belonging to them. Go to any shopping mall or retail store from about September through the middle of January and see how much worldliness, vanity, commercialism, secularism, etc. goes into the Christmas festival. These things are all included in the broader definition of the word pagan.

But some want us to believe that pagan should be defined as: “not acknowledging the God of Christianity and Judaism and Islam.” The idea seems to be that since Christmas is a “Christian” holiday then it clearly cannot be pagan because pagan means anything that is not “Christian”. When this was shared with me, I looked at the primary source that was being used to support this definition, a website called This is where I began to become deeply concerned with the level of deception I was seeing in this.

On this page the cited definition is the third potential definition and it is listed as defining pagan being used as an adjective. However, when we say things like Christmas is pagan or ask the question of whether or not Christmas is pagan we are using the term as a noun. Pagan is being used to define Christmas and those who celebrate it, not to describe them as an adjective would do. This would make it much more appropriate to use the first and primary definition of pagan found in practically all resources, which defines this term as a reference to a polytheistic religion.

Something else very troubling about the definition saying pagan means anything “not acknowledging the God of Christianity, Judaism, or Islam” is that it suggests that the god of Islam, Allah, is the same as The God of The Bible. This is very disturbing, and even more so that sincere people want to use this definition and it alone as the meaning they will give to the word pagan for the sole purpose of declaring Christmas to not be pagan.

From here I think it is appropriate to define the term “Christian”. While this term is overly perverted today, there is a true meaning that is most appropriate to consider. This is a compound word derived from the Greek Cristos and the Greek suffix ianos. Cristos is simply the Greek form of the Hebrew Mashiach (Messiah), which is commonly defined as “anointed one”. The suffix ianos designated one who was a slave. So, just as we see through the statements made in The Apostolic Writings of Scripture, Cristianos would properly be defined as: One who submits as a slave to Messiah Yeshua.

So this begs another important question: Properly defining what it means to be a Christian, can we say that Christmas is Christian? Properly defining what it means to be a “Christian”—one who is a submitted as a slave to Yeshua—the best biblical definition of the word comes from 1 John 2:6 where we are told we must walk as He walked. So, if being a “Christian” is defined as walking as He walked, maybe in order to properly determine if Christmas is pagan we should start by asking: Did Yeshua ever celebrate Christmas? Because if He did not celebrate it, as we know He did not, and for something to be “Christian” it must align with the way He walked, then we can no longer truly say Christmas is “Christian”. So even if we went this route, Christmas becomes pagan because it’s no longer “Christian” based on a proper definition of what it means to be “Christian”.

The fact is that the earliest valid reference to December 25th as a date to celebrate the birth of “Jesus” is a Roman calendar dated to 354 A.D., though the reference points back to date of 336 A.D. and the phrase: 25 Dec.: natus Christus in Betleem Judeae (25 Dec., Christ born in Bethlehem Judah). Prior to this the date of December 25th was deemed an important date in the old Roman religion in 45 B.C. under Julius Caesar as the official date of the winter solstice, in 200 A.D. on an inscription on the Calendar of Antiochus referring to the birth of Helios, and in 274 A.D. where the Emperor Aurelian established a cult to Helios, the sun, declaring December 25th as Dies Natalis Solis Invicti—The Birth of the Unconquered Sun. I will note that the first of these was set roughly four decades before Yeshua was even born. Also, the very same Roman document that mentions December 25th as the date of Yeshua’s birth also lists December 25th as the date of the festival honoring Sol Invictus where celebration games were ordered—but nobody ever wants to talk about that.

Typically the debate over whether or not Christmas is pagan looks at similarities and connections between the Roman Saturnalia festival, later influences from the Germanic-Norse Yule festival, or even claims that seek to connect it to Nimrod and ancient Babylonian religion. But if we properly define the words pagan and “Christian” we can look at the religion that started Christmas and easily conclude that Christmas absolutely is pagan because the religion that created it is absolutely pagan.

Christmas is a Roman Catholic holiday. I do not know anyone who will deny this. They might deny that the holiday originates from or was influenced by the Roman Saturnalia. They might say that influences from Yule came long after the holiday was established. But they will not deny that it is a creation of the Roman Catholic Church because there is not one shred of evidence to the contrary. The earliest reference to December 25th being associated with the birth of “Jesus” is a Roman Catholic source.

To add to this, the term Christmas originates from the term Cristes Maesse (Christ’s Mass), of which the earliest record is 1038 A.D. This solidifies that the term Christmas is wholly Roman Catholic. So then, let’s look at how Roman Catholicism is 100% pagan.

Again, I will be going into more detail in another message. However, just a brief overview of Roman Catholic treatment of “Saints” can tell us quite clearly that the Roman Catholic Church is a polytheistic religion—making it a pagan religion.

When you examine the characteristics of polytheistic religion there are five primary attributes given to their gods:

1. The gods are given some type of positional or territorial authority, such as the god of thunder, the god of the seas, the goddess of love, etc.

2. The gods have temples built to them.

3. The worshipers of the gods pray to them.

4. There are designated feast days held for the gods.

5. Statues of the gods are erected throughout the region of their worship.

In addition to these five characteristics, often there is a “chief deity” that is the primary god worshiped. Sometimes this “chief deity” is listed at the top of the pantheon of gods like Zeus/Jupiter in the Greek-Roman religion, sometimes it is a human figure ruling at the time like the Egyptian Pharaohs, and sometimes it is both (the reigning Caesar in Rome was often seen as a god in a manner similar to the Egyptian Pharaohs).

When we examine the Roman Catholic religion all of these characteristics are seen through the treatment of “Saints”, the position of “Jesus” as a “chief deity” and the position of The Pope as the Vicar of Christ. Roman Catholic “Saints” are given authority as “Patron Saints” over territories or aspects of life, statues are erected of them, Catholic Cathedrals are named for them, feast days are celebrated for them (think of things like “Saint Valentine’s Day” and “Saint Patrick’s Day”), and Roman Catholics pray to them. The Roman Catholic “Jesus” essentially becomes the “chief deity” in this pantheon of gods called “Saints”. That’s what what appears to have originally been called the feast of the nativity was, a pagan feast to the chief god of the religion.

You might ask when the Roman Catholic religion first started treating these “Saints” in a manner that parallels the treatment of gods in any other pagan religion. There are some records that vaguely allude to the practice earlier, but so far the earliest record I can find that undeniably shows the practice of praying to “Saints” and “The Virgin Mary” is in a writing titled Oration on Simeon and Anna by Methodius dated to 305 A.D. That’s roughly fifty years before the first undisputed record of December 25th being formally recognized as the date of Yeshua’s birth.

In this he says such things as, “Hail to thee for ever, thou virgin mother of God, our unceasing joy, for unto thee do I again return … Wherefore, we pray thee, the most excellent among women, who boastest in the confidence of thy maternal honours, that thou wouldest unceasingly keep us in remembrance. O holy mother of God, remember us, I say, who make our boast in thee, and who in hymns august celebrate the memory, which will ever live, and never fade away … do thou also, O honoured and venerable Simeon, thou earliest host of our holy religion, and teacher of the resurrection of the faithful, be our patron and advocate with that Saviour God, whom thou wast deemed worthy to receive into thine arms.”

This was written fifty years before what is considered the first known record of a feast of the nativity on December 25th, and it points to the idolatrous act of praying to Mary and “Saints” as well as referring to Simeon as patron. This point alone solidifies that the developing Roman Catholic religion was pagan when it established Christmas. And even if I come across an earlier record that is equally as conclusive, it is still established with this record alone that these people were venerating their “Saints” very likely long before they established what would become known as Christmas.

Look, this same Roman Catholic religion is also where anti-Torah and anti-Semite “Christian” beliefs were established. It is the religion that created what continues as today’s “not under the law” theology. It is the religion that set the foundation for horrendous acts in history like the crusades and the holocaust where millions of Jewish people were senselessly slaughtered—supposedly “in the name of Christ”. Leading up to the Nazi Third Reich under Hitler there were pogroms where Jewish people were tormented by professing “Christians” and the most popular days to conduct these were Christmas and Easter. To defend Christmas and to claim it’s “notpagan” is a defense of a religious system that has stood in total defiance of The Bible and God’s chosen people.

Christmas is pagan because Roman Catholicism is pagan—as are as Easter, Halloween (All Saint’s Day, All Hallow’s Eve), and any feast attributed to a Roman Catholic “Saint”. It doesn’t even matter if you can or cannot connect the dots and attribute the origins of Christmas to the Roman Saturnalia, the Germanic-Norse Yule, or even as some want to claim to ancient Babylonian religion. It doesn’t matter whether or not the traditions of today’s Christmas festivities were in any way influenced by pagan religious practices—of which there is a greater body of evidence than that connecting the origins of the holiday to paganism outside that of Roman Catholicism. The fact remains that Christmas is pagan because the Roman Catholic Church is pagan.

Many times I hear people use the old religious excuse: That’s not what it means to me. But here’s the thing—It doesn’t matter what it means to you. The Bible does not give you the authority to assign your own meaning to something pagan, something that is totally against The Bible, because you snapped your finger and redefined it and rebranded it and deemed it “not pagan”. It does quite the opposite, in fact. Passages like Deuteronomy 12:29-32, 18:9-12, 20:17-18 are very clear on what we should do—and not do, for that matter—with religious rites, practices, traditions, and festivals that originate with pagan religions. We are to have nothing to do with them. It doesn’t matter what you think it means to you. It matters what it means to your God and His Word. I know a lot of people don’t like preaching “fear”, but The Bible is quite clear that one day you will stand before God and He is going to tell you which of two possible destinations you will go to. It’s not the other way around. Try telling God on that day “but that’s not what it meant to me” and see what happens.

If you are a true Believer in Yah, The God of The Bible and The Creator of the universe, if you are a true follower of Yeshua the Messiah, and if you are a true recipient of The Ruach HaKodesh (God’s Spirit of Holiness) then you have no business participating in a pagan festival that honors “another Jesus than the one the apostles preached”. The “Jesus” of the Roman Catholic religion was born on a day that is 100% outside of the window of when The Bible tells us He was born and who is the “chief deity” in what is ultimately a pantheon of gods in a polytheistic religion—just because they call them “Saints” instead of gods does not change what they are.

2 Corinthians 6:17 gives us the apostolic charge to: come out from among them, and be separate. While I think it’s great that more and more people in “Christianity” are developing interest in things like keeping The Sabbath, following the biblical food laws, and celebrating The Father’s Feast Days, it is important to note that you are no more following Torah in these matters as those who still reject them if you have not first abandoned the ways of paganism. You are not honoring Messiah by celebrating His birth at the more appropriate time of The Feast of Tabernacles in the fall and then celebrating the birth of this “other Jesus” on December 25th with all the “Christians” who are still following the Roman Catholic system. You have to abandon the paganism—and biblical order says you are to do that first in order to be purified in spirit to celebrate God’s Holy Days.

We see this pattern in The Exodus where the people had to leave Egypt before they could enter The Promised Land. The first generation never got to see this Promised Land because they never truly left Egypt. They complained and murmured and talked about the good food they had in Egypt. We see this pattern in Acts 15 where the apostolic decree was that new Believers had to first abandon four practices that were associated with the pagan temples of Rome they were coming out of and then they would be prepared in their spirit to receive The Torah that was read in all of the Synagogues every Sabbath. And we see it in the bold declaration of Yeshua, John the Immerser, and all of the Apostles in the phrase: REPENT! For the Kingdom of God is at hand. You cannot do anything else in The Kingdom until you have truly repented—and repentance is where you abandon everything that is against The Bible to embrace what is endorsed in The Bible. Christmas is against The Bible, Sukkot is endorsed by and even commanded in The Bible. Do you see how that works? And we can apply this to so many things. Easter is against The Bible, Passover is endorsed by and commanded in The Bible. Eating what God said not to eat—starting with the first such act in Genesis 3—is against The Bible, following God’s food laws outlined in Leviticus 11 and Deuteronomy 14 are endorsed by and even commanded in The Bible.

It’s so simple, but the serpent’s lies are gripping. It’s no wonder Satan first appeared as a serpent, because one characteristic of many snakes is that they will wrap around their prey and begin to constrict it, suffocating the life out of it. The ways of the world are appealing but they are also constricting.

I get it. It’s hard to say “No!” to the holidays of Rome, especially Christmas. It’s hard to celebrate the biblical Feasts, including Hanukkah that embraces some of the not-so-pagan traditions like sharing gifts with friends and family while incorporating a lot of traditions that have great biblical significance. It’s hard to actually do what The Bible says and “be different” than all of the “Christians” who are hopping and skipping down that broad path of religion that Yeshua said will lead to destruction.

But if you will just put your foot down on the devil’s head and say “enough is enough” and make that determination that you are going to completely sell out to following Yeshua and His Torah lifestyle (Revelation 14:12) then The Father promises that He will put His Torah in your mind so it consumes your thoughts and write His Torah on your heart so it drives your passions (Jeremiah 31:32, Hebrews 8:10) and follow that up by putting His Spirit in you that will cause you to obey His Laws (Ezekiel 36:26-27). Once that happens what seemed difficult becomes easy, what seemed impossible to do is suddenly impossible to not do.

Just as it has always been, just as in Eden there was a choice between two trees, just as God said he sets before us life and death, and we get to choose, we are given two choices of festivals: Those of the world and those of The Word. Which will you choose?

—Blessings And Shalom—

©2021 Truth Ignited Ministry

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