Are you on the Lord's side?
Have you been set free from Egypt (the world)? Were you once a slave to sin but now you have become a follower of Jesus Christ, someone who is on their way to the Promised Land (heaven)? Have you left behind all of the "trappings" of your old life and are you now trusting in the Lord, obedient to His direction and commands, and sensitive that you do not do those things that would be offensive to God Almighty?
What if your church or family or friends said to you, "Hey, let's make a golden calf in commemoration to all that God has done for us." And then after they fashioned their golden calf, they took it and placed it on an altar and then announced, "Tomorrow let's make a feast to the Lord. We will rise up early and offer burnt offerings and peace offerings (presents) here at this golden calf altar. And then we will eat and drink and enjoy each other's company"? Would you go along with the activities? Sure, it's a ritual that has pagan origins and similarities, but you are devoting your feast to the Lord and doing it in His honor. So what do you say? Are you in? Would you go along with your church, your family, and your friends? Of course you would not. Right?
Well, there was a group of people who long ago were faced with this very scenario. They were the Israelites whom God had led out of captivity in Egypt. They were on their way to the Promised Land. All they had to do was trust and obey God, and He was going to do great and mighty things in their lives.
But there came a time when someone came up with the bright idea of making a golden calf (Exodus 32:1-4). The Israelites had previously been taught God's command that they were not to make graven images nor bow down to them nor serve them (Exodus 20:4-5), but they were planning on doing it anyway. They had witnessed with their own eyes the wickedness of Egypt with its false gods and pagan religious rituals, yet here they were emulating the very people whom God was trying to separate and set them free from.
It is true that they tried to "clean up" and make holy what they were about to do by offering the calf and festivities to the Lord. The bible reads, "And when Aaron saw it [the golden calf], he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, Tomorrow is a feast to the Lord. And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play." (Exodus 32:5-6) But do you think God wanted their pagan-inspired calf? Do you think God said, "Well, they scratched off Molech's name and replaced it with my name, so that makes it all right"? Of course not! God was not pleased at all. Let's read just how unpleased God was with the Israelites for doing this thing:
Exodus 32:7-8, "And the Lord said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves: They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them: they have made them a molten calf, and have worshipped it, and have sacrificed thereunto, and said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which have brought thee up out of the land of Egypt." Yes, God was most certainly unpleased with this "act of worship." The Israelites were trying to exchange the truth of God for a lie, and they were trying to fit true holy worship and devotion into some satanic world-inspired worship, and God wanted to have nothing to do with it or them! God said that the people had corrupted themselves in doing this thing.
Now, you may be sitting there saying, "Well, I would have never taken part in something like that anyway. I know better." Do you? Are you sure you haven't already been doing this very same thing?
As I was reading this bible account in Exodus, I was struck with how similar these actions by the Israelites are to something that Christians around the world do every year. Christians take something that they know has evil origins, satanic beginnings, and pagan roots, and they change the name of it around, tack on a couple sweet-sounding platitudes, and proclaim that "It's a day of honor to the Lord." What am I talking about? I'm talking about the yearly celebration of Christmas.
The origins of "Christmas" and the traditions of it are widely known by the world to have derived from the pagan Romans and their "Feast of Saturnalia" in honor of their god Saturn. Everything from gift exchanging, evergreen trees, mistletoe, tree decorating, yule logs, and holly and ivy traces back to this satanic ritual the early Romans practiced. The pagan festival was celebrated December 17th - 24th, culminating on the 25th with a new celebration. If you don't believe me, look in any Encyclopedia. Or even just type in the words, "Christmas Origins" on the internet, and you will find this information out for yourself. (You can also go here to read all of this history in depth).
And Christians everywhere have picked up right where the Romans left off, without skipping a beat. Yes, in spite of having knowledge of Christmas' sordid beginnings, stiffnecked, rebellious Christians insist on doing just like the Israelites, and they turn this golden calf from Satan himself into something they worship as unto the Lord.
Friend, you might think that your Christmas carols and candle-lit services and nativity scenes are paying homage to God, but those things are noise and so much rubbish. All of it is truly offensive to the very One you claim to be honoring.
And it doesn't matter if the WHOLE congregation, or EVERY member of your family, or ALL of the people that you know are participating in some kind of Christmas celebration, that still does not make it right. God wants us to live holy, righteous, obedient lives. He doesn't want us caught up in mass ignorance and idolatry. If you put a pig in a tuxedo, you still have a pig. And if you take that which is dung and set it in a box and gift wrap it, it still is dung, AND IT STILL STINKS! You cannot make what is unholy holy, and God does not want that which has been offered to devils given to Him as homage. The Lord didn't want Israel's golden calf, and He doesn't want your "Jesus is the reason for the season" nonsense!
Furthermore, we are not given ANY information on the specific day of Jesus' birth, NOR are we told to pay special tribute or to acknowledge or celebrate any birthday for the Lord. But we ARE told to be separate and apart from the world. We ARE told to not do those things that the heathen do. We ARE told to hate evil, (not to emulate it).
2 Corinthians 6:16-18, "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate; saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty."
Jeremiah 10:2, "Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen..."
Judges 2:2, "And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?"
Ephesians 5:11, "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
Psalm 97:10, "Ye that love the Lord, hate evil."
1 Corinthians 10:21, "Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils."
Christian man or woman, are you going to continue to give that which is unholy to God? The truth is out there if you want to learn it and have an open heart to receive it. You can hold on to your man-made, Satan-inspired traditions, or you can be set free from following the blind and repent of this golden calf worship. Which are you going to do?
Let's end this where we started, with the Israelites, and see what God said and did to them because of their folly.
Exodus 32:9-10, "And the Lord said unto Moses, I have seen this people, and, behold, it is a stiffnecked people: Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation."
God was so displeased with the Israelites and their "strange fire" and abominable offering that He was ready to destroy them. Fortunately for them, God did not kill them all. But they were taught a lesson, their idol was destroyed, and some of them who would not repent of this sin were killed.
Exodus 32:19-20, "And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount. And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it in the fire, and ground it to powder, and strowed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it."
Exodus 32:26-28, "Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who is on the Lord's side? let him come unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, and go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour. And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men."
As we just read, the sons of Levi saw the error of their ways. They were willing to repent of their sin of worshipping the golden calf, come forth from the masses, and even be used to slay those whom the Lord directed them to slay, be it brother, companion, or neighbor. By their actions they showed whose side they wanted to be on, which was the Lord's side. They were not trying to play both sides of the field.
The Israelites had sinned a great sin by making themselves a god of gold. People today sin a great sin by trying to pretend that something that is thoroughly pagan is in honor of the True and Only Living God. Will you be like the sons of Levi and come out from amongst this adulterous generation, lift up your sword (The Word of God), and "kill" in your home and in your life all traces of this abomination called Christmas? Or will you transgress the commandment of God by your traditions and cleave unto your abominations out of sentimentality and stubbornness?
Come out from among them, and be ye separate!!
Who is on the Lord's side? Let him come unto me.
(I would encourage you to also find out the true facts regarding Easter and its pagan origin. You can go here for that information. And if you would like to know why no Christian should participate in Halloween traditions, please go here.)