From the article: What’s the Big Deal About Christmas?
At the Bible study I mentioned from some years back, I set before the men the origins of the various practices and symbols related to Christmas and Easter. I will not repeat them all here. The information is available in a number of my writings. I particularly recommend the series titled Syncretism.
I asked the men at the end of the Bible study if they understood what had been presented to them, and if they agreed that the rites and symbols of Christmas and Easter had arisen from unclean sources. They all responded affirmatively. They admitted that the evidence was quite plain. The following week I was preparing for the next Bible study when the Spirit of Christ spoke to me quite plainly. He indicated that I was to ask the men what they were planning to do with the truths presented to them the previous week. We had just observed Thanksgiving. Christmas was a few weeks away. Yahweh instructed me to ask the men if they were going to continue to observe this holiday with all of its idolatrous and unclean practices and origins. The Spirit of Christ told me that if the men were not going to act upon the truth presented to them the week before that I was not to give them any more truth.
There are times when the Spirit speaks to me something that I know will be controversial, and will likely result in some emotional response. When I see the weight of some situation like this looming before me I feel stirred up in spirit and it is my habit to begin pacing back and forth while praying earnestly. This is what I gave myself to that day. I was stirred up in spirit by what the Lord was communicating to me. My heart’s desire was to faithfully represent God, being obedient to His command. At the same time, I had some trepidation as I considered how these men might respond.
When I arrived at the Bible study I began by asking the question the Spirit had placed upon my heart. I repeated my questions from the previous week, asking the men if they agreed that what was presented to them was true. They again affirmed that it was. I then asked if any of them were changing their plans regarding Christmas. The answer was “no.” (Two of the men, the elderly host and his grandson, had already quit observing Christmas, being aware of the holiday’s unclean origins.) One man who was present had a wife and daughters. He expressed how it would cause much strife in his home for him to choose to no longer observe the Christmas holiday. This man loved his wife and daughters and wanted to make them happy. Like Solomon, he chose to appease those family members he loved, rather than to honor God by his obedience.
Yahshua said that if we follow Him as disciples we will come into strife with the members of our own households. He declared this to be part of the cost of being His disciple. All who would follow Him must count the cost and embrace it.
“If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost, to see if he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’”
“Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
As soon as I heard the answer from these men, I announced what the Spirit of Christ had told me. I informed them that I could not continue the Bible study with them. Yahweh would not permit me to deliver to them more truth if they were unwilling to walk in the truth already presented to them. The man who had the headache the week before was the one who spoke of fearing the reaction of his wife and daughters. It was reported to me by the host and his grandson that after I left, this man became quite angry. Nevertheless, it is a principle of God that those who are faithful with the truth already given to them will be given more truth. Those who are unfaithful are in danger of losing even the truth they have already received (Matthew 25:14-30).
“Therefore take away the talent from him, and give it to the one who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has shall more be given, and he shall have an abundance; but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.”
“I tell you, that to everyone who has shall more be given, but from the one who does not have, even what he does have shall be taken away.”
What do you think the behavior of this man will be in future days when he is faced with a decision to honor God and suffer, or to please his wife and daughters? Will he choose Yahweh over his family? The cost of obedience to Christ is not likely to decrease in the days ahead. Is it reasonable to conclude that men and women who will not pay the cost of discipleship now, who reject the cross of Christ, who will not obey the truth when to do so is costly, will prove willing to die as martyrs in the days ahead? Will those who refuse to die daily in the multitude of decisions and tests that God brings to them, suddenly find within themselves the resolve to glorify Yahweh in an hour of great persecution?