What if I told you that, scripture says, if you celebrate Christmas and Easter, you are breaking the second commandment? Would you believe me? Would you be willing to test your theology? What if I told you that the same goes for Valentine’s Day, Lent, Ash Wednesday, Halloween, and a number of other celebrations?
Lets look at the words of Yeshua.
36 “Teacher, which is the great command in the Torah?”
37 And יהושע said to him, “ ‘You shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the first and great command.
Now, what did Yeshua quote here?
4 “Hear, O Yisra’ĕl: יהוה our Elohim, יהוה is one!
5 “And you shall love יהוה your Elohim with all your heart, and with all your being, and with all your might.
So, Yeshua quotes from the Old Testament, the Torah (the instructions given by Father on how to live our lives), and gives the typical answer. Every Jew in His time, and today, knows that this is the greatest command. Now, lets see what else is said in this same book, the book of Deuteronomy.
28 “Guard, and obey all these words which I command you, that it might be well with you and your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the eyes of יהוה your Elohim.
29 “When יהוה your Elohim does cut off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land,
30 guard yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire about their mighty ones, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their mighty ones? And let me do so too.’
31 “Do not do so to יהוה your Elohim, for every abomination which יהוה hates they have done to their mighty ones, for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their mighty ones.
32 “All the words I am commanding you, guard to do it – do not add to it nor take away from it.
Here is verse 31 in another translation (ESV):
31 You shall not worship the Lord your God in that way, for every abominable thing that the Lord hates they have done for their gods, for they even burn their sons and their daughters in the fire to their gods.
So, Father clearly says that He does not want us to worship Him in the way that the nations worship their gods. Is this not correct? Is this not what He is saying? But wait, there is more. Not only, is Father saying that we must not worship Him like the nations does, but He is very specific in the way He wants us to worship Him.
So, what does this have to do with the second commandment? Well, lets ask ourselves, if we look at the two commandments of Yeshua, Love Elohim, and love your neighbour, what does it mean to love Elohim? How do we love Elohim? Well, the 10 commandments gives us four clues.
1. You shall have no other gods beside me
2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image or any other image, and bow down to it
3. You shall not make the Name of your Elohim come to nothing
4. Remember the Sabbath day, and keep it holy
Now, what exactly are the specific rules with regards to making a carved image. Are we to not make any carved image? Are we allowed to Worship YHWH via the carved image (i.o.w. not another god, but YHWH). We need more information. We cannot know all of what we need to know, with just the 10 commandments. Well, thankfully, Father’s Torah gives us a bit more insight. Lets look at a story in scripture, which you are all very familiar with.
Exodus 32 – The Golden Calf
1 And when the people saw that Mosheh was so long in coming down from the mountain, the people gathered together to Aharon, and said to him, “Arise, make us mighty ones who go before us. For this Mosheh, the man who brought us up out of the land of Mitsrayim, we do not know what has become of him.”
The people got impatient with Moses being on the mountain, and wondered if he perhaps died while on the mountain with YHWH. They then came to Aaron, and asked him to make them gods to go up before them.
2 And Aharon said to them, “Take off the golden earrings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.”
3 “And all the people took off the golden earrings which were in their ears, and brought them to Aharon.
4 And he took this from their hand, and he formed it with an engraving tool, and made a moulded calf. And they said, “This is your mighty one, O Yisra’ĕl, that brought you out of the land of Mitsrayim!”
5 And Aharon saw and built an altar before it. And Aharon called out and said, “Tomorrow is a festival to יהוה.”
We can clearly see here, that Aaron made this calf as a representation of YHWH, not as a replacement for Him. The calf was to be an “intercessor” for them, not a different God altogether. They were worshipping YHWH in a way that He did not command. They were worshipping Him, possibly, in the way that the Egyptians worshipped their gods, whom they have spent 430 years with.
What was their punishment? What was Father’s words to them?
9 And יהוה said to Mosheh, “I have seen this people, and see, it is a stiff-necked people!
10 “And now, let Me alone, that My wrath might burn against them and I consume them and I make of you a great nation.”
Does this look like an EL (God) that has only love for the Israelites? Does this look like an EL who does not care how they worshipped Him? To me, this looks like an EL that very much care how He is worshipped. Remember, they didn’t worship another god. They worshipped YHWH, through the calf!
Then Moshe went down the mountain, and he punished them.
20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burned it in the fire, and ground it into powder, and scattered it on the face of the water and made the children of Yisra’ĕl drink it.
26 And Mosheh stood in the entrance of the camp, and said, “Who is for יהוה? Come to me.” And all the sons of Lĕwi gathered themselves to him.
27 And he said to them, “Thus said יהוה Elohim of Yisra’ĕl: ‘Each one put his sword on his side, pass over to and fro from gate to gate in the camp, and each one slay his brother, and each one his friend, and each one his relative.’ ”
28 And the sons of Lĕwi did according to the word of Mosheh. And about three thousand men of the people fell that day.
29 And Mosheh said, “You are ordained for יהוה today – since each one has been against his son and his brother – so as to bring upon you a blessing today.”
Moshe was pretty angry with them, not? He asked the Levites to kill their own relatives, their own brothers, neighbours, friends, with the sword. They went in and killed the first 3000 people they saw! Does this look like an EL who does not care how we worship Him!? No! This Elohim of ours, He is a jealous EL! He cares what we do! He cares how we worship Him!
To make matters worse, Father is so angry with them, that He refuses to go with them, in their midst and sent a plague on them, killing even more of them.
34 “And now, go, lead the people to the place of which I have spoken to you. See, My Messenger goes before you. And in the day of My visitation I shall visit their sin upon them.”
35 And יהוה plagued the people because they made the calf, which Aharon made.
2 “And I shall send My Messenger before you, and I shall drive out the Kena‛anite and the Amorite and the Ḥittite and the Perizzite and the Ḥiwwite and the Yeḇusite,
3 to a land flowing with milk and honey. For I do not go up in your midst because you are a stiff-necked people, lest I consume you on the way.”
4 And when the people heard this evil word, they mourned, and no one put on his ornaments.
5 And יהוה said to Mosheh, “Say to the children of Yisra’ĕl, ‘You are a stiff-necked people. Should I go up in your midst for one moment I shall consume you. And now, take off your ornaments, and I shall know what to do to you.’ ”
6 So the children of Yisra’ĕl took off their ornaments at Mount Ḥorĕḇ.
So, here we see very clearly that Father cares very deeply about how we are to worship Him. We are not to worship Him like the nations do!
But this is not all. There is another instance, not long after this, where someone didn’t worship Him the way He instructed. And this time, there was no warning, just judgement.
1 And Naḏaḇ and Aḇihu, the sons of Aharon, each took his fire holder and put fire in it, and put incense on it, and brought strange fire before יהוה, which He had not commanded them.
2 And fire came out from יהוה and consumed them, and they died before יהוה.
3 Then Mosheh said to Aharon, “This is what יהוה spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me let Me be set-apart! And before all the people let Me be esteemed!’ ” And Aharon was silent.
4 And Mosheh called to Misha’ĕl and to Eltsaphan, the sons of Uzzi’ĕl the uncle of Aharon, and said to them, “Come near, take your brothers from before the set-apart place out of the camp.”
5 So they came near and took them by their long shirts out of the camp, as Mosheh had said.
6 And Mosheh said to Aharon, and to El‛azar and to Ithamar, his sons, “Do not unbind your heads nor tear your garments, lest you die, and wrath come upon all the people. But let your brothers, all the house of Yisra’ĕl, bewail the burning which יהוה has kindled.
7 “And do not go out from the door of the Tent of Meeting, lest you die, for the anointing oil of יהוה is upon you.” And they did according to the word of Mosheh.
Now, I’m not going to go into the pagan origins of Easter and Christmas, Valentines Day and Lent, or Halloween. You can study this for yourselves. A quick google search can very quickly give you all the information you need. I’ll post a short video about the origins of Easter at the bottom, which you can look at.
My brothers and sisters in Messiah. The time is short. Stop worshipping our Creator in a way that He has not specified. Stop celebrating these pagan festivals, and start celebrating the festivals that He commands us to keep (Leviticus 23). Repent, my brothers and sisters! Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand, even at the door! Do not be asleep any longer. Awake! The dawn is here.
Shalom, my brothers and sisters. I hope this was edifying to you. Continue to study the scriptures and search this out for yourselves.
Here is the short Easter origins video. Full version below that.