Why Christmas? Why do people observe it? What keeps Christmas going? The Plain Truth about Christmas. It will open your eyes. At this season of the year there is a phenomenon that is playing a big part in your life and the lives of other people all over this world. I refer to the phenomenon of Christmas.
Why Christmas? Why do people observe it? Why does it occupy such a great portion of their life and their life interest? Why is the attention centered on it almost wholly for at least a month prior to Christmas? One month out of the year and many people are spending much time in the eleven months previous to that in thinking about and planning for Christmas. Their Christmas savings plans all kinds of this in planning for it.
People seldom stop to inquire in retrospect why they believe the things they believe, why they do the things they do. They don't know how they came to believe what they do.
You might think about that some time. How did you come to believe the things you believe? How did they find lodgment in your mind? You have convictions. You would argue to uphold your own ideas your convictions, but how did you come to those convictions. How do you know that you are right and the other one is wrong?
We all have ideas and many of us are like sheep. You might say, sheep going to the slaughter. One follows another and doesn't know where he is going and why he is going that way and that's about like most people are. We're just like dumb sheep and we go along because the crowd does and we don't know why.
Well you'd be surprised at some of the answers. What keeps Christmas going? Does is celebrate the birth day of Christ? Did the early church observe it? Did the apostles observe it in the first century church of God? Does the Bible teach it?
You'll be surprised to find that the Bible says nothing about it whatsoever. That you can't even tell when was the birth of Christ. The Bible nowhere gives us an idea except that it had to be and could not have been in the winter. It could not have been anywhere near December 25th. It had to be not later than the early or mid-autumn.
But what keeps it going? It is the advertising of merchants. That is what keeps newspapers going. That is what keeps television and radio going. That's what keeps the magazines going is the advertising. It's the commercialism and commercialism is a means of getting your money, of wanting profit. A commercial proposition of what can we get and that is what is keeping it alive.
I'd like to read you just a few headlines that have been appearing in newspapers this season of the year. Here's a headline, "A midst holiday good-will police predict a record crime spree at this time of year," supposedly the time of peace and good-will. Yule shop-lifting will cost merchants five hundred million dollars. People steeling merchandise at that time of the year so they can give Christmas presents.
Christmas may be the season to be jolly, but many people just grow despondent. Sadness is most prevalent at Christmas, psychiatrist says. At Christmas time is supposed to the time of peace and good-will.
Another headline, "Christ is forgotten at Christmas time." As I said it did not appear into the Christian religion for three hundred years after Christ in the fourth century.
But before I go on with that I want to show you a booklet that I would like to have you write in for and receive gratis, no charge whatsoever, no request for contributions whatsoever, "The Plain Truth About CHRISTMAS." There are many facts here I won't have time to give them to you on this program, but if you would like to know the origin of it, how it was observed up to two thousand years before Christ, what it was called then, where people got it, all of the truth about it. It's an eye opening booklet that will really astound you. It's really astonishing very few people know why they do what they do. At least it would be interesting to know why you're doing it. Write in for this booklet, "The Plain Truth About CHRISTMAS." We'll be happy to send it to you immediately.
Now I have another booklet and then I want to also give a year's subscription to, "The Plain Truth," magazine. We just want to give were not out to get. So I'll announce those things at the close of this program.
But now let me give you a few facts on this program.
First, Christmas does not celebrate the birthday of Christ. As I said He was not born at that time of year and there's nothing in the Bible about it. In fact the Bible shows that only pagans ever celebrated birthdays rather in the Bible we are told to celebrate the death of Christ not the birth of Christ.
The Passover or the Eucharist or the Lords Supper as the different churches call it, celebrates the death of Christ not the birth. You'd be surprised at some of those things.
It was observed long before the time of Christ. It was a pagan holiday and this booklet I mentioned will tell you how it came into the Christian religion and why people are doing it and how just merchandizing and the pursuit of bigger profits and to get your money is keeping it going because advertising is the thing that keeps newspapers and magazines and radio and television going. It's all a commercial scheme that's the kind of world we live in and we might as well wake up to it.
Back To The Beginning Now we need to go back to the very beginning to learn where it really started and the original cause and how we came to have the kind of world that we do and therein lays the mystery of all the world that you're living in today. A world of great paradox.
First, you're living in a modern world today of awesome progress, awesome accomplishment. As I have said time and again sending men to the moon and back today. Getting photographs in from close up, from right on the surface of Mars, Saturn and Jupiter.
The awesome things of the jet plane. We're living in a time of awesome progress, but appalling crime, appalling evils and troubles and problems that the world seems unable to solve. We can't seem to solve our problems. We're living in a world of discontent. A world of unhappiness. A world where about half of this world is living in abject poverty, filth and squalor and where hundreds and thousands are actually starving to death week by week and month by month in this world.
Why in a world of such technology and a world of such progress should we have such a condition among humanity? How do we come to be here on the earth? Where are we going? What's life all about? What is the purpose? What lies ahead?
You know people don't seem to understand. Have you ever been interested in how you came to be on the earth? How did human beings come to be here? Let me tell you, we were put here and for a purpose. Science doesn't know, they will never tell you. Religion doesn't know and won't tell you. Education is not teaching it and you'll never learn it in any college or University, but it all begins in your Bible with the creation of man and you'll read back in the very beginning how we came to be on the earth.
It says in the first verse of the Bible, (Genesis 1:1) "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Now the word for God was written by Moses and he wrote in the Hebrew language it's translated into the English word God, but Moses wrote the word Elohim and Elohim is a uni-plural meaning more than one person, but one God. Only one God, but the word is like family only one family, but there can many members of that family, but it's only one family.
Let Us Make Man In Our Image You can have one team an athletic team, but there will be anywhere from two or three to five or nine or eleven members on the team, but it's one team never the less.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now in verse 26 of that same first chapter of Genesis we find (Genesis 1:26); God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness."
That's after God had created land, animals beside fish and birds and other kinds of life. Each after its own kind, but now He said, Let Us make man after Our kind, after Our image, after Our likeness. Man was made after the God kind and man was made to have a relationship with God that animals cannot have.
However, strange enough we read in the second chapter of Genesis and verse seven (Genesis 2:7) "that the Lord God made man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breathe of life and man, made from the dust of the ground became a living soul." Not an immortal soul, but the dust of the ground became a soul. A soul then is made from the dust of the ground and is mortal and not immortal.
Man was made to have only chemical existence, a temporary chemical existence. What is the life within you? The life in you is the blood that is circulating in your veins. The life in you is the breath that you breathe and it's called the breath of life. Without breathing you won't be alive five minutes. You might try it sometime, you stop your breath you won't live five minutes and we all have to be fed with food and water that all comes out of the ground. It's just earth, earthy. We're all material. We do not have life. God formed man of the dust of the ground. God did not form man with life inherent.
Now we read in the Bible that God is a Spirit. God has immortality, immortal life. God has life inherent, self-containing life. God doesn't have to have a heart pumping blood to live. He doesn't have to breathe air to live. He doesn't have to eat food and drink water to live. Although we find that God can eat food and enjoy it, but He doesn't need it to exist.
Now then, when God created man He put him in the Garden of Eden that God had made. A very beautiful garden it's sometimes called paradise, but in that garden there were in the midst of it two symbolic trees. One is called, "The Tree of Life."
As I said a moment ago God created man with only a temporary chemical, materialistic existence. You're gonna live so long your life's gonna run down just like a clock wound up running down and when it runs down if you can't rewind it isn't going to go on running any longer and that's the way with your life. Only when you're life really runs down you can't wind it up again as you could a clock. You ever think of that?
Life however was offered to the first man, Adam. In that Garden of Eden there were two symbolic trees in the midst of the garden. One was called, "The Tree of Life." Now the other was really the tree of death because it is called, "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil," but it was only materialistic knowledge that a man could acquire with his own brain and the spirit in him with his own mind. With a human mind which can acquire knowledge that an animal cannot acquire because the spirit in man, but he was going to run down and die unless life was imparted to him.
Now the Tree of Life simply meant the Holy Spirit of God. The Spirit of life from God that would have impregnated him with immortal life would of imparted God life to him. He was made to become like God. He was made in the form and shape of God. That's the way you were born my friends and it's time we wake up and realize the purpose of life, the meaning of life. Why we're here on the earth. Where we're going and what is the way of life and what is the cause of all the troubles in life today. We need to realize that.
So one was the Tree of Life and the other was The Tree of Death so to speak. The Tree of Death was really called, "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." That was self-produced knowledge that man with his own mind power could produce and that limited man to physical materialistic knowledge, but the Tree of Life also was the tree of knowledge. If he had taken of that tree God would have revealed revealed knowledge to the man, spiritual knowledge.
Now there are two kinds of knowledge, one is materialistic. That enables to deal with the things out of the earth. Man can do great things with things out of the earth. He can deal with matter, but man does not know how to deal with his neighbor and with other people and man was made to have a relationship with God and he needs to know how to live with God.
God would've given the revealed spiritual knowledge and spiritual knowledge would teach him how to live with God in harmony and peace with God. Now God is not only the creator. God is the great giver of every good and worthwhile gift. All comes from God and God's way of life is giving. His way of life is giving. Now that is just my term for love, also another four letter word l-o-v-e. That is the law of God it is the spiritual law that tells you how to live at peace with God and at peace and harmony with your neighbor each contributing to the others welfare. Each helping the other and we both get more than when we tear one another down and each one trying to destroy the other and take from the other. That is what human beings have been doing.
Man Had to Make a Choice Now that first man had to make a choice. Which way would he go? If he decided to just acquire human acquirable knowledge with just what he had physically, which would limit him to physical materialistic knowledge and resented or resisted the revealed knowledge of God, he was going to die and that is what man chose.
He rejected the revealed knowledge of God. He rejected the knowledge of how to get along with his neighbor. He rejected the knowledge of how to have the right relationship with his maker, his God, and so what did God do as a result of that?
As you read in the third chapter of Genesis and beginning with verse 22 (Genesis 3:22); the Lord God said, "now lest he put forth his hand also and take of the tree of life and eat and live forever. Therefore the Eternal God sent the man forth from the Garden of Eden. So He drove out the man from the Garden of Eden and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubim's and a flaming sword which turned every way to keep the way of the tree of life."
God shut off the Holy Spirit or the tree of life from mankind until Christ the second Adam should come. Now we read in the Bible that Christ was called the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of the world.
When Adam made that decision that was at the time of the foundation of the world and from that time it was already made in heaven. The compact that Christ was to be born as a human being. Born so He could die. Born human as well as God. He was both God and man. Born of the virgin, Mary, but He was the Son of God and He was also God in the human flesh, but He was subject to death and when He came and lived the perfect life and never committed one sin and the wages of sin is death and sin is the transgression of God's law and God's law is simply the way of love. Love to God love to neighbor.
I call it the way of give and I call the way of sin the way of get. Man wants to get and he's out to get and that's what's keeping Christmas alive. The effort of everyone to get and to sell merchandise. That's the kind of world you live in. Everyone is out to get what he can get from others. Everyone wants what he can enjoy and just what he can accumulate and what he can have and what he can enjoy and that's the kind of world we live in.
Today the Holy Spirit has been open to man. You know it's prophesied in the prophesy of Joel the second chapter and in verse 28 (Joel 2:28); "that the days would come when God would pour out His Holy Spirit upon all flesh" and God is calling many to receive the Spirit of God and receive the gift of immortal life today and receive His Holy Spirit which will open the mind to comprehend spiritual knowledge and the way to get along with your neighbor and the way to have a companionship with God a relationship with your own maker. God is in fact reproducing Himself in human beings.
He will impart God life to us and that's only an impregnation you're not born again. You've seen programs on this particular program recently about what it is to be born again. Very few understand that. We can be begotten now in this life.
If you want to know write in for our free booklet, "Just What Do You Mean... Born Again?"
Only Jesus Christ has ever been really born again and He had never sinned. He didn't even need to die, but He died for you and for me. He was born again by resurrection from the dead and that's the only way you can be born again is by resurrection from the dead.
I want you to understand this thing, the first man made the decision to go by physical acquired knowledge humanly materialistic acquired knowledge. Man has done the thing that seemed right in his own eyes. Man has devised his own kind of governments. Man has devised his own ideas of what is right and wrong.
Man doesn't know right from wrong he only thinks he does. It is God's law His spiritual law that tells us what is right and what is wrong and sin is the transgression of that law and the law is spiritual not physical. The law of God doesn't tell you how to build an air plane. It doesn't tell you how to build or operate an automobile. Man can learn that without the spirit of God, but he can't learn how to get along with his neighbor. Husband and wife to get along together and all of the other things and nation to get along with nation and we simply do not do it.
Man Invented Christmas Now Christmas is one of the things that men have invented by their own acquired knowledge. Man leaning to his own understanding trying to create his own ideas of life, you would be surprised.
I want again offer you this booklet, "The Plain Truth About CHRISTMAS," "The Plain Truth About CHRISTMAS" and it will give you facts that I don't have time to give you here and it could be rather boring to give you all the facts from encyclopedias, from histories and all that sort of thing, but their facts and not superstitions and not ideas, but actual facts.
There's another booklet that I mentioned recently that I would like you to have and I mentioned a few things about that and the two trees. The tree of life and the tree of death it's a booklet called, "Never before Understood... Why Humanity cannot Solve its Problems or its Evils." People cannot solve their problems their evils and there's a reason. Never before understood no one has ever understood that truth before it's an amazing eye opening booklet. I ask you to write for those booklets and also we would like to give you a free subscription to "The Plain Truth" magazine, one of the world's great mass circulation magazines with a circulation of around 4 million subscribers that have subscribed on their own initiative because they want the magazine and re-subscribe.
Now in the December number, I hope you can get that number, is an article, "CHRISTMAS 2,000 Years Before Christ," "CHRISTMAS 2,000 Years Before Christ." There's an article on Christmas in this December 1981 number of The Plain Truth just out as I have it now and you may here this a little later, but write in for it and we'll send you this issue of The Plain Truth and also the booklet "The Plain Truth About CHRISTMAS" and also this booklet "Never before Understood... Why Humanity cannot Solve its Evils its Problems." You've never read a booklet like it.
You've never read the truth about Christmas that I know of. I don't know of anyone else that has published it. It will open your eyes. Are you afraid of the truth? Well write in and get it. Of course do with it whatever you decide to do with it that's up to you.
I just want to give you the facts. I just want to give you the truth. I'm not trying to tell you what to do. I'm not asking you for money. I'm asking you to just receive. I want to give, not get. I would like to give you these booklets and there's no subscription price incidentally for The Plain Truth magazine. It's one of the world's great mass circulation magazines. It's published in 5 different languages and has circulated worldwide. Now all you do, write for this and ask for this booklet on Christmas the Plain Truth also the booklet, "Never before Understood."
Now send your request to me, Herbert W Armstrong, Pasadena, California, 91123. Herbert W Armstrong, Pasadena, California, 91123 or why don't you just go to the telephone right now and save writing a letter. A toll free call, the call is free area code 800-423-4444. Now jot that down and go to the telephone immediately before you do anything else and call area code 800-423-4444 or for those in California, Alaska and Hawaii you call collect. We'll pay for the call 213-577-5555. Now that is collect 213-577-5555.
So until next time this is Herbert W Armstrong. Goodbye friends.
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