Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 9:6 (CJB)
6 For a child is born to us,
a son is given to us;
dominion will rest on his shoulders,
and he will be given the name:
- Pele-Yo‘etz ( Wonder of a Counselor)
- El Gibbor ( Mighty God)
- Avi-‘Ad ( Father of Eternity)
- Sar-Shalom (Prince of Peace),
This is prophecy . . .
This is prophecy about the coming Messiah . . .
This is prophecy about the coming King . . .
This is about “Salvation” . . .
Do you know what the Hebrew word for Salvation is?
Let’s look at the following verses about Salvation:
Psalm 62:1-2 (CJB)
1 My soul waits in silence
for God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
2 He alone is my rock and salvation,
I won’t be greatly moved.
In the Hebrew interlinear, you will notice 3568 at the far right of the snip above. This shows the Hebrew word for salvation. Let’s go a step father and look in a Hebrew-English Dictionary:
Maybe you would prefer Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary?
Why is this important to bring up? To know?
Because Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) gives another prophecy (expounding on the prophecy above):
Isaiah 7:14 (CJB)
14 Therefore Adonai himself
will give you people a sign:
the young woman will become pregnant,
bear a son
and name him ‘Immanu El [God is with us].
Small tangent alert!
Because some of you may or will find it necessary to get into the “alma vs bethulah” debate with this verse, I will divert just long enough to state that never in the 8 times that it is used does it mean a “non-virgin.” Yesha’yahu also knows the difference because he uses בְּתוּלָה bethûlāh 5 times as well.
Notice what David Stern writes:
A possible reason for Isaiah’s using the word “ʿalmah” instead of bʾtulah is that in Biblical (as opposed to later) Hebrew, “bʾtulah” does not always unambiguously mean “virgin,” as we learn from Joel 1:8: “Lament like a bʾtulah girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.” Deuteronomy 22:19 speaks of a woman after her wedding night as a bʾtulah.
David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary, (Clarksville, Maryland: Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc., 1992), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 7.
The prophecy in Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 7:14 brings us to the Brit Chadashah (New Covenant – New Testament) where it is quoted:
Matthew 1:18-23 (CJB)
18 Here is how the birth of Yeshua (Salvation) the Messiah took place.
When his mother Miryam was engaged to Yosef (Joseph),
before they were married,
she was found to be pregnant from the Ruach HaKodesh.
19 Her husband-to-be, Yosef (Joseph),
was a man who did what was right;
so he made plans to break the engagement quietly,
rather than put her to public shame.
20 But while he was thinking about this,
an angel of Adonai appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Yosef ben David (Joseph son of David),
do not be afraid to take Miryam (Mary) home with you as your wife;
for what has been conceived in her is from the Ruach HaKodesh (Holy Spirit). 21 She will give birth to a son,
and you are to name him Yeshua, [which means ‘Adonai saves,’]
because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this happened
in order to fulfill what Adonai had said through the prophet,
23 “The virgin will conceive and bear a son,
and they will call him ‘Immanu El.” (The name means, “God is with us.”)
Yeshua or “SALVATION” (Jesus) IS the fulfillment of Yesha’yahu’s (Isaiah’s) prophecy!!!
He is Messiah – He is King – He is Lord – – – He is SALVATION!!!
THE CHRISTMAS WARS:
So what does this have to do with CHRISTMAS WARS?
Everything and nothing . . . .
Every year about this time, the battles start raging . . .
The accusations start flying . . . .
The judging begins . . .
Brother against brother – sister against sister . . .
Maybe you have been on the receiving end of this?
Maybe you have been on the “other” end (heaven forbid)!
You know how it goes . . .
Winter solstice – saturnalia – paganism . . .
Lots of finger pointing . . .
Lots of righteousness – NOT! (well, self-righteousness anyway)
There are problems inherent in the above statements.
“How so,” you might ask?
For one, judging another’s “INNER-MOTIVE” is a job only ADONAI is QAULIFIED to do! Notice what the text says:
Proverbs 21:2 (CJB)
2 All a person’s ways are right in his own view,
but Adonai weighs the heart.
This does not say Billy, or Steve, or Mike, or Esther, or Miryam, weighs the heart (the inner motive) . . .
It says Adonai . . . .
So that there is no doubt, let’s also look at the text about how Adonai searches the heart:
1 Chronicles 28:9 (CJB)
9 “As for you, Shlomo my son,
know the God of your father.
Serve him wholeheartedly
and with desire in your being;
for Adonai searches all hearts
and understands all the inclinations
of people’s thoughts.
If you seek him,
he will let himself be found by you;
but if you abandon him,
he will reject you forever.
What happens to those who claim to know the heart of others – the inner motive of others . . . .?
What happens to those that have the temerity to think they are capable of doing what only Adonai is capable of?
What happens to those that have the gall and pride to assume the position and authority of Most High?
Isaiah 14:12-14 (CJB)
12 “How did you come to fall from the heavens,
morning star, son of the dawn?
How did you come to be cut to the ground,
conqueror of nations?
13 You thought to yourself,
‘I will scale the heavens,
I will raise my throne above God’s stars.
I will sit on the Mount of Assembly far away in the north. 14 I will rise past the tops of the clouds,
I will make myself like the Most High.’
If you don’t understand the above from Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) and the implications of what it says, then let me put it in a more succtinct and literally blunt way:
The Hebrew word for Accuser is Satan . . .
I am going to let that sink in for just a moment because if you are part of the “stumbling block – tear down others – self righteous – I am better than you because I don’t celebrate December 25th as Yeshua’s birth” vitriol that is spewed every year at this time of the year, then I have a couple of questions for you that are simple:
When did YOU become qualified to weigh the heart of others?
How is what your doing loving your brother?
Don’t misunderstand me. “Like the pagans do” is one of the central themes of the text. Without a doubt, Christmas has adopted some pagan customs over the years which is not okay – Judaism has adopted pagan customs as well (and been punished for it many times in the text). All you have to do to verify this outside of the text is look at some of the mosaics on early 1st and 2nd century synagogue floors that depict Helios and Medusa along with astrology (all forbidden as well).
This being said,
If you are a part of the “stumbling block” crowd, let me clue you in on a few very relevant facts:
- All of us at one time or another were uninformed in regards to Messiah
- All of us at one time or another were uniformed concerning God’s word
- All of us at one time or another have made doctrinal faux paus
- None of us is righteous . . .
Maybe the most important statistics are the following:
- The average Christian opens his bible 1 day of the week (at church)
- The average Christian attends church 2 times a year (Christmas and Easter)
Why are these important? For many that profess to be Christian, Christmas is one of the only 2 times they will hear the gospel all year!
The birth of our King is important! As my wife reminds those that would tear down others during this vulnerable and important time: 4 books were dedicated to the gospel of Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ) because it is THAT IMPORTANT! The birth of Yeshua is part of the gospel! It is prophecy fulfilled . . .
I want you to contrast what I am talking about with something that happened in text:
Mark 14:3-9 (CJB)
3 While he was in Beit-Anyah
in the home of Shim‘on (a man who had had tzara‘at),
and as he was eating,
a woman came with an alabaster jar of perfume,
pure oil of nard,
She broke the jar and poured the perfume over Yeshua’s head. 4 But some there angrily said to themselves,
“Why this waste of perfume? 5 It could have been sold for a year’s wages and given to the poor!”
And they scolded her. 6 But he said,
“Let her be.
Why are you bothering her?
She has done a beautiful thing for me.
7 For you will always have the poor with you;
and whenever you want to,
you can help them.
But you will not always have me.
8 What she could do, she did do —
in advance she poured perfume on my body
to prepare it for burial.
9 Yes! I tell you that wherever in the whole world
this Good News is proclaimed,
what she has done will be told in her memory.”
Another perspective from the text goes like this:
John 12:1-8 (CJB)
1 Six days before Pesach,
Yeshua came to Beit-Anyah,
where El‘azar lived,
the man Yeshua had raised from the dead;
2 so they gave a dinner there in his honor.
Marta served the meal,
and El‘azar was among those at the table with him.
3 Miryam took a whole pint of pure oil of spikenard,
which is very expensive,
poured it on Yeshua’s feet
and wiped his feet with her hair,
so that the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
4 But one of the talmidim,
Y’hudah from K’riot,
the one who was about to betray him, said,
5 “This perfume is worth a year’s wages!
Why wasn’t it sold and the money given to the poor?”
6 Now he said this not out of concern for the poor,
but because he was a thief —
he was in charge of the common purse
and used to steal from it.
7 Yeshua said,
“Leave her alone!
She kept this for the day of my burial.
8 You always have the poor among you,
but you will not always have me.”
This is an important lesson for all of us!
The gospel is NOT about the day!
It is about the fulfillment of prophecy . . .
about a child being born that would be called”
- Pele-Yo‘etz ( Wonder of a Counselor)
- El Gibbor ( Mighty God)
- Avi-‘Ad ( Father of Eternity)
- Sar-Shalom (Prince of Peace)
It is about SALVATION!
Would you really reduce the gift which is God’s chesedh (grace) and literally SALVATION (Yeshua) to nothing more than a calendar date? Would you rather that they didn’t hear the gospel at all if they are going to celebrate it on December 25th? REALLY?!?
If so, then I have one suggestion for you so that you aren’t guilty of being a hypocrite (stage actor):
Make sure there is nothing in your life that you do “like the pagans do!”
Because if you are worldly in any way, then you are guilty of paganism as well –
you are also guilty of breaking Torah –
remember if you break one command, you have broken them all . . .
The rabbi Sha’ul gave us a warning while reiterating the 2nd most important command that we would ALL be wise to remember:
Galatians 5:14-15 (CJB)
14 For the whole of the Torah
is summed up in this one sentence:
“Love your neighbor as yourself”;
15 but if you go on snapping at each other
and tearing each other to pieces,
or you will be destroyed by each other!
One of my favorite chapters in the text is Romans 14. It has so many lessons on how we are to be that at times it is mind boggling how much it actually says – it is a litmus test for many things in our walks. It is with this thought that I end this piece in hopes that you will promote peace (shalom):
Romans 14:4-13 (CJB)
4 who are you to pass judgment on someone else’s servant?
It is before his own master that he will stand or fall;
and the fact is that he will stand,
because the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person considers some days more holy than others,
while someone else regards them as being all alike.
What is important is for each to be fully convinced in his own mind.
6 He who observes a day as special does so to honor the Lord.
Also he who eats anything,
eats to honor the Lord,
since he gives thanks to God;
likewise the abstainer abstains to honor the Lord,
and he too gives thanks to God.
7 For none of us lives only in relation to himself,
and none of us dies only in relation to himself; 8 for if we live,
we live in relation to the Lord;
and if we die,
we die in relation to the Lord.
So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord —
9 indeed, it was for this very reason
that the Messiah died and came back to life,
so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.
10 You then,
why do you pass judgment on your brother?
Or why do you look down on your brother?
For all of us will stand before God’s judgment seat; 11 since it is written in the Tanakh,
“As I live, says Adonai,
every knee will bend before me,
and every tongue will publicly acknowledge God.”
12 So then, every one of us will have to give an account of himself to God.
let’s stop passing judgment on each other!
Instead, make this one judgment —
not to put a stumbling block or a snare in a brother’s way.
There has been plenty written on the subject that examines and gives possible explanations concerning the history of Christmas and where some of the traditions (good and bad) come from. As you grow in the Lord – as you get to know Him, as you start to love Him more, things will change in your life because He will draw you to Him . . .
Here are 2 good links to give you some back ground:
Shalom to you all!
Remember to love one another and He loved us . . .
This was a command from the living Torah, Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Christ)!