THE PLAIN TRUTH
Herbert W. Armstrong
1892 – 1986
Where did the world get
Christmas?…from the Bible, or paganism. Here are astonishing facts
which may shock you. Test yourself. How much do you know of the origin
of the Christmas tree – of “Santa Claus” – of the mistletoe – of the
holly wreath – of the custom of exchanging gifts?
When I was a
little boy, I was taught to hang up my stockings on Christmas eve. When I
awakened the next morning, they were filled with small toys and sacks
or little boxes of candy and nuts. And beside the mantle, from which my
stockings hung, a Christmas tree had suddenly appeared, decorated with
shiny tinsel. And on it hung presents. Other presents for us children
were piled on the floor underneath. I was told Santa Claus had come down
the chimney during the night and left all these things.
But did I question what my parents had told me? Of course not. I accepted it – took it all for granted. Didn’t you?
Stop and think a moment. Very few have ever reflected on WHY they
believe what they do – WHY they follow the customs they do, or from
WHERE those customs came. We were born into a world filled with customs.
We grew up accepting them without question. Why? Sheep instinct? Well,
not exactly. But by nature we do tend to follow the crowd, whether right
or wrong. Sheep follow others to the slaughter. Humans ought to check
up where they are going. How – WHEN did Christmas originate? Does
Christmas REALLY celebrate the birthday of Christ? Was Jesus born on
December 25th? Did the original apostles, who knew Jesus personally and
were taught by Him, celebrate His birthday on December 25th? Did they
celebrate it AT ALL?
If Christmas is the chief of the Christian
holidays, WHY do so many non-Christians observe it? Do you know? Why do
people exchange presents with family members, friends, relatives, at
Christmas time? Was it because the wise men presented gifts to the
Christ-child? The answer may surprise you.
Most people have “supposed” a lot of things about Christmas that are not true. But let’s quit “supposing” and get the facts!
WHAT ENCYCLOPEDIAS SAY
The word “Christmas” means “Mass of Christ,” or, as it came to be
shortened, “Christ-Mass.” It came to non-Christians and Protestants from
the Roman Catholic Church. And where did they get it? NOT from the New
Testament – NOT from the Bible – NOT from the original apostles who were
personally instructed by Christ – but it gravitated in the fourth
century into the Roman Church from paganism.
celebration of Christmas has come to the world from the Roman Catholic
Church, and has no authority but that of the Roman Catholic Church, let
us examine the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, published by that
church. Under the heading “Christmas,” you will find:
was NOT among the earliest festivals on the Church…the first evidence
of the feast is FROM EGYPT.” “PAGAN CUSTOMS centering around the
January calends gravitated to Christmas.”
And in the same
encyclopedia, under the heading “Natal Day,” we find that the early
Catholic father, Origen, acknowledged this truth: “…In the Scriptures,
no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his
birthday. It is ONLY SINNERS (like Pharaoh and Herod) who make great
rejoicings over the day in which they were born into THIS world”.
Encyclopedia Britannica, 1946 edition, has this: “Christmas (i.e., the
Mass of Christ)…Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the
church…” It was not instituted by Christ or the apostles, or by Bible
authority. It was picked up afterward from paganism. The Encyclopedia
Americana, 1944 edition, says: “Christmas…It was, according to many
authorities, not celebrated in the first centuries of the Christian
church, as the Christian usage in general was to celebrate the death of
remarkable persons rather than their birth…” (The “Communion,” which
is instituted by New Testament Bible authority, is a memorial of the
death of Christ.) “…A feast was established in memory of this event
[Christ’s birth] in the FOURTH CENTURY. In the fifth century the Western
Church ordered it to be celebrated forever ON THE DAY OF THE OLD ROMAN
FEAST OF THE BIRTH OF SOL, as no certain knowledge of the day of
Christ’s birth existed.”
Now notice! These recognized historical
authorities show Christmas was not observed by Christians for the first
two or three hundred years – a period longer than the entire history of
the United States as a nation! It got into the Western, or Roman,
Church, by the fourth century A.D. It was not until the fifth century
that the Roman Church ordered it to be celebrated as an official
JESUS NOT BORN DECEMBER 25th
Jesus was not even born in the winter season! When the Christ-child was
born “there were in the same country shepherds ABIDING in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night” (Luke 2:8). This never could
have occurred in Judaea in the month of December. The shepherds always
brought their flocks from the mountainsides and fields and corralled
them not later than October 15, to protect them from the cold, rainy
season that followed that date. Notice that the Bible itself proves, in
Song of Solomon 2:11 and Ezra 10:9, 13, that winter was a rainy season
not permitting shepherds to abide in open fields at night.
was an ancient custom among Jews of those days to send out their sheep
to the fields and deserts about the Passover (early spring), and bring
them home at commencement of the FIRST RAIN,” says the Adam Clarke
Commentary (Vol. 5, page 370, New York ed.)
authority states: “During the time they were out, the shepherds watched
them night and day. As…the first rain began early in the month of
Marchesvan, which answers to part of our October and November (begins
sometime in OCTOBER), we find that the sheep were kept out in the open
country during the whole SUMMER. And, as these shepherds had not YET
brought home their flocks, it is a presumptive argument that October had
not yet commenced, and that, consequently, our Lord was not born on the
25th of December, when no flocks were out in the fields; nor could He
have been born later than September, as the flocks were still in the
fields BY NIGHT. On this very ground, the nativity in December should be
given up. The feeding of the flocks by night in the fields is a
CHRONOLOGICAL FACT…See the quotations from the Talmudists in
Any encyclopedia, or any other authority, will tell
you that Christ was not born on December 25. The Catholic Encyclopedia
frankly states this fact.
The exact date of Jesus’ birth is
entirely unknown, as all authorities acknowledge – though if I had space
in this booklet I could show you scriptures which at least strongly
indicate it was in the early fall – probably September – approximately
six months after Passover.
If God had wished us to observe and celebrate Christ’s birthday, He would not have so completely hidden the exact date.
HOW THIS PAGAN CUSTOM GOT INTO THE CHURCH
Then how did this pagan custom creep into the Western Christian world?
The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religous Knowledge explains it
clearly, in its article on “Christmas”: “How much the date of the
festival depended upon the pagan Brumalia (Dec. 25) following the
Saturnalia (Dec. 17-24), and celebrating the shortest day of the year
and the ‘new sun’…cannot be accurately determined. The pagan
Saturnalia and Brumalia WERE TOO DEEPLY ENTRENCHED IN POPULAR CUSTOM TO
BE SET ASIDE BY CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE…The pagan festival with its riot
and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to
continue its celebration with little change in spirit and manner.
Christian preachers of the West and the Near East protested against the
unseemly frivolity with which Christ’s birthday was celebrated, while
Christians of Mesopotamia ACCUSED THEIR WESTERN BRETHREN OF IDOLATRY AND
SUN WORSHIP FOR ADOPTING AS CHRISTIAN THIS PAGAN FESTIVAL.”
Remember, the Roman world had been pagan. Prior to the fourth century,
Christians were few in number, though increasing, and were persecuted by
the government and by pagans. But, with the advent of Constantine as
emperor, who made his profession of Christianity in the fourth century,
placing Christianity on an equal footing with paganism, people of the
Roman world began to accept this now-popular Christianity by the
hundreds of thousands.
But remember, these people had grown up
in pagan customs, chief of which was this idolatrous festival of
December 25th. It was a festival of merrymaking, with its special
spirit. They enjoyed it! They didn’t want to give it up. Now this same
article in the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge
explains how the recognition by Constantine of Sunday, which had been
the day of pagan sun worship, and how the influence of the pagan
Manichaeism, which identified the SON OF GOD with the physical SUN, gave
these pagans of the fourth century, now turning over wholesale to
“Christianity,” their excuse for calling their pagan-festival date of
December 25th (birthday of the SUN-god), the birthday of the SON OF GOD.
And THAT is how “Christmas” became fastened on our Western world. We
may call it by another name, but it’s the same old pagan sun-worshipping
festival still. The only change is in what we call it. You can CALL a
rabbit a “lion,” but it’s still a rabbit, just the same.
from the Encyclopaedia Britannica: “Certain Latins, as early as 354, may
have transferred the birthday from January 6th to December 25, WHICH
WAS THEN A MITHRAIC FEAST…OR BIRTHDAY OF THE UNCONQUERED SUN…The
Syrians and Armenians, who clung to January 6th, accused the Romans of
sun worship and idolatry, contending…that the feast of December 25,
had been invented by disciples of Cerinthus…”
THE REAL ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS
But if we got Christmas from the Roman Catholics, and they got it from
paganism, where did the pagans get it? Where, when, and what was its
It is a chief custom of the corrupt system
denounced all through Bible prophecies and teachings under the name of
Babylon. And it started and originated in the original Babylon of
ancient Nimrod! Yes, it stems from roots whose beginning was shortly
this side of the Flood!
Nimrod, grandson of Ham, son of Noah,
was the real founder of the Babylonish system that has gripped the world
ever since – this system of organized competition – of man-ruled
governments and empires, based upon the competitive and profit-making
economic system. Nimrod built the tower of Babel, the original Babylon,
ancient Nineveh, and many other cities. He organized the world’s first
kingdom. The name “Nimrod,” in Hebrew is derived from “Marad,” meaning
From many ancient writings, considerable is
learned of this man, who started the great organized worldly apostasy
from God that has dominated this world until now. Nimrod was so evil, it
is said he married his own mother, whose name was Semiramis. After
Nimrod’s untimely death, his so-called mother-wife, Semiramis,
propagated the evil doctrine of the survival of Nimrod as a spirit
being. She claimed a full-grown evergreen tree sprang overnight from a
dead tree stump, which symbolized the springing forth unto new life of
the dead Nimrod. On each anniversary of his birth, she claimed Nimrod
would visit the evergreen tree and leave gifts upon it. December 25th
was the birthday of Nimrod. This is the real origin of the Christmas
Through her scheming and designing, Semiramis became the
Babylonian “Queen of Heaven,” and Nimrod, under various names, became
the “divine son of heaven.” Through the generations, in this idolatrous
worship, Nimrod also became the false Messiah, son of Baal the Sun-god.
In this false Babylonish system, the “Mother and Child” (Semiramis and
Nimrod reborn) became chief objects of worship. This worship of “Mother
and Child” spread over the world. The names varied in different
countries and languages. In Egypt it was Isis and Osiris. In Asia,
Cybele and Deoius. In pagan Rome, Fortuna and Jupiterpuer. Even in
Greece, China, Japan, Tibet is to be found the counterpart of the
Madonna, LONG BEFORE THE BIRTH OF CHRIST!
Thus, during the
fourth and fifth centuries, when the pagans of the Roman world were
“accepting” the new popular “Christianity” by the hundreds of thousands,
carrying their old pagan customs and beliefs along with them, merely
cloaking them with Christian-sounding names, the Madonna and “Mother and
Child” idea also became popularized, especially at Christmas time.
Every Christmas season you’ll hear sung and chanted dozens of times the
hymn “Silent Night, Holy Night,” with its familiar “Mother and Child”
theme. We, who have been born in such a babylonish world, reared and
steeped in these things all our lives, have been taught to revere these
things as holy and sacred. We never questioned to see where they came
from – whether they came from the Bible, or from pagan idolatry!
We are shocked to learn the truth – some, unfortunately, take offense
at the plain truth! But God commands His faithful ministers, “Cry aloud,
spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their
transgression!” Shocking as these facts are, they are the plain facts of
history and the Bible. The real origin of Christmas goes back to
ancient Babylon. It is bound up in the organized apostasy which has
gripped a deceived world these many centuries. In Egypt, it was always
believed that the son of Isis (Egyptian name for “Queen of Heaven”) was
born December 25th. Paganism celebrated this famous birthday over most
of the known world for centuries before the birth of Christ.
December 25th is NOT the birthday of Jesus, the true Christ! The
apostles and early true Church never celebrated Christ’s birthday at ANY
time. There is no command or instruction to celebrate it in the Bible –
rather, the celebrating of birthdays is a pagan, not a Christian
custom, believe it or not.
Thus the ancient idolatrous “Chaldean
Mysteries,” founded by this wife of Nimrod, have been handed down
through the pagan religions under new Christian-sounding names.
ORIGIN OF HOLLY WREATH, MISTLETOE, YULE LOG
Now where did we get this mistletoe custom? Among the ancient pagans
the mistletoe was used at this festival of the winter solstice because
it was considered sacred to the sun, because of its supposed miraculous
healing power. The pagan custom of kissing under the mistletoe was an
early step in the night of revelry and drunken debauchery – celebrating
the death of the “old sun” and the birth of the new at the winter
solstice. Mistletoe, sacred in pagan festivals, is a parasite!
Holly berries were also considered sacred to the sun-god. The yule log
is in reality the “sun log.” “Yule” means “Wheel,” a pagan symbol of the
sun. Yet today professing Christians speak of the “sacred yule-tide
Even the lighting of fires and candles as a Christian
ceremony is merely a continuation of the pagan custom, encouraging the
waning sun-god as he reached the lowest place in the southern skies.
The Encyclopedia Americana says: “The holly, the mistletoe, the Yule log…are relics of pre-Christian times.” Of paganism!
The book Answers to Questions, compiled by Frederick J. Haskins, found
in public libraries, says: The use of Christmas wreaths is believed by
authorities to be TRACEABLE TO THE PAGAN CUSTOMS of decorating building
and places of worship at the feast which took place at the same time as
Christmas. The CHRISTMAS TREE IS FROM EGYPT, and its origin dates from a
period long anterior to the Christian Era.”
YES, AND EVEN SANTA CLAUSE
But surely dear old Santa Claus is not a creature of pagan birth? But
he is, and his real character is not so benevolent and holy as many
The name “Santa Claus” is a corruption of the name “St.
Nicholas,” a Roman Catholic bishop who lived in the 5th century. Look
in the Encyclopedia Britannica, volume 19, pages 648-649, 11th edition,
where you’ll read: “St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, a saint honored by the
Greeks and Latins on the 6th of December… A legend of his
surreptitious bestowal of dowries on the three daughters of an
impoverished citizen…is said to have originated the old custom of
giving presents in secret on the Eve of St. Nicholas [Dec. 6],
subsequently transferred to Christmas day. Hence the association of
Christmas with Santa Claus…”
Through the years, parents punish
their children for telling falsehoods. Then, at Christmas time, they
themselves tell their little children this “Santa Claus” lie! Is it any
wonder many of them, when they grow up and learn the truth, begin to
believe God is a myth, too?
One little fellow, sadly
disillusioned about “Santa Claus,” said to a playmate, “Yes, and I’m
going to look into this ‘Jesus Christ’ business, too!” Is it Christian
to teach children myths and falsehoods? God says, “Thou shalt not bear
false witness.” It may seem right, and be justified by human reason, but
God says, “There is a way that SEEMETH right to a man, but the end
thereof are the ways of death.” “Old Nick” also is a term for the devil!
Is there a connection? Satan appears as an “angel of light,” to deceive
(II Cor 11:14; Rev 12:9).
And so when we examine the facts, we
are astonished to learn that the practices of observing Christmas is
not, after all, a true Christian practice, but a pagan custom – one of
the ways of Babylon our people have fallen into.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT THE CHRISTMAS TREE
But if the Bible is silent about telling us to observe Christmas, or
recording any such observance by the apostles or early true Church, it
DOES have something to say about the Christmas tree.
come as a real surprise to many. But here it is: Jeremiah 10:2-6: “Thus
saith the Lord, LEARN NOT THE WAY OF THE HEATHEN…FOR THE CUSTOMS OF
THE PEOPLE ARE VAIN: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work
of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and
with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move
There is a perfect description of the Christmas tree,
termed by the Eternal as “the way of the heathen – the customs of the
people.” We are commanded not to learn that way or follow it. It is also
viewed in this passage as idolatry. The fifth verse shows that these
trees cannot speak – cannot walk – must be carried. “Be not afraid of
them; for THEY (the trees) cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to
do good.” They are not gods to be feared. Some people MISread this to
make it say there is no harm in having a Christmas tree, but that is not
what it says.
ISN’T EXCHANGING GIFTS SCRIPTURAL?
But when it comes to the most important part of all in this Christmas
observance – the Christmas shopping season – the buying and exchanging
of gifts – many will exclaim triumphantly, “Well, at least the Bible
tells us to do that. Didn’t the wise men give gifts when Christ was
Again, we are due for some surprises, when we learn the
plain truth. First, let’s look at the historic origin of trading gifts
back and forth, then see exactly what the Bible DOES say about it.
From the Bibliotheca Sacra, volume 12, pages 153-155, we quote: “The
interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of
Christmas and the Saturnalia, and MUST HAVE BEEN ADOPTED BY THE
CHRISTIANS FROM THE PAGANS, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly
The fact is, this custom fastened upon people of
exchanging gifts with friends and relatives at the Christmas season HAS
NOT A SINGLE TRACE OF CHRISTIANITY ABOUT IT, strange though that may
seem. This does not celebrate Christ’s birthday nor honor it or Him!
Suppose someone you love has a birthday. You want to honor that person
on his or her birthday. Would you lavishly buy gifts for EVERYONE ELSE,
trading gifts back and forth with all your OTHER friends and loved ones,
but ignore completely any gift for the one whose birthday you are
honoring? Rather absurd, when viewed in that light, isn’t it?
Yet this is exactly what people the world over are doing. They honor a
day that is not Christ’s birthday by spending every dime they can scrape
together in buying presents to trade back and forth among friends and
relatives. But I can say by years of experience, as I believe most
pastors and ministers can say, that when the month of December rolls
around, nearly all professing Christians forget to give gifts to Christ
and His cause almost altogether. December often is the most difficult
month to keep Christ’s work from dying. People are too busy trading
gifts back and forth among themselves to think of Him and His Work, it
seems. Then, in January and even into February it seems they have to
catch up from what they spent for Christmas, so they seldom get back to
normal in supporting Christ and His Work before March.
consider what the Bible says about the wise men giving gifts when Christ
was born. It is in Matthew 2:1-11. “Now when Jesus was born in
Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came
wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born
KING OF THE JEWS? …And when they were come into the house, they saw
the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down and worshipped him:
AND WHEN THEY HAD OPENED THEIR TREASURES, they presented unto HIM gifts;
gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”
WHY GIFTS PRESENTED TO CHRIST
Notice, they inquired for the child Jesus, who was born KING of the
Jews. Now why did they present gifts to Him? Because it was His
birthday? Not at all, because they came several days or weeks after the
date of His birth. Was it to set an example for us, today, to trade
gifts back and forth among ourselves? No, notice carefully. They did not
exchange gifts among themselves, but “they presented unto HIM gifts.”
They gave their gifts to Christ, not to their friends, relatives, or one
Why? Let me quote from the Adam Clarke Commentary,
volume 5, page 46: “Verse 11. (They presented unto him gifts.) The
people of the east never approach the presence of kings and great
personages, without a present in their hands. The custom is often
noticed in the Old Testament, and still prevails in the east, and in
some of the newly discovered South Sea Islands.”
There it is.
They were not instituting a new Christian custom of exchanging gifts
with friends to honor Christ’s birthday. They were following an old and
ancient eastern custom of presenting gifts to a king when they came into
his presence. They were approaching Him, born King of the Jews, in
person. Therefore custom required they present gifts – even as the Queen
of Sheba brought gifts to Solomon – even as many people today take a
gift along when they visit the White House for an appointment with the
No, the custom of trading gifts back and forth does
not stem from this scriptural incident at all, but rather, as quoted
from history above, it is the continuance of an ancient pagan custom.
Instead of honoring Christ, it invariably retards His Work, often sets
it back, at the Christmas season every year.
DOES IT REALLY HONOR CHRIST?
Now come two arguments often used to justify Christmas observance.
1) Many will reason this way: “But, even though the exact date of
Jesus’ birth is unknown, should we not select SOME date to celebrate as
His birthday?” The answer is positively no. Did you not notice the
statement quoted from the Catholic Encyclopedia: “Sinners alone, not
saints, celebrate their birthdays.” The custom of birthdays is not a
Christian, but a pagan custom, observed by sinners!
2) But, many
still reason, “Even so – even though Christmas was a pagan custom,
honoring the false sun-god, we don’t observe it to honor the false god,
we observe it to honor Christ.”
But how does God answer in His Word? “Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following them [the pagans in their customs]
… that thou enquire not after their gods,
saying, How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do
likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord they God: for every
abomination to the Eternal, which he hateth, have they done unto their
gods” (Deut 12:30-31).
God says plainly in His Instruction Book
to us, that He will not accept that kind of worship, even though
intended in His honor. To Him, He says, it is offering what is
ABOMINABLE to Him, and therefore it honors, not Him, but false pagan
gods. God says we must not worship Him according to the “dictates of our
own conscience” – a term we often hear. But Jesus says plainly, “God is
a spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in
truth” (John 4:24). And what is truth? God’s Word – the Holy Bible –
said Jesus, is truth (John 17:17); and the Bible says God will not
accept worship when people take a pagan custom or manner of worship and
try to honor Christ with it.
Again, Jesus said: “In VAIN they do
worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matt
15:9). Christmas observance is a TRADITION OF MEN, and the commandments
of God, as quoted, forbid it. Jesus said, further, “full well ye reject
the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.”
That is precisely what the millions are doing today. They ignore the
commandment of God. He commands, regarding taking the customs of the
pagans and using them to honor or worship God: “Thou shalt not do so
unto the Lord thy God.” Still, most people today take that command of
God lightly, or as having no validity whatsoever, and follow the
tradition of men in observing Christmas.
Make no mistake. God
will ALLOW you to defy and disobey Him. He will ALLOW you to follow the
crowd and the traditions of men. He will ALLOW you to sin. But He also
says there is a day of reckoning coming. As you sow, so shall you reap.
Jesus was the LIVING Word of God in Person, and the Bible is the WRITTEN
Word of God. And we shall be judged, for eternity, by these words. They
should not be taken lightly or ignored.
WE’RE IN BABYLON, AND HAVEN’T KNOWN IT
Christmas has become a commercial season. It’s sponsored, kept alive,
by the heaviest retail advertising campaigns of the year. You see a
masqueraded “Santa Claus” in many stores. Ads keep us deluded and
deceived about the “beautify Christmas spirit.” The newspaper, who sell
the ads, print flowery editorials exalting and eulogizing the pagan
season, and its “spirit.” A gullible people has become so inoculated,
many take offense when told the truth. But the “Christmas spirit” is
created each year, not to honor Christ, but to sell merchandise. Like
all Satan’s delusions, it appears as an “angel of light,” is made to
appear good. Billions of dollars are spent in this merchandising spree
every year, while the cause of Christ must suffer. It’s part of the
economic system of Babylon.
We have professed to be Christian
nations, but we’re in Babylon, as Bible prophecy foretold, and we don’t
know it. “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her
sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” – now soon to fall – is
the warning of Revelation 18:4.
This year, instead of gift trading, why not put that money into God’s Work?
ABOUT HERBERT W. ARMSTRONG
From time to time I have been asked my opinion of Herbert W. Armstrong and the old Worldwide Church of God.
Let me begin by saying that I do not agree with everything Armstrong taught. However Armstrong taught many truths that were definitely on the cutting edge for his time.
The very name “Church of God” though still using gentilized terminology
was a Scriptural name, as the Body of Messiah is generally referred to
in the Ketuvim Netzarim (the so-called “New Testament”) as the “Assembly
of Elohim” (for which reason WNAE takes the name “Worldwide Nazarene
Assembly of Elohim”).
Armstrong taught seventh day, evening to
evening Sabbath observance, while exposing the pagan origins and nature
of Sunday Worship.
Armstrong taught the Scriptural feasts (which
also happen to be the Jewish Holidays) while exposing the pagan origins
and nature of the Pagan holidays like Halloween, Christmas and Easter.
Armstrong also criticized pagan customs in general, not just Pagan holidays and Sunday worship.
And long before the so-called “Two House” movement, Armstrong was teaching:
“The peoples of the United States, the British Commonwealth nations,
and the nations of northwestern Europe are, in fact,
the peoples of the Ten Tribes of the House of Israel.
The Jewish People are the House of Judah.”
-The United States and Britain in Prophecy, ninth ed. P. 144; Herbert W. Armstrong
Not long before his death in 1986, Armstrong finally came to the following far reaching conclusion:
“Satan has deceived this world’s churches into the
belief that God’s law was done away-that Jesus, rather than paying the
price in human stead for transgressing the law, did away with it-
“nailing it to his cross.” The expression used by Protestants
“nailing the law to his cross” can mean only one thing. This is
Satan’s teaching that by being nailed to the cross, Christ
abolished the law, making it possible for humans to sin with impunity.
What actually was nailed to the cross was Christ our sin bearer, who
took on himself our sins, paying the death penalty in our stead, so
that we are freed from the ultimate penalty of sinning, not made free
to sin with impunity. The very basic teaching, belief AND DOCTRINE OF
God’s true Church therefore is based on the righteousness of and
obedience to the law of God.”
-Mystery of the Ages; Herbert W. Armstrong p. 274
Unfortunately Armstrong died before he was able to fully explore and
implement the far reaching implications of this astounding revelation.
Armstrong had realized that it was not just the Sabbath we should be
keeping, not just the Holy Days, not just bits and pieces of the Torah,
but that the Torah had never been done away with at all. Had Armstrong
lived to fully implement this revelation, the old WWCG would have
started wearing Tzitzit (Numbers 15:37-41) putting a mezuzah on the door
(Deut. 6:8-9; 11:18-20), wearing tefillin (Deut. 6:8; 11:18; Ex. 13:9;
13:16; Mt. 23:5) etc.
For this reason I say that in a world that was blind, Armstrong saw with blurred vision.
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