‘Church of Almighty God’ AKA “Eastern Lightning” Cult Warning


The Israeli Journalist, Eastern Lightning, and Why This Cult is Invading Israel With Propaganda (reposted)

An Israeli journalist who writes for many Israeli news sources , found my email address after he read my article on “Church of Almighty God” (cult) and wrote to me a few weeks ago. The reason for his call?  He is doing research on “Church of Almighty God’ AKA “Eastern Lightning.”  He had two questions for me – 1. Why were they targeting Israel? 2. Who is funding them?

We set up a time for us to talk on the phone.  We have been keeping in touch with one another about this cult. I have searched the Internet to try to discover the source of funding for the cult.  I’ve read that they have over 2 million members now. They are also in S. Korea.

I told the journalist that with this many members, they probably have the funds from their people.  He said that was very feasible.

Years ago, I wrote an article on “Church of Almighty God”  a very dangerous cult. Since then, this cult has over 50 aliases and at least as many different websites.  They are banned from China for killing a women in broad daylight. She refused to give her phone number to a cult member.

The leaders of this cult fled to NYC where they live to this day.  They use strong-arm techniques, sexual enticement, kidnapping and threats against families to recruit new members.  They are ruthless.

What do they  believe?

Church of Almighty God (CAG for the rest of this article) teach their members that Jesus Christ has already come back to earth as a Chinese woman.  We believe that the wife of the leader who lives in NYC now, is the women whom they say is Jesus Christ. They also go by the name Eastern Lightning.

Leaders of the Cult who moved to NYC

These people were targeting the home churches in China who are preaching the true Gospel of Christ. The government of China is being hostile to home groups, but at times they look the other way because these Christians are peaceful.

Why Israel?

The Israeli journalist told me that CAG has their literature all over Israel and it is translated into perfect Hebrew.  He explained to me that to get their propaganda translated into such perfect Hebrew is very costly.

I told him about the Hebrew Roots movement which is all over the world.  I said that perhaps the leaders of the cult felt that they would become more credible if they associated themselves with Hebrew Roots.

The journalist wrote back to me a few days later.  He said that he thought that I had figured out why the “invasion” of Israel.  He said that he found out that much of the cult’s energy was focused on Hebrew Roots people in Israel.

My First Encounter with CAG

About 4 years ago, I accepted an Asian lady as a FB friend. I began to have apprehensions about her.  She would message me at least five times a day saying that she REALLY needed to speak with me. She began to place pictures of an Asian choir on my page. Back then, I allowed people to put posts on my page.  The picture was very creepy. They looked like robots or maybe someone had photoshopped the pic.  It did not look normal.

One day, I asked her about her church. She told me that it was Church of Almighty God.  I began my research and was startled when I found out that they had murdered a Chinese woman in China before they were banned from that country.

I took this woman off my page (actually blocked her) and began writing articles about the cult.  I received very threatening messages on my Word Press site from members of the cult.  Of course, I did not allow their comments on my comment board.

Warning!

Brethren, if you suspect that these cult members have worked their way onto your FB list of friends – you really do need to look carefully through your friends list.

Another thing that will protect you is to not make your friends list visible to others. You can find how to do this by clicking on the little wheel over your friends list and choose “hide friends list.”   These people love to find Christians who show their list of hundreds and hundreds of Christian friends. This makes their work much easier for them.

God is protecting us – we know this. But God also wants us to use  good, sound judgement.

Pray for those in the cult.  Pray for any Hebrew Roots people who are not grounded in God’s Word, and thus become vulnerable to cults.

I look forward to working with the Israeli journalist to find out all we can about CAG/Eastern Lightning. When this man finally finishes his research and writes his article, he said that he will share it with me.

At that time I will share it with my readers.

Shalom b’Yeshua

The Vegan Controversy


A Hidden Agenda?

Today, I had planned to write about the rise and seemingly unstoppable advance of full-on veganism. To clarify, I don’t mean vegetarianism or simply avoiding meat to spare the suffering of animals. I mean the shunning of ALL products, whether edible or not, that involve animal ingredients, not so much as a personal choice but as an environmental statement .

I say I had planned to do that, but on following up my own researches on the Net I found several facts:

  1. The subject – even amongst Christians – causes such positive and negative feedback that it’s almost impossible to contribute to the discussion in a rational way. I am wary of adding to that.
  2. There is a dearth of factual data as to the roots and religion (yes, religion) behind veganism and other hot topics.
  3. Almost all websites found in a search are pro-vegan, or pointing out the rapid rise of veganism in the Western world.
  4. Christian websites are finding ways to support veganism, too

More importantly, hardly anyone realises that veganism is just one chapter in a whole book of beliefs about planetary ascension. And those who do speak out, approach the subject in such a way that they come over like cranks and crackpots.

At the risk of joining the tin-hat brigade, I DO see and know (from long years of research) that radically changing our diet is just one way of altering the entire planetary eco-system and population to achieve a state of “nirvana” or (as some Christians believe) a return to the perfection of Eden.

Now, I know that not everyone involved in the green revolution is of the same mind, nor are many even aware such beliefs exist. Even if they do, they are not necessarily in agreement with them, and many are simply doing their best for the environment and their health, as they see it.

Nonetheless, a change in attitude is happening in many areas, as seen in the illustration below. Like it or not, this new model is in direct opposition to biblical truth. (Included is the place of women in this system – telling us that more is being suggested than mere dietary choices.)

Does God Encourage Veganism?

Since I’ve mentioned it, let’s briefly put paid to the theory that God approves veganism because Adam and Eve didn’t eat meat, and that His plan to transform the planet and return it to Edenic perfection means that God wants us all to begin right away. Or so the argument goes.

Five counter arguments:

First, Adam and Eve ruined the perfect plan of God and we have them to thank for our present condition. That cannot be reversed just now.

Second, after the Fall and the Flood, the earth lost its ability to provide sufficient nutrition in just plant food

Third, nowhere in scripture does God ban the eating of meat, per se. On the contrary, eating the fatted calf was an especial honour. God led Israel to land flowing with milk and honey, not tofu and quinoa.

Fourth, the eventual restoration of the earth will come by the miraculous work of God himself, and not by man!

Fifth, even though certain foods were banned under the Law, restrictions were lifted under the New Covenant when Jesus declared all foods clean, [Mark 7:19] and Paul confirmed it in Romans 14:14 “I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean”. Adding that “the weak eat only vegetables

BUT, please note that this is in the context of validly-held beliefs, which God does not judge and nor should we, for we are told to:

“Accept him whose faith is weak, without passing judgment on his opinions. For one man has faith to eat all things, while another, who is weak, eats only vegetables. The one who eats everything must not belittle the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted him.” [Romans 14:1-3]

So at this point I must say that what I write here is NOT to judge, much less to condemn, anyone – Christian or not – who has decided to avoid meat.

If that is a personal choice you have made, then I am not here to point a finger. My sole aim in writing this article is to set out what is behind the global push to veganism and indeed many other efforts to save the planet Earth.

How To Save The Planet

Probably the great majority now of eco-warriors, if I can call them that, are focused merely on “saving the planet” from what they see as rapid decay or corruption due to pollution of various kinds – a worthy cause which I in part support, who wouldn’t?

I happily recycle like anyone else. Yet I cannot support the core religious beliefs behind a secretive agenda that is unknown to most.

What is the Goal?

Saving the planet is not the real aim, but altering the planet and all its inhabitants is the secret belief that drives hardcore environmentalism. It has its roots in Buddhism and Hinduism, but draws from many religions including a more recent upsurge in “new-age” beliefs.

For instance, it is encapsulated in this Native American “prophecy” which teaches that the rainbow children of the latter day will come together in unity, love and acceptance: “There will come a day when people of all races, colors, and creeds will put aside their differences. They will come together in love, joining hands in unification, to heal the Earth and all Her children”.

Here you can read of the coming “planetary ascension” that is predicted by the new-age gurus of today:

Planetary Ascension
The earth is going through an ascension at this time into a higher vibration and dimensional awareness. What this means is that she is joining her physical body with the higher frequencies of light so that she can participate in the galactic harmonic of spiritual light in an entirely new way. The earth…  must free itself of all that stands in the way of moving into the higher frequencies of light before becoming completely able to do so.

Among the things at stake is the future of human evolution. For the new planetary body will house those who have evolved in keeping with the earth’s present spiritual status, and if the earth were harmed or destroyed even in part, the capacity of this transition to take place in full measure would be interfered with as well….

It may be said that the entire earth is waiting …for the new birth and new awakening that will enable humanity to [enter into] a new way of being with each other and with life. … when the planetary body of the earth as well as all her inhabitants will know themselves to be one with each other and one with the Divine source of light and love that has given each one birth.  {Source]

The Hippy Generation

We saw an early attempt to bring about Utopia in the hippy era of the 1960’s when the “rainbow children” of that era promoted free love, hallucinogenic drugs, and peace for all mankind.

Many of the hippy generation went on to become world leaders, influencing today’s media, education, government, literature and also the Church. (See for example the Seven Mountains beliefs.)

“Outspoken Hippy Reaffirms New Age Beliefs for Today”

“The hippie expression of the New Age movement is attempting to unify the world’s religions and cultures to create, in effect, a one-world religion (i.e., a single spiritual philosophy) and global culture wherein all of humanity will live harmoniously together as one. The hippie movement represents a particular type of globalization. It is promoted in the lyrics of John Lennon’s song Imagine: “I hope someday you’ll join us; And the world will live as one.” A special United Nations event was recently held in celebration of ‘The Spirit of the United Nations.’ Open to all U.N. staff and Non-Governmental Organizations, the program featured an opening ‘blessing song on behalf of indigenous peoples,’ an expression of ‘thanks to Mother Earth.’ ” [Source]

Where Does Veganism Fit In?

To get back to the subject in hand, the general belief is that meat-eating [just one aspect of the old structure] is holding mankind back from evolving onto a higher spiritual plane, and ultimately to the status of “ascended masters“. Or similar expressions of the same basic idea.

Having risen to that condition of spirituality, it makes way for the lower species [animals] to evolve to a more human-like condition. (They then will continue the unenlightened activities of killing and eating one another until they, in their turn, evolve. And so on.)

Thus, we are all – it is said – on a long journey of continuous rebirth so that all who live on earth (and ultimately the planet herself) may rise to a higher plane of existence.

For this to happen we must respect Mother Earth (who is, they claim, a Living Being), stop plundering and polluting her resources, and learn to harmonise with her “frequency” to come into perfect unity.

The drive to stop mankind eating meat is just one plan in the quest for Enlightenment.

Other plans include:

  • Complete integration of all races and cultures
    • Richard von Coudenhove-Kalergi in 1925 in Practical Idealism predicted: “The man of the future will be of mixed race. Today’s races and classes will gradually disappear owing to the vanishing of space, time, and prejudice. The Eurasian-Negroid race of the future will replace the diversity of peoples with a diversity of individuals”.
  • Eradication of genders and gender stereotypes
  • Freeing people from the bondage of marriage laws
  • Overturning the belief that sex is principally for procreation
    • “The Free Love movement’s initial goal was to separate the state from sexual matters such as marriage, birth control, and adultery. It claimed that such issues were the concern of the people involved, and no one else”.
  • Emancipation of all women
    • There will be no New Age without full equality for all women. “The world of humanity has two wings — one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Baha’is believe that humanity has entered a new age, one in which the true potential of both women and men must find full expression, creativity and fulfillment.”  “In the New Age [The Age of Aquarius, the Hippy Ideal] woman will be equal to man”.  – August Vandekerkhove
  • Eradicating all fossil fuels
    • “We need to rapidly shift away [by 2020] from our dependence on fossil fuels -and- replace them with clean energy from water, wind and sun. The alternative to moving to green energy is a dark and dangerous future”. – UN secretary general António Guterres
  • Cutting back on all industry
    • “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme
  • Using only what “Gaia”, or mother-earth, freely provides
    • “Our insatiable drive to rummage deep beneath the surface of the earth is a willful expansion of our dysfunctional civilization into Nature.” – Al Gore, ‘Earth in the Balance’
  • Drastically reducing population numbers
  • And of course, “controlling the climate”.
    • “The climate crisis is NOT a political issue, it is a moral and spiritual challenge to all of humanity. It is also our greatest opportunity to lift Global Consciousness to a higher level.” – Al Gore, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize

Speakers Confirm The Goal – Reeducation

Needing a practical way to reeducate humankind, powerful bodies like the Club of Rome decided to use scare tactics:

“In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.” – Club of Rome, The First Global Revolution

The full quote is found here:

“The common enemy of humanity is man. In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill. All these dangers are caused by human intervention, and it is only through changed attitudes and behaviour that they can be overcome. The real enemy then, is humanity itself.“ – Club of Rome, premier environmental think-tank, consultants to the United Nations

To see the recent (2018) Club of Rome “Emergency Plan” for the planet, please download or see their pamphlet here:

Beliefs of Al Gore

The most prominent new-age guru, Al Gore, is almost single-handedly responsible for today’s climate change beliefs (once called Global Warming, since it was predicted at the time that much of the world would be under water from rising sea levels within 25 years.)

Al Gore was raised a Baptist and considers himself a born-again Christian, yet his books are full of new-age earth religion and pagan spirituality. “Mr. Gore also preaches repentance through a spiritual union with Gaia in the same way Christians taught a spiritual union with Christ.” [Source]

The education/propaganda around these and other similar issues has been deliberately so pervasive that hardly anybody under the age of 30 rejects the theories, but yet they know nothing of the true agenda nor where it’s coming from.

Veganism in numbers

  • 350% Rise in the number of vegans in Britain from 2006-2016; 542,000 people said they were vegans in 2016.
  • 168,000 Veganuary 2018 participants, of which 60% were under 35, up from 3,300 on its 2014 launch.
  • 185% Increase in vegan products launched in the UK between 2012 and 2016.
  • 20% Percentage of under-35s who have tried a vegan diet.

Such is the determination of the new vegans that they foresee it being classed as a religion and thus given the same protective regulations, as this article states: “Ethical veganism could be considered ‘protected belief’ akin to religion in landmark case.”

But, as I said, how many of these dedicated – and no doubt sincere and good-hearted – people know that changes in diet are only one small part of the whole plan of planetary evolution?

Indeed, few of the main proponents know it! They are driven by a genuine belief that we can “save the planet” by adopting rigorous new laws and requirements, and perhaps would be horrified to learn they are being used as puppets.

One commented: “We are unable to self regulate, so we need legislation and quotas to be brought in to limit what we aren’t listening to”.

New Laws and Restrictions

The leaders speak out, and the Governments of the world are quick to comply.

Harassed and “informed” by various strong-willed and determined lobby groups and quangos, the lawmakers start moving obediently in the same direction, without really knowing why, and without considering the consequences.

This is due to pressure from leaders such as Marco Springmann of the University of Oxford, who led a recent research team.

He said: “a global change is needed, but we really need much more proactive governments to provide the right framework. People can make a personal difference by changing their diet, but also by knocking on the doors of their politicians and saying we need better environmental regulations – that is also very important. Do not let politicians off the hook.”

Tim Barford, manager of Europe’s largest vegan events company, VegfestUK, points to the deeper roots of this recent explosion of interest. “There is a big plant-based shift culturally – a systemic change in the way that we’re approaching food and the way that we feed ourselves. Remember that successive governments over 15 years have been ploughing money into persuading people to eat more fruit and vegetables, with the five-a-day campaign. Then you’ve got a real cultural change among millennials, which is very much built around justice and the way we look at animals.”

Powerful Influence of the Media

No sooner did the media report on a major climate change conference in 2018, that called for a drastic reduction in meat-eating worldwide [UK and US citizens must cut beef by 90% and milk by 60%], the UK Government starting talking about a “tax on meat and meat products” as if food wasn’t already expensive enough.

And the exponential rise of veganism was just the result they hoped for – there is now a massive new interest in going vegan, fuelled by people who believed the simplistic chant that “giving up animal produce will save the planet”.

arrowThis article says that a third of Britons have now given up on meat.

As well as the pressure to be kind to animals (which at one time used to involve releasing them from zoos or laboratories to die a slow and painful death in the wild, or to decimate the indigenous species) there is now the much more emotive issue of resolving damage to the climate.

Because, farting animals create dangerous levels of methane. They say.

I even read a while ago of a scheme to make farmers provide their animals with nappies (diapers.) Such is the desire to stop the natural produce of animals, which by the way is one of the best providers of nutrients for growing plants, including TREES that (you guessed it) remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

Nonetheless, they chant, stop eating meat to save the planet! But even environmentalists disagree, as in this article:

It points out that “Anti-meat campaigns ignore the essential role that grazing animals play in genuinely sustainable agriculture. Livestock production must be reformed, but eliminating it would do more harm than good….studies … claim that livestock production accounts for 83% of global farmland and produces 56-58% of the greenhouse gas emissions from food, but only contributes 37% of our protein intake and 18% of calories. As such, it’s perhaps not so surprising that concerned journalists come up with coverage like the Guardian’s, “Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth” [which see]  …Yet, the debate so far has been extremely limited and largely dominated by those with little if any practical experience of food production or what actually constitutes food system sustainability.

I’ve lost count of the number of food campaigners who’ve told me that all we need to do to make food production sustainable is to stop eating meat. Really? What about the environmental impact of palm oil, soya bean oil, rape oil and even sunflower oil production; the over-enrichment of the environment from nitrogen fertiliser; the decline in pollinating insects; the use of pesticides …and what also about the growing problem of soil degradation…?

Seemingly oblivious of these issues, George Monbiot in “The best way to save the planet? Drop meat and dairy”, on Friday, June 8, also used the research study as evidence to support his claim that if we all gave up meat and dairy we’d be able to re-wild grasslands and live happily by eating more imported soya. (But please do read the entire article)

  • Another recent report from GRAIN and others are now claiming that meat and dairy companies emit more than Exxon and other fossil fuel companies. WOT??

Hypocrisy?

At the height of the vegan hysteria generated by the 2018 UN conference, somebody pointed out what should be obvious: shunning all animal products forces everyone to adopt more plastic – which is one of the worst polluters of the planet in the first place!

Changing from wool to acrylic, or leather to plastic, and using all kinds of non-biodegradable materials, means that in the name of protecting animals people are actually further polluting their environment!

And as for protecting animals, the plan to reclaim all land to raise crops is just as damaging.

Killing Animals in the Name of Conservation

“Nobody’s hands are free from the blood of other animals, not even vegetarians, he concluded. Millions of animals are killed every year, Davis says, to prepare land for growing crops, “like corn, soybean, wheat and barley, the staples of a vegan diet….the animals in this case are mice and moles and rabbits and other creatures that are run over by tractors, or lose their habitat to make way for farming, so they are not as “visible” as cattle…and that gives rise to a fundamental question: “What is it that makes it OK to kill animals of the field so that we can eat [vegetables or fruits] but not pigs or chickens or cows? ANY disruption of the land, whether it be to farm or to build subdivisions, reduces the amount of land left for other animals, resulting in the deaths of many”. [Source]

SEE ALSO Blood On Your Hands?

Health issues

Then there is the problem of raising children on a vegan diet.

It’s already been scientifically proven that avoiding all meat, dairy, eggs and anything else remotely non-vegetable leads to vitamin deficiencies in adults, but imagine what it does to growing children. How, I ask, do you raise a baby on almond milk and beansprouts without causing lasting damage?

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient found in virtually no plant foods. It is vital for healthy red blood cells, maintenance of nerves and normal brain function. It is mainly found in animal foods, such as fish, meat, dairy products and eggs, all of which vegans demand we give up! [Seven Nutrients You Cannot Get From Plants]

Yet, one fan says this: “Milk is a hormonal fluid and casein (milk protein) has been proven to cause cancer. Eating one egg a day is the equivalent of smoking 5 cigarettes”.

Really? If people can now believe that breastfeeding is carcinogenic, and eggs give you lung diseases, then the vegans are winning this battle!

Here is a very useful page of stories from people who have given up on being vegan, sometimes after many years. Their testimonies speak louder than any of my words.

Conclusion

I have hesitated to write this study because I know it will generate all kinds of reactions, probably some of them hateful. It seems to be a trend in these days that people become divided on emotive topics and some refuse to see the truth. I believe that presenting facts rather than feelings is important, which is why I have tried to give an overview, with web pages for you to view in order to do further research of your own.

Having said that, I know some will never change their minds; some too will go to supportive websites and follow the reasoning there. So be it. It’s a personal choice.

However, I have tried to point out that veganism is only part of a wider plan to reeducate mankind and to achieve, ultimately, a global transformation that some believe can only come through certain means such as cultural integration, peaceful coexistence, religious unity, sexual liberation, and a complete cessation of animal farming.

Some have gone so far as to say we should abandon pets in the home, or rename them “comfort animals” to respect their rights. Others have suggested we should provide the higher species of animals (such as apes) with their own form of human rights. These thoughts all come from the belief that we are all animals, and all on the same path of evolution.

Without understanding the religion behind veganism, we are doomed to adopt it merely because we feel sorry for animals, while the world leaders gleefully use our soft-heartedness against us. Beware!

Ebenezer – the Stone of Helping


Related image

I write today on one of most significant and historic days for this nation and the British Isles – yes including Ireland, whose future is also tangled up in the web of Europe and Brexit. How should we as Christians respond? Continue reading

My Life Is In Your Hands


This uplifting praise was delivered by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, and the song was posted to Youtube in 2009. It was sung, I believe, in a prison. I am posting it because I needed it today, God led me to this song, and I wanted also to share it with you all.  The words are here: Continue reading

It’s Love Actually


JESUS-HUG-SCALED

A new year has arrived, and as we look around an increasingly ungodly, violent and troubled world we are grateful more and more for the steadfast love of the Lord. His love is foundational to everything that he is, and to our faith in him. Continue reading

Turn On Your Laptop!


laptop-rip

Matthew 8:22But Jesus said to him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.

We are born dead! (Eph. 2:1). The apostle Paul says “sin came into the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12).

Yet, pinches self, we are not physically dead (yet). Which part of us is dead then? Continue reading

Hanukkah: The True Birth of Jesus?


drunk santa

I don’t know about you, but I now have “Christmas-fatigue”. The relentless Christmas advertising, the supermarket jingles, the pressure to buy more, eat more, drink more, and to ignore the Jesus that people are supposed to be celebrating – it grates on my nerves.

I find the whole Christmas thing more stressful and less meaningful year by year. After we pass the marker of Bonfire Night (or I suppose it would be Thanksgiving in America) the shops are full of decorations and the TV is full of adverts, until the entire subject of Christmas is a turnoff, for me at least.

If ever there was a connection to Jesus Christ it’s now become overwhelmed by expensive purchases, feasting and partying. The Church tries valiantly to beef up the biblical connections, but fewer people show an interest, so children are raised thinking it’s all about Santa Claus and presents.

The ‘Magic’ of Yuletide

believe-in-the-magic-of-christmasMost of all I object to the oft-repeated phrase, the “magic” of Christmas. Am I a Grinch, or do I have a point? To me as a Christian, magic is totally contrary to what I believe. You can call the solstice magical, or celebrate the ‘magic of Beltane’ if you are so minded, but don’t drag Christmas into it.

But then, I haven’t truly celebrated this festival for years, because early on in my Christian life I did a lot of research and found out the basis of most of the Christmas traditions are far from biblical. Indeed, I then wrote a pamphlet about it, that was ultimately transcribed for my website. It’s called “Somebody Cooked Your Goose!” and you can still find it today HERE.

Santa Isn’t Real – GASP!!

Before I get into the subject matter of this post (Hanukkah as the real birthday of Jesus Christ) – and it’s not what you think, so keep reading – I want to comment on something that caught my attention just as I was writing this.

SantaClausGraveThe Daily Mail (who else?) reported today on outrage in Lincolnshire after some schoolchildren were told that Jesus was the reason for Christmas, not Santa, and afterwards a few of the children were invited to smash chocolate Santas (then allowed to take the chocolate home afterwards).

One parent said that “I was really annoyed because Christmas is a magical time for my kids”. Needless to say, the message that Jesus is real while Santa is not fell upon deaf ears.

One lady in her later years commented on the news story that she was a Christian and thus did believe Jesus was real, but has “carried Santa in my heart” all her life, and because Jesus is about love, she rejects most of the bible while fully endorsing the Yuletide myths.

Is this is the message parents want to convey to their children?

I would suggest that, if you feel the need to tell the children anything, read them the North Pole/Santa saga merely as a fairy story in the same category as elves and goblins and they will get the enjoyment without the lie. After all, if you took the kids to Disneyworld and they met Mickey Mouse, you would discourage them from believing he was real.

Fight+of+Gods+Santa

First, the False

The date we on which we now celebrate the birth of Jesus was adopted by the Christian Church as late as the fourth century and his birthday is not mentioned in scripture at all.

This date was first observed in 336 AD, some 24 years after the Roman emperor Constantine established Christianity as the state religion. Apparently, Pope Julius I chose to replace the pagan winter solstice feast in honor of Mithra, the “Unconquered Sun,” that had been officially recognized by the emperor Aurelian in 274 AD. From Rome, the new feast celebrating the birthday of the “Sun of Righteousness” (Malachi 4:2) spread to all other churches (except the Armenian church) over the following century.

As many Christians are aware, the modern Christmas celebration combines many strands of tradition including the ancient Roman pagan festival of Saturnalia (merrymaking, exchange of presents), the old Germanic midwinter customs (Yule log, decorating evergreen trees), the tradition of Francis of Assisi (displaying the crib, or crèche of Jesus), the medieval feast of St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas in Dutch, hence “Santa Claus”), and the British sending of greeting cards (1840s). The Puritan pilgrims did not celebrate Christmas because of its many unbiblical associations. The holiday was officially recognized in the United States in 1870. [Source]

Another similar quote:

“Did the Romans Invent Christmas?”

Saturnalia – the pagan Roman winter solstice festival – was a public holiday celebrated around December 25th in the family home. A time for feasting, goodwill, generosity to the poor, the exchange of gifts and the decoration of trees.

The poet Lucian of Samosata (AD 120-180) has the god Cronos (Saturn) say in his poem, Saturnalia:

‘During my week the serious is barred: no business allowed. Drinking and being drunk, noise and games of dice, appointing of kings and feasting of slaves, singing naked, clapping … an occasional ducking of corked faces in icy water – such are the functions over which I preside.’

By the time Lucian described the festivities, it was a seven-day event. Changes to the Roman calendar moved the climax of Saturnalia to December 25th, around the time of the date of the winter solstice.

The poet Ambrosius Theodosius Macrobius in his work dated to between AD 383 and 430 describes a Saturnalia alive and well under Christian emperors.

The Christian calendar of Polemius Silvus, written around AD 449, mentions Saturnalia, recording that ‘it used to honour the god Saturn’. This suggests it had by then become just another popular carnival.  [Source]

The Main Point

However, I don’t want to cover old ground and write about the pagan winter festival. You are probably familiar with all that anyway.

I’m writing because I was pondering how the Middle Eastern mindset is different from ours, so that celebrating a birthday for them is not about the baby being born, but being conceived.

I am told that in the Jewish culture of Jesus’s day, the day you were conceived was actually considered your birthday.

We Got The Story Wrong

Most of us know that Jesus could not have been born “in the bleak midwinter” because the sheep were still out in the pastures, but perhaps he was conceived at that time?

I was thinking along those lines, and saying to myself that the date of 25th December is just a throwback to the Solstice festivals and Saturnalia.

Then I thought, surely a more reasonable date for the conception of Jesus would have been Hannukah, a celebration of dedication and victory, when miraculous light fills the temple!

Hanukkah

The Maccabean Revolt was a Jewish rebellion, lasting from 167 to 160 BC, led by the Maccabees against the Seleucid Empire and the Hellenistic influence on Jewish life.

candles

According to the Talmud, a late text, the defiled Temple was purified and the wicks of the menorah miraculously burned there for eight days, even though there was only enough sacred oil for one day’s lighting.

This event is now celebrate as Hanukkah which is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar. It may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar.

The name “Hanukkah” derives from the Hebrew verb “to dedicate“. But it has also been rendered as “[they] rested [on the] twenty-fifth”, referring to the fact that the Jews ceased fighting on the 25th day of Kislev, the day on which the holiday begins. [Source]

A Surprising Discovery

As I considered the possibility that Jesus might have been conceived at that time, I suddenly remembered today’s date and that my thoughts had come during – guess what – the very same festival of Hanukkah 2018, which began on 2nd December and runs to 10th December!

Is it merely a coincidence that the first day of Hanukkah for Israel IS in fact the 25th – 25 Kislev! Maybe something unique has been lost over the ages?

The Conception

Can the idea of Jesus’ conception on 25th Kislev be supported by scripture? Yes. The bible also leads us to another conclusion, that the actual birth of Jesus into this world happened during the Feast of Tabernacles in September – a time of rejoicing to celebrate “God With Us”.

A study of the time of the conception of John the Baptist reveals he was conceived about Sivan 30, the eleventh week (Luke 1:8-13, 24). Adding forty weeks for a normal pregnancy reveals that John the Baptist was born on or about Passover (Nisan 14). Six months after John’s conception, Mary conceived Jesus (Luke 1:26-33); therefore Jesus would have been conceived six months after Sivan 30 in the month of Kislev—Hanukkah. Was the “light of the world,” conceived on the Festival of Lights [Hanukkah]? Starting at Hanukkah, which begins on Kislev 25 and continues for eight days, and counting through the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy, one arrives at the approximate time of the birth of Jesus at the Festival of Tabernacles. [Source]

These facts would be much more in keeping with the prophecies of the birth of the Messiah, certainly much more relevant than the old pagan winter festivals of Rome.

Naturally, there is much discussion and debate about the exact facts, with some disputing the Hanukkah conception, and some disputing the timing. But overall there is consensus among scholars about the scriptures.

Feast of Tabernacles Birthday

Respected theologian Matthew Henry states:

“It is supposed by many that our blessed Saviour was born much about the time of this holiday; then He left his mansions of light above to tabernacle among us (John 1:14), and he dwelt in booths. And the worship of God under the New Testament is prophesied of under the notion of keeping the Feast of Tabernacles (Zec.14: 16).”

The most sure way of discovering the truth is by using (as above) the birth of John the Baptist as a time-marker.

When Zechariah was ministering in the temple, he received an announcement from God of a coming son. The eighth course of Abia, when Zechariah was ministering, was the week of Sivan 12 to 18 (Killian n.d.).

mary_mother_of_johnAdding forty weeks for a normal pregnancy reveals that John the Baptist was born on or about Passover (Nisan 14).

Six months after John’s conception, Mary conceived Jesus (Luke 1:26-33). Therefore, Jesus would have been conceived six months later in the month of Kislev.

Kislev 25 is Hanukkah. From this date, counting the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy, one arrives at the approximate time of the birth of Jesus at the Festival of Tabernacles (the early fall of the year).

During the Feast of Tabernacles, God required all male Jews to come to Jerusalem. The many pilgrims coming to Jerusalem for the festivals would spill over to the surrounding towns (Bethlehem is about five miles from Jerusalem). Joseph and Mary were unable to find a room at the inn because of the influx of so many pilgrims. “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7).”

They may have been given shelter in a Sukkah, which is built during a seven-day period each year accompanying the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. Due to the difficulties during travel, it was common for the officials to declare tax time during a temple feast (Luke 2:1).

The fields would have been dotted with Sukkoths during this harvest time to temporary shelter animals. The Hebrew word “stable” is called a Sukkoth (Gen. 33:17).

From Kehila News – Richard Honorof – Dec 21, 2016
[Kehila News is a community news site of the Messianic community in Israel.]

There is so much biblical evidence proving that Yeshua was born on Succoth. I have written two books on this subject of Yeshua’s birthday being on Succoth. One is called,‘Yeshua’s True Birthday, the Feast of Succoth!’ And the other book is called ‘Yeshua’s True Birthday: 20 Points of Evidence for Succoth.’

Both of these books are free to download from my website.
[NOTE: I haven’t personally read these books nor do I know the author, so download at your own risk.]

Was Yeshua’s conception prophesied in the Scriptures? Was this around what we now call the Hanukkah? For the human life of the Son of God began at His conception! Yes! It is found in the book of Haggai (about 520 B.C.):

“Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, (the Hebrew ninth month is the month of Kislev), even from the day that the foundation of the LORD’s Temple was laid, consider it … from this day I will bless you.” [Haggai 2:18,19]

I believe this is the day of our Lord’s conception! The 24th of the ninth month is the 24th of Kislev. The feast of Hanukkah (164 B.C.) begins the 25th of Kislev, and lasts for eight days. [Source]

Dates of Hanukkah [the 24th of Kislev] recently and upcoming:

  • 2005 – December 25th
  • 2011 – December 20th
  • 2016 – December 24th
  • 2019 – December 22nd
  • 2021 – December 28th
  • [NOTE: this year 2018 it falls on 2nd December.]

His True Birthday

So, to conclude, perhaps there really is a “reason for the season” and we CAN celebrate the birth of Jesus (his conception that is) if we remember that it’s Hanukkah not the artificial festival today known as Christmas that is a REAL reason for our hope and joy.

And, in fixing upon that date instead of 25th December in the world, we can maybe avoid the worst of the paganism and excesses that the world has recreated around its modern-day Saturnalia.

Indeed, I feel more inclined to emulate the early joy of Hanukkah as described by The Jewish historian Titus Flavius Josephus in his book, Jewish Antiquities XII, where he tells how the victorious Judas Maccabeus ordered lavish yearly eight-day festivities after rededicating the Temple in Jerusalem that had been profaned by Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

Josephus does not say the festival was called Hanukkah but rather the “Festival of Lights”:

“Now Judas celebrated the festival of the restoration of the sacrifices of the temple for eight days, and omitted no sort of pleasures thereon; but he feasted them upon very rich and splendid sacrifices; and he honored God, and delighted them by hymns and psalms. Nay, they were so very glad at the revival of their customs, when, after a long time of intermission, they unexpectedly had regained the freedom of their worship, that they made it a law for their posterity, that they should keep a festival, on account of the restoration of their temple worship, for eight days. And from that time to this we celebrate this festival, and call it Lights. I suppose the reason was because this liberty beyond our hopes appeared to us; and that thence was the name given to that festival. Judas also rebuilt the walls round about the city, and reared towers of great height against the incursions of enemies, and set guards therein. He also fortified the city Bethsura, that it might serve as a citadel against any distresses that might come from our enemies.”[http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=J.+AJ+12.287, Jewish Antiquities xii. 7, § 7, #323]

happy-hanukkah-illustration

Happy Hanukkah!!