Yes, I know it’s not Christmas yet. But I want to get you thinking about its non-religious meaning before all the commercial and religious huppla makes you numb to the topic. And I want you to have a whole new experience this year. So forget everything you’ve ever heard “Christians” and atheists say regarding Jesus and read to the end.
Etymology of “Holiday”
The word “Holiday” came from the phrase “Holy Day.” (Ought Oh . . . you ARE talking religion. NO I’m NOT! Keep reading!) “Holy Day” meant “a day set aside” for a special purpose or remembrance. It was a day set aside specifically to think about and commemorate a theme which or person who impacted history. And to enjoy related discussions and remembrances with friends and family. On Memorial Day, we not only have the day off, but we have it off because brave men and women died to preserve our freedom and liberty. Martin Luther King Day commemorates the ministry and life of Dr. King and his valiant stand for civil rights against bigotry and oppression.
So why is Christmas a “Holy day”?
The One whose birthday we celebrate every December 25–though that was not the actual date when he was born–has so impacted the world you and I live in, that time itself is classified as A.D. “Anno Dei”–“the year of our Lord.” The celebration of that birth–the birth of God’s Messiah (or “anointed One”) divides old history (B.C.) from new history (A.D). The coming or “advent” of the Messiah not only did that, but it ushered in a new Kingdom. A Kingdom far different from the Kingdoms of men. It divided of an Old Covenant with God and ushered in a New Covenant (that’s where believers get the tern “New Testament” even though it’s origin is thousands of years old). When Messiah Jesus came, He inaugurated the prophesied “Kingdom of God.” What’s more, He claimed that Kingship. And God backed Him up, proving His claims by raising Him from the dead. NO OTHER HISTORIC WORLDVIEW CLAIMS A RESURRECTED SAVIOR AS ITS LIVING LEADER. Yes, Jesus is Alive! This is not religion. This is HISTORY.
The Supernatural Kingdom of God
People have always mistaken that Kingdom God for a human, political/religious Kingdom. Yet, that Kingdom has been expanding and growing quietly, secretly just as Jesus said it would. Most often, the Royal Reign of God is totally missed . . . even by so-called “Christians.” But those who are truly included in that Kingdom understand and expand it joyfully. We recognize its supernatural origins and ultimate natural manifestation.
“he said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God, but for others they are in parables, so that ‘seeing they may not see, and hearing they may not understand.’” (Luke 8:10)
“Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly I say to you, unless someone is born from above, he is not able to see the kingdom of God.”” (John 3:3)
“for through him [Jesus] God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see— such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)
The Shepherd-King Knows Us
We aren’t necessarily recognized by the world or even by the church, but we know that we know the King and–more importantly–He knows us personally. He communicates with us and we with Him (Gospel of John 10:14, 23). Those who say that they are followers of Christ or know Him are quite mistaken if they have never heard Him call them by name. Hear what Jesus himself says regarding this:
“To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.” (John 10:3–4)
“I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” (John 10:14–15)(emphasis mine)
Jesus–the Shepherd King–is the reason for the season. He is the center-point of human history. It is from His life that both western and eastern Christianity were birthed. Granted, Christian orthodoxy has swung wide from it’s original intent and founder, but that does not mean that His was a life to be ashamed of or relegated to “religion.” Jesus is King of the Royal Reign of God–the Kingdom of God. He is God’s best and final WORD to hurting, distressed, and broken world.
Here and Coming Kingdom
The horrors converging upon this world in the forms of Ebola, ISIS, weather anomalies, kingdom rising up against kingdom, decadence and dissolution are evidences of the second-coming of the King:
“Then he [Jesus] gave them this illustration: “Notice the fig tree, or any other tree. When the leaves come out, you know without being told that summer is near. In the same way, when you see all these things taking place, you can know that the Kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will not pass from the scene until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will disappear, but my words will never disappear. “Watch out! Don’t let your hearts be dulled by carousing and drunkenness, and by the worries of this life. Don’t let that day catch you unaware, like a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep alert at all times. And pray that you might be strong enough to escape these coming horrors and stand before the Son of Man.”” (Luke 21:29–36)
You are Invited IF you Hear His Voice
This Christmas, perhaps you might think about topics worthy of the season, you will give and receive gifts, but if you don’t know the Shepherd-King’s voice or have fellowship and great joy from knowing Him (especially if He doesn’t know you), you have a hopeful word from Him. He said:
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock and one shepherd.” (John 10:16)(emphasis mine)
If you don’t know Him. If you’ve never asked Him to call you by name . . . Don’t waste a moment. Get alone and in all seriousness call upon Him with a sincere heart and watch the miracle unfold over the next few hours, days or weeks. He has another promise:
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37)(emphasis mine)
Celebrate a Messiah-centered Christmas this year as a follower of the Shepherd-King whose Kingdom is Just, good, compassionate, supernatural, and everlasting!
DISCLAIMER: We don’t behead those who don’t want the Royal Reign of our God. We grieve that they have missed out on the Kingdom and our most wonderful Shepherd and have never heard His voice.
Related Posts you May want to Consider:
If you cannot express yourself on any subject, struggle until you can. If you do not, someone will be the poorer all the days of his life.
Try to re-state to yourself what you implicitly feel to be God’s truth, and you give God a chance to pass it on to someone else through you.
Recently, I realized that in all the posts I’ve written and shared, I’ve never laid out clearly the “Beautiful News” of God’s Son as I understand it. If someone tried to invent a great movement or religion they could NEVER have come up with what God did.
The first son of God, Adam, abdicated his sonship for his own human desires. And just as God warned, he died spiritually in the day that his “eyes were opened” to good and evil (ethics–before that there was life with Father, evil had no home with the first humans). We all inherited Adam’s humanness including a dead spirit. SO . . . how did God bridge the gap? Someone put it this way:
“The Son of God became the Son of Man, so that the sons of men could become the sons of God.”
To meditate on this for even a few minutes is to lift your mind (and heart, if you are sensitive) into a truth that–for centuries before the coming of Chirst, the Messiah–could never have been foreseen apart from divine intervention. Because of His great love for us (even before we were born), God reconciles us ALL to Himself. He has a masterpiece destiny awaiting us that through the Son and us, brings in the Royal reign of Kingdom of God upon the earth. That He would give us His Son to take upon Himself OUR shattered, darkened humanness is unfathomable . . . but TRUE! And when he births that new spirit in us (theological term “regenerates” us), and gives us the inner will and means to walk by His Holy Spirit, we become “sons of God.” We become royalty. Personally I believe this is what is behind the human facination regarding the royal wedding (see this theme developed in Truth Behind the Royal Wedding).
The BAD NEWS precedes the Beautiful News and can be bullet-pointed as following:
- Human beings gave up their immortality and died spiritually through listening to their own desires. We are their descendants.
- Our self-directed, narcissitic lives have separated us from God. Now an impassable divide lays before us.
- We are forever separated from a loving Creator and are mortal (immortality is humanly unreachable; only those in Christ have immortality).
- This results in us pursuing emptiness. We always want and never have enough . . . of anything! (this is called lust; it’s at the core of our nature).
- We lust for food, sex, money, power, and esteem. All these are attempts to fill the inner void that was meant to house a living spirit.
- We grow full of pride over what we have and have done.
- We live this life until every one of us–rich or poor, high or low, religious or atheist–must face the end: DEATH. NO ONE escapes! All die and take nothing from this life, no thoughts, no memory, no life . . . NOTHING!
- We lay in death in the presence of God and we have no discernible being. Until . . .
The “Beautiful News” can be bullet-pointed as following:
- We have been given the opportunity of an eternity–immortality restored!
- Messiah, Jesus, came and gave himself to bridge the divide and take into Himself all that separated us from God (He became SIN for us).
- He gave Himself to death, so that we could enter LIFE! . . . IF we would embrace, as precious, the Gift of the Father’s love for us. We do this by renouncing our self-directed lives–our me-centered lust and pride–by accepting His Son’s sacrificial love.This change of heart and mind, will turn us from our self-directed lives and give ourselves to the Love that is enthroned over the Universe–the Living God.
- He, in turn, by His great power, raises our dead spirits to life (now, in this life). And we become the “sons of God.” (we NEVER become or were angels. Angels are a different order of being. They exist to serve God and us, as God directs.)
- At the end of our lives, we die; but . . . the sons of God await the Resurrection of Jesus. Then we receive our new bodies–bodies made for interdimentional life in hyper-time here in the New Earth and New Heavens. The creation awaits this revelation of the sons of God.
- We are seated with and reign with Messiah, Jesus both now (where we are learning the interdimentional aspects of our sonship-reign) and in the New Earth–where we will judge angels.
Those who believe that Jesus came lived, died, was raised again to life opening the way for us into the Kingdom, are given the right to become the “sons of God.” We become sons by the love, grace, and power of God. It is not something that we can evolve into or do for ourselves through religious rituals or behaviors (see Why I Despise “Religion“). That way has been blocked so that no one can boast before God that they were “good enough” or “religious enough” to save themselves.
The rescue was ALL–from beginning to end–of Him. He worked salvation for all of us who would respond to and value His love when we saw it displayed in the life, death, and resurrection of the Father’s Unique Son.
THE BEST PART
(This is the “So What?” part in the title of my book–We’re the ‘sons of God’ . . . So What?) HERE IT IS:
YOU, yes YOU are invited to receive the gift of immortality and new life in Christ. That’s why our healing community of brothers and sisters in Christ is named, New Life Fellowship. You need only seek and ask. All who call upon the name of the Lord, Jesus will be saved.
The SAD part–Jesus said that few do. People want to work their own salvation . . . or better yet . . . deny they even need it. They will suffer the loss of everything in the end and ultimately will pass into the Lake of Fire and be destroyed (NOTE: The Father of Jesus and his family of sons and daughters never created the Lake of Fire for people. He created it for the demonic and the Accuser. Rather ME-centered, pleasure-centered people choose that destiny rather than submit themselves to the Father of the Kingdom of Love.) Whether the Lake of Fire is a metaphor or literal location is not the point here, entrance there will be no less terrifying to those who have chosen to reject Christ, the Father and His Kingdom.
The “Beautiful News” is that YOU were destined by God for sonship–to share in His Kingdom. Will you respond to His love for you? Will you accept the offer he makes of peace between you and Him? I agree with His Spirit when I say to you, “Come.” Return to the Father of your soul and live. By His goodness, take up your masterpiece destiny.
©2011, David C Alves
BACKGROUND & DISCLAIMER: [The following is an open letter I wrote to young leaders (and friends) I’m coaching. I wrote it to suggest a course of action in response to the growing global menace of covert, Qur’anic Islam. The email embedded in the letter is set off by >>>>>>>>. I did not write the email nor do I agree with every view of its author.
Upon research I found that though it made bogus source-claims, it states some important truths whomever the author].
An Open Letter to the sons I coach,
Given my studies in both Medieval Islam and the History of the Ottoman Empire, I found the following email very interesting and believable, though it’s not what it claims to be (it never appeared in any Spanish newspaper or publication). Even so, what it says about Islam is verifiable.
I do not consider the article racist either, or culturally insensitive or whatever other politically correct label could be pinned to it. Truth is never racist. Speaking what is true is not intolerance. Remember, that this world-system rejects the Truth–Jesus. The world does not know or receive truth. Jesus made it clear that only those who hungered and thirsted for righteousness would find what they were looking for.
Islam is a covert religion which has no qualms about deception to accomplish its purposes. Deception is permitted, even encouraged. This belief is called “El Takria.”
Saladin, one of the early military heroes of Islam, asked the question: Why choose peace when we have the upper hand? Peace is only spoken when we are not yet in power.
The early Crusades were a mix of defensive campaigns against a violent and aggressive religion, fueled by the greed of popes and kings. But the truth is that if the Crusades had not beat back Islam, we would all be under Sharia law today (the global intent and goal of Islam). Because Islam is not only one religion among many, it is a political system that believes in subjugating people to accomplish its purposes.
The final verse in Qur’an is called the “Verse of the Sword.” Sirah 9:5 says – “Kill the unbeliever wherever you find them . . . “ [“unbeliever” refers to anyone of any religion who will not acknowledge–and embrace–Allah as God and Mohammad as his Prophet.]
Jihadist (fundamental) Muslims (as opposed to nominal Muslims) do not commit suicide. That’s not the way they view it; that’s the West’s view. Recently, I heard the Muslim side presented:
Jihadists are not committing suicide, they are assuring their salvation through supreme sacrifice to the rule of Allah worldwide. See 9:111
Islam is, and always has been, a religion of violence. Muslims who deny this are one of three types: ignorant of their own holy writings, lying, or nominal in their beliefs. True believers, educated in their faith know that Islam demands the violent subjugation of everything under Allah.
You can see its violence in the everyday lives of those who live in Muslim lands. All their texts mandate war and violence (47.4). All other faiths must be suppressed or destroyed to impose the order of Allah–Sharia Law–over all. Peace, in their definition, is only when all has been subjected to Allah. Then and only then can there be peace. Until then anything that stands in the way is to be converted or destroyed.
MAIN PROBLEM? The Holy Spirit says that all things are being made subject, not to Allah, but to Jesus
As a result, I agree with Benjamin Net when he says:
‘If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.” –Benjamin Netanyahu
So I have sent the following article/email along to you in order to better inform you. I did not write it, but I agree with much of it.
ALL EUROPEAN LIFE DIED IN AUSCHWITZ
By Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez
I walked down the street in Barcelona , and suddenly discovered a terrible truth – Europe died in Auschwitz … We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world.
The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world. These are the people we burned.
And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty, due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.
They have blown up our trains and turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime.
Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naive hosts.
And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.
We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.
What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe …
The Global Islamic population is approximately 1,200,000,000; that is ONE BILLION TWO HUNDRED MILLION or 20% of the world’s population. They have received the following Nobel Prizes:
1988 – Najib Mahfooz
1978 – Mohamed Anwar El-Sadat
1990 – Elias James Corey
1994 – Yaser Arafat:
1999 – Ahmed Zewai
1960 – Peter Brian Medawar
1998 – Ferid Mourad
TOTAL: 7 SEVEN
The Global Jewish population is approximately 14,000,000; that is FOURTEEN MILLION or about 0.02% of the world’s population. They have received the following Nobel Prizes:
1910 – Paul Heyse
1927 – Henri Bergson
1958 – Boris Pasternak
1966 – Shmuel Yosef Agnon
1966 – Nelly Sachs
1976 – Saul Bellow
1978 – Isaac Bashevis Singer
1981 – Elias Canetti
1987 – Joseph Brodsky
1991 – Nadine Gordimer World
1911 – Alfred Fried
1911 – Tobias Michael Carel Asser
1968 – Rene Cassin
1973 – Henry Kissinger
1978 – Menachem Begin
1986 – Elie Wiesel
1994 – Shimon Peres
1994 – Yitzhak Rabin
1905 – Adolph Von Baeyer
1906 – Henri Moissan
1907 – Albert Abraham Michelson
1908 – Gabriel Lippmann
1910 – Otto Wallach
1915 – Richard Willstaetter
1918 – Fritz Haber
1921 – Albert Einstein
1922 – Niels Bohr
1925 – James Franck
1925 – Gustav Hertz
1943 – Gustav Stern
1943 – George Charles de Hevesy
1944 – Isidor Issac Rabi
1952 – Felix Bloch
1954 – Max Born
1958 – Igor Tamm
1959 – Emilio Segre
1960 – Donald A. Glaser
1961 – Robert Hofstadter
1961 – Melvin Calvin
1962 – Lev Davidovich Landau
1962 – Max Ferdinand Perutz
1965 – Richard Phillips Feynman
1965 – Julian Schwinger
1969 – Murray Gell-Mann
1971 – Dennis Gabor
1972 – William Howard Stein
1973 – Brian David Josephson
1975 – Benjamin Mottleson
1976 – Burton Richter
1977 – Ilya Prigogine
1978 – Arno Allan Penzias
1978 – Peter L Kapitza
1979 – Stephen Weinberg
1979 – Sheldon Glashow
1979 – Herbert Charles Brown
1980 – Paul Berg
1980 – Walter Gilbert
1981 – Roald Hoffmann
1982 – Aaron Klug
1985 – Albert A. Hauptman
1985 – Jerome Karle
1986 – Dudley R. Herschbach
1988 – Robert Huber
1988 – Leon Lederman
1988 – Melvin Schwartz
1988 – Jack Steinberger
1989 – Sidney Altman
1990 – Jerome Friedman
1992 – Rudolph Marcus
1995 – Martin Perl
2000 – Alan J. Heeger
1970 – Paul Anthony Samuelson
1971 – Simon Kuznets
1972 – Kenneth Joseph Arrow
1975 – Leonid Kantorovich
1976 – Milton Friedman
1978 – Herbert A. Simon
1980 – Lawrence Robert Klein
1985 – Franco Modigliani
1987 – Robert M. Solow
1990 – Harry Markowitz
1990 – Merton Miller
1992 – Gary Becker
1993 – Robert Fogel
1908 – Elie Metchnikoff
1908 – Paul Erlich
1914 – Robert Barany
1922 – Otto Meyerhof
1930 – Karl Landsteiner
1931 – Otto Warburg
1936 – Otto Loewi
1944 – Joseph Erlanger
1944 – Herbert Spencer Gasser
1945 – Ernst Boris Chain
1946 – Hermann Joseph Muller
1950 – Tadeus Reichstein
1952 – Selman Abraham Waksman
1953 – Hans Krebs
1953 – Fritz Albert Lipmann
1958 – Joshua Lederberg
1959 – Arthur Kornberg
1964 – Konrad Bloch
1965 – Francois Jacob
1965 – Andre Lwoff
1967 – George Wald
1968 – Marshall W. Nirenberg
1969 – Salvador Luria
1970 – Julius Axelrod
1970 – Sir Bernard Katz
1972 – Gerald Maurice Edelman
1975 – Howard Martin Temin
1976 – Baruch S. Blumberg
1977 – Roselyn Sussman Yalow
1978 – Daniel Nathans
1980 – Baruj Benacerraf
1984 – Cesar Milstein
1985 – Michael Stuart Brown
1985 – Joseph L. Goldstein
1986 – Stanley Cohen [& Rita Levi-Montalcini]
1988 – Gertrude Elion
1989 – Harold Varmus
1991 – Erwin Neher
1991 – Bert Sakmann
1993 – Richard J. Roberts
1993 – Phillip Sharp
1994 – Alfred Gilman
1995 – Edward B. Lewis
1996- Lu RoseIacovino
The Jews are NOT promoting brain washing children in military training camps, teaching them how to blow themselves up and cause maximum deaths of Jews and other non Muslims. The Jews don’t hijack planes, nor kill athletes at the Olympics, or blow themselves up in German restaurants. There is NOT one single Jew who has destroyed a church. There is NOT a single Jew who protests by killing people.
The Jews don’t traffic slaves, nor have leaders calling for Jihad and death to all the Infidels.
Perhaps the world’s Muslims should consider investing more in standard education and less in blaming the Jews for all their problems.
Muslims must ask ‘what can they do for humankind’ before they demand that humankind respects them.
Regardless of your feelings about the crisis between Israel and the Palestinians and Arab neighbors, even if you believe there is more culpability on Israel ‘s part, the following two sentences really say it all:
‘If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel .” —Benjamin Netanyahu
General Eisenhower Warned Us It is a matter of history that when the Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces, General Dwight Eisenhower, found the victims of the death camps he ordered all possible photographs to be taken, and for the German people from surrounding villages to be ushered through the camps and even made to bury the dead.
He did this because he said in words to this effect:
Get it all on record now – get the films – get the witnesses – because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened
Recently, the UK debated whether to remove The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it ‘offends’ the Muslim population which claims it never occurred. It is not removed as yet. However, this is a frightening portent of the fear that is gripping the world and how easily each country is giving into it.
It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the, 6 million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians, and 1,900 Catholic priests who were ‘murdered, raped, burned, starved, beaten, experimented on and humiliated’ while many people looked the other way.
Now, more than ever, with Iran , among others, claiming the Holocaust to be ‘a myth,’ it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets.
How many years will it be before the attack on the World Trade Center ‘NEVER HAPPENED’ because it offends some Muslim in the United States ?
Our response should be to ask Father to draw the hearts of all Muslims to Messiah, Jesus. We must seek the Lord on their behalf. We must ask Him to display His love for them through signs and wonders–sons and daughters healed, blind receiving sight, lame uncles and fathers walking again, disturbed jihadists delivered from demons. That’s how we love our enemies.
We must not operate in the same spirit as they and other religious fanatics (wherever they’re found) do [see my post, Why I Despise Religion]. For those zealous for God, but lacking in understanding, always serve murder and vengeance. Murder and terror are NOT THE SPIRIT OF MESSIAH or FATHER. We are ambassadors of love. And if love will not work in this world, then this world is undeserving of us. As it is, we an outpost of the Kingdom of our Lord and God. We MUST reflect Him and His character–which is the complete OPPOSITE of Allah.
Even Muslims know this, that’s why their religious zeal seeks to convert or kill Christians “wherever they are found.” Their book, which they consider the word of God, says specifically addressed to Christians:
Allah is only one God; far be It from His glory that He should have a son, whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth is His, and Allah is sufficient for a Protector. —the Women, 4.171
I remember the wisdom of my Professor of World Missions at GCTS–J. “Cristy” Wilson. He served for 15 years as a missionary in Afghanistan and became familiar with Islam and its mindset. He said to our class:
“A Muslim will NEVER be reached by an argument [biblical truth].”
He will only be reached by the Power and Love of God. He must see the miraculous in signs and wonders. He must see the love of Jesus in those who claim fellowship with Him. This is the only Evangelism that will impress him.
So . . . I’m praying “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Remove the veil from their hearts and minds. I’m also asking God to defeat the religious spirits at work in ALL religions. That Messiah, Jesus, may be clearly seen. That His Spirit alone will reign over the hearts of men and women of peace. Only then will the world be a safe place to raise our children.
©2011, David C Alves