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:
IMAGINARY INTERVIEW BETWEEN ME and A COLLEGE STUDENT
IN THE NEAR FUTURE
STUDENT: What happened in the early 21st century that led to the demise of the United States of America?
DR. ALVES: Many factors went into its downfall. But two issues sealed the fate of America. The primary catalyst–propelled by modernism and materialism of the 1930’s through the 50’s–was that we turned our backs on God in the mid-1960’s. The subsidiary factor in the first decade of the 21st Century, was that we turned our backs on each other.
We turned from God to worship human beings. This is the greatest sin our culture could have committed. But it is no surprise. This is mankind’s chronic error. Humans were created to worship. If they do not worship the One true God, they will worship anything. Simply look at undisturbed primitive cultures. Here’s the way the Bible states it:
Romans 1:18–32 (ESV)
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Since we turned from the truth of God to follow man-made illusions, God gave us over to “depraved” minds (meaning simply, that he let us follow our thoughts and illusions to their end). So, in a sense, our culture went into a form of societal insanity. The primary presenting symptom of that insanity is the denial of our very human natures. Evolution–the idea that we all evolved from some protein riding on the back of a crystal and moved through every possible lifeform from the simple to the impossibly complex–takes more faith than to believe God about how we were really created. We have forsaken the doctrine of creation and have become so confused that first we thought we descended from beavers and monkeys. Now men think they’re women and women think that they’re men. And the rest of the culture, instead of having mercy and compassion on these lost, deceived souls, props up their cognitive distortions. So instead of finding them help, they cheer them on in their gender confusion and godlessness. This is the spiritual root of what happened that led to our implosion. Certainly the financial catastrophe and rampant disease are also symptoms of the spiritual malaise.
STUDENT: Are you saying that our society is insane?
DR. ALVES: In a manner of speaking, yes. We have jettisoned ultimate Reality–God–for our replacements (idols). Insanity is a wholesale departure from Reality. Another Scripture puts it this way:
2 Timothy 3:1–5 (ESV)
1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
Ephesians 4:17–22 (ESV)
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles [non Jews] do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,
STUDENT: How did this happen?
DR. ALVES: Notice in the Romans passage above. First comes turning away from God. This is the spritual action which leads to unbelief. Then later, God gives them over to their own naturally deceptive, self-centered and self-directed mindset. Then comes the darkened mind. There is actually a spiritual veil over their minds and hearts. Before God gave them over to their own darkness, he was offering them the grace to know Him if they so chose. But people love sin, so they won’t choose God naturally.
STUDENT: If true, this sounds really scary.
DR. ALVES: God’s Word is always true. And you’re right; it’s a terrifying reality. But notice, it’s entirely in the free choice that persons make. People who abandon God are saying to Him, “Hey, I don’t want anything to do with you.” So, he gives them over to the darkness that dwells inside their minds. He removes the restraints in accordance with their wish and choice. In that way they are given over to a depraved mind, and are no longer able to discern Reality.
As frightening is the fact that those who support their unregenerate choices and condition, participate in the guilt over their lostness. In other words, supporters of homosexuality and human worship–because they knowingly supported their rebellion and decadence–will receive the same effects as though they themselves were homosexual, because they supported their dark, perverted behavior.
The next step leads to a seared conscience. Now the conscience no longer functions as it should, it has lost its bearings and the person with a seared conscience calls good, evil and evil, good. They are heartless and hateful. Thus they condemn and demonize God’s sons and daughters, who out of love, are trying to turn the darkened minds back to God. What could be more horrifying than to allow people to die of spiritual darkness when we–who were also once in darkness–have been given the light ourselves? The righteous, illumined mind hates sin, because sin locked us up in darkness and separated us from God and one another.
STUDENT: So Christians hate homosexuals right?
DR. ALVES: That’s your brainwashed education at the hands of American media, homosexual advocates, and public schools talking. How can the people who are trying to help the burn victims to move away from the fire, be hateful. Rather, the ones who won’t warn of the fire or help the victims to safety are the ones who are hateful. And they project that hatred upon the ones who are helping. As far as homosexual advocates go, they are filled with rebellion, hatred, and the blackest darkness. Unless they are willing to turn from their darkness to the light, they will not only perish and be cast into outer darkness (their own choice), but will be destroyed so that when God remakes everything, nothing that stains or causes sin will exist.
STUDENT: So, those who support the homosexual agenda and gay friends and family are the true haters?
DR. ALVES: No, you’d be misrepresenting or misunderstanding my position to say that. Not all the people who support the homosexual and transexual lifestyle are “haters.” But those who are accusing God’s people of hate speech are indeed the most hateful because they project their hatred onto innocent lovers of God. They not only hate Christians and people of faith, but they have murder in their hearts, because their lives are sinful and they hate the righteous lifestyles of the true believers in Christ and Jews who love God.
1 John 3:14–15 (ESV)
14 We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 15 Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him.
And, according to Jesus, those who hate and murder are animated by Satan:
John 8:44–47 (ESV)
44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”
STUDENT: You mean to say, there’s really a Satan?
DR. ALVES: Yes, there is. And non-western nation realizes it. But that’s for another interview.
STUDENT: Who are Christians to judge sins? Didn’t Jesus or somebody say, “Judge not?”
DR. ALVES: First, let’s clear the record. Not all who claim to be Christians are indeed Christians. Second, Christians have no right judging sin. That’s one way to tell the real Christians from the religious “Christians.” You’d do well to read my post on this subject if you want to better understand the distinctions.
What has been going on for centuries is spiritual warfare. All that has happened in the past fifty years is that the warfare has intensified and surfaced. Spiritual warfare is what is behind all that you see in the public arena. The Apostle Paul says it this way:
Ephesians 6:11–12 (ESV)
11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
STUDENT: What are principalities and powers of the unseen world?
DR. ALVES: Use your imagination. What do YOU think they are?
STUDENT: Like demons? or Satan? or spirits? or something invisible?
DR. ALVES: Yes! Precisely!
STUDENT: You’re serious?
DR. ALVES: Of course. Why wouldn’t I be? Don’t you believe there’s a spirit world?
STUDENT: I don’t know. I’m not sure.
DR. ALVES: Let me ask you a question: Are you willing to bet your eternal soul that there is no spirit realm and that there is no such thing as demons or spirits?
STUDENT: Of course not!
DR.ALVES: Why not? You don’t even have to believe the Bible or Christians to believe that. I’ve seen many who believe in the spiritual–the spirit world–the supernatural. All I’m saying is that the sons and daughters of God know the One who RULES the spirit world. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the Anointed One, has allowed us to have authority in that realm (and to some degree this one too, where the two realms intersect).
STUDENT: So how does all this apply to the Implosion of our nation
DR. ALVES: Except for the true believers and followers of the Messiah, our nation is a nation of rebels whom God has given over to their own self-directed, narcissistic choices. We are reaping the wages of those choices. God is simply allowing our choices to play themselves out according to our free wills.
We could have chosen what is good and right. After all, let’s suppose you were going to start a brand new race of beings. And you wanted peace and love to reign. Would you be willing to take onto your new island people who love darkness, sin, decadence, and made choices to harm and hurt those who chose the opposite?
The righteous have always been persecuted by the sinful and truly demon-led and inspired. And sometimes the sinful wore robes and miters. The demon-led hung out in churches and monasteries and had ecclesiastical titles. At other times they carried symitars and shouted Alah Akabar or they simply loved to harm people and encourage lawlessness. It’s all the same to Satan.
As C.S. Lewis once said:
“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist [atheist] or a magician [or a religionist] with the same delight.”
—The Screwtape Letters
Satan doesn’t care which extreme you embrace, at any pole, he has you. And he has many in our nation who don’t believe in his or God’s existence. Have you ever wondered why Islam calls America the “Great Satan”? We have exported our sensuality, our materialism, our shame and perversion far and wide among the nations. Satan and his forces stand behind the world’s deception, violence, rebellion, carnality, and sin.
One final thought: Christian Scriptures make no mention of the existence of the greatest world power of the twentieth century in the end times. I find that remarkably curious. The American Empire is no longer on the scene when Jesus returns to sort things out and establish HIS government. We are now closer than ever to His Coming!
Maranatha, Lord Jesus!
- Traditional Marriage: Hate Crime of Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-A? (davidcalves.com)
- At the Middle of the End: No Way Out? (davidcalves.com)
- BILLY GRAHAM’S DAUGHTER COMMENDS “IMPLOSION”: Book releases nationwide today. (flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com)
- Cultural Implosion Advancing (davidcalves.com)
- Can even God stop America from implosion? (wnd.com)
In case you missed them, or you’re new at my blog, here are “Five Favorites” from last year’s best posts:
Hope you find something worth sharing in one of these Five Favorite posts. Please take a moment to “share” one or two with a friend or family member.