Now, BEFORE, you wish to provide the perennial greeting to me you might want to read this post otherwise you might find an unsatisfactory answer coming back at you. In short, DO NOT wish me a “Happy New Year”, and I will tell you why.
This morning I awakened very early, about 4:30 and since I could no longer sleep, I got up about 5:00 and turned on my laptop. For some reason, it wanted to do a complete update/install of Windows 10, and while I sat for the next two hours, waiting, while I could have just turned on either my phone/tablet or standalone tablet, or other laptops in my home, I just sat while the Lord showed me various points which rocked my world and will now change my life, rather, confirm what I knew was happening already and now I will share with you.
Like many of you I was brought up believing and celebrating the various holidays during the year. I gave up the myth of “ol St. Nick about the age of eight, and 13 years later relinquished any acceptance and desire to celebrate anything pagan, so Halloween, St. Valentine’s Day and Easter went the way of the trash in order to practice truth. Yet, little did I realize I was still holding onto one more I never considered a “religious” holiday and come to accept, today, just hours from the normal routine stuff associated with New Years, I’ve come to see I was again beguiled (fooled) by New Year’s too! Now, also having given up celebrating birthdays—let me make this clear, I “acknowledge” the day of one’s birth, but I no longer celebrate birthdays including my own, the same applied with New Years. I used to go all out for this day, but my desire to stand in Times Square, in the bitter cold watching a lighted bulb, waiting for midnight, avoiding terrorist, I chose to bring it in with like-minded friends who conscientiously celebrated at sunset, the Biblical time God gave to us in determining the beginning of a day. However, I see now where this was wrong.
God brings us along in steps. He does not give us more than we are able to accept. The problem comes is when we tell God we’ve come as far as we want to go and no further! This has been the problem with most nominal denominations (Sunday worshipers) and it does not stop there. The same applies with Seventh Day Adventists. Prophecy did not stop with the writings of Sis. White and her experience. Yet, we as a people have chosen to limit our experience of growth with what she said and we are just as guilty of remaining behind in our spiritual lives. We’ve countenance her earlier writing regarding Christmas foregoing her later writings because we needed some foundation for our desire to continue practicing the custom and traditions of the world, so we’ve sanction her approval while denying her disapproval. And while many are right at this moment, planning and preparing to celebrate the beginning of a new year, I beg you to show me, in Scripture, where you are given light to support your activity.
One sister stated in a post regarding pagan holidays. I will paraphrase: “You speak so much about pagan holidays, soon there will be nothing to celebrate! Yet, I believe the angels in heaven are celebrating His birth.” WRONG! The angels of heaven DO NOT celebrate His (Christ’s) birth. They did the very first time because their beloved leader’s presence was missing for the nine months of the process before being born, and really it was for our benefit, not theirs. However, since He has rejoined them, like Christ said, “Do the people mourn when the bridegroom is with them?” The point being, and consider this, why do we have this need to celebrate days, or the meaning of days? Is your life so wrapped up in the celebration, of what, as opposed to the times in which we are living? Is not this the times of the “Greater Atonement”? Where is the breast beating, the wondering and waiting for the High Priest to come out of the Most Holy Place, to give indication of our acceptance? Aren’t we still waiting for this time or have we taken it upon ourselves it is a non-issue, for us, because of who we are? Adventists. Should we not be understanding why it is what we do instead of doing what we do and never asking why? In all things, we must always appeal to the Bible for our beliefs and so let us do that right now.
Now, primarily, since I’m speaking to Adventist, Bible-believers, I will not find it necessary to actually cite text because you will know them already, with familiarity, and I need to get this “fire” out of me which is right now burning in my bones, without needing to use a concordance. The flow is too strong, the inspiration is too great.
When God incorporated His church, it was from having come from a period of incarceration in Egypt. It was there they learned how to celebrate pagan days. It was there they learned about harmful dietary practices. It was there they learned how to ornament their bodies with unnecessary jewels. It was there they learned the practices of heathenism, all those things which Abraham was not which was the reason why he was chosen. And it would take forty years walking in a wilderness for God to purge the nonsense from their lives and show them the way He would have them go. Is it not interesting that after God’s people wondered around for 1,260 years, He would again bring them out from their Babylonish experience and teach them how to relinquish their jewels (Dress Reform), how He would teach them about proper eating (Diet Reform) and above all else, teach them the about the keeping of a special day, (Sabbath Reform), yet many of you wish to give up all of this and return to Egypt where you can have your “cukes and onions”! Your jewels and hanging baubles from your fingers and ears! Your celebration of pagan deities and days!
Interesting how about two years ago, I defending New Years from those more enlightened even going so far as deleting their membership from the various groups I administrated and come to find out, they were right! They were absolutely right and I was wrong. Thank God my eyes now have been opened to the lies and deceit of the enemy and now the question is, will you?
In my brief study regarding the New Year, I was surprised to learn it, too, came from the Roman adaptation of paganism into the Roman Catholic Church, like Christmas, like Easter, like Valentines, like Halloween, like the celebrating of birthdays. I was surprised to learn how there are still many countries and cultures which have many other days which actually began the year for them, perhaps the more well-known is China with their lunar calendar, which is probably the resurgence of the lunar Sabbaths, which borders on lunatic. Even living in this country (Philippines), the tradition of having a table full of food, putting together twelve rounded-shaped fruit symbolizes something of importance but you don’t want to have “chicken wings” because the idea of those blessing flying away! Nonsense! The Bible is very clear the devil would “attempt” to change “times and laws” and while we as Adventist got it “going on” regarding Sunday violating the Ten Commandments, we fail miserably in avoiding all the other attempts of “times” being changed and we are no different than the world in our actions and appearance.
I’m reminded during the time of Christ how He told them when they defended themselves as being the children of Abraham. He made it clear they were the children of the “father of lies”. God said it very plainly that Ismael was not even his (Abraham) son! Calling Isaac his “only” son. How many of us will it be said the same? We claim to be of God and yet we do not do what God has told us to do. We no longer know how to distinguish between the sacred or profane. We adopt the same excuse the present pope gives with regards to “Climate Change” which is and will be the precursor to Sunday Legislation by stating, “It is good for families to come together in order to facilitate saving our world.” How many Adventist have said the same regarding Christmas as their excuse since most people are not working and it is “good for families to come together…” Is that not what the Sabbath was for? For all God’s people to come together as a family, worshiping Him in “spirit and truth”. Well, we’ve changed all that, haven’t we?
The call for what we have longed believed for Sunday-worshipers to come out of Babylon is really for us to come out, too. The old adage, “When you are in Rome…” we are still accepting and believing and practicing even what we will do in less than 48 hours from now! We are STILL IN ROME and don’t even know it. Won’t even believe it!
The Bible says there is coming a number, whether literal or figurative, is not within the scope of this post, but they, those 144,000 will be found to have two characteristics: “virgins” and “truth seekers”, using the old term, “found without ‘guile’”. How many of you are truth seekers today? Or are you custom/traditions acceptors? While there are few of us who can be considered “virgin” whether literal or figurative, it is clear, to me, it means to live a life having not lost the pure religion God has given to man. These individuals are not born into the 144,000 group except they are “born again” and this qualifies them and we are told to strive to be in this number. Striving means researching, studying, praying, meditation, asking God for light and instruction, and believing that which He has given in order for us to be considered a part of that great number of wonderful people who are also called “perfect”. Let me make it clear, it would be better understood if it meant being “perfected”.
I choose today to be “perfected” so I might have an opportunity to be in this group who will follow Christ wherever He goes, instead of those who have received the mark of His displeasure, who were not able to give up traditions and customs which have no truth or bearing on our soul salvation. Again, like Joshua said, “Choose you, THIS DAY (new year), who you will serve. But for me and my house, we are going to serve the Lord.”
December 30, 2015