Dec 31, 2015

Russ Dizdar: How to get free from dark spirits

So many are struggling, not just outside of the church but within the church, from oppression, compulsion, and sometimes even direct demonization.  This is happening to people who desire to be free and live out the life the Lord intended for them. May this video be a blessing for you. Never forget to examine yourself, always checking to see if your thoughts and actions conform to our Lord's guidance for our lives. No better way to start the "new year" than to be set free...

If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed....(John 8:36)

Dec 22, 2015

The Incarnation and Birth of Jesus the Christ - By Charles Spurgeon

By Charles Spurgeon

A Sermon (No. 57)
Delivered on Sabbath Morning, December 23rd, 1855, by the
REV. C. H. Spurgeon
At New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.
"But thou, Beth-lehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."—Micah 5:2.
HIS is the season of the year when, whether we wish it or not, we are compelled to think of the birth of Christ. I hold it to be one of the greatest absurdities under heaven to think that there is any religion in keeping Christmas-day. There are no probabilities whatever that our Saviour Jesus Christ was born on that day, and the observance of it is purely of Popish origin; doubtless those who are Catholics have a right to hallow it, but I do not see how consistent Protestants can account it in the least sacred. However, I wish there were ten or a dozen Christmas-days in the year; for there is work enough in the world, and a little more rest would not hurt labouring people. Christmas-day is really a boon to us; particularly as it enables us to assemble round the family hearth and meet our friends once more. Still, although we do not fall exactly in the track of other people, I see no harm in thinking of the incarnation and birth of the Lord Jesus. We do not wish to be classed with those
"Who with more care keep holiday
The wrong, than others the right way."

The old Puritans made a parade of work on Christmas-day, just to show that they protested against the observance of it. But we believe they entered that protest so completely, that we are willing, as their descendants, to take the good accidentally conferred by the day, and leave its superstitions to the superstitious.

 To proceed at once to what we have to say to you: we notice, first, who it was that sent Christ forth. God the Father here speaks, and says, "Out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be the ruler in Israel." Secondly, where did he come to at the time of his incarnation? Thirdly, what did he come for? "To be ruler in Israel." Fourthly, had he ever come before? Yes, he had. "Whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

 I. First, then, WHO SENT JESUS CHRIST? The answer is returned to us by the words of the text. "Out of thee" saith Jehovah, speaking by the mouth of Micah, "Out of thee shall he come forth unto me." It is a sweet thought that Jesus Christ, did not come forth without his Father's permission, authority, consent, and assistance. He was sent of the Father, that he might be the Saviour of men. We are, alas! too apt to forget that while there are distinctions as to the persons in the Trinity, there are no distinctions of honor; and we do very frequently ascribe the honor of our salvation, or at least the depths of its mercy and the extremity of its benevolence, more to Jesus Christ than we do to the Father. This is a very great mistake. What if Jesus came? Did not his Father send him? If he was made a child did not the Holy Ghost beget him? If he spake wondrously, did not his Father pour grace into his lips, that he might be an able minister of the new covenant? If his Father did forsake him when he drank the bitter cup of gall, did he not love him still? and did he not, by-and by, after three days, raise him from the dead, and at last receive him up on high, leading captivity captive? Ah! beloved, he who knoweth the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost as he should know them, never setteth one before another; he is not more thankful to one than the other; he sees them at Bethlehem, at Gethsemane, and on Calvary, all equally engaged in the work of salvation. "He shall come forth unto me." O Christian, hast thou put thy confidence in the man Christ Jesus? Hast thou placed thy reliance solely on him? And art thou united with him? Then believe that thou art united unto the God of heaven; since to the man Christ Jesus thou art brother and holdest closest fellowship, thou art linked thereby with God the Eternal, and "the Ancient of days" is thy Father and thy friend. "He shall come forth unto me". Did you never see the depth of love there was in the heart of Jehovah, when God the Father equipped his Son for the great enterprise of mercy?

There had been a sad day in Heaven once before, when Satan fell, and dragged with him a third of the stars of heaven, and when the Son of God launching from his great right hand the Omnipotent thunders, dashed the rebellious crew to the pit of perdition; but if we could conceive a grief in heaven, that must have been a sadder day, when the Son of the Most High left his Father's bosom, where he had lain from before all worlds. "Go," saith the Father, "and thy Father's blessing on thy head!" Then comes the unrobing. How do angels crowd around to see the Son of God take off his robes He laid aside his crown; he said, "My father, I am Lord over all, blessed for ever, but I will lay my crown aside, and be as mortal men are." He strips himself of his bright vest of glory; "Father," he says, "I will wear a robe of clay, just such as men wear." Then he takes off all those jewels wherewith he was glorified; he lays aside his starry mantles and robes of light, to dress himself in the simple garments of the peasant of Galilee. What a solemn disrobing that must have been! And next, can you picture the dismissal! The angels attend the Saviour through the streets, until they approach the doors: when an angel cries, "Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lifted up ye everlasting doors, and let the king of glory through!" Oh! methinks the angels must have wept when they lost the company of Jesus—when the Sun of Heaven bereaved them of all its light. But they went after him. They descended with him; and when his spirit entered into flesh and he became a babe, he was attended by that mighty host of angels, who after they had been with him to Bethlehem's manger, and seen him safely, laid on his mother's breast, in their journey upwards appeared to the shepherds and told them that he was born king of the Jews. The Father sent him! Contemplate that subject. Let your soul get hold of it, and in every period of his life think that he suffered what the Father willed; that every step of his life was marked with the approval of the great I AM. Let every thought that you have of Jesus be also connected with the eternal, ever-blessed God; for "he," saith Jehovah, "shall come forth unto me." Who sent him, then? The answer is, his Father.

 II. Now, secondly, WHERE DID HE COME TO? A word or two concerning Bethlehem. It seemed meet and right that our Saviour should be born in Bethlehem and that because of Bethlehem's history, Bethlehem's name, and Bethlehem's position—little in Judah.

 1. First, it seemed necessary that Christ should be born in Bethlehem, because of Bethlehem's history. Dear to every Israelite was the little village of Bethlehem. Jerusalem might outshine it in splendour; for there stood the temple, the glory of the whole earth, and "beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth was Mount Zion;" yet around Bethlehem there clustered a number of incidents which always made it a pleasant resting-place to every Jewish mind; and even the Christian cannot help loving Bethlehem. The first mention, I think, that we have of Bethlehem is a sorrowful one. There Rachel died. If you turn to the 35th of Genesis you will find it said in the 16th verse—"And they journeyed from Bethel; and there was but a little way to come to Ephrath; and Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. And it came to pass, when she was in hard labour, that the midwife said unto her, Fear not; thou shalt have this son also. And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Ben-oni: but his father called him Benjamin. And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave, that is the pillar of Rachel's grave unto this day." A singular incident this—almost prophetic. Might not Mary have called her own son Jesus, her Ben-oni; for he was to be the child of Sorrow? Simeon said to her—"Yea, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed." But while she might have called him Ben-oni, what did God his Father call him?

Benjamin, the son of my right hand. Ben-oni was he as a man; Benjamin as to his Godhead. This little incident seems to be almost a prophecy that Ben-oni—Benjamin, the Lord Jesus, should be born in Bethlehem. But another woman makes this place celebrated. That woman's name was Naomi. There lived at Bethlehem in after days, when, perhaps, the stone that Jacob's fondness had raised had been covered with moss and its inscription obliterated, another woman named Naomi. She too was a daughter of joy, and yet a daughter of bitterness. Naomi was a woman whom the Lord had loved and blessed, but she had to go to a strange land; and she said, "Call me not Naomi (pleasant) but let my name be called Mara (bitter) for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me." Yet was she not alone amid all her losses, for there cleaved unto her Ruth the Moabitess, whose Gentile blood should unite with the pure untainted stream of the Jew, and should thus bring forth the Lord our Saviour, the great king both of Jews and Gentiles. That very beautiful book of Ruth had all its scenery laid in Bethlehem. It was at Bethlehem that Ruth went forth to glean in the fields of Boaz; it was there that Boaz looked upon her, and she bowed herself before her lord; it was there her marriage was celebrated; and in the streets of Bethlehem did Boaz and Ruth receive a blessing which made them fruitful so that Boaz became the father of Obed, and Obed the father of Jesse, and Jesse the father of David. That last fact gilds Bethlehem with glory—the fact that David was born there—the mighty hero who smote the Philistine giant, who led the discontented of his land away from the tyranny of their monarch, and who afterwards, by a full consent of a willing people, was crowned king of Israel and Judah. Bethlehem was a royal city, because the kings were there brought forth. Little as Bethlehem was, it was much to be esteemed; because it was like certain principalities which we have in Europe, which are celebrated for nothing but for bringing forth the consorts of the royal families of England. It was right, then, from history, that Bethlehem should be the birth-place of Christ.

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O Holy Night - by Mahalia Jackson

The Story Behind the Great Christmas Song

Reprinted from "Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas" with permission of Zondervan. The strange and fascinating story of "O Holy Night" began in France, yet eventually made its way around the world. This seemingly simple song, inspired by a request from a clergyman, would not only become one of the most beloved anthems of all time, it would mark a technological revolution that would forever change the way people were introduced to music.

In 1847, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was the commissionaire of wines in a small French town. Known more for his poetry than his church attendance, it probably shocked Placide when his parish priest asked the commissionaire to pen a poem for Christmas mass. Nevertheless, the poet was honored to share his talents with the church.

 In a dusty coach traveling down a bumpy road to France's capital city, Placide Cappeau considered the priest's request. Using the gospel of Luke as his guide, Cappeau imagined witnessing the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Thoughts of being present on the blessed night inspired him. By the time he arrived in Paris, "Cantique de Noel" had been completed.

Moved by his own work, Cappeau decided that his "Cantique de Noel" was not just a poem, but a song in need of a master musician's hand. Not musically inclined himself, the poet turned to one of his friends, Adolphe Charles Adams, for help.

The son of a well-known classical musician, Adolphe had studied in the Paris conservatoire. His talent and fame brought requests to write works for orchestras and ballets all over the world. Yet the lyrics that his friend Cappeau gave him must have challenged the composer in a fashion unlike anything he received from London, Berlin, or St. Petersburg.

As a man of Jewish ancestry, for Adolphe the words of "Cantique de Noel" represented a day he didn't celebrate and a man he did not view as the son of God. Nevertheless, Adams quickly went to work, attempting to marry an original score to Cappeau's beautiful words. Adams' finished work pleased both poet and priest. The song was performed just three weeks later at a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

Initially, "Cantique de Noel" was wholeheartedly accepted by the church in France and the song quickly found its way into various Catholic Christmas services. But when Placide Cappeau walked away from the church and became a part of the socialist movement, and church leaders discovered that Adolphe Adams was a Jew, the song--which had quickly grown to be one of the most beloved Christmas songs in France--was suddenly and uniformly denounced by the church. The heads of the French Catholic church of the time deemed "Cantique de Noel" as unfit for church services because of its lack of musical taste and "total absence of the spirit of religion." Yet even as the church tried to bury the Christmas song, the French people continued to sing it, and a decade later a reclusive American writer brought it to a whole new audience halfway around the world.

Not only did this American writer--John Sullivan Dwight--feel that this wonderful Christmas songs needed to be introduced to America, he saw something else in the song that moved him beyond the story of the birth of Christ. An ardent abolitionist, Dwight strongly identified with the lines of the third verse: "Truly he taught us to love one another; his law is love and his gospel is peace. Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother; and in his name all oppression shall cease." The text supported Dwight's own view of slavery in the South. Published in his magazine, Dwight's English translation of "O Holy Night" quickly found found favor in America, especially in the North during the Civil War.

Back in France, even though the song had been banned from the church for almost two decades, many commoners still sang "Cantique de Noel" at home. Legend has it that on Christmas Eve 1871, in the midst of fierce fighting between the armies of Germany and France, during the Franco-Prussian War, a French soldier suddenly jumped out of his muddy trench. Both sides stared at the seemingly crazed man. Boldly standing with no weapon in his hand or at his side, he lifted his eyes to the heavens and sang, "Minuit, Chretiens, c'est l'heure solennelle ou L'Homme Dieu descendit jusqu'a nous," the beginning of "Cantique de Noel."

 After completing all three verses, a German infantryman climbed out his hiding place and answered with, "Vom Himmel noch, da komm' ich her. Ich bring' euch gute neue Mar, Der guten Mar bring' ich so viel, Davon ich sing'n und sagen will," the beginning of Martin Luther's robust "From Heaven Above to Earth I Come."

The story goes that the fighting stopped for the next twenty-four hours while the men on both sides observed a temporary peace in honor of Christmas day. Perhaps this story had a part in the French church once again embracing "Cantique de Noel" in holiday services.
Adams had been dead for many years and Cappeau and Dwight were old men when on Christmas Eve 1906, Reginald Fessenden--a 33-year-old university professor and former chief chemist for Thomas Edison--did something long thought impossible. Using a new type of generator, Fessenden spoke into a microphone and, for the first time in history, a man's voice was broadcast over the airwaves: "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed," he began in a clear, strong voice, hoping he was reaching across the distances he supposed he would.


Fun With Christmas Flash Mobs

Christmas Food Court Flash Mob, Hallelujah Chorus

Dec 20, 2015

26 Popular Traditional Christmas Carols w/ Festive Art by Thomas Kinkade

If you would like to relax to some of the more traditional hymns of Christmas, try this out....

26 Popular Traditional Christmas Carols w/ Festive Art by Thomas Kinkade-

Dec 17, 2015

Handel's Messiah - Glorifying God Across Centuries

Posted by Jerry Newcombe

I have heard that the opening lines of the “Hallelujah” Chorus are the most recognizable piece of music the world over.

Of course, the “Hallelujah” Chorus comes from “Messiah,” an oratorio (a sacred opera) by George Frederick Handel. The whole work is heavenly, and its highlight is the “Hallelujah” Chorus. (Sometimes, I view “Messiah” as the zenith of Western civilization.)

 I remember when the millennium change-over first hit on January 1, 2000 (although geeks like to say technically the first day of the millennium was January 1, 2001). In one far eastern country’s time zone after another, people the world over were celebrating the new year, the new century, the new millennium.

As I recall watching television of the celebration, the one song that I heard more than any other on that day, from various countries, was the “Hallelujah” Chorus. It is universally loved.

Within months of the Berlin Wall coming down, Pepsi had a beautiful TV commercial celebrating the historic event. The piece they chose for that spot was the “Hallelujah” Chorus. It worked perfectly.

  There’s something deeply touching about that piece of music.

By the time he was twelve, Handel wrote his first work.

Later, after his father’s death, he tried to study law, but he had no interest. So he studied music at the University of Halle.

In 1712, Handel moved to England and never returned to Germany.

While he experienced various successes through various compositions, including operas and sacred operas (oratorios, based on biblical themes), Kavanaugh notes that his failures threatened to overwhelm Handel: “His occasional commercial successes soon met with financial disaster… He drove himself relentlessly to recover from one failure after another, and finally his health began to fail. By 1741 he was swimming in debt. It seemed certain he would land in debtor’s prison.”

But 1741 proved to be the turning point. On the one hand, he gave what he feared was his farewell concert. On the other hand, a friend of his, Charles Jennens, gave him a libretto (a text) for a sacred work. It was essentially 73 Bible verses, focused on the Messiah, both from the Hebrew and the Christian Bible. Furthermore, a charity in Dublin paid him money to write something for a charity performance.

“Messiah” was the result, and it was very successful.  

It’s interesting to note in this year, 2011, the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible, that Handel’s work was impacted by that literary masterpiece. Every word of “Messiah” comes from that book.

 Oxford professor Alister E. McGrath wrote, “Without the King James Bible, there would have been no Paradise Lost, no Pilgrim’s Progress, no Handel’s 'Messiah,' no Negro spirituals, and no Gettysburg Address. These, and innumerable other works were inspired by the language of this Bible.”

Charles Jennens’ role in this masterpiece is often lost, even on fans of “Messiah.” He is the one who carefully gleaned through the King James Bible and assembled the verses about the Christ that Handel so brilliantly set to music.

 I count that 42 of the verses come from the Old Testament, including many passages from the Psalms and Isaiah. Thirty-one come from the New Testament.

“Messiah” was first performed in Dublin in 1742. It was a benefit concert for charity. According to one source, proceeds freed 142 men from debtors’ prison.

A year later, King George II was present at the first performance of “Messiah” in London. Is it said that the monarch fell asleep, and at the opening of the “Hallelujah” Chorus, he rose to his feet, thinking it was his cue. Whatever the reason, he stood, and that has been the custom ever since—to stand during the “Hallelujah” Chorus.

About 100 years later, even the aged Queen Victoria, who sat in her wheelchair as the chorus began, struggled to her feet as the choir sang, “King of kings and Lord of lords.” She said, “No way will I sit in the presence of the King of kings.”

So out of one genius’s pain and low point in his life came a work of beauty that continues to uplift millions of people the world over. Kavanaugh notes the secret of Handel’s success, “He was a relentless optimist whose faith in God sustained him through every difficulty.”

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O Holy Night - Celtic Woman

Dec 16, 2015

Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man

by Lambert Dolphin

Why God Became a Man?

The religion page in the Saturday newspaper these days treats Jesus as a great moral teacher whose words we may or may not have accurately recorded for us in the gospels. Jesus may have been a remarkable teacher, but so was Confucius, Buddha, or Mohammed.  The disciples of Jesus, and the majority of the Jews who enthusiastically followed the Master at the beginning of his public ministry clearly hoped he would bring in the kingdom of God by throwing out the Roman overlords and bringing Israel back to the glory the nation had in the days of Solomon. Reading through the gospels there is plenty of evidence that Jesus' teachings were inexhaustibly rich and profound and authoritative. His miracles were real and brought much relief from pain, suffering and even death. His manhood, lived out in total dependence on the indwelling Father, was startling to many because no man living or dead had ever come close to measuring up to Jesus' demonstration of what God intended normal manhood to be.
While the people pressed upon him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. And he saw two boats by the lake; but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. And when he had ceased speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." And when they had done this, they enclosed a great shoal of fish; and as their nets were breaking, they beckoned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink.

But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the catch of fish which they had taken; and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; henceforth you will be catching men." (Luke 5:1-10)

Jesus probably first realized his calling when he was about 12 years old,
And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom; and the favor of God was upon him. Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the Passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up according to custom; and when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. His parents did not know it, but supposing him to be in the company they went a day's journey, and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances; and when they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking him. After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions; and all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. And when they saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been looking for you anxiously." And he said to them, "How is it that you sought me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father's house?" And they did not understand the saying which he spoke to them. And he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was obedient to them; and his mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and man." (Luke 2:40-52)

From the time He first realized why He had been sent into the world, Jesus knew that His main purpose was to arrive in Jerusalem at a precise, exact time and date on God's calendar that had been prophesied by Daniel 700 years earlier, (Daniel 9:24-27). There he knew that he would be betrayed by one of his own, and that he would become a sacrificial lamb for the sins of all the world.
"...[Jesus] strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Messiah. From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. And Peter took him and began to rebuke him, saying, "God forbid, Lord! This shall never happen to you." But he turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me; for you are not on the side of God, but of men." Then Jesus told his disciples, "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? Or what shall a man give in return for his life? For the Son of man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done. (Matthew 16:20-27)

Men today are no different from the Jews of Jesus' day. We'd all like a Savior who would fix up the externals of our lives, solve our financial and emotional problems, deal with our enemies and give us at the happiness that constantly eludes us. But the Primary Mission of Jesus was much more serious and profound and terrible. He came to undo cosmic evil and to accomplish a permanent fix for the problem of human sin. The solution to human ills and to the cosmic problem of evil could not, cannot, and did not come from human skills, ingenuity, or from our meritorious efforts. It is the Creator Himself who formulated the plans---from the beginning of time---for the solution of man's terrible plight. Though the councils of God are conducted in eternity "before the foundation of the world," in due season,
"...when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons." (Galatians 4:4, 5)

God executed His plans, as He always does, according to His own timing and pre-planning. What God did to solve the problem of evil was to enter the human race in the Person of the Son, as a perfect, sinless man. Jesus,
"who, though he was in the form (morphe) of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied (ekenosen) himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found (schemati) in human form (homoiomati) he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:6-11)

Jesus, the Son of God became a substitute for each one of us, a sin-bearer, a reconciler. He is called in the New Testament, "the Author (archegos) and Finisher ( teleiotes) of our Faith" (Heb. 12:2). By a voluntary act the Son of God chose to become a man, to be an obedient servant, and to do everything, day by day throughout his entire life on earth, in total dependence upon the Father who indwelt Him.
 This passage quoted above from Philippians is of great importance to our understanding the nature of God and the radical solution to sin God accomplished through the incarnation of His Son. The early church wrestled over the issue of whether Christ had one nature or two (the problem of the "hypostatic union")---most Christians today agree that this passage implies that Jesus Christ is both fully God and fully man. Furthermore, Jesus lived His entire life on earth by faith in total dependence upon the Father who dwelt in Him, thus He did not, while He was on earth, exercise His sovereign power as God the Son. This right and privilege (that of acting as Sovereign God), in addition to His exalted and splendorous place beside the Father, were temporarily and voluntarily set aside by Jesus of his own free will.  The Son of God, having become a man, grew into maturity, through suffering and obedience, and so came to the age where He was fully qualified to die as a substitute for the sins of the world. Then, having accomplished that terrible, bloody work of the cross, Jesus was raised from the dead by the Father and by the Holy Spirit. Forty days later He ascended into the heavens. This same Jesus now sits at the "right hand of the Majesty on High." In this series of cosmic events, Jesus has actually gained a more exalted position in the universe than He held before. Because of his obedience and death on the cross, He has been elevated by the Father to the place of supreme authority in the entire universe. This "higher state" may be difficult for us to imagine---since Jesus was already the Son of God before He became a man---but such is the language used of Jesus in the New Testament describing his post-resurrection exaltation. Chicago's Moody Church pastor and prophet, the late A.W. Tozer wrote these words:
"The teaching of the New Testament is that now, at this very moment, there is a Man in heaven appearing in the presence of God for us. He is as certainly a man as was Adam or Moses or Paul; he is a man glorified, but his glorification did not de-humanize him. Today he is a real man, of the race of mankind, bearing our lineaments and dimensions, a visible and audible man, whom any other man would recognize instantly as one of us. But more than this, he is the heir of all things, Lord of all lords, head of the church, firstborn of the new creation. He is the way to God, the life of the believer, the hope of Israel, and the high priest of every true worshiper. He holds the keys of death and hell, and stands as advocate and surety for everyone who believes on him in truth. Salvation comes not by accepting the finished work, or deciding for Christ; it comes by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, the whole, living, victorious Lord who, as God and man, fought our fight and won it, accepted our debt as his own and paid it, took our sins and died under them, and rose again to set us free. This is the true Christ; nothing less will do."

The Seat of Original Sin

The late Arthur Custance, a gifted Canadian Bible scholar, in his book The Seed of the Woman, (Ref. 1) makes a case that "original sin" in the human race may very well be transmitted biologically from generation to generation [from Adam] through the male sperm, rather than through the female ovum. Custance took care to defend his premises thoroughly. The virgin birth, Custance believed, allowed Jesus to be born of Mary free from all sin so as to become a "lamb without spot or blemish," "tempted in every way, just as we are, yet without sin." Scripture also speaks of Jesus as "The Lamb slain before the foundation of the world." If original sin is transmitted genetically by the male sperm and not by the female ovum, then Mary, though she herself was a forgiven sinner and a mortal daughter of Adam and Eve, could give birth to a sinless son through the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit without ordinary fertilization by her husband's seed.  The incarnation, the life, the death, and the resurrection of Jesus the Son of God is an awesome intrusion into our limited space-time domain. These events which we see as merely historic in our time frame constitute an eternal event, a transaction (known in theology as "the eternal covenant") between the Father and the Son, which really takes place in eternity, outside of time. The prophet Isaiah records amazing "conversations" outside of time between God the Father and His servant the Messiah, (Isaiah was written about 700 years before Jesus was born) For example Isaiah 49 says:
Listen to me, O coastlands, and hearken, you peoples from afar. The LORD called me (Messiah) from the womb, from the body of my mother he named my name. He made my mouth like a sharp sword, in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me away. And he said to me, 'You are my servant, Israel, (here the Messiah is spoken of as the true Israel) in whom I will be glorified.'

But I (Messiah) said, 'I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity; yet surely my right is with the LORD, and my recompense with my God.'

And now the LORD says, who formed me from the womb to be his servant, to bring Jacob back to him, and that Israel might be gathered to him, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD, and my God has become my strength---he says: 'It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the preserved of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.' Thus says the LORD, the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One, to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations, the servant of rulers: 'Kings shall see and arise; princes, and they shall prostrate themselves; because of the LORD, who is faithful, the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.'" (1-7)

Arthur Custance's argument about the mechanism by which sin may be genetically transmitted is a very reasonable one, (at least to my way of thinking), and helps us to understand why the blood line of the promise through legitimate heirs from Eve down through Mary is uninterrupted, while only the Kingly promise (not the blood line---see Jer. 22:30, 36:30) is preserved from Abraham to Joseph. The conception of Jesus in the womb of Mary by the Holy Spirit interrupted the chain of genetic links beginning with the fall, allowing a descendant of Adam to be born into the world free from original sin. The perfect obedience of Jesus during His life on earth also was necessary to assure that He reached the cross as a fully qualified sin-offering. Scripture emphasizes the humanity of the Messiah as fully as it does His Deity. The Old Testament is replete with references to the Messiah as the "root out of dry ground," "the seed of David," "the suffering servant of the LORD," and so on.

Jesus and the Undoing of Cosmic Evil

The most famous passage from the pen of Paul describing the resurrection of believers also makes mention of Christ's victory over evil angels, and over death itself. Indeed Jesus will, ultimately "put all things under himself:"
"But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 'For God has put all things in subjection under his feet.' But when it says, 'All things are put in subjection under him,' it is plain that he is excepted who put all things under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things under him, that God may be everything to every one." (1 Corinthians 15:20-28)

The Bible is full of evidence that both the spiritual dimension and human society are today influenced by an active and pernicious evil agency. The old creation has been ruined because of active evil perpetrated by fallen angels. Both the heavens and the material universe have become flawed and corrupted. Some of the laws of physics we now take for granted were evidently different in the past. Evil in the heavens means that malevolent spiritual beings, having great influence in the universe have access to the throne of God and to territories beyond the earth as well. Satan does not rule in hell, as popular cartoons usually suggest. As the prince of the power of the air he has access to heaven, (Job Chapter 1). As the god of this age he rules over the fallen social order of the nations.  Satan and his hordes of malevolent spirit-beings rule in the activities of men; however, only with permission from God. They are completely in subjection to God and can not go beyond boundaries established by God. Satan's pervasive influence of active evil influencing all human affairs is also temporary and soon will be coming to an end. In fact, the doom and fate of the Father of Lies has already been sealed in eternity. The victory of Jesus on the cross was a cosmic, all-encompassing one:
God has delivered us [who believe] from the dominion of darkness and transferred [translated] us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities---all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were estranged and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and irreproachable before him...(Colossians 1:13-22)

We sons and daughters of Adam, who still live constrained in time, can rest assured that a bright, new world lies ahead for all who follow Jesus as Lord. A just and holy God cannot tolerate the present world situation forever. He must, and He will, intervene and change the status Que. One such direct intervention has already occurred, at the time of the Flood of Noah. God's next moves will be more grand, terrible, and awesome indeed. He reigns over the entire universe always, but He does not yet rule on the earth. The day of Christ's rule on earth is fast approaching.

Man's Three Enemies

Man is fallen, human evil is a reality---The first three Chapters of the Book of Romans spell this out for us in detail. How can we miss such a complete and thorough indictment before the bar of God's court of justice? Yet amazingly everyone of us seems intent on denying what should be perfectly obvious. Even though we all suffer from the effects of early in life, we persist in living for the moment denying the fact that the human mortality rate remains a flat 100%. The fact that we begin to die as soon as we are born, attests to the fall of our forefather Adam, "Sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned--" (Romans 5:12). Even those of us who know Jesus Christ as Lord, and who experience his renewing life in us, (Rom. 8:11) still live in fallen physical bodies---bodies that are not yet redeemed. Non-Christians are described in the Bible as "dead in trespasses and sins." Thus those who do not yet know God cannot be expected to live what in God's eyes is truly moral and godly lives---by our very nature. The power to live a moral life comes from God as a gift, as does inherent rightness which is imputed to us when we become Christians. Becoming a Christian does not eliminate sin, rather, conversion to Christ is the time the real battle begins. Christians find themselves subjected to temptations and inclinations towards evil through three mechanisms. The Bible calls them "the flesh, the world, and the devil." However, neither the body, nor matter, nor things in the material world are, in and of themselves, evil.
The flesh might better be translated "the self-life." The seat of the flesh lies in the as-yet-unredeemed physical body of man, but it is Satan who energizes and empowers the lusts of the flesh that we all experience. The enemy seeks to draw us away from dependence upon the indwelling Lord Jesus, this produces self-centeredness---which is how the flesh operates. The flesh and the world are Satan's main instruments in this process. The flesh, according to the Bible, has both "good" and "bad" aspects. The flesh always springs to life when a Christian tries to live his life by self-effort---rather than by dependence upon his indwelling Lord. Christians are free to "walk after the flesh" but admonished instead to "put to death the deeds of the body" and to "sow good works by the Spirit" since there are inevitable consequences for evil or for good depending on all our daily choices. These contrasts are set forth in Galatians Chapter 5. The "world," (as the New Testament uses the term), is not the world of nature, but culture, custom, tradition, and human society as dominated by Satan. The Greek word cosmos, translated "world" means "ornament, decoration, arrangement." Cosmos gives us our English word "cosmetics." Hence worldliness is a concern for external appearances more than inner content and quality. The world system is outwardly religious, scientific, cultured and elegant. Inwardly it seethes with national and commercial rivalries. The influence of the "world" on a follower of Christ shows up in the following ways: a conformity to cultural norms or traditions and stifles individuality, the use of force, greed, ambition and warfare to accomplish objectives, the use of financial reward, position, power or social status as a important aspect of identity. The world cares nothing for the worth of the individual or his uniqueness, promotes myths and illusions which appeal to human vanity and pride, diverts attention from spiritual values by appeals to pursue pleasure, pride (vainglory), or to power, is permissive in regard to sexual, moral and ethical values to encourage self-indulgence, makes an appeal to immediate pleasure rather than long-term goals, ignores eternal values and invisible realities, offers false philosophies and value systems to support its goals. The root problem behind worldly values is pride. The world exalts man, his abilities and his supposed "progress"---e.g. through the myth of social evolution, glosses over and hides suffering, death, poverty, the depravity of man, and man's accountability to God. The "world" seeks to unify mankind under an atheistic humanistic or pantheistic banner, and emphasizes pluralism while denying Biblical absolutes. Worldly philosophy teaches human progress and advancement through better education or social welfare.  The third enemy of man is Satan. The Devil is "the god of this world" (or in Greek this "age.") He does not preside over hell, but over the earth, that is, over society. He has access to heaven. As a "liar and a murderer from the beginning," Satan seeks to twist, warp, cripple and destroy man, and to further ruin God's creation. His basic appeal is to persuade men to be their own gods, to be self-sufficient, to attempt mastery of their own fates and destinies. Satan is not equal to god, and must obtain permission from God for all that he does. He is clever, deceitful, treacherous, and man's deadly enemy. (C.S. Lewis, Screwtape Letters is an excellent fictional story of conversations between the devils---revealing much about the stratagems of Satan and his devices). The good news of the Bible is that God has already solved the problem of evil in both dimensions, that is, "in heaven" and "on earth". This is why the theme of victory, triumph, and hope pervades the New Testament. "...I would have you wise as to what is good and guileless as to what is evil; then the God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." writes Paul (Romans 16: 19-20) To the Corinthians he says, "For he (Jesus) must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 'For God has put all things under his feet.'" (1 Corinthians 15:25-27)

The Work of the Cross: The Central Accomplishment of Jesus

In Scripture, when God has something important to say, it is sometimes repeated. Usually one repetition is sufficient to tell us to pay attention, as when Jesus would begin a statement with the words "Truly, Truly I say to you..." (In the original language the word "truly" is actually the word Amen. "Amen, amen, I say to you). Sometimes Scripture repeats something twice to make very certain we don't miss something important. A very few times does Scripture repeat something three times for emphasis---for example "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory," are Isaiah's words when he became aware of the holiness of God and his own deep-seated sinfulness (Isaiah 6).

 When it comes to the life of Jesus---His temptations, betrayal, trial, death and resurrection---four, not two, not three, Gospels were written. Surely this strategy by the Holy Spirit is intended to help us see the supremely great importance of God becoming a man. We must not miss the message that " Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them..." (2 Corinthians 5:19) John R.W. Stott has written a thorough treatment on the cross of Christ, revealing the importance of this subject from God's point of view (Ref. 2). But, the cross of Christ is all-too-frequently neglected or even crowded out of Christianity by other less "offensive" aspects of theology and Bible study. Not only is the subject of the Cross all about the death of Jesus on our behalf, but also it points to the fact that we, too, must be put to death, in Christ, on that same cross, to gain eternal life. Our crucifixion with Christ shows us that there is nothing in the old creation, in the first Adam, that can be saved apart from death. Paul writes, "I have been crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me, and the life I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not nullify the grace of God, for if justification came by the law, then Christ died to no avail." (Galatians 2:20-21)  While writing to encourage the Christians in the early church at Colossae, the Apostle Paul reveals to them some of the mighty once-for-all-time accomplishments of Jesus on the cross:
"As therefore you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so live in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. See to it that no one makes a prey of you by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits (stoicheia) of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily (permanently), and you have come to fullness of life in him, who is the head of all rule and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of flesh in the circumcision of Christ; and you were buried with him in (the) baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the working of God, who raised him from the dead. And you, who were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, having canceled the (legal) bond which stood against us with its legal demands; this he set aside (blotted out), nailing it to the cross. He disarmed (stripped of power and authority) the principalities and powers (in the heavenly places) and made a public example (spectacle) of them, (bodily) triumphing over them in him." (Colossians 2: 6-15)

Christ's Return Seen from Eternity

Speaking of the return of Christ as one grand event, Paul wrote this to the Thessalonians:
"We are bound to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is fitting, because your faith is growing abundantly, and the love of every one of you for one another is increasing. Therefore we ourselves boast of you in the churches of God for your steadfastness and faith in all your persecutions and in the afflictions which you are enduring. This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be made worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering---since indeed God deems it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant rest with us to you who are afflicted, when the Lord Jesus is revealed (apokalupsis) from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance upon those who do not know God and upon those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They shall suffer the punishment of eternal destruction and exclusion from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at in all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of his call, and may fulfill every good resolve and work of faith by his power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thessalonians 1:3-12)

If death for the follower of Jesus Christ means leaving time and entering eternity, then a similar kind of happening transpires when physical death comes to those who have rejected all of Christ's rights and claims to rule their lives. Since the issue of sin has been dealt with once for all by Jesus, it is only our proud unwillingness to be forgiven that ultimately stands between us and our full reconciliation with our Creator! Physical death for those who are not God's children means that spirit, soul and body exit our space-time dimension and "time travel" to the end of the age when the Day of Judgment is held. This event (in eternity) will also intersect human history, like the Second Coming, at some future date on our calendars. But it is no more than a split second away in the consciousness of a person who dies in unbelief! The passage quoted above describes the terrible last glimpse the lost have of Jesus before they are separated from Him forever.  The book of the Revelation records what is known as the judgment of the great white throne, which follows immediately:
"Then I (John) saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done. And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if any one's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:11-15)

Most Bible commentators teach, first, that all those judged at the Great White Throne are non-believers, and second, that there are degrees of punishment in hell---because of the reference to books (angelic records) being opened and the dead being judged according to what they have done. All those present at this judgment will find that their names have not been written in the book of life.


All paths in life lead ultimately to a face-to-face meeting with the man Jesus of Nazareth. There is no escaping Him. Jesus is the One who spoke the universe into being, carrying out the Father's design and plan for the creation. All things were made through him, and according to Colossians, "for him." He is the absent landlord who will one day come back and claim what is His own. We are only house-guests in Some Else's universe. Quoting from and applying Isaiah Chapter 45, the Apostle Paul says,
"None of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, 'As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.' So each of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:7-12)


1. The Seed of the Woman, by Arthur C. Custance. Available from Doorway Publications, %Evelyn M. White, 38 Elora Drive, Unit 4, Hamilton, Ontario, L9C 7L6, Canada 1980.  2. John R. W. Stott, The Cross of Christ (Intervarsity Press; Downers Grove, Illinois, 1986).

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Dr. Seuss, Satanists and Santa's Dark Helper

As I was posting the series, "Santa Claus, Pretender To The Throne" earlier this month, it occurred to me that Krampus, the Dark Helper of Santa in Northern European countries looked a lot like a character I knew from Dr. Seuss books growing up, The Grinch.  Now, if you have seen the old pics of Krampus, the leap to the Grinch is not a big one.  And looking at the facts, it's not much of a leap of logic at all.
Krampus and his buddy Ole Nick, I mean Saint Nick

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel) was the son of German immigrants, who would have been quite familiar with the Krampus/dark helper stories.  Seuss stories were also readily embraced by the self proclaimed wickedest man who ever lived, the infamous Alistair Crowley.  Crowley stated in interviews that Seuss's stories were the perfect introduction into paganism and witchcraft.  Others have noted some decidedly unfriendly messages being passed on in his books.

So was the Grinch really just a poetic version of Krampus, Santa's dark helper who was known to lick bad children, and perhaps devour them?  You be the judge.  I have decided for myself that the Grinch is just way to creepy to be part of my Christmas.

Here's a video showing Krampus celebrations from Germany.  (Celebration isn't really the word I'm looking for, but this is a parade.)

This is a brief review of Krampus.  If you want to get a bit more detail, please refer to the four part series, "Santa Claus, Pretender To The Throne". 

Krampus is the dark companion of St. Nicholas, the traditional European winter gift-bringer who rewards good children each year on December 6. The kindly old Saint leaves the task of punishing bad children to a hell-bound counterpartThe Horned Devil, also known as Krampusknown by many names across the continent — Knecht Ruprecht, Certa, Perchten, Black Peter, Schmutzli, Pelznickel, Klaubauf, and Krampus. Usually seen as a classic devil with horns, cloven hooves and monstrous tongue, but can also be spotted as a sinister gentleman dressed in black or a hairy man-beast. Krampus punishes the naughty children, swatting them with switches and rusty chains before dragging them in baskets to a fiery place below.

Krampusnacht (Night of Krampus)

Krampusnacht: Night of KrampusKrampus is celebrated on Krampusnacht, which takes place on the eve of St. Nicholas’ Day. In Austria, Northern Italy and other parts of Europe, party-goers masquerade as devils, wild-men, and witches to participate in Krampuslauf (Krampus Run). Intoxicated and bearing torches, costumed devils caper and carouse through the streets terrifying child and adult alike. Krampusnacht is increasingly being celebrated in other parts of Europe such as Finland and France, as well as in many American cities.

Krampus's Ancient Origins

The European tradition of guising and mummingThe European practice of mummery during the winter solstice season can be traced back tens of thousands of years. Villagers across the continent dress up as animals, wild-men and mythic figures to parade and perform humorous plays. This ancient guising and masking tradition continues to this day as the primary source for our modern Halloween with its costumes, trick-or-treat, and pagan symbolism. Among the most common figures in these folk rituals were Old Man Winter and the horned Goat-Man — archetypes now found in the forms of Saint Nick/Santa Claus, and the Devil (‘Old Nick’), aka Krampus.

Santa the Punisher?

Santa can be very frighteningIn 19th century New York City an American St. Nick emerged in the form of Santa Claus. Although based on the Dutch Saint Nicholas, Santa incorporated more elements from pagan winter solstice customs. He relinquished his white bishop garb for a red suit, traded his horse and staff for a sleigh and reindeer, and moved his franchise to Christmas Eve.

Santa's identity crisisSanta also tried to take over the dark companion’s job of punishing the naughty, but his New World temperament was apparently unsuited for the task. As Santa neglected and abandoned his punishing duties, American kids lost all fear of Santa and his lumps of coal. Thankfully, in the 21st century, Krampus has arrived in this land of spoiled and dissatisfied children to pick up the slack.

Krampus Cards

Krampus cards expressed the spirit of holiday revelryWhile Santa Claus expanded shop and sold products in mid-1800s America, the holiday card craze exploded in Europe.Naughty Krampus postcards were all the rageIn Austria and other parts of Europe, countless season’s greeting cards featured Krampus, often emblazoned with the phrase “Grüß Vom Krampus” (Greetings from Krampus). While the lurid images are suffused with a modern sense of the comic and the surreal, they still resonant with mythic power and primordial horror. Naughty children encounter KrampusAnd with Krampus representing the naughty side of the season, the sexy subtext is hard to ignore in these often very cheeky cards. A century later, the brilliance of these magnificent works of pop art is now gaining global recognition.

Krampus in America

BLAB! Magazine curator Monte Beauchamp reintroduced Krampus cards to America nearly a century after their heyday. His art books are the definitive works showcasing Krampus and other Devil-inspired greeting cards. A collector's market for Krampus cards has grown as the figure of Krampus pops up across the cultural landscape. Krampus has been featured on Adult Swim's The Venture Bros and the CW’s Supernatural; in 2009, Krampus visited the The Colbert Report and had Stephen shaking in his Brooks Brothers’ suit. Over the last decade, Krampusnacht celebrations have sprouted up in U.S. cities such as Portland and San Francisco.

A New Spirit of Xmas?

The hunger for a darker Xmas holiday has made the evil Santa Claus character a staple of pop culture, as seen in movies such as Rare Exports, The Nightmare Before Christmas, books such as Dean Koontz's Santa's Twin and many others. A resurgence of Saturnalian rituals and animistic practices during the winter season is evident in Santarchy is storming the worldSantarchy, a flash-mob phenomenon started in 1994 on America’s west coast now enacted in many countries including Korea, Norway and Ireland. On selected days in early December, large crowds of costumed Santa Clauses descend en masse on public squares and shopping centers to confound, amuse and frighten spectators.
Krampus is back!!A new appreciation of ancient traditions that smoulder in the dark recesses of holiday revelry continues to rise around the world. Krampus, with his horns, hoove and tongue, embodies this revived spirit of the Xmas season!

Krampus Through the Ages

2000 BCEEnkidu appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh, the earliest known appearance of a 'Wild Man' in literature.

600 BCE In the book of Daniel in the Old Testament, King Nebuchadnezzar is punished by God for his pride when he is turned into a hairy beast.

217 BCE Saturnalia is introduced as a winter celebration in Rome, marked by gift giving, wild parties, and a reversal of the normal social roles of slave and master.

4th Century CEDue to Roman influence, many Germanic tribes, such as the Goths and Vandals, convert to Christianity; their pagan traditions survive in small villages in the Alps where the Church cannot penetrate.

1250 CE King's Mirror, a Norwegian text, features a Wild Man character who is described as being covered in hair.

17th Century CE 'Knecht Rupert' appears as a figure in a Nuremberg Christmas procession.

1810 CE The Brothers Grimm began publishing stories of Germanic folktales, marking a resurgence in Germanic pagan folklore.

Early 19th Century CE Holiday postcards from Austria, Germany, and other parts of Europe feature holiday greetings Krampus and other companions of St. Nicholas.

Early 19th Century CE Germanic and Dutch immigrants to the US popularize 'Pelznickel' traditions in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and as far west as Indiana.

2004 CE Blab! Magazine curator Monte Beauchamp publishes Devil In Design, a collection of vintage Krampus postcards from the turn of the 19th century. This book marks an increase in Krampus' popularity in the English speaking world.

2004 CE An Adult Swim show The Venture Brothers features Krampus during a Christmas special.

2007 CE The American television show Supernatural features an evil Krampus character.

2009 CE American satirist Stephen Colbert is visited by Krampus on his television show The Colbert Report.

Santa Claus - Pretender to the Throne - Part 4

Many thanks to Carol Brooks and Dr. Terry Watkins, bringing so much research under one umbrella and compiling it all in this paper.  Great research, and hopefully, the elimination of this imposter from our celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Part II. Santa Vs. The Bible

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. [Isaiah 14:14]

A Beard As White As Snow

    The Bible:

    And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle. His head and his hairs [BEARD] were white like wool, as white as snow;. . . Revelation 1:13-15.
    I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: . . . Daniel 7:9.
    Santa Claus:
    The poem The Night Before Christmas describes Old St. Nick as:
      "He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
      And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
      A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
      And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
      His eyes – how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
      His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
      His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
      And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;"

A Suit of Red

    The Bible:

    Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? Isaiah 63:1-2
    Santa Claus:

    Who wears boots and a suit of red
    Santa wears boots and a suit of red
    Cap on head, suit that's red
    Special night, beard that's white
    Must be Santa Must be Santa
    Must be Santa, Santa Clause 

A CarpenterSc-Carpenter

    The Bible:

    Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Judah, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him. Mark 6:3
    Santa Claus:

    Santa is a carpenter. 

A House In The North

    The Bible:

    How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. [Isaiah 14:12-14. Emphasis Added]
    Santa Claus:

    Santa lives in the North Pole. The origin of Santa’s home at the North Pole is uncertain, but in “Santa and His Works” Nast may have been the first illustrator to so identify the locale. (An 1857 illustration in Harper’s Weekly shows Santa preparing to leave a snowy but unnamed homeland.) [74]


    Since Thor’s element was fire, he was made into the god for the Yule tide. Thor was a friendly god and during the Yule tide season, he delivered presents through the chimney because the hearth, being used for fire, was especially sacred to him. In a chariot driven by two goats, Cracker and Gnasher, Thor roared across the heavens causing thunder. Thor was described as heavy built, with a long white beard and was dressed in red in keeping with his association with fire. In a place called “Northland”, Thor lived in a palace surrounded by icebergs. Thus Thor was a winter god who gave people encouragement during the bleak winter months. [75] Emphasis Added

Santa not only lives in the North Pole, he gives people encouragement during the winter months.

    The Challenge of Thor [Henry Wadsworth Longfellow]
    I AM the God Thor,
    I am the War God,
    I am the Thunderer!
    Here in my Northland,
    My fastness and fortress,
    Reign I forever!
    Here amid icebergs
    Rule I the nations; …   

A Holly Wreath

From The ancient Chinese to the Druids [who thought holly berries were thought to represent the sacred blood of their Goddess] and Romans, holly has been the subject of myths, legends, and traditional observances for centuries.

Many today believe that the actual "crown of thorns" worn by the Lord Jesus Christ, was the familiar "holly" wreath. In fact, in Germany, the Hawthorn is still known as Christdorn or "Christ's crown of thorns."

    Ancient history says that the Druids used holly in their religious rites long before the custom came to the European continent. The Druids of ancient Britain and Gaul held the English holly tree sacred. The "holy" connotation continued in later days in Europe, where the plant was widely believed to repel evil spirits. People planted trees and used their branches as protection against witchcraft, mad dogs, and other evils.
    Sometime in the past, the pagans of Europe took sprays of holly into their homes so that the tiny, imaginary peoples of the woodland would be safe from the cold of winter in the evergreen boughs. Later, holly was used as holiday decor that gave the good fairies and elves a place to hide as they did their good deeds. [Holly In Holiday Tradition.]
    With the coming of Christianity, the use of holly was condemned as a pagan ritual and forbidden by the Christian council. But Christian Romans continued to decorate with holly during festive seasons. European Christian symbolism included the belief that the spiny leaves and red berries were a reminder of the crown of thorns and the blood of Christ. The Pennsylvania Dutch held that the plant's white flowers represented Jesus' purity. The Germans called this plant Christdorn, Christ's crown of thorns. They thought holly had white berries until they were stained by Christ's blood. [76]
    Santa Claus: Santa Wears a Wreath of Holly.
      Originating in England, Father Christmas was depicted as a friendly fellow wearing a crown of holly and a scarlet or green fur-lined robe. To many, this wreath of holly represented the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when He was crucified and the red berries are symbolic of the blood He shed." [77]

A White Horse!

    The Bible:

    And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. [Revelation 19:11]
    Santa Claus:  
    SC-White-Horse2Most people are not aware that until the nineteenth century, Santa flew through the sky, visiting housetop to housetop, not in a sled drawn by reindeers — but on a white horse. It wasn’t until the poem, The Children’s Friend, was published in 1821 that the magical white horse was transformed into reindeer.
      On the eve of December 6, the myth told that this bearded, white-haired old “saint,” clad in a wide mantel, rode through the skies on a white horse. [78]

In Revelation 6, the Antichrist also appears on a white horse.

    And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer. [Revelation 6:2].

Ho, ho, ho

    The Bible:

    Ho, ho, flee from the land of the north, saith Jehovah; for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heavens, saith Jehovah. Ho Zion, escape, thou that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. (Zechariah 2:6,7)

The Hebrew word translated Ho is [hôy ] and means oh! ah, alas, O, woe.

    Santa Claus: Santa famous trademark is Ho! Ho! Ho!

Remember the Miracle plays.

      In these [Miracle] plays, the devil's common entry line, known as the "devil's bluster," was "Ho! Ho! Hoh!" [79]

Santa And His Sleigh

    The Bible:

    There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon the heaven in thy help, and in his
    SC-Sleigh Excellency on the sky. Deuteronomy 33:26.
    Santa Claus:

    As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
    When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
    So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
    With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too

It’s also interesting in Ephesians 2:2, Satan, following the I will be like the most high script and mimicking the Lord, is depicted as "the prince of the power of the air. . ."

    Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Ephesians 2:2.

Santa is Virtually Omniscient (All-knowing).

    The Bible:

    The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3
    For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. 2 Chronicles 16:9.
    "The LORD is a God of knowledge..." (1Samuel.2:3)
    Will not God search this out? For he knoweth the secrets of the heart. [Psalm 44:21]
    Santa Claus:

    Children are taught that Santa knows things that only God Almighty can know.
      He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake
      He knows if you've been bad or good So be good for goodness sake
      Santa Claus is Coming to Town
      Bobby wants a pair of skates,
      Suzy wants a sled
      Nellie wants a picture book,
      yellow, blue, and red
      Now I think I'll leave to you
      what to give the rest
      Choose for me, dear Santa Claus;
      you will know the best.
      "Jolly Old St. Nick"
      Be not therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. [Matthew 6:8. Emphasis Addded].

Besides which…

Santa Rewards According to Works.

    The Bible:

    So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:12
    And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Revelation 20:12
    Santa Claus: But the children are accountable to Santa
      He's making a list, He's checking it twice
      He's gonna find out Who's naughty or nice.  

Santa is Virtually Omnipotent (All-powerful).

    The Bible:

    Is anything too hard for the LORD? [Genesis 18:14]
    Santa Claus:

    Children are taught that no feat is too great for their Santa. No storm is big enough to stop his amazing ability to deliver gifts around the world in a twinkling of an eye. He defies the laws of nature and comes down the most narrow (and hottest) of chimneys. Lets not forget the millions upon millions of gifts produced in his ‘workshop’ and delivered each to the correct child.
    To the average child - Santa can do anything. Apart from requests for this doll or that train, Santa also gets some heartbreaking appeals for the restored health of a parent or sibling, the saving of a parents marriage, for peace in the house.
    Is anything too hard for Santa?

Santa is Virtually Omnipresent (Present Everywhere).

    The Bible:

    Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. [Psalm 139:7-8]
    Santa Claus:

    To visit so many homes all over the world in one evening, requires nothing less than omnipresence. Prior to Christmas, Santa also appears at hundreds of street corners and shopping centers at the same time.
    Santa is Everywhere.  

Santa Can Give You Anything. . Just Ask.

    The Bible:

    Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. . .[Matthew 7:7-8]
    And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. [Matthew 21:22]
    Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. [Psalm 37:4]
    11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? [Matthew 7:11]
    Santa Claus:
     SC-LetterEach Christmas the U.S. Postal Service receives millions of letters addressed to "Santa Claus" In the weeks before Christmas millions of children around the globe with either/or write to Santa or visit him ‘in person’ with a list of their dearest desires. They will climb in to his lap and whisper and disclose the yearnings of their hearts. And come Christmas morning they will jump out of bed with gleeful anticipation to see what Santa has brought them.
      Lean your ear this way!Don't you tell a single soul
      What I'm going to say;
      Christmas Eve is coming soon;
      Now, you dear old man,
      Whisper what you'll bring to me;Tell me if you can.
      "Jolly Old St. Nick"

Santa is the great Giver of Gifts.. All you need to do is believe. Do You Believe in Santa??

    [On the other hand A child may receive little or nothing from Santa because his/her parents are poor. Unfortunately, the child has probably already learned that bad children get nothing from Santa, and come to the conclusion that he/she is ‘bad’].

The Fear of …Santa?

    The Bible:

    The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom:. . . Psalms 111:10
    Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. Psalm 34:11.
    Santa Claus:

    But Children the world over are taught to fear Santa. "You’d better behave. Santa is watching and writing it all down. You might not get anything for Christmas."
      You better watch out,
      You better not cry
      You better not pout,
      I'm telling you why Santa Claus is comin' to town
      He's making a list,
      He's checking it twice
      He's gonna find out
      Who's naughty or nice.  

Bring The Little Children Unto Me

    The Bible:

    And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. Mark 10:13-14.
    We love him, because he first loved us. 1 John 4:19

Santa Claus:

Oh, how he loves the little children.

    All the children of the world.
    Red and yellow, black and white,
    They are precious in his site.
    Santa loves the little children of the world. 

Santa’s ‘Throne’

    The Bible:

    The LORD is in his holy temple, the LORD'S throne is in heaven: his eyes behold, his eyelids try, the children of men. [Psalm 11:4]
    And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. [1 Kings 22:19]
    11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Revelation 20:11-12
    Santa Claus:

    Almost every local mall in the US has a Santa sitting on his ‘throne’ with the children lined up to sit on his lap and be asked the question "Have you been a good little boy [or girl]?" There are other thrones in Scripture.
    For thou [Lucifer] hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: [Isaiah 14:13].

Satan’s Ultimate Goal is Worship.

    The Bible:

    All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. [Luke 4:6,7]
    Santa Claus: 
      Millions of children love Santa with all their little hearts and quite literally worship him. Santa has replaced God at Christmas … aided and abetted by their parents.
    They stand in line to sit in his lap. They delight in having their picture taken with Santa. They love whispering in Santa’s ear.

“The distinguished anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss has provided a wonderful pen portrait of this Christmas icon: "Father Christmas is dressed in scarlet: he is a king. His white beard, his furs and his boots, the sleigh in which he travels evoke winter. He is called 'Father' and he is an old man, thus he incarnates the benevolent form of the authority of the ancients." Importantly, says Lévi-Strauss, children believe in him, paying homage to him with letters and prayers, while adults do not:” [80]

But the Bible tells us

    And Jesus answered and said unto him, It is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. [Luke 4:8] 

Believe In Santa

    The Bible:

    And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31
    The heart of the Christian faith is "believing" in the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is believing In Jesus Christ.
    Santa Claus:

    Yet, Many many more children will be asked at Christmas whether they believe in Santa than will be asked if they believe in Jesus. Santa will be preached hundreds of times more than Jesus… with parents as the chief evangelicals. "Little Boy, Little Girl, DO You Believe In Santa?"

If the Christian world had, even a small drop of the faith the average child has in Santa – we’d have revival overnight!

A Point to consider …

    “If you once believed in a man who knew what you were doing, who had amazing abilities, and who gave you nice things, and he turned out to be a fake, why should you believe in another man who knows what you are doing, has amazing abilities, gives you nice things--Jesus Christ? If you get burned once, why get burned the second time? Wouldn’t it be better to be honest with our children right from the start, and teach them the difference between truth and make-believe?” [81].  

Ho! Ho! Ho! I Am God. . .

In 1994, the satire magazine The Onion carried a parody of Santa Claus titled "Ho! Ho! Ho! I Am God". Even though, it was written as a blasphemous parody much truth rings from the article. The article says:

    "I love visiting each and every one of your homes, stuffing your stockings with toys, and enjoying the milk and cookies you leave for me. But mostly I love Christmas because it's the celebration of the birth of my son, Jesus the Christ. You see, I'm God. . . Don't I look familiar? I'm old, I have a white beard, I love everyone. I'm the same God as the one you and your mommy and daddy worship on Sundays. . .
    Okay, I admit it. I'm not God. But I'm better than God. I'm jollier, and I give you real toys, not boring old psalms and empty promises you can only collect on when you die. Worship me, not Him! Worship Santa! I am God!" [82]

So he disguises the lie in a nice little package of make-believe and fantasy. He creates a harmless ol' jolly fellow that just loves little children. And most parents think, "Now what could be wrong with that?"

This Christmas Eve millions and millions of little children will climb into their beds "looking for their blessed hope and the glorious appearing" of Santa Claus.

There is not a Christian on the face of this earth looking for and longing for the Lord Jesus Christ as much as the average child is longing for their god Santa! A child's stolen faith in the coming of Santa puts the Christian's faith to shame.

They get so excited. . . Santa is coming! Satan is coming! 


But It Is Just Fantasy. . .

“How long will people dodge the issue by saying this legend is a harmless tradition?

Who is this person whose jovial face greets us everywhere in our Christmas festivities, stores, schools, and cards? This is Santa, the god of Christmas, the children's friend, who is so imbedded in the hearts that we thrill to:

    "T'was the night before Christmas..."

A charming legend, an innocent fantasy? But whose place has he taken in the hearts of children? If we strip him of his disguise, we find a masterpiece of SATAN's subtlety, for the harmless, fun-provoking Santa has usurped the throne of childhood's heart and the charming legend has replaced "the sweetest story ever told."

This is the legend in brief that we recite and sing and picture to our children:

    Away up in the ice and snow lives Santa Claus in a great house of many rooms filled with every delightful thing that children love. Santa Claus is all-seeing and all-knowing. He sees what the children do. He hears all they say. He keeps a "Book of Remembrance" in which he records their words and their actions. Santa Claus comes down from the sky in a sleigh drawn by swift reindeer that "fly upon the wings of the wind and ride upon the clouds." It is filled with wonderful gifts. His coming is secret. When he comes he brings rewards to all good children and the gifts they have asked for.

What is the children's reaction to such a legend? "Santa Claus is our friend: he has all the good things we want, and he will give them to us if we are good."

is it any wonder they open their hearts to Santa Claus, strive to please him, talk and dream about him and wait and watch eagerly for him?

What about Jesus? He said, "Suffer the little children to come unto me," but we have put before our children that awful thing against which Sinai thundered; we have put another god before Him!

We have opened our homes to a thief, and have stood by and offered no resistance while he stole the heart of childhood. We have raised no voice in protest as he corrupted the minds and hearts of our children with a false image and a living imagination.

Why have we not lifted the standard of Jesus, the true God and tender Friend of children, who is not willing that "one of these little ones should perish." Why have we not feared lest we should "offend one of these little ones which believe" on Him?

The True Story

Christian mother, what has happened? You substitute the pagan legend of Santa Claus for the true story of God's love! How can you let Santa Claus take the place of Jesus in your child's heart? How can you encourage him to look to another for his joys rather than to Jesus, "the giver of every good and perfect gift?"

The clouds of judgment hang heavy. Terrible things are happening. Let us hasten to enthrone Jesus in our homes and tell the matchless story of God's "Unspeakable gift" to the world.

Instead of the vulgar Santa Claus, with his "nose like a cherry, and his little round belly that a bowl full of jelly," let us captivate our children's imagination with the altogether lovely One, the "dear little Stranger, born in a manger." Let us delight their fancy with the story of the guiding star, with the Magi and their gifts for the new-born King. Let us inspire our children to give gifts to Him and in His name. Let us make Christmas "holy ground" in our homes this year”. [83]

Having eyes, see ye not" Mark 8:18
Read the full article at -

End Notes:

[74] Robert C. Kennedy. Santa Claus and His Works.


[76] Holly In Holiday Tradition. , Virginia Klara Nathan. Virginia Cooperative Extension.

[77] "Santalady's Favorite Antique Post Cards and Related Traditions Picture,"

[78] Renterghem, Tony van. When Santa Was a Shaman. St. Paul: Llewellyn Pub., 1995, p. 111

[79] Siefker, Phyllis. Santa Claus, Last of the Wild Men: The Origins and Evolution of Saint Nicholas. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., 1997, p. 69

[80] Roger Highfield.. science editor of The Daily Telegraph in London. Modern Santa and Meaning The Physics of Christmas.


[82] Santa Claus, "Ho! Ho! Ho! I Am God!" The Onion, 29 Nov. - 5 Dec., 1994, p. 7

[83] Santa, The Imposter.