THE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION - some observe it, some do not. Whether in THE WORLD or in THE CHURCH, the question of the innocence, or evil, of the tradition arises periodically. Again, in both venues, some celebrate, while others abstain. So where is one to go to discover THE TRUTH about birthday celebrations?
The truth isn't the personal opinion of you, me, or anyone. Truth is absolute, unchanging, and discoverable through Him from whom it flows. Desiring to be honest and upfront, I will inform the reader that this article is written to show the SCRIPTURAL and HISTORICAL view of birthday celebrations. I know the subject is very dear to many people. I would ask, whatever your current belief, that you take the time to read this brief article and PRAY for the truth to be revealed. As believers, we are instructed to "PROVE ALL THINGS" before we "hold them fast."
Annual celebrations of the anniversary of one's birth abound in America today. People like to have their own 'special day' and children especially enjoy getting presents! The adults love to see their children delighting in their gifts (Everyone, churched or un-churched, knows that it feels good to give and then to see the recipient appreciate or enjoy the gift.)
The celebration of birthdays often include very self-indulgent behavior, and sometimes obvious sinful behavior, such as excessive drinking, fornication, and various other forms of covetousness. These are all sins in and of themselves, as is the celebration of birthdays, even apart from them.
There is not simply just one line you can point to for determining where 'celebrating birthdays' originated. This may be why the question arises periodically today about whether or not its okay to celebrate birthdays. This article should help to make you CERTAIN where those IN THE FAITH should stand in regard to this TRADITION.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
I wouldn't be much of an example, or a good servant, if I failed to start you off on the right foot. Please take a moment to ASK THE FATHER to open your mind to the Truth, to make your heart flesh (not stone), to take away the stiffness of neck, and to let you have ears to hear. The Scriptures instruct us to ask YHWH when we 'lack wisdom' or to gain knowledge:
Proverbs 2:6 For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
James 1:5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
Jesus (Yeshua) Himself said in Matthew 21:22 "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
The next step a Believer should take is to look into the WORD OF GOD. God can reveal much truth through what is said, or not said, in the Scriptures. This is another way to 'put on the mind of Christ' and to have our will transform to match God's Word/Will. Let's see what we can glean then by BLOWING THE DUST OFF OUR BIBLES and reading about our subject matter.
The very first place you can pinpoint a celebration of a person's birth in the Bible is in in the very first book - Genesis - which means "in the beginning."
Genesis 40:20 And it came to pass the third day, which was Pharaoh's birthday, that he made a feast unto all his servants: and he lifted up the head of the chief butler and of the chief baker among his servants. 21 And he restored the chief butler unto his butlership again; and he gave the cup into Pharaoh's hand: 22 But he hanged the chief baker: as Joseph had interpreted to them. 23 Yet did not the chief butler remember Joseph, but forgat him.
The first occurrence shows the Egyptian Pharaoh celebrating his own birthday with a birthday feast that gathered all his servants. The Pharaoh was a priest, king and god to the masses and this was a root of the reason for their celebrations. Originally, the birth of common people was not celebrated, but only the birthdays of the gods; and later kings and great ones. As time went on, and since each day had a god associated with it through astrology, as the common people observed these they began to associate the celebrations with their own birthdays as well.
“For beneath and above everything in Egypt was religion. ... We cannot understand the Egyptian—or man—until we study his gods.” (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization. Vol. 1: Our Oriental Heritage. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1935, p. 197)
In Egypt, the Pharaoh was revered as a god. According to belief of Egyptians, the first Pharaoh was the god Ra - the sungod. After him, other gods ruled such as the son of Osiris and Isis, called Horus. Horus was considered as a pre-image of all Egyptian Pharaohs, and Pharaohs were his terrestrial embodiment. Each real Pharaoh was considered as an offspring of Ra through Horus. The Egyptians were very much interested and influenced by astrology. The course of the stars and planets were charted and tracked being used to forecast events and to bring enlightenment on people or issues.
So it was natural for the Pharaoh to be lifted up in PRIDE and to CELEBRATE the day 'he graced the lives of the people' by being born. The day of the 'little gods' birth was charted by astrologer priests and was commemorated on the anniversaries, thereafter, during the Pharaoh's lifespan.
Leviticus 18:3-4 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. Ye shall do My judgments, and keep Mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God.
The Genesis passage reveals some things from God's mind to those willing to listen:
- The PAGAN god-king Pharaoh was EXALTED in this celebration.
- The event culminated in the DEATH of the baker.
- The servant of the true God remained in prison and did NOT partake of the festivities.
"Every Egyptian attached much importance to the day, and even to the hour of his birth: and it is probable that in Persia ... each individual kept his birthday with great rejoicing, welcoming all of his friends with all the amusements of society, and a more than usual profusion of the delicacies of the table." - M'Clintock & Strong's Cyclopedia, Vol I, p. 817
Leviticus 18:3-5 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances. Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the LORD your God. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the LORD.
The second place in the Scriptures that we will turn to is often known as "the oldest book" of the Bible - Job (pronounced with a long "o" sound like 'lobe').
A Righteous Man's Reaction
Job 1:1-5 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east. And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.
So this perfect man of God thought that the birthday feasting of his children may have caused them to sin and also to 'curse God in their hearts' (or possibly to break the first commandment). Job invested both his time and wealth in performing sacrifices in an attempt to appease God. He did this because of his valid fears over his children's 'lifting up of themselves' in drinking and reveling on 'their own special day'.
Some folks cast doubt that the references here to "his day" concerns birthdays but the context and the history bear this out as truth. Job, himself, makes the same reference a couple chapters later: Job 3:1-3 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day [NKJV, RSV, NIV: the day of his birth]. And Job spake, and said, Let the day perish wherein I was born, and the night in which it was said, There is a man child conceived. [No one would know it was a man-child if this meant just 'conception' - all references showing "conceived" and "bare" went together and depicted the actual birth. See Gen 4:1,17; 21:2; 29:32-35; 30:5,7,17,19,23; 38:3-5; Ex 2:2; 1Sa 1:20; 2:21; 2Ki 4:17; 1Ch 7:23; Isa 8:3; Ho 1:3,6,8]
Notice how the specter of DEATH again accompanies the birthday feastings in the later verses of the first chapter:
Job 1:14 And there came a messenger unto Job, and said, The oxen were plowing, and the asses feeding beside them: 15 And the Sabeans fell upon them, and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 16 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The fire of God is fallen from heaven, and hath burned up the sheep, and the servants, and consumed them; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 17 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, The Chaldeans made out three bands, and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee. 18 While he was yet speaking, there came also another, and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house: 19 And, behold, there came a great wind from the wilderness, and smote the four corners of the house, and it fell upon the young men, and they are dead; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.
The Job passages reveals some things from God's mind to those willing to listen:
- Only Job was called PERFECT and UPRIGHT - not his grown up children.
- The servant of the true God remained faithful and, not only did NOT partake of the festivities, but actually 'stood in the gap' in attempt to seek God's forgiveness for his children.
- The event ultimately culminated in the DEATH of Job's self-indulgent children.
The King's Birthday Bash
There is one more biblical example of a birthday. It may be found in Matthew 14 and Mark 6.
Matthew 14:1-5 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus, And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him. For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife. For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her. And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet. Matthew 14:6-12 But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod. Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask. And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger. And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her. And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison. And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.
The event was recounted in similar fashion by Mark.
Mark 6:17-28 For Herod himself had sent forth and laid hold upon John, and bound him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife: for he had married her. For John had said unto Herod, It is not lawful for thee to have thy brother's wife. Therefore Herodias had a quarrel against him, and would have killed him; but she could not: For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly. And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.
Reading from The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, by Bromiley, page 515... "Josephus (BJ vii 3.1) refers to Titus' celebration of his brother's and father's birthdays (genethlia) by slaughtering Jewish captives. By the time of the NT, genesia could be used to designate the birthday celebration of a living prominent person, hence Mt. 14:6; 6:21. When Herod celebrated his birthday he was acting in accord with Hellenistic custom; there is no evidence for the celebration of birthdays in Israel in pre-Hellenistic times."
"Among the early Greeks, it was the birthdays of the gods which were important, not those of men."- (Ralph and Adelin Linton, The Lore of Birthdays, 1953, p. 17)
The Gospel passages reveals some things from God's mind to those willing to listen.
- The adulterous puppet-king for Rome, of Idumean descent, (and his false Roman gods) was the one EXALTED in this celebration.
- The event culminated in the DEATH of John of Baptist.
- No servants of the true God did partake of the festivities.
So we have viewed the three examples in theBible of birthday celebrations. Each of them involves NON-BELIEVERS in the celebration, NO BELIEVERS JOIN the celebration and each of these birthday parties culminates in at least one person's DEATH. What do you see from Scripture? Not enough? Then you will want to keep reading.
Other Birthday Afflictions For God's People:
"Titus here celebrated the birthday of his brother Domitian by setting 2,500 Jews to fight with beasts in the amphitheater." - International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Caesarea
In 2Maccabees 6:7, there is the reference to the monthly genéthlia of Antiochus IV, during which the Jews were forced to partake of the sacrifices. Josephus (Wars of the Jews, vii. 3. 1) refers to Titus’ celebration of his brother’s and father’s birthdays (genéthlia) by slaughtering Jewish captives.
"Antiochus decreed pagan worship throughout his kingdom, and sent Athenaeus to Jerusalem to enforce it. The temple was reconsecrated to Jupiter Olympias (2 Maccabees 6). Pagan riot, reveling, and dalliance with harlots took place within the sacred precincts. The altar was filled with profane things, sabbath keeping was forbidden, the Jewish religion proscribed. The Jews on the king's birthdaywere forced monthly to eat of idol sacrifices, and to go in procession carrying ivy on Bacchus' feast. Pigs' flesh was offered to Zeus on an altar set on Jehovah's brazen altar, and the broth sprinkled about the temple (Josephus Ant. 12-13)." - Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Jerusalem
"Antiochus's general, Apollonius, dismantled Jerusalem, and from a high fortress slew the temple worshippers. Antiochus commanded all on pain of death to conform to the Greek religion, and consecrated the temple to Jupiter Olympius or Capitolinus. Identifying himself with that god "whom his fathers knew not," and whose worship he imported from Rome, he wished to make his own worship universal. The Jews were constrained to profane the sabbath and monthly on the king's birthday to eat of the idol sacrifices, and to go in procession to Bacchus, carrying ivy." - Fausset's Bible Dictionary, Antiochus
The wisdom of Solomon was very famous through his time even until today. Solomon was inspired to write, Ecclesiastes 7:1 “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.” [This is why Yeshua/Jesus told us to commemorate His death at Passover rather than His birth.]
THE BIRTH OF CHRIST
The true Christian (also called Messianic) Church never observed the birth of Christ. In fact, the date of Christ's birth is unknown. [See articles Should We Celebrate The Nativity? and When Was Jesus Born? and Christmas: The Greatest Story Never Told] The groups and individuals near to this ministry do not observe the pagan-originated Christmas or the birth of Jesus on any day. So if we do not celebrate the birthday of Christ, our Savior, how can we then exalt ourselves OVER and ABOVE Him and praise ourselves? As the Savior Himself said:
Let us consider the record of His birth in Scripture:
Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his Master, nor the servant above his Lord.
Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings (news) of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."
Is not this an indication of celebration? Notice that the text says that this "great joy ...to all people" is in a future context as noted by the words SHALL BE. When is there to be great joy to all people? Not until the Kingdom of Christ is come, that is when there will be great joy unto all people! This time of "great joy that SHALL BE" told of by the messenger of God does not refer to Jesus' human birth! A saviour being born sounds like a reason for this joy, one might say, but...had Christ saved anyone at that point? Was He anyone's saviour at that point? Had He overcome all temptations to be worthy to act as our intercessor? No, not at this point ...but Christ would live 33 1/2 years before He had overcome all temptation and was sacrificed for our sins and that is when He became our Saviour! Let us continue on in our study.
Heavenly Hosts' Example
Luke 2:12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
To whom is the glory given here? Was it to the little baby Jesus? Or do we see the glory and praise being given to God in the highest? This is not to say that Jesus becoming flesh was not a great thing, but it is not by His birth that we are saved, neither are we told by God to celebrate it. Does the Scriptural record witness that annually, at this day of Jesus' birth (whichever day it truly was), the heavenly host would once again offer up praise and glory to God in the highest in honor of Jesus' birth? No! Nowhere! Never! If we take the "ideals" of the pagan christmas day and begin to apply them to God's true feast days, then how are we any better than Constantine who blended paganism with the faith once delivered to create modern Christianity?
We will search the scripture for further information together. Shall we?
The Shepherds Example
What did the shepherds do upon witnessing this event? Did they praise the infant and exchange gifts between themselves? Let us read more from Luke's record:
Luke 2:15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Please notice that the shepherds gave all praise and glory to God! They did not exalt the day of Jesus' birth nor mark the day in anyway. Interesting, isn't it? Let us read on.
A King is Born?
Should we celebrate that He was born a King?
Matthew 2:1 "Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him."
Jesus was born to be King but was not King at the time of His birth (Actually, Herod was king of Judea at this time!) We must take notice that His kingdom is a great future-coming rulership:
Matthew 2:6 "And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel."
Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this."
The government of God under the Kingship of Christ has not yet been established on this earth or there would be lasting peace. So should we celebrate the birth of Christ as King now? Before being given over to a death sentence, Jesus had said:
John 18:36 "Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. 37 Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice."
Christ was born for a great purpose...but it is that purpose that is to be rejoiced in, not His birth. Our rejoicing and hope lies not in the fact that He was born as a helpless infant, but that He became our great Saviour through enduring all trials and overcoming all things, perfect, blameless, without blemish or spot--for only by His death can we attain our resurrection. He was born so that His life, death, and resurrection would bear witness to God the Father, and not to exalt Himself.
Ralph and Adelin Linton, The Lore of Birthdays, 1953, pp.51-52: "When the early Christians were trying to fix the date of Christ's birth, many of the Church Fathers ... proclaimed that there should be no attempt to celebrate it, as this was an impious pagan custom."
"...In the Scriptures, no one is recorded to have kept a feast or held a great banquet on his [Jesus] birthday. It is only sinners who make great rejoicings over the day in which they were born into this world" - Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 Edition, published by the Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Encyclopedia, 1908, Volume III, "Christmas": "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church. Irenaeus and Tertullian omit it from their lists of feasts; Origen ... asserts (in Lev. Hom. viii in Migne, P.G., XII, 495) that in the Scriptures sinners alone, not saints, celebrate their birthday."
Not all beliefs, traditions and customs are bad. But God does not approve of them if they come from false religion; or are against Biblical precepts or teachings. The true saints of God knew this and had the wisdom to discern the truth. They were to come out and be separate. They were to not adopt the vain customs of the heathen. They were to think lowly of themselves and not share the glory of God with another.
You have seen that the Bible casts a dark picture of the celebration of birthdays. You have read the historic and academic authorities that prove that the true followers of God did not observe birthdays with celebrations. Still not convinced? Then read on, my friend.
The next witnesses against birthday celebrations are from further historical and academic sources. What did the earliest recorded Christians think about celebrating the astrological date of one's birth? The abbreviated list that follows reveals the truth of the matter - God's people did not partake of this worldly custom.
The famous historian Titus Flavius Josephus lived in the first century - a contemporary with Christ - and he wrote:
"Some one of those before us has observed what is written in Genesis about the birthday of Pharaoh, and has told that the worthless man who loves things connected with birth keeps birthday festivals; and we, taking this suggestion from him, find in no Scripture that a birthday was kept by a righteous man. " (Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol IX Origen's Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew Chapter XXII, p429)
The Imperial Bible-Dictionary (London, 1874), edited by Patrick Fairbairn, Vol. I, p. 225 says:
“The notion of a birthday festival was far from the ideas of the Christians of this period in general.” (The History of the Christian Religion and Church, During the Three First Centuries; New York, 1848, Augustus Neander - translated by Henry John Rose, p. 190.)
M'Clintock & Strong's Cyclopedia (Vol. I, p. 817) says the Jews "regarded birthday celebrations as parts of idolatrous worship ... , and this probably on the account of the idolatrous rites with which they were observed in honor of those who were regarded as the patron gods of the day on which the party was born."
Grolier's The New Book of Knowledge, 1979, p. 289 states: "The early church fathers frowned upon the celebration of birthdays and thought them a heathen custom."
Origen of Alexandria, in 245 A.D., wrote in a dissertation on Leviticus that:
The writings of the late third century Catholic theologian Arnobius show that, even that late, most Catholics were against the celebration of birthdays as he wrote: "...you worship with couches, altars, temples, and other service, and by celebrating their games and birthdays, those whom it was fitting that you should assail with keenest hatred." (Arnobius. Against the Heathen (Book I), Chapter 64. Excerpted from Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume 6. Edited by Alexander Roberts & James Donaldson. American Edition, 1886.).
TESTIMONY FROM OTHER WORKS CONCERNING THE OCCULT ORIGINS OF BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS
Jeremiah 10:2 Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.
DEFINITION: "Judicial [to judge or decide] astrology--more important branch of this occult art--depended for its predictions upon the position of the planets in the "twelve houses" at the moment of the birth of a human being. The calculations necessary to settle these positions were casting the horoscope or the diagram of the heavens (thema coeli) at the nativity." "From the start astrology was employed for the needs and benefit of daily life ... in connection with religious worship. According to the belief of the early civilized races of the East, the stars were the source and at the same time the heralds of everything that happened, and the right to study the "godlike science" of astrology was a privilege of the priesthood. This was the case in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the oldest centres of civilization known to us in the East." - New Advent, Catholic Encyclopedia (online)
“Birthdays are intimately linked with the stars, since without the calendar, no one could tell when to celebrate his birthday. They are also indebted to the stars in another way, for in early days the chief importance of birthday records was to enable the astrologers to chart horoscopes” (The Lore of Birthdays, p. 53).
Linda Rannells Lewis in Birthdays, "Birthdays have been celebrated for thousands of years. In early civilizations, where the development of a calendar made an organized reckoning of birth dates possible, the horoscopes of ruling monarchs, their successors and rivals had to be cast with care and birthday omens meticulously examined, for the prospects of the mighty would affect the prospects of the entire society."
Rawlinson’s translation of Herodotus includes the following footnote: “Horoscopes were of very early use in Egypt… and Cicero speaks of the Egyptians and Chaldees predicting… a man’s destiny at his birth"...
Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology, and Legend : "The date, hour, and place of birth may be the clues to good or bad fortune as determined by the complex computations of astrologers, numerologists, and geomants. Prudential ceremonies either at birth or at stated anniversaries, depending on the system of computation, are good insurance. Memorial services, or sacrifices at tombs or before ancestral tablets, are in some places customary on the birthdays of the deceased. The function is a mixture of natural affection, the desire to keep the deceased at peace and therefore to keep his ghost from troubling the living". -- Page 144.
Astrology is a pagan practice condemned by the Creator God because it provokes Him to jealousy. We should turn to him with all our questions, desires and longings - not signs in the stars, witches, psychics or other false gods.Isaiah 47:13-14 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it.
CAKES & CANDLES
MAKE A WISH
The wishes over a birthday cake are said to be granted by your personal genie (genii or djinn). The additional connection of the birthday to these characters should be poignant to the reader.
The man or woman who fears YHWH should pay attention to the following quote by reknowned Satanist, founder and High Priest of the Church of Satan and author of the Satanic Bible - Anton Szandor LaVey.
"The highest of all holidays in the Satanic religion is the date of one’s own birthday. This is in direct contradiction to the holy of holy days of other religions, which deify a particular god who has been created in an anthropomorphic form of their own image, thereby showing that the ego is not really buried. The Satanist feels: ‘Why not really be honest and if you are going to create a god in your image, why not create that god as yourself." Every man is a god if he chooses to recognize himself as one. So, the Satanist celebrates his own birthday as the most important holiday of the year. After all, aren’t you happier about the fact that you were born than you are about the birth of someone you have never even met? Or for that matter, aside from religious holidays, why pay higher tribute to the birthday of a president or to a date in history than we do to the day we were brought into this greatest of all worlds? Despite the fact that some of us may not have been wanted, or at least were not particularly planned, we’re glad, even if no one else is, that we’re here! You should give yourself a pat on the back, buy yourself whatever you want, treat yourself like the king (or god) that you are, and generally celebrate your birthday with as much pomp and ceremony as possible." [The Satanic Bible (Anton Szandor LaVey, (Air) Book of Lucifer – The Enlightenment, Avon Books, 1969, Ch XI, Religious Holidays, p. 96) regarding Birthdays]
Dear reader, is it enough for you yet? Through prayer and study, have you seen THE PLAIN TRUTH?
The truth about BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS is that they come from PAGANISM. It is a commonly held fact that the original first century Christians did NOT observe their birthdays with celebrations.
For those in the Church of God (former RCG or WWCG or their off-shoots) movement, that denomination also did teach against observance of birthday celebrations - although its members (including leaders) sometimes departed from that practice personally while teaching the polar opposite from the pulpit. Others try to claim that since ages of people are counted in the bible that this means they celebrated birthdays - THE PLAIN TRUTH IS THAT THIS IS WRONG. Obviously, the people of the Bible at least noted the date of their birth because Scripture often records their ages. However, there is a huge difference between merely marking a day and celebrating it. The biblical record shows no man or woman of God celebrating a birthday. Clearly, birthday celebrations do not have a God-ordained origin and should be shunned.
What is the spirit of a "birthday celebration"? Does an annual "birthday celebration" give honor to YHWH? Do you answer "well, He made me?" Then give Him honor and be obedient. Do not adopt the pagan customs of the world!
Does one humble himself and give ALL glory to God in a "birthday celebration"? The Bible constantly counsels mankind to beware of the DANGERS OF PRIDE. Why is there this constant caution? Because, pride deposes God as the Sovereign of our lives. It puts the "I" in idolatry. When pride controls us, we cease to recognize God as the Master - we cease to put Him first. (ref. Deut 8:11-20; Psalms 12:3,4; 52:7; 101:5; Proverbs 6:16; 8:13; 16:5; etc).
Satan is the father of pride and self-exaltation. It is the carnal mindset that wants to raise oneself up in the eyes of others saying "me - me - me!"
THE PRIDEFUL FIVE "I WILLS" OF SATAN
Isaiah 14:12-14 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou 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: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Who does your birthday celebration exalt?
The birthday celebration obviously does not exalt God, but yourself. A converted believer should not take pride in himself, nor should he exalt himself. To not admit that this is true makes one a liar.
Matthew 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
What should my attitude be?
A converted believer should realize his true position as a brand plucked from the fire and act accordingly.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
A converted believer should "come out and be ye separate." The ways of this world are not ours.
Who does your birthday celebration give glory to?
The birthday celebration is in the birthday celebrants honor - they get the glory (and the gifts!). It also gives honor to the abominable false pagan gods that the tradition is rooted in. We cannot have it both ways - either we are the world's ... or we are Gods. The converted believer should live for giving God the glory in all things. To do otherwise is gross idolatry and spiritual whoredom.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.
1 Corinthians 10:20-23 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.
1 Corinthians 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
What should I do?
Romans 12:1-3 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
If the holy spirit transforms you then you will desire to be obedient to God's law thereby offering your own life as a living sacrifice do do HIS good will and give HIM the glory. The spirit within the converted believer will make it possible to do the right thing. Do not be like this perishing world and the unregenerate within it.
Romans 8:5-9 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Can I give presents to my children on other days just because I love them so?
Absolutely! Any loving person desires to give good gifts to those near and dear to them. We must disassociate the pagan observances of false holidays to pagan gods with good wholesome family-type fun.
Luke 11:10-13 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
What if people make fun of me for not partaking in birthday celebrations?
1 John 3:12-13 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
1 Peter 4:1-5 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings (partying), banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
John 15:18-19 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
The world will indeed think you are strange - just like they do about not observing the major pagan holidays like Easter and Christmas. Why? Because if they validate your belief then they convict themselves of wrongdoing - their conscience won't allow that because the carnal mind is enmity (against) God.
How do I move forward from here?
1 Peter 5:6-11 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 4:17-20 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ;
Ephesians 1:17-19 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
1 Kings 18:21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.
Love to You Saints in Christ Jesus, Kenneth M. Hoeck
Truth On the Web Ministries
HOME OR BACK TO THE LIBRARY