Do some Christmas traditions have Pagan Origins?

There is no doubt that some of what we now refer to as Christmas traditions can be traced back, in some form, to pagan cultures and celebrations. The ringing of bells, for example, is generally thought to have had its origin in the early pagan winter celebration of ringing of bells to drive out evil spirits. In later centuries, bells were rung on Christmas Eve to welcome in the spirit of Christmas with joyful noise (Psalm 95:1). When Christians enjoy the beauty of a glorious bell choir ringing Christmas carols, we are reminded of the coming of Jesus into the world, not the driving out of evil spirits.

Similarly, there was an early pagan tradition of lighting candles to drive away the forces of cold and darkness. However, is it likely that our hearts are drawn to those early pagans rather than rejoicing in our Saviour, the Light of the World (John 1:4-9) as we light candles? Of course not. Nor is it likely that when I give gifts to my loved ones at Christmas, the gifts will have less significance to either of us because some Druid somewhere in time offered a gift to his goat as part of some pagan ritual. No, we remember, as we should, the gifts given to the Christ-child by the Magi (Matthew 2:11). Jesus was the greatest gift ever given, and therefore His birth is worthy of celebration.

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Kim Clement’s Prophecy of Donald Trump

Against all the odds, the least likely candidate in presidential history, a political outsider, Donald Trump, has been inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. This event is not just a headline that is here today, gone tomorrow.

This is a moment in history prophesied about by Kim Clement years ago starting in 2007, and many Biblical prophecy scholars believe this moment has been centuries in the making. Regardless of your personal political ideology, we as people of God, who treasure the proceeding Word of the Lord, must pay close attention to what has been spoken in advance through prophecy relating to this time and season, for there is great reward if you do. Kim Clement, born 1956, died 2016, shared these prophecies 10 years ago.

We have had many requests to publish these prophecies that have come to fruition.

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What Is The Biblical View On Banting?

Today, people are so confused regarding diet and lifestyle selection. One can drown in all the modern diet options available. We all know something is terribly wrong because the ‘dis-ease’ statistics confirm that there are serious problems. The Banting diet has received a lot of attention over the past four years. Before we start debating it, let us look at the ten key principles of the Banting Diet:

1. It is a high fat, medium protein and low carb diet.

2. Choose real foods and prepare them from scratch.

3. Fat is not the enemy, enjoy it!

4. Eat only when you are hungry.

5. Stop eating when you are no longer hungry.

6. Stop snacking.

7. No sugar, it is an addiction.

8. No grains of any kind.

9. None or very little fruit.

10. Embrace eggs.

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What About Those Who Have Never Heard The Gospel?

The correct response to the Gospel is evangelism

There are two reasons why someone might wonder about those who have never heard. One is the type of person who wants to find flaws in the way God has chosen to offer salvation to mankind. The other is the type of person who is genuinely concerned that there are people who have never heard about the wondrous news of salvation through Christ.

This of course is why Jesus commanded Christians to spread the Gospel. If you’re concerned about people alive today having never heard the Gospel, the correct response is to support a missionary, or maybe go and be a missionary yourself. Yes, there are people in the past who lived and died without ever hearing the Gospel. The Bible suggests they will be judged according to the amount of revelation they had (Luke 12:47–48), and we can trust that the Judge of the earth will do right (Genesis 18:25).

. . . For the full article, pick up a copy of our December issue of JOY, on sale now!