Host of Heaven

Dear Brethren,

Today is a special day for me.  Immediately after America’s entrance into World War II – my parents were married – and that took place seventy-five years ago today.  For the rest of the world, today is Christmas Eve.  Many are, “Dreaming of a white Christmas,” only to find a large portion to the United States overwhelmed with blizzard conditions.  It seems that the commerce and industry of the entire earth are grinding to halt as men everywhere celebrate the most widely acclaimed holiday of them all.  The vast deception is astounding to those who have been given the eyes to see.

“…That old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, deceives the whole world.”  (Revelation 12:9)

It is a strange quirk of nature that everyone is able to read those words and think to themselves, “Yes, everyone is deceived—except me.”  But those are God’s words for all those who have not entered into a marriage covenant with Him by agreeing, “All the words which the LORD hath said we will do” (Exodus 24:3).

“[Moses] took the book of the covenant, and read in the audience of the people: and they said, “All that the LORD hath said will we do, and be obedient.”  (Exodus 24:7)

But the people of God were not obedient and reverted back to the false gods of Egypt.

“[Aaron] received the [golden earrings] at their hand, and fashioned it with an engraving tool, after he had made it a [golden] molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”  (Exodus 32:4)

Just that quick, the worship of the One True God was supplanted by the false worship of the host of heaven  (Acts 7:42,  Deuteronomy 4:19)

The New Testament Church brethren saw this same paganism in their day.  They did not call it “Christmas,” because that word was first recorded in 1038 AD—but it was Christmas none the less.  The people had substitutes for Christianity – like the Christmas regalia and decorations take the place of true Christianity today.  God’s people were not faithful to their covenant with God.  Stephen explains:

“This is [Moses] that was in the Church in the wilderness with the messenger [Jesus] who spoke to him in Mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us.” (Acts 7:38)

Those Israelites, recently delivered from Egyptian bondage, broke covenant with God.

“To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what is become of him.”  (Acts 7:39-40) 

Those Israelites had just covenanted with God to be their God, and they broke their confidence with God before Moses could get down off Mount Sinai.

“They made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.  Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?”  (Acts 7:41-42)

What Israel did was to revert back to the paganism of the heathens that we know as Christmas and Easter today.  And for that, God said that He would lead them into captivity—out of the Promised Land.

“Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.”  (Acts 7:43)

Satan has chosen the coldest darkest time of the year to celebrate his greatest holiday.  Here is what God says about man-made feasts or holidays like Christmas (Saturnalia, Winter Solstice) and Easter (Ishtar):  God says that He hates those days – “your feasts,” God says, not His own Feasts of the Lord.

I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not delight in your solemn assemblies…  I will not accept them: neither will I have regard for them…”  (Amos 5:21-22)

On the other hand, God has chosen the beautiful budding spring and fall harvests for the time settings of His Holy Days.  God uses the harvest seasons to show us His Plan for the great harvest of mankind in His Kingdom.

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the Feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My Feasts.”  (Leviticus 23:2)

Brethren, we are so blessed to have been called to a knowledge of the Truth – and able to come out of this evil world with its Christmas spirit – that looks so good – sounds so good – so enticing – to so many all around the earth.  How much more should we exceedingly rejoice (Psalm 68:3), than they, knowing that we have not broken covenant and shall stand before Him at His appearing and His kingdom?

Indeed brethren, while they are singing, “Joy to the World,” our rejoicing should far exceed that of the world.

“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perishes, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”  (1Peter 1:7-8)

Sermon:  "Host of Heaven"