BET EMET MINISTRIES

Hebrew For "The House Of Truth"

Craig M. Lyons Ms.D., D.D., M.Div.

bennoah1@verizon.net

THE WINTER SOLSTICE...THE RE-BIRTH OF THE SUN

Jer 10:2 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. (KJV)

The Winter Solstice is also known as Yule, Christmas, and Saturnalia, occurs in mid December.

It is when the ancients celebrated the birth of the new Solar year and the beginning of Winter. The Goddess manifests as the Great Mother and the God as the Sun Child (the pattern as applied to many personified gods and godmen as well as Jesus). The God also appears as Santa Claus and Old Man Winter. The colors connected with the Winter Solstice are Red, Green, and White. This is a festival of inner renewal.

Today, many people in Western-based cultures refer to this holiday as "Christmas." Yet a look into its origins of Christmas reveals its Pagan roots. Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the "Invincible Sun" in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. January 6, celebrated as Epiphany in Christendom and linked with the visit of the Magi, was originally an Egyptian date for the Winter Solstice.

Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with "Christmas" actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. While Christian mythology is interwoven with contemporary observances of this holiday time, its Pagan nature is still strong and apparent.

Winter Solstice has been celebrated in cultures the world over for thousands of years. This start of the solar year is a celebration of Light and the rebirth of the Sun. In old Europe, it was known as Yule, from the Norse, Jul, meaning wheel.

Today, many people in Western-based cultures refer to this holiday as "Christmas." Yet a look into its origins of Christmas reveals its Pagan roots.

The primary, motivating factor that inspired early man to worship god, was his fear and dread of the potential fierceness of his environment. His (primitive man) major impetus for worshipping and sacrificing to the Sun God was to assure that the Sun God would continue protecting mankind from the ravages of the dreaded winter.

So for primitive man, the inception of winter, Dec. 22, was the worst day of every year for him. This day, Dec. 22 was the start of winter and marked the beginning of the worst stage of his yearly struggle for survival. This day, Dec. 22, is referred to by astronomers as the Winter Solstice. This word, Solstice, according to Webster's Dictionary means "to stand still, pause, a turning point." Primitive man even believed the Sun had died as he could detect no movement of the Sun in the sky for 3 days and and these 3 days were days having the shortest daylight of the year. This day, Dec. 22, the start of winter, was the harbinger of his potential perdition.

On Dec. 22 of each year, the Sun reached its Winter Solstice, the lowest point of the trajectory (angle of rays) of the entire year. After Dec. 22 (the turning point), the Sun again rises northward, which is a sign that summer shall come again!

Even though Dec. 22 marks the beginning of winter and the weather turns progressively worst from that point (Dec. 22) until the spring (March 21), all is not lost. Because the fact that the angle of the Sun's rays projecting on the earth, was moving progressively northward told early man that the warmth and comfort of the summer Sun would eventually prevail. But there was a period of doubt, for early primitive civilization. Primitive man did not understand our universe and solar system as we do today. We, today, know exactly what causes the four seasons of the year. But early man did not. He did not possess knowledge of our Solar System, the axis of the earth, its rotation and revolving around the Sun. He did not understand that these forces operated by a Natural, Providential Law, that would stay its course, no matter what. Early man only understood the result, not the cause. Because of this he would "reason" such events as best he could and these resulting "myths" would be handed down among mankind until Science would advance to replace such foolishness. The problem is that such foolishness would be later personified into acts of each nation's heroes and later ascribed to Jesus by the Sun-worshipping Romans who had control over the New Testament.

Now you can better understand that each year, early society awaited the approach of Dec. 22, with foreboding. Dec. 22, the day of the Winter Solstice (definition is to stand still) was a day of reckoning for them. Because it seemed to them, as they observed and tracked the North to South movement of the Sun, that on this day DEC 22, the sun entered its grave. The sun dies or the sungod dies. The North to South progression of the Sun can be likened to a swinging pendulum. You know that when a pendulum reaches its solstice (the point where it swings back - its turning point), that for a slight imperceptible moment, it actually stands still. But in terms of our vast solar system, the point of solstice is not imperceptible. It lasts for days, three days to be exact. For three days, after the sun reaches its solstice, it appears to stand still. This period of pause, between the Suns descent and ASCENT, wrought paralyzing dread and fear into the hearts and minds of the early pre-Christians. Over time, they established rituals and traditions concerning this period (DEC 22 to DEC 25). They passed the word through oral tradition, and eventually, after their societies established writing, wrote it down, concerning their Sun God: the sun shall lay in a grave (point of solstice) for 3 days. But after 3 days the sun shall rise, be resurrected, (according to Webster’s Dictionary, the word resurrect is linked to the word resurge, which means "To Rise Again", to revive), and ascend toward heaven, (progressively ascend northward to the position of the summer Sun). And when the sun completes its ascent upward toward the point of its summer solstice, it will comfort us and bless us with warm weather and long days and will save us (be a savior) from the ravages of winter. So, this, that I have explained to you here, is the ORIGINAL, authentic, true CONCEPT of the resurrection. As the revelation of God would grow among Mankind, men could see how the God of the Universe has spoken such to them in the Cosmos.

When the pre-Christians spoke and wrote of the resurrection of the Sun; they meant exactly that. It did not refer to a person, but to the SOLAR SUN. That would come later. We see the the culminating of it in the teachings later connected to Jesus.

What you, the reader must be sharp enough to see, is that many "untruths" have been mixed with "truths" in the life of Jesus as portrayed in the New Testament and "cast out the leaven."

But, when the Gentile Church broke from their Jewish Roots the Gentile priesthood began to associated with the inherited traditions about Jesus their older "religious traditions" of the Sun-gods. Long ago their Gentile ancestors had changed the Sun to Son. The priesthood told the pagans that the SON (Christ) was born on DEC 25, just like their SUN. They told them that the Son had been dead in a grave for three days and then was resurrected (revived) and ascended to heaven (upward) just like their Sun. This is totally a matter of faith for you, the reader.

THE WINTER SOLSTICE AND OSIRIS

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, when the sun reaches its lowest point on the horizon. ("Solstice" literally means "sun stop.") In ancient times, pagans celebrated this day as a "rebirth" of the sun or a sun god, and the beginning of a new year. In some cultures, the Winter Solstice was also a time to celebrate the birth or rebirth of a savior man-god (who was often connected with the sun). He was usually believed to be the offspring of a god father and a goddess or human mother, who was often a virgin. In ancient Egypt, the god-man/saviour Osiris died and was entombed on December 21st. At his moment of death, the priests brought out a baby, indicating his immediate rebirth; the Christians celebrate a birth of a god just after this time as well.

About 3000 B.C.E., Egyptians began worshipping the god Osiris, who was associated with the sun. He was portrayed as a trinity: a heavenly god, an earthly god, and a falcon. (Later, Christians depicted their trinity as God, Jesus, and a Holy Spirit dove). The king of Egypt claimed to be the earthly god. He acted as a link between humanity and the heavenly god. It was believed the earthly god king became the heavenly god after death. Later, the heavenly god, Osiris, was said to have fathered (through Isis, a virgin) an earthly god son, Horus, who was actually a rebirth of Osiris. According to legend, this birth of Osiris/Horus was announced by Three Wise Men, symbolized by three stars in Orion's Belt pointing to Osiris' star in the east. Angelic voices hailed his arrival. His birth was often depicted in a manger, with Isis as the Madonna standing over him, and was said to have occurred on the Winter Solstice. Belief in Osiris, Horus, and Isis became popular in the Roman Empire, until believers began to be persecuted under Christianity.

THE WINTER SOLSTICE AND MITHRA

About 2000 B.C.E., Persians began worshipping the man-god Mithra, who was supposedly born from a god father and a human virgin mother. Mithra's birth was said to have occurred in a cave or stable, and was witnessed by shepherds who brought him gifts. Later, his followers celebrated this event with a ceremony at midnight on the eve of the Winter Solstice. Mithra was viewed as a Redeemer. He was believed to have performed miracles, such as raising the dead, healing the sick, making the blind see and the lame walk, and casting out devils. According to legend, Mithra celebrated a Last Supper with his twelve disciples before he ascended to heaven. In memory of this, his worship-pers partook of a sacramental meal of bread marked with a cross. In subsequent years, a stone image symbolizing Mithra was buried in a tomb. It was then withdrawn and he was said to live again. Followers of Mithra believed a person had to be baptized in order to ascend into the heavens after death. Mithra is supposed to return at the end of time to judge the human race. In 67 B.C.E., Mithraism was introduced into the Roman Republic. Later, Mithraism stood as a powerful rival to the newly emerging Christianity. In fact, by 307 C.E., Mithra was officially designated the "Protector of the Roman Empire." However, by 358 C.E., followers of Mithra began to be persecuted under Christianity. In addition to being a man-god savior, Mithra was connected to the sun god. Later, Christians began referring to their own man-god savior, Jesus, as the "Light of the World" and the "Sun of Righteousness." Christians moved their Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday (sun-day). The Seventh-Day Adventists, however, are an example of one modern Christian group which has kept its Sabbath on Saturday.

THE WINTER SOLSTICE AND KRISHNA

The Hindu man-god Krishna was believed to have been born c. 1200 B.C.E. He was said to be an incarnation of the god Vishnu, born of a human mother, Devaki. Krishna's birth was celebrated on the Winter Solstice. According to legend, Krishna's birth was announced by a star and angelic voices. Shepherds and wise men hailed him as the Redeemer and gave him gifts. King Kansa tried to kill Krishna by ordering the death of all male infants born on the same night as Krishna. A heavenly voice warned his earthly foster father (a carpenter) to flee with his family. Krishna was said to have taught moral lessons, forgiven sins, performed miracles, and defeated demons. It was believed that the Lord and Savior Krishna atoned for the world's sins by pouring out his blood while lying on a cross-shaped temple rock. However, some Indian art depicts Krishna hanging from a cross and being pierced by an arrow. It was also believed Krishna rose from death and ascended to heaven.

THE WINTER SOLSTICE AND CHRISTMAS

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year, when the sun reaches its lowest point on the horizon. ("Solstice" literally means "sun stop.") In ancient times, pagans celebrated this day as a "rebirth" of the sun or a sun god, and the beginning of a new year. In some cultures, the Winter Solstice was also a time to celebrate the birth or rebirth of a savior man-god (who was often connected with the sun). He was usually believed to be the offspring of a god father and a goddess or human mother, who was often a virgin. Tammuz of Babylon, Attis of Phrygia, Horus of Egypt, Mithra of Persia, Krishna of India, Heracles of Greece and, last of all, Jesus of Nazareth are just some of the ancient man-gods whose births were celebrated on the Winter Solstice. In 46 B.C.E., Julius Caesar adopted the Julian calendar. The Winter Solstice and the beginning of the new year fell on December 25th. Caesar declared this date the "Birthday of the Unconquered Sun." (Later, Christians called it the "Birthday of the Unconquered Son.") The ancient Roman festival of the Saturnalia (honoring Saturn, the god of agriculture) lasted from December 17th to December 24th. The event concluded with a great feast, the Brumalia, held on December 25th. Pagan celebrations of the Winter Solstice included social gatherings, lights, singing, gifts, feasts, yule logs, mistletoe, holly, and decorated trees. These festivities were later adopted by many Christians. The Christian Bible acknowledges that decorating trees is a pagan idea. Jeremiah 10.2-4 states: "Learn not the way of the heathen... For the customs of the people are in vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest... They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not." It seems it is not proper for a Christian to have a Christmas tree! The 1911 edition of the Catholic Encyclopedia admits: "Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the Church... the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt." Again it finds it's origin with Osiris.

JESUS, CHRISTIANITY AND CHRISTMAS

There are many parallels between these and other pre-Christian savior man-gods and Jesus. Indeed, so much of Jesus' legend has been plagiarized that a few scholars doubt whether he ever actually existed! Others claim that if he existed, his life is obscured in myth and we know virtually nothing about him. Most of the Roman persecution of Christianity occurred from 250 to 313 C.E. In 380, the Roman emperor Theodosius ordered all pagan temples to be destroyed and forced pagans to accept Christianity. The Roman celebration of the sun god's rebirth was still held on December 25th. However, due to imperfections in the Julian calendar, the actual Winter Solstice had drifted to December 21st. Pagan sun god celebrations proved too popular for early Christians to overcome. Therefore, they decided to superimpose their story of Jesus (which contained many pagan elements anyway) onto the sun god festi-vals of the Winter Solstice (Christmas) and the Spring Equinox (Easter). In 354, Bishop Liberius of Rome decreed that the birth of Jesus should be celebrated on the same day as the birth of the sun gods - December 25th. Before this, the Christian church had no official observance of the birth of Jesus. From 1652 to 1659, Oliver Cromwell and the Puritans in the English Parliament outlawed Christmas because it was not sanctioned in the Bible. Churches were ordered to be closed and shops were ordered to be open on this day. Clergymen were imprisoned for preaching on Christmas, and some parish officers were fined for decorating the church. From 1659 to 1680, Puritans in the colony of Massachusetts prohibited the observance of Christmas, imposing a five shilling fine on anyone caught celebrating this pagan festival. It wasn't until 1856 that Georgia became the first state to make Christmas a legal holiday. In 1894, Christmas was included in the first group of federal holidays. Previously, Congress had met, and mail was delivered, on Christmas Day. The Worldwide Church of God, the Seventh-Day Adventists, and the Jehovah's Witnesses, all Christian religions, do not celebrate Christmas.

WHAT CAN WE LEARN...AND WOULD GOD WANT US TO?

Emperor Aurelian established December 25 as the birthday of the "Invincible Sun" in the third century as part of the Roman Winter Solstice celebrations. Shortly thereafter, in 273, the Christian church selected this day to represent the birthday of Jesus, and by 336, this Roman solar feast day was Christianized. January 6, celebrated as Epiphany in Christendom and linked with the visit of the Magi, was originally an Egyptian date for the Winter Solstice. If you have ever studied the Jewish Roots of Christianity you can easily see that Yeshua was conceived at Hanukkah (the Festival of Lights...light to the world) and was born at the High Holy Days (9 months later). This is why Bet Emet exists for we desire to help the readers to sanctify themselves before the L-RD and one day meet Him with truth in their lives instead of paganism passed off as truth!

Most of the customs, lore, symbols, and rituals associated with "Christmas" actually are linked to Winter Solstice celebrations of ancient Pagan cultures. While Christian mythology is interwoven with contemporary observances of this holiday time, its Pagan nature is still strong and apparent. Pagans today can readily re-Paganize Christmas time and the secular New Year by giving a Pagan spiritual focus to existing holiday customs and by creating new traditions that draw on ancient ways.

If you so desire, Bet Emet Ministries offers a comprehensive CD of all of our Websites. Included with it is a "study plan" to assure the proper Spiritual evolution of your Soul and its proper development through the following in-depth studies. There is an order in which these numerous websites should be "studied" in order to maximize your learning spiritual growth. Just click on this link for the details as to how you can obtain the CD that consists of the ministry's fifteen websites, or should I say, books that were written over the last fifteen years. Many of these sites are actually books, consisting of hundreds of pages of knowledge that the Roman Church intended you never come to know.

In our CD all our websites are contained on one disk. We provide a "study plan" for the student and give detailed instructions as how to study these websites "in order" to facilitate one's study. Please inquire for the CD for such thorough study will take you some time if you ever hope of cracking the "Jesus Puzzle" and coming to the answer of the question: "Who do men say I am?" Hidden in this study is the manner by which you, a Christian, can come to the point in your life where the true power and demonstration of the Power of God in your life can be found and experience, where you can "say" to the mountains in your life "be gone" and they really flee. Just ask my wife who raised the Christ to life in her life, in a few short months, in time to reverse a disease process going on in her body and is alive today when medical science said otherwise. A mistaken literal and historical understanding of the sacred Scriptures "killeth," but a "mystical" and "metaphysical" understanding of the true indwelling Christ in you, as the real St. Paul teaches, raises you from the dead in this Earthly life and gives you the power and demonstration of the Power of God in your life. No tricks here, but just truth, truth kept from us by a less than truthful group of men that changed the original understanding of the Ancient Wisdom to keep humanity ignorant and in fear, thus selfishly controlling them when they no longer had enough swords to do so. Don't let this ignorance of the truth continue in your life. It is time to experience the resurrection of Christ from the dead in you NOW!