The Gilead Institute of America
   

What Should We Do Now?

In light of all that has been considered, it should be quite clear to the true children of God what their stand should be in the face of all the "Christianized" pagan customs and practices observed today. All should be able to answer such questions as, Why can't we celebrate the birth of our blessed Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, on December 25, or on any other day that is set aside to honor Him? How could it be wrong for me or my children to celebrate Halloween, Easter, or any other pagan custom, since today it may not be done for the very same reason that others celebrated it anciently? And why should anyone deprive themselves or their children from having "innocent" fun?

 First of all, the origin and basic principle underlying all false worship needs to be understood. In order to identify this we need to remember the history surrounding Cain and Abel, the first two children of Adam and Eve.

When Cain and Abel were required to offer a sacrifice unto their Creator they were both fully aware of God's holy will. It was up to each of them to choose his own or God's will in this matter, and so they did. Concerning their eventual choices it is written:

 "And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: but unto Cain and to his offering He had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell." Gen. 4:4-5.

 It is easy to understand why Christians consider Abel as being good and faithful, but Cain as being evil and unfaithful. Although both of these brothers offered up sacrifices unto God, only one was respected and accepted. Abel's offering was in harmony with God's will, but Cain's was not.

Cain's offering was really unto Satan and not unto God, for he knowingly offered up his sacrifice in direct opposition to God's will; and as a result, God could not accept Cain's offering. Thus Cain introduced false worship to the human race, but Nimrod's wife, Semiramis, introduced pagan customs and traditions, none of which could be accepted by God because they were all contrary to His will. In like manner today, those who do as Cain or Semiramis did are really presenting their offerings unto Satan instead of unto God. We are told:

 "Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." James 4:17.

 "As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice unto idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) but to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him." 1 Cor. 8:4-6.

 Thus the worshipping of Nimrod, the leader of the rebellion in Babel, was in actuality the worshipping of Satan, the leader of the rebellion in heaven, for Satan was really the mastermind behind all these things. Satan not only inspired the minds of the Babylonians with all their false doctrines, but he also helped to promote their erroneous views by giving his satanic support to the magical feats and spiritualistic rituals of the priests and worshippers of the sun. This he still does in behalf of false teachers today through miracles and supernatural manifestations. We are therefore admonished:

 "And when they shall say unto you, Seek unto them that have familiar spirits, and unto wizards that peep, and that mutter: should not a people seek unto their God? for the living to the dead? To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them." Isa. 8:19-20.

 Christ's prayer to His Father in behalf of His children is: "Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth." John 17:17.

 God's true children cannot afford to follow after false teachings and practices, but instead only the principles and doctrines found in God's Word. Both in Christ's and the disciples days all were warned against following the customs and traditions of men, and today the true children of God are warned against this same danger in its present and varied forms.

 "This people draweth nigh unto Me with their mouth, and honoureth Me with their lips; but their heart is far from Me. But in vain they do worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men." Matt. 15:8-9.

 "Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ." Col. 2:8. (Read also: 1 Tim. 4:1, 7, 16.)

 Yes, dear reader, we should realize that just as in the case of Cain and Abel, God will not honor or accept offerings that are contrary to His holy will (which is clearly outlined in His inspired Word). He is always seeking to promote truth instead of men's ideas, customs, or traditions. Thus, through the prophet Malachi He declares, "For I am the Lord, I change not." Mal. 3:6.

Therefore, even if men's offerings or forms of worship appear to be innocent or even if they provide great joy and pleasure to men, women, and children, it is God's will that His true followers always seek after truth, for it is only truth that sanctifies the soul. Error never sanctifies but instead defiles. Like the Psalmist David we too, therefore, must always be able to declare unto the Lord God:

 "I will worship toward Thy holy temple, and praise Thy name for Thy lovingkindness and for Thy truth: for Thou hast magnified Thy word above all Thy name." Ps. 138:2.



 
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