The ancient Roman family also believed that the table for family dining was another altar of sorts where they shared their meal with the various gods.
Now, during the time of Christmas in particular, the Romans held the Saturnalia feast which had all the trappings of a Christmas feast. They would sacrifice a pig at grove of green trees and chant something like the following:
Whether thou be god or goddess (si deus, si dea) to whom this grove is dedicated, as it is thy right to receive a sacrifice of a pig for the thinning of this sacred grove, and to this intent, whether I or one at my bidding do it, may it be rightly done. To this end, in offering this pig to thee I humbly beg that thou wilt be gracious and merciful to me, to my house and household, and to my children. Wilt thou deign to receive this pig which I offer thee to this end.
Later they would come home, give each other gifts, and on the table would be a pig feast. The feast would like strikingly familiar to anyone who has ever seen a Christmas feast:
The astounding thing is how well these customs persisted even thousands of years later with the traditions surrounding the Yule log. In Europe the custom was to take a log from the forest, keep it burning brightly the whole night of Christmas Eve and then very early in the morning to lay the pig on this fire to roast.
The Yule log was similar to the Vesta flame in many respects. At the hearth, the family would pray for the deceased ancestors of the household. The flames themselves were much like the eternal Vesta flames because the tradition was to keep a portion of the previous year’s Yule log for the new year’s Yule log so that the old and new would burn together.
Most striking however was that the Yule log was connected to the “god of lightning”. The Europeans believed that the Yule log protected against fire and lightning. The belief was so widespread that antiquarian James George Frazer notes:
“It is remarkable how common the belief appears to have been that the remains of the Yule-log, if kept throughout the year, had power to protect the house against the fire and especially against lightning. As the Yule log was frequently of oak, it seems possible that this belief may be a relic of the old Aryan creed which associated the oak-tree with the god of thunder. Whether the curative and fertilizing virtues ascribed to the ashes of the Yule log, which are supposed to heal cattle as well as men, to enable cows to calve, and to promote the fruitfulness of the earth, may not be derived from the same ancient source, is a question which deserves to be considered.”
HOW DEMONS ENTER THE HOME
We learn early on in the Torah that there is a spirit of sin, a spirit which has the characteristics of a lion:
“If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it,” Genesis 4:7
Sin here is given the characteristic of lion that is crouching at the door of the home, waiting for an opportunity to enter. This lion is, of course, the accuser Satan:
“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” 1 Peter 5:8
He wants to destroy and his endgame is to take over the entire world:
“For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God,” 2 Thess. 3-4
Many people are unaware that Satan makes a legal claim on people (or certain areas of their lives) when a person indulges in areas of sin. But when a person is devoid of the Ruach because he or she does not seek after G-d’s Torah, it creates an “open house” of sorts for Satan and his demons.
Back to the Christmas trees…
The Torah says that everything associated with the Asherah (which includes the “green” trees) must be burned with fire:
“The carved images of their gods you shall burn with fire. You shall not covet the silver or the gold that is on them or take it for yourselves, lest you be ensnared by it, for it is an abomination to the Lord your God. And you shall not bring an abominable thing into your house and become devoted to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest and abhor it, for it is devoted to destruction,” Deuteronomy 7:25
“You shall utterly destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. 3″You shall tear down their altars and smash their sacred pillars and burn their Asherim with fire, and you shall cut down the engraved images of their gods and obliterate their name from that place,” Deuteronomy 12:2-3
He actually commands us here to not only burn such items but to “utterly detest and abhor” these items. Translation: don’t even look at a Christmas with fondness. Rather, when you see it bedecked with silver and gold, you are commanded by G-d to utterly detest it.
Satan’s modus operandi hasn’t changed. In the beginning, it was the seductive fruit hanging on a tree in the Garden of Eden and the lie “Has God really said….?” And, once again, Satan uses a fruitful tree (one can imagine the Christmas tree with bright red ornaments looking like plump apples) and whispers into the ear, “Has God really said…?”
This post will probably make me seem silly to many people. But the threat is real and beware that the goal of every demon is to take and eventually destroy your children:
“And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” And he answered them, “O faithless generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him to me.” And they brought the boy to him. And when the spirit saw him, immediately it convulsed the boy, and he fell on the ground and rolled about, foaming at the mouth. And Jesus asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And it has often cast him into fire and into water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us,” Mark 9:17-22
Demons are very good at hiding; many do not manifest until they are confronted. But they ALL want to do what the demons did to the boy in Mark 9–they want to destroy, starting with the children.
So this Christmas season don’t be fooled by pretty packages.
Because you may not like what’s inside.
Source: Orthodox Messianic Judaism (http://goo.gl/tTgTQM)