SABBATH

God's Gift to Us
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Library Topic: Pagan Holidays


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Pagan Holidays

The holidays of this world counterfeit God's holy days, but it is obvious that they are very different. God warns us not to be involved in them.

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Is New Year's Eve Pagan?

New Year's celebrations often involve drunkenness, debauchery, and adultery. God commands us to separate ourselves from these customs and traditions of the world.

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Satan's Pagan Holy Days

New Years, Christmas, Easter, Halloween and birthdays all originate in paganism. Satan entices many into accepting these pagan practices through emotional appeals.

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Valentine's Day and Real Love

The origins of Valentine's Day and its tenuous association with 'Saint Valentine' clearly point to something other than true love.

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'Tis the Season: Help for Our Young People

As another Christmas season approaches, many in God's church dread having to endure it. Have you ever wondered how our children feel about it?

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Cogitations on Christmas

Because of the pagan origins of Christmas, increasing numbers of Christians realize that one cannot 'put Christ' back into something in which He never was.

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Spirit and Truth

The pagan origins of Christmas are well known. How can Christians practice something that has always been anti-God? Is this worshiping 'in spirit and in truth'?

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Celebrating a Lie

The true story of Jesus' birth has been syncretized into a non-Christian festival, and even that has been obscured by a wrong date and a phony crèche scene.

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When Was Jesus Born?

The Catholic Church chose December 25 as the date of Jesus' birth, centuries after the fact. However, internal biblical evidence gives a very different story.

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The Rea$on for the Season

If there is indeed a 'war on Christmas,' then let Rome defend it, for it was pagan Rome that co-opted the winter solstice and inserted the presumed birth of Jesus.

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Syncretismas!

Christmas is a very blatant form of syncretism, the blending of diverse religious practices. The origins of Christmas testify of why we should reject it.

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So You Plan to Keep Christmas Now?

Decorating with evergreens, festivals of lights, and the practice of giving dolls as gifts in the middle of winter all originate in pagan festivals.

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Bucking Tradition

No one wants to have his traditions or treasured fantasies burst. But when a real Christian is presented with truth, he embraces it out of reverence for God.

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Christmas and Sun Worship

Christmas, Easter, and Halloween all derive from sex, fertility, and sun worship. Christmas traces to the incestuous relationship of Semiramis and Nimrod.

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The Plain Truth About Christmas

Did Christmas come from the Bible or paganism? Here are the origins of the Christmas tree, Santa Claus, mistletoe, the holly wreath, and exchanging gifts.

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Presumption and Divine Justice

Orthodoxy in virtually every aspect of life has been discarded, indicating how perverse human nature is in its determination to rebel against God.

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Does Paul Condemn Observing God's Holy Days?

Galatians 4:9-10 is a favorite crutch of those who claim Christians no longer need to observe God's holy days. However, Paul's meaning is quite different.

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Crazy or Christmas

If Christmas is Christ's birthday, it is strange that everybody else except Christ receives a gift. All of its symbols derive from pagan sources.

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Halloween

Halloween is the second-most popular holiday. This night not only lacks biblical foundation, but the Bible warns us against participating in such activities.

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Christmas, Syncretism, and Presumption

Many think keeping Christmas is fine, yet God never tells us to celebrate His Son's birth. Celebrating such an obvious mix of paganism s presumptuous.

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Appointments

God established the weekly Sabbath on the seventh day of Creation; He established His Holy Days (moedim) on the fourth day. These are His appointments.

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For the Love of the Truth

Christ has never been in man's holidays, which are built on lies, and which teach children they cannot trust the veracity of their own parents.

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Is Valentine's Day Really About Love?

St. Valentine's Day started as a lewd, sensual, pagan festival in Rome. Lupercalia is a rite connected with fertility, honoring Venus, the goddess of sex.

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The Resurrection Was Not on Sunday

Jesus said He would be 3 days and 3 nights in the tomb, but that is impossible in a Friday crucifixion, Sunday resurrection scenario. Here's the biblical truth.

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Truth-Based Worship Vs Spiritual Confusion

God never accepts worship that comes from human reasoning and the traditions of man. The starting point for worship must always be God and His revelation.

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Was Jesus Resurrected on Easter Sunday?

When did Jesus rise from the rich man's tomb? The world—because of tradition—says Sunday, but the Bible reveals the only possible timing of His resurrection.

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Halloween Rising

Most Americans do not believe in demonic spirits enough to think of Halloween as a celebration of them. Rather, Halloween is a massive escape from reality.

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Truth (Part 1)

If we are going to search for truth, we should not be seeking it in the philosophies of men, but rather in the fullness of truth found in God's revelation.

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Something Fishy

Catholics eat fish on Friday as a form of penance, commemorating Christ's supposed death on 'Good' Friday. During pagan Lent, eating fish on Friday is mandatory.

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The Plain Truth About Easter

Easter is not a Christian name, but belongs to the idolatrous 'queen of heaven.' Here are the origins of Easter eggs and sunrise services, which pre-date Christ.

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Be My Valentine?

February 14, Valentine's Day, may seem harmless enough—until the truth of its origins comes to light. Mike Ford exposes this pagan day.

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'After Three Days'

A scriptural explanation of the time of Christ's death, burial and resurrection, showing that He died on a Wednesday and rose from the dead on the Sabbath.

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Hosea's Prophecy (Part Four)

Both Israel and Judah during Hosea's time adopted paganism from the surrounding nations. Syncretistic religion blends paganism and Christianity.

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Are God's Holy Days To Be Kept Today?

If we do not keep God's holy days, we will deprive ourselves of the knowledge of God's purpose. Jesus and the first century church observed and upheld these days.

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Deception, Idolatry and the Feast of Tabernacles

Jeroboam, pragmatic and fearful, established a more convenient idolatrous festival to prevent his people from keeping the real Feast of Tabernacles in Judah.

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Hating Evil, Fearing God

Good and evil do not mix; we cannot associate with what is wrong. The proper fear of God plays a significant role in ridding evil from our lives.

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Gray Areas in Human Reasoning

We must be on guard for the incremental nature of gray areas. Godly reasoning recognizes no gray areas; just because something is lawful does not mean it is good.

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The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Twenty-Three)

In Colossians 2:16 and Galatians 4:9-10, Paul was warning against mixing Gnostic asceticism and pagan customs with the keeping of God's Sabbath and Holy Days.

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Elements of Judgment (Part One)

The last days of the Worldwide Church of God demonstrated a dearth of righteous judgment. God expects us to judge wisely within the parameters of His Law.

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One Nation Under God (Part Two)

Martin Collins, asking what changes are required of Israel in order to receive God's favor and spiritual blessings, looks at the commitments made by our forebears in the account of Nehemiah. They bound themselves to the Sabbath, refraining to do commerce on the campus. They promised to keep their lineage pure, not co-mingling with Gentiles. They promised to faithfully tithe. Without the power of God's Holy Spirit, permanent change is not possible. We must commit to something larger than ourselves. We must, in the footsteps of Ezra, commit ourselves to the reading of the law, confessing our sins, making a formal commitment to change, placing ourselves under God's Holy Laws, principles, precepts, and teachings. The people in Nehemiah 9 made specific commitments to the purity of the family (the basic unit of government), the honoring of the Sabbath (the basic identifier of the God's people), the temple tax rather than government aid (providing a headquarters of sorts), dedicating the firstborn, collecting the tithe (in all its aspects) providing for the temple service. We need to follow Nehemiah's leadership example in submitting to God, focusing on the right goals, having wisdom in handling complex situations, and having courage to act decisively, giving himself totally to the Lord.

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Halloween

True Christians do not celebrate Halloween. It is pagan in origin and practice and will destroy one's relationship with God. Light and darkness cannot mix.

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The Second Commandment

Most people consider the second commandment to deal with making or falling down before a pagan idol, but it covers all aspects of the way we worship.

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Four Views of Christ (Part 6)

Christ provides a model of how to live a godly life in the flesh, living life the way God lives it. Using His light, we can navigate our way in this world.

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Hosea's Prophecy (Part Five)

Martin Collins, reflecting on the grim results of the recent elections, suggests that the parallels in Hosea, indicting Israel and Judah, are more relevant today than ever before. Ancient Israel as well as modern Israel demonstrate divided loyalties (emanating from a divided heart), vacillating between God and the world, veering more and more toward the world, resembling a panting dog or a pleasure-seeking prostitute. As a metaphorical vine, Israel has produced bitter and unwholesome fruit. Hosea's unfaithful wife resembles the culture of modern Israel, steeped in idolatry, adultery, and immorality. The proliferation of laws reflects an exponential increase in immorality and corruption. Like ancient Israel, modern Israel has embraced blatant idolatry. America (like ancient Israel) professes righteousness (smugly embracing environmentalism and social justice), but actually practices unrighteous and injustice and a thousand other hideous abominations (homosexuality and sodomy). Like the time of the judges, we have no righteous leader in America today. As remnants or God's called out ones, we cannot become conformed to the evil which is forming like a malignant cancer in our midst. For its sins, modern Israel may have to be punished and perhaps even taken captive, but God will ultimately save Israel upon repentance, re-gathering them and restoring (after chastening) them as He has before.

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New Covenant Priesthood (Part One)

Old Testament activities picture New Testament realities, elevated to their spiritual intent. The church has been chosen as a royal and holy priesthood.

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John (Part 12)

What we believe automatically determines what we do; it is impossible to separate faith and works. If Jesus is not our source of belief, our works will suffer.

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Prepare to Meet Your God! (The Book of Amos) (Part Two)

Israel had every opportunity that the Gentiles did not have. God gave the Israelites gifts to live a better way, but they completely failed to reflect Him.

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The Spirit of Babylon (Part Three)

The spirit of Babylon is one of self-determination and independence, antagonistic toward every institution of God, even something as basic as God-given gender.

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Be Happy (Part One)

As we age, the pressures of life, work, and experience all contribute to wearing us down. Only a few seem to have learned to remain happy despite hardship.

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Facing Times of Stress: Persecution

Persecution involves a wide spectrum, ranging from torture, physical beating, social excommunication, imprisonment and death. Our boldness should match Paul's.

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1335

Charles Whitaker, reflecting on the events taking place as Christ bid His disciples farewell upon His ascension into Heaven, suggested that the approximately 75 days between the resurrection of Lazarus and Pentecost- brought about tumultuous activity and earth-shaking events. The disciples wanted eagerly to know what would happen next, just as we do do today. In that relatively short period of time, many miraculous and dramatic events occurred, including: (1) the resurrection of Lazarus, (2) the triumphal entry of Christ into Jerusalem, (3) the Passover , (4) the ripping of the Temple veil, an event which reverberated throughout the entire Jewish world , (5) the opening of tombs, populating the region with many people who had earlier died,, (6) the resurrection of Christ, (7) the ascension of Christ, and (8) Pentecost (the miraculous beginning of the New Testament Church). But then God seemed to turn off the fulfilled prophecy machine; God did nothing further dramatic during 31 AD. Years and months rolled by, speculations emerged and fizzled, with hope that Christ would re-appear on one of the impending holy days. Paul, who thought Christ would return in his lifetime, urged people to be eternally vigilant never letting down, reminding us to earnestly love His appearing. Those who love His appearing will receive a crown of righteousness. The apparent discrepancy in the number of days in Daniel's prophecies equal 75 days, perhaps duplicating the 75 dramatic days occurring between the resurrection of Lazarus and the resurrection of Christ. We may not see those 75 days, but will receive the blessing on day 1,335 if we continue to look forward to Christ's appearing.

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Hope to the End (Part One)

John Ritenbaugh suggests that the people everywhere seem frazzled, distressed, and terrified as a dark, evil, sinister force seems to be engulfing the world. The continued angst from dealing with this continual pathogenic zeitgeist threatens to render all of us, including God's called-out ones, into a state of hopelessness, apathy, depression, with absolutely no reason to ever expect a positive outcome. The church must forcefully deal with this overwhelming feeling of hopelessness or it too will succumb to this terrifying vortex of despair. We live in the same kind of cultural milieu as Noah before the world perished in the Great Flood. Over the past few centuries, and especially the last 70 or 80 years, the 'liberal', 'progressive' humanist philosophers and educators have successfully hi-jacked the minds of our populace, steering them totally clear from any reliance upon God by poisoning their minds with the patently illogical theory of evolution, forced upon unwary, naïve minds as fact and truth. The Day of Trumpets militates against this foolishness by restoring hope for the establishment of God's Kingdom which will permanently terminate decay, sin, and death. As God's called-out ones, we are fish swimming against a violent current, compelled to turn to God and keep His Commandments when the rest of the world rejects Him. As God gave the original Promised Land to Jacob's children, He also gave the North American continent (largely virgin territory) to the descendants of Jacob. In 240 years, we have indulged in affluence, but forgetting its Provider.

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Leadership and the Covenants (Part Six)

Paul urges Euodia and Syntyche to follow the example of Christ rather than placing their desire to be right over unity. Godly leadership follows submission.

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Tests of True Knowledge

A person who is puffed up parades his knowledge by exhibiting impatience, intolerance, or a false modesty, marginalizing what the uneducated in their minds.

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Our Bread of Life

The world is confused on the timing of Christ's death and resurrection. It becomes clear by a proper understanding of the holy days, preparation days, and Sabbaths.

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Are Things That Bad?

There are no hollow threats with God Almighty. God will destroy disobedient people with the diseases of Egypt, cutting down our life-expectancy.

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Heavenly Citizenship (Part One)

Martin Collins teaches that called-out saints, we are no longer strangers, but are granted the privilege to be citizens of the kingdom of God. As current ambassadors of God's Kingdom, we have the responsibility to adhere to God's standard. As citizens of God's Kingdom, we must make sure that we have a birth certificate, and not merely a passport (a kind of spiritual green card). As citizens of the Kingdom of God, we are strangers, foreigners, aliens, or pilgrims to the world, but full-fledged citizens of God's Kingdom. Christians are not citizens of the world; they cannot be. The Christian has gone through the narrow gate and has built his foundation on a rock. The difference between the wheat and tare is difficult to see on the surface, but can be distinguished by the fruit he bears. To stress the vital difference between the stranger and family, we must use the cliché, "blood is thicker than water." How can we know whether we are citizen or a stranger in God's Kingdom? Do we feel at ease among God's people? Do we feel more at ease among God's people as well as other social groups? Do we understand the context of the conversations within God's family or do we feel like outsiders? Are we in on the family inner secrets? Are you conforming to the laws and customs of God's Kingdom? We cannot enter God's Kingdom unless we have a birth certificate rather than a passport or temporary visa.

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Don't Give Up!

John Ritenbaugh, reflecting that the book of Hebrews was written for a group of people living at a time of the end of an age (the end of Jewish life in Judea), suggests that this nation is also languishing in an end-time decline. People are in a general malaise from culture shock, moving from surprise, anger, and demoralization, leading to lethargy. We, as a culture, are being pummeled by continuous assaults to our core values, witnessing murderous abortion advocates, homosexual activists, and the hard core leftist collectivists getting their way, while the silent majority has been bullied into submission to disgusting, evil mandates. The increase in the acceptance of evil is leading to a state of hopelessness and lethargy. We must reorient our focus onto God's Word and His message of hope, never giving up our quest for righteousness and integrity in the midst of the cesspool of immorality and progressive secularism.

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The Absence of Love

Paul fought against discord by reminding the brethren that the church is united in Christ, and that He requires His followers to show love to each other.

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How Much Would You Give Up for the Kingdom of God?

We should be willing to give up anything for the Kingdom, controlling our speech, thoughts, behaviors, and lives. We cannot grow in grace without works.

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God's Sea of Glass (Part 1)

Unlike tumultuous waves, the sea of glass before God's throne is tranquil and serene. Before we can stand on this sea of glass, we must be set apart and cleansed.

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Keeping Love Alive (Part One)

Works demonstrate our faith, our response to God's calling and His freely given grace. Reciprocity is always a part of our relationship with God.

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The Miracles of Jesus Christ: Healing a Leper (Part One)

Leprosy is a horrible disease, one that the ancients said could only be cured by God Himself. Jesus' healing of a leper manifested His divine power and mercy.

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Samson and the Christian (Part 1)

Richard Ritenbaugh asks if we have known people who seemingly had everything going for them but never reached their potential. Samson had what it took but made horrible mistakes and lapses in judgment. Nevertheless, Hebrews 11 says that he will be part of the first resurrection. Even with his dalliance with women and problems with prevarication, he is counted among the saints. God can use people despite their flawed character. During the time of Samson, the Philistines wanted to dilute Israel's identity and assimilate them into their own culture (Hamitic by race, but Greek in culture). Samson's faithful parents were from the tribe of Dan, one that produces good leaders, yet who sometimes do things underhandedly and not by the rules. By taking on these characteristics, Samson did not live up to his potential, and nearly lost it altogether.

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A Feast Message From Hebrews

The Bible shows a clear pattern of how people leave the faith: looking back, drawing back, looking elsewhere, and then going backward and refusing to hear.

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Go the Extra Mile

The Sermon on the Mount contains a explanation of what it takes to be a Christian. Matthew 5:38-42 provides the principles behind the 'above and beyond' attitude.

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Defining Logos (Part One)

Richard Ritenbaugh suggests that one must be a member of a language community to know the contexts defining the meaning of a word. The Greek word logos has been negatively loaded with unbiblical meanings from Gnosticism, theology, and philosophy. Its basic meaning is "word" or "saying," yet it is really more complex. Its various usages in the New Testament provide contextual meanings that broaden our understanding. The entire Old Testament and its relationship to Jesus Christ constitute another application. The Jews were not unacquainted with the concept of logos, as the Old Testaent reveals a preexistent God, the Creator of everything, composed of invisible, immaterial, powerful spirit, reasonably and logically calculating the Creation, who, when He speaks, reality takes place. Abraham understood this concept explicitly, calling the Word "Lord God.„

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Principled Living (Part One): Imitating Christ

Richard Ritenbaugh, beginning a series on "Principled Living," focuses on the aspect of drafting (a racing term describing a lead vehicle "punching a hole in the air," enabling trailing vehicles to increase speed, pulling ahead of the pack), paralleling the spiritual metaphor of Jesus Christ blazing a trail, enabling us to follow or imitate Him. Following Jesus requires absolute commitment or devotion, often involving arduous sacrifice and intense discomfort. We must be willing to give up family and societal ties to the world, assimilating (with the help of God's Spirit) into our new spiritual family. As a spiritual soldier, we belong to Christ heart, soul, and mind, and we serve Him because we wish to please Him. We must be willing to take up our cross (an instrument of torture and death), voluntarily following Christ's and Peter's examples. Fortunately, our ultimate reward is worth any sacrifice we could make.

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How Our Joy May Be Full!

Joy and gladness are gifts from God, resulting from Christ living His life in us and helping us to love the brethren. This love is perfected through suffering.

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Are You Worthy of Your Calling?

Martin Collins, focusing upon the topic of unity, maintains that the church has been charged with the responsibility to bring unity to a hopelessly disunited, fragmented, and chaotic world. In order to maintain this unity, like the Ephesians, we must maintain a solid balance between doctrine and practice, walking worthy of our calling. All activities of life, including art, fashion, work, as well as doctrine and conduct, should be characterized by congruity and balance. With the proper doctrine, our lives and conduct, punctuated by humility, gentleness, longsuffering, and loving forbearance, can match our high calling of emulating (with the power of God's Holy Spirit in our inner beings) our Elder Brother Jesus Christ.

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Prophets and Prophecy (Part 3)

John the Baptist fulfilled the prophecy of the 'Elijah to come.' We must apply duality of prophecy carefully and cautiously rather than indiscriminately.

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The Essence of Self-Control

A lack of self-control, as well as the cultivation of self-indulgent perversions, will characterize large segments of our society living at the end times.

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Our Affinity to Christ

Our lives must be totally wrapped up in Christ, exemplifying His character. As we overcome, taking the same steps as Christ did, we will receive His reward.

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God's Rest (Part 1)

The Sabbath rest depicts the miracle of conversion, in which the transformation of mankind into God's image brings about a rest in which God takes pleasure.

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Sabbathkeeping (Part 1)

How and why a person keeps the Sabbath determines whether this test commandment is really a sign between God and His people or an act of futility.

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Hebrews 12 and 13: Advice for the End Time

We must lay aside every weight, accept God's chastening, receive encouragement from those who have gone before, and get back into the spiritual race.

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The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Fifteen)

Things written in the Old Testament were written for us. The differences in the covenants focus on justification and access to God, not doing away with the law.

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The Covenants, Grace, and Law (Part Fourteen)

No part of God's Law has been 'done away'. Jesus came to magnify the law, giving it a far more penetrating, spiritual application. Man flounders without law.

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A Place of Safety? (Part 4)

The prophecies concerning the Man of Sin refer to a person with great political power with global significance rather than to a leader of a small church.

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Psalm 23 (Part 3)

John Ritenbaugh reveals that the valley-of-shadow imagery symbolizes the fears, frustrations, trials, and tests needed to produce character, quality fruit, and an intimate trust in the shepherd. His rod, an extension of his will and strength, serves not only against predators, but also prevents members of the flock from butting heads. It also helps him to identify and to judge. The staff, symbolic of God's Spirit, represents gentle guidance. The prepared table depicts a plateau or a mesa that the shepherd has made safe and secure for grazing. Christ, our Shepherd, has prepared the way for us, safeguarding us from predators and removing our fear of starvation and death. The oil, also symbolic of the Holy Spirit, refers to protective salve that prevents maddening or deadly insect infestation. Goodness and mercy refer to the agape love that we desperately need to acquire and use so we can leave behind a blessing. The house depicts contentment in the Family of God.

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The Commandments (Part 18)

A community can only be established upon a foundation of stability and truth. Our relationships must be based upon God's truth, producing faithfulness.

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John (Part 28)

John Ritenbaugh explains that Jesus' caution to Mary in John 20:17, "Don't touch me," is more accurately translated "Don't cling to me." Either translation does not contradict the First Fruits symbolism. (After all, the Levitical Priests had to "touch" the grain in order to offer it.) Also the charge Jesus gave to the disciples in John 20:23 was not to "forgive sin" but only to discern the fruits of repentance, consistent with the binding and loosing authority of Levitical Priests, applying God's law. Having the "Mind of Christ" gives the New Testament ministry the ability to discern the fruits of repentance. The problem with Thomas was more his tendency to be a loner, having cutting himself from the fellowship of his brothers, than his doubting. Thomas's insistence upon touching refutes the Gnostic's claim that Jesus did not have corporeal substance. Not only does the book of John (written in 96AD) provides a plethora of signs corroborating Jesus Christ's authenticity, but also shows a pattern to actively live as God would live if He were a man, with the effect of building and sustaining faith. The epilogue (chapter 21) seemed to be added to counteract the assumption that John would live until Christ's second coming, as well as confuting the Gnostics' claim that Jesus did not have physical substance. The conclusion describes the disciples' bewildered reaction to their resurrected teacher. In this incident, Jesus formally, by using expressions identifying different levels of love, affirms the intense responsibility and difficulty of the commission given to Peter.

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John (Part 14)

John Ritenbaugh observes that the over-riding motivation for the individuals bringing to Jesus the woman caught in adultery was to trap Him, impaling Him on the horns of a dilemma. (Condemning the woman to death would have brought Him into conflict with Roman law; not condemning Her would have brought Him into conflict with the law of Moses.) Jesus, when He wrote in the dirt, perhaps listed instances in which the spirit of the law was violated in the thoughts or behaviors of the accusers, exposing the cruel, condemnatory attitude of the Pharisees. God's approach to authority is that it should be used to serve, and that the chief function of judging (from the stance of humility, mercy, and understanding) is to evaluate and to gently correct and reclaim rather than to condemn. Jesus, claiming to be the light of the world (drawing on a familiar temple ceremony involving candelabras), emphasizes His function as the Messiah, the embodiment of truth, giving form, shape, and substance to our lives, guiding us around or through life's difficulties. Believing that Jesus is God will motivate us to submit to Him in every aspect of our lives, providing an antidote to enslaving fears common to all of mankind, freeing us from the bondage of sin.