Article : My conviction of December 31st (The watch night)

Pr. Jain Thomas, London

Romans 14:5
One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.

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Comment
We can see Paul’s neutrality on this topic. He just wants to avoid a conflict among the Roman congregation. He never support the exact days. Most probably he is talking about the day of Sabbath. He deliberately avoided the names of the day which they commemorate for the Lord. That means he just make sure at least next generation never follow the same mistake.

The main line churches are justifying their stand concerning the observance of Christmas, Good Friday, day of ascension. Are they observing it in the honour of the Lord? We Pentecostals always despising their tradition. Are they rightly able to justify their tradition in accordance with Romans 14:15? In other words, are they observing it in honor of the Lord?

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Why we are against Christmas, Good Friday etc? We are not observing these days because In the Bible, we never see the importance of time. Jesus never encourage His disciples to commemorate these days. If there is no importance for the time or days, the commemoration of Dec 31st 12:00 O’CLOCK is also having no importance. It is a muhoortham. Why we are against muhoortham? Muhoortham means doing something in a particular day and particular time. Muhoortham is always related to pagan worship. In one way or the other Satan is deviating our concentration from worshipping the Lord. The importance goes to the particular time of the day (here 31st December 12 O’clock). Eventually our attraction is the 12 O’clock. When we reach 12 O’clock, our excitement is doubling. If you clearly watch, that moment is getting more glory than our Lord who been crucified for our sins. That is absolutely unacceptable in terms of biblical norms.

Why are we not celebrating Christmas?

Why Jesus never celebrate His birthday for three and half years with his disciples? Didn’t he never complete a birth year while he was with his disciples? I came to England on 19th of May 2005. It is not my birthday. It is my entry to this country. Nobody is going to call it as my birthday. I have born in India years back. Similarly Mary’s womb was merely a vehicle for Him to enter into this world. In John 1:2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. How dare the people to give a birthday to Jesus. If you’re attempting to give a birthday to Jesus, you’re making Him a very little god who born after His creation (Mary and His other creations) which is highly unacceptable according to the Bible. Bible categorically says He was in the beginning with the God in creation. You really put Him as a kid while you celebrating His birthday. In other words, It is highly derogatory to Jesus as you celebrate Christmas.
In short, Jesus never celebrate His birthday for three and half years with his disciples. It shows he never interested in time which He created for his convenience. Why should he respect his creation “the time” (the birth time)?

Why are we not celebrating Good Friday?

What is the most beautiful and most important day for a Christian?
We can surely say the day of crucifixion which determines our (gentiles) destiny.
Ephesians 2:12
“12 remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility 15 by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, 16 and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. 18 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,”

While you are reading this, are you thinking of, is it the prime moment in your life to commemorate?

But Jesus never encourage people to celebrate it on a particular day.
You know His most beloved disciple John who wrote one Gospel and three epistles, and the book of Revelation, never recorded the time of the above prime event. I don’t think he forgot to mention, but one thing I know he learned great lesson from His master and he knows that the whole respect should go to his master not to Jesus’ creation “the time”. If this particular day should be celebrated, on the cross Jesus has the chance to say to John and Mary who were present at the very end of Jesus’ human life. But on the other hand, he said about the arrangements to take care of Mary. I just want to conclude Christmas celebration here.

Why are we not celebrating Day of ascension?

Please find out the answer. It is your assignment. Because of the time constraints, I just want to skip this topic and want to discuss our final topic.

Now the next topic will definitely disturb your mind. Bible says, in Matthew 7:3, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

Why are we not supposed to celebrate watch night?

In the first sense, it was borrowed from pagan tradition to the so called Christian Church. You might ask why our forefathers commemorate the Dec 31st? Even Paul is helpless to add a single tradition other than the Bible. Galatians 1:8 “But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.”

The bible has only one tradition. We are not supposed to add with that.

See Jesus himself against human tradition, here the context is washing the hands. Jesus is not commenting on the observance of any day. But he condemned the human traditions
Matthew 15:6 “So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
8 “ ‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ ”

Another condemnation from the word;
Colo 2:8 See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Gal 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how can you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? 10 You observe days and months and seasons and years! 11 I am afraid I may have labored over you in vain.

In Romans we thought Paul was with the people who observed the days. Now in Galatians he excoriated those practices. He says “you turn back again to the weak and worthless elementary principles of the world, whose slaves you want to be once more? Here he expect more maturity from the people of God. Unfortunately, the people still want to drink the milk.

Paul categorically stated you don’t need to practice any other traditions other than the word of God. Watch out the following word. He even close the canon with his words. Even he doesn’t have a single chance to add that.

Again I am quoting Paul,
Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

Are we accursed to add anything with this word? Are we still want to go back to the weak and worthless elementary principles? Are you the true worshipper of the Creator or the creation (here ‘time’)?

As you celebrate the December 31st, why do you use the gentile pagan Roman calendar instead of the sacred Jewish calendar which had been used by Jesus. According to Jewish calendar, their year end was on October 3rd 2016. The next year Jewish watch night will be on 21st September 2017. If you’re celebrating the watch night, please use the Jewish calendar. Because Jesus and his company gone through that date as their year end. Bear in mind, they never celebrate it.

Why we end up in celebrating 31st December?

Some people ask the question to justify the commemoration of December 31st that why are we conducting church service on every Sunday? The Bible teaches a practice. We can’t add anything more than that. We already saw even Paul doesn’t have the right to add with that.
They do have a tradition for convening every Sunday to worship their Lord.

Acts 20:7 On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight.

1 Cor 16:2 On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come.

Then we try to justify with our baseless arguments. We would say that our young children will take part the celebrations of the world. So that we are conducting a prayer meeting to avoid such situations. Are we conducting a prayer on Christmas to avoid our young people to celebrate Christmas party with their friends? Are we conducting prayer on Deewali or Halloween to avoid such situation?

Now I am asking you, could you please take it as a challenge that this year your church is not doing watch night? I am afraid you can do it. Because this practice been rooted in the church. A rooted practice is called tradition.

We just compromised with the world. Nowadays we just promoting almost every kind of celebration. Especially the main line churches promote Onam as well. Through these celebrations, we want to identify with the world not with Christ Jesus. We just want to avoid every opportunity of mockery and hatred from the world. People if the world is not hating you which means you been compromised a lot.
In his epistle John says, 1John 3:13 Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you.

If I am celebrating the December 31st watch night, I believe once again I am complicating the most beautiful and highly simplistic worship. We can see how Jesus constitute the worship simplistic. In Colo 2:14 Paul says “by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

Our Lord Jesus Christ didn’t celebrate, His disciples didn’t celebrate and even the early Church didn’t celebrate December 31.

I’m not here to judge anyone. My judge is the word of God. It says 2Thess2:11 “Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” The Lord who hides the three most important dates from the church wouldn’t be happy about your rooted commemoration of December 31st.
and it repeatedly telling me you are doing an accursed thing “the great commemoration of completely selfish anniversary of our blessings (December 31st)”. In Isaiah 42:8 the God Almighty says His stand, “I am the LORD, that is My name; I will not give My glory to another (here in our context 00:00 O’clock), Nor My praise to graven images.”

God bless you with these words. I wish you a blessed and prosperous Christian life ahead.

– In Christ, Pastor Jain Thomas

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