Seven Churches

Revelation and Christmas?

I’ve drafted this post at least three times and it’s always too long, so I start over. It’s supposed to be simple, right! So kids can understand it. Here’s some info my son really connected with. He’s ten years old, and he got it – fast. (Note to grown-ups: Our children can handle more truth than we sometimes think they can. And they actually like being told the truth.)

Revelation and Christmas?

Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to examine the Bible and history together, because sometimes the stories of history help us understand the Bible. Or more accurately, the Bible helps us better understand what’s happening in history.

Satan has always been trying to take the place of God. Isaiah 14:12-14 He’s a master of deceit. Rev. 12:9 All through the book of Revelation the dragon (aka Satan) tries to take the place of God – as an impostor. An impostor is a person who pretends to be someone else in order in deceive others.

Is there an impostor flying around at Christmastime?

Let’s examine this popular figure to see if he’s an impostor. Then we’ll see if there’s any clues about this in Revelation.

Santa Claus                            Jesus Christ

Drives a sleigh through the sky Drives a chariot up to heaven (2 Kings 2:11)
White hair Hair white like wool (Rev. 1:14)
Wears a red coat Wears a robe dipped in blood (Rev. 19:13)
Checks if you’re “naughty or nice” Judges all according to their works (Rev. 20:12)
Gives gifts Gives the best gift (Luke 11:13)
Is a carpenter – makes toys Is a carpenter (Mark 6:3)
Comes from the North (Pole) and wants to take the place of God (Isa. 14:13) Comes from the North (Ezek. 1:4; Ps. 48:2)
Says “Ho, Ho, Ho” (this phrase was used to introduce the character of the devil in Old English plays) Holy, Holy, Holy (Rev. 4:8)
Wants little children to come to him Wants little children to come to Him (Mark 10:14)
Comes as a thief in the night (through fireplace) Comes as a thief in the night (Matt. 24:43-44)
Must lie about him to your children (Devil is the the father of lies. John 8:44) Is the truth (John 14:6)

What’s the big deal?

We know that Santa Claus is a combination of many old myths and traditions that have changed and combined over time. So what’s the big deal if he resembles Jesus? Jesus is the truth, and Santa is based on a lie. But beyond that there are some interesting tidbits in Revelation and in the history of the early church.

Digging Into History

The church started growing rapidly after Jesus went to heaven. In fact it grew so quickly that some of the Greek-speaking Jews complained that their widows were not being taken care of. So the twelve disciples of Jesus suggested they choose seven men to be in charge of this ministry. Among those chosen was a man named Nicolas, a convert from Antioch. Acts 6:5

Apparently Nicolas, some time after this, began to introduce false teachings into the church. The people that followed him were called Nicolaitans (followers of Nicolas). Quite strongly, Revelation says that Jesus, “hates the deeds of the Nicolaitans.” (Rev. 2:6,15) That should give us a big clue as to whether this is a big deal or not.

CLUE: Does anything at Christmas time have to do with “Nick” or “Nicolas”?

How about St. Nicholas (a.k.a. Santa Claus)christmas-210289_640

Now wait a minute – wasn’t St. Nicholas a priest of the early church who gave gifts to the poor? The truth is, the church very early on had started mixing pagan practices with “Christian” worship. It would be a little hard to explain how St. Nicolas could be a good thing, when the Book of Revelation said Jesus hates the deeds and doctrines of the Nicolaitans – the followers of Nicolas (Rev. 2:6,15). So they had to embellish the life of a very obscure bishop Nicholas who lived many hundreds of years later than Nicolas, the leader of the Nicolaitans, and make him more acceptable and “holy”.

The Nicolaitans believed that men could lead lives of unrestrained indulgence. In other words, do whatever you feel like. It was the idea that the law of God is no longer binding, so as long as you “believed” in your heart, you didn’t actually have to do what the scriptures said. This is where we should be careful about saying, “Well that’s not what Santa or Christmas means to me.”

What does God say about this? Should we use the methods of the world to worship God? Do we decide for ourselves what we like best? If something has pagan traditions associated with it does it matter as long as I know in my heart I’m worshipping God?

Turns out God has very specific instructions on this topic. Check out what the Bible says.

  • Take heed to thyself that thou be not snared by following after them….  and that thou enquire not after their gods, saying, “How did these nations serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.” (Deuteronomy 12:30)
  • Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God: for every abomination to the Lord, which he hateth, have they done unto their gods. (Deuteronomy 12:31)
  • But he answered and said unto them, “Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition? (Matthew 15:3)

The answer is clear. Don’t worship God the way the world worships their gods. Traditions should never take the place of the commandments of God.

(For more on this topic read Easter and Revelation and/or The Big Mark part 2)


As for me and my house

The question is – who or what will I follow? The truth or the lie. The real thing or the impostor. Let’s choose Jesus, who is the truth and the way.

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15

Do you encourage belief in Santa Claus? Does your family celebrate Christmas? Have you studied the history of Christmas? Join the conversation by commenting below.

[bctt tweet=”As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. “] [bctt tweet=”The truth or the lie? Jesus or Santa? Who will you follow? “]

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  • For the last several years I have felt strongly that it is wrong to make our kids believe in Santa Clause. Many people think it’s fun and cute, but what are we doing to our kids? We are trying to teach them about all these crazy and miraculous stories in the bible, and teach them about Satan and his followers and God’s angels and His Spirit – all things we cannot see (or maybe most of us). What will they believe once they find out that we lied to them about Santa Clause? We are supposed to be trustworthy, teaching them the Truth. Thank you for your website! 🙂

    • So true! Our kids are so precious. They need to know we can be trusted. Thanks for commenting!