HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS CHRIST?
Today, many will remember that 2012, marked the so-called anniversary of September 11, 2001. On both days and years, fear and confusion; violence and rage; death and destruction, were its intended purpose and the consequences of the actions taken. I do not understand and will never understand, why people associate an anniversary with death and/or destruction. I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion.
From September 11, 2001, many feared, for a very long time, whenever a plane was seen in the sky. I was one among them. The mantra for many became, “we will never forget.” I was one among them. It is easy to get caught up in emotion and fear is an emotion. We confuse wisdom with fear. But fear is always wrong. I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion.
We people confuse many words and events and times and fail to see the “signs.” For some, this ignorance is bliss because, they just do not want to know the truth. I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion.
We often quote that, “the truth will set you free,” just repeating it over and over again without questioning or verifying its source and what it actually says. We confuse the freedom of speech with the freedom to say whatever we choose. We do not understand choice.
“For where it is in our power to act it is also in our power not to …then it is in our power to be virtuous or vicious.”
I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion.
We associate anniversaries with death and destruction, focusing not on life or the lives that were lived and how each life has contributed to all of our lives, whether we ever knew them or not. I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion.
We change words, add words and delete words, changing both the context and the meaning of those words. If the whole purpose of education is action, what actions are taken out of error and what are the many consequences of error? In a word, we become -powerless. I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion.
We continue in traditions, dates and times without question. And thus, history and culture is changed. I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion, for I know better, have been taught better. For even if we could be “set free,” how can we be unless, we first “KNOW the TRUTH?” By sheer logic, the opposite of this would be error and lies and therefore, blindness, darkness and confusion. Even half truths, white lies and the things we teach our children as truth, when they are false are, still lies! And if we could be, “set free,” we could not be free without the truth. I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion.
I cannot neither count my destiny nor blame my failure on anyone nor applaud any success I might enjoy because of anyone, when all of this has been my responsibility to choose the course, the words and the actions I have taken and will take in my life. I cannot blame anyone or anything for my darkness, blindness and confusion because of, pitiful, even pious, but poor examples of, politics, education, journalism gone awry, religion or spiritual beliefs. And neither can I honestly blame anyone or anything that has caused me to be in darkness, blindness and confusion. If this is my or our natural state, then why do we struggle so hard, to rid ourselves of the shackles that enslave us? And if we rise into the light, why would we want to go back into that darkness, blindness and confusion?” I was once blind, but now I see. I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion.
Truth is simple! It is simple enough that all and anyone can understand and in the truth, therein lies power! Error is confusing, in multiples and full of lies that bind. A lie makes one powerless. Not only is it my choice and responsibility to sit in darkness, blindness and confusion or rise into the light, it is also my choice and responsibility, if I can see, to help anyone that also, desires to be free. I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion!
Dylan Thomas was a Welch poet and writer. Many of his works are quite familiar to many and quoted often. One of his poems was titled, ‘ Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.’ His father was going blind when he wrote this poem. In this six (6) stanza poem, the title of it is, repeated four times in four of the stanzas. Four times, in four stanzas, it is written, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” The dying of the light is a reference to darkness and being blind. All of us will one day die or be changed, but until that time, I will, “Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night!” In contrast, I will, “rage, rage, against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion.
If it was possible to be ‘set free,’ only the truth can do this? Now we are going to get into the Bible or if you prefer, religion. And if I were an atheist or an agnostic that does not believe or is not sure and I wanted to refute these beliefs, honesty and logic demands that you know what you are talking about. This requires research and study. So, let us begin with where the idea of, the truth setting anyone free, came from. Where does this come from? I have no idea, but I suspect that most people just quote and re-quote it over and over without question. I encourage anyone (atheist, agnostic or believer) to read the Bible and specifically, the Gospel of John, the whole of chapter eight (for the whole context). But in John eight and in verse thirty-two, it is written:
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
John 8:32, The Bible, King James Version (KJV)
The word “ye” is King James or Shakespearean language of 1611. It simply means, “you.” The verse begins with the word “and” which is a conjunction, a connector, connecting what follows with what came before. What came before the word “and?”
“…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;”
John 8:31b, The Bible, King James Version (KJV)
The word “if” is, conditional and implies a choice. But (“IF”) “you continue” (a process of time, effort, experience and etc.) “in my word” (Jesus Christ was speaking, but it was God’s Word that he was speaking), “then are ye” (you) “my disciples (disciplined ones) indeed,” or [truly].
Then we get to the next verse in 8:32. IF anyone continues (a process over time and experience) in the Word, then they are disciplined “AND” “ye” (you) “shall” (not maybe or will, but shall – absolutely) “know” (not guess or doubt, not opine, but “know” “the truth” and “the truth shall” (absolute tense again) “make” (not ‘set,’ but) “make you free.” If I was in prison and you came and opened my cell, you would be setting me free yes, but I could choose to just sit there in my cell, still in blindness, darkness and confusion. But if you made me free, you would not only open my cell (setting me free), but also remove my chains, take me out of the prison and prepare me to live free in the light and thus, make me free. What difference does it make to this verse or to anyone, by adding, changing and deleting words from this verse? It makes all the difference between truth and error and being made free and not just being set free! And all of this hinges upon the truth, knowing it and continuing in the truth!
Long before death and destruction of September 11, 2012, there was death and destruction and the manta of, “we will not forget,” the death and destruction of September 11, 2001.
Long before September 11th of 2001, there was Saint Nick, Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, associated with Christmas.
Long before this person, the Roman Catholic Church had named this day, Christmas, just Christ Mass or the mass of Christ. This had nothing to do with the birth of Christ, but the death of Christ. This special mass was celebrated and this communion was thought, taught and believed that the priest had the power to literally transform the literal bread and wine used in the service, into the literal body and blood of Jesus Christ. This ritual is still used today in the Roman Catholic Church and is called, transubstantiation.
Long before The Roman Catholic Church made the birth of Jesus Christ to be on December 25th, the ancient Romans and Greeks, celebrated this date near the winter equinox, when in parts of the earth they have the shortest hours of daylight and it was believed that this was, the birth of Apollo, the sun god.
Long before astrology that has and does interpret and corrupt the “signs” of the zodiac such as, the twin nature of a man into the twins or Gemini and a man with a bow on a horse, into the half-man/half-horse archer named, Sagittarius and other such corruptions, there was astronomy, the science and mathematics and study of the heavenly bodies, seen above the earth by the naked eye and even in ancient times. These twelve signs or groups of stars form images, not from observing some familiar shape like a bear or silhouette formed by the stars that make an outline of a crab in the sky, but in knowing the meaning of the names of the stars, within the groups. These seemingly fixed groups of 12 “signs,” were all called stars. Planets or other heavenly bodies that appeared to move along or join with these fixed groups or other constellations and stars were called, “wandering stars, ” as they appeared to wander in and out of various constellations or other stars, from time to time.
Long before our most powerful telescopes and software and the technology to chart forward or in the past, these heavenly “signs,” their appearing movements during the course of the year and years, were charted and recorded, followed, observed and studied. The star names, their meaning and the images that were to be formed by understanding the names of the stars and thus the whole constellation, were passed down from generation to generation. In the 17th century, lived a man by the name of Johannes Kepler . He was a German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer. From him was learned the mathematics to chart these movements in the past or at any time in the present or the future. This was known as, Kepler’s laws of planetary motion. Now, computers, software and technological speed can do the math for us quickly and we can see these movements sped up or slowed visually in animated and graphical programs, like watching a movie, hitting fast-forward, reverse, pause or stop. We can observe the paths of planets coming into conjunction with other stars and etc., observe massing of planets and retrograde motion in what may in real-time take, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years to occur, we can see their simulation, very quickly!
Long before our day began at midnight, each new day began at sunset.
Long before the Sabbath began on Sunday, it used to be celebrated on Saturday beginning at sunset of this, the last day of the week. It is believed to be the same day that God rested from his 6 days of creation, resting on the seventh. Sunday, in the Bible is called, the “first day of the week.”
Long before the Julian or Gregorian calendar which begins each new year with January, the first of the new year used to begin in September and what we call New Year’s Day, began on what used to be called, Tishri 1
Tishrei or Tishri; Hebrew: תִּשְׁרֵי or תִּשְׁרִי; from Akkadian tašrītu “Beginning”, from šurrû “To begin”) is the first month of the civil year (which starts on 1 Tishrei) and the seventh month of the ecclesiastical year (which starts on 1 Nisan) in the Hebrew calendar. The name of the month is Babylonian. It is an autumn month of 30 days. Tishrei usually occurs in September–October on the Gregorian calendar.
bold text source: Wikipedia
Yes, there could be different new years and dates, just like we have our New Year that begins on January 1st, and the Fiscal Year. A fiscal year usually starts at the beginning of a quarter, such as April 1, July 1 or October 1.
Today, the Jewish people celebrate their new year as Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: ראש השנה, literally “head [of] the year”). which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is, a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei.
But long before Rosh Hash Hashanah, the Biblical name for this holiday was and still is called Yom Teruah (Hebrew: יום תרועה, literally “day [of] shouting/raising a noise”) or the Feast of Trumpets according to the correct biblical calendar of the 1st and 2nd temple period.
Long before the word “holiday,” there were Holy Days, High Days or High Holy Days. Tishrei 1 is the first of the High Holy Days (or special Sabbaths). If a special Sabbath happens to fall on a weekly Sabbath in the calendar, it would always take precedence over the weekly Sabbath.
Tishrei or Tishri 1 or ימים נוראים Yamim Nora’im (“Days of Awe”) usually occurs in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. The day is believed to be the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, and their first actions toward the realization of humanity’s role in God’s world. On the new year there were many customs including the sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram’s horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a “sweet new year.” It was celebrated as “the blowing of trumpets.” It was symbolic of a new beginning, new birth, being reborn, a time of awe, ordination or recognition of their kings, of renewal; of light and life between God and His people. The celebration was filled with ceremony, solemn prayer, reading scripture as Isaiah 60 & 61, rejoicing and jubilation.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound;To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord,
Isaiah 61: 1 & 2a (KJV)
This verse from Isaiah was, prophetic as a sign of the Messiah to come and was spoken centuries later by Jesus Christ, in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 4.
The custom in Biblical times was that if you were reading the scriptures aloud before people in a synagogue or the temple or wherever groups met, out of respect for the Word of God, you stood up. And this also, let people know that you were reading word for word from the scriptures or as in those days, from the scrolls, exactly as it was written. It is important to understand the scrolls of those days. They were large and heavy. They were first written as cursives (running hand not as uncials – all caps). They read from the bottom right to the top left. There were no book titles, chapter headings, footnotes, or punctuation of any kind. Not only was it extraordinary to copy these word for word, difficult to handle and to read them, it was extraordinary to be able to find something in them that you were looking for! In order to do that, one had to read them and or memorize them often! On one particular Sabbath, Jesus Christ went into the synagogue, and stood up to read. He was handed the book or scroll of the prophet Isaiah. And when he opened the book, he “found the place where it was written”
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. Then he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on him. And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your ears.”
Isaiah 61: 18 -21 (KJV)
So Tishrei or Tishri 1 was a very, very important High Holy Day. It was to be a reminder of a promise made by God of a Messiah that was to come. Tishri 1 was the first day of the first month of the new year and first of several required special Sabbaths.
Long before Isaiah, chapters 60 & 61 and Luke chapter 4, requirements for these special Holy Days were written in the Old Testament. There were 12 tribes of Israel. Out of the family of Levi were to come all the priests, for future generations. Aaron also, of the tribe of Levi, was the first High Priest. All future High Priests were to come from the family of Aaron of the family or tribe of Levi. There were synagogues (local churches), but only one Temple. There were several special Sabbaths or High Holy Days, but three times a year, a pilgrimage must be made to Jerusalem, to attend the Temple. If you lived close to Jerusalem, the distance was not great, but if you lived far away, much planning and preparation had to be made, well in advance. To handle the needs of the people and the Temple, there were 24 courses of priests. Each priest was to serve one week from Sabbath until the next, twice per year. But three times a year, all the priests, the high priest and at least the head of every household of Israel were required to be in Jerusalem. This was for the Feast of Tabernacles, The Feast of Passover and the Feast of Pentecost.
There were four Special Sabbaths or High Holy Days in the month of Tishri (September).
- New Year – “Head of the Year'” “Feast of Trumpets” – Tishri 1
- Day of Atonement – Tishri 10
- “Day of Rejoicing” Feast of Tabernacles” – Tishri 15
- “Assembly of the Eighth (Day) “The “last great day”; an eighth day of celebration at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles – Tishri 22.
All the priests, the high priests and at least the head of every household of Israel were required to be in Jerusalem on Tishri 15, for the Feast of Tabernacles, “Day of Rejoicing.” If you lived close by you could go home and return when required. Since travel could be long and dangerous, many coming from a great distance would travel in large caravans and meet up with others, along their way to Jerusalem. The area has a lot of desert and is hot by day and cooler by night. Travel was usually done at night. In the month of December, it could be quite cold in Israel and even snow. In September, travel would have been optimal. But, you had to plan for travel, food, clothing, and sleeping arrangements. Travel in caravans would be more secure, protecting you from wild animals and robbers. Because of these many things to prepare for, most likely, most people would attend the festivals on Tishri 1 and stay for the Day of Atonement on Tishri 10, because most were required to be there for the Feast of Tabernacles on Tishri 15. There is another reason for this. Unless you had family or friends to stay with in Jerusalem, you would have to find your own food and accommodations. Jerusalem in New Testament times was already a large city. With more and more people coming in for these festivals and especially for the Feast of Tabernacles on Tishri 15, it was quite crowded and especially if whole families, women and children came to celebrate. You would want to plan for this in advance. You might even want to make reservations at some local Inn in advance and even, for the next year, before you left Jerusalem for home. So it is without a doubt, that many people, whole families of women and children would all travel together, making this like a family vacation time from Tishri 1 to at least until the conclusion of Tishri 15. Again, the more people in town, the less accommodations were available. So, you would want to arrive early so as not to be turned away because, “because there was no room for them [you] in the inn.” Joseph did not have to be in Jerusalem until the Feast of Tabernacles on Tishri 15, but he and Mary both knew that “her time to deliver” was getting close. Traveling with women and children and especially with a pregnant wife would have been more slowly. Not necessarily knowing when she would deliver, they left together to arrive on Tishri 1, but found no room at the “inn,” but they found a manger the was cleaned previously so the owner could attend the special days and the animals would still be in the fields at night because, it was still warm enough in September to do so. Because of her pregnancy, Mary had to travel to Bethlehem with Joseph, because Joesph by decree from Caesar Augustus, had to go to his city of birth (Bethlehem) to enroll in a census for the purpose of the Roman empire to collect more taxes. Perhaps Joseph might have thought to leave Mary in Nazareth, see her give birth and then go to the temple as required for the Feast of Tabernacles on Tishri 15th? But God had other ideas, plans and purposes and knew his only begotten son, would be born in Bethlehem, in the city of David the king. Joseph and Mary were both of the tribe of Judah, but only through Mary’s line was the line of kings. Mary’s lineage is tracked through her father whose name was also Joseph, all the way to David the king of Judah. Jesus Christ had a a pretty good linage and birthplace to be king!
Long before this time, the order of priestly service was established. King David on God’s instructions (1 Chr 28:11-13) had divided the sons of Eleazar and Ithamar, sons of Aaron, into 24 groups (1 Chr 24:1-4), to setup a schedule by which the Temple of the Lord could be staffed with priests, all year round in an orderly manner. After the 24 groups of priests were established, lots were drawn to determine the sequence in which each group would serve in the Temple.
“There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.”
Luke 1:5 (KJV)
We know that Zacharias was a priest, so he had to be of the tribe of Levi. Elizabeth, his wife, was also of the tribe of Levi and she was of the daughters of Aaron of the tribe of Levi from which the High Priests were to come from. John the Baptist had a pretty good lineage! “Herod” is a point of reference, not only Biblically, but historically, who’s life and the times of his life are, well documented.
“And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, …”
Luke 1:23 & 24 (KJV)
Beginning with the month, Nisan, the spring (March-April), the schedule of the priest’s courses would result with Zacharias serving during the 10th week of the year. This is because he was a member of the course of Abia (Abijah), the 8th course. This places Zacharias’ administration in the Temple, beginning on the second Sabbath of the month, Sivan or June. He returned home and shortly thereafter, his wife Elizabeth conceived.
“And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.”
Luke 1:26 -31 (KJV)
From the conception of John the Baptist in June, the “sixth month,” would be December.
“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.”
Luke 1:34 -36 (KJV)
The “sixth month” is written above again. It establishes the truth that Elizabeth (Mary’s cousin) was in her “six month” of pregnancy, when Mary conceived in the month of December. Neither God nor some angelic being had sex with her, but God miraculously fertilized one of her eggs that was released during normal ovulation and the baby would otherwise, develop as any other normal human child. There was nothing extraordinary about Mary to conceive and bare a child to term. She was no different than any other woman then or today. God waited for just one person to believe!
“For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her. And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.”
Luke 1:37 -40 (KJV)
The exact moment Mary said, “”be it unto me according to thy word,” she conceived and then went to see her cousin Elizabeth.
“And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house. Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.”
Luke 1:56-57 (KJV)
Six months after the conception of John the Baptist (December), Mary conceived and went to her cousin Elizabeth’s home and stayed with her, for three months (Jan. Feb. & Mar.), departing just before John’s birth. Mary returned home in her third month and six months later (nine months total), would place the birth of her son, Jesus Christ, in September.
Long before September 11, 2012 and September 11, 2001, the United States was predominantly a Judeo-Christian nation and for the most part, really no one knew the significance of Sept 11. Long before the rise of science and humanism, the rise of atheism and agnosticism and the waning of belief in God, the United States was predominantly some brand of a Christian Nation. But who ever taught us about September 11th?
Long before the motto of our coinage, “In God We Trust,” The ratification of our Constitution in 1789 and the, “endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights,” of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, we were predominantly a protestant country in process. And then, WE the People, still did not know about September 11th.
Long before the thirteen colonies, the world was predominantly a protestant or Roman Catholic world, but most still never knew, about September 11.
Long before protestants and Roman Catholics, even the people of Israel did not understand the significance of the day they were celebrating. They still do not as they are still waiting for the first coming of the Messiah.
Even during the times of the Gospels, the people of Israel did not understand the significance of their practices and rituals, though their culture was God centered. Most likely, the first word any child of Israel ever learned to speak or write was God and yet they still, did not understand the importance of Tishri 1, though they celebrated it year after year and from generation to generation.
How can we people of today, with all our mass media and speed of technology, still be so ignorant? How could God’s own chosen people (Israel) a God-centered society, be so ignorant? I will, “rage against the dying of the light,” that darkness, blindness and confusion. For only in continuing in the truth, shall (absolutely) anyone know the truth, and the truth shall (absolutely) make (not set, but make) you free!
We have more knowledge of science and history and astronomy than those living in 3 B.C., but for the most part, we do not know these things, have never been taught them, do not care or do not want to know.
Around 3 B.C., those living then had more of a God-oriented culture, great devotion to their religious traditions and for the most part, even God’s chosen people, did not know these things, had never been taught, did not care or did not want to know.
Ignorance does not change despite the quantity and quality of religious practice or technology!
Long before the Nativity scene of Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus and a handful of shepherds (no masses of people that were in Jerusalem on Tishri 1, not Herod or the scribes, the Sadducees and Pharisees (the so-called spiritual leadership of the times), no animals and no magi yet, for almost two years after this birth, these things were prophesied in the Old Testament scriptures as, “signs” of “his coming.”
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. “
Psalm 19:1-6 The Bible, King James Version (KJV)
People of Israel did not have TV, the Internet, Google, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and smart phones, but they were NOT without information, “knowledge” and entertainment. Daniel knew “the signs” and taught them to others. He foretold to King Nebuchadnezzar that Babylon would be followed by the Medes & the Persians, the Greek empire and then the Roman Empire. 100’s of years later, people in and around Israel were knowledgeable of the stars and “signs” and of the “knowledge” seen in the night sky. Being in a mostly desert land, they would often sleep on their roofs at night to escape the heat. Night after night, unfolding before them they could see much with the naked eye during the absence of clouds and the pollution that obscures our skies today, was all but nonexistent then. They would be highly entertained and informed. They taught themselves, others and their children. But still, virtually none understood the “signs” and the “knowledge” that a child was born, the son of God, was born, in their time.
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.”
Genesis 1:14-18 The Bible, King James Version (KJV)
Long before humans wrote these words and long before humans were first upon this earth, these words were written in the stars, the heavenly bodies.
There is a sun and a moon. They do give light upon the earth by day and night. There are seemingly fixed groups of stars we call constellations. All of these show us, “signs” of things to come as, hours and days, years, seasons, tides and much other “knowledge.” Boats and ships still navigate by the stars. Those star groups, seen with the naked eye are, 12 in number. These correspond to our 12 months in a year, and what we know as, the zodiac. Planets or other seemingly moving heavenly or celestial bodies, were also called stars, “wandering stars.”
Astrology pretends to predict an individual’s future by certain common characteristics of these “signs” or what’s your sign? :)
These star groups or constellations have been known and named and individual stars within them also, have been known and named from antiquity. Knowing the names of the stars would paint a visual picture of each sign, We cannot look up into the night sky and see a man with a bow riding on a horse, a scorpion, a ram, a sheep, a woman, a lion, a crab, a bull, a set of twins, and etc. I suppose the closest thing we can see in the stars are images that look like a big or a small dipper, Ursa Major, “the “Great Bear” and Ursa Minor, “the Little Bear,” respectively.
But there are 12 constellations viewable by the naked eye in the night sky. There were twelve tribes of Israel. They were God’s chosen people. To them, a promise was made, the promise seed of the woman. A woman has no seed. Seed is carried by the father, but theses words are figurative language, a figure of speech which is, a legitimate grammatical usage of words. It makes the literal truth, truer to truth than a mere literal statement of fact. The promise of a woman’s seed is that a virgin, would give birth without the normal pregnancy, being aided by the sperm of a father. The emphasis was that this would be to a woman (her seed), fertilized by the power of God and would otherwise, be a normal birth after nine months. Is it too much to imagine a God, the creator of the universe, pulling this off? I can barely imagine how a tiny sperm can fertilize a tiny egg and nine months later, you were born, but it is certainly a lot easier than trying to imagine a random act of out nothing, something burst forth and evolved!
Of the 12 constellations, they are not the wandering generalities of astrology, but meaningful specifics of “signs.” All twelve were and are, celestial prophecies of attributes of the “promised seed of the woman,” of God’s only begotten son and Mary’s “firstborn” son (she had other sons and daughters), Jesus Christ.
Of the twelve, I will only work with you, just two, first from the biblical perspective and then from the astronomical point of view.
First, there is Leo, “the Lion.” which corresponds to our late July and part of August. It is called the king constellation. Of the tribe of Judah, kings could only be crowned, from this family. One of the brightest stars in magnitude, in the constellation of Leo is called, “Regulus,” from which we derive the words “regal” and “royalty.” This constellation foretold before it was written, that the King of Kings would be of the tribe of Judah and have every right to be crowned as king. If you trace Mary’s (the mother of Jesus Christ) ancestry (see Matthew chapter 1), it goes all the way back to, David the King. Please also note that the planet Jupiter, the largest planet seen with the naked eye, even during these times was called, the King planet or the wandering star king. Jupiter plays a pivotal role in this story and we will see it again.
Next is, the constellation of Virgo, “the virgin.” It is right next to Leo. It is the only female constellation of the 12 “signs” of the zodiac. In her head or crown there are 12 stars. She is depicted as holding staffs of wheat and in her other hand, a branch perhaps an olive branch? The wheat is, symbolic of harvest, “the bread of life, birth , rebirth, awe and rejoicing. The branch is significant of the four Old Testament prophecies of the natures of the coming, Messiah the king “the branch,” my servant “the branch,” the man “the branch” and my son “the branch.” This corresponds to the four Gospels. In Matthew there are more references to the word “king” than any of the other Gospels and has a genealogy that goes back to David the “king.” Mark uses the word “servant” more times than the other three Gospels and there is no genealogy as it was not important nor kept with regards to a “servant.” The word “man” is used more times in Luke than in any of the other Gospels and has a genealogy which goes all the way back to Adam, the first “man.” Jesus Christ is the book of Roans is called, “the second Adam,” (man, red earth). The word “son” is used in John, more than in any other Gospel and it has no genealogy as, Jesus Christ was the “son” of God.
For more information about Leo and Virgo, see, ‘Witness of the Stars” by E.W. Bullinger or other scholarly works. Virgo corresponds to our late August and early September. As a constellation, it would be seen in Israel in the night sky, during late summer; early fall and corresponds with the harvest times and High Holy Days of Tishri 1, (New Year), the Day of Atonement, Tishri 10, the Feast of Tabernacles, Tishri 15 and on the Assembly of the Eighth day, Tishri 22, before, the next constellation, moves into position and has predominance in the night sky.
In the years between 2 and 3 B.C., there were astronomical events that attracted the attention of certain people in and around Iraq/Iran of the Persian Empire. These were known as the Magi. They were not kings nor three in number. Their religion was not Islam, or Zoroastrianism.
“Most of what we associate with the “Magi” is from early church traditions. Most have assumed there were three of them, since they brought three specific gifts,” gold Frankincense and myrrh, but the Biblical text neither numbers them nor names them. They are called “Magi” from the Latinized form of the Greek word magoi, transliterated from the Persian, for a select sect of priests. (Our word “magic” comes from the same root.)”
“As the years passed, the traditions became increasingly embellished. By the 3rd century A.D. they were viewed as kings. By the 6th century they had names: Bithisarea, Melichior, and Gathaspa. Some even associated them with Shem, Ham and Japheth–the three sons of Noah–and thus with Asia, Africa, and Europe. A 14th century Armenian tradition identifies them as Balthasar, King of Arabia; Melchior, King of Persia; and Gasper, King of India. Relics attributed to them emerged in the 4th century and were transferred from Constantinople to Milan in the 5th century, and then to Cologne in 1162 where they remain enshrined.” All of these are interesting traditions, but all are void of either biblical or historical authority.
“The ancient Magi were a hereditary priesthood of the Medes (known today as the Kurds) credited with profound and extraordinary religious knowledge. After some Magi, who had been attached to the Median court, proved to be expert in the interpretation of dreams, Darius the Great established them over the state religion of Persia. Contrary to popular belief, the Magi were not originally followers of Zoroaster. That all came later.)”
“It was in this dual capacity, whereby civil and political counsel was invested with religious authority, that the Magi became the supreme priestly caste of the Persian empire and continued to be prominent during the subsequent Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian periods.”
“One of the titles given to Daniel was Rab-mag, the Chief of the Magi. His unusual career included being a principal administrator in two world empires–the Babylonian and the subsequent Persian Empire. When Darius appointed him, a Jew, over the previously hereditary Median priesthood, the resulting repercussions led to the plots involving the ordeal of the lion’s den.”
“Daniel apparently entrusted a Messianic vision (to be announced in due time by a “star” to a secret sect of the Magi for its eventual fulfillment. But first let’s review some historical background.”
“Since the days of Daniel, the fortunes of both the Persian and the Jewish nation had been closely intertwined. Both nations had, in their turn, fallen under Seleucid domination in the wake of Alexander’s conquests. Subsequently, both had regained their independence: the Jews under Maccabean leadership, and the Persians as the dominating ruling group within the Parthian Empire.”
“It was at this time that the Magi, in their dual priestly and governmental office, composed the upper house of the Council of the Megistanes (from which we get the term “magistrates”), whose duties included the absolute choice and election of the king of the realm.”
“It was, therefore, a group of Persian–Parthian “king makers” who entered Jerusalem in the latter days of the reign of Herod. Herod’s reaction was understandably one of fear when one considers the background of Roman-Parthian rivalry that prevailed during his lifetime.”
“Pompey, the first Roman conqueror of Jerusalem in 63 B.C., had attacked the Armenian outpost of Parthia. In 55 B.C. Crassus led Roman legions in sacking Jerusalem and in a subsequent attack on Parthia proper. The Romans were decisively defeated at the battle of Carrhae with the loss of 30,000 troops, including their commander. The Parthians counterattacked with a token invasion of Armenia, Syria, and Palestine.”
“Nominal Roman rule was reestablished under Antipater, the father of Herod, who, in his turn, retreated before another Parthian invasion in 40 B.C. Mark Anthony reestablished Roman sovereignty in 37 B.C. and, like Crassus before him, he also embarked on a similarly ill-fated Parthian expedition. His disastrous retreat was followed by another wave of invading Parthians, which swept all Roman opposition completely out of Palestine (including Herod himself, who fled to Alexandria and then to Rome).”
“With Parthian collaboration, Jewish sovereignty was restored, and Jerusalem was fortified with a Jewish garrison.”
“Herod, by this time, had secured from Augustus Caesar the title of “King of the Jews.” However, it was not for three years, including a five months’ siege by Roman troops, that Herod was able to occupy his own capital city! Herod had thus gained the throne of a rebellious buffer state which was situated between two mighty contending empires. At any time his own subjects might conspire in bringing the Parthians to their aid. At the time of the birth of Christ, Herod may have been close to his final illness. Augustus was also aged, and Rome, since the retirement of Tiberius, was without an experienced military commander. Pro-Parthian Armenia was fomenting revolt against Rome (which was successfully accomplished within two years.)”
“The time was ripe for another Parthian invasion of the buffer provinces, except for the fact that Parthia itself was racked by internal dissension. Phraates IV, the unpopular and aging king, had once been deposed and it was not improbable that the Persian Magi were already involved in the political maneuvering requisite to choosing his successor. It was conceivable that the Magi might be taking advantage of the king’s lack of Popularity to further their own interests with the establishment of a new dynasty, which could have been implemented if a sufficiently strong contender could be found.”
“At this time it was entirely conceivable that the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, culminating in the writings of Daniel, one of their own Magians, was of profound motivating significance. The promise of a divinely imposed world dominion at the hands of a Jewish monarch might be more than acceptable to them. (Their own Persian and Medo-Persian history was studded with Jewish nobles, ministers, and counselors; and in the great Achaemenid days, some of the kings themselves were of Jewish blood.”
“In Jerusalem, the sudden appearance of the Magi, probably traveling in force with all imaginable oriental pomp and accompanied by an adequate cavalry escort to insure their safe penetration of Roman territory, certainly alarmed Herod and the populace of Jerusalem.”
“It would seem as if these Magi were attempting to perpetrate a border incident which could bring swift reprisal from Parthian armies. Their request of Herod regarding the one who “has been born King of the Jews” was a calculated insult to him, a non–Jew who had contrived and bribed his way into that office. Consulting his scribes, Herod discovered from the prophecies in the Old Testament that the Promised One, the Messiah, would be born in Bethlehem. Hiding his concern and expressing sincere interest, Herod requested them to keep him informed.”
“After finding the babe [young child] and presenting their prophetic gifts, the Magi “being warned in a dream” (a form of communication most acceptable to them) departed to their own country, ignoring Herod’s request. Within two years, Phraataces, the parricide son of Phraates IV, was duly installed by the Magi as the new ruler of Parthia.)”
“Living six centuries before the birth of Christ, Daniel certainly received an incredible number of Messianic prophecies. In addition to several overviews of all of Gentile world history, the Angel Gabriel told him the precise day that Jesus would present Himself as King to Jerusalem.”
“It is interesting that Daniel’s founding of a secret sect of the Magi also had a role in having these prominent Gentiles present gifts at the birth of the Jewish Messiah.
The gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh were also prophetic, speaking of our Lord’s offices of king, priest, and savior. Gold speaks of His kingship; frankincense was a spice used in the priestly duties; and myrrh was an embalming ointment, anticipating His death.”
bold text are, excerpts from ‘Who Were the Magi?’
By Chuck Missler
The Magi or wise men did not come to see Jesus until he was about one and one half years old. Protocol dictated that they pay their respects to Herod, King of the Jews and to inquire of him where the young “child” “not a babe in a manger” but a young “child,” was to be found. They would find him not in a “manger,” but in a “house.” Believing he was mocked by the magi that they did not return to Herod and tell him where the child lived, he ordered soldiers to go into the area of Bethlehem and kill every male child, “two years old and under.” Herod perhaps fearing a Parthian invasion and Jesus being a threat to his own illegitimate rule as King of the Jews, was wroth and responded with rage and wrath. But Joseph in a dream, was told to take his wife Mary and Jesus into Egypt and he did so, saving the lives of all three of them. As the children of Israel were called out of Egypt, so too would the son of God, Jesus Christ.
But what astronomical “signs” in the heavens prompted these gentiles (in practice, but that may have had jewish blood) to travel to Jerusalem? The answer is, conjunctions and the massing of planets. A conjunction is when planets and stars seem to come together. A massing of planets is the same thing only more planets and stars are involved. These events are as follows:
- Jupiter (the King planet) and Regulus (the chef in brightness and magnitude) in conjunction in Leo (the Lion, the king): February 17, 2 B.C.
- Jupiter and Regulus in conjunction in Leo: May 8, 2 B.C.
- Jupiter and Venus (the morning star) in conjunction in Leo: June 17, 2 B.C.
- Jupiter and Venus in conjunction in Leo: August 12, 3 B.C.
- Massing of planets Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, and Venus in Leo with Jupiter and Mars in conjunction: August 27th 3 B.C.
- Jupiter and Regulus in conjunction in Leo: September 14, 3 B.C.
Note: Most Biblical and Astronomical scholars KNOW that Jesus Christ was NOT born on December 25th. However, there are those that believe on December 25th of 3 BC, Jupiter coming into conjunction with Regulus of the constellation Leo appeared to stop over the city of Bethlehem. Bethlehem is approximately 5 miles from the city of Jerusalem. This appearance of the King planet Jupiter and Reugulus of the King constellation of Leo made for an intensive bright display, as if, the planet (“wandering star”) and the star Regulus merged as one. Many believe that this was “his star,” the star of the newly born king. A star appearing to stop or just stand over the city of Bethlehem astronomically is called, retrograde motion. If you were driving in a car, you are in a moving platform. A car across from you might appear to stop or go in reverse. This is an example of retrograde motion. So, many believe that on December 25th, this is when the Magi came to worship the king they were seeking and found him not in a manger, but in a “house,” and not as a baby, but a young “child.” So this explanation could be another reason why, the Roman Catholic Church changed the accepted birth of Apollo, the sun god, to become the birth of Jesus Christ.
I do not know when the magi left their homeland on their journey to find the king they were looking for or how long it took them. But they found the young “child” in a “house,” sometime after he was born and was then most likely, between one to one and half years old.
” Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, art not the least among the princes of Judah: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.”
Matthew 2:1-11 (KJV)
From this chapter in Matthew we find 9 clues to date this event:
- When did Herod die?
- The Magi from the east (likely from the area of ancient Baylon around Iraq. These were likely to have been trained by Daniel and were in essence, learned men, scientists, astronomers and their influence made them king-makers. They understood the natural order of things and could explain them to others.
- The birth of son, born of a virgin
- Would be to Israel, of the tribe of Judah
- A King – King planet of Jupiter and the constellation of Leo the king and of te tribe of Judah
- Saw his star rising in the east
- Herod was disturbed because he did not know, scribes informed him that in Bethlehem the King of the Judeans would be born, which is where Herod got the idea to kill all the male children from “two years and under” when the Magi did not return to tell him where the child was.
- This star went before them – from Jerusalem to Bethlehem (about 5 miles) the conjunction of Jupiter and Regulus in Leo moved along the elliptic as the earth revolved
- “His star” “stood (appeared to stop) – retrograde motion over Bethlehem
Long before the magi left their home and arrived in Jerusalem and then Bethlehem to meet the young “child,” Mary gave birth to her “firstborn” on Tishri 1. We have already looked at the special feasts occurring during the month of September. We have seen that in 3 B.C., Tishri 1 was the Jewish new year, Jerusalem would have been crowded and there was no room in the “inn” for accommodations or place to birth her child. September was still warm during the days and cool, but not cold in the evenings in Israel. We know Mary and Joseph found a place at a manger. But in September, animals were not kept here, they we in the field as were the sheep and the shepherds. Another point is that this manger would have long been cleaned, as no animals were kept there, and to participate in the feasts, one had to be ceremonially clean. This would not be possible if a manger was not clean. And it was also required that no servile work could be performed on a Sabbath day (beginning at sunset) and especially not during any High Holy Days, Special Sabbaths or Feasts. All of this work, cleaning and providing food for the animals, for yourselves and for accommodations, had to be done before sunset of all of these special days. So what further corroborates 3 B.C. as the year of Jesus Christ’s birth and Tishri 1 as the month and day of his birth? Is it possible to know the time of his birth?
”And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.”
Revelation 12: 1-2 The Bible, King James Version (KJV)
Many believe that the above verses are about Mary, the Mother of Jesus Christ. I cannot say for certain, but I do know that astronomically, it is accurately describing the constellation of Virgo and certain facts which have occurred in the past and only during certain times.
We are then told that the woman also had the “moon under her feet”. In 3 BC this configuration occurred on one day and one day only – September 11th, between sunset and moon set. On September 11th, sunset occurred at 6:18pm, and moon set occurred at 7:39 p.m. To tie this all together, the planet Jupiter was traveling against the back drop of stars to the east, and reached its highest point in the sky in this time frame.
“The apostle John is presenting to his readers something of profound significance in a symbolic way. Revelation 12:1–3 shows a New Moon day that could only be observed from earth just after sunset, and the day was September 11th. This fits well with Luke’s description of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. Recall that,
“there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over the flock by night … and the angel said … unto you is born this day [which began at sundown] in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
Jesus was born in early evening, and Revelation 12 shows it was a New Moon day.
What New Moon could this have been? The answer is most amazing. It is almost too amazing! September 11, 3 B.C.E. was Tishri One on the Jewish calendar. To Jewish people this would have been a very profound occasion indeed. Tishri One is none other than the Jewish New Year’s day (Rosh ha-Shanah, or as the Bible calls it, The Day of Trumpets ― Leviticus 23:23–26). It was an important annual holy day of the Jews (but not one of the three annual festivals that required all Palestinian Jews to be in Jerusalem).
What a significant day for the appearance of the Messiah to arrive on earth from the Jewish point of view! And remarkably, no other day of the year could astronomically fit Revelation 12:1–3. The apostle John is certainly showing forth an astronomical sign which answers precisely with the Jewish New Year Day. John would have realized the significance of this astronomical scene that he was describing.
bold text excerpts from: ‘The Star of Bethlehem’ By Dr. Ernest L. Martin
Before humans came to be on this planet, these things were written in the stars. Zecharias performed his priestly duties and returned home and his wife Elizabeth conceived a child in June. Six months later, Mary conceives in December and goes to the her cousin Elizabeth’s home and stays with her for three months, leaving for her own home, just before John the Baptist is born that March. Six months later, Mary gives birth to Jesus Christ on September 11 (Tishri 1) sometime after sunset at 6:18 p.m. and before moonset at 7:49 p.m. in a manger while crowded Jerusalem celebrated the new year with great rejoicing and pageantry and blowing of trumpets (for a king) unaware of, what was happening just outside of the city. Some unknown number of shepherds were in the field with their sheep. They saw and heard a host of angels in the heavens tell them that a child was born and told them where to go to find him and that when they found him, the “sign” was that he would be wrapped in “swaddling clothes.” This was an event that was only performed once and for a very short period of time. Timing; being at the right place at the right time meant everything to these shepherds. They were there at the right time! These swaddling clothes were strips of cloth that were loosely wrapped around the torso of a baby king, symbolic that he would grow physically, morally and spiritually straight. These cloths were salted meaning, he would say what he meant and mean what he said. Just Mary, Joseph and a number of shepherds were the only children of Israel that were looking for this baby king to be born and witnessed his birth. But God announced it in the heavens, by a host of angels and the spectacle that was taking place in Jerusalem. The only other recorded people in the Bible that were looking for this baby king, were gentiles (perhaps with Jewish blood), men of the east that were or would soon be in route to worship the true King of Kings, the Messiah, the High Priest for Sin, the Passover Lamb, the Bread of Life, the Bright and Morning Star, the Lily of the Valley, the Second Adam, and my Lord and Savior!
Note: You might wonder how Jesus Christ of the tribe of Judah as king could also be the High Priests? Priests were of the tribe of Levi. The high priests would come from only the house of Aaron, of the tribe of Levi. Melchizedek is a king and priest appearing in the Book of Genesis. The name means “King of Righteousness” – a name echoing kingly and priestly functions. He is the first individual to be given the title kohen (priest) in the Hebrew Bible. The Book of Psalms names Melchizedek as representative of the priestly line through which a future king of Israel’s Davidic line was ordained. In the book of Hebrews 7, Jesus Christ was a priest, the High Priest.
“…Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
Hebrews 7:15b (KJV)
This is how it was possible for Jesus Christ to be both king and priest, (High Priest).
Sometime before the birth of Jesus Christ, some unnumbered group of Magi, whose ancestors were probably taught by Daniel, saw “signs” in the night sky that arrested their attention. At some point, they traveled to first Jerusalem and then Bethlehem to worship the new king. At the time of their arrival in Bethlehem, they had been following “his star” which was Regulus, in the constellation of Leo the king constellation. They observed the King planet of Jupiter come into conjunction with Regulus, which to the naked eye, made it appear to be one merged star, larger and brighter. This was the “star of Bethlehem” that they saw and that appeared to rest over the town of Bethlehem. They made inquiries until, they found the young “child” in a “house” and presented the baby king with gold, frankincense and myrrh, gifts for a king, a priest and for his future burial.
And there you have the truth regarding the birth of Jesus Christ!
It is not my intention or my responsibility to make you read or believe any of this! It is my responsibility to hold forth the truth. It is not my responsibility in how you receive this or what you do with it. It is your responsibility to prove or disprove it for yourselves. Whether you are a Christian, Jew, Moslem, Roman Catholic, Buddhist, of some other religious belief, an atheist or an agnostic, it is your responsibility to get the truth or the story straight. If you believe or do not believe the biblical record, accept the consensus of the histories outside of the Bible or not, or believe or do not believe in the proven astronomical facts, IF you continue in this word, then are you disciplined and you shall absolutely know the truth and the truth shall absolutely make you free. If you are a Christian, get the truth straight so that you may set it forth straight! If you do not believe, still get the story straight. In either, you still know the truth and the truth still, shall make you free!
I am neither suggesting nor advocating the changing of our new day to begin at sunset, changing the Sabbath from Sunday to Saturday, removing Santa Claus, stopping the giving of presents, cease from decorating trees and sending cards, getting rid of your “sign” in astrology, or changing the winter December holiday to September, getting rid of Christmas or Christ Mass or the mass of Christ, getting rid of the anniversary of remembering the death and destruction of 9/11/2001 or 9/11/2012! These and all things are your choice. But I do highly suggest that you get either what you believe STRAIGHT or if it is all just a story to you, GET THE STORY! And IF you continue in the truth, then are you disciplined and then you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free!
I will “not go gentle in that good night,” but I will, “Rage, rage against the dying of the light!”
September 11, 2014, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS CHRIST