Date: December 21, 2012
Searching the Scriptures
“Search the Scriptures…they are they which testify of me.” John 5:39
Author: Bob Moses
Subject: The Birth of Jesus
(Segment based on Faith and Personal Study)
The study and account of the birth of Jesus is only found in two of the four gospels, Matthew and Luke. The circumstances surrounding it are quite profound. We hope to reveal things that have hitherto been veiled, or at the very least, unconsciously overlooked. It is my prayer that you will find several things herein, most interesting, and scripturally enlightening, as you progress in the study of the Word of God. We will be covering several points, surrounding the birth of Jesus as well as dispelling some fictitious narratives practiced today. First we will be covering when Jesus was born, the biblical timeline; where he was born, and much more. All of the material has been derived from the King James Version of the Holy Bible and references as indicated. Let it also be noted that all the assumptions and comments are that of the author himself, as revealed to him by the Holy Spirit. Please opine, at the address following this study.
We must start at a somewhat obscure point, which is the basis of much error regarding the birth of our Lord. Luke 1; 26--36 “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 favored, 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 favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 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: 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”.
Please note that the “sixth month” is mentioned twice in these few passages. Unger’s Bible Dictionary defines the months of the Jewish calendar for us, as their calendar was a lunar one, verses ours of today, which is based upon the Roman calendar. The first month of the Jewish calendar was Abib or Nisan, which began around the 5th of March, the second was Zif, the third, Sivan, the fourth, Tammuz, the fifth, AB, and the sixth, Elul, which ran from late August to early September. I stop here with the Jewish calendar as proceeding further goes beyond the scope of our lesson. We see from the above that the angel Gabriel came to Mary, in the sixth month and that her cousin Elizabeth was six months into her pregnancy. According to the Jewish calendar, the sixth
month would be the month of Elul, which is translated to us as between late August and early September. Allowing for a gestation period of nine months, if we count from September and go the full nine months, we arrive at sometime in late April or early May as the time of the Birth of Jesus. It is certainly not December 25th, which we celebrate as Christmas, the birth date of Jesus in our secular calendar.
The question then begs, how did we get from late April or early May to December 25th. Enter our good friend, the collectively acknowledged, first Christian, of the Roman Empire; Constantine the Great. This gentleman vacillated between Christianity and Idolatry to the extent that he tried to blend the two into one. Thus in AD 321 he instructed that Christians and non-Christians alike should be united in observing the “venerable day of the sun”. And when he dedicated the capital of Constantinople, he did so wearing the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem. The “venerable day of the sun” is what is currently known as the Winter Solstice. Constantine, in order to bring about some harmony in his quest to homogenize his Christian belief with his idolatry, declared that December 25th would become the Christmas, the celebration of the Birth of Christ. Also note that he wore the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem. How often have we seen angels and other holy-ones portrayed with a halo or sun-rayed circle about their heads? This is about as pagan as you can get, and stems from the pagan god Apollo. Nevertheless, we look right past it not realizing the significance of things right before our eyes. While we think of it as something holy and spiritual, it is, in reality, evil and pagan. However, I feel we have established beyond question, how we arrived from April or May to December the 25th as being the date appropriated as the time of our Saviour’s birth, which is obviously contrary to the Scriptures.
I wish to reveal another aspect of our Lord’s birth which somehow escapes the comments of most biblical expositors. Perhaps it is because it’s so simple, that it is assumed that the masses would get it, and the truth is, it flies right over our heads. On the other hand, maybe they don’t see it themselves. I am speaking about “where” our Lord was born. Luke 2: 1-7,” And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Ceasar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in
swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
Note, as a sidebar, how the Holy Spirit here guards the lineage of Jesus back to David. Both Joseph and Mary came from this same blood-line, which enabled Jesus to lay claim to the House of Jewish Royalty and allowed Him to be declared the “King of the Jews.” This offers material for a future study.
I mentioned above “where” Jesus was born. Our minds automatically go the city, nation, country, etc. I am speaking of the actual “place”, which is in the stable. Many bemoan the fact that Jesus was born, not in the inn, but in a stable. Had the people known who it was that was being thrust forth into our world, His stature, as the Son of God, they would undoubtedly have found a place for him in more favorable conditions. Keep in mind, Joseph and Mary were middle–class folks like most of us; certainly not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. History reflects that Joseph did indeed become very wealth later in life and Joseph of Arimathaea, Mary’s father by adoption, was also very wealthy. Nevertheless, the fact remains that: “the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.”
This was not only the Son of God; He was the Lamb of God. The sacrificial lamb, which would take away the sin of the world. The innocent lamb portrayed in the Old Testament, whose blood was posted upon the door post of the children of Israel, the very evening before their Exodus from Egyptian bondage. We are talking here about “THE LAMB”. Now, pause and stop to consider, where else would a lamb be born, but out there in the barn! You certainly would not bring a sheep into an inn to deliver a lamb. God is infinitely accurate in His writings. Through the reckoning of the Holy Spirit the Word of God has been placed upon paper, in the Holy Bible; and the fact is, that not one jot nor one tittle is out of place. For as spoken by our Lord in Matt, 5: 18; “For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.”
Two other points I would like to bring to the attention of our readers before we proceed. Observe, the scriptures state that Mary “brought forth her firstborn son”. The scriptures, themselves, indicate that Mary had other children, which further research throughout the Holy canon will reveal, is true. Yet, many profess, she did not. Are we to believe the dogma of men, or the truth of scriptures, as proclaimed by God Himself?
The second point is that Mary wrapped this newborn child in “swaddling clothes”. These were best known, in those days, as material for burial and were carried by travelers, in the event that someone might die along the way. The fact that Jesus was wrapped in swaddling clothes, at birth, this author believes, points to His death. As the scriptures states that they took Him down from the cross and wrapped Him in cloth and
fine linen, and took His body to the tomb of Joseph of Arimathaea. We will also find a similar manifestation of this when we explore the three gifts of the wise men; as frankincense and myrrh were very expensive herbs and also known as burial herbs, to help preserve the body after death. The gold has an altogether different application, which we shall address later.
It is appropriate at this juncture to bring forth another aspect of the scriptural account of the birth of Jesus. Much like the point made of the Apollonian sun-rayed Diadem. We accept what we have been taught, rather than what is right before our eyes, if we take the time to actually read; “what saith the scriptures”? Matthew, Chapter 1; reflects the fulfillment of so many Old Testament prophecies that it is hard to digest all that is contained therein. As an example; Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” This is merely one of many. One must, “Study to show thyself approved”! 2nd Tim. 2:15. I would encourage you to do so. It is much like peeling away, the layers of an onion; the more you do so, the more fragrant and appealing the aroma and beneficiary tears. This prophesy from the prophet Isaiah, no less, was proclaimed thousands of years before the birth of our Lord. Yet, it is largely overlooked, except by an ardent and diligent seeker of the truth
I will bracket my next comments to verses 1 through 12 of Matthew Ch.2 “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 Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: 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. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.”
Let us begin with “there came wise men from the east”. Will someone, anyone, show me the word “three” in this verse? Most of us have grown-up convinced that there were three wise men. Yet, it is not in the book. We know there were at least two, because the inspired word uses the plural “men”, but there could have been hundreds.
While on this particular subject, I also grew up thinking the wise men were kings, or rulers of other countries. This is not in the book either. The scriptures teach that “The fear of the Lord, is the beginning of wisdom.” Psalms 111: 10. Therefore it is those who
believe, that Jesus is the Son of God, whom God considers as wise. The wise men were not necessarily royalty, but rather men who knew, through study, that Jesus was the Son of God. Most likely they were high-ranking representatives of their respective countries who brought expensive gifts, and they apparently traveled over a great distance. Possibly it could have been an entire caravan of several hundred people. We simply do not know from the study of Scripture because the Scriptures are vague in this area. The record indicates that they brought three gifts, which is probably were we get the number three. The natural assumption seems to be, that since they brought three gifts, as mentioned above, there were three men, but it is this type of assumption that leads us into trouble when studying the Holy Cannon. Verse 11 identifies the three gifts as gold, frankincense, and myrrh. I feel there is significance here also. Frankincense and myrrh are very expensive spices (which we discussed earlier) and were used mostly for embalming, which we are certain points us toward His death. The Gold had yet another purpose in God’s plan which, this author speculates, was to provide funds for Joseph and Mary and the New Born Child to flee to Egypt
Notice closely that the “star” went before them, “till it came and stood over where the young child was” This plainly indicates that the “star” moved.” One might ask why did the star move? The star moved, because Joseph and Mary did not raise Him there in the barn. They went on to pay their taxes and then they journeyed to Jerusalem. Luke 2: 21—24; “And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb. And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses, were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord; (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;) And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves, and two young pigeons.” Luke 2: 39—40: “And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth. And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.” This is further testified by the fact that we are told in Matthew 2: 11, “And when they (the wise men) 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.” Thus we see that Joseph, Mary and the young child have gone back home. They were no longer in the barn, but are now, in the house. It is usually the subtle things, in Scripture which man most often misses.
In the meantime, the wise men were trying to locate the “Christ Child”, who was now roughly two years old, before they found Him. How do we know this? The inspired scriptures reveal all the facts for us. First, keep in mind that verse 9 of Matthew Ch. 2 states, “where the young child was”. Remember the wise men were following “the star”. It had led them from Bethlehem, the place of his birth, to Jerusalem where he was circumcised and presented to the Lord, and then back home to Galilee, to their own city of Nazareth.
Observe; no longer the newborn infant, or the baby, but rather “the young child”. Next, reflect back on what Herod asked of the wise men. Matthew 2: 8, “Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.” The word diligently infers that Herod wanted to know exactly, or at least as close as possible when the star appeared. Keep in mind that the wise men had traveled a great distance “from the east”. Herod was not concerned with the time of day, but rather how long a time had lapsed since they first began seeking this new King. He was under the assumption that it was his kingdom which was being threatened. Was it a few days, a week or two, or perhaps months? The scriptures themselves, once again, supply the answer. “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceedingly wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and all the coast thereof, from two years old and under. According to the time which he had“diligently” enquired of the wise men; Matt. 2:16.” There you have it; Jesus was approximately two years old. He was not an infant, nor a little baby; He was a toddler.
We find further evidence of this fact in a closer examination of verses 12 & 13 of this same chapter of Matthew; in which twice He is referred to as “the young child”. It becomes quite obvious, through the study of the Holy Canon; that many events which we take for granted, are not actually truth, as the foregoing clearly indicates.
One other thought comes to mind before we move forward in our Study. Namely, the familiar nativity scene, in which we generally see Mary, Joseph, the newborn child, shepherds, and of course, the three wise men and various animals, in the barn. The scene is not correct. The three wise men did not find this group in the stable. They found Mary and the toddler in Nazareth. Remember the “star” moved. What was near, at the birth of our Lord were the “shepherds”. How profound, as we delve even deeper into the teachings presented to us, if we could only remove the scales from upon our eyes.
Luke 2: 8—18; “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in their field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone around about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told
them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.”
Much is to be expounded in the above verses of Scripture. Who were the first to be notified of the birth of our Lord? None other, than the “shepherds”! This point is so significant, and yet lost upon the masses of Christianity. Who else but the “shepherds” of God’s flock should be the first to become aware of the birth of the “Saviour” of the world? The metaphor is plain through the foreshadowing here, of the pastors, ministers, evangelist, teachers and expositors becoming the shepherds of the Word of God. These are whom, which the “shepherds” here represent. When bringing forth the “Good News” and “Great Joy” of the Saviour of the world, and the beginning of Christianity, where else would the angels go, but unto those entrusted to carry forth the message of this particular birth, of the Lamb, but the shepherds of the flock? You would certainly not go to King Herod, who had already exposed himself of his own selfish fears regarding this new king; nor the politicians of the day, such as the Scribes and Pharisees. These representatives of the religious faith, who had so apostatized themselves of God’s Holy Word, that they were unrecognizable as spiritual leaders. You would go to those assigned to the keeping of your flock. Those chosen few, who are accountable and responsible for keeping intact the sheep, which are under their protection, leadership, and guidance. Alas, God’s chosen few!! May they ever prevail!
These are the caretakers of those precious sheep, which might possibly go astray, by wandering away from the rest of the flock, unbeknown to them the danger, which will undoubtedly confront them. This is the role of a shepherd. Would not this be wonderful, if our so called “shepherds” of today, would follow this same example? Unfortunately, only but a few actually do so! Suffice it to say, that it is noteworthy to observe closely, who first sought-out and worshipped our Lord. Praise God in His infinite wisdom, and in His miraculous ways, it was none other than the Shepherds. How poignant! So simple and how suitable! Yet it makes one wonder and how many of these shepherds had collegiate diplomas, or Doctors of Divinity parchment, framed upon their walls, or other credentials behind their names! Hummm!! One must wonder!!
One further point regarding the shepherds; notice what motivated them to seek out the Lord. They “heard” the angels. Romans, 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Nowhere does it say they sawthe angel first. They “heard” and they “believed.” How simple salvation is. Simply hear and believe; yet the multitudes stumble. Luke 2:17 “And when they had seen it.” First they “heard,” then they “believed,” and now they “see.” It is always the order. It has never changed. We shall take up this subject in another study!! Then “They made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.” they went out and told others about this Christ child. This has never changed either. Christ does not expect us to save the world, move mountains, or perform miracles. The command is simply, “Go home to thy friends, and tell them what great things the Lord hath done for thee.” Mark 5:19
Ere we conclude the study of our topic, The Birth of Jesus” and our final comments thereon, I wish to capture the significance of the gift of gold, which the wise men brought to this newborn child. Matthew 2: 11—15, “And when they (the wise men)
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. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word; for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt; And was there until the death of Herod; that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.” We nowsee why God had the wise men bring gold. Mary and Joseph, as we mentioned earlier, were at best middle-class people at this stage in their lives. So here we have Satan working through King Herod and attempting to destroy the child and Mary and Joseph must flee into another country. You cannot move without money. The gold provides them with the necessary funds to make the journey and establish a new home until the death of Herod. This not only saved the lives of Joseph, Mary and the young child, but it also accomplished another goal. Vs; 15: “that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son” Numbers 24:8 and Hosea 11: 1 God’s words can never go unfulfilled.
I feel compelled at this juncture to look back on what has been before us in this particular study. One of the wonderful experiences of leading any study, which any worthy teacher will share with you, is the fact that the instructor often learns more than the students. I must say this has been so in my case. So, what have we learned?
First, the fact that the Birth of our Saviour only occurs in two books of the New Testament I found to be quite interesting. Most of the teachings of the Four Gospels overlap one another, which one may easily discern. Therefore why only two, in this discourse? Two, in the numerology of Scripture, always stand for either division, or witness. This case clearly reveals a “witness” regarding the Son of God, in the writings of Matthew and Luke. Matthew, whose book is Jewish, in the very first chapter, traces the “blood-line” of Jesus all the way back to Abraham and David. Luke, a physician, in his first chapter, establishes and proclaims the “virgin-birth” which reflects His humanity. Thus we see in Matthew the “God-Man” and in Luke the “Man-God”. What a witness, indeed!
Secondly; we come to the “sixth month” as to when Mary conceived via the Holy Spirit, within her womb, the Christ Child. This factor propels us to the actual time of the Birth of Jesus to the months of late April or possibly early May. Obviously, nowhere near the celebrated date of December 25th. Which we can also collaborate by tracing the birth of John the Baptist which we did not pursue, as it fell out of the focus within the body of this study regarding the birth of Jesus. Christ must always have the preeminence. John the Baptist is a worthwhile study which we will take up in a future study.
Thirdly, we discover that King Constantine was the instigator of this entire false narrative, of the birth of Jesus, and the pagan date of December 25; due to his own bias belief, infidelity and kingly rule over the people. We discover the meaning of the “sun-rayed diadem”; which we take as holy and precious verses its rightful identity of being unholy, pagan and satanic.
Fourth, the lineage of Christ is exposed, allowing Him to indeed be proclaimed as the King of the Jews all the way back to David.
Fifth, the place of His birth, not only in the city of Bethlehem, but in the stable, out there in the barn, praise God:“ there was no room in the Inn” Let’s take note once again that Mary “brought forth, her first-born, son.” And, of course, as the Scriptures reveal she had additional children. Also the fact that He was wrapped in swaddling clothes or death garments.
Next we see before us, the Three Wise Men. Where is the word “three”? Consider a possible caravan. What made the Wise Men, wise? How about the “star” that they followed, from the east? They did not have a GPS, in those days, thus they wandered for at least two years to find this Holy Child!
How is it that the “shepherds” heard the angels, and believed, on that very night!! Simply because they said one to another “Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us”. They heard and then they saw. “And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child”.
The wise men took nearly two years to find the young Child, to present to Him their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh? I feel we have adequately examined this subject by the fact that the spices were most expensive and were considered embalming spices; and of course the necessary role of the gold to enable Joseph, Mary, and the young child to flee to Egypt for a two fold mission: first, to avoid the threat to Jesus, and secondly to, fulfill one of the many prophecies of God.
Another question presents itself; why do we accept today the nativity scene, when we now know that the wise men found Him “in the house”, as a young child? Particularly when we know that the “star” moved, because Joseph and Mary must have moved, with the baby, until they got back home? What was the significance of the “shepherds” being the first to hear and going to worship the Christ child? They are the representatives of our pastors, teachers, evangelist, etc. of today. And my final point, what motivated the “shepherds”? They “heard” and “believed”. We shall closer examine this subject, in an upcoming study.
I think we can conclude our brief exposition and study of “The Birth of Jesus”. Our goal has been accomplished. My aim was to awaken your perspective upon this subject. The Birth of our Lord must be humbly observed and acknowledged. Even more necessary, is portraying the truth to which it rightly deserves and not based upon fallacies and hearsays; which we have been subjected to since our youth; nevertheless, we Christians must focus our attention upon; what saith the Scriptures!
It is my hope that you will take the time to reconcile your thoughts to the passages which we have explored. Please feel free to make any comments or suggestions. I trust that you have found the above informative and enlightening. Perhaps you will now view the Birth of our Lord in a somewhat different light. Thank you for reading…
This concludes The Segment of “Faith and Personal Study” regarding The Birth of Jesus.