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The Christmas Jesus
Prophecy of the Birth of John, the Messenger of Jesus
"A voice of one calling in the desert: ‘Prepare the way for the LORD; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God [Isaiah 40:3 NKJV].' "
About seven hundred years before the Messiah came to earth, God told Isaiah that a Son would be born, and the government would be upon His shoulders and His name would be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. He said the Son would be called the Father. He went on to say that there would be no end to the increase of His government, on the throne of David and on His kingdom, to order it and establish it with justice and judgment forever.25
Seven seems to be God's favorite number for perfection. In seven days, God created the heavens and the earth. On the sixth day, God created His first son Adam by breathing His Holy Spirit into the dust26 and He rested on the seventh day. Enoch, who walked with God and whom God took up to heaven, was born seven generations later. 27 Abraham, through whom God chose to bless all the nations, was born in the seventh generation after the seventh generation after Enoch.28 David the king descended from Abraham after the seventh generation after the seventh generation.29 After the next seven generations and seven generations more, the Jews were carried away into Babylon.30 The sixth generation after the next seven generations, Joseph, the husband of Mary of whom was born Jesus, was a direct descendent of David.31 God then breathed His Holy Spirit into His only begotten Son, Jesus (meaning anointed One, or Salvation from the LORD). The generations from Adam to Jesus are seven times seven.
Before Jesus was born, John the Baptist was born to tell the Jews of the coming of Jesus. This was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea. There were twenty divisions of priests who were descendants of Aaron, and when the time had come for Jesus to be born, Zechariah, whose name means "appointed by Jehovah" was a priest of the eighth division of Abijah32 and was married to Elizabeth, a name that means "faultless", who was also a descendent of Aaron. They had no children and both were now old33. It is of interest that Aaron's wife was named Elisheba34, which is Hebrew for the Aramaic Elisabeth, or Elizabeth.
When the eighth division was on duty Zechariah was chosen by lot to serve as priest, as was the custom. He went into the temple to burn incense while the worshippers were outside praying. Then an angel of the LORD appeared, standing beside the alter of incense. This startled Zechariah and he was greatly afraid. But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear a son and you are to name him John."
The name John means "grace or gift of God, or God is favorable".
"He will be a delight and joy to you. Many will rejoice at his birth, because he will be great in the sight of the LORD. He will not drink wine or liquor. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even in his mother's womb. He will bring many Israelites back to the LORD their God. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and turn the disobedient to the wisdom of righteousness in the spirit and power of Elijah. He is going to prepare the people for the LORD."35
Zechariah asked the angel, "How will I know this? I am an old man and my wife also is old?"
The angel said, "I am Gabriel who stands in the presence of God. I was sent to talk with you and to give you this great message. So because you did not believe me, from now on you will be unable to speak until the day that these things occur."36
The people outside the temple waited for Zechariah and wondered why he was taking so long. When he came out, Zechariah could not speak to them. He made signs with his eyes, but remained speechless, so the people knew that he had seen a vision.
When Zechariah finished his service at the temple, he returned to his home. Elizabeth conceived and hid herself for five months; she said, "The LORD did this for me. He has shown me His favor and has taken away my reproach among men."37
25. Isaiah 9:6, 7.
26. Genesis 2:7.
27. Genesis 5:1-24
28. Genesis 5:21-32; Genesis 11:10-30.
29. Matthew 1:2–6.
30. Matthew 1:6–11.
31. Matthew 1:11-17; Luke 3:31-38.
32. I Chronicles 24:1-19.
33. Luke 1:5-7; Genesis 17:15 – 17; 18:10–15; 21:2.
34. Exodus 6:23.
35. Luke 1:8-17; Isaiah 40:3.
36. Luke 1:18-20; Genesis 17:17.
37. Luke 1:21-35.
The Holy Spirit and the Seed of a Woman
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death---even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father [Philippians 2:5 – 11 NIV]"
Six months after Elizabeth became pregnant, Gabriel again was sent by God to the city of Nazareth in Galilee. He appeared to an engaged virgin, Mary, who was purchased with a dowry by a man named Joseph of the House of David.38
The Gnostics claim that the prophesy God gave of Jesus in Isaiah 7:14 in the Old Testament really says, "Therefore the LORD Himself will give you a sign: A young maiden [Hebrew: almah not virgin which is bethuwlah] will be with child and will give birth to a son and they will call him Immanuel [meaning God is with us].”
Therefore the Gnostics say that Jesus was an ordinary person born to a young woman. They are absolutely correct about the Hebrew word for young maiden. Many other verses in the Old Testament refer to virgins, but this verse definitely says "young maiden".
The problem here is not Isaiah 7:14. The problem the Gnostics have is that the New Testament always refers to Jesus as born of a virgin [Greek: parthenos, virgin, derived from parthenia, maidenhood, meaning virginity]. The Greek word for girl, used often in the New Testament is paidske. Parthenos (virgin) is used in I Corinthians 7:28, “. . . but if a virgin marries, she has not sinned"; in I Corinthians 7:34, ". . . an unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord's affairs. Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord both in body and in spirit [emphasis mine]"; II Corinthians 11:12, ". . . so that I might present you as a pure virgin to Him"; Acts 21:9, ". . . a man had four daughters, virgins. . ." and Revelations 14:4, ". . . men who did not defile themselves with women, for they are virgins".
Even though Isaiah did not refer to Mary as a virgin, the New Testament did throughout. Another problem the Gnostics have is if God was going to give us a sign: the young maiden will be with child, what was the sign? Surely the sign was not that thirteen year old Mary was going to have a child; it was very common for thirteen year old girls to marry back then and have children, having reached puberty. Thirteen year olds have babies all the time, even to this day. That is surely no big sign for God, although childbirth is one of God's many miracles. The sign was that Jesus was born to a virgin.
Gabriel said," Peace to you, oh highly favored one; our LORD is with you and you are most blessed among women."
This frightened Mary and she wondered what kind of greeting this was. Gabriel said to her, "Fear not, Mary, for you have found grace with God. Now you will give birth to a son and you will call Him Jesus [Jehoshua, or Yeshua, which means Jehovah brings salvation].”
He will be great, and He will be called the Son of the Highest; and the LORD God will give Him the throne of his father David. He will rule over the house of Jacob forever; and there will be no limit to His kingdom."
Then Mary said to Gabriel, "How can this be, for I have never known a man?"39
Many agnostics, Masons and others believe that Mary was a prostitute in the temple of God, and was impregnated by a Roman soldier named Pandera. This verse, Luke 1:34 along with Matthew 1:19 – 25 and Luke 1:26 – 27 clearly refute that Mary had ever "known" a man.
The architects of their own religions simply claim that these verses prove that the Bible is not true. Years later, Peter would heal a crippled beggar and say;
"By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him that you can all see (Acts 3:16 NKJV).”
Throughout the ages thereafter, humans have seen millions of healings by faith and have denied that they actually occurred. Romans 1:17 and Hebrews 4:38 say that the just shall live by faith. Paul wrote in Romans 3:28 that a man is justified by faith. Every reader has the opportunity to get to heaven by faith, or to perish through disbelief. Is the Bible false or true? The choice is up to everyone who has ever lived.
Gabriel answered, "The Holy Spirit shall come to you, and the power of the Highest will rest upon you; therefore the one who will be born to you is holy, and He will be called the Son of God.
"Your cousin Elizabeth, who was called barren, has already conceived a son in her old age; this was six months ago, for nothing is impossible for God."
Mary said, "I am a handmaid of the LORD; so let it be according to what you have said.” Gabriel then departed from her.40
The faith of a virgin, Mary made it possible for the Son of God to come to the earth. Throughout the Bible and throughout all history, babies come by the seed of men, but in Genesis 3:15, God prophesied that Jesus would come by the seed of a woman. Through a woman (Eve) and Satan, humans lost eternal life; and through a woman (Mary) and the Holy Spirit, humans receive eternal life.
38. Luke 1:26, 27; Matthew
39. Luke 1:34.
40. Luke 1:28-38
Mary Meets with Elizabeth
Mary then hastened into the hills in Judah that tradition says was the village of Ein Kerem, and went to Zechariah's house. There she found her cousin Elizabeth. When Mary told Elizabeth about her conception by the Holy Spirit, the baby John inside of Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit as Gabriel had told Zechariah he would be, leaped in her womb.41
Elizabeth then was filled with the Holy Spirit and said loudly, "You are blessed among women and blessed is the child you are bearing. How is it that you, the mother of my LORD should come to me? As soon as your greeting filled my ears, my baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who believed that what the Lord promised her will really be accomplished! For it shall surely be accomplished."
Then Mary responded, "My soul glorifies the LORD; my spirit rejoices in my life-giving God my Savior. He has regarded my lowly state as His willing servant. From now on, all the generations will call me fortunate and supremely blessed. The Mighty One has done a great thing to me. Holy is His name! His mercy will cover those who fear Him from generation to generation. He will perform mighty deeds. He will scatter the proud ones. He will bring the rulers down from their thrones and lift up the meek ones. He will fill the hungry with good things and send the rich away hungry. He will help His servant Israel and will remember to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, even as He promised our forefathers."
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for three months before going home, until Elizabeth had her baby.42
41, Luke 1:15, 39, 40.
42. Luke 1:41–56.
The Birth of John the Baptist43
"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: He shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse [Malachi 4:6 KJV; see also Galatians 3:13, 14 and Revelation 21:3 - 5 and 22:3]"
When Elizabeth's relatives and neighbors heard that God had shown her great mercy, they celebrated with her. After eight days they came to circumcise the baby. They called him Zachariah after his father but Elizabeth said, "No, his name is John [Chapter 5].” They said, "Why do you call him John? None of your relatives has that name." Then they made signs to his father asking what name he would like the baby to have.
Zechariah motioned for something to write on, and to everyone's surprise, he wrote, "His name is John." Immediately, Zechariah could talk again, and he began praising God. The neighbors were awe-stricken. Zechariah was then filled with the Holy Spirit and gave this prophecy:
"Praise God, the God of Israel. He has come and redeemed His people from their sins. He has created strength and salvation for us in the house of His servant, David.
"Just as He told us through His holy prophets centuries ago, even since the world was created, that we would be saved from our enemies and from all who hate us: to give us the mercy He promised our forefathers and to remember His holy covenant that He gave to our father Abraham; to rescue us from our enemies and to enable us to worship Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our lives.
"You, my son, will be called the prophet of the Most High. You will go before the Lord and prepare a way for him. You will give His people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, all because of the tender mercy of God. He who is to rise and shine, whose light is come, and who the glory of God rises upon44 has come to us to give light to them who live in darkness and who live in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace."
Throughout Judea, people were talking about how Elizabeth and Zechariah had a son in their old age and how Zechariah had lost his voice, but regained it. They all wondered what kind of child this will be as the hand of God was surely in these miracles.
John grew and became strong in spirit. He lived in the dessert until he appeared publicly in Israel.
43. Luke 1:57–80.
44. Isaiah 60:1-3.
The Birth of the Human God Immanuel
"Therefore, when He came into the world, He said:
'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire,
But a body You have prepared for Me.
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin
You had no pleasure.
Then I said, 'Behold, I have come-
In the volume of the book it is written of Me-
To do Your will, O God [Hebrews 10:5–7 NKJV].' “
When Mary went to her husband Joseph, she was already three months pregnant with the child of the Holy Spirit45.
Now Joseph was a pious and righteous man, and did not want to publicly defame Mary. He thought about divorcing her in secret but while he was dreaming about this, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be ashamed to take Mary as your wife. He that is to be born of Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit.
"She will give birth to a Son and you will name Him Jesus [Jehoshua]; for He will save His people from missing the mark of holiness and will bring His people back to life from their sins in God's holy eyes."46 for all have sinned, and have come short of the Glory of God.47
"This is what the prophet Isaiah prophesied about seven hundred years earlier, 'Behold, a virgin will conceive and give birth to a Son, and they will call Him Immanuel, meaning Our God is with us.' "48
This woke Joseph, and he did just as the angel commanded him. He took Mary as his wife and did not have a sexual relationship with Mary until after she gave birth to her first-born son. Mary called her son Jesus, as Gabriel had instructed her.49
This happened during a time that Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken of all the people in his empire. This first census took place during the governorship of Cyrenius [Quirinius] in Syria between 10 and 7 BC, and every man had to go to register in the city from which he came.
In Micah 5:2 we read, "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler of Israel." There are two Bethlehems in Israel. The English translation of Bethlehem is “House of Bread”. In John 6:53, Jesus said that He is the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he or she will live forever. Ephrathah means fruit of a woman. In Psalm 132: 5 and 6 we read, "Until I find a place for the LORD, a dwelling place for the Mighty One of Jacob, behold we found it in the field of the woods." Bethlehem Ephrathah was a very small town located in a field surrounded by woods.
As Joseph was a descendent of David, Joseph had to go from Nazareth, "the victorious town of Revelation", in Galilee, to the city of the House and generation of David, which is Bethlehem. So he took his purchased wife Mary while she was pregnant to be registered there.
When they got to Bethlehem, Mary's day of childbirth had arrived and there were no vacant rooms, as many had come for the census. So they stayed in a manger and she gave birth to her son and wrapped him tightly in strips of soft material [called swaddling clothes].50
Nazareth means “the
victorious town of revelation.” It is also where childless women
pledged their first born son to God, as with Samuel’s and Samson’s
mothers (1Samuel 1:27-28 and Judges 13:2-7). Bethlehem was the only
town in Israel where lambs were raised for sacrifices. The manger is where
lambs without spot or blemish were born for sacrifices.
http://hethathasanear.com/Birth.html. The lambs were wrapped in swaddling
clothes so they would not harm themselves when being taken to be inspected to
ensure that they were without spot or blemish.
The manger in
Bethlehem was a temporary shelter where Jesus without spot or blemish was
prepared for the ultimate sacrifice.
Jesus was not born on Christmas Day, but earlier in the fall in the Hebrew month of Av, a month of mourning for the Jews, and Av is when the festival of Sukkot is held. Sukkot is in memory of the shelters in the forty years in the wilderness when God had the Jews build temporary shelters to live in. It is followed by a time of rejoicing for when they entered the Promised Land, abandoning their shelters. God chose to be born during Sukkot to have a temporary human body to live in. Jesus would live a life of mourning and suffering followed by rejoicing when believers enter the Promised Land, Heaven.
It was no accident that there was no room in the inn, or that Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem for Yeshua to be born. God Himself planned it that way.
On July 11, 1926 James Allan Francis gave a sermon at the First Baptist Church in Los Angeles, California to the National Baptist Young Peoples’ Union convention during which he said, "Let us turn now to the story. A child is born in an obscure village. He is brought up in another obscure village. He works in a carpenter shop until he is thirty, and then for three brief years is an itinerant preacher, proclaiming a message and living a life. He never writes a book. He never holds an office. He never raises an army. He never has a family of his own. He never owns a home. He never goes to college. He never travels two hundred miles from the place where he was born. He gathers a little group of friends about him and teaches them his way of life. While still a young man the tide of popular feeling turns against him. The band of followers forsakes him. One denies him; another betrays him. He is turned over to his enemies. He goes through the mockery of a trial; he is nailed on a cross between two thieves, and when dead is laid in a borrowed grave by the kindness of a friend. Those are the facts of his human life. He rises from the dead. Today we look back across nineteen hundred years and ask, 'What kind of a trail has he left across the centuries?' When we try to sum up his influence, all the armies that ever marched, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned are absolutely picayune in their influence on mankind compared with that of this one solitary life. He has changed the moral climate of the world, and he is changing it now, and will continue to do so until the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ. I ask you to pause a moment and think of this thing which Christians believe. We are talking about great adventures. I remind you that there must be a great adventure in faith before there can be a great adventure in action. No man has ever done a great thing until he has first believed a great thing."51
45. Matthew 1:18
46. Matthew 1:19–21
47. Romans 3:10–18
48. Isaiah 7:14; Luke 1:35. Peter wrote that prophecy did not come by the will of humans, but holy men of God spoke when they were inspired by the Holy Spirit (2Peter 1:21).
49. Matthew 1:22–25; Isaiah 9:6, 7; Genesis 37:5 – 9; Genesis 2:7.
50. Luke 2:1 -7. The Hebrews had an idiom for Nazareth "the victorious town of revelation" according to Victor N. Alexander's Syriac Version of the Aramaic.
51. The Real Jesus and Other Sermons by James Allan Francis. Philadelphia: The Judson Press. © 1926, "Arise, Sir Knight!" p. 123-24 (This is apparently the version as it was given on July 11, 1926.)
To show the world how important this event was to God, He sent His angel a third time, this time to some shepherds who were watching their sheep in the region [of Bethlehem] where Joseph, Mary and Jesus were staying.
When Gabriel appeared, the glory of the LORD shone upon them, and they were seized with great fear.
The angel said, "Do not be afraid. I bring you glad news of great joy for the entire world. On this day is born to you in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
The translation of the word Christ is anointed. God anointed . . . poured out His Spirit into his human Son, the Christ, the Anointed One, the Son of God and the Son of Man.
Jesus healed many people while on earth, but His purpose in coming was not to save us from diseases or infirmities. Jesus did not come as Savior from the sins of the world or from evil governments, bad marriages, or other calamities. Jesus came to earth to save those who are lost (Chapters 65 and 133). Jesus came to save us from hell that we may live with the Father for all eternity. All that is required is that we believe in Jesus as Savior from our sins (John 3:16).
"This is a sign for you: You will find Him wrapped in swaddling clothes [strips of cloth as used for sacrificial lambs] and lying in a manger."
A manger in Bethlehem is where sacrificial animals are born. Jesus' birth in a manger foretold that Jesus would be a substitute for sacrificial animals.
Suddenly, many angels appeared, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth and good hope for all people!"
By "hope for all people" they meant redemption from their sins.
When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem to see this thing that God has shown us." So they hurried and found Mary, Joseph and the baby lain in a manger. When they saw them, they told what had been told them: the Manifestation that was proclaimed about the baby. All those that heard this were amazed at what was told the shepherds.
Mary treasured these things and thought about it with her whole heart. The shepherds returned to their fields, glorifying and praising God for all that they had seen and heard, just as the angels told them.52
52. Luke 2:8-20
Joseph and Mary named Him Jesus, the name that Gabriel told them before he was conceived in Mary's womb. As instructed by the Law, eight days after His birth He was circumcised.53 According to the Law of Moses, after forty days they took Him to Jerusalem to be presented to the LORD.54
Forty is a special number for the LORD representing waiting periods. Forty days is a cleansing period for a woman having a bably. Later, after Christ was baptized, He went out into the desert to fast and pray for forty days (Matthew 4:2; Mark 1:13; Luke 4:2). In Genesis 7, during the flood of Noah, God caused it to rain for forty days to cleanse the earth of sinful man.
As it is written in the Law, every male that opens the womb [every first-born son] shall be called holy to the LORD55. Joseph and Mary were to offer a sacrifice of a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons in Jerusalem according to the Law56.
53. Luke 2:21;
Genesis 17:9–14; Leviticus 12:1–3; 1Peter3:20; Colossians 3:10, 11
54. Leviticus 12:4.
55. Exodus 13:1, 2; Numbers 3:13; 8:17; Exodus 22:29.
56. Leviticus 12:6.
When Joseph, Mary and Jesus got to the temple, a man named Simon met them. Simon was a pious and righteous man, filled with the Holy Spirit, and waiting for the consolation58 of Israel, the freedom from the Romans. The Holy Spirit told Simon that he would not see death until he saw the Anointed One of the LORD. The Holy Spirit then directed Simon to go to the temple.
When Joseph and Mary brought Jesus into the temple for his purification and were offering the two young pigeons to be sacrificed on Jesus' behalf, Simon took Jesus in his arms, blessed God and said, "Now dismiss your servant in peace, oh my LORD, according to Your word; for behold, my eyes have already seen Your mercies that You prepared before the face of all the people, a light of revelation to the Gentiles, and a glory to Your people Israel."
Joseph and Mary were astonished and marveled at what Simon said. Then Simon blessed them and said to Mary, "Behold, this one is appointed for the fall and for the rise of many in Israel and others who will be coming. He will be a sign of dispute, and a sword will pierce through your soul59 so that the thoughts and hearts of many will be revealed."
57. Luke 2:25–35.
58. The Greek word parakleasis is rendered here as "consolation" meaning comfort, cheer or relief.
59. John 19:25; Galatians 6:16-17; Romans 6:3-7.
Hannah [or Anna]60 was a prophetess, the daughter of Pinueil [or Phanuel]61 who was from the tribe of Asher62. She was very old, having lived seven years with her husband after her years of virginity. Then she became a widow for about eighty-four years. She never left the temple, worshipping day and night with prayer and fasting.
Hannah Prophesies about Jesus
Hannah stood up after Simon’s prophecy and gave thanks to the LORD. She spoke concerning Jesus to every man who was looking forward to the redemption63 of Jerusalem. When they completed the purification by bringing a first year lamb and a pigeon or turtledove according to the LORD64, they returned to their own city of Nazareth in Galilee.
60. Meaning "Grace".
61. Meaning "Face of God".
62. Asher was one of the twelve sons of Jacob whom God named Israel.
63. Aramaic versions say "the salvation of Jerusalem". During the persecution of the Christians, the scripture was taken to the East. Aramaic was a dialect of Hebrew, derived during the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. It was spoken by most of the Jews during the Roman occupation. The original versions of the four Gospels may have been written in Aramaic in the Syriac (Syrian) and the Peshitta (Persian) Scriptures.
64. Leviticus 12:6–8; Luke 2:36-39.
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem65 of Judah according to ancient Hebrew Scripture, during the time when Herod the Great was king (40 BC – 4 BC), Oriental scientists, astrologers called Magi66 came from the East to Jerusalem. These would be from the famous School of Astrology at Sippar, in Babylonia. These men were not Jews, but according to astrology, the world had entered the Age of Pisces (fish), the age in which Jesus would make the Fishers of Men come to establish His kingdom.
God had placed the stars, the sun and the moon in the sky to serve as measures of days, seasons and years (Genesis 1:14). Many believe the constellations would give the historical ages beginning with Virgo (the Virgin) and ending in Revelation with Leo the lion (Jesus, the Lion of God). The Sphinx in Egypt may have been taken from the Zodiac with the Sphinx's head that of Virgo the virgin and the Sphinx's body that of Leo the Lion. Virgo begins every year in the constellations following Leo. From several Christian viewpoints, the constellations tell the story of Jesus, beginning with His birth.67
This brings up the question, was the Bible copied from mythology, or was astrology copied from the Bible? Surely the massive bibliography of archeological discoveries and the fifteen hundred manuscripts accounting for the life of Jesus confirm without doubt that the Bible stories are in fact true. There is no evidence or even pretense that pagan mythology is true. Most mythology came into existence long after the Hebrew Scriptures were written. This indicates that the pagan cultures based at least some of their myths on hearsay Bible stories, including over eight hundred prophecies in the Bible of the coming of Christ, from which the name Krishna may have been derived.
The Magi were asking, "Where was the King of the Jews born? We saw His star in the East, and have come to worship Him."
Astronomers today can predict astronomical events to the year, day and hour both thousands of years from now, and thousands of years in the past. Jupiter and Saturn were in conjunction in the constellation Pisces twice before during the year, but the bright conjunction of the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mercury was most clearly seen in Pisces on December 4 in the year 7 BC. This was three years before the death of Herod. At this time, Jupiter and Saturn appeared to merge into one bright star. Centuries before, during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar and thereafter, thousands of Jews lived in Babylon. Some undoubtedly studied at the School of Astrology at Sippar. Jupiter was considered by all nations as a lucky and a royal star. Saturn was supposed to protect Israel, perhaps because it was prominent in the skies during previous battles. The historian Tacitus equated Saturn with the God of the Jews.67
When Herod heard this from the wise men, he trembled, and all of Jerusalem with him. So Herod gathered all his high priests and scribes of the people and kept asking where the Christ would be born. They answered, "In Bethlehem of Judah;68 for thus it is written in the Book of Micah the prophet, 'Even you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you be little among the thousands of towns of Judah, yet out of you will come forth a ruler to govern Israel; whose goings forth have been prophesied from time of old, even from eternity.' "69
Herod then secretly called the Magi and learned from them what time the star appeared to them. So Herod told them to go to Bethlehem and said, "Go very carefully and inquire concerning the boy. When you have found him come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him."
When they heard that from the king, they left, and the very same star that they had seen in the East went before them until it stood just above the place where Jesus was. When they saw the star, they were exceedingly delighted.
They entered the place where the baby Jesus was with Mary His mother, and they fell on the floor and worshipped Him. Then they offered Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh in accordance with the myth of the Hindu god, Krishna, which was derived from the many prophesies of Jesus in the Old Testament before Krishna was ever invented.
Gold is an ancient symbol of kingship. Frankincense (incense) is a symbol of divinity in token of His being God of heaven and earth, as its burning smoke ascends toward heaven. Myrrh, a token of His passion and because it is used for embalming, it is a symbol of suffering. Gold is for overcoming Satan and all our foes; incense for rising from the dead; and myrrh for drinking the bitter gall of vinegar and myrrh and feeling the pains of hell from Satan. See Part 31, Chapters 181 and 183.
The mythology of Krishna has changed from time to time. The apostle Thomas sailed to Kerala, India on a merchant ship in 57 AD. He told the people there how he had seen the nail holes in Jesus' hands and feet and side after Jesus was put to death and came back to life to meet with the disciples. The people took him to the King of Cochin, a sea port in Kerala. According to legend, the king, a Brahmin, which is the highest and the only educated caste, was very hospitable toward Thomas. He was so impressed that he ordered sixty-four Brahmin families to help Thomas set up a Christian community there. Thomas then went to Madras state (now Tamil Nadu) to preach. Thomas was then put to death by unbelievers near the city of Madras (now Chennai), and was buried at St. Thomas Mount near Chennai.
The churches there existed without even a Bible until very recently, as the Bible was not written at the time of Thomas' visit. When missionaries went there and asked if they had Bibles, the people asked what is a Bible? This region of India is a strong Christian area even today.
The followers of Krishna now claim that there are over 300 similarities between Jesus Christ and Krishna. They claim the name Christ is taken from their god Christna. They claim Krishna was born of a carpenter, his birth attended by shepherds and wise men, was given gold, frankincense and myrrh, baptized in the river Ganges, that he was born of a virgin, was persecuted by a tyrant who ordered the slaughter of thousands of children. He performed many miracles, taught in parables, was sacrificed on a tree, had nail holes in his hands, feet and side, was resurrected, was the second person of the Trinity, was the beginning and the end and much more. Most of this is gross imagination based on what the Hindus heard from Christians in Kerala and Madras. Stories about the mythical god Krishna are written and rewritten continuously, even to the present time.
The common orthodox depiction of Krishna's death is that he was shot in the foot with an arrow while reclining under a tree. From here, the stories change in a multitude of accounts. The fable of Krishna being baptized was derived from Krishna originally plunging into the Ganges three times before his death to remove stains. The shot in the foot became multiple arrow wounds, conveniently in each hand and foot and his side. Variations from the original beliefs have Krishna stuck on a tree by the arrow wounds and then vanishing (resurrected). Pictures of Krishna "crucified" have him suspended in the air without a cross, but with his arms outstretched and his feet tied together like Jesus' feet on the cross. Instead of a halo, the sun shines down upon him. Instead of a crown of thorns, he wears a crown (coronet) with seven points on it. The stories keep on growing and changing, as does all Hindu "scripture".
Unbelievers claim that the cross of Jesus was copied from crucifixes that preceded Christ by hundreds or even thousands of years, with these pagan gods crucified on them. These crosses are pagan worship symbols with equal length arms in each direction. They have nothing to do with the crosses used for crucifixions, although crosses were used for crucifixions before Christ was crucified. In the case of the ancient Egyptians, these equal-armed crosses were symbols of the sun god they worshipped, Osiris or Horus. In the case of pagan societies that engaged in sex orgies, two V's joined at the center represented the female sex organ and the male phallus. When the pagan gods are shown with their feet, bodies and arms in front of the cross, these gods are not being crucified as unbelievers believe, they are merely in front of the sex symbol, showing that they are the gods of sex.70
The Magi were told in a dream not to return to Herod, so they journeyed back to their own country by another route.7165. Micah 5: 2, 4-5.
Flight into Egypt and the Slaughter of the Children
When the Magi left, the angel of the LORD appeared to Joseph in a dream. He said, "Get up and flee. Take the infant and his mother to Egypt and stay there until I tell you; for Herod is going to demand the child so he can kill Him."72
When Herod discovered that the Magi laughed at him and left, he was enraged. He sent his troops to Bethlehem and its suburbs and had all the young boys from two years old and under killed, which was according to the time that he had inquired of the Magi. This fulfilled a prophecy of Jeremiah about seven hundred years earlier, "A voice is heard in Ramah, mourning and great weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children and refuses to be comforted because her children are no more."73
This is Herod the Great, not his son Herod Antipas, who had John the Baptist beheaded (Matthew 14:8 – 11; Mark 6:24 – 28). Herod the Great was very cruel and tyrannical, murdering his wives and children, among many others. Bible skeptics say that the historian Flavius Josephus (37 – 100 AD) does not mention the slaughter of infants of Bethlehem, and therefore is "proof" that the Bible is not historically correct. Although the slaughter is not reported from other sources, it would have been totally in character for Herod to commit such a terrible act, especially since his entire life was devoted to unscrupulously and heinously promoting and protecting his reign.
Joseph got up in the middle of the night and escaped with Jesus and His mother to Egypt. They stayed in Egypt until Herod was dead so that what God told the prophet Hosea was fulfilled, "Out of Egypt I called My Son."74
The Coptic Church was founded in Egypt because of the coming of the child Jesus and his mother and father and midwife (Salome) to Egypt http://www.coptic.net/EncyclopediaCoptica . An extensive history of the Holy Family’s experience is given in http://www.coptic.net/articles/HolyFamilyInEgypt.txt .
72. Matthew 2:13. Herod the Great (73–04 BC), King
of Judea 37–04 BC.
73. Matthew 2:16-19.
74. Hosea 11:1; Jeremiah 31:15; Matthew 2:14-15.
The Life and Death of King Herod the Great (73 – 04 BC)
Herod spent his entire life murdering or doing whatever was necessary to promote and protect his reign under the control of the Roman Empire. When Antipater, Herod's father and Mithradates won a battle against the Egyptians, Julius Caesar not only commended Antipater, he made him military governor (procurator) of Judea. Antipater then placed his second son Herod as governor of Jerusalem. Herod was only fifteen at this time, but showed his courage by freeing his country of a nest of robbers and slaying its leader.
Because of this, Herod became known to Sextus Caesar, a relative of the great Julius Caesar. When the Jews saw that Herod was violent and bold, they accused him before Hyrcanus, the high priest, of encroaching on the government and of transgressing the law by putting men to death without them first being condemned by the Sanhedrin. Hyrcanus loved Herod as his own son and protected Herod from being sentenced to death by aiding him to flee to Damascus where he took refuge with Sextus Caesar.
Antipater collected immense taxes for Rome, and was slain by a tax collector, Malichus. Herod quickly took vengeance on Malichus for murdering his father. Herod then expended much energy in obtaining the required taxes. When Herod received the kingdom of Judea, he then appointed an obscure priest, Ananelus as high priest in place of Hyrcanus. Herod slew all the members of the Sanhedrin, slew his own uncle, Joseph and even slew his former admiring protector, Hyrcanus.
Herod introduced many foreign customs in Judea, including games in which men were condemned to fight wild beasts. He condemned many others to death in the furtherance and protection of his rule.
His cruelty increased as he grew older. After marrying Mariamne, the beautiful wife of Heros, Herod's sister convinced him that Mariamne was unfaithful. Although he loved her passionately, out of jealousy he put Mariamne, her two sons, her brother, her grandfather, his uncle and Mariamne's mother to death.
Herod had eight other wives, and had fourteen children by six of them. In his last years, he suffered from arteriosclerosis. In great pain, he disinherited his firstborn, Antipater and killed him. Herod died about three or four years after the birth of Jesus.75 If Herod died in 4 BC, this places the birth of Jesus at about 7 - 8 BC.
75. from Flavius Josephus (37–100 AD). The Antiquities of the Jews, 16.11.8, Jewish War 33; and Encyclopedia Britannica Vol. 5, p. 879.
Paperback by Robert Laing:
Theory - - Squeezing Common Sense Out of Science, Creation, Noah's Ark and Jesus
Another Web Site by Robert Laing: www.intelligentdesigntheory.info
Paperback by author available: Little Thinkers -- Squeezing Common Sense Out of Life's Toughest Questions
This book in paperback: History of Jesus Christ the Human God