|September 11th, The Birth of Jesus Christ
by Joseph Prescia
Why do we celebrate December 25th as the birthday of Christ when so many churches know it’s not his birthday? "The World Book Encyclopedia" says:
“The early Church Fathers probably chose December 25th because the feast of the sun, or winter solstice, was a familiar Roman feast celebrating the victory of light over darkness. This idea was easily turned from a pagan to a Christian one, since Christians consider Christ as the light of life.”
During the fall of each year, the sun descends in the southern sky. It stops that decent at what we call the winter solstice, which is usually December 23rd. On or about December 25th, the sun slowly starts to move back northward and daylight increases. "The Roman Catholic Encyclopedia" agrees with this origin of Christmas from their own church history and states the following:
“In about the year 330, however, the Church in Rome definitely assigned December 25th for the celebration, in order to honor Christ, the Light of the World and the true Sun of Justice. This was the day which had been dedicated in Pagan Rome to the feast of the sun god and had been called Birthday of the Unconquered Sun. By the end of the fourth century this Roman date of the Nativity celebration was universally accepted by all churches, both in the east and in the west.”
One can see why a holiday that started out as pagan, can end up with so many pagan rituals today. (The Christmas Tree, The Yule Log, Santa Claus, Mistletoe, etc. Refer to these subjects in any Encyclopedia)
Why is it so critical to get to the truth of the matter? Because “The Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword...” (Hebrews 4:12). The Word of God is precise in it’s instruction. Man is the one that says “Oh what difference does it make?” “What difference does it make if we eat the fruit off of this tree in the garden or that one?” “What difference does it make if we confess Krishna or Christ.” The Word of God is exact. And you and I have to study the details of our Bibles if we expect to be right in our quest for Biblical truth.
There were religious leaders and religious people back in the lands and times of the Bible that were totally off the Word of God in that day. And yet they were convinced beyond a doubt that they were 100% right on. They argued with Jesus Christ, God’s only begotten son. They refused to allow healings on the Sabbath day. They insisted Christ was of Belial. Jesus told them how off they were. He said, “You do err not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).
You and I have to get to the details and the meat of the Word if we are ever going to be sharp so that we can stand against the wiles of the devil. The devil knows the Word of God better than you and I do. How can you be so sure that you have truth if you are not diligent in your study of the scriptures? Every word from Genesis to Revelation is the Word of God. We can’t afford to personally determine what’s important in the Bible and what’s not. If we can not trust the organized Churches to tell us the truth about Christ’s birth without all the pagan rituals to go along with it, how can we trust them with the weightier matters like salvation and eternal life? In addition, if the organized churches can not properly and simply count to three concerning Christ’s death from Good Friday to Easter Sunday morning why would we trust them with righteousness? Do we want a watered-down version of Scripture, a “religious” version filled with man’s opinion? If so, then one shouldn’t wonder why prayers are not getting answered or why there’s not enough prosperity and health in a person‘s life. If I lay claim to something that is not the Word of God, then I am powerless. It takes the truth of God’s Word to bring light and power into a situation. Darkness will remain until light is present.
God has always been concerned about those who would literally carry out His Word with the same detail in which He gave it. Joseph and Mary escaped to Egypt on specific instructions that God gave them. Had they decided to go just anywhere, or if they would have said, “It doesn’t really matter where we go as long as we get out of Judea,” they might not have been protected by God. Adam and Eve did not follow specific instructions and look at what happened to them. Paul didn’t follow specific instructions when God told him not to go to Jerusalem and he ended up in prison. When we follow God’s details we get blessed.
All humans for the last 2000 years have had to acknowledge the birthday of Jesus Christ every time they write the year. Daniel B. Wallace (See The Birth of Jesus Christ) writes:
“...the evidence that Jesus Christ invaded history is not just shut up to the testimony of the New Testament--as irrefutable as that might be! The very enemies of Christianity claimed that he lived--and that he performed miracles! Early Jewish documents such as the Mishnah and even Josephus--as well as first-century Gentile historians--such as Thallus, Serapion, and Tacitus--all testify that the one called Christ lived in Palestine and died under Pontius Pilate. As the British scholar, F. F. Bruce put it, "The historicity of Christ is as [certain]. . . as the historicity of Julius Caesar" (NT Documents, 119).”
In order to keep this subject brief, highlights are presented here biblically, astronomically and historically for your consideration.
Matthew 2:1-2 1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men (Magi) from the east to Jerusalem, 2 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. (KJV)
The Magi didn’t follow just any star. They were specific in their quest. They were trained in an astronomical religion, a sect similar to the one Daniel was head of (Daniel 2:48). They knew exactly what they were looking for. These wise men or “magi” did not make this trip from an Eastern, Persian culture in just one day. It took months to arrive there. It’s possible it took over a year and would have placed them in Jerusalem about December of 2BC. They were considered very knowledgeable in astronomy or earthly, physical elements (Davis Dictionary of the Bible and The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible). What astronomical event or events would have inspired them to travel this distance? In 3BC and 2BC, there were numerous conjunctions involving Jupiter, also known as the kingly or righteous planet (Craig Chester, Co-founder of the Monterey Institute for Research in Astronomy, The Star of Bethlehem). These conjunctions all happened in the constellation Leo which is the constellation of kings.
August of 3BC-Jupiter and Venus
September of 3BC-Jupiter and Regulus
February of 2BC-Jupiter and Regulus
May of 2BC-Jupiter and Regulus
June of 2BC-Jupiter and Venus
In August of 3BC, the wise men or Magi would have seen Jupiter first becoming visible above the eastern horizon as a morning star. In Jesus Christ our Promised Seed, Victor Paul Wierwille states:
“As the Magi approached Bethlehem, Jupiter finally “stood over” where the child was, the area of Bethlehem. The time period in which the Magi traveled to Bethlehem could only have been between December 4, 2BC, when Jupiter could be seen in this position over Bethlehem, and before January 9, 1BC, when the events surrounding the death of Herod began.”
This would coincide with the Matthew 2:2 record, “...for we have seen his star in the east...” If they were in Jerusalem heading toward Bethlehem, then they would have seen the star/planet before them (Matthew 2:9,10). That’s exactly where Jupiter was in the morning sky in December of 2BC, a year and three months after the birth of Christ. God has made it very clear what the stars and planets declare.
Psalm 19:1-6 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 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, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. 6 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. (KJV)
David has equated the heavens with the written Word of God, teaching God’s people, prophesying of future events. The 12 signs of the zodiac are implied in verse 4 (See E. W. Bullinger’s Companion Bible) as the sun takes one year to travel through all of them (verse 6) “and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.” In marking the exact date, we find in Revelation 12 the sign of the zodiac involving a virgin.
Revelation 12:1,2,5 1 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: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. (KJV)
From the earth’s perspective, the sun appears to go through the 12 signs of the zodiac. The constellation Virgo is the only constellation that represents a “woman.” For 20 days Virgo was “clothed” with the sun, between August 27th to September 15th. But, the exact day when “the moon was under her feet” could only occur during an eighty minute period. On September 11th of 3BC between sunset at “6:15pm and moonset at 7:45pm” (Ernest Martin, The Birth of Christ Recalculated and The Star that Astonished the World, page 85, 1996.) this event could be seen in the Palestine area. It was during those few minutes that our lord and savior, Jesus Christ was born. This event marks his birth.
According to Josephus, a noted historian, a lunar eclipse occurred on January 9, 1BC preceding Herod’s death. This event helps to fix the year of Christ’s birth as 3BC and not any other year. Herod had to still be alive and numerous events had to have time to occur between 3BC and this eclipse on January 9th of 1BC.
Why would Herod have all male children 2 years and under killed? Because it took these wise men from the east a year and three months to arrive on the scene. Herod inquired of these wise men about when the new king had been born so that he could have the appropriate ages killed. The shepherds were nearby in the fields on the very day of Christ’s birth. They could see the newborn babe. The shepherds should not be confused with the wise men. The shepherds would still have their flocks grazing in September, but not in the cold of December. The wise men, on the other hand, arrived a year and three months later, saw the “young child,” and not the newborn “babe” (Matthew 2:8,9,11). They were the ones who inquired of Herod where the King of the Jews was located. That’s why Herod had males two years and under killed.
Matthew 2:16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men (because they did not return to tell Herod where Jesus was), was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men. (KJV)
In addition, as if this is not enough, is it any wonder that on September 11th of 3BC, this great event occurred on the exact same day as the start of the Judean New Year known as Tishri 1, also known as The Day of Trumpets. Today it’s called Rosh Hashanah. This Judean New Year started at sunset on September 11th of 3BC at 6:15pm, precisely when the woman was clothed with the sun and the moon under her feet. Coincidence? No because God’s timetable is perfect.
Just as the devil was completely evil back then when Jesus was born, trying to kill the savior of the world, he is just as evil today trying to erase or change the focus of September 11th with death and destruction by terrorists.
To recap regarding the birth of Jesus Christ:
1. Churches admit that December 25th is NOT the birth of Jesus Christ.
2. The term “Christmas” dates back to pagan rituals.
3. An accurate knowledge of biblical, historical and astronomical events help to pinpoint the correct date.
4. The “Magi” from the east and the shepherds from the nearby field must not be confused with one another.
5. There were several planetary conjunctions indicating to the “Magi” to start their journey.
6. From our earthly perspective, the sun travels through all twelve signs of the zodiac in one year.
7. Revelation chapter 12 reveals within an 81 minute period when the birth of Christ happened in the constellation Virgo (virgin) with the moon under her feet.
8. The historian Josephus helps to pinpoint the exact year with information regarding King Herod and a lunar eclipse.
9. By gathering information from the “Magi,” Herod attempts to kill (two years and under) the “young child,” not the newborn “babe.”
10. September 11th of 3BC also marked the start of the Judean New Year known as Tishi 1, the Day of Trumpets, today called Rosh Hashanah.
Jesus Christ was not born on Christmas. He was born on September 11th of 3BC with great signs from heaven, marking his birth for all “who had ears to hear and eyes to see.” This was not just any birth. It was of great significance, marking the birth of the savior for all mankind, Jesus Christ. September 11th is worth remembering because it’s the birthday of God’s only begotten son, our lord and savior, Jesus Christ!
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