Details surrounding the birth of Christ

Fred R. Coulter—October 1, 2016

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services. Which one single chapter in the Bible gives the best summary of God's plan? I want you to think on that; it's also historically significant. How about Rev. 12?

Revelation 12:1: "Then there appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and having the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars." That's the completed Church, completed plan of God.

Verse 2: "And being with child, she cried in travail, and was in pain to deliver"—a coming Savior. We're going to talk about that today.

It's very interesting because the overall plan of God is depicted with the woman here, is first His overall plan, then Mary, then the Church. So you have all three combined in Rev. 12. When was it planned concerning Jesus' sacrifice? From the foundation of the world!

Verse 3: "And another sign was seen in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns on his heads; and his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth.…" (vs 3-4).

When did Satan's rebellion take place? When he understood what God was going to do with man! That puts him and the demons that followed him—if they would have remained faithful—in a lower position.

What about the twelve stars? what are they? Don't know exactly, but we do know in New Jerusalem we have twelve apostles and the twelve tribes of Israel. So, we don't know. But Satan tried to destroy God's plan right after he found out in his rebellion and beginning with Adam and Eve. He had drawn a third part of the angels with him.

Sidebar on Adam: How is going to work with the principle in the Bible: the last shall be first and the first shall be last? Don't know!

"…And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to deliver… [that gets down to the time when Christ was born] … so that he might devour her child when she gave birth" (vs 3-4). We find that in the book of Matthew, and all the way through the ministry of Christ.

Verse 5: "And she gave birth to a man Child, Who was to shepherd all the nations with a rod of iron; and her Child was caught up to God and His throne…. [the resurrection] …And the woman escaped into the wilderness… [we jump ahead about 300 years]: …where she had a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there for a thousand two hundred and sixty days"—each day being a year in this particular case.

Verse 7: "And there was war in heaven… [this is one that's coming again] …Michael and his angels warred against the dragon… [I'm sure they were the ones who fought when the first rebellion took place, both] …and the dragon and his angels warred. But they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan, who is deceiving the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him" (vs 7-9).

Then we jump ahead to the time right just before the Tribulation begins, v 10: "And I heard a great voice in heaven say, 'Now has come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ… [go back to Rev. 11 when the 7th trumpet sounds] …because the accuser of our brethren has been cast down, who accuses them day and night before our God. But they overcame him… [plan of God, overcoming Satan] …through the blood of the Lamb, and through the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death'" (vs 10-11).

Right there you have a summary of all the facets of Christianity. Then there will be those who escape and then shortly after that the return of Christ.

Daniel 10:21—Gabriel is talking to Daniel: "But I will show you that which is written in the Scripture of Truth.…'"—that could also be translated Scroll. The whole plan of God is written out in heaven.

"…(And there is none who holds strongly with me against them, except Michael your prince)" (v 21). That's interesting, all written out! Heb. 10 tells us something else. God is a covenant God; covenants are sealed with sacrifice and shed blood.

Hebrews 10:5: "For this reason, when He comes into the world, He says, 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but You have prepared a body for Me. You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin. Then said I, "Lo, I come (as it is written of Me in the Scroll of the Book)…"'" (vs 5-7). What book? The one that Daniel talked about, the Scripture of Truth, in heaven!

What did Jesus always say about what He taught? He taught nothing from Himself; He always taught what the Father had instructed Him! That was planned before the foundation of the world.

"'"…(as it is written of Me in the Scroll of the Book) to do Your will, O God"'" (v 7). Very interesting.

Let's put this together in a little different way. I got an e-mail saying, 'We have a lot of sermons and on you always bring up about Christmas and the birth of Christ, and so forth. But we hardly ever hear about the circumstances of the birth of Christ, the true circumstances and when He was born.' We have it in three publications:

  • booklet: The Day Jesus the Christ Was Born
  • book: A Harmony of the Gospels
  • The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, Appendix E

How many appendices and commentaries have you read? Many people through the years said, 'Why don't you have the Bible in one volume and the commentaries and appendices in another volume?' I said no because this needs to be together. I'm sure if I ask you to raise your hand, you'd say you read half of them or read two-thirds of them. I'm sure there are some who have never read any of them. Why are they there? To answer the most penetrating questions of Christianity!

  • When was Jesus born?
  • When did He die?
  • Can you prove any of these things?
  • How do we have the proof?

I want you to turn in the Faithful Version Bible to page 1267, Appendix F: A Synchronized Chart of Historical and Scriptural Records That Establish the Year of Christ's Birth.

  • Who is the author of time? God is!
  • How does He figure the time? By the sun, moon and stars, combined together in what is known as the Calculated Hebrew Calendar!
  • Why does God use all three of those factors? Because it's necessary in order to keep accurate time!
  • What does the world do? They've always gone by solar!

Never went solar/lunar universe. There have been different calendar schemes that men have come up with. One of the latest ones here about four years ago, they were all excited about the Mayan calendar. 'Oh, yes, the world's coming to an end at the end of 2012.' We got to the end of 2012 and what did they tell us? 'Well, this has been predicted before and it's just cycling through again.' Hello! How much does man really know?

In order to know when Jesus was born—and we're going to cover the Scriptures on these—you need to know Appendix F. I want to let you read it and then look at the chart that follows after it. God did something very important with the birth of Christ. He made sure that it was within the modern history of mankind, not two weeks after Adam and Eve sinned. Not a month after the Flood. God's plan is so great!

Sidebar: The man also wrote in his e-mail to me that his friends say all you talk about is the Sabbath and the Holy Days. His answer was, 'You consider yourself to be a Christian and all you talk about is Sunday and the holidays.' He was stumped. Didn't know what to do. The very things that people reject are the things that answer the questions they most often ask:

  • Why are we here?
  • Where is God?
  • What is He doing?
  • Was Jesus really God before He became man?

If you doubt that He was, read the entire Gospel of John and especially John 6. However, there are people who believe He was just born like an ordinary man.

In Appendix F, pg. 1268-9, with the chart we begin with a known time. Come to the third column: 63B.C. Do you know what that was? What was the important battle that happened in 63B.C.? It's listed down below! There was the Battle of Actium and then the capture of Jerusalem by the Romans; a starting point.

  • you have the history from Rome
  • you have the history from the Greeks
  • you have the history from the Jews and Josephus

all coordinated! We're not going to go through the chart, but I want you to understand, count the columns as we go, page by page. Each one of these are coordinated and witnesses to prove when Jesus was born:

  • Greek Olympiad
  • Year of Rome
  • Year BC/AD
  • Hasmonean Rule (that's from the Jews)
  • Reign of Herod
  • Roman Count
  • Jewish Count

Then across the page we add another column: Temple Rebuilt. What did Jesus say about the temple in John 2, after the Jews said, 'This has been 46-years in building.' Why is that important? Because you have a double-check on the temple!

If it's 46-years and Jesus is in His ministry, Passover 27A.D., now you can go backwards and forwards and coordinate the date. Now we continue on to page 1270:

  • Greek Olympiad
  • Year of Rome
  • Year BC/AD
  • Life of Christ
  • Reign of Augustus
  • Reign of Tiberius
  • Pontius Pile Governs Judea
  • Temple Rebuilt (again)

Come down to year 46. All of those substantiate when Jesus was born and takes it right down to the destruction of the temple in 70A.D.

Don't you think that's important? Do you not think in a court of law that nine witnesses verifying specific dates—not by sight, but by fact of counting time and all agree—that you have an ironclad open and shut case? Yes! But the world doesn't believe it because they throw out the witnesses.

If you get rid of the witnesses and you bring in false witnesses—Christmas, Easter—what's going to happen? Can you ever get true testimony out of that? No! It's like Hillary testifying to the FBI. 'I don't remember, I don't remember.' Let's see if we can remember this question: Where is the first prophecy of a coming Messiah? Gen. 3:15!

Sidebar: If you want a very interesting study, especially through the New Testament, what's the important verse that is 3:16? John! Also 1-Tim. 3:16 says 'God manifested in the flesh.' There are some other 3:16s that are astounding. However, the first one was not Gen. 3:16, but Gen. 3:15. The second major announcement of a Savior is found in Deut. 18:15.

What we're going to do is examine in the Bible the various things that tell us about the coming Messiah, but not all of them. You can read A Harmony of the Gospels. You can read the appendices in the Faithful Version Bible. Also read the commentaries in the front of the Bible. How do you know that what we did was really, really honest? After all, I've got over here a homosexual Bible with a rainbow cross on it and they claim they're right. Even the scribes and Pharisees understood this. They knew that there was coming someone exactly like this in the future. How many years? You're looking at about 1470 years later.

Deuteronomy 18:15: "The LORD your God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren, One like me [Moses]. To Him you shall hearken."

Let's look at this verse a little more carefully. Moses was prophet, judge and ruler, and a copier of the Word of God. He brought God's message directly to the people. It's so important.

People say, 'I don't know about this; I don't know about that; I don't know about the other thing.' Ask them: Do you have a car? Yes! Do you have car insurance? Yes, I have car insurance! Have you read the policy? Like the ad: You didn't read the policy that if you cracked it up the first day, you only get three-quarters allowance for a new car.

If you've never read it, you don't know what's in it. Have you read the Bible? 'Well no, I can't understand it.' Really? What happens if you read something you can't understand? 'I close it up and go my way.' Be a little more patient! Test it out! Try it out!

Moses knew God face-to-face. He brought the Word of God. He was a Prophet and also the Son of God Himself. This becomes important. Remember where we started, this was all written out and planned. We'll pick up some other clues as we go along so we can pinpoint just about exactly when Jesus was born as a human being. Also Moses was a human being.

"…To Him you shall hearken" (v 15)—to hear and to do. What did Jesus say? 'Why do you hear My words and do not practice them?' What's going to happen to them when they say, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we do this, didn't we do that, didn't we do the other thing?' (Matt. 7)? They never read the Book! They never understood what it should be!

God has not closed the understanding for those who want to know. They can know! But there is one very important thing that has to be consistent all the way through: when you read and you understand, you must obey! If you read and understand and do not obey, that which you have will be taken from you. Those are the terms and conditions in the Bible!

Verse 16: "According to all that you desired of the LORD your God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, 'Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, so that I do not die.'"

They said that to God. They saw the fire on the mountain, they heard the words of God, the trumpet blowing, the windstorm going, the dark clouds, the earth shaking, the mountain on fire and they were scared to death. So, they said, 'Moses, you talk to us. You talk to God. You talk to us.'

This becomes another important thing as to why Jesus came, and the way that He came. They virtually said, 'God, if You were a human being, we would listen, but since You're up there with all this great power and everything, and You're terrifying us to death, let a man speak to us.' How did Jesus come? As a human being!

Verse 17: "And the LORD said to me [Moses], 'They have spoken well what they have spoken…. [they were well-intended] …I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, One like you, and will put My words in His mouth…'" (vs 17-18).

Jesus said, 'I only speak what the Father commanded Me.' Is that putting words of God in His mouth? Yes!

"…And He shall speak to them all that I shall command Him And it shall come to pass, whatever man will not hearken to My words, which He shall speak in My name, I will require it of him" (vs 18-19).

That's pretty strong! That's why you need to know the whole plan of God. What about those who lived from creation to the ministry of Christ? They never heard Him! How's God going to hold them responsible? Second resurrection! That's why it's important to understand the Sabbath and Holy Days.

Let's reverse it around. Why else would you want to hear all of the lies of Sunday and the holidays? Then He gives a warning to any prophet:

Verse 20: "But the prophet who shall presume to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die."

That's being fulfilled right today with this pope and all the religions of the world. 'Oh, we're all worshiping the same god.' Going to be a lot of interesting things to happen in the future.

Isa. 7 is really important and it should be translated the way that we've done it here. If someone is taking dictation from you, word for word—we're not used to that today because we can record it; we can get the actual words. Before then, they had scribes, they had secretaries, they had shorthand.

My wife was an expert in shorthand. I don't know if she can still read her shorthand, if she still has it. You could record conversations with signs and symbols and then go back and reconstruct it. You could write it down with a pen; that was before typewriters. Now you don't even need it, you just record it. Furthermore, they can even do one better. They can hold up a cell phone and take a motion picture of it. Gotcha!

Here's a prophecy concerning Christ, Isaiah 7:14: "Therefore, the LORD Himself shall give you a sign. Behold, the virgin..."—not avirgin. Wonder how God worked that out with the genes and chromosomes beginning with Adam and Eve.

Let's condense time down into virtually nothing. How fast does a conception take place within a mother's body? BANG! Discount everything else, how long a time from conception to conception to conception down through time; I think you have virtually just nothing.

Is that how God views time? He views time entirely differently than we do, doesn't He? Yes. How is the genealogy recorded in the Bible? So-and-so begat so-and-so! And then lived so many years. But you're only begotten one instant in time. So God thinks totally differently than we do.

The virgin! We saw part of the symbolism of it back in Rev. 12.

  • How important was that in the plan of God?
  • What kind of woman did she have to be?
  • From line did she have to come?

Think about all of that. "…the virgin shall conceive and bring forth a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel" (v 14).

Let's look at another one. Here's a prophecy. This is hard to understand in certain sections of it. What was the confrontation in the last half of John 10? They came to Jesus, surrounded Him and said, 'Quit holding back from us. Tell us who You really are.' Jesus said, 'I told you from the beginning.' They said, 'No, no, tell us who You really are.' He said, 'I'm the Son of God.'

So, they gathered up stones to throw at Him. He said to them, 'For which miracle are you going to stone Me?' They said, 'We're not going to stone You for a mighty work, we're going to stone You because You said You are the Son of God.' What was Jesus' answer? 'I say you are gods'(Psa. 82). Right out of the Scriptures

Here's another thing that's important to understand. The Jews can never understand unless they accept the New Testament. They have partial understanding. It's like a person with 10-90 vision. If you give them thick glasses, they can see a little bit. That's 10% Scripture and 90% tradition.

If you're a Jew and you're reading this, Isaiah 9:6: "For unto us a Child is born… [human being] …unto us a Son is given… [male] …and the government shall be upon His shoulders… [coming king] …and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."

When will Jesus become a Father? We have the Father, Who is in heaven now, our Father. When will Jesus become a Father? Is He Everlasting? or ever living? Yes! During that space of whatever time it is, when will He become a Father? When there is the marriage of the Church and Christ and the setting up of the Millennium!

All of those who are converted and come into the Kingdom of God at that time will be the children of Christ and the Bride. We are the children of God the Father through Christ.

Without the New Testament and the knowledge of the Holy Days, you wouldn't know what that means. What would you be looking for? You would be looking for a highborn, young man from a prominent family to take over the government! That's why the Jewish hierarchy didn't accept Him. He didn't come and say, 'Hey, guys, I'm the Messiah, and now we're going to set up the government and you be over this bureau, you be over that bureau.' He came alone, born under some very shady circumstances(said with sarcasm).

Verse 7: "Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David… [that's specific] …and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with righteousness from henceforth, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this." When God says that, it's going to happen.

  • How and when?
  • Will there be stages to the how?
  • Different points of when? Yes, indeed!

(go to the next track)

Let's see some more prophecies concerning the coming of Christ; Isaiah 53:1: "Who has believed our report?.… [Who has really believed that God did what He did when Christ came?] …For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground; He has no form nor comeliness that we should look upon Him, nor beauty that we should desire Him" (vs 1-2). He came just as an ordinary man.

In John 7 everybody gathered around Jesus. They were amazed at what He was saying and they said, 'He has never been schooled. How does He know these things?' What is 'never been schooled'? That means He never attended any of the rabbinical schools. What do you think would have happened to the rabbi who taught Him? He would be executed! Besides, God the Father did not leave His Son to be taught by lying Pharisees and rabbis.

Isaiah 50:4: "The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, to know to help the weary with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as one being taught. The Lord GOD has opened My ear, and I was not rebellious, nor turned away backwards" (vs 4-5). Then it jumps right in from His being taught from as soon as He was born, right into v 6 where He was scourged.

If you do not understand the Sabbath, Holy Days and the Calculated Hebrew Calendar, anyone who reads this verse will miss the importance of it:

Luke 1:5: "There was in the days of Herod… [it's important to get the exact days of the reign of Herod] …the king of Judea, a certain priest of the course of Abijah…"

  • Why would he put that there?
  • What on earth does that have to do with anything?

"…Zacharias by name; and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth" (v 5). Why was that important?

If you come along and you say, 'The Old Testament has been fulfilled. You don't have to worry about it; if you have Jesus, you have everything.' No, if you have the name of Jesus, you have the name of Jesus. You don't have everything.

  • What is the importance of the course of Abijah?
  • What does that have to do with the timing of the birth of Christ?

You must understand about the Calculated Hebrew Calendar and what David did in setting up for the temple.

Not all the priests and all the Levites worked all the time at the temple. Where were the cities of the Levites? Scattered throughout every tribe! How many cities of the priests? I forget the exact number, but they were also semi-scattered as well.

You had the chief priest who was called the governor of the operation of the temple. God has everything planned. When God gave David the plans to build the temple, He gave David also the plans on how to order the priests and order the guards. The priests were divided into courses. What is the significance of this?

1-Chronicles 24:7: "Now the lot for the first course came out to Jehoiarib, the second to Jedaiah, The third to Harim, the fourth to Seorim, The fifth to Malchijah, the sixth to Mijamin, The seventh to Hakkoz, the eighth to Abijah" (vs 7-10)—down through 24 courses. That is two times twelve, twelve courses.

Here's what was set up. The first course would be in the temple for all the temple services the first full week of Nisan. The second course—the second week. But also they had Passover, 14th day of the 1st month Passover and Unleavened Bread. For that week all the courses would come in to work. That means that the second course would work two weeks. Then we come on down, the 8th course brings you to the week before Pentecost. If you know about the Calculated Hebrew Calendar, you can figure it out very easily.

What time of year is Pentecost? Middle of the winter? No! Why is this important? Because this gives us a very close time as to when Jesus was born. That's why!

The reason that Luke 1 was written was because Zacharias was there the 8th week and the 9th week, which covers the week leading up Pentecost and the week after. 'Of the course of Abijah' was in the spring. His wife was also of the daughters of Aaron. They were pure Levitical blood. They were there for a period of time. They started at noon on Sabbath and finished at noon on Sabbath. This way they split up the work at the temple on the Sabbath so you didn't have a full workload on the Sabbath. Also every Sabbath they changed the showbread, the twelve loaves.

Let's continue on here now that we understand what the course is. This is the way that it was set up and it wasn't changed. The courses of priests were still operating in the days of Jesus, as evident by this.

Here's the announcement of John the Baptist to his father; Luke 1:13: "But the angel said to him, 'Fear not, Zacharias, because your supplication has been heard; and your wife Elizabeth shall bear a son to you, and you shall call his name John.'" Zacharias must have been over 70-years-old and his wife over 70-years-old. It says they were well advanced in age.

Verse 14: "And he shall be a joy and exultation to you; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great before the Lord. And he shall never drink wine or strong drink in any form, but he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb. And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord" (vs 14-17). That fulfills the prophecy in Mal. 3.

When you know it's an angel for sure, don't question it. With Mary it was a little different, because what was told her was impossible. What was told Zacharias was difficult. He didn't believe the angel and he was struck dumb until after the child was born and named.

Here's Zacharias, gets done with his course. He goes home and his wife said 'How did it go?' Mmmmm! 'You what?' He had to write it down. 'You saw what?' An angel! 'Really, what did he say?' We're going to have a son! 'At 70?' He writes on the tablet, 'You gotta try.' She became pregnant.

Verse 23: "Now it came to pass that when the days of his service were fulfilled, he departed to his house. And after those days, Elizabeth his wife conceived, but hid herself for five months, saying…" (vs 23-24). 'What am I going to say to all my friends, all the priests' wives? What on earth is going on?' This was well known! You didn't need telephones then. They had wagging tongues that flew like birds.

Verse 25: "''The Lord has intervened for me in this, at the time in which He looked upon me to take away my reproach among men.' And in the sixth month…" (vs 25-26). That's not the 6th month of the calendar, but the 6th month of her pregnancy. This gives us a time. Look at the chart in Appendix F and you can go day-by-day, week-by-week, month-by-month, right on down to the time of when Jesus would be born.

Verse 26: "And in the sixth month of her pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee, named Nazareth."

You go back to the book of Daniel and who brought to Daniel the prophecy of the coming of Christ? Gabriel! Can we deduce correctly—I think so—that Gabriel was the archangel in charge of carrying out all the prophecies that needed to be carried out on time by God for the coming of Christ?

  • Does that seem reasonable?
  • Is God organized?
  • Does He do things on time?
  • Did He say the Christ would be born? Yes!
  • How's He going to be born?
  • Did He say that the messenger would come before His face? Yes, He did!

Verse 27: "To a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the lineage of David… [house of Judah, that's important] …and the name of the virgin was Mary." Here it is the virgin. That goes right back to Isa. 7.

Verse 28: "And after coming to her, the angel said, 'Hail, you who are highly favored!…. [think of this singularly taking place] … The Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.' But when she saw him, she was greatly perplexed at his message, and was considering what kind of salutation this might be. Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found grace with God; and behold, you shall conceive in your womb and give birth to a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus'" (vs 28-31). God named John and Jesus.
Verse 32: "'He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of David, His forefather… [Isa. 9] …and He shall reign over the house of Jacob into the ages, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.' But Mary said to the angel, 'How shall this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?'" (vs 32-34). King James Version says 'haven't known a man.'

Verse 35: "And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you; and for this reason, the Holy One being begotten in you shall be called the Son of God.'" That was taking place right at the time the angel was speaking to her.

Verse 36: "Now behold, Elizabeth your kinswoman…" Some people think that Elizabeth was Mary's cousin, but Elizabeth was an old woman. Mary was a young virgin. How old was Mary? We don't know! Eighteen? We're not told! We'll analyze their relationship here in just a minute. Elizabeth was of the daughters of Aaron. She was of Levitical descent.

Elizabeth "'…has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.' And Mary said, 'Behold the handmaid of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.' And the angel departed from her. And Mary rose up in those days and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and entered the house of Zacharias and greeted Elizabeth" (vs 36-40).

Now sixth-month in Elizabeth's pregnancy. Very important! What happened? John the Baptist, in her womb yet unborn only six-month-old, when heard the voice of Mary got all excited and jumped and leaped and kicked and everything like that.

Have you ever wondered how did we get the exact words of Mary and Elizabeth? They wrote them down! Mary 'kept them in her heart.' Important events they wrote down. How did Luke get this information? He wrote this Gospel, and this was a little more than 50 years after the birth of Jesus. That's why you need to read the commentaries.

  • When did Luke write his Gospel? About 56A.D.!
  • Where was he at that time? He was in Caesarea!
  • Why was he in Caesarea? Because Paul was in prison in Caesarea; he was there two full years!
  • What do you think Luke was likely doing? Writing the Gospel of Luke!
  • Where would he get this information? He would go to Jerusalem! (Luke 1).
  • Do you suppose that Mary was still alive, being quite old at this point?
  • Do you suppose that Luke could have talked to her?
  • Yes, indeed!

We have Alice who will be 90 in two days. If someone came and talked to her about the birth of her son, could she tell them about it? Yes, indeed!

  • Did Luke go to Jerusalem and talk to Mary?
  • Who else was still there at that time? James the half-brother of Jesus!

We need to look at the whole picture of things and not in isolation. Then you know the story of John the Baptist being born and all of that. You can read all of Luke 1 concerning that. Then we get into Luke 2, and we have the birth of Jesus.

Before we get into the birth of Jesus, let's talk a little bit about the relationship between Mary and Elizabeth. Elizabeth was 100% Levite. Mary was probably her niece; Elizabeth was her aunt. That means that Mary's mother had to be the sister of Elizabeth. That means that Mary's father had to be of the house of Judah, tribe of David. Why is that important? God does everything very specifically. Christ is High Priest! He follows through physically in the genes as well. He is also King! He's going to sit on the throne of His father David.

Mary had to be of Judah and Levi together so that Jesus was born King and Priest just like it said in the prophecy concerning Moses, 'You are the ruler—though not king at that particular point—and prophet and priest. Raise up a Prophet like unto you.'

Luke 2:1: "Now, it happened in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world… [whole empire] …should be registered. (This registration first occurred when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)" (vs 1-2). Historical points we can match those up. We have those written about in the article and also in the appendices.

Verse 4: "And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was from the house and lineage of David to register himself along with Mary, who was betrothed to him as wife, and was great with child" (vs 4-5).

God kept Him out of there until just before it was time to be born. He would be born there and after His birth they would flee into Egypt and come back to Nazareth. People would look around and say, 'He's from Nazareth, from Galilee. Has a prophet ever come out of Galilee? We know He's not the Messiah because it says the Messiah will be born in Bethlehem.' Where was Jesus born? Bethlehem! It didn't happen the way they expected.

Verse 6: "And it came to pass that during the time they were there, the days were fulfilled for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her Son, the firstborn, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn" (vs 6-7).

Why couldn't they find room at the inn? Because it was the Feast season! Everything was booked up. Can you imagine doing that in December?

I've got in A Harmony of the Gospels a picture of snow in Jerusalem in the first part of January. You tie all of it together. You need to read everything and you will see concrete proof when Jesus was born.

Verse 8: "Now there were shepherds in the same country, who were dwelling in the fields…" You don't dwell in the fields unless it's warm. You don't leave the sheep and goats out in the cold.

"…and keeping watch over their flock by night; and suddenly an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shined round about them; and they were seized with great fear" (vs 8-9). I love this in the Messiah: Glory to God, glory to God.

Verse 10: "But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I am announcing to you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people; for today, in the city of David, a Savior was born to you, Who is Christ the Lord" (vs 10-11).

Isn't it interesting, the angel didn't appear to the high priest, but appeared to shepherd boys. What was David when he was called to be a king? A shepherd. Remember, he was the tail end; son #8!

Remember when Samuel came to Jesse's house? God told him to go down to Jesse's house and offer sacrifices there. Jesse was all afraid and said, 'Are you coming in peace?' He said, 'I'm here in peace.' Saul had been rejected and Samuel was going to anoint a king.

So here comes all the sons of David: 1 thru 7 7. This one looks great; this one looks good. Got done with the 7 and God said, 'No, none of these. I don't look upon a man like you do.' So, he had them pass through again and God said, 'No, none of these.' Samuel looked at Jesse and said, 'Do you have another son?' Yes, I have one out in the field shepherding the sheep! Samuel said to bring him in. Don't know how old David was then, but probably around sixteen. So, here are to two shepherds in the field. I don't know how many other people saw the great light of the angels and the glory and things like that.

Verse 12: "'Now, this is the sign for you: you shall find a 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 peace on earth among men of goodwill' And it came to pass, as the angels were departing from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, 'Let us go now as far as Bethlehem, and let us see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us'" (vs 12-15).

I wonder who these shepherd boys were. I wonder if later they became disciples of Jesus. A lot of things go on that we don't know anything about. This is a great account of it. You know the rest of the story.

Let's come back to the appendix in the back of the Faithful Version Bible, page 1263, and we're going to look at the calendar. This is why the Calculated Hebrew Calendar is so important.

Remember, I covered this in the letter: the appointed times were set on Day 4! Jesus began His ministry on Day 4 on the Day of Atonement on Wednesday. He was in the tomb three days and three nights. On the 4th day ascended to heaven. Day 4 and Christ have a lot to do, as well as Day 7. Day 7 becomes very important.

Page 1263: Appendix E, 6B.C., the month of Nisan, March/April, and notice we have all the courses. Isn't it interesting that that year the course began on day 1 on the Sabbath; everything follows along week to week to week. Do you suppose that was a coincidence? I don't think so. Then you have course 1-4, all courses for the Passover. Then courses 4-8.

Page to 1264: course 8: all courses began at noon on Sabbath. Then course 9 begins noon on Sabbath the next week and Zacharias leaves. Notice that we have on Sivan 6: Pentecost. What I did from there was give a two-week probable conception period for the conception of John the Baptist. Then carried it forward week-by-week, month-by-month all the way along. Come down:

  • end of the 1st month of Elizabeth's pregnancy
  • end of the 2nd month of Elizabeth's pregnancy
  • end of the 3rd month of Elizabeth's pregnancy
  • end of the 4th month of Elizabeth's pregnancy
  • end of the 5th month of Elizabeth's pregnancy
  • end of the 6th month of Elizabeth's pregnancy

Then we have the conception of Jesus in the virgin Mary. Then we have the next month:

  • end of the 1st month of Mary's pregnancy; end of the 7th month for Elizabeth
  • end of the 2nd month for Mary and end of the 8th month for Elizabeth
  • then end of the 3rd month for Mary and end of the 9th month and John the Baptist was born

All along you can see this day-by day, week-by-week, the actual time period by the Calculated Hebrew Calendar for these years. Amazing!

We have something else that's very, very important. We have something that occurs every 2700 years. That is that on the 15th of Nisan, the full moon of the 1st month you have a total eclipse. On the 15th of the 7th month the same year, you have a total eclipse. Very important! The reason being is that John the Baptist was born at the beginning when the first eclipse occurred, not on that day, but in that month. Jesus was born in the month of the full eclipse of the 7th month.

If you carry the two-week probable conception to birth all the way through the calendar for the 40-weeks, the middle day of that two-week period, and before the second eclipse of the full moon, on the Feast of Trumpets you have the middle day. Two-week period, middle day is the Sabbath. What is Sabbath? At one with God, peace with God! What was Jesus to bring?

  • mankind to God
  • peace to mankind
  • peace to the world

There is very little doubt—you can't say absolute dogmatically for sure that we know completely with no hesitation at all—that it was on the Feast of Trumpets. However, since God always uses His Holy Days, do you think He would have avoided using the Feast of Trumpets as the day of birth for Jesus Christ? I doubt it!

One thing to add to that: When were all males to be circumcised? On the 8th day! The 8th day was the next Sabbath. When Jesus says to the Jews there in John 7 that in order to fulfill the Law of Moses you circumcise a man on the Sabbath Day, He was also referring to Himself. There are a lot of amazing things that we find in the Bible. This also tells you why we have the commentaries:

  • How do we get the Bible?
  • How do we know we have the Bible?
  • Who was involved in writing the Bible?
  • How is the Bible preserved?

Then we have all of these things in the appendices:

  • Who Jesus was
  • when He was born
  • about the Holy Spirit
  • about the calendar
  • chronologies

This is why we have all of these things in the Bible. This is important information, especially for those who think that Jesus was born on Christmas Day, December 25, the way the world teaches it.

This helps you understand a very important principle. Keep in mind the meaning of the second resurrection. Just like anything else, in order to understand when Jesus was born, you need:

  • Word of God
  • Calculated Hebrew Calendar
  • to be keeping the Sabbath and Holy Days
  • to believe the Old and New Testament are combined as one unit of the Word of God

When we start with that foundation, then we can learn and know. The world will not know. It's like this: Can you understand the Bible if you're reading a comic book? No! You have to read the Bible. You have to obey what you read. That is incumbent upon understanding. That's what hearken means, hear to obey!

Here is the parable of the sower and the seed. Let's read why Jesus spoke to them in parables. After Jesus told them about it, He said:

Matthew 13:9: "The one who has ears to hear, let him hear." Hearing is a choice! Have you ever been in a room where someone was saying something you don't want to listen to! You choose not to listen. If you're going to hear to obey, you have to choose. That's why He says, 'The one who ears to hear, let him hear.'

Verse 10: "And His disciples came to Him and asked, 'Why do You speak to them in parables?'" Why can't you just talk to them straight out?

Verse 11: "And He answered and said to them, 'Because it has been given to you… [not to them] … to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven… [we just covered some of the secrets buried in the Bible] …but to them it has not been given.'"—because they won't hear and they won't obey. In order to obey, you also have to believe.

Verse 12: "For whoever has understanding, to him more shall be given, and he shall have an abundance, but whoever does not have understanding, even what he has shall be taken away from him." Lose knowledge.

That's why we have the Sabbath every week so we don't lose knowledge; so we don't lose connection with God.

Here's what happened, v 13: "For this reason I speak to them in parables, because seeing, they see not; and hearing, they hear not; neither do they understand."

Why would Christ not want them to understand? Because 'many are called and few are chosen.' Few choose to repent. That's why!

Verse 14: "And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which says, 'In hearing you shall hear, and in no way understand; and in seeing you shall see, and in no way perceive; for the heart of this people has grown fat, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed… [notice all the choices] …lest they should see with their eyes, and should hear with their ears, and should understand with their hearts, and should be converted, and I should heal them'" (vs 14-15).

That's quite a statement. Jesus is saying, 'I'm not going to save these people at this time,' because they refuse to choose to believe what He is saying.

Verse 16: "But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear. For truly I say to you, many prophets and righteous men have desired to see what you see, and have not seen; and to hear what you hear, and have not heard" (vs 16-17). Then He explains it to them.

That's an amazing statement. Look at it this way. Here we are toward the end of the age.

  • How much more time do we have? We don't know!

Everything comes in cycles and so forth, and we're getting closer and closer.

  • How long will it take? We don't know!
  • Will there be a reprieve at any time? We don't know!

Some of it depends upon the people of God and the Churches of God. Some of it depends upon us individually. God even said in Jer. 5, He told Jeremiah, 'Go through the city and find one man who wants truth and justice and I'll forgive the whole thing.' So, it depends upon us as well.

Back to when Jesus was born. He was born in the fall and undoubtedly right exactly on Trumpets. We cannot say 100% sure, but we can be about 98% sure, because of how God does things.

That's a whole lot different than the whole world having Christmas. Do they have ears to hear? Try it some time. Someone all enthused about Christmas and you say, 'Did you know what you're doing? Do you know that the Christmas tree is celebrating the fall of Adam and Eve eating of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil?' Interesting, they cut the tree, no life in it. I'll leave it at that!

Scriptural References:

  • Revelation 12:1-11
  • Daniel 10:21
  • Hebrews 10:5-7
  • Deuteronomy 18:15-20
  • Isaiah 7:14
  • Isaiah 9:6-7
  • Isaiah 53:1-2
  • Isaiah 50:4-5
  • Luke 1:5
  • 1-Chronicles 24:7-10
  • Luke 1:13-17, 23-40
  • Luke 2:1-15
  • Matthew 13:9-17

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Revelation 11
  • John 6, 2
  • Genesis 3:15
  • John 3:16
  • 1-Timothy 3:16
  • Matthew 7
  • John 10
  • Psalm 82
  • John 7
  • Isaiah 50:6
  • Malachi 3
  • Jeremiah 5

Also referenced:

Booklet: The Day Jesus the Christ Was Born

  • A Harmony of the Gospels by Fred R. Coulter
  • Josephus

From The Holy Bible in Its Original Order:

  • Appendix E: When was Jesus Christ Born?
  • Appendix F: A Synchronized Chart of Historical and Scriptural Records That Establish the Year of Christ's Birth

FRC: lp
Transcribed: 10-18-16
Formatted: bo—10/25/16

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