ON THE WAY TO BETHLEHEM
Silent night, holy
night…the city of the Great King, the city that symbolizes our soul: Bethlehem
of Judea. Also known as Ephrath, “fertile”. Internationally known by its name in
Hebrew: Bethlehem, which literally means “house of bread”, the bread from
Heaven, Jesus Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, was born in Bethlehem. The bread that
nourishes our spirit eternally, the Living Word of God. The bread of the Holy
Supper. The origin of the history of Jesus’ life on earth starts in Bethlehem.
The most important birth
in the history of humanity, the birth which would change men’s destiny forever,
of those in Israel who were waiting for the Lord’s redemption, who were
expecting The Messiah, of those of us who believe in the Son of God. The birth
of Him who makes us be born again. All this starts in Bethlehem, due to a census
and also, as we will see later, due to one of Israel’s annual feasts; both
events have a transcendental spiritual meaning for our lives, and for our faith.
In those days Caesar
Augustus issued a decree for everybody to be registered in the census. So Joseph
went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the town of David,
which is called Bethlehem, because he belonged to the house and line of David.
He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and
was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be
born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and
placed him in a manger. This is what the Spirit tells us through the Gospel of
Luke, chapter 2, as one of the reasons why Jesus was born in Bethlehem,
fulfilling the prophecy about His place of birth.
Over the last days, as I
was asking the Lord in prayer about the time of His birth, what came to my head
was the feast of Tabernacles. I started looking in the Bible immediately,
searching for any relevant information. The details I found seem to show that,
just like Jesus died during Passover and resurrected in the feast of the
Unleavened Bread, His birth would also coincide with one of the three major
annual feasts of the Lord, but we will read more about it later.
Merry Christmas because
our Lord has sent His Son, who has become man and has come from His eternal
Kingdom to our finite world. …For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is
given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be
called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince
of Peace…Isaiah 9:6.
Just like in Isaiah, we
can also read in Matthew how the angel instructs Joseph to name the child
“Immanuel” a name that means “God with us”, God’s salvation amongst us,
THE SPIRITUAL CENSUS
symbolically in his heart and intimately in his prayer to God, should also go to
Bethlehem to register spiritually, to receive Christ in his soul, to be born
again from the Spirit. In parable: Joseph is our flesh, which must obey the
Lord; Mary is our soul, where Christ is born, who must be taken to Bethlehem to
give birth in the prophetic place, so we are born again from the Spirit. The
symbolic meaning I am referring to is our faith, it is the fact that we have
accepted that, precisely, Yahshua the Messiah, born from Mary in Bethlehem 2000
years ago, is the true Messiah, the announced Christ, and not another false
christ to believe in; I say this because just like there were false christs in
those times, there are and there will also be false christs in these last days,
who will strive to keep fighting in vain to prove that Jesus Christ was not the
Messiah, as confirmed by all messianic prophecies. Jesus Christ is the same One
who died on the Cross of Calvary for our sins. The same One who resurrected on
the third day and ascended to the right of the Father. He is the real Messiah,
for Israel and for the Gentiles, or to put it in another way: the Saviour of
Jews and non-Jews.
This is the essential
symbolism of having to register spiritually in Bethlehem of Judea, to become one
with Christ in the fulfillment of the prophecy of His birth, the historical one
in the city and the spiritual one in our soul. For us, going to Bethlehem must
be a symbol of our faith in our mind, so we never doubt that Jesus of Nazareth
was born in Bethlehem and that He is the true Messiah. When we are born again
and we come to know the Lord, when we have a deep spiritual relationship with
Him, there are no more doubts. But before we reach that spiritual status, faith
is the first step and that faith comes through listening to the Gospel of the
Kingdom, which all believers have to preach and that includes the faith on the
birth of Christ in Bethlehem, on the Christmas
in Bethlehem, on the prophecy of Bethlehem which will lead to Zion, on His
The spiritual census
shows us two ways of understanding Bethlehem with respect to us: to register
ourselves in Bethlehem and to register Christ in our soul. Each one of us has to
register in Christ, in God’s Book of Life, unless our name is in that book we
will not have access to the Kingdom of God. Revelation 21:27. From another
perspective, each and every one of us must register Jesus Christ in our soul,
which becomes like the town of Bethlehem, where Jesus Christ comes, as His land.
When one registers in the census, one receives all the rights but also all the
duties. Likewise in the Kingdom of the Lord. If we receive the Gospel and change
our heart within, our life changes. The fruits of the Spirit appear promptly and
it is when we find ourselves doing good, preaching the Gospel, helping and
sharing with the brethren, in good deeds of love for our neighbour, so that the
fruit of Jesus Christ becomes obvious in us, because we will be recognized by
our fruits and because doing good we will come to the resurrection of life.
THE BIRTH THAT FULFILLED THE FEASTS OF THE LORD.
Although the birth of
the Messiah Jesus Christ is celebrated on the 25th of December, this
is not the historical date, but the traditional one which was imposed by Pope
Julius I on year 350 a.C. with the excuse that it would be easier for the Romans
to accept the new faith if it was mixed together with the pagan celebrations
which held a feast to Saturn in the winter solstice. The Orthodox Church used to
celebrate Epiphany on the 6th of January, which was shared by many of
the churches in the East during the first centuries. It is still celebrated as
the date of the Magi’s visit.
Jesus Christ was
probably born in the feast of harvest, known as Trumpets or Tabernacles, which
included Trumpets, Day of Atonement “Yom Kippur” and
Tabernacles, when all Jews are called to
Jerusalem for the third time in the year, like in Passover and Pentecost.
According to most experts, the estimated year when such a special event for
mankind was dated shows a margin of several years before Christ, between year 6
and 4 b.C., which is also the year when Herod died, and whose date is
historically recorded by Josephus.
In order to reach the
date of the feast of Trumpets or Tabernacles as the time of the birth of Christ,
the Bible provides us with the following information:
First, we have to go
back to the history of a priest, a relative of Jesus: Zechariah the priest,
Elizabeth’s husband, the parents of John the Baptist, known by many as the
cousin of Jesus. Zechariah was one of the 24 priests who ministered in the
temple during the religious year, which reminds us of the 24 elders in
Revelation. This was established by King David, 1 Chronicles 24:10. Although all
the system became void after the destruction of the temple, the exile in Babylon
and other events; the priesthood order of the 24 groups was re-established upon
reconstruction of the temple by Herod. Evidence about this has been found in
Qumran, in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The Jewish religious
year starts in Abib, also known as Nisan (Easter Week or Passover), and is ruled
by the moon calendar. It starts on the 1st day of Abib or Nisan.
There were 24 priests ministering, two weeks a year each, every six months,
which results in 48 weeks. These weeks must be increased by a further three weeks
for the three major feasts when the turns of the priests do not apply and when
all the priests ministered together. This would give us a year with 360 days, or
51,4 weeks. Zechariah belonged to the division of Abijah, as stated in Luke 1:5.
His turn was the eighth one, as we can read in 1Chronicles 24:10. His first
turn, according to the order of the religious year in Israel, was during the
Pentecost week. The priests stayed in the temple for two weeks and then they
returned home, but during the three major feasts they all went to help. Whilst
he was with the rest of the priests, he was chosen by lot to offer the incense
and…the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of
incense…Luke 1:9. The multitude gathers when there is an important feast. There
would be no multitude waiting outside during the other turn of Abijah, as it was
not the time of any of the three major feasts. But the key to whether it was one
turn or another related to the birth of the Messiah is given to us by the
shepherds, since He would be born six months later than John, as we will see
Zechariah would return
home after serving in the temple and Elisabeth conceived John the Baptist. This
would happen in Sivan, towards the middle of June, and nine months later he was
born, in Passover. John had the spirit and the power of Elijah, as the angel
Gabriel told his father - Zechariah the priest - to prepare the way for the Son
of God. Jesus, as we know, is six months younger than John in the flesh, as the
Gospel shows us when Mary visited Elisabeth who was six months pregnant, Luke
1:26, and Mary had recently conceived from the Holy Spirit. This probably
happened in the month of Kislev, the 24th of the seventh month of the
Jewish religious calendar, and the Bible says that it is the date when the
foundation of the temple was laid. Jesus is the corner Stone which the builders
rejected. This is the date of the feast of Hanukkah, which celebrates the
dedication of the temple, towards the middle of December. It also celebrates the
recapture of the temple by the Maccabees and in our actual calendar coincides
with the month of Christmas. Nine months later we are in Tabernacles, towards
the end of September or beginning of October, when the Messiah was born.
That year, Joseph, with
Mary being close to the end of her pregnancy, would not have been able to attend
the feast of the Tabernacles (known as the feast of the Jews), which he surely
attended every year like every good Jew would do. However, the event which
forced them to go, even with Mary being pregnant, was precisely the census
order. Coincidence? It does not exist. It was all part of the Lord’s plan for
His Son and the fulfillment of the prophecies related to Him…He would be born in
Bethlehem…even if they did not live there, his parents would have to go.
Let’s go back to
Zechariah for a moment, and to make sure that the turn of Zechariah the priest
was the first one and not the second one, we need another piece of information
in the Bible to provide solid evidence. We can find it in the story of the
shepherds that go to Bethlehem after hearing the song of the heavenly creatures.
Luke 2:15. In Israel, in the times when Jesus was born, the weather in winter is
very cold, as in the rest of the northern hemisphere. The shepherds would keep
the flocks in folds with stone walls and under cover, due to the cold, they
would not keep watch over their flocks at night. At the end of summer, it would
be normal for the shepherds to sleep out in the open with their flocks, taking
turns. It is precisely after the feast of the Tabernacles when the flock and
cattle are put back in their stables.
The shepherds are
symbols of the carers of the people of the Lord. They used to stay awake
vigilant over their flock, which symbolizes the souls. Because they were busy
doing the work of the Lord, the spiritual shepherds – pastors – just like the
others, receive messages from the Lord to nourish the people; had they been
asleep, they would have not been visited by the angels from the Lord. …
Do not be afraid
because Christ has been born to you…Luke 2:10. He is the good shepherd of the
sheep, the One who watches over shepherds and sheep until His coming in His
eternal Kingdom. And, indeed, they found the child wrapped in cloths and lying
in a manger, fulfilling the words of
Therefore, Mary would
have conceived during our Christmas
time today. If we followed celebration of birth according to the eastern
tradition, when the birth date is the conception date, we would have December
again as the date for Christmas. Which, nowadays, is almost at the same time as
The Magi, or wise men
from the East, came to Bethlehem to worship the Lord. Another symbol of the
greatness of the Messiah, recognized everywhere on earth by those who are
looking for the Lord and His signs.
They followed His star.
The star appears at the time when several cosmic events took place, as confirmed
by astronomical observatories, NASA amongst them.
The feast of the
harvest, together with Trumpets and Atonement before Tabernacles, when every man
had to go to the temple, coincided that year with the period of registration in
the census as per the decree from Rome. That decree surely was not issued in the
middle of the winter, with paths full of mud, rain and storms and sometimes even
snow. Rome used to take advantage of the time of the feasts in order to collect
taxes and issue decrees. These two simultaneous events must have brought large
crowds to Jerusalem and Bethlehem – only 8 km away – making both towns be fully
occupied, which is the reason why, as the Bible says, there was no place in the
inn for Joseph and his pregnant wife. But there is another reason - not so well
known – why, not only Joseph and Mary but many others, were out of their houses
and dwelling in booths or tabernacles, known as stables or sukkot.
would also be the circumstance which would make the Messiah be born outside a
house, which is what happens during the celebration of Sukkot, the feast of
Tabernacles. Also, the Hebrew word for stable is “sukkah”, used both for stable
and tabernacle, hence the name of the feast: “Sukkot”, tabernacle. John 1:14
teaches us about the feast of Tabernacles comparing the birth of the Messiah as
a man, taking a temporary body like ours to create a new and eternal one for us
in heaven after His redeeming work, giving it to us in resurrection: …And
the Lord was made flesh, and “did tabernacle” among us…our Bibles usually quote
…and “dwelt” among us…which is also literally correct, but this form of the verb
in the Text of the word “skene/os” refers to dwelling in tabernacles, and that
is how it appears
in the Greek text, which the reader can check in any New Testament in Greek, and
which directly relates to the spiritual meaning of the Feasts of the Lord. Our
body is the temporary tabernacle of the soul. Psalm 133 reminds us the spirit of
the feats of Tabernacles, alive in the congregation of those who love the Lord
today and always.
Joseph must have had
relatives in Bethlehem. When he travelled there to register in the census and
for the feast of the harvest, they would be in Bethlehem just before Trumpets
and maybe with the intention of going up to Jerusalem once they had found
accommodation in Bethlehem. Mary must have gone into labour in those days, which
stopped them from going to the temple and hence Jesus was born in Bethlehem,
according to the prophecy.
Jesus was born to fulfil
the announcement, the Trumpet of Salvation, the Atonement and to prove that he
makes a Tabernacle with us, that He dwells amidst us as Saviour. The meaning of
the three feasts together. This seventh month of the religious calendar is
Tishrei. During this month, the high priest must enter the Holy Place wearing a
white robe instead of his usual high priest robe. A symbol of the fact that
Jesus takes off His Divine robe to put on the robe of human kind, and a symbol
of the fact that the high priest must remove his status in the presence of the
Lord. Jesus is
the eternal High Priest, in the order of Melchizedek, Genesis 14:17, Psalm 110.
Melchizedek, without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of
days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever. Hebrews
If the Lord was born
during Tabernacles, the first day of the feast – which lasts for seven days – he
was circumcised on the eighth day. But it happens to be that on the day when he
was to be circumcised is the day of the celebration of the rejoice in the Law of
God, the Torah, that every Jew recognises as the celebration of being inside the
covenant with God, and the Messiah would enter the covenant in His circumcision
on the eighth day, the greatest day of the feast.
Our bodies are also the
tabernacle where Christ is born when we receive Him as our Saviour. The Lord is
born in a tabernacle, which is the symbol of our body, outside His heavenly
kingdom. Just like the Word tells us, and Jesus Himself called it His body,
referring to the fact that it would be re-built in three days if it were
destroyed. This is the allusion to crucifixion, which the religious leaders
interpreted as a reference to Herod’s temple.
Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, 34 “Speak to the children of
saying: ‘The fifteenth day of this seventh month
shall be the Feast of Tabernacles
for seven days to the LORD. 35 On the first day there shall be
a holy convocation. You shall do no customary work on it. 36 For
seven days you shall offer an offering made by fire to the LORD. On the
eighth day you shall have a holy convocation, and you shall offer an
offering made by fire to the LORD. It is a sacred assembly, and
you shall do no customary work on it.
This third feast of the
year is divided in three events. Day 1 is Rosh Hashanah, which is the feast of
Trumpets. Day 10 is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Day 15 is Shabbat, the
first day of the seven-day feast of Tabernacles.
Day 8 is another special
Shabbat, of the rejoicing in the Torah. 40 days later they would go to the
temple to dedicate the child, according to the Law, and it would coincide again
with another feast: Hanukkah, the feast of the lights in the dedication of the
temple. They were bringing to the Temple the One who was the light of the world
and who was coming to the Temple to illuminate it, precisely what they used to
do during the feasts.
Whether the Lord was
born in Trumpets, Atonement or Tabernacles…it is up to the reader to study the
Bible and other sources of historical records or other information and pray to
the Lord. But it is very clear that the Lord in His history and His mission is
directly linked to the spiritual meaning of the Feasts of the Lord and He will
also return during one of these feasts.
All of these events
would have happened if Jesus Christ had been born during the Feast of Trumpets
and Tabernacles. Many coincidences – too many, I would say – support this date
as opposed to a date during winter. The facts we have seen do not leave much
room for doubt. But, again, the relevant issue is the work of Christ, not the
celebration of His birth. My intention is far from invalidating the celebration
of the birth of our Lord, or even not wanting to celebrate it during Christmas,
but Bible facts are our bread and their spiritual meaning cannot remain unveiled
because of men’s traditions.
We will conclude this
section quoting one of the experiences with the Lord in the Gospel. When Jesus
Christ was in His ministry, He attended the feast of tabernacles, the Jewish
feast, and during the celebration, on the last and greatest day – the eighth
day, the one of the covenant of the Law – He stood and cried out, saying: “If
anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the
Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water”. But this
He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for
the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. John
JOSEPH AND MARY:
OBEDIENCE AND FAITH.
Joseph, so many times
forgotten when we focus on Biblical history, he who would be Jesus’ human –
although not natural – father, was indeed a man chosen by the Lord. Not only
belonging to the family of David, whose genealogy is shown in Matthew 1, but a
just man, a man of faith, and above all a man who obeyed the Lord’s voice, who
did not hesitate to fulfill the instructions he received from the angel sent by
the Lord. Joseph’s character, obviously shaped by the Teacher of every
carpenter – the Lord – is fundamental
for the fulfillment of God’s plan towards His Son on earth.
Similarly, although much
better known, and misleadingly raised by part of the Christian world to be a
goddess and queen of heavens, and intercessor, through the tradition of men
which the Lord so many times denounced and which makes the commandment void; we
find the virgin chosen by the Lord, Myriam, also a descendant from David, whose
genealogy is shown in Luke 3, she is indeed the woman chosen by the Lord where
to incarnate, a just woman, a woman of faith and a woman who obeyed the Lord’s
voice, her Saviour, the one she would give birth to. This circumstance would
trouble any woman, but her spiritual character was also fundamental for the
fulfillment of God’s plan towards His Son on earth.
Undoubtedly, these two
characters who were so relevant in the Lord’s history would be the ones to bring
Him to Bethlehem, the ones who had been genetically appointed by the Lord to
fulfill the prophecies. They had unshakable faith, they trusted God, even in the
persecution, in the concern about what would people say about them as a couple
who could have been accused of pre-nuptial disorder, but they were righteous and
devout, chosen by the Lord for a special accomplishment. They took Jesus to
Bethlehem and registered there in the census. Similarly, we must have the faith
and obedience of Joseph and Mary, to fulfill the work that the Holy Spirit may
appoint us to do, and so that we may take Jesus in our soul to introduce Him to
those who have eyes to see and ears to hear the Voice of the Lord, the Gospel of
Jesus Christ to enter the Kingdom of the Lord forever.
This honorable, divine,
spiritual and heavenly work, performed here on earth is none other than the work
that makes someone else, our neighbour, be able to save their lives today and
their souls for eternity, precisely because we bring the message of salvation to
them. When anybody receives Jesus Christ, he becomes registered in the spiritual
family that registers in the census in Bethlehem. Will you obey and have the
faith to register others in Bethlehem?
FROM BETHLEHEM TO ZION.
JESUS CHRIST FULFILLS ALL THE PROPHECIES ON HIS BIRTH AND COMING IN HIS KINGDOM.
When Herod, being a king
in Judea, was disturbed to hear the wise men from the East who announced their
visit because they were coming following the star to worship the king of the
Jews who had just been born, he asked the main priests and scribes about where
the Christ would be born. They said to him: In Bethlehem of Judea, because it is
written by the prophet: …
Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of
Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people
Israel…This is the story as told by Matthew 2, who writes a Gospel mainly
addressed to the Jews, with an emphasis on the fulfillment of the messianic
prophecies, guided by the Spirit.
A relevant point about
Herod’s lie to the magi, it warns us about something which is seen so often
throughout history, just like today: many world leaders say they are followers
of Christ, but they are really enemies to Christ, they only try to take
advantage and persecute the people of the Lord in order to obtain the power: you
will know them by their fruits. It is despicable to see religious leaders,
church leaders who only want to kill the disciples’ direct relationship with
Christ, in order to have control over their spiritual lives. A Christian should
know the Word of God, and have a personal relationship with Christ. A good
shepherd feeds the people of the Lord so they can all come to know God and have
a personal friendship with Him, and a relationship amongst them as brethren,
friends and family in Christ; he raises them as temples of the living God,
giving freedom to their souls in the Spirit; and this freedom is precisely what
makes the true brethren in Christ come together. We serve Christ with our heart;
we give our life for Him, not because it is imposed upon us.
Amongst many prophecies
about Jesus Christ, it is worth noting the ones includes in the Gospel according
virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his
name Immanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23 from Isaiah
Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for
out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Matthew 2:6
from Micah 5:2.
was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel
weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
Matthew 2:18 from Jeremiah 31:15 on the slaughter of the martyr children of
saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand…The voice of one crying
in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Matthew 3:2 and 3:3 from Daniel 2:44 and Isaiah 40:3.
On the eighth day it was
time to circumcise the child, and they named him Jesus, which is Yahshua. Yah is
the root of the name of the Lord, Shua is the salvation of Yah. Hallelu-Yah.
Immanuel was, therefore, Jesus Christ who came to the world; The Salvation of
the Lord amongst us, as the angel of the Lord said: Yah-Shua, Son of, coming
And when the time of
their purification, according to the Law of Moses, had been completed, i.e.;
forty days later, they went from Bethlehem to the temple, to dedicate the
firstborn. In the temple they met Simeon, who was waiting for the consolation of
Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the
Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Anointed. There
was also a prophetess, Anna, she spoke about the child to all who were looking
forward to the redemption of Jerusalem. Bethlehem is very close to Jerusalem,
about 8 km, which allowed travel to the temple and back the same day.
Another prophetic detail
related to Bethlehem, Ephrath, is the prophecy of Jeremiah when he refers to
Rachel, who is buried there, Genesis 35:19 …
A voice is heard
in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and
refusing to be comforted, because they are no more. Matthew 2:18. Once Herod’s
persecution is over, killing all children under 2 years in Bethlehem.
The following event was
that the angel warned Joseph again to go to Egypt to avoid Herod’s persecution,
until his death. Whilst they were in Egypt, the angel instructed Joseph again to
return, without passing by Jerusalem, but returning to their residence, Galilee,
Nazareth, because the prophecy says that the Messiah would be called Nazarene.
The trip to Egypt fulfills another prophecy in Hosea 11:1.
This is the prophetic
journey of Jesus the child. They left Nazareth for Bethlehem, they went to the
temple in Jerusalem, then to Egypt and back to Nazareth. The prophetic journey
of the birth of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. It was all written in the Bible, the
Lord’s prophetic Word. But there is more.
This journey is a
parable of the life that a disciple of Christ will experiment: He will leave his
present life, Nazareth. Whilst there, he will receive the preaching of the
Gospel, he will be called by the Lord and his soul will conceive Christ. He will
travel to Bethlehem, where he will be born again from the Spirit in his soul.
There, he will be circumcised in his heart, a heart of stone which will be
replaced with a heart of flesh, in mercy and piety, in the love of the Lord. He
will be purified during 40 days, like Christ’s journey and the same as Israel in
the wilderness for 40 years. During this time, the devil tempts us to abandon
faith. On winning, we come to the temple to be presented to the Lord, we commit
to living with Him. This is when our life is at risk of death, we have to run
away to Egypt to avoid having a king who has been imposed on to us, but to have
the real king who has just been born inside. When this situation is over, we
return to where we came from, where we will give testimony of Him to those
around us. This is another prophetic fulfillment, but inside our souls, the fact
that each one of us changes inside when we receive the Lord.
Any true Christian will
testify of this throughout history.
The fulfillment of the
prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ being born in Bethlehem has become
patently obvious in history, according to what is written in the Bible. It is
the fulfillment of the first coming of Christ, the Messiah, the Saviour of
humanity, to fulfill the work of the Cross in Calvary and pay for the sins of
each and every one of us, granting us – through faith in His work – access to
the Lord’s Eternal Paradise after resurrection. This is the first part, already
fulfilled, of the coming of the Messiah. Another part is also fulfilled, as the
Suffering Messiah in Isaiah 52 and 53, in the Passion of Christ to later
resurrect and ascend to the right of the Father. And we are now awaiting His
coming in His Kingdom, which will obviously be fulfilled according to the
prophecies in the Bible.
If this prophecy has
been fulfilled by the Son of God, with absolute accuracy, being a baby, just
like the approximately 300 other prophecies about (you may read a selection of
70 prophecies about Christ
in this website)…the prophecy about the second coming of the Lord to establish
His Kingdom when he comes in Zion will, indeed, be fulfilled too.
Zion is the name given
to one of the mountains in Jerusalem, but it is also the name of other places
around Jerusalem and to the city itself. Therefore the prophecy of the coming of
the Lord to Zion will be fulfilled, just like the rest of them. Besides being
fulfilled, and taking into consideration that the Lord has fulfilled the major
events in special dates of His Law and feasts, it could be expected that He
could also return on a feast of Israel. But the reader should not expect me to
suggest a day or a time, because the Lord already warned us that nobody knows,
only the Father does. My only aim was to invite everybody to study the Feasts of
the Lord, because it is written that when the Lord comes He will play the
trumpet. This could be a reference to the feast of Trumpets, which is part of
the Feasts of the seventh month, followed by the Day of Atonement and the
Tabernacles. The two latter ones are already fulfilled, the trumpet one is
pending fulfillment. This is the feast of harvest, when the Lord returns to
collect the grain, Leviticus 23:22-25, 1 Corinthians 15:52, 1 Thessalonians 4:16
and Revelation 14:1
BIBLICAL TEXTS ON THE BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST IN BETHLEHEM
Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little
among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall
he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings
forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the
days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2Saying, 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. 3When Herod the king had heard these
things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4And when he had gathered
all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them
where Christ should be born. 5And they said unto him,
In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the
prophet, 6And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least
among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall
rule my people Israel. 7Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men,
enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8And he sent them to
Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye
have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. 9When
they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the
east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11And
when they were come into the house, they saw
the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and
when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and
frankincense and myrrh. 12And being warned of God in a dream that they should
not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.
1And it came to pass in
those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world
should be taxed. 2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of
Syria.) 3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. 4And Joseph also
went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea,
unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem;
(because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his
espoused wife, being great with child. 6And so it was, that, while
they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And
she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and
laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there
were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over
their flock by night. 9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the
glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the
angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great
joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city
of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto
you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the
highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15And it came to
pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one
to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come
to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16And they came with haste, and
found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a
manger. 17And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the
saying which was told them concerning this child.18And all they that heard it
wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19But Mary kept
all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20And the shepherds returned,
glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as
it was told unto them.
The town of Bethlehem
has to be an integral part of the history of the Gospel that we preach, due to
the relevance of being the town where the Son of God was born when he became
man. Have you already registered yourself in the census of the spiritual
Strangely enough, Jesus
never asked us to celebrate His birth, which is so relevant to us, but His
death: …Do this in remembrance of me…Luke 22:19. Indeed, it is His death the one
that conquers victory over death due to sin, in resurrection, allowing us to
enter His Kingdom through faith in His work.
The fact that Jesus
Christ was born during one of the Jewish feasts leads us to think that He will
return during another one of the feasts, just as He died in Passover, being the
Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world, it does not mean we cannot
celebrate His birth in December, although we can also celebrate it at the right
time. However, I urge my brethren to celebrate His death and resurrection as a
priority, because Jesus Christ did not ask us to celebrate His birth but His
Christ, the eternal Son of God, came to earth and was born as a man so that we
would come to know God the Father; this is the reason why we celebrate Christmas
with joy every year. Before Jesus was crucified and He resurrected, He said to
Pilate: …To this end was I born, and for
this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.
Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice…John 18:37. Will you hear his
voice today?. The prophecy on Bethlehem has already been fulfilled, historically
and spiritually, and we are registered with Christ through faith. Jesus Christ
is always with us, throughout our lives, no matter the age or circumstances.
Now, let us wait patiently, working to spread the Gospel and doing good deeds,
because there are many who still do not know the message of salvation. Immanuel
was the name given to the Lord by the angel, and let us always remember, it
means God with us…I am with you always, to the very end of the world, therefore
go and make disciples of all nations…until the fulfillment of the coming of the
King Yahshua to Zion. Merry Christmas in the Bethlehem of your souls. From
Bethlehem to Zion. Amen.
Carlos Padilla, Christmas 2008