Hanukkah – Dedication
7:00 Break 1 – Jesus Is Hanukkah
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!
When Corrie was little we celebrated Hanukkah at our house – but for full disclosure – she never remembered what it was about from year to year – she only remembered – the presents – 8 days of presents are distracting.
For the Jews it’s about a miracle of deliverance and dedication. For Christians it’s all about Jesus.
Catholics and Protestants both celebrate His birth wrong. Both neglect the real date of His conception. Not about His birth – but about His conception. And it’s about the wise men. It’s powerful.
This is the first time I’ve taught on it on the radio, but I get requests all the time to do just that.
It was on my mind as we stood at the Shepherd’s fields outside of Bethlehem one month ago.
It just happens to be extremely significant this year but both Hanukkah and Christmas fall at the same time, just like they did 2,000 years ago.
Most Christians know Jesus was not born on December 25th. This date was established by the Roman Catholic church around 360 AD, when they held a special mass to honor Christ, while the pagan world celebrated Saturnalia, a feast honoring the birth of their sun god.
As the church grew in power and Roman deities faded away, the church kept the day and it eventually became known as “Christ-Mass”.
Mass has two meanings for the Catholics
- Originally it meant the victim of a Sacrifice – Death
- Eventually it meant to be sent on a mission – Go
So, in one sense you can’t celebrate the birth of Jesus on Christmas without also focusing on His death.
Jesus Observed Hanukkah
“Now it was the Feast of Dedication in Jerusalem, and it was winter. And Jesus walked in the temple, in Solomon’s porch.”—John 10:22-23
This was over 150 years since Hanukkah first began and it had become a well-established festival. Jesus walked into the Temple during this festival, indicating His observance of it.
Hanukkah is the Feast of Dedication, also known as the 8-day Festival of Lights.
It typically falls in the middle to end of December. This year, it began last night at sunset (December 22, 2019), and the eighth day end at sunset on December 30, 2019.
A menorah is a candelabra with 7 candles and 6 branches, and is lit throughout the year. The hanu-kkee-ah is a menorah specifically for Hanukkah, it has 8 candles that are lit from the center candle called the shamash, or “helper” candle.
Lighting the hanukkiah is only done during the Feast to commemorate God’s faithfulness, provision, and goodness. You light the main candle and use it to light one other candle each of the 8 nights (right to left) and thank God. Jesus is the helper candle so He is a huge part of Hanukkah.
Yeshua identifies Himself with Hanukkah as the servant who brings the light.
“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”—John 9:5
“Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”—Matthew 20:28
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’” John 8:12
Jesus said of us: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14
7:15 Break 2 – Hanukkah Is History
How to observe Hanukkah: Typically, candles are lit anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours. During that time, many families enjoy sharing a meal together, singing songs of worship, meditating and praying, spending time in God’s Word, and praising Him for His goodness.
The Hanukkah Story
The Greek ruler, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, reigned over the Syrian kingdom from 175 to 164 BC. He declared that every faith, other than Greek worship, was forbidden.
He declared The Hebrew Bible, The Sabbath, The worship of the God of Israel, and Circumcision all illegal. If the Jewish people were caught possessing their biblical text or observing any of these traditions, they would be killed.
But God raised up a remnant that remained devoted to Him. This remnant was the Maccabee family (not their name – it means hammer)
Mattathias (a Jewish priest) and his five sons—along with a group of Jewish fighters who shared the family’s devotion to the Lord.
Antiochus plundered the Jewish Temple, set up an idol and mocked the nation of Israel by offering a sacrifice of a pig on the altar to Zeus, thereby desecrating the Temple. The Jewish Temple became a pagan temple.
Though the Maccabees were outnumbered and overpowered, they cried out to God and won against the Syrian army in a number of battles. Finally, after the battle for Jerusalem was won, they rose up and went to the desecrated Temple.
They cleared the Temple of the idols. They dedicated and consecrated it. They lit the Temple’s menorah, and as the account goes, they only had enough oil to light a single lamp. Yet once again, God provided and multiplied the oil, and it was enough to keep it lit for eight days.
Every year since 164BC the Jews have celebrated the cleansing of the temple by the Maccabees with an 8-day festival called Hanukkah, “the Feast of Lamps.”
But we have more information:
We know John the Baptist was 6 months older than Jesus – We know John was born during Passover in the Spring – Which means Jesus was born 6 months later during the Fall Feasts. And Jesus was conceived 9 months earlier.
The births of John the Baptist (near March 10, 3 BC), and of Jesus (September 11, 3 BC), six months after that of John),
The conception of Jesus would have been in December of 4 BC, during the eight-day period of Hanukkah in 4 BC. Doing the math – Gabriel appeared to Mary, and Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in 4 BC During The Festival Of Lights – Hanukkah.
15 months later, the Magi arrived during Hanukkah in 2 B.C. when we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
Meaning both the conception of Jesus in 4 BC and the visit of the Magi in 2 BC, occurred during the celebration of Hanukkah on the Jewish calendar.
Hanukkah celebrates when the temple was cleansed of the defilement caused by idols Hanukkah (dedication) was a festival of Dedication (actually, Re-dedication) of the Temple and of the Jewish people to the God of Abraham and Moses.
The Jews viewed Hanukkah as a second Feast of Tabernacles. It was a time of festivity and celebration, and no fasting or mourning was permitted during the eight days of the festival. Lamps and torches lighted the Temple, synagogues, and homes during this time. Josephus called the festival “the Feast of Lamps.”
December 25, 2 BC, the most probable date for the Magi’s visit to Bethlehem, occurred in that year on the third day of the Hanukkah, a traditional time of giving gifts. In 2 BC, the Magi would have given their gifts to Jesus.
Jesus was conceived during the Festival of Lights:
During the time of gift giving in that Festival – God gave us His Son.
When they celebrate the cleansing of the Temple:
Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit- to make us the temple for the Holy Spirit
Eight days (1 more than 7 of a complete week) represents eternity:
Jesus came to give us eternal life.
No fasting or mourning was permitted during the festival:
In heaven there will be no fasting or mourning
Lamps and torches lighted the Temple, synagogues, and homes:
Jesus will be the only light in heaven
7:30 Break 3 – 2000 Years Ago in a Bethlehem Field
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.
Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
How did the shepherds find Jesus with such odd vague directions?
First, the Hebrew would have been, You will find the Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in The Manger.
Adding a instead of the was a choice of modern translators.
The shepherds of Bethlehem were in charge of raising sheep for the temple sacrifices.
Every lamb born there made its way to Jerusalem to be sacrificed.
These shepherds knew that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.
Where in Bethlehem
Just northeast of the shepherd’s fields are the ruins of ancient Bethlehem Ephratah, near a place called Migdal Eder – near the tomb of Rachel.
Micah 4:8 “And you, O Tower of the Flock (in Hebrew, Migdal Eder [mig-dale e-dar]), the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto you shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem”. Meaning, a king would be born at Migdal Eder to a girl from the line of David.
At the base of the Migdal Eder watchtower was a special birthing room called The Manger, for birthing these very special sacrificial lambs.
It wasn’t a manger, it was a very specific room called The Manger.
The shepherds were trained as children what was required for each sheep to be worthy of sacrifice.
During lambing season, the sheep were brought to the watchtower from the fields.
Being themselves under special rabbinical care, these shepherds would strictly maintain a ceremonially clean birthing place.
They would wrap the newborn lambs in Swaddling Clothes, to prevent them from thrashing about and harming themselves. It was their job to make sure that the animals weren’t damaged or blemished.
After the lambs had calmed down, they could be inspected to make sure they were without spot or blemish.
These shepherds weren’t random. They were notified by the angels because it was their calling to certify Passover lambs at birth.
We know they end up in the right place, but
How did the shepherds find Jesus with only three vague clues?
- A newborn baby
- Swaddling cloths
- The Manger
7:45 Break 4 – Clues
A typical home in that time, had a dug out area below the house where they kept the animals. To find a specific place, you would need some kind of directions.
The Angels declaration to the Bethlehem Shepherds could only mean
“The Manger” at the base of the Tower of the Flock.
Being “wrapped in swaddling clothes” would only be a significant clue
if the angels were referring to a Passover Lamb.
- Newborn babies had been wrapped in swaddling cloths
long before the time of Jesus; it was common,
so it was not a good clue unless it was the cloths used by the Shepherd Priests
There is another verse that causes some confusion with the way it’s been translated.
“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in the manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”
The word translated as “Inn” is Katalyma – ka-tall-e-mah. It means guest chamber not an inn.
- A Kataluma would have been a guest room in the family home in Bethlehem that Mary and Joseph would stay in when they visited. At least three times a year for the Feasts – like every other Jew
- Both Joseph and Mary were direct descendants of King David, whose lineage and property went back to Boaz (who married Ruth).
- Boaz owned a home with a threshing floor in Bethlehem which, by right of inheritance, was handed down to succeeding generations
- Joseph, was of David’s lineage through his son Solomon.
Mary, was of David’s lineage through his son Nathan (brother of Solomon).
- These guys are from the royal line
Unclean Not Unwanted
Is there any good reason a pregnant Jewish woman couldn’t stay in their family home during a High Feast Day?
- According to the Torah, when a woman had an issue of blood for any reason, like pregnancy, she was ritually unclean for that time and for seven days after.
- She had to live separately so as not to defile the people in the household by her presence. (Leviticus 15:19-23).
- So “no room” actually means something very different.
- The Jews are very family oriented – they all live together
That story, translated that way, would be offensive anywhere. Would her family, who loved her, send her to give birth in a filthy stable of animals.
- Prophecies about the Messiah tell us He “would be revealed from Migdal Eder”.
- We don’t know the exact circumstances of how and why they ended up there, when the guest room option wouldn’t work.
- It certainly wasn’t filthy and the midwives (shepherds) were very experienced.
- There is much more to the story
8:00 Break 5 – Prayer
8:15 Break 6 – Rachel
Abraham Sarah Isaac Rebekah Jacob Leah… Joseph, etc all buried in Hebron. But Not Rachel.
“So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.” Genesis 29:20
Then he worked 7 more. Jacob leaves her here, after working for 14 years to get her. Why?
Distance of Egypt to Hebron: 250 miles
Rachel’s tomb to Hebron: 14 miles
When Judah was taken into captivity, they stacked stones on her grave. Desired her to pray for them.
Herod put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.” Matthew 2:16-18
Rachel stole the household idols that were her fathers.
Laban catches them: And now you have surely gone because you greatly long for your father’s house, but why did you steal my gods?”
Jacob says: With whomever you find your gods, they shall not live.
Rachel had put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. And she said to her father, I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is with me.” And he searched but did not find the household idols. Genesis 31:28-35
teraphim – mummified heads
They were considered magic and people would talk to them and they would talk back
Rachel had them and when she died people started praying to her
Then God said to Jacob, “Arise, go up to Bethel And Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, purify yourselves, and change your garments..”
So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the terebinth tree which was by Shechem.
We are not told if these included Rachel’s hidden idols.
8:30 Break 7 – Rachel’s Tomb
Then they journeyed from Bethel. And when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath, Rachel labored in childbirth, and she had hard labor. And so it was, as her soul was departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-Oni; but his father called him Benjamin. So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). And Jacob set a pillar on her grave. Genesis 35:1-4,16-20
From the time of the captivity Many Jews have treated her like Mary. They pray to her.
Rachel couldn’t help them – Mary couldn’t help Jesus – She can’t help you
Death is coming: For the favorite wife, For the mother of the shepherd, Jesus came because death is coming.
This abandoned grave is a reminder that those who hold on to their father‘s sins will forfeit the inheritance that God has set apart for them
Jacob wrestled with a pre-incarnate Jesus that changed his name and heart so much that he gave his fortune to Esau.
But Rachel was still hoping to hear from dead skulls
She is buried in the place where Jesus was born.
And it shall come to pass, that as I have watched over them to pluck up, to break down, to throw down, to destroy, and to afflict, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. In those days they shall say no more: ‘The fathers have eaten sour grapes, And the children’s teeth are set on edge.’ But every one shall die for his own iniquity; every man who eats the sour grapes, his teeth shall be set on edge.
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.
No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord . For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:28-31,33-34
The question I have to ask you is: Is this you (in this grave)?
One died here and stayed here. And her son was raised by her sister.
One heard angels sing and left with the savior of the world. Don’t stay here.
Whatever is in your past give it to God and bury it. Or it will bury you.
8:45 Break 8 Here Come The Magi
David was king of Israel around the year 1,000BC. His kingdom split in two after his son Solomon died, and eventually the ten northern tribes of Israel fell in 723BC and were taken to Assyria and most were never heard from again.
126 years later (597 BC) the southern kingdom of Judah (this was the tribe of David and eventually Jesus) was taken into captivity to Babylon by Assyrian King Nebuchadnezzar. After the fall of Babylon to the Persian King Cyrus the Great in 539 BC, many returned home to Jerusalem. But many did not return, and instead made a life in Babylon.
The Magi were a class of hereditary scholar-priests who first appear in Babylon. They were magicians, enchanters and astrologists. Throughout their history most of them never stopped practicing the occult. Even today.
But some did. Some followed the true Living God. And some still do. Why? How? They were heavily influenced by some of the Jewish captives including Daniel.
The Bible says: King Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream and asked his astrologers and enchanters to tell him his dream and interpret its meaning.
“The astrologers answered the king, ‘There is not a man on earth who can do what the king asks!
No king, however great and mighty, has ever asked such a thing of any magician or enchanter or astrologer.’ What the king asks is too difficult.
No one can reveal it to the king except the gods, and they do not live among humans.”
[They only had the occult – they were powerless]
God had anointed Daniel with the gift of interpreting dreams through the power of the Holy Spirit, and Daniel was able to describe and explain the king’s great prophetic dream.
Because of Daniel’s ability to interpret dreams and visions, he was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar and later by his son, Belshazzar, to be “chief of the magicians [master of the ‘Magi’], enchanters, astrologers, and diviners” (Daniel 5:11).
Daniel didn’t enchant, do astrology, or divine, but he continued to lead the Magi,
Serving in the courts of the Medes (King Darius) and the Persians (King Cyrus).
Astronomy (studying the heavens) should cause us to worship God: “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man?” (Psalm 8:3, 4).
In the Bible, we are introduced to a small group of the descendants of these Magi who visited Christ, and they were using prophetic scriptures,
So we can assume they had been more influenced by Daniel, and less by the other Magi and astrologers of Babylon, and were likely from the tribe of Judah.
They would have learned from Daniel the precise time the Messiah was to arrive, and that He would be cut off or crucified. Other prophecies would have led them to study the stars for more details.
“A star will come out of Jacob; a scepter will rise out of Israel” (Numbers 24:17).
There is even a tradition throughout the Middle East that Daniel provided funds for the Magi and for gifts for them to carry to the Messiah upon his birth.
What star did the Magi likely see to recognize Jesus was to be born?
In August of 3 BC, when Gad the King planet (also called Jupiter by that time) became visible above the eastern horizon as a morning star, it was seen by the Magi ‘in the rising.’
The bright new star appeared in the head of Comah (The baby of the Virgin Bethulah – Immanuel).
On August 12, Gad came into conjunction with Meni (also called Venus by that time), in the constellation of Ariel The Lion (the sign of Judah). It would take over a year for the Magi to arrive in Bethlehem.
9:00 Break 9 Revelation 12 – A SIGN in Heaven
A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth…She gave birth to a Son, a male child,
who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to His throne.
Since the Son will rule all the nations with an iron scepter, we know it’s Jesus and the mother is then Mary. This event with the sun and moon and crown never happened on earth, but it did in the Spirit.
Since we know that verse is speaking of the birth of Jesus – we can use it to see when He might have been born by examining the skies around the time BC became AD (Year 0).
If you can find a time when the sun, moon, planets, and key stars are in the positions mentioned in that verse, then it should tell up when He was born. They looked for all the possible years anywhere near Year 0.
There are twelve signs of the Zodiac, so as the earth revolves about the sun, each sign is “clothed with the sun” for one twelfth of the year, or one month.
If that sign was speaking about Jesus being born to Mary, He would have to be born when Bethulah the Vigin was clothed with the sun, and that is during Tishri or September.
In the year 3 BC, the position of the Sun, as described in Revelation 12 could only have occurred August 27 through September 15.
In the year 3 B.C., the Sun and Moon were in the proper positions only one time, September 11th, beginning at 6:15pm (sunset) and lasted until 7:45pm (moonset). The New Moon signaled the beginning of a new lunar month on Tishri 1.
Jesus was born on September 11th, 3 B.C. On Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets).
Adam and Eve were created on Rosh Hashanah and Jesus was born on Rosh Hashanah.
Jesus was 30 years old at the time of His baptism. Luke tied this event to the 15th year of Tiberius Caesar (which was in 27-28 AD). This would then place the birth of Christ in 3 BC.
We can then also conclude that Jesus’ birth was not on the Feast of Tabernacles or on Passover, as some folks have proposed. Both the Feast of Tabernacles and Passover occur in the middle of lunar months; therefore, there can be no new moon, as required by Revelation 12:1-6.
Jesus could not have been born during any one of the three Pilgrim Feasts: Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, or Tabernacles.
These were times when all Jewish men in Israel were required by the Law to be in Jerusalem.
The Romans would not have selected any of the three primary festival seasons for a census in Israel, in order to increase compliance by the Jews. Joseph and Mary went to Bethlehem, not to Jerusalem at the time of His birth!
So, there is no way to be 100% sure, but I think the evidence points to Jesus born on September 11th, 3 B.C. On Rosh Hashanah (the Feast of Trumpets).
When Did the Magi Arrive to See Jesus?
Matthew 2:9 “. . . the star they had seen in the East went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.”
Planets are sometimes called “wandering stars,” and may appear to be standing when compared to the backdrop of the stars, due to the rotation of the earth (that’s called retrogression).
Now remember, we are in B.C, before Year 0, so the numbers get smaller as time passes.
At the end of 2 BC (about 15 months after His birth), Gad appeared at its ordinary time for retrogression, directly over Bethlehem on December 25th. Just before dawn. The planet stopped while in the middle of the constellation of Bethulah the Virgin. The middle – meaning the abdomen, where a woman carries a child in pregnancy. It remained stationary for about six days. Why those 6 days?
Every year since 164BC the Jews have celebrated the cleansing of the temple by the Maccabees with an 8-day festival called Hanukkah, “the Feast of Lamps.”
Since we know John the Baptist was 6 months older than Jesus, because Mary travels to Judea to see her cousin Elizabeth (Luke 1:26-56), who is six months pregnant with John the Baptist at the time of Mary’s visit. John was born during Passover in the Spring.
We know Gabriel appeared to Mary, and Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit sometime in December of 4 BC, probably During The Festival Of Lights – Hanukkah.
So, it also seems the Magi arrived during Hanukkah in 2 B.C.
right at the time we now celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas.
9:15 Break 10 The Magi – Herod Shaking
There is actually a lot more to the Magi then we learn from their appearance in Luke.
After the Babylonians were conquered, the Magi still continued to rise, and were consulted by kings and rulers, and tutors to nobles and princes. While most never stopped practicing the occult and were magicians, enchanters and astrologists throughout their history. Many of the Magi followed the God of Israel and their history and faith was quite different.
- They were monotheistic (they believed in one God – like Israel)
- They had an altar which burned with a perpetual flame kindled by God from heaven.
- They had another altar where they offered blood sacrifices.
They lit the fire to burn the sacrifice with the flame off the perpetual altar.
- They ate the sacrifices (that’s unique to Passover).
- They had a hereditary priesthood (like the Levites).
All of those standards are found in only one place – The Torah of Moses. They are the rules of the Levites and Israelites – Given to them directly by God.
When the decree of Cyrus came that the Jews could go back to Israel, the majority of the Jews never went back. They stayed in Babylon, intermingled and intermarried. Some became rulers and some became Magi and retained their Jewish identity as the Tribe of Judah following the God of Israel.
At the time of Christ, in the Parthian-Persian Empire the ruling house was called the Megistanes. It was composed of Magi – One of their jobs was the selection of a king.
At the time of Christ, they had just deposed their king so they were looking for a new king for the Eastern Empire who could lead them against Rome. They had fought Rome twice in the previous fifty-years.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled/disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.
The visit of the Magi was not a visit from three guys on camels…they traveled with Persian cavalry. And the timing for war was bad for Rome. Both Herod and Caesar Augustus were old. Tiberius, the commander of the Roman army had retired.
So, Herod was troubled (the word in Greek means shaking).
It’s likely that Herod had no idea that these Magi were probably Jews, or that they were probably from the tribe of Judah, and so they were likely related to Jesus.
When they got to Bethlehem, they worshipped Jesus. They saw more than just a king. They recognized the Messiah they had heard about from the time of Daniel. But the vast number of Jews in Israel were unaware. Luke 2 tells us the Magi never returned to Herod and that led to a serious reaction:
Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.
Obviously he didn’t want to take any chances of the Magi returning later when the child grew up and crowning him king.
The Magi then disappeared back into Persia. Many of them have added all kinds of strange beliefs, But many are now Christians as a result of that journey 2000 years ago.
The descendants of the Magi now live in Eastern Turkey and Syria and are called Kurds.
9:30 Break 11 The Gospel in the Stars Part 1
Has God revealed His plans in His creation, especially in the stars?
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.
The stars are revealing knowledge to us about Jesus
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.
God let man name the animals but, God named the stars on Day 4 and He made each one with a purpose. Its name tells you its purpose.
Long before Moses wrote down the story in the Torah, God wrote the story in the stars. We can look up and literally read the Bible.
Revelation 13:8 identifies Jesus as, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. (Meaning from Day 1 thru Day 6). Let’s track back to Day 4 When Jesus created the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Time
Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons [months], and for days and years.
The word translated seasons is [mo-ad] – it means appointed times. It probably doesn’t mean the four seasons, but more likely months, because the phrase “appointed times” is only used for the Feasts, which were determined by the new moon which is at the beginning of every Biblical month.
You may be familiar with the word zodiac – it’s often associated with astrology. When I was a kid, they put the horoscopes
right beside the comics in the newspaper. Hopefully because they knew they were fake, but I suspect there was a less than noble agenda?
Astrology says a man can tell something about himself from the stars. That’s not truth.
The Bible says that the stars tell us something about God and His plan for the world. The Bible condemns everything about astrology – it’s occultism. Because God created us and He alone sets our destiny.
Astrology tried to corrupt the story by changing the characters into mythological deities with silly stories. The real story in the stars was written by God Himself – it’s the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Stars Prophesy
Stars have a Purpose: Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons…Gen 1
When God was speaking with Job, He asked, “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth [Constellations] in its season? Or can you guide Arcturus? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth? Job 38
According to Arabic tradition, the signs of the zodiac came originally from Enosh, the son of Seth, the son of Adam. In Eden after Adam and Eve sinned, how did God describe how He would redeem them? It was the story of the future Messiah, the Seed of the woman, crushing the head of the serpent (Satan).
One of the many ways we see Jesus as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world is when we first see death enter the world. God killed animals to cloth Adam and Eve and we see blood sacrifices beginning soon after. Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. This was also built into the design of the universe. The constellation Ara is an altar. The Milky Way usually represents the smoke rising from the altar. There is a Ram and a Bull constellation. A herdsman like you would find in Bethlehem raising sacrifice animals.
There is a serpent constellation to tell the Eden story. There is the great dragon, we know as Satan. An Eagle, which is associated with the gift of prophecy. There is the dove, which speaks of Noah and the Flood. There are several wreaths or crowns to speak of royalty and marriage. There is a cup or chalice, used in Sabbath meals, Passover and in communion. There is a celestial river, which you will find flowing from the throne of God. And of course the Southern Cross.
9:45 The Gospel in the Stars Part 2
When the Bible says “Jesus was slain from the foundation of the world”, it means several things, including that the testimony or story is written into the universe itself. The story of Jesus as Redeemer was literally written in the heavens using the constellations when they were made. And this is the ancient story.
Many of the pictures in the sky have been corrupted over the years.
Ursa Major & Minor with BOOTES
Due to a linguistic error, the Greeks switched the Hebrew word for bear, “Dohv”,
for the Hebrew word for Sheepfold, “Dovhen.
So, we now have the Greater and Lesser Bear instead of Sheepfolds.
Thankfully God named the Stars and so many retain their ancient names.
The star at the end of the handle of the Dipper means “Assembly”, which is The Church in Greek. The two stars on the end of the Dipper mean “Flock” and “Purchased”.
Just behind the Fold of Sheep is The Herdsman Bootes, which means “The Coming One”. Jesus is identified pretty clearly by two of the stars: Nekkar or “Pierced One” And Izar Means “Prince With God”
Micah 2:12 “I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob, I will surely gather the remnant of Israel; I will put them together like sheep of the fold, like a flock in the midst of their pasture; They shall make a loud noise because of so many people.
Now when you see the Big Dipper remember God Named Those Stars As Part Of His Story From The Beginning Of Time.
Here is what God did on Day 4:
God named the stars and their names had meaning,
Zodiac actually comes from astronomy – in Hebrew it’s ‘zoad,’ meaning ‘path’ or ‘way.
It refers to the way the sun appears to pass through the 12 constellations during the year.
The sky is actually laid out like a clock with each ancient constellation marking a number on the clock. It takes a month for the sun to pass through each one, so when it makes a full circuit, a year has passed.
That was the ancient calendar. “Let them be for signs and months, and for days and years;” It had original Hebrew/Aramaic names from creation (that told the Gospel story). The names were not based on false gods of mythology.
The book of Job was probably written a few hundred years after the Flood, and the Pleiades and Orion are both mentioned by name.
Because the constellation was named before the Tower of Babel, and you can find these stars carved on cave walls. The Bull (Taurus) and Orion both appear in cave art dating back 500 years before Noah’s Flood, without names of mythology.
The specific twelve constellations we recognize today as the zodiac is referred to as the Mazzaroth in Job 38. In Job 26:13, Job says God formed the constellation figures.
The story that Jesus wrote on the stars begins the same time creation does – In the Fall at Rosh Hashanah as the Sun passes across the Virgin constellation.
The Virgin Bethulah is the most interesting of the constellations God created. She’s holding a branch in her hand, and a baby on her lap. Bethulah is Hebrew for Virgin. The constellation is called many names all around the world, but they all mean “virgin.”
In the 8th Century, an Arabian astronomer named Albumazar described Bethulah as: “a young woman, whose Persian name denotes a pure virgin sitting on a throne, nourishing an infant boy…having a Hebrew name [which in Greek is called CHRISTOS].” Albumazar was a Muslim.
The first and brightest star in Bethulah is Zerah – Meaning Seed.
Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
On day 16 when Adam and Eve fell, God had already written their story in the stars.
In Isaiah 7, the prophet tells Ahaz to ask a sign from God either from the depths (the ocean), or from the height above (the heavens or stars).
Ahaz refuses, but Isaiah says God will give a sign, and God chose the Heavens about which Isaiah said, “The LORD Himself will give you a sign, ‘Behold the Virgin will conceive and bear a son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”
10:00 Break 13 The Gospel in the Stars Part 3
The Constellation Comah:
The Hebrew name means
“the Desired or Longed for.”
Haggai 2:7 says of the Messiah, “The Desire Of All Nations Will Come.”
Abram is overwhelmed because he doesn’t have a son, even though God promised he would have a son.
“The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision…He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and – tell the stars – if indeed you can count them.” [most Bibles say count the stars – but the early versions said tell the stars and that’s the correct word]. Then He said to him, “So shall your seed be.” Galatians 3:16: The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed…meaning one person, who is Christ. So God is saying “Your seed will produce the Messiah.”
The word translated from Hebrew as “count” in modern versions is “caphar” [Saw far]. It means recounting something or to tell the story.
God isn’t telling Abram to count the stars, He is telling him to tell the story that was written in the stars which was passed on from the beginning. So Abram looks up and points to the Virgin Constellation…and he says the virgin will give birth.
I imagine about this time it occurred to him at if God’s plan was for a virgin to have a son, then it was also possible for a barren old woman bear a son?
Abram pointed to the first star, the brightest star “The story starts with Zerah – a Seed. Then God said to him, “So shall your seed be.” God wasn’t just saying you’re going to have a son. He was saying you are going to have a son who will start the lineage that will produce The Seed.
Another star means the “Beautiful LORD.”
Another star means “The One Sent Forth” or “The Sent One”
And still another means “Branch”. Isaiah 4:2 “In that day the Branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious;” The Branch (Messiah) is to come as the Seed of the Virgin.
Centaurus (the Southern Cross is at its feet)
This constellation is an altar called Ara, with scales where souls were weighed.
The first star means “the price is deficient.”
It is also the root for the Hebrew word “stolen”.
The next star is called Kaphar which means “the atonement.” Kapher is the name of the covering where the blood was poured from sacrifices onto the Ark of the Covenant. Two bright stars in Centaurus point the way to the southern cross.
So these stars show that our lives fall short of God’s standard – the price is deficient – we are weighed in the balance and found wanting. But the Price that Covers is the atonement made by the Messiah for all humanity by shedding His blood on the cross to cover our sins.
(Ophiuchus, Serpens, and Corona)
The Scorpion’s tail is called Lesath which means “Perverse One”. The brightest star in the Scorpion is Antares meaning “against the Lamb”.
The constellations around show (the strong man) restraining (the Serpent) from reaching (the Crown), He is bringing his heel down on the starcalled “Against the Lamb”. The star in his heel is called “Bruised” (Gen. 3)
The star picture of the Scorpion and the Strong Man provides a clearer picture of how the seed of the woman would bruise, or crush Satan’s head.
God didn’t just tell Adam and Eve what was coming. He painted it in the sky so they could see it and remind themselves and their children that God was not angry with them but was in fact the very One who would redeem them.
A Warrior with a bow and arrow pointed towards the star Antares, the heart of the Scorpion. It’s a (half man – half horse), which represents a two-natured person: God and Man – that’s Jesus.
10:15 Break 14 The Gospel in the Stars Part 4
The Goat was a sacrificial animal – Jesus was the literal sacrifice for our sins. The sea is a picture of humanity –
Jesus was the ‘son of man’ – from humanity.
The brightest star in this constellation is a double star called “the Judge who is the sacrifice.”
On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, the goat, played a double role. One goat would be the sacrifice. A second goat was designated as a ‘scape goat’ who would vicariously carry the sins of the people into the wilderness.
Jesus was both: “Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:4-5)
Next is Deli
“Water Buckets” poured out down to a fish.
Isaiah 44:3 The Lord spoke through Isaiah “I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground; and I will pour my Spirit upon your seed and my blessing on your offspring…”
Baptism of the Holy Spirit
It means fish (plural.) One of the two fish in the constellation is marked by a circle of stars. The old star charts show the hoof of Aries the Ram resting on the band which binds the two fish together.
- The Children of Israel
- The Gentile Believers
Is The Ram, Or The Lamb.
The brightest star is El Nath. El means God.
Nath means “broken, poured out.”
1 Corinthians: 11:24 “this is my body which is broken for you…”
Shur the Bull
Which also means “to return” or “to come back”. There are two distinct star groups in Shur:
- One means “congregated”
- The Pleiades means “gathering”
The Bible sometimes refers to the Pleiades as the “seven stars”. In Revelation, Christ is holding the seven stars in His hand, representing the seven churches.
Peretz the Hero is a neighboring constellation.
The name means “the One who Breaks Open the Way” as in Micah 2:13. “The one who breaks open will come up before them; they will break out, pass through the gate, and go out by it; Their king will pass before them, with the Lord at their head.”
The star Atik means “Ancient One”, God is called “The Ancient of Days”. The star Menkib means “something to ride upon.”
Thaumim – meaning Joined Together
It that looks like two people attached.”
One star means “wounded” or “bruised.”
Another means “to trample underfoot, tread down”. Another star means “appointed”.
The Messiah was to come twice: The first time to labor and be wounded, or bruised. Then to fight and vanquish His enemies. Isaiah 22:5 “The LORD, the LORD Almighty, has a day of tumult and trampling and terror in the Valley of Vision”. (Armageddon).
Ash (Hebrew for Butterfly)
- In Egypt it was a Scarabeus Beetle.
- In India it was a Crab.
- In Sumeria saw it as a Crayfish.
In each case, the creature rose to a new life out of its old shell.
Job 19 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth; And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God, Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
Ariel the Lion
(Serpent – Crow – Cup)
The Brightest star is Regulus.
It literally means to “tread under foot”.
Because kings did this to their enemies.
The second brightest star means
“The Coming Judge”.
The next brightest star is El Gibbor
which means “The Mighty God or Mighty man.”
Isaiah 9 “And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God (El Gibbor), Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace….”
So the story starts with a Virgin giving birth and ends with the victorious Lion of Judah, the Mighty God-Man, the Coming Judge who will Tread Under Foot the enemy.
Ariel is “treading under foot” the Fleeing Serpent, whose brightest star is Alphard “the Accursed One”.
When that happens, the crow and the other raptors are called to the battle of the great Day of God at Armageddon where they feed on the flesh of the armies.
This is the day when the Cup of God’s Wrath is outpoured, which is the significance of the constellation Crater the Cup.
***I found the following site to be very helpful and inspiring beyond words as I was studying and doing research for all that entails the Gospel in the Stars. Ray
Genesis Science Research