The Open Scroll - Is the Celestial Birth Announcement of God's Son Relevant Today?

Is the Celestial Birth Announcement of God's Son Relevant Today?

By Bob Schlenker  (Prints about 4 pages)

In May of 1991, I was drawn rather unexpectedly into the study of Bible prophecy. Because I had studied and acquired a basic familiarity with the work of E.W. Bullinger (Witness of the Stars) and Ernest Martin (via John Crouch - V.P. Wierwille - Jesus Christ Our Promised Seed), I knew a little about why God made the stars and planets. So, when the Lord showed me that the signs that the Magi had seen in the heavens almost 2000 years ago just before Jesus was born were about to reappear, He had my attention! Since that time, I've applied myself to learning to interpret and understand the Lord's celestial "date stamps" and other little known and "hidden" prophetic messages dispersed throughout the Word of God.

At this time of year, we traditionally turn our attention to the birth of Jesus, since that's what Christmas is supposed to be about. Now, some of you know that Jesus was not really born on December 25. And others of you reading that may well respond with a big - SO WHAT! Well, the big WHAT is not just to know the exact time of the birth of our Lord so we can know it and petition our churches to move Christmas to September. [Which I don't recommend, by the way] The reasons to know and the benefits of knowing when Jesus was born are manifold.

In learning when, we are inspired at the awesome plan of a loving and sovereign God - His patience and His faithfulness. We learn how God has fulfilled certain Holy Days on the Jewish Calendar and thus how he plans to fulfill every last one through the ministry of His son Jesus Christ. Perhaps most importantly in its relevance to our lives today, we recognize that a precedent was set which reveals the manner of revelation of Jesus' return. God never limits his testimony to one witness, so there are other avenues of revelation of the chronology of the last days, but certainly, celestial revelation is one of them.

According to Luke 21:25:
There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea.
How do we know that these signs will be celestial signs? They were when Jesus came to begin his earthly ministry! God is not inconsistent. Amos 3:7 is a true and faithful saying.
Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets.
God has given us foreshadowings throughout history by which we can interpret the present and future. What He has done, he will do. OK? The way things were at the time of Jesus' first coming teach us about how they will be when he returns. Keep reading.

For the benefit of those of you who have to wait for the footnote referenced books to come in the mail, let me give you a brief introduction to this fascinating manner of revelation. Before God had his Word recorded in a written language, it was recorded and proclaimed via the celestial sphere. The stars were named, the names have meanings. The star groupings (constellations) were named and also have meanings. The sun, moon and stars were set to move through those constellations and were ordained to bear a testimony which is synchronized with the spiritual realities of God's plan of redemption for man. The key to the whole thing is Jesus Christ. In a nutshell - there it is.

God has given us foreshadowings throughout history by which we can interpret the present and future.  From the historical and scriptural record, we know that there was one group of men who knew when Jesus would be born (excepting the shepherds who were told by an angel) - the Magi. These Magi were Gentile astronomers. How did they know what was going on? They accurately interpreted the celestial message!

So now, the saga of a latter day revival of knowledge about celestial revelation began as people like Sir Isaac Newton, Miss Frances Rolleston, Dr. Joseph Seiss and Dr. Ethelbert Bullinger, among others, were prospered by the Lord in their studies. A most significant advancement in knowledge was made as, in the late 1970's, a scholar named Dr. Ernest L. Martin discovered something almost incredible. He recognized that Revelation 12:1 [where is your Bible anyway?] describes a celestial event which is set in the context of the birth of Jesus Christ and, based upon the consistent motions of the heavens, he concluded that it must be the event which happened on September 11, 3 BC. This happened to be Rosh Hashanah on the Jewish Calendar, a significant day indeed.

I was introduced to this work when, as a student of Dr. V.P. Wierwille, I read with fascination his version of Dr. Martin's discovery. Although these men concluded that Jesus was born in 3, BC, through Stephen Jones' independent historical research and insight, and through J.R. Church's insight, (once these things were brought to his attention via a promotional audio cassette lecture series I sent him in 1992) it would seem that Jesus was much more likely born on Rosh Hashanah in the year 2 BC. The Sun was in Virgo, the Moon was under her feet, and the planet Jupiter was crowning her head. It appears that God has thus revealed His "date stamp" marking the birth of His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ!

Now, the Magi may have known about that event, or about the significance of the other rare celestial events of that time. We don't know. We do know that there were other heavenly signs which can't be calculated mathematically based upon the current motions of the stars. These have been faithfully transmitted to us because the ancient historians recorded them in detail for our benefit.

When it comes to the upcoming signs in the heavens, we should expect signs of Jesus' return to be revealed through the natural motions of the heavens interpreted according to the meanings of the celestial bodies and the relationships between them. We should further expect there to be other heavenly signs such as phenomenal appearances of significant imagery in the heavens like the one recorded by Josephus just prior to the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD.

A comet preceded the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD, appearing in the sky for a whole year! Comets are a harbinger of impending disaster, according to the Rabbis. Did you know that a recently discovered comet (Hale-Bopp), a major focus of attention in the Astronomy community, is due to appear in its closest approach in March of 1997? Do you get the feeling that God wants us to recognize the significance and urgency of our times?

Are you prepared for the events to come? Get your spiritual affairs in order because these are urgent times. If any of the things I write on these pages feels like the holy spirit speaking to your heart - pay attention. If appropriate, share these things with others. Do what you're moved to do - don't put it off - procrastination can be lethal!

If the events interpreted by the Magi were meaningful in their day and caused blessings to be added to their account, how shall it be otherwise today? I'm going to tell you a little Christmas story and I'd like you to reflect on its relevance, if you would.

God's only begotten son was being born to a virgin of the Royal line of Judah in the city of David!  Picture in your mind the night Jesus was born. The sun was about to set in Bethlehem in the sign Virgo. This is that sign Virgo (Hebrew "Bethulah" - "virgin") whose appearance at this moment is precisely as described in Revelation 12:1 in the context of the birth of Jesus to the woman.

Certain men, Magi, faithful watchmen of God's heavenly mouthpiece and timepiece (or, shall we say - alarm clock?) find their patience rewarded as the signs promised so long ago appear in glorious beauty. From their homeland, these Gentile astronomers excitedly prepare for their journey which will take them, in faith, to see the one being born King of the Jews. Imagine their exceeding joy as their hope was about to be realized! On that night, as the Sun set, this sign became visible to all Israel for perhaps an hour or so until Virgo herself set below the horizon. On this night more than most, this area of the sky was being observed intently by those in Israel who were assigned the task of marking the appearance of the new Moon. Make note that the Jewish calendar was established by God's decree to be based upon this celestial event, and the proper observation of these times was literally a matter of life and death. That brief period of time known as dusk would have been when that small crescent Moon would have been observed marking the beginning of a special New Moon celebration.

In this month, Tishri, the special day began from which the traditional accounting of the reigns of Kings was marked. This day, the Feast of Trumpets, would now have begun to be celebrated in Israel at the setting of the sun with the regal sound of the blowing of trumpets resounding throughout the land. On this particular day, Rosh Hashanah, the day marking the beginning of a new civil year, a great irony was painfully evident. While all the people of Israel were celebrating the traditions they were commanded to keep that were given to help them recognize the significance of one pivotal event, they, in the very midst of their celebration were missing it entirely! God's only begotten son was being born to a virgin of the Royal line of Judah in the city of David! Did God fail to give proper notice of this event? I think not - but they were asleep, unaware of the spiritual verity of their time.

On a hillside outside Bethlehem, shepherds were receiving testimony from God's angels. They would respond with faith to the announcement they heard and risk execution for leaving their flocks untended. They received quite an honor! Their hearts must have been prepared, for they obeyed without hesitation.

The heavens themselves, God's celestial messengers were bearing similar testimony to the wondrous events taking place in Bethlehem for the whole world to see. A short time later, those faithful Magi arrived from the East to honor the child.

Are you a shepherd in the field today, or a Magian? Will you understand and respond appropriately when the time comes to act? Mark 13:34-37 relates Jesus' words concerning his coming:
It's like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. 35 "Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back--whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: 'Watch!"
Now, I want you to really pay attention to what I'm going to say. Even though the news of what was happening had been broadcast by the shepherds throughout Bethlehem, we have no record of hordes of people making pilgrimage to see Jesus. Why? Because God wanted to deny them the joyous privilege? Come on! Its because most of the people just didn't really believe the announcement!

We all would like to think that we would have been there, but really, would we have?

Why is it that, even in the organized Church, people aren't flocking to hear and see what things the Lord is really doing and saying? May I suggest that the hearts of most people are unprepared to receive what tremendous blessings the Lord would give. They are stained by sin and deep down are conscious of this fact. Now, most people aren't reading this right now, and they aren't going to. But.... you are! Are you prepared to receive the Lord's words, whether they are strong words of discipline or soft words of comfort? Listen to what Jesus plainly stated as recorded in John 3:19-20:
This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
Are there still "dark corner" areas of your life in which you prefer to keep the light turned off? Are there sins of your past which haunt you and taunt you? Is there a habit you have which would be a source of embarrassment if others found out about it? Is there anything you know about your lifestyle that is contrary to what you know deep down that the Lord wants for you? These are questions to help you be honest, so that you can allow the light of the Lord to expose the darkness.

Consider the words of King David, a man after God's own heart. Psalm 139:23-24:
Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.
Any obstacle between you and the blessings the Lord would have for you is only that which you refuse to let go of. Do you really understand this? If you dare to repent of your sins - to ask the Lord's forgiveness and to follow his leadership in the way everlasting - I can tell you with full confidence that great reward will be yours. Allow the Lord to probe your heart. If you don't really want this to happen, don't ask him to do it, because --he will - and your life will be turned upside down when he does!!

If you've ever promised anything to the Lord, have you been faithful to do it, or are you holding out on Him? Are you living a life of true repentance, where you hear the voice of the Lord and choose to obey it. If you deny what you know the Lord has asked of you, you are unprepared to make the journey along his path. Won't you just begin anew?

You know, sometimes I still hurt inside because of regrets. Do you ever feel that way? The only way out of this crippling and painful state is to accept the Lord's mercy and grace, acknowledging his forgiveness. This is what he wants for us!

The Christmas season is a particularly painful time fraught with disappointments for so many people. The number of people who commit suicide is up dramatically during the season. Let's keep our thoughts on the things above, and the fonder memories of this life during this season and let the Lord cleanse us anew! Let's take the opportunity this season, as the traditional time of the end-of-year reflections and New Year resolutions approaches to give back to the Lord of what he has so freely given us. Love him. Honor him in your heart and life. Obey him diligently. All he wants is the best you can do. Can you give him that? God bless you!
1 John 1: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make our joy complete. 5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.