Was Jesus Really Born on December 25th?
“To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the Heaven…” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-15
“Think not that I am come to destroy the Law, or the prophets, but to fulfill…one jot or tittle shall in no wise pass from the Law till ALL be fulfilled.” – Matthew 5:17
“Every thing must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses.” – Luke 24:44
What is it that is written about Jesus in the Law of Moses, and how is He fulfilling it?
Starting in Luke chapter 1…
“Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightiest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou has been instructed.”
“There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zachariah, of the course (family) of Abia (Abijah): and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.”
In 1 Chronicles 24, King David divides the sons of Aaron into 24 groups in order to establish a schedule wherefore the Temple of the Lord would be “staffed” throughout the year in an orderly manner. Each group would serve twice a year, with “all priests” serving during the weeks of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost and Sukkot, for a total of 51 weeks (in a normal lunar year).
Now, the time of Zachariah’s service could have fallen during either the month of Sivan, corresponding to mid-May to mid-June, or it could have been in the month of Kislov, corresponding to mid-November to mid-December. Looking at a diagram of the Holy Days calendar we will see that the second week of Sivan brought an end to the first set of Holy Days – the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost), while Kislov came a month and a half after the second set of Holy Days in the month of Tishri. Why is this important? Because of the description that follows in verses 9-10.
“According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. And the whole multitude of people were praying without at the time of the incense.”
During the month of Sivan, Jerusalem would still be full of people who had come for the Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Firstfruits and the Feast of Weeks – which had just ended the during the 1st week of Sivan. If Zachariah had served during the month of Kislov, this would not have been the case at all. There simply would not have been a “multitude of people” present because there was no religious significance to that month.
“And after those days (the time of Zachariah’s service in the temple) his (Zachariah’s) wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein He looked on me, to take away my reproach among men. And in the SIXTH month (of Elisabeth’s pregnancy) the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgins name was Mary. And the angel came into her, and said, Hail, thou art highly favored, the Lord is with thee; blessed are thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call His name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: And He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that Holy thing (one) which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. And behold, thy cousin Elizabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: AND THIS IS THE SIXTH MONTH WITH HER, who was called barren. For with God nothing shall be impossible.”
“…And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe (John) leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost.”
I find it interesting that God would make a point to tell us in what month of Elisabeth’s pregnancy Mary conceived Jesus. I ask myself, what reason can there be for this…what significance?
With the help of the diagrams of 1 Chronicles 24 and the Holy Days calendar, we can now start piecing together the times of John and Jesus’ births, as well as the prophetic nature of God’s established Holy Days.
On the diagram of the Holy Days calendar, you will notice there are a couple of dotted lines crisscrossing in the middle. These lines separate the HOLY months from all the other (ordinary) months. You might also notice that they are exactly opposite of one another - Nissan 1 being the biblical New Years Day, see Exodus 12:2 and the start of the first set of Holy Days - Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Firstfruits, and the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost, and which are undeniably linked to Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection and the outpouring of the Holy Ghost), and Tishri – The Feats of Trumpets, Day of Atonement and The Feast of Tabernacles.
The problem is, we have been taught for centuries – and falsely so, that Jesus “did away with” the Law, including the Holy Days. Because of this false teaching, we never get to see the “big picture” of what God is doing through their continued fulfillment.
How then do we arrive at The Feast of Trumpets as the birth of Christ according to scripture?
Sivan, mid-May to mid-June…and the conception of John the Baptist.
Knowing that Zachariah served for one week in the Temple…and assuming that he did indeed serve during the 2nd week of Sivan, he would have ended his service at the beginning of the 3rd week and headed home as the scripture says “as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house”.
What does scripture say happened next? “And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived…” This would have put the conception of John most likely within the first two weeks of June (the last two weeks of Sivan). If he were born 40 weeks later, his birth would have fallen around mid-March corresponding to the first of Nissan and the beginning of the Passover preparations. Add six months and we have Tishri 1 for the birth of Christ.
I could stop right here as there is more than enough evidence to support a Feast of Trumpets birth, but what about the prophesy and how it is being fulfilled?
Ask yourself, has the whole Law been fulfilled yet…every “jot and tittle”? Have we seen the dual fulfillment of the Feast of Trumpets and His return for the church, and then again to redeem Israel? Have we seen the judging of the 12 tribes of Israel on the Day of Atonement? Have we seen the 1,000 year millennial reign which is the Feast of Tabernacles? NO!!
Just go back to the character of Zachariah and Elisabeth for a moment…was it not their son who said “Behold, the LAMB of God that taketh away the sin of the world”? Every other Jew at that time was looking for a king…but not John! When John laid eyes on Jesus, He saw a sacrificial LAMB that could save the whole world!! Now for a devout Jew, this really is seeing the “big picture”!!!
Jesus of Nazareth was no “ordinary” man.
He was not born on just any old “ordinary” day.
He didn’t die on just any “ordinary” day.
He didn’t go into the grave on just any “ordinary” day.
He wasn’t resurrected on just any “ordinary” day.
He isn’t going to return on just any “ordinary” day.
The Maggi asked, “…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.” – Matthew 2:2
Not an “ordinary” child.
Not an “ordinary” star.
I find it interesting that the Israelites missed His sign (save Simeon and Anna) while just a few Maggi saw them and searched them out. And so it is, even today…a faithful few looking and waiting for the signs of His second appearing!!
“But of the TIMES and the SEASONS, brethren, ye have no need that I write to you. For ye yourselves know that the Day of The Lord so cometh as a thief in the night (to those who are perishing)…But ye brethren are not in darkness that it should overtake you as a thief. Ye are children of light…therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1
“But I would not have ye be ignorant brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope…for this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that which are alive and remain shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord HIMSELF shall descend from Heaven with a SHOUT and with a voice of an archangel, and with the trump of God…” – 1 Thessalonians 4:13-16
“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trump shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” – 1 Corinthians 15:52
The rapture…not just an “ordinary” day!
I am absolutely persuaded that God doesn’t do “ordinary”, but that He does the EXTRORDINARY!!! His thoughts are not our thoughts. His ways are not our ways. And as His children, He has not left us ignorant of things to come.
Solomon said “There is nothing new under the sun….”
“Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them (astrology, not astronomy). For the customs of the people are in vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with an ax, they deck it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go, be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good.” – Jeremiah 10:2-5.
Sounds an awful lot like “christmas”, doesn’t it?
“But we see JESUS…who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became Him, for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” – Hebrews 2:9-10
Brethren, don’t let Satan fool you into believing the ordinary things in this life. There is NO such term as “christmas” in God’s Holy Scriptures. He marked both the days of His Son’s birth and return as the Feast of Trumpets, not the “Feast of Christmas”.
Here is a good example of this…
Jesus said, “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be…then two shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. WATCH therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” – Matthew 24:1-37-41
Here, Jesus is speaking to His Israeli disciples (11 of which came from the 10 tribes which had been scattered tribes to the north of Jerusalem, Judah being the only “Jew” among them) who knew very well that the Feast of Trumpets was the only Holy Day that no one, save the Father, knew exactly what day and what hour it would commence. Every other Holy Day started at sundown on a specific day of a specific month. But, the start of this Holy Day was signaled by a new moon that had to have an accompanying star, AND it had to be witnessed by several CREDIBLE priests.
This Holy Day would have commenced between two days (the 30th of Elul, or the 1st of Tishri), and as the moon could have appeared while it was still daylight, the people could have still been at their “jobs”…i.e., “in the field”, “grinding at the mill”, even sleeping together on the threshing floor to make the most of their harvest time.
Once the heavenly signs were verified, a shofar (horn/trumpet) would sound loud enough for all to hear. Every ISRAELITE (all 12 tribes) would stop whatever it was that they were doing and make their way to the Temple. It has been well documented of that era that Jewish people would have worked side-by-side with non-Jewish people…hence, Jesus saying “one would be taken and the other left” because that’s exactly what they did on the Feast of Trumpets every year – the trumpet would sound and they would leave the non-Jewish person next to them to go where they needed to go. Jesus’ disciples, therefore, would clearly have understood that He was referring specifically to the Feast of Trumpets when he said this.
Again, this is the only Holy Day that has to be revealed by the Father – a ONE OF A KIND, “EXTRORDINARY” DAY that no one ever knows for sure when it will commence. It could be this year, maybe next year…maybe 10 years from now, but when it does indeed draw nigh, those who have prepared themselves and watched for it, will not be overtaken by it along with the lost. They shall know!!
I will say one thing here regarding the Jewish perspective before I close – it’s essential!!! I believe the gospel was given “to the Jew first” for a reason – because the Jews already knew of the One True God and already had knowledge of His Word. He needed teachers with UNDERSTANDING. Why? We read this earlier: “Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word; It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, That thou mightiest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou has been instructed.”
Remember what I said just a couple paragraphs ago…about the non-Jews being left behind…how they had been “seeing” the things concerning the “times” and “seasons” by their observation of the Jews? Well, now they are being given the understanding to go with it!! Ah, yes…THIS is the way of our Lord!! We all came to the Truth by observing those already in it, didn’t we? All we have to do is look to Ruth…gleaning what was commanded to be left in the fields (2:16)…handfuls of PURPOSE!!!
In summary, wouldn’t it be just like Satan to have us dismiss God’s Holy Calendar in order to keep our eyes focused on all the wonderful and exciting worldly celebrations found on a pagan calendar, losing all sense of God’s time and God’s purpose?
Brethren, we serve a MOST EXTRORDINARY God who has given extraordinary meaning to His Holy Days! Let’s not be found “learning the ways of the heathen”, but rather let us be the righteousness of God in ALL things, and to ALL people, as is our calling.
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