- December 13, 2016 at 6:30 pm #125945
What Really Happened at Christmas?
A Bible Study by Jack Kelley
In the past I’ve explained why I believe Jesus probably was born sometime in September. If that’s the case then what really happened in December? Is Christmas just the result of overlaying Christian beliefs on a formerly pagan holiday as some believe, or is there more to it?
To find the answer we begin with a look at the Jewish Feast of Hanukkah. Maybe you’ve heard the story of Hanukkah, but if not here’s a brief summary. In 165 BC, during the time of the Maccabean Revolt, the Jews recaptured their desecrated Temple from Syrian dictator Antiochus Epiphanes and undertook a rebuilding and cleansing process to make it fit for worship again. (Angry with the Jews and defiant toward God, Antiochus had captured the Temple, sacrificed a pig on the altar, and erected a statue of the Greek god Zeus in the Holy Place requiring everyone to worship it on pain of death. This outrageous act rendered the Temple unclean and became known as the Abomination of Desolation.)
Jewish tradition holds that when they prepared to cleanse the Temple to make it fit for use again, the priests could not find enough Holy Oil to keep the Temple Menorah, a large 7 branched oil lamp, lit for the required 8 day purification ritual. They only had enough for one day. But they went ahead in faith and God multiplied that small supply so that it lasted for the full eight days making the Temple Holy again.
Since then, this miracle has been commemorated in the Feast of Hanukkah, an eight day celebration that includes the use of a special 9 branched candlestick called a Hanukkiah, short for Hanukkah menorah. The Hanukkiah has a single elevated branch, representing the available supply of oil, and 8 additional branches, one for each day of the purification ritual. Each day of the celebration an additional candle is lit, always using the flame of the elevated candle, until on the final day all the candles are burning. This reminds them that the light for each day came from the single day’s supply of oil they began with. Hanukkah is also referred to as the Festival of Lights for this reason.
By the way this Abomination of Desolation is an act destined to be repeated and will again trigger a revolt, this time involving the whole world. When you see a Temple in Jerusalem you will know the time is near, and when you see the Abomination of Desolation standing in the Holy Place you will know that 3 1/2 years of the most terrible time man has ever known have begun (Matt 24:15-21). Whether you see this from Earth or Heaven will be determined by whether you’ve previously accepted the Lord’s death as payment for your sins.
What Day Is This?
As you know Hanukkah takes place around Christmas so I’m going to use the proximity of the two events to make what some would call an outrageous claim. I believe there’s a theological connection between Hanukkah and Christmas that does nothing less than state God’s position on the beginning of life.
In Happy Birthday Lord Jesus I demonstrated that in all probability John the Baptist was conceived in what would have been mid to late June on our calendar and born the following March. John’s mother and father were Elizabeth and Zechariah. According to Luke 1:36 Mary conceived in the 6th month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. That means that our Lord was conceived in late December and born the following September. Because the calendars are different the exact dates vary from year to year, but each year Hanukkah takes place in close proximity to Christmas. Jesus is called “the True Light that gives light to every man” (John 1:9). Was Jesus, “The Light of the World” conceived during the Festival of Lights? Are we unknowingly celebrating His conception at Christmas instead of His birth? If that’s the case do you realize what God is telling us?
When Did Christmas Begin?
The fact that Jesus is God incarnate is amply supported in Scripture. But when did He become God and why did He choose to come into the world the way He did? Jeremiah 1:4-5, Psalm 51:5 and 139:13-16 all allude to the fact that God knew us from the moment of our conception. He knew all the details of our lives and considered us human from that time. To merely be with us in human form Jesus could have arrived as a fully grown man but He came as an embryo because that’s the way all humans begin their life.
Christmas began at the moment of divine conception. God the Father planned it, God the Holy Spirit planted the fertile seed in Mary, and at that moment God the Son took on human form in the womb of a virgin. From that first moment of conception Jesus was very much alive, very much human, very much God. He didn’t become the Incarnate God somewhere along the path of His life, or even when He emerged from Mary’s womb. He had been such from the moment of conception (Luke 1:35). God could not have made any stronger statement about the sanctity of pre-born life.
As a poor, unwed teen-aged girl about to be ostracized from family and society, Mary met all the modern criteria for a therapeutic abortion. But had she and Joseph sought one, it would have been just as much the murder of the Messiah as was His death on the cross 33 years later. So the life of the Christ child really did begin at Christmas. And now you know the adult version of the Christmas story. 12-14-12
“Fair Use For Education and Discussion Purposes”
The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.December 16, 2016 at 8:53 am #126008
Definite food for thought. Love the concept of divine conception connected with the Light of the World connected to Hannukah, the Festival of Lights and the miracle that represents. This also shows God’s view regarding when life begins… the moment of conception.
What a gift Jack Kelly was to the world. Miss his wisdom and insights. Thankfully his messages have been saved for future studies. Gracethrufaith is still blessing us. That’s another gift that keeps on giving. We have no idea the ripple in the pond effect we make just being ourselves in this world. The lives we touch or impact simply by being ourselves. Not even realizing how we touch the lives of others.
Lord, may every Ritan impact those around them for the better in some positive way on our journey here in this world. Use us to influence the lives of those around us positively. Protect us from the bullies surrounding us and increasing by the day to make a positive difference that counts for the Kingdom. Whether large impact or small, may the world be a better place because we once walked here. Currently help us wake up those sleeping, to save lives by receiving You in many more hearts before we leave. May we help in the Harvest to make a difference for the Kingdom of God. To save lost souls by influencing by witness of our lives. Protect us in this rapidly growing darkness as we shine forth your light from within our frail bodies as we point the way to You alone. For it is all about You in the spiritual warfare we encounter. We see and feel the darkness growing and are reminded that it is always darkest before dawn. The darkness encroaching is a sign of where we are at on Your timetable. Help our lights shine forth brightly and enable us to reach souls for You while we still can. We ask this in Jesus mighty Name. Amen
The eyes of the Lord range throughout the entire earth, to strengthen those whose heart is true to him.December 16, 2016 at 6:17 pm #126030
What happened at Christmas? The Lord declared a divine romance with human kind! For when man was created, he was the work of God’s hands. But speaking of conception, mankind had been in the mind and heart of God long before the foundations of the world were laid. This divine romance that God intended, was the work of His heart!
The word became flesh so that He could identify with us and our sorrows, and so we then could identify with Him!
Given the scant information we are given in the word of God and looking towards the heart of God, I have accepted a possible paradigm.
Again, given that we were indeed conceived in the mind and heart of God before time began, I can easily imagine the Lord bragging to Lucifer about this new creation called man. And then when word had gotten out that God had chosen to offer mankind His heart, Lucifer’s pride was pricked.
His rage at being bypassed by God and not having been offered His heart, sent Lucifer into a rage, until this present day! Lucifer’s mindset like that of a scorned lover if you will, purposed in his heart to do everything possible to destroy this intended “divine romance”. Leading to a heavenly rebellion.
Lucifer takes great pleasure in accusing us before God at his throne, and accusing God before us here on Earth.
After the angelic rebellion, many things changed. Firstly, we were not granted immediate access to God, but were placed here upon the Earth. We were made a little lower than the angels (as was Christ), and given to trials, tribulations and testing. What could God be testing? Our hearts! Giving us free choice to enter into His divine romance or to reject Him, as some of the angels had.
The purpose in our initial separation from God, is to insure that those who should choose to rebel and reject Christ, would do so in our abode, rather than in Heaven!
And when I sought the Lord’s heart about why He stacked all things against us, the world, the devil, the flesh, I was given two reasons. Firstly, in doing so the Lord established that by us being subjected to warfare, we would indeed garner the authority to sit in judgment over the angels. Secondly, our acceptance and love of Christ, would be the ultimate indictment against those angels that rebelled!
Surely the Lord was also guarding His heart as well! Once fooled shame on you, twice fooled, shame on Me!
Surely, just as our life was conceived before the Garden and before time began, our Garden failure I believe was anticipated. Not only did the Lord know the beginning from the end, but being created beings, we were also fallible as were the angels! I dare say, that sin was then inevitable!
So then in hindsight, we can surely agree that much more than simply a saviour was birthed!!! The sum total of God’s plans, which issued from His heart, began!
So when we celebrate Christmas and the birth of Christ, we celebrate God’s glorious heart towards mankind revealed!!! We celebrate the height and depth of God’s heart and God’s plans! We celebrate life eternal! We celebrate a “Divine Romance”!
TRDecember 16, 2016 at 7:36 pm #126033
oh, we are destined to be CLOSE to our Exalted and Powerful God ~~ we shall live WITH HIM on His Holy Hill close and IN and SURROUNDED BY CHRIST’s HOLY LIGHT~ . . ~~ nearer than Lucifer ever was ~~ in the richness of unimaginable JOY and LOVE ~
~~ our Jesus with open arms is reaching out to who? To His creation made in His image ~~ to Him, His children are worth dying for, becoming His possession ~~ . . ~~ Heart to heart ~~ Jesus is SO passionate regarding Spiritual intimacy with His own ~ ~ to His dear saved in HIM, He spoke it in Scripture of Himself as the Bridegroom! ~~ . . a Bride for the Heavenly Groom~ imagine such a Marriage, a wedding promised to the Kings kids in Heaven, TO our GOD ADORED, MAJESTIC and SUPREMELY BEAUTIFUL, He has betrothed us~~December 17, 2016 at 4:00 pm #126053
hmm I read this a few years ago and thought it was interesting especially the time frame for his birth lol it would wind up around my birdthay in september. and it actually would fall in very late september like around the 21st pretty much the last day of summer lol so he wasn’t born in the winter he was born during the harvest time frame when the weather was warm enough for the shepards to be out during the night in fields and the census was taken around that time a lot of clues too. so maybe the virgo sign has double meaning? hmm was Jesus sign actually virgo the virgin would be even more interesting even though were not supposed to study astrology. I just fell like we aren’t celebrating a birthday at christmas more like the pagan holiday instead with all of the gifts but maybe instead it was the conception that we are celebrating instead lol and people don’t even know it so his birth would be hidden plain sight but we are celebrating the revelation of jesus’ coming to world.
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