Virgin BirthSign of the Virgin
Gabriel Appears to Mary
Christ is Born
Star of BethlehemThe Magi Witness the Star
The Celestial Fanfare
The Age of Pisces
Great Sign in the Heavens
Birth Chart of Christ
The Clue of the Priestly Courses
Controversy Over the Star Signs
ConclusionHow to Receive Eternal Life
For in this way God loved the world, that He gave His uniquely born Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Gabriel was an angelic herald. He was sent to make announcements (Luke 1:26-27) and to teach (Daniel 8:16; 9:22). Gabriel communicated doctrine and explained it to Daniel and the the virgin Mary. The word, angel, means messenger. Gabriel, the mighty angel from God, was sent to Mary to teach and explain the virgin birth and answer all her questions. The virgin birth was of utmost importance in human history and in the history of the Angelic Conflict. The angel Gabriel was sent directly from God to announce the event to Mary.
The "angel from the Lord" is Gabriel because it is the exact same Greek angelos kuriou that is used to describe Gabriel in the context (Luke 1:11, 19). who appeared to the shepherds in the fields and announced the birth of the Christ child. He brought the "good news" (verse 10), which is the Greek eujaggelivzw (euangelizo), the verb that is also translated in its noun form as "the gospel." "Gospel" means "good news."
The angel informed the shepherds that there was a "sign" associated with the birth of the Savior: The baby would be "wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a feed trough." The "sign" meant that there was a symbolic meaning of this scene. The "swaddling cloths," Greek sparganovw (sparganoo) were symbolic because swaddling cloths were the burial garb for corpses. The word is Ionic Greek. Hippocrates, father of medicine used the word for bandages in 460-380 BC, and the bandages were used for wrapping a corpse. Here in His miraculous birth, there was already a symbol of the Savior's death. The purpose of the First Advent of Christ was to die for the sins of the world. The other symbol, "the feed trough," was foretold by Isaiah.
To see an angelic army of millions at night required light. The light from such a show would have lit up the night sky for miles around. Not only would such a sight have been visible to the shepherds, but it would undoubtedly have been visible to others in the area. The sight would have been as bright as the lights of big city or a night launch of the Space Shuttle. The guests of honor at this glorious celebration were not the religious crowd, but the lowly shepherds, who were believers.
The phrase, "in its rising" is a translation of the Greek preposition ejn (en), which means in and ajnatolhv (anatole), which means rising. This word can refer to the rising of the Sun in the east, but here it is used to describe the rising of a star. The Greek word for star, ajsthvr, (aster) is just a general term that could apply to planets as well as stars. After seeing the star that foretold the birth of the Savior, they were coming to worship Him. Thus, the birth of Christ was revealed to anyone who could apply Bible Doctrine, but there were only two groups in the world who are recorded as taking note of the event, the Magi and the shepherds. The Magi were Gentiles and the shepherds were Jews.
Prior to the birth of Christ, the heavens put on a star performance to herald the most important event in the history of the world. The heavenly show began in 7 BC with a Triple Great Conjunction of the Ringed Planet (nomenclature from Christ in the Solar System)8 (Saturn) and the Mighty Warrior (Jupiter). Three conjunctions of these two planets occurred that year, all in Pisces. The conjunctions of these two planets occur every 20 years and form the tic marks of one of the giant clocks in the sky. This clock returns to its starting constellation every 800 years. However, there is another clock in the sky, which cycles due to precession, the effect caused by the slow gyroscopic wobble of the earth on its axis. The precession clock completes a cycle in 25,800 years. This clock is used to signal an Age of History in the sky. During an Age the Sun rises in the same constellation on the Vernal Equinox each year. After approximately 2160 years, however, due to precession, the sign rising in the sky on the Vernal Equinox will be the previous sign of the zodiac.
The Ages of History4 according to the stars are:
|1||Taurus||4400-2200BC||Adam to Abraham||Redeemer|
|2||Aries||2200 - 7 BC||Abraham to Christ||Atonement|
|4||Aquarius||2437 AD - ?||Millennium (?)||Water man - blessing poured|
The star clocks signaled the beginning of a new Age in 7 BC, the Age of Pisces. Now to the astronomers (or astrologers) of the day, the event in 7 BC was a magnanimous event like the discovery of a new world. For one reason, due to precession, the start point of the zodiac would have shifted backward an entire sign and would require resetting the coordinates so that the signs of the zodiac matched the actual constellations. In other words, at the beginning of a new Age, the astronomers (or astrologers) had to reset their star clocks. Otherwise, over the ages, the winter constellations would be appearing in spring.4
February 20, 6 BC Massing of Three Planets
Kepler proposed the massing of three planets, Mighty Warrior (Jupiter), Ringed (Covenant) Planet (Saturn), and Red Planet (Blood Sacrifice, Mars), which occurred on February 20, 6 BC, as the Star of Bethlehem.3 When these three planets came together, it was like a bright, new star (or nova) in the sky. This would have been an impressive sign to an astronomer.
5 BC - 4 BC Comets
There was a comet that appeared in 5 BC from March 10 to April 27 - i.e. 70 days. This comet had a visible tail and was in Capricornus. In 4 BC a tailless comet was noted in Aquila on April 24, but this may have been a nova.3 Incidentally, Halley's Comet appeared in 12 BC.
Comets are not signs of blessing. They are the wandering stars that symbolize a reversionist (Jude 13). They are generally harbingers of doom.
4 BC Eclipse of the Moon
An eclipse of the moon occurred on March 13, 4 BC and another on January 10, 1 BC.
3 BC - 2 BC Conjunctions of Morning Star and Mighty Warrior
There were two notable conjunctions of the Morning Star (Venus) with the Mighty Warrior (Jupiter). The first was August 12, 3 BC and the second June 17, 2 BC. The Mighty Warrior symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ as the victor on the cross while the Morning Star symbolizes the Lord Jesus Christ in His Second Advent when He will return as conqueror. These two conjunctions are the most likely candidates for the Star of Bethlehem.1
And a great sign was seen in heaven: a woman clothed with the Sun, and the Moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; (Revelation 12:1)The woman is Virgin Israel, as symbolized by Virgo, the Virgin. The woman also symbolizes the wives of Jacob, who is symbolized by the Sun. The twelve stars symbolize the twelve sons of Jacob. The Moon symbolizes the congregation of Israel as well as Jacob's wives. The woman could also symbolize the Virgin Mary, who would bear the Christ child. And the woman can also symbolize Virgin Israel in the throes of labor during the Tribulation.
furthermore, she was pregnant; and she screamed, suffering from labor pains and she was tortured. (Revelation 12:2)The next sign mentioned is indeed the sign of the constellation Draco, the Dragon and symbol of Satan.
Then another sign was seen in heaven: behold, a great red dragon who had control of the seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven crowns. (Revelation 12:3)Satan, the red dragon, will control the Beast with seven heads and ten horns who is the Dictator of the Revived Roman Empire in the Tribulation. The ten horns are the ten states of the European Confederation over which he rules.
And his tail dragged away a third of the stars of heaven; in fact, He (God) threw them down to planet Earth. Then the dragon stood opposite the woman who was about to deliver a child, in order that when she gave birth he might devour (destroy) her child. (Revelation 12:4)The third of the stars of heaven refers to the fallen angels that Satan convinced to follow him. Satan and his angels were thrown out of Heaven and down to the Earth. Satan was the dragon who tried to destroy the Christ child through King Herod. This dragon can also refer to the constellation Serpens, which lurks at the feet of the constellation Virgo. The dragon waiting to destroy the child can also symbolize Satan's attempt to destroy Israel in the Tribulation. He will try to destroy all of the children of Israel to prevent fulfillment of the unconditional covenants to Israel at the Second Advent.
Now, if the Great Sign of the Virgin is taken literally, it would appear in the sky as the Sun in Virgo with the Moon under her feet. This actually occurred September 11, 3 BC (Julian) as shown in the illustration. On that day the Sun was in Virgo and the Moon was under her feet. Since the actual New Moon was a 2:35 PM on September 9 in Bethlehem, the Moon was still near the Sun on September 11. For a brief time after Sunset on September 11, the Moon would have been visible until 7:13 PM.
According to the testimony of Gabriel, who appeared to the shepherds, Jesus was born at night after 6:00 PM Hebrew time.
Luke 2:9-The angel said Christ was born "today in the city of David." "Today" meant this very day, which began after 6:00 PM Jewish time. Thus, Jesus was born at night, after 6:00 PM Jewish time. Assuming that the Moon needed to be visible over Bethlehem, the birth of Christ could have occurred between 6:13 PM (Sunset) and 7:13 PM on September 11, 3 BC.
9 And an angel from the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shined around them; and they were afraid with a great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, "Stop being afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great Happiness, which shall be for all people; 11 for today in the city of David there was born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
September 11 (Julian), 3 BC after 6 PM is 3 Tishri of the Hebrew calendar. Before 6 PM would have been 2 Tishri. However, that may not be absolute, since the Hebrew month began at the first appearance of the crescent Moon after the New Moon, which is assumed to be on September 10, the day after the actual New Moon. Tishri is the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar and the beginning of the New Year. Thus, the birth date of Jesus Christ according to the Great Sign in the heavens was September 11, 3 BC (Julian), 3 Tishri (Hebrew), about 7:00 PM (before 7:13 PM) in Bethlehem.
Virgo, the Virgin, symbolizes the Virgin Mary, who gave birth to Christ. The Stellium in Virgo gives great significance to the influence of that sign in the Chart. The Sun in Virgo adds even more significance, since the Sun sign is the most important indicator of a person. The significance of Virgo is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was born a man, perfect humanity, who was without sin and uniquely qualified to bear the sins of the world.
The Moon was in Libra, which symbolizes the congregation of Israel, the Church, and angels. Jesus Christ was the King of the Jews. The Church was called to be His Royal Family. And the angelic army led by Gabriel announced His coming to the shepherds.
The Ascendant sign was Aries, for a leader. Jesus Christ was the Shepherd who leads the flock. Midheaven was near the Red Planet in Capricornus, for unlimited atonement, which was the purpose of Christ in coming to Earth. And the Almighty God Planet (Mighty Warrior) was in conjunction with Regulus in Leo, which symbolizes a king. Regulus was associated with the birth of kings, which the Magi probably knew. Jesus Christ was the King of the Jews. However, He will not ascend to the Throne of David until the Second Advent.
The Last Adam in Virgo, for a virgin born man, was in opposition to the Mediator Planet in Pisces, for Christ, the intercessor, who interceded for man on the Cross and ever lives to make intercession for man (Hebrews 7:25). This opposition contrasts the human nature of Jesus Christ, who bore the sins of the world, with His priesthood.
The Plan of God includes the Universe. Everything in all creation bears witness of its Creator.
Kepler attached spiritual meaning to the stars. So did Matthew and so did Daniel. Daniel was the greatest astrologer since Adam. Daniel also understood the star clocks and calendars better than anyone. He also attached spiritual meaning to dreams and talked to angels. We don't have a better word than astrology to describe the spiritual interpretation of the stars. So here are the defining principles:
God did not paint the canopy of the heavens in the sky to create confusion. He did it for a reason. One of the reasons is to tell time and make calendars (Genesis 1:14). The movement of the planets against the background of the stars are the basis for determining time. If we used the sun or the moon as the time standard, our calendars would drift so far off that we would be celebrating Christmas in July. Time on earth would have no meaning without a reference point outside the earth. Outside the Universe there is no time. In Heaven there is no such thing as time. So time is one of the parameters of Creation.
The most important event in the history of the world was the substitutionary spiritual death of Christ on the cross. From the time of Adam all of history looked forward to this event. After the cross all of history looks back to it. It was considered so important that the calendars were reset from this event. Unfortunately the monk who researched the date missed it by a year and started counting from one like a Hebrew instead of zero like a Gentile. The absence of a year zero makes calculations that cross from BC to AD more difficult.
The timeline of the cross was so important that God chose Daniel to reveal this to mankind. As a teen Daniel was taken away into Babylon as a hostage. God's Plan for Daniel was to attend the university of Babylon (figuratively speaking) where he could learn astrology. The Chaldeans in Babylon were the most advanced scientists, mathematicians, and astrologers of their day. It was God's Plan for Daniel to study with the greatest minds of his day; to excel them in every way; and to publish the calendar for the remainder of the Jewish era (the period of the Mosaic Covenant).
Daniel learned the secrets of the heavens. He learned to calculate star dates and the meaning of the signs of the zodiac. He received spiritual revelation from God and was personally instructed by angels. Both Michael, the archangel, and Gabriel, the chief herald, were his teachers. He rose to high spiritual status in his day. When he prayed, angels brought the answer immediately from heaven. He was persecuted for his faith and thrown into a lion's den, but the angels of God protected him. He advanced spiritually and was promoted in a Gentile nation by the grace of God.
While a slave in Babylon, Daniel witnessed to his teachers and companions. He led his captors to the Lord. Among these were King Nebuchadnezzar and some of the magi. Through the teaching of angels, Daniel was able to chart the course of human history through his prophecies. He left behind for the magi the truth about the coming Messiah. He gave them a calendar of events that would reveal the time of the Messiah's coming and death on the cross. This information was passed down through the generations until the birth of Christ when the magi understood through Daniel's teaching the monumental significance of this event and traveled to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth to worship the Christ child.
At the birth of Christ the stars foretold the significant event. However, it took educated people to understand it. The Jewish scholars did not have a clue about the message in the stars. However, the coming of a new Age of history, the Age of Pisces, with the Savior of the world was so significant that the magi traveled from Persia to see the Messiah. This was the focal point of human history as revealed by the witness of all Creation. The magi recognized this. They were so confident in their calculation that they traveled to Jerusalem and looked until they found Jesus, the King of the Jews.
The book of Daniel explains the rest of the history of the Jews. It explains the timeline for the cross, the Tribulation, and the Millennium. Of course, there is no mention of the Church Age because it was intercalated into human history. The Church Age was not predicted in the Old Testament.
Daniel prophesied that Messiah would come after 7 weeks and 62 weeks from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25). The weeks were weeks of years, i.e. seven year periods. The decree was by Artaxerxes Longimanus, 465-424 BC.5 The first decree was in his 7th year, i.e. 459 BC (Ezra 7:8). The 2nd decree was issued on March 5, 446 BC (his 20th year, Nehemiah 2:1-8). In the second decree, Artaxerxes granted the Jews permission to rebuild Jerusalem's city walls - not just the Temple (Daniel 9:25).6 Daniel further prophesied that Messiah would be cut off after 62 weeks (Daniel 9:26). This refers to the cross.
The calculation of when the Messiah would come and be cut off is as follows. Bear in mind that the Hebrews start counting with one. Therefore, seven years hence is the current year plus 6 years. Similarly, 7 + 62 = 69 weeks, but counting from 1, requires adding 68 weeks to the current year.
Daniel actually prophesied 70 weeks total left in the Jewish era (Daniel 9:24). Only 69 weeks had been used up when Messiah died on the cross. That leaves one week. The last week will be the Tribulation. Christ will return at the end of the Tribulation to set up His Millennial Kingdom.
The prophecies of Daniel are pivotal in that they establish the timeline for the coming of the Messiah and his death on the cross. They also establish the calendar for the remainder of the period of the Mosaic Covenant. It would last until the cross. Then there would be seven years left, which would be fulfilled in the Tribulation. Then Messiah would return in the Second Advent to establish Millennial rule.
For a Star Chart of the Crucifixion see Biblical Astrology.16
There were not just three wise men as erroneously portrayed in song, but there may have been 20 to 50 of them. And since they were visiting from another country, they may have brought a military escort. Regardless of whether they also had an escort, Herod's army would have met them at the border and escorted them into Jerusalem. So the scene was that of a parade going through the streets of Jerusalem. It made an impressive sight, and crowds surely turned out to witness the event. The Magi were strange, mystical people to the Jews. They were on an official state visit and were met by King Herod.
The Magi Witness the Star
The Magi were so confident in their calculations that they entered Jerusalem; went to the King; and asked,
The Magi had witnessed the signs in the heavens that predicted the Savior's birth. They understood the meaning of the Triple Great Conjunction that foretold the beginning of the Age of Pisces. They witnessed the nova that appeared later due to the massing of planets. Then they observed the conjunction of the Morning Star (Venus) with the Mighty Warrior (Jupiter). They noticed these planets come together on August 12, 3 BC as they rose in the morning sky.1 This was the herald of a birth because the Morning Star is the herald of the dawn, and the dawning of a day is symbolic of the beginning, such as a birth. Furthermore, they may have believed it was the sign of a royal birth because the conjunction was in the sign of Leo beside Regulus. Leo9, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, is the sign of a ruler, and Regulus, the royal star, or prince, has been associated with the birth of kings throughout history. They believed the Star Gospel as taught by Daniel. That's how they knew the birth was the King of the Jews because Leo represented the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
However, according to our more accurate star charts, the conjunction of the Morning Star and Mighty Warrior was not quite in Leo. It was moving out of Cancer on the cusp of Leo. After the bright conjunction got their attention on August 12, the Magi observed the Mighty Warrior (Almighty God) continuing to move toward Regulus until it was in conjunction with it on the morning of September 12 (the night of the birth of Christ), where it stayed until September 16. So, they should have concluded that the Morning Star in conjunction with the Mighty Warrior on August 12 was the herald of the birth of a king, and the conjunction of the Mighty Warrior and Regulus on the morning of September 12 was the birth of the king. The star that they saw rising in the East was the Mighty Warrior (Almighty God) in conjunction with Regulus. The Magi did not have the scripture of the Great Sign in Revelation 4:1-2. They made their assessment from the conjunction of the Mighty Warrior with Regulus in Leo. Thus, they were looking for the birth of a king, not the birth of the human nature of Jesus Christ, the sin-bearer as symbolized by the Great Sign in Virgo.
The animation11 centered over Kerman, Iran in former Persia shows the dance of the Mighty Warrior around Regulus for months after August 12th, 3 BC. The Mighty Warrior represented the Lion of the Tribe of Judah would will die on the cross, represented by the Great Red Spot, and who will return at the Second Advent to conquer the enemies of Israel. On August 12th, 3 BC, the Savior (Mercury) planet was near the conjunction, and the Ringed Planet and the Mediator8 (Uranus) were also lined up. This is shown in the second frame of the animation. The story in the sky on August 12th, 3 BC near dawn was:
The Magi believed the witness of the stars and traveled to Jerusalem. They made an official state visit to Jerusalem with a large entourage. They were escorted to King Herod through the streets of Jerusalem, and they asked Herod, "Where is He who has been born, King of the Jews?" This was news to Herod. He thought he was King of the Jews. But he didn't know the answer, so he had to take an action item.
Matthew 2:3-4, NAS
3 And when Herod the king heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 And
gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he began to inquire of them
where the Christ was to be born.
There was confusion not only in Herod's court but throughout the city because of this news. Herod immediately sent for the Jewish leaders and held a conference with them. In the meeting they reported to him that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem.
The Magi Go to Bethlehem
The Magi went to Bethlehem, but Mary and Joseph had already left. It would have required at least 40 days to reach Jerusalem from the region of Tehran, Iran via camel. Jesus was presented in the Temple 40 days after his birth, which was 33 days after circumcision on the eighth day (Luke 2:22-24) per the Mosaic Law (Leviticus 12:3-8). Following the Temple ceremony, Mary and Joseph returned to Nazareth with Jesus. In the Matthew narrative, all this is omitted. However, the story picks up when the star reappears. Where had it been? First, it was no longer a conjunction of planets; but secondly, it had been lost in the sun's glare.
The animation centered over Nazareth begins with the reappearing conjunction in Leo and continues through December, 2 BC. It begins with the conjunction of June 17, 2 BC in the west in the evening sky. Note, on the star charts east is on the left because they are from the perspective of a person with head pointed north lying on his back. The center of the star chart is what is directly overhead, the zenith. On June 17, 2 BC, the conjunction was still in Leo. After the conjunction, the Morning Star quickly departed, but the Mighty Warrior stayed behind and became the pointer that Matthew called the star. The Star of Bethlehem was the Mighty Warrior (Almighty God). It was:
Virgo is the picture of the Virgin who would bear a son (Isaiah 7:14). She is holding trident branch in one hand and ears of grain in the other. The trident is a symbol of blessing and production. The branch represents the ruling scepter of the Lord Jesus Christ (Numbers 24:17) and Jesus Christ as the Son, or Branch of David (Isaiah 4:2; Jeremiah 23:5; 33:15; Zechariah 3:8; 6:12; Matthew 11:7). The Magi saw the star of Bethlehem foretold by the prophesy of Balaam (Numbers 24:17) come into Virgo. The star the Magi saw was the Mighty Warrior planet, which is shown as the violet dot in the shoulder of Virgo on December 25, 2 BC. The ears of grain represent the impeccability of the perfect humanity of Jesus Christ, who was uniquely qualified to bear the sins of the world.
Beside Virgo is Coma9, the Infant, or Child. The word, Coma, is Latin for hair, which is one of the lies of mythology, but the constellation is clearly of a woman nursing a child.
The Star Leads the Magi
From the preceding expanded translation from the Greek of Matthew 2:9, the verb, proago means to lead forward. The Magi had gone to Bethlehem to look for the Child, and forward from Bethlehem is North. Their method was to observe the relative positions of Virgo and Coma. The Mighty Warrior was in Virgo, which represented the origin of the axis for the azimuth. From the picture of Virgo and Coma overhead, it became obvious that they were in Bethlehem where the Virgin gave birth. But they were not looking for the Virgin. They were looking for the Child, which was represented by Coma. If the Mighty Warrior in Virgo were placed over Bethlehem, the child would be forward, to the North. The progressive imperfect tense of the verb describes action in progress in past time. The star (Mighty Warrior) kept leading them forward, not because the star moved forward, but because Virgo kept appearing with the star in it and Coma to the North every night.
The phrase, "until having come" is an aorist participle that precedes the action of the main verb. The star came into Virgo. It had been in Leo, but it came into Virgo, where it stayed from September for the next two years. The significance was that the star in Virgo pointed to Virgo like the hand of a clock pointing to the number on the face. The meaning could be derived from what was pointed out. With Virgo, came Coma to the north. Both were part of the same scene. The Mighty Warrior reached its closest point in Virgo on December 24th or 25th, and then it began to move out again. From September, 2 BC through December 25th, Virgo with Mighty Warrior in it kept pointing to Coma. Coma was directly over Nazareth on December 25th as shown by Coma in the middle of the star chart. This is shown in the animation centered over Nazareth.
On December 25th, Coma stood directly overhead. Now, it wasn't just over Nazareth. In reality it was over all of Israel. Virgo is over Israel every December, but the Mighty Warrior is not normally there with it. The Virgo scene portrayed the Virgin in Bethlehem and Coma in Nazareth. But the verse says the star "stood over where the young Child was." This was true also. The star was overhead in Virgo, along with Coma, which was directly overhead. They were very close beside each other way up in the sky. The whole scene was over where the young Child was, but Coma was at the zenith. The scene at the right also shows the last planet, the Last Adam (Pluto), which symbolizes the perfect humanity of Christ, who was uniquely qualified to be the Mediator.
The Magi Find the Child in Nazareth
As the Magi went north, they were able to find the house of Joseph and Mary in Nazareth where Jesus was about a year old. The star "stood over where the Child was." "Stood" is the Greek, histemi, which means to stand or to remain firmly, to stay in a particular state. The star, the Mighty Warrior, was overhead along with Virgo and Coma. "Over" does not mean a laser beam from the star pin-pointed Nazareth. It means the star was part of the picture overhead. They understood the picture. The star represented the origin of the coordinate system and the azimuth was north. They saw that Virgo represented the Virgin Birth in Bethlehem, and the Child, Coma, was north (reference map). They followed the direction from the star to Coma, and this led them to the Christ child, who was in Nazareth about 60 miles north of Bethlehem.
When the Magi found the young Christ, they had fulfilled their destiny. The Christ child was about a year old, and they presented to Him gifts of intrinsic value. The gold represented the deity of Christ. The frankincense represented His anointing as High Priest (Hebrews 5:5). And the myrrh was an aromatic resin used in the burial of kings. The Magi paid the highest tribute to Christ; for they worshiped Him not with emotion but with truth. They understood the doctrine of the Messiah. They honored him as God (gold, deity) and man (frankincense, High Priest) who would die (myrrh) for the sins of the world.
Gold was used as a symbol for the deity of Christ in the Tabernacle. The furniture of the Tabernacle was made of acacia wood overlaid with gold. The two represented Jesus Christ in hypostatic union, perfect humanity and undiminished deity. The Golden Lampstand was made of one piece of gold and represented Christ, our light. The Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant was made of gold and represented Christ, our propitiation.
Frankincense was used in the ritual of the Tabernacle. The grain offering, which represented the impeccability of Christ and his qualification to be the sin bearer, consisted of fine flour, oil, frankincense, and salt (Leviticus 2:12). This was "an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the LORD" (Leviticus 2:2). Frankincense was also placed on the table with the bread on the Table of Shewbread (Leviticus 24:7), which represented the "everlasting covenant" between God and mankind (Leviticus 24:8). The "everlasting covenant" was the promise of a Savior to provide everlasting life for mankind. The place of the Savior's birth, Bethlehem, means "house of bread." Frankincense with the aroma that rose to Heaven represented the acceptance of the offering to the Lord. The frankincense represented the ministry of the priesthood, who represented mankind before God. When the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the symbolic type with the reality, He became a priest after the order of Melchizedek, who was a Gentile priest and king. The Lord Jesus Christ was disqualified from being a Levitical priest because he was from the Tribe of Judah and not the Tribe of Levi. Thus, the Lord Jesus Christ became the mediator of a New Covenant, not to Israel, but to the Church. As a mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ was acceptable to God just as the aroma of the frankincense represented.
Thus the sign of Pisces was fulfilled in the gifts of the Magi. The gold represented the deity of Christ, which was acceptable to the Father. The deity is revealed in the name, Lord, which is given to Christ. The deity of Christ satisfied all of the righteous demands of the Father and represented propitiation. The frankincense represented Christ, the High Priest not of Israel but the New Covenant to the Church (Hebrews 9:15). The Magi, who were Gentiles, gave the first symbol of this in the gift of frankincense. Through His substitutionary spiritual death (myrrh), Christ reconciled mankind to God. Thus, the two fish of Pisces, which represented propitiation and reconciliation, were revealed in the gifts of the Magi.
This is not a major problem, however, since the purpose of Christ in His first advent was to die. His birthday was not at all significant compared to His death, which provided atonement for the sins of the world. Jesus Christ came into the world to die as evidenced by His birthday gifts from the Magi. It is the cross that bears remembering, not the birth.
Of the major contenders for the time of the birth of Christ, the 7 BC Triple Conjunction, the 6 BC nova, the 3 BC Conjunction of August 12, or the Great Sign of September 11, 3 BC, the latter is the most plausible. However, in order to accept it, the death of Herod has to be associated with the lunar eclipse on January 10, 1 BC and not the one in 4 BC. Further, the registration of Joseph and Mary has to be associated with the silver anniversary of Augustus on February 5, 2 BC, which required an oath of allegiance by all Roman citizens to the Caesar as lord.3 To support the silver anniversary celebration the census was done prior to the anniversary date or after. If prior to the date, then Jesus would have been born in late Summer or the Fall of 3 BC. Much analysis has been done to support these contentions.
The calendar date in common use for the birth of Christ and the use of BC and AD, came from Dionysius Exiguus (Dennis the Little), a Scythian monk in 525 AD. He lived in Rome and through his scholarly research set the birth of Christ as 1 BC and selected December 25 as the date. The Christian Era then started six days later on January 1, 1 A.D. Since Dionysius did not include a year zero, calculations between BC and AD will be in error unless a hypothetical year zero is added.
From the time of the re-creation of the heavens and the Earth for man, the story of the Lord Jesus Christ has been in the sky. Adam understood the gospel in the stars. The antediluvian civilization created an astrology to deny it. Daniel comprehended it and was given the secret calendar of world events for the remainder of the period of the Mosaic Law. Adam waited for the Savior as predicted in the Adamic Covenant. Daniel prophesied the coming of the Messiah and His death on the cross. He led his teachers and fellow students to faith in the preincarnate Christ while a hostage in Babylon. Through instruction from the angels, Daniel documented the precise calendar dates of world events such as the birth and death of Christ, the Second Advent, and the Tribulation. The Magi were the remnants of astrologers that Daniel led to the Lord in Babylon.
The Star of Bethlehem was the Mighty Warrior (Almighty God). The birth of Christ was heralded by the conjunction of the Morning Star (Venus) with the Mighty Warrior (Jupiter) (Matthew 2:2) and proclaimed by the conjunction of the Mighty Warrior with Regulus in Leo and the Great Sign of the woman clothed with the Sun and the Moon under her feet. The Magi were led to the Christ child after the reappearing of the conjunction of the Mighty Warrior and Morning Star on June 17, 2 BC (Matthew 2:9).
This is compatible with the scripture. The Mighty Warrior is the planet that represents the victory of the cross. The giant red spot on the planet shows where the spear pierced the side of Christ after his death on the cross. One of the elective decrees was that God would provide salvation for all mankind. This was the everlasting covenant (Leviticus 24:8) that was reiterated to Adam after he sinned and to every succeeding generation. God was not surprised by Adam's sin. He foreknew it, allowed it, and provided a solution for it. The Lord Jesus Christ would pay for the sins of the world to provide salvation for all mankind. Adam had lost the rulership of the world when he sinned. When the Lord Jesus Christ paid for Adam's original sin on the cross and for the sins of the entire world, He handled the sin problem and provided the redemptive solution. This was the victory of the cross, which won back from Satan all that Adam had lost in the fall. The Mighty Warrior symbolizes the victory of the cross, which all of history waited to see.
The Morning Star is the herald of the dawn. In conjunction with the Mighty Warrior, it symbolized the birth of the one whose destiny would be the victory of the cross. The purpose of the Lord Jesus Christ in His first advent was to go to the cross, die a substitutionary spiritual death for all mankind, and provide the redemptive solution. The redemptive solution is the victory of the cross, which is the victory over sin and Satan. The victory of the cross is the vindication of the Righteousness and Justice and Love of God in sentencing Satan to the Lake of Fire.
The Birth Chart of Jesus Christ on September 11, 3 BC contains a Castle, which is the home of a king who rules over his loyal subjects. This is compatible with the title of Jesus Christ as the King of the Jews. The Birth Chart with a Stellium in Virgo, including the Sun, and a Castle is fit for a king. Thus, September 11, 3 BC is a reasonable date for the birth of Christ.
The popular date for the celebration of Christmas on December 25th was not the birthday of Christ, but the time the Mighty Warrior in Virgo pointed to Coma, the Child. Because Coma was north of Virgo on December 25th, the Magi went north on the highway from Bethlehem and found the Christ Child in a house in Nazareth over a year after he had left Bethlehem. The sighting of the conjunction of the Mighty Warrior and Morning Star followed by the conjunction of the Mighty Warrior and Regulus by the Magi foretold the birth of the King of the Jews. The observations of the Magi, which are recorded in scripture, along with the Great Sign in Revelation 4:1-2, establish the most precise day of His birth. And the reappearing star guided the Magi to the Child around December 25th, 2 BC, plus or minus 2 or 3 months. Virgo returns to Bethlehem every December, but without the Mighty Warrior. When all the clues are put together, the most accurate date of the Birth of Christ is very likely around September 11, 3 BC.
God's timing is perfect. The Lord Jesus Christ arrived precisely on schedule around 4,000 years after He promised Adam a Savior. He was born and later died in the 62nd week after the 7 weeks of years as predicted by Daniel. Since 7 weeks of years is 49 years, this is sufficient to cover His life span on earth during the First Advent. Jesus Christ was born a human being and uniquely qualified to go to the cross and be the mediator between God and man. In His deity He was equal with God; and in His humanity, He was equal with man. As the God-man in hypostatic union, he was the "uniquely born Son of God" (John 3:16). In sinless perfection, He was qualified to bear the sins of the world. In His deity, He propitiated the Father. He satisfied all of His righteous demands. As a man He could be a priest; for a priest is one who represents himself before God. As a man He could die; whereas, deity could not die. Through living a life of sinless perfection and going to the cross in obedience to the will of God, the Lord Jesus Christ died as a substitutionary spiritual death on behalf of mankind. Having paid for the sins of the world, He reconciled mankind to God and opened the door for all who want to be saved.
The good news that the Lord Jesus Christ brought to earth as foretold in the stars and synchronized with all the clocks of heaven is the gospel:
Believe in the Lord Jesus and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31)
“And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men, by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12, NAS)
Salvation Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Revised December 10, 2010