Christmas 2023

Was the birth our Messiah during the 3Feast Of Tabernacles

Many scholars believe Jesus was born during the Feast of Tabernacles. Matthew Henry states:  

"It is supposed by many that our blessed Saviour was born much about the time of this holiday; then He left his mansions of light above to tabernacle among us (John 1:14), and he dwelt in booths. And the worship of God under the New Testament is prophesied of under the notion of keeping the Feast of Tabernacles (Zec.14: 16)." 

For the gospel of Christ teaches us to dwell in tabernacles, to sit loose to this world, as those that have here no continuing city, but by faith, and hope and holy contempt of present things, to go out to Christ without the camp (Heb. 13:13, 14). 

It teaches us to rejoice before the Lord our God. Those are the circumcision, Israelites indeed, that always rejoice in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:3). And the more we are taken off from this world the less liable we are to the interruption of our joys. 

The Bible does not specifically say the date of Jesus' birth. We know it was not during the winter months because the sheep were in the pasture (Luke 2:8). A study of the time of the conception of John the Baptist reveals he was conceived about Sivan 30, the eleventh week.

When Zechariah was ministering in the temple, he received an announcement from God of a coming son. The eighth course of Abia, when Zechariah was ministering, was the week of Sivan 12 to 18 (Killian n.d.). Adding forty weeks for a normal pregnancy reveals that John the Baptist was born on or about Passover (Nisan 14). We know six months after John's conception, Mary conceived Jesus (Luke 1:26-33). Therefore, Jesus would have been conceived six months later in the month of Kislev. Kislev 25 is Hanukkah. Was the “light of the world” conceived on the festival of lights? 

Starting at Hanukkah, which begins on Kislev 25 and continues for eight days, and counting through the nine months of Mary’s pregnancy, one arrives at the approximate time of the birth of Jesus at the Festival of Tabernacles (the early fall of the year). 

During the Feast of Tabernacles, God required all male Jews to come to Jerusalem. The many pilgrims coming to Jerusalem for the festivals would spill over to the surrounding towns (Bethlehem is about five miles from Jerusalem). Joseph and Mary were unable to find a room at the inn because of the influx of so many pilgrims.

They may have been given shelter in a Sukkah, which is built during a seven-day period each year accompanying the celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles. Due to the difficulties during travel, it was common for the officials to declare tax time during a temple feast (Luke 2:1). 

We know our Messiah was made manifest into a temporary body when He came to earth. Is it possible He also was put into a temporary dwelling? The fields would have been dotted with Sukkoths during this harvest time to temporary shelter animals. The Hebrew word “stable” is called a Sukkoth (Gen. 33:17).

"And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn (Luke 2:7)."

Joseph and Mary took the child and flew to Egypt and remained there until they were told by God that Herod was dead. Joseph and Mary brought the baby Jesus into Jerusalem forty days from His birth for Mary's purification and the child's dedication (according to Torah this had to be done within forty days of the birth of a male child–not doing so is considered a sin). This indicates that Herod

Zechariah 14:16 prophesied:

“Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem
shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” 

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My Christmas 1939

My most memorable Christmas was in 1939, 86 years ago., living in Shoshone, Idaho at the time, and attending the local grade school down the block. On the last day of school before Christmas, a group boys said me saying that Santa Claus did not exist. I ran home in tears to seek consolation from my mother.. But she gently told me the bullies were correct.. Santa mythology was wrong: It was parents who loaded the Christmas tree with candy, nuts and gifts. I do not was know how Christmas 1939 was paid for, but the gifts that year were lavish.

Way back in the 1930's when I was a boy the culture in America was slowly recovering from the Stock Market Crash of 1929, from the Great Depression, FDR's New Deal and his four terms in office. We kids had one pair of leather shoes we wore until they had holes in the sole--then mom would cut a cardboard insert giving us another hundred thousand miles. Socks were darned as were sweaters and our old Levi's. The clothes we wore were hand-me-downs. Lots of kids in my first grade class had only one hot meal a day as provided by a government hot lunch program. My mom invited classmates Reuben and Rachel to our house for lunch where she served soup us and crackers and a tuna fish sandwich--on Wonderbread. (R&R lived with their parents n a potato cellar.) 

Our dad was the high school coach pulling in a big salary--$100 a month, would you believe? Shoshone, Idaho never had more than 1500 residents but Dolph inspired his mostly-Basque players to rise to the state basketball championship in 1939. When I was seven years old we moved from our tiny rented house on a windy hill to a plush rented mansion kitty-corner from the High School. It was there my dad wash able to afford my first ancient bike. My next bike that year was a was a Schwinn!


The Calamity Howler


Childhood Vows

...from John Eldredge




The thought of me being called out of hiding is unnerving. I don’t think I want to be seen. Many years ago, during my life in the theater, I received a standing ovation for an performance. The audience was literally on its feet, cheering. What actor doesn’t crave a standing ovation? So you know what I did? I ran. Literally. As soon as the curtain went down I bolted for the door, so I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. I didn’t want to be seen. I know, it’s weird, but I’ll bet you feel the same about being unveiled.

You probably can’t imagine there being a glory to your life, let alone one that the Enemy fears. But remember—things are not what they seem. We are not what we seem. You probably believed that your heart was bad too. I pray that fog of poison gas from the pit of hell is fading away in the wind of God’s truth. And there is more. Not only does Christ say to you that your heart is good, he invites you now out of the shadows to unveil your glory. You have a role you never dreamed of having. 

There’s the beautiful scene toward the end of Joseph’s life where he, too, is unveiled. The very brothers who sold him into slavery as a boy are standing before what they believe is an angry Egyptian lord, equal in power to Pharaoh himself, their knees knocking. The silver cup of this dreaded lord was found stashed away in their luggage as they headed out of town—placed there by Joseph himself as a ruse. Now Joseph interrogates them till they squirm, deepening the plot by using an interpreter as if he doesn’t understand Hebrew, pressing them hard. Finally, unable to hold back his tears, he reveals himself: “I am Joseph; does my father still live? ... So you shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt ... and you shall hurry and bring my father down here” (Genesis 45:3, 13 NKJV). This is who I really am! Tell him about my glory! Amazing.

San Diego, age 14. 

Way back when I was 14 years old, I saw a pair of new Marine corps cordovan dress oxfords at a surplus store. Brand new, $15.00. I talked my mom out of the money and bought them. (She was working at the Naval Air Station making $2.50 an hour). Back then at the age of 13 I had just learned how to masturbate. My new shoes turned me on sexually, no doubt because I felt inadequate as a boy hoping to be strong and brave like the soldiers, sailors and marines I saw every time I went to downtown San Diego. My self image was very low, in other words. 

We kids only had cheap Keds back then. About $7 a pair. Along came Adidas, Nike, Converse, so I started collecting. Long story! I have since mellowed out! The Sneaker Freak generation brought shoe collecting into greater visibility. Pornography was hard to find back then. The trio today known as PMO came later. But, yes, I'm well informed on this subject -- and shockproof.  

But I had an Addictive Personality so my lust for male footwear ought not to surprise anyone. 

At an early age I had somehow come to believe that I was vastly inferior to other boys at school. You might say I wanted to be in the boots of a soldier or athlete. My main reaction to this a bit later was to striver for good grades and proving my worth to my teachers, from junior high onward.. I was sexually abused by a teacher in Junior High. My dad got drafted in late WW2 and was serving in the Navy. He was not there for me in other words

Mine is a long and complicated story. I started addressing this back in the late 50's, through Freudian and then Jungian Analysis. At last I met Jesus Christ in late 1962, everything began to change. 

According to the American Psychological Association, an inferiority complex is characterized by constant feelings of inadequacy or insecurity in your daily life due to a belief that you are physically or mentally inferior to others, whether such a belief is based on a rational assessment or not. 

God IS love

The highest form of love is sacrificial love and that is to be seen in God’s stated love for all mankind.

“...If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven. And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
(John 3:12-21)

God’s next major move in history will the removal from the earth of all those who now Jesus or will know Him soon. Jesus and His Bride will not leave for a holiday on some distant tropical sea short. Jesus will come and remain here with us, but behind the scenes. 

God loves everyone, sinners and saints. He wishes none to perish. By removing His “salt and light” from society, Jesus will then express His Person through the entire earth through trained Jewish evangelists drawing millions into an eternal relationship with Jesus. 

There is a vast amount of information in the Bible about the end of the present age. No one part of the Bible tells all. 

Start by knowing Jesus existentially. He is personal, relational, intimate. Nothing is hidden from Him. Jesus oversees the management of every one on earth one living or dead. Surrender everything you know about, especially yourself, to Jesus. He will take over and lead you into a grand new life where He will prove sufficient for all your needs, hopes, desires. It is not enough to simply experience God, like an incomplete guru or a hippie.

"And this is eternal life: that men my know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John17:3)

We each must learn all we can about the Person of God. He is a rational Person. 

“Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:11-13)

Final Call: the Grand Invitation 

“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star. And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely. (Revelation 22:16-17)

It is when we grant Jesus Christ permission to take over as Lord of our lives that this divine wrath which "rests on us" is removed:

Entire societies degenerate over time--it is unusual in history for a nation or a dynasty to survey more than a few hundred years. No nation, no government--save the case of Israel (see "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done")--has ever been founded on a direct covenant with God. Yet our nation was founded at a time when the godly remnant of the pioneers and colonists was much stronger than it is now. Our nation today has a very large professing Christian population--but the "remnant" (i.e., the embedded minority of true believers), is small and weak.

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December 24, 2023.