"He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." John 3:36
THE BIRTH OF JESUS Page 1
QUIRINIUS Page 6
KINGS FROM THE EAST SHALL BOW Page 12
THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE Page 18
PONTIUS PILATE Page 23
BY HIS STRIPES Page 30
THE CRUCIFIED PROPHET Page 35
AQUILA AND PRISCILLA FLEE FROM ROME Page 38
THE FAMINE OF ACTS CHAPTER 11 Page 41
SERGIUS PAULUS Page 45
THE MARTYRS Page 49
WALL SEPARATING JEWS AND GENTILES Page 54
THE FINAL SCAPEGOAT IS CHOSEN Page 56
THE FLOOD AND THE TOWER OF BABEL Page 59
THE ROCK CITY Page 67
LOT'S DESCENDANTS Page 74
JEHU & HAZAEL Page 77
KING UZZIAH Page 80
AHAZ, KING OF JUDAH Page 83
SARGON, KING OF ASSYRIA Page 85
MANASSEH, SON OF HEZEKIAH Page 87
JEREMIAH'S ENEMY Page 91
KING CYRUS OF PERSIA Page 94
THE ARK OF THE COVENANT Page 101
SOURCES Page 107
THE BIRTH OF JESUS
THE BIRTH OF JESUS
Every year as December 25th rolls around, our minds begin to focus on the birth of that little baby born at Bethlehem. But more than just a baby, The Savior, Christ the Lord.
Throughout the ages many evidences have surfaced which confirm that wonderful event, God becoming man.
One such evidence comes from an early Church leader named Origen. He wrote that the actual cave where Jesus was born could be seen by anyone wanting to visit it. He wrote the following in "Against Celsus", Volume I, chapter 51:
"In regards to the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, if anyone, after studying Micah's prophecy and the history recorded in the sacred writings by the disciples of Jesus. If needing to have additional sources of evidence, Let him be aware that the Scriptures are confirmed and the Gospel involving His birth, for there can be seen the cave located in Bethlehem where He was born and the manger where He was wrapped in swaddling-clothes. And this site is talked about with great interest in all the surrounding countries. Even among the enemies our faith it is being said that in this cave Jesus was born, the One who is worshiped and revered by the Christians."
Even the early Church historians give evidences for the virgin birth. Justin Martyr, who lived around 150 A.D., recorded that if anyone questioned the virgin birth of Jesus, they should go and refer to the official archives of Augustus Caesar.
Another early Church leader, who was brought up under the Apostle John's instruction, was a man by the name of Ignatius. In one of his epistles to the Ephesians, which was written sometime around 110 A.D., he made the following statements regarding the Virgin birth:
"Jesus Christ our God was . . . conceived in Mary's womb . . . according to the Holy Spirit. Mary's virginity and the One whom she brought forth . . . these are the mysteries which are commonly known throughout the entire world. Yet these things were done by God secretly."
In 125 A.D. another early writer by the name of Aristides also mentioned the miraculous birth of the Savior.
"He being the Son of God Most High, made known by the Holy Spirit, came down from above, and being born of a Hebrew virgin took on himself flesh . . ."
Justin Martyr, wrote these words around 150 A.D.:
"The Lord Jesus Christ our instructor, who was the first born of God the Father, was not born through sexual relations . . . God's power came upon the virgin, lighting upon her while she was still a virgin, causing her to conceive . . . By the will of God, His Son, Jesus Christ was born of the virgin Mary."
According to the Bible, shortly after Jesus was born in Bethlehem, Herod the Great was visited by Magi from the East. They were searching for the King whose Star had risen.
Herod troubled by this King, whom he considered a threat to his imperial reign, sent for the priests to find out where he was to be born. They told him the Child would be born in Bethlehem. Herod then sent his soldiers to that town to slay all the male children two years old and under.
This event may have been alluded to by a non- Christian writer named Ambrosius Macrobius, who around 430 A.D. wrote the following in his work Saturnalia Volume II chapter 4:11:
'While listening amongst the male children's bones, who in Syria, Herod king of the Jews ordered killed, those fewer then two years old, his son likewise he slaughtered.' He (Augustus Caesar) says: "It is better to live as Herod's pig than to be his son"
(Note: Syria, at this time, was known as the area between Asia Minor and Egypt, including ISRAEL.)
Other pieces of historical evidence confirm the evil character of Herod the Great in keeping with the Biblical record.
Josephus writing in the first century recorded that Herod had a number of Torah scholars burned alive for removing Rome's golden eagles from the Temple gates. He also had his wife and a few of his sons murdered simply for considering them a threat to his own throne.
Fearing that nobody would mourn his death. He also ordered that men, numbering in the thousands, should be locked inside the hippodrome in Jericho to be massacred when he died. This would assure there would be great mourning on the day of his departure from this world. Luckily, for those concerned, that order was never carried out.
THE GREATEST STATEMENT MADE ABOUT THE BIRTH OF JESUS
"And you, O (tower of the flock) the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, to you shall it come, even the former dominion shall come, the kingdom of the daughter Jerusalem." . . . "But you Bethlehem Ephrathah. Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting."
In Micah 4:8, the Hebrew word for "Tower of the Flock" is "Migdal Eder." Located near Bethlehem today is a little spot considered to be the ancient site of Migdal Eder.
You see our Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem where all sacrificial lambs were born, and our Lord Jesus died in Jerusalem where all sacrificial lambs were killed.
"The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
Each year during Christmas, millions of believers in churches all around the world read of the birth of Jesus from the gospel account as recorded in Luke chapter two. And each year the man who governed in Syria at the time of the Lord's coming is also mentioned. His name is Quirinius, or if you have a King James Version, Cyrenius. History records much of the man who was lucky enough to be associated with the birth of our Savior.
The earliest historical account we have of Quirinius comes from an inscription found in Antioch Pisidia known as Res Gestae - 'The Deeds of Augustus Caesar by Augustus'. The inscription places him as council in 12 B.C. This position was attained by only two prominent Romans every year and they governed as the Roman heads of state. The inscription reads as follows:
"A great crowd of people came together from all over Italy to my election, more then had ever gathered before in Rome, when Publius Sulpicius (Quirinius) and Gaius Valgius were consuls."
(Res Gestae 10)
Quirinius was by no means a small figure in Roman politics or in his association with Augustus, Tiberius and Caius Caesar. So respected was Quirinius to the Caesar's that upon his death in 22 A.D. Tiberius honored him before the entire Senate. The following is his tribute as recorded by the Roman historian Tacitus:
"Around this time, he (Tiberius Caesar) requested that the Senate pay tribute to the death of Sulpicius Quirinius with a public funeral. . . . A tireless soldier, who had by his faithful services become consul during the reign of Augustus, and later was honored for his victory concerning his assault on the fortresses of the Homonadenses in Cilicia (The province of Cilicia is located just northwest of neighboring Syria.) Later he was appointed to be an adviser to Caius Caesar in the government of Armenia (Caius was counsul and was sent to Syria in 1 A.D. and was wounded in nearby Armenia in 3 A.D. and later died in 4 A.D.) as well as being an advisor to Tiberius, when he was at Rhodes (the Island just off the coast of Asia somewhere between 6 B.C. and 2 A.D.) The Roman emperor spoke of these things before the entire Senate, and praised Quirinius for his excellent service, while he criticized Marcus Lollius, whom he blamed for teaching Caius Caesar the traits of being disobedient and divisive. But most of the citizens were not fond of the memory of Quirinius, because of his involvement in the events surrounding Lepida, whose account I have previously mentioned, as well as the harsh and dangerous power he held during his last years in office." Tacitus Annals- Book III
This account of Tacitus proves that Quirinius was governing militarily in the area of Syria well before becoming the civilian governor of Syria and taking a second census of Judea in 6 A.D., as recorded by the Jewish historian Josephus.
Another inscription, which surfaced in the late 1600's, known as the Aemilius Secundus inscription, also mentions Quirinius governing in Syria as well as ordering a census. The inscription reads as follows: "Quintus Aemilius Secundus, from Palatine, with honors he was decorated in the camp of Divine Augustus under Publius Sulpicius Quirinius legate of Caesar in Syria, prefect of the first Augustan cohort, prefect of the navy's second cohort. Commanded by Quirinius to conduct a census of the
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