A Watchtower and a Flock

The book entitled The Life and Times of Jesus Messiah by Alfred Edersheim (1899) reveals that the Jewish belief and conviction were not only that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, but that He was to be revealed from Migdal Eder- the Tower of Flock. This tower was not a watchtower for the ordinary flocks, which pastured on the barren sheep ground beyond Bethlehem, but these lay close to town, on the road to Jerusalem. They were destined for temple sacrifices and those shepherds who watched over them were not ordinary shepherds either. These watchtowers were like forts from where the shepherds would observe their flocks from the second floor. In the occasion of births, the shepherds would wrap the newborn lambs in swaddling clothes for their protection, keeping them without blemish and then laid them in a manger.

The beauty of this story reflects the report of YAHSHUA’S birth, which we read in Luke 2: 6-12: And while they were there, the time came for their delivery, and she gave birth to her Son, her Firstborn; and she wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room or place for them in the inn. And in that vicinity there were shepherds living in the field, watching over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord flashed and shone all about them, and they were terrible frightened. But the angel said to them, do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord! And this will be a sign for you: you will find a Baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. This language was familiar to those shepherds. But they did not associate the Messiah to be the Sacrificial Lamb of God for the sins of the world.

The truth of the matter was that our Savior was not revealed in a manger somewhere in an unknown location, devoid of the meaning that represented His role and purpose for His incarnation. No. He was to be revealed in that point of time as a baby in a specific location destined by God.  His purpose was to be fulfilled in every detail in the life of His Son. Micah so prophesized: 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 of Jerusalem (Micah 4:8). The light of His presence in that place carried out the truth of Whom He was- The Lamb of God that was to take the sins of the world, when He was to lay down His life. At that moment when the shekinah glory has shown in the heavens, it shined the promise given to Adam and Eve at the time of their spiritual fall: And I will put enmity between you (the serpent) and the woman and, and between your offspring and her Offspring; He will bruise and tread your head underfoot and you will lie in wait and bruise His heel (Gen. 3: 15). YAHSHUA’S coming was the beginning of the human race’s redemption. The lambs which were chosen for temple sacrifices were without defect, they were perfect. They had their beginning there at the Migdal Eder. The Son of God was received into the world in that place also. It was not a place where donkeys, goats and other farm animals roamed or stayed, as we have believed. This practice was observed many years before Messiah came. It foreshadowed where He was to be revealed in the space of many years to come. The shepherds followed specific regulations concerning these special flocks: They had to be within five miles of the temple; the male sheep was a burnt (sin) offering and the female was for a peace offering. Our Lord YAHSHUA took the position of a male lamb and was offered as a burnt sacrifice for our sins.

The Old Testament is a representation and an antecedent of the New Testament History. The ministry of Christ fulfilled this particular Old Testament foreshadowed in His birth, and in His position as a Lamb of God to be sacrificed for the sin of the world. The Son of God was wrapped in swaddling clothes and was laid in a manger, He was unblemished, spotless, and without sin, He was the Passover Lamb, born within five miles of Jerusalem, born to die for the sins of the world.  Micah prophesized this in the 8Th century B.C. before Israel captivity in Babylonia. Bethlehem Ephrata is somewhat linked to the death of Rachel, for she died on the way there. As a matter of fact, Migdal Eder was first mentioned in the recount of Rachel’s death. (Gen. 35: 19-21). Bethlehem was the birth place for two special kings: King David and the Great King YAHSHUA. This town is little in size, but great in its importance, as Micah so prophesized: But you, little town of Bethlehem Ephrata, you are little to be among the clans of Judah; out of you shall One come forth for Me Who is to be the Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth have been from of old, from ancient days…And He shall stand and feed His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God; and they shall dwell [secure], for then shall He be great [even] to the ends of the earth. (Micah 5: 2,4).

The birth of the King YAHSHUA was planned by His Father. At that moment the heavens declared His birth through the shekinah glory of God, the angels announced His birth and suddenly there appeared with the angel an army of the troops of heaven praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men, with whom He is well pleased (Luke 2:10,13-14). The humble shepherds, who lived nearby were privileged to be part of the celebration in that very special and symbolic place- The place ready to receive the Son of God. Nothing went missing or lacking, not even when “there was no room for Him in the Inn.”

At the age of two or so, He was honored by Wise men who came from Persia, today Iran. According to the article found in the writing of Prophecy Watchers by Gary Stearman, these were men of great influence and importance. They came with a host of people including servants, escorted by a retinue of soldiers, cavalry, food water supplies and sleeping facilities. They were astronomers, and as such they watched for signs in the heavens such as the movements of the stars, planets’ sun’s and moon’s. “When they had seen His star in the east they came to worship and pay tribute to the King of kings”. Because of the declining succession of early powers, they acquired great political power throughout the region.  The years of Jews’ captivity served greatly to influence their lives in relationship to their prophets’ teachings and their way of worship. They became extremely influenced in their worship and in the belief of prophecy. Daniel, who became a very respected spiritual authority, was the focus point of religious influence. Now they had come to worship Israel’s King! Because they had authority to build and destroy monarchies, they had come to bestow the title of King and High Priest upon YAHSHUA. They knelt down to Him and presented Him gifts: The first was gold. It symbolized His kingship and wealth. The second frankincense, was the symbol of the Levitical and priesthood acts and prayers.  In Exodus 30:34-37 we read: And the LORD said to Moses, Take sweet spices-stacte, onycha, and galbanum, sweet spices with pure frankincense, an equal amount of each and make of them incense, a perfume after the perfumer’s art, seasoned with salt and mixed pure sacred. You shall beat some of it very small and put some of it before the Testimony in the Tent of Meeting, where I will meet with you; it shall be to you most holy. And the incense which you shall make according to its composition you shall not make for yourselves; it shall be to you holy to the Lord.

The third gift, myrrh is associated with the Aaronic priesthood. Myrrh is a gum extracted from a tree that grows in the Middle East. Myrrh was commonly used as a burial spice. It was probably in the perfume with Mary anointed YAHSHUA’S feet before His death. The gifts presented to YAHSHUA all had prophetic meanings. That shows how God the Father’s plan was perfectly executed, although not detected by the world of yesterday. That was a perfect recognition by the Magi.

The birthday of our King was not in December as it is celebrated. Base on Zachariah’s priesthood time of his duty we can calculate when YAHSHUA was born. In Luke 1:5. This passage relates the time of John the Baptist birth, which happened in March. YAHSHUA was born six months after him, which constitutes October, when the shepherds were “keeping watch over their flocks by night.” To celebrate YAHSHUA’S birthday is bringing Him down to the human level who had a beginning. YAHSHUA always existed and will always exist. He was never born in a sense of His beginning. He never commanded us to remember His birthday, but His death and resurrection. Christmas celebration is a tradition shared by many religions in every sense of the word ecumenism. It is a collection of traditions derived from many cultures and nations. Think about that when you are grossly involved in the traditions of this holiday. Remember that keeping Christ in mass will not change the holiday pagan traditions. Celebrating Him with all the trims of the holiday’s tradition is to bring Him to the level of paganism. We cannot make holy that which is unholy and witchy. Christ does not belong on mass!

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