Tag Archives: Jerusalem

Who Were The Wise Men From the East?

Wise Men or Sorcerers?

The word for ‘wise men’ in the Greek is magian, [#3097]. It is translated ‘wise men’ in the KJV, RSV, and NKJV. In the NIV it is translated magi and in the Amplified it is translated ‘astrologers.’

This same Greek word is also found in Acts 8:9 and 13:6, speaking of sorcerers. We know that sorcery was strongly condemned by the Old Testament law, and was dealt with accordingly by Peter, Paul and Barnabas. Yet, do we have ‘sorcerers’ witnessing to Jesus and being led of God in Matthew 2? I think not!

Astronomers or Astrologers?

This confusion in translating the words here reflect the common error of equating ‘astrology’ with ‘astronomy.’ ‘Astronomy’ is the science of studying the patterns and movements of the heavenly bodies for the purpose of time-telling and for global positioning, whereas ‘astrology’ is the practice of witchcraft and sorcery, often using what they call the ‘zodiac’ to make predictions and false prophecies. They are as different as daylight and darkness.

When God created the sun, moon and stars He said:

“Genesis 1:14-18 KJV – 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: [he made] the stars also.

17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth, 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that [it was] good.”

We can note that Herod “gathered all the chief priests and scribes together” to find out where the Christ should be born. From this we know that this knowledge was expected of them. Throughout the Old Testament, the priests and scribes were learned in time-telling for the purpose of keeping the Sabbaths, feasts, and holy days. This required a precise understanding and knowledge of the movements of the heavenly bodies; they were scientists, astronomers, not astrologers. This same knowledge of the time-telling heavens was also the means for global positioning in navigating the deserts and oceans.

Was Babylon ‘The East’?

So we see that these “wise men” from “the East” also were trained in this same priestly knowledge and knew the Biblical prophecies of the time of the arrival of the Christ Child. How did they know these things?

It seems clear that they were from the Jewish colony in Babylon. After the Babylonian captivity, a remnant of the Jews returned to rebuild Jerusalem and occupy the land until Christ should come. This remnant may have been only ten percent, and the ninety percent stayed in Babylon, among which, some were priests and scribes, often called “sages” or “wise men” by the Pharisees. These would have also been familiar with the Jewish Scriptures of the Old Testament and their prophesy of the coming of the Christ Child.

Babylon was “the East” in relation to Judea. It was approximately 500 miles east of Jerusalem. So the “wise men from the east” could well refer to those who came from Babylon. They were not astrologers, practicing some kind of occult sorcery, but rather were students of the Scriptures, worshipers of God, and astronomers, knowing how to read the time-telling and global positioning heavens. So they recognized from the stars that the Christ had come, and were able to navigate the desert by following that star. And they were able to evade Herod by hearing and obeying the directions of God.

Revelation 1:1 ‘Must’ The Moral Imperative

Introduction to This Series

This series of lessons will present the facts that the events pictured in the Book of Revelation were not merely an historical report, nor were they a prophecy of things which were to come to pass at some distant future time. They are a record of the fulfillment of things that had been covenanted and prophesied in the Old Testament and history of the nation of Israel, namely the end of the nation and its capitol city, Jerusalem. They are not foretelling the fall of the Roman Empire. Neither are they primarily the record of the invasion of Jerusalem by the Romans. They are the record of the fulfillment of God’s Word regarding His promises in the Covenants. They are about the things that God was morally obligated to fulfill.

1:1. “Things which must shortly come to pass.”


Ray Summers speaks of the word ‘must’ in Revelation 1:1 as indicating a moral necessity:

“The verb translated ‘it is necessary,’ or ‘must,’ … is an impersonal verb which indicates that a moral necessity is involved; the nature of the case is such that the things revealed here must come to pass shortly. The aorist tense of the infinitive ‘to come to pass’ adds to the truth that immediate action is necessary. The prepositional phrase translated ‘shortly’ means just what it says – shortly, quickly, hastily.”

However, Summers takes the position that the moral necessity was the fall of the Roman Empire. But this phrase could hardly be applied to the fall of the Roman Empire for that was neither done quickly, nor immediately in reference to the time of the writing of the Book of Revelation in the first century AD. The Empire fell over a period of more than a hundred years during the fourth and fifth centuries AD. Even through the period of the second century AD the historians Cary and Scullard could say: “To speak of a ‘decay’ of the Roman Empire at this period would be premature” (Cary and Scullard, 488). It is my position that the moral necessity in the Book of Revelation applies, rather, to the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70.

Although I disagree with many of Summers’ basic views, the fact remains that his definition and grammatical analysis of “must shortly come to pass” is quite correct.

What Was Morally Imperative At That Time?

To understand what was morally imperative, and why it was so, sheds much light upon the interpretation of the Book of Revelation since its stated purpose is to show these “morally imperative” events. These four things, at least, were morally imperative in the context of the times:

  1. God must fulfill the blessings and cursings promised in the covenant as recorded in Deuteronomy 28-30.
  2. He must vindicate the words of the Old Testament prophets, specifically, the seventy weeks of years and “Time, Times and Dividing of Times” as given to Daniel.
  3. He must fulfill the predictions made by Christ in order to vindicate Him as
    a. Prophet,
    b. Judge,
    c. Messiah
  4. He must fulfill the vengeance promised in behalf of His Covenant People who had become martyrs:
    a. Because of His covenant;
    b. As their God and Kinsman-Redeemer; and
    c. To cleanse the land from blood defilement.

Please follow this series to get the larger picture of the holistic interpretation of the Book of Revelation.

Propaganda Lesson 2: Jewish Terrorism


On April 9, 1948, “Jewish” terrorist gangs attacked the village of Deir Yassin in Palestine, not far from Jerusalem. They were called the Stern Gang and the Irgun Gang which was headed by Menachim Begin. By noon that day 200 villagers had been systematically murdered.

Some of the victims were paraded through the streets of Jerusalem and some of the orphans from this slaughter were bused into Jerusalem and dumped on the street. This horrible debacle was publicized throughout the land causing more than 700,000 Palestinians to flee in terror into neighboring countries where they were forced into refugee camps and never yet allowed to return to their land. 

Deir Yassin Remembered:

“The massacre of Palestinians at Deir Yassin [April 9, 1948] is one of the most significant events in 20th century Palestine and Israeli history. This is not because of its size or its brutality, but because it stands as the starkest early warning of a calculated dispopulation of 400 Arab villages and cities and the expulsion of over 700,000 Palestinian inhabitants to make room for survivors of the holocaust and other Jews from the rest of the world….

“Although most scholars no longer believe the myth that Israel was ‘a land without people for a people without land,’ that propaganda is still being taught today… Palestinians were dispossessed in 1948 and continue to be dispossessed today in the name of building a Jewish state in eretz (‘Greater’) Israel.

Through their use of propaganda published in the US of A and Europe, these terrorists have convinced many “Christians” that their cause was just and even ordained and approved of God.
For the full account of this event go to