BETHLEHEM, 4 BCE

Jerusalem

Melchior took a deep breath. He felt calmness pervading his body and his awareness expanding as his senses attuned to the sensations of spirit. His eyes opened. He recognized the intense, sacred light shining descending from the Angelic Realm and filling his vision. It appeared to the three magi months ago, disrupted their individual meditations, brought them together, and instructed them to take this journey westward. The prophecies of the Old Testament and the Masters of the East foretold an auspicious birth.

He spoke to his companions Gaspar and Balthasar, “We’ll arrive in Jerusalem today.”

“I foresee a danger,” Balthasar commented, recalling his vision of the previous night.

“Still, we must pay our respects to Herod,” Gaspar said.

“Then let’s be on our way.”

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Gaspar felt the heavy, foreboding presence of Herod’s guard from the moment he and his companions walked into the King’s personal residence. He saw guards at every door, and more as the three approached the reception room. The Roman Senate granted Herod the title of King of Judea. The three knew his reputation as a despotic, paranoid ruler aimed at suppressing the contempt of the Jews.

“Your Majesty,” Balthasar said, hesitating with trepidation.

“Why are you here?” Herod asked, regarding the three with little importance.

“To pay our respects, your Highness.”

“I have no time to waste. Exactly what brings you to Judea?”

“A spiritual quest.”

“Seeking what?”

Gaspar considered his words carefully. “We’re led to an infant who will open the hearts of the Jews.”

Herod’s interest piqued. His face flushed and fists clenched. “Will he rule over them?”

“He will be their rabbi,” Melchior replied, seeing Herod’s controlled rage.

“A spiritual king, no doubt.”

“A teacher.”

“I see.” A calm mask spread over the King’s face. “Where will you go? I’ll send my guard to see you have safe passage.”

“To Bethlehem,” Balthasar said, wondering what was behind Herod’s sudden generosity. “Thank you, but we must make our journey alone.”

“As you wish but return after you find your teacher king.”

The magi turned and departed. A sly smile crept across Herod’s face as he heard a dark, gruff voice from deep within his being. The boy must die. Do anything necessary to see he does. It’s for the sake of the kingdom.

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Balthasar was excited about the gifts and important message the three were delivering to the young couple, Mary and Joseph, and their new son. The gold, frankincense, and myrrh were of minor importance in comparison to the news they carried. He and his fellow travelers saw into the past and future. They knew the significance of their mission for mankind.

The three stood at the door to the small cellar beneath a rustic inn. Balthasar saw the sparse furnishings, felt the coolness and smelled the distinct odor of olive oil. He felt inappropriate wearing clothes made of the finest silk. They weren’t in the fashion of royalty or a wealthy merchant but identified the three as grandmasters schooled in the esoteric traditions of the Old Testament and versed in secret mysteries of the East… perfectly tailored, but unadorned with either gold or jewels.

“Look!” Gaspar exclaimed, pointing at the spiritual lights moving from the heavens into the cellar. “Three archangels!”

Shimmering forms descended from a vortex and surrounded the young couple and their newborn infant.

“Listen!” Melchior said, hearing their ethereal voices, “They chant a haunting melody proclaiming the holiest spirit once again strikes a tent in human form.”

Archangel Michael’s spoke. “We of the Brotherhood have descended to protect the light this child brings to the Earth. You have been led here to become his guides and teachers.”

Balthasar saw glowing spiritual energy flowing between the infant and the three Angels, and tears of joy streamed down his cheek. Overwhelmed, he said, “Mary, Joseph, today is a most joyous day. Your son’s birth was foretold throughout the world. He will be a great teacher for mankind bringing the message that their suffering is relieved by awakening as children of God.”

“Yes,” Mary answered, “I had a vision. My son will be the Son of the Highest and will hold sway over the house of Jacob. Why are you three here?”

“We’re sent to guide your son, Yeshua, in his spiritual journey and help awaken him to his true nature. We’ll occasionally return to protect him and instruct him in religious traditions. He will be wise among all men.”

Then, Gaspar said in a grave voice, “But as we speak, the eternal struggle between evil and good manifests. Malevolent forces are already seeking your son’s destruction.”

“What are you talking about?”

“We called on King Herod before coming here. Of course, he asked the purpose of our visit. When we told him we came to honor the one born to be the Teacher of the Jews, we saw flames of anger in his eyes. He controlled his furor but immediately summoned his own advisors to explain why they did not foresee this new King of the Jews.”

Melchior said, “When he heard the prophecy concerning your son, he could only see through eyes of evil. He’s obsessed with the notion his power and dynasty will be undermined and overthrown by Yeshua. His heart is dark, and in his mind, his wealth and influence are all that matters. He intends to stop at nothing to see they endure.”

“What does it mean for our son?” Joseph asked.

“We learned he plans to murder all newborn children in Bethlehem to ensure there’s no possible threat. We’ll return to our homeland by a different route from whence we came. You must leave to escape the terrible thing about to befall the infants of Bethlehem.”

“I received the same message in a dream but couldn’t believe it.”

The three Angels moved closer to the infant.

Balthasar spoke, “Your son is much more than a teacher and much more than the prophesized Messiah. He carries the bloodline from David and the covenant between God and mankind made with Adam in the Garden of Eden. Yeshua is the refuge of light. He is the hope for all people in all lands, and his safety is of utmost importance. Now, let us tell you about the Egyptian high priests who will protect you.”

As the three departed, Balthasar felt reassured knowing the infant’s family would make the journey to Egypt. Even more comforting, Michael and the Archangel guardians came from their lofty realms to ensure the boy, and his bloodline would fulfill the awaiting destiny.

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