The 700 Club with Pat Robertson

Matthew Barnett


Co-executive producer, The Star of Bethlehem DVD (2009)

This DVD has been the #1 Independent Documentary in the world and #1 on Amazon

Professor at Texas A& M University

Voted Professor of the Year multiple times

Practiced law in Los Angeles

Directs the STAR Project, a ministry dedicated to spreading the Word of Jesus internationally

Has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, TBN, Fox News, PBS, and BBC

Education: B.A. from USC, a Juris Doctor degree from USC Law Center

Married with daughter


The Star of Bethlehem

By The 700 Club

Rick Larson teaches law at Texas A & M, but his real passion is the stars, one in particular – the Star of Bethlehem. A simple holiday decorating project launched his magnificent obsession. In 2000, his neighborhood was decorating for Christmas and the theme was Disney characters. As a committed Christian, Rick did not want to participate. However, it backfired on him. When his house was a black hole in the middle of all the lit up decorations, people thought he must be an atheist who didn’t celebrate Christmas. This prompted his daughter and him to make decorations for their front lawn for Christmas. After they had finished the wise men his daughter, Marian, asked him to make a star. Being a lawyer, Rick though if he was going to make a star, he would have to investigate it. He did not have much of a science background but he knew he would be a relatively good researcher.

Rick went to the book of Matthew in the Bible, where he created a list of nine qualities that he believes a star would have to have before it could be considered the Star of Bethlehem:
1) It signified birth.
2) It signified kingship.
3) It had a connection with the Jewish nation.
4) It rose in the east, like other stars.
5) It appeared at a precise time.
6) Herod didn’t know when it appeared.
7) It endured over time.
8) It was ahead of the Magi as they went south from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
9) It stopped over Bethlehem.

These nine requirements ruled out the possibility of a meteor, a comet, or a nova. The wise men saw the star stop. Stars don't stop, but planets periodically appear to reverse course and move backward through other stars – retrograde motion. Having come from a conservative Christian background, initially Rick questioned if his fascination with the Star of Bethlehem was appropriate of not. Prior to truly diving in, he did a Scriptural search on stars. Based on that he decided that God does speak to us through the stars but the stars do not determine our lives as modern day astrologers believe. With that in mind and a clear conscience, he jumped in.

The fascination and study of The Star of Bethlehem did not end that Christmas for Rick. After years of research, he discovered that in Sept of 2 BC, at the time of the Jewish New year, Jupiter’s movements begin to satisfy all nine characteristics in Matthew. Jupiter, which is called the “King Planet”, begins to move in a shallow circle like a halo to crown Regulus, a star that is often called the “King Star”. Over a period of months, our watching magus would have seen the Planet of Kings dance out a halo above the Star of Kings while moving in a small orbit that looked like a crown: A coronation in the skies! The starry coronation occurred in the constellation of Leo, the Lion – the symbol of Judah's tribe. The constellation which rises east behind Leo is Virgo, The Virgin. When Jupiter and Regulus first meet, Virgo rose clothed in the sun with a new moon symbolically birthed at her feet. Rick proposes this (the Jewish New Year or Rosh Hashanah) could be the time of Jesus’ human conception.

Nine months later, as Jupiter continues its pageantry and finishes crossing Regulus, it appears to join Venus. The biggest planet and brightest planet became the most brilliant star ever seen in the night sky. Then as Jupiter entered full retrograde, it reached a complete stop. Magi viewing from Jerusalem would have seen it stopped in the sky above the little town of Bethlehem in December. (There is some speculation that the Magi may be descendants of those Daniel mentored.) According to the night sky, the Magi may actually have visited Bethlehem on December 25th, bearing gifts and celebrating the first Christmas. Combining the math which drives the heavens (the Laws of Planetary motion) with computer software, it is possible to animate the ancient skies of the Mid East with great precision.

Christ’s Star, described in the Book of Matthew, correlates precisely with celestial events we know occurred in 2 and 3 B.C. The probability of the series of events all recurring in the right order to match events of 2 and 3 B.C. drops to near zero, and the probability of recurring is nil – something that may or may not potentially happen in 10,000 or a million years from now. These celestial events correlate with the events on Earth proclaiming the birth of Jesus. Rick says, “You can press the Scriptures extremely hard, and they hold up. Our Messiah was announced in the sky. The universe and our solar system are governed by mathematical laws. The solar system moves with amazing regularity, like a great clock.” This means when God created the universe, He knew exactly when Jesus would be born and wrote it in the stars before time.

After his years of research (which he had reviewed by many others), Rick started giving presentations in his Sunday school class. Then other churches started asking him to do them. At the request for more information, he built a website and eventually did a DVD produced by one of the producers of The Passion of the Christ. The DVD has often been rated as one of the top world sellers. Filled with Scripture, it opens with Psalm 19: 1- 2: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.

Rick travels internationally sharing his presentation which dramatically impacts both believers and non-believers. There are always tears shed during Rick’s presentation; unbelievers are touched by the myth now scientifically proven, and believers are profoundly impacted by the powerful truth revealed about this element of the most significant event in history.

Rick marvels at the beauty of this celestial poetry and what it says about God as well as the fact that He let him find it. Also, he describes this as a celestial poem beginning with the birth of Jesus and ending with his crucifixion. The latter part of the DVD is The Day of the Cross.

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