A Proper View of the Stars
Moses continues his speech in Deut. 4:19 and 20,
19 And beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.
In the beginning, God named the stars and revealed His plan of redemption through the constellations. It was man's first Bible, long before the written word was given. Over the years, men perverted the Star Gospel, primarily by misapplying it to false messiahs such as Nimrod and his mother, Semiramis. Thus, false religions developed over the years as the message of the constellations was applied to men other than Jesus Christ.
However, through it all, the stars remained as a witness of truth. The heavens revealed the birth of Jesus, and the Magi—who understood that message—came to Bethlehem from afar to see for themselves what was being revealed in the heavens.
There are two main points that Moses mentions in Deut. 4:19. First, as with graven images, Israel was not to worship the hosts of heaven. Second, the host of heaven was the Star Gospel “which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.” In other words, the Star Gospel was a genuine revelation of God to all men, but many of the people had come to worship those stars as if they were gods in themselves.
This was no different from the bronze serpent that Moses made in the wilderness at God’s command. There was nothing wrong with constructing such a graven image, but it was wrong to worship it. So also with the stars.
Hence, God brought Israel out of Egypt, giving them the law—a written revelation of the truth. It was designed to begin afresh to convey the revelation of God in contrast to the twisted laws and perverted revelation that prevailed among the other nations.
Passover Occurred in Aries
The revelation of the Passover Lamb was given during the month of the constellation Aries, which pictures the Ram in the heavens and points to the death of the Lamb of God yet to come. The law dismissed the prevailing belief in Egypt that Osiris was the god of the underworld as well as the “King of the Living.” According to the Osiris myth,
The myth described Osiris as having been killed by his brother Set, who wanted Osiris' throne. Isis briefly brought Osiris back to life by use of a spell that she learned from her father. This spell gave her time to become pregnant by Osiris before he again died. Isis later gave birth to Horus. As such, since Horus was born after Osiris' resurrection, Horus became thought of as a representation of new beginnings and the vanquisher of the evil Set.
Osiris and Horus were Egyptian counterfeit versions of Jesus Christ. The Egyptians knew from the original Star Gospel that the messiah was to die and be raised from the dead, but their knowledge was perverted and misapplied. Likewise, the Canaanites understood that the Son of God would have to die for sin; but their perversion called for their own firstborn sons to “pass through the fire to Molech” to die for the sins of the parents.
The constellation Aries was called in Hebrew, Taleh, “the Lamb.” It has two main stars in it. The first is El Nath, “the wounded,” or “the slain.” The second is Al Sharatan, “the bruised,” or “the wounded.” Who gave these names to the stars? Psalm 147:4 says that God did this:
4 He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them.
When Jesus was on the cross, the star directly overhead was El Nath, bearing silent heavenly witness to the Messiah on earth that was “wounded for our transgressions” (Is. 53:5). That day was the 1480th Passover since the first one that had been kept in Egypt under Moses. The Greek term christos, “Christ,” has a numeric value of 1480, showing that only the true Messiah could fulfill the prophecy, and that there was only one year in which the prophecy could be fulfilled. No other messiah came forth on that 1480th Passover to die for the sin of the world.
The revelation of the law clarified the Star Gospel that had been revealed at the beginning. In the same manner, the New Testament later clarified the law, after the religious leaders had perverted the truth by their “traditions of men.” Thus, the light of truth grows brighter as time passes, until we enter into the full light of Christ as manifested Sons of God.
God’s Truth in Pictures
Virgo reveals the truth that Christ was to be born of a virgin. Its main star is Zimach (Hebrew: Zemach, “The Branch”). Isaiah 4:2 refers to Christ as “The Branch.”
Libra reveals the truth that Christ was to satisfy the law. It is pictured as a blindfolded woman holding balances to weigh evidence and arrive at the truth. But Libra was originally an altar. The two bright stars in Libra are (in Arabic) Zuben al Genubi, “the price which is deficient,” and Zuben al Chemali, “the price which covers.” These reveal the truth that man was deficient in his attempt to pay the price for his own sin, so Christ covered it.
Scorpio reveals the Redeemer’s conflict with the serpent. Its Arabic name is Al aterah, “the wounding of the Coming One.” Its brightest star is Antares, “wounding.”). One of its decans, or associate constellations, is Serpens, the serpent assaulting his heel.
Sagittarius reveals Christ as the great Archer, which is a Hebrew metaphor for a Teacher. Its brightest star is called in Hebrew, Channun, “The Gracious One.”
Capricornus reveals Christ as the goat of atonement. Its brightest star is Al-gedi, “the kid.” The next is Deneb al gedi, “the sacrifice of the kid.”
Aquarius is the great water urn depicting the outpouring of the Holy Spirit into the mouths of the fish (church). Its brightest star is Sa’ad al Melik, “the record of the pouring forth.” The next is Sa’ad al Sund, “who goes and returns,” a reference to Christ’s ascension and return to earth. One of the decans (associated constellations) of Aquarius is Pegasus, the great winged horse of Rev. 19:11, whose brightest star is Markab, “returning from afar.”
Pisces is pictured as two fish, one facing horizontally and the other vertically. Its brightest star is Okda, “the united.” They are united by the constellation known as The Band. The union between the two nations of Israel and Judah was broken in Zech. 11:14, when God cut the band that had united them.
Aries is the ram or lamb being slain, as we have already seen.
Taurus is pictured as the ox, whose brightest star is Al Debaran, “the leader or governor.” In its shoulder are the Pleiades, mentioned in Job 9:9 and in 38:31 and 32. They are the Seven Stars of Revelation 1:20. They are the Seven Sisters, or the Seven Churches. One of the stars in the Pleiades is Al Cyone, “the center.” Its Hebrew name is Succoth, “Booths, Tabernacles.” In other words, the focus of the Seven Churches is supposed to be the feast of Tabernacles.
Gemini portrays the Twins, one holding a great club and the other a harp. The Egyptians pictured them as a man and a woman, and this is most consistent with the picture of Christ with the club and the Bride with the harp (Rev. 14:1-4). Its Hebrew name is Thaumin, “the united,” and one of its stars is Wasat, “set, seated, put in place.” Ephesians 2:6 says that He has “raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in heavenly places.”
Cancer, has become a picture of a crab, but in Egypt its name was Klaria, “cattle-folds.” The Greek name is Karkinos, “encircling.” Cancer is a Latin word taken from the Arabic Khan, “an inn.” Its two bright stars are the two asses, connecting it with Issachar (Gen. 49:14) and the feast of Pentecost. (See my book, The Wheat and Asses of Pentecost.) The decans of Cancer clarify its meaning. Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, the “bears,” were originally two sheepfolds. They are pictured in the New Testament as the Overcomers and the Church.
Leo is the Lion of the tribe of Judah, whose brightest star is Regulus, “the lawgiver,” mentioned in Gen. 49:10 in connection with God’s blessing upon Judah. The Lion is pictured as the Judge. A bright star in Leo is Denebola, “the Judge or Lord who comes.” The decans of Leo are Hydra, the old serpent, who is being judged; Crater, the cup of wrath in Rev. 14:10 and 16:19; and Corvus, the raven and birds of prey who are called to devour the slain in Rev. 19:17 and 18.
The Written Word
By the time God took Israel out of Egypt, the known world had already misinterpreted the meaning of the stars. Men had already come, claiming to be the One promised in the Star Gospel. Hence, the message was soon perverted in order to make it support their false religions.
Hence, when God bought Israel out of Egypt, He gave them a fresh revelation, which was the beginning of Scripture as we know it today. This Scripture speaks often of the stars, and, in fact, the book of Revelation can hardly be understood apart from some knowledge of the original Star Gospel. Most of its references pass unnoticed, simply because Christians do not know the names of the stars or their meaning.
God gave Israel a superior revelation, beginning with the law of Moses, to which would be added the inspiration of the prophets, the psalms, and finally the gospels and New Testament writings. The nations, on the other hand, were not deprived of the truth, because God had given them the Star Gospel. But because their religious and political leaders had perverted its meaning, most of them had little chance of coming to the knowledge of God unless they diligently sought for it.
The Iron Furnace
In Deut. 4:20 Moses spoke of Israel's affliction in Egypt as being “the iron furnace.”
20 But the Lord has taken you and brought you out of the iron furnace, from Egypt, to be a people for His own possession, as today.
In this he showed that captivity and tribulation are prophetically pictured as a fire. The “iron” is not only a metaphor for strength and endurance (as in a strong and lengthy time of tribulation), but it also spoke prophetically of the iron kingdom of Rome.
Daniel 2:33 shows the fourth empire putting the Western world into tribulation, pictured as “legs of iron.” A second prophetic picture is in Daniel 7:7, where the fourth empire is said to have “large iron teeth.”
And so, for prophetic purposes, Israel's “iron furnace” time of tribulation in Egypt can be seen as a type or microcosm of a much greater and longer tribulation that was to come upon Israel later, beginning with the fall of Samaria and the dispersion of the tribes of Israel in 721 B.C. Their deliverance, then, would parallel Israel's deliverance from Egypt, “the iron furnace.”
Isaiah 10:26 shows that the deliverance out of the great Assyrian captivity is patterned after Israel's deliverance from Egypt, saying,
26 And the Lord of hosts will arouse a scourge against him [“The Assyrian”] like the slaughter of Midian at the rock of Oreb; and His staff will be over the sea, and He will lift it up the way He did in Egypt.
As far as timing is concerned, Israel's sojourn in Egypt was 210 years, while Israel's Assyrian captivity has been 13 x 210 years (721 B.C. to 2010 A.D.). I have proven these time cycles in other studies.
Much truth is obscured by the common Christian belief today that “the tribulation” is a period of just seven years. The truth is that tribulation has usually been much longer than this. Yet it always follows the laws of tribulation found in Lev. 26 and Deut. 28. There we find the causes of tribulation, as well as the solution. Leviticus 26:21, 24, and 28 give us the figure of “seven times,” and it appears to be linked to the Sabbath cycles in verses 34 and 35.
In other words, the Sabbath system in Israel was based upon God's calendar not only for daily life but also for their “tribulation” when they were disobedient. The “seven times” tribulation that began with the Assyrian captivity was actually a Sabbath cycle of 7 x 360 years. The total is 2,520 years, and this is probably the most important long-term time cycle necessary for us to understand prophecy today.
When Moses alluded to Egypt as being “the iron furnace,” he hinted of much tragedy that lay ahead for the nation. The link between Egypt and Assyria means that “the iron furnace” denotes a time of tribulation.