BNW-03 GEN-27 LWP-15
- The Creation of Heaven and Earth (1:1–2:3) and then The Generations of the Heavens and the Earth (2:4–4:26)
- The Generations of Adam (5:1–6:8)
- The Generations of Noah (6:9–9:29)
- The Generations of Shem, Ham, and Japheth (10:1–11:9)
- The Generations of Shem: Genealogy of Shem to Terah (11:10–26)
- The Generations of Terah (11:27–25:11)
- The Generations of Ishmael (25:12–18)
- The Generations of Isaac (25:19–35:29)
- The Generations of Esau (36:1–37:1)
- The Generations of Jacob (37:2–50:26)
Dr. Griffith-Thomas in his excellent book Methods of Bible Study suggests that the OT is a book of:
(1) unfulfilled prophecies,
(2) unexplained ceremonies, and
(3) unsatisfied longings.
In the NT we have the fulfillment of these prophecies, the explanation of these ceremonies, and the satisfying of these longings; and, of course, all of this was accomplished through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One final theme of both theological and historical significance sets Genesis apart from other books of Scripture, in that the first book of Scripture corresponds closely with the final book. In the book of Revelation, the paradise which was lost in Genesis will be regained. The apostle John clearly presented the events recorded in his book as future resolutions to the problems which began as a result of the curse in Gen. 3. His focus is upon the effects of the Fall in the undoing of creation and the manner in which God rids His creation of the curse effect. In John’s own words, “And there shall be no more curse” (Rev. 22:3). Not surprisingly, in the final chapter of God’s Word, believers will find themselves back in the Garden of Eden, the eternal paradise of God, eating from the tree of life (Rev. 22:1–14). At that time, they will partake, wearing robes washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 22:14).
(1:1) Message # 1: the ten most important words So these God’s Word tell us GOD initiated this Cosmos by His own will. God’s Word tell us the Universe had a start and God existed forever before that beginning. God’s Word tell us our Creator designed this world and the universe around it leaving His fingerprints everywhere! He left the only gateway to the True God, the True Creator and the Only Redeemer. God’s Word are the Foundation of our ORIGIN, PURPOSE and DESTINY! God’s Word are the only proper way to understand Geology, Anthropology, History, Philosophy and so on. God’s Word are the only authoritative guide to the origin and purpose of male, female, marriage, family, government; and they alone records the start of sin, evil, cultures, language, Israel and all.
(1:1b) Message # 2: and God made the heavens. Genesis 1 is the most amazing composition in all the world’s literature, using only 76 different word-forms fundamental to all mankind, arranged in a wonderful poetic pattern yet free from any highly colored figures of speech. It provides the perfect opening to God’s Word, and establishes all that we really need to know of the facts of creation. No man could have invented it: it is as great a marvel as a plant or a bird. It is God’s handiwork, sufficient for Hebrew children or Greek thinkers or Latin Christians; for medieval knights or modern scientists or little children; for cottage dwellers or cattle ranchers or deep sea fishermen; for Laplanders or Ethiopians, East or West, rich or poor, old or young, simple or learned . . . sufficient for all! Only God could write such a chapter, and He did.”
(1:1c) Message # 3: and God made the earth. Have you looked around to see God’s signature all over this planet. From the depths of the oceans to the heights of our atmosphere, this planet teems with life. In the deepest seas there are volcanic vents spewing superheated water heavy with poisonous metals and acids; incredibly there is an amazing flourishing of countless exotic and unique creatures. In every biome and ecosystem life overflows this planet. Water is preeminently the seat of life. There is not a bay or creek, not a shelf or a sound on the face of the earth that does not teem with life. Even a drop of ditch water can hold 500 million microscopic creatures so small that a teaspoonful of water would be to them what the Atlantic is to us. God is truly a God of variety. Half a billion infusoria can live comfortably in a single drop. They appear in a thousand species, some are herbivorous, some carnivorous, some have shells, and some have none. They posses mouths, teeth, muscles, nerves, and glands. Some species have between one to two hundred sacks or stomachs, connected by an intestinal canal. The thickness of the membranes that line those stomachs have been estimated to be one fifty-millionth part of an inch!
(1:31) Message # 4: in six days! This is the Creator’s record. This is His explanation of the timing and it is six solar days! There is only one perfect science book in the world, you hold it in your hands (or at least I hope you do, always bring your copy of God’s Word !) All other science books are flawed in that they have not been able to personally record a first hand observation of say the birth of a star, or the origin of a volcano in the earth’s center. There is only one perfect history book in the world, you are holding it in your hands. All others are gathered and collected and have the marks of frail, fallen and fallible humanity all over them. But God has heard every word, seen every event and flawlessly captured what He wants us to know. So why don’t we just look at the record of God’s Word which detail the Creation.
(2:1)Message # 5: the signature of god! This morning God has written His Creative signature across this world. The Heavens and the Earth are crying out in testimony to HIM. This morning, I want you to check out the signature of God across our world. If you look closely with me you will see that there is no way that this world could have come into existence in any way but by the finger of God. First among the awesome fingerprints of God upon birds are their shapes and forms. When Jesus drew the attention of His listeners to the sparrows He was pointing at Himself. For even the lowliest or most common of the bird family are more advanced aerodynamically than our fiercest and most advanced, fighter warplanes. A bird has been well described by scientists as a “living wedge”. If you could sail alongside a bird in flight and noticed its form as it flew you would be witnessing from beak to the last tail feather, an absolute study in complete streamlining. In all the world of biology no creature is more perfectly equipped to resist the laws of gravity than birds. A bird can float through the air like the down of a milkweed pod and yet weigh in at as much as twenty pounds!
(1-2) Message # 6: the first week. There is a path which starts just outside of Eden. It is a path down which Cain began to walk just before he killed his brother. It is the path of human achievement. It the pathway of looking to myself, the pathway of religion and of self-help. It is the path that leads to the Tower of Babel, the path that runs through all the world’s religions, the pathway is named atheistic evolution and that pathway heads straight to hell.
Another path leads from Eden. Abel walked it first followed by a countless multitude who looked to the Lamb not themselves. This path leads away from the world and toward God, it passes by a hill called Calvary and leads to Heaven where the Maker of Heaven and Earth calls all His creatures to worship and obey Him.
(3) Message # 1: paradise lost. What ever happened to Paradise? There was a perfect earth with no sin when Genesis 2 ends. What a place it must have been with all of the glow of Creation unshrouded by sin. Every creature was good, every part of the universe was singing the glory of God. No groaning under the buden of sin was yet present from the creation. But then something drastic happened. What? Adam’s and Eve’s sin. Look at Genesis 3 with me.
(3:1-2) Message # 2: pride: the weakness of satan. God is in an all out war against PRIDE this morning. He wants to stamp it out in our lives this morning. Let’s let Him give us an exam this morning and help us cure our “I” problem today! Humility is an ingredient of all spiritual blessing. Just as every sin has its roots in pride, every virtue has its roots in humility. Humility allows us to see ourselves as we are, because it shows us before God as He is. Just as pride is behind every conflict we have with other people and every problem of fellowship we have with the Lord, so humility is behind every harmonious human relationship, every spiritual success, and every moment of joyous fellowship with the Lord.
(3:1-5) Message # 3: AVOIDING THE DEVIL’S TRAP. Now, to the scene of the last Adam. How unlike the 1st Adam is this last Adam.
The Devil challenged the first man. The Last Man challenged the Devil.
The Devil ruined the first Adam. The Last Adam spoiled the Devil.
The First Adam involved the Race in his defeat. The Last Adam included the Race in His victory.
The 1st Adam dealt a temporary defeat to God’s Creation. The Last Adam brings Everlasting Righteousness.
The First Adam stood as the head of the race and falling, dragged the race down with him. The Last Adam stood as the Head of the new race, and being victorious, lifted that race with Him.
The 1st Adam’s work of causing death could be undone and was at the Cross. The Last Adam’s work can never be undone for He brought endless life.
The 1st Adam did the work of man. The Last Adam did the Work of God.
(3:3-5) Message # 4: the four spiritual flaws. Satan is in an all out attack to make you and me doubt, reject and become deafened to the voice of Jesus. We are not listening to the voice of Jesus when we think wrongly about God! Will you listen to that voice? Adam and Eve chose to not listen to God. Satan wants us to Doubt God’s Word, Doubt God’s Goodness, God’s Authority, and Doubt God’s Plan.
(3:6-8) Message # 5: DOUBTING god. GOD has FOUR truths that destroy Satan’s 4 lies. We would do well to heed God’s Word:
- TRUST His Word. Psalm 119:89 Forever, O Lord, Your word is settled in heaven. NKJV
- REST in His Goodness Psalm 73:1Truly God is good to Israel, To such as are pure in heart. NKJV
- SUBMIT to His Authority. James 4:7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. NKJV
- FOLLOW His Plan Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. NKJV
(3:9-24) Message # 6: running from god. Now, lets stand and ask God to illumine our hearts as we read these verses. Genesis 3:9-24. And as we stand together, listen to God’s flawless record of the spiritual death of Adam and Eve as evidenced by their running and hiding!
As Soon as the word came to God’s Throne that Adam and Eve had fallen to the Tempter’s lies God the Savior set off for the Garden. It was God who went looking for His fallen creatures. It is God who today seeks and saves those who are lost. It is God’s will that all should come to the truth of His salvation, but so many do not. When God came seeking, Adam and Eve ran and hid. In fact, the most glaring reality of our lostness and fallen-ness is the way we run and hide from God. That is one of the reasons many do not come to where God’s Word is taught. When God’s Word is taught God is near. When God is near, sinful and fallen man runs and hides. People even to this day still do not seek after God.
The lost world genesis 4-5
(4-5) Message # 1: the lost world. Not long after God created Adam and Eve and put them in His beautiful garden, where every one of their needs was met, they decided to do the one thing that He had told them not to do. They ate from the tree of knowledge and fell, and the rest of creation fell with them. The whole earth was cursed. Our first parents lost their fellowship with God and were exiled from Eden. Very soon after that, the first murder was committed, when Cain killed his brother Abel. Corruption, violence, polygamy, incest, lying, stealing, adultery, idolatry, and every other sin became common and increasingly worse. Mankind, in fact, became so terribly debauched that God destroyed all people, except for the eight in Noah’s family
(4:1-4)Message # 2: coming into God’s holy presence. In rich earth flew beneath the chubby feet of the boys. It was Saturday again. Every Saturday mom and dad always took them back to that high wall and the little place outside the wall called the altar. There Cain and Abel would watch each week as in tearful reverence their parents killed a beautiful white lamb. And with crimson stained hands placed the lifeless body of that innocent lamb on the blackened rocks piled up. Pouring the blood around the base of the altar, they burned that lamb atop a pile of wood atop those rocks.
The family had done this same thing every week for as long as the little minds of Cain and Abel could recall. Each time it was the same story retold by Adam to his family.
The Wonderful walks with the Creator.
The fateful day they chose to disobey.
The awful eviction from Paradise.
The growing curse of the thistles and weeds in the soil of the planet.
But every week it all came back to this part. And with wide eyes the boys heard about how God had set up this altar and told Adam and Eve this was the only place they could meet with Him. And, this bloody sacrifice was the key to pleasing Him and covering their sins whatever those were.
The one part that never got old was those amazing cherubim. With those four faces, they always seemed to be looking right at you no matter which direction you came from. Those guardians of God Holy presence from Whose presence one of their former members, the anointed cherub Lucifer had fallen. Now they remain guardians of God’s Holy Presence.
(4:5-9) Message # 3: restless cain. This morning our text is Genesis chapter 4. Our focus is the first man who was ever born on this planet. His name was Cain. His tragic choices led him out of the shadow of Paradise, away from the place of God’s presence and into an eternity of restlessness.
(4:10) Message # 4: righteous abel. Last week we watched as Cain departed, God didn’t drive him out, his own hardness, fear, guilt, grief, and shame drove him away! Abel offered a better sacrifice because it represented the obedience of faith. He willingly brought God what He asked, and he brought the very best that he had. In Abel’s sacrifice, the way of the cross was first prefigured. The first sacrifice was Abel’s lamb-one lamb for one person. Later came the Passover-with one lamb for one family. Then came the Day of Atonement-with one lamb for one nation. Finally came Good Friday-one Lamb for the whole world
(5:1-20) Message # 5: WALKING WITH GOD. What an unbelievable life that man had. He lived in the worst time on earth. There were only 8 Noahans and 1 Enoch out of upwards of 5 to 7 billions of human beings who were spiritual and righteous. The world was so bad God had to sweep it all away. And through it all there was a light shining that never went out. There was a voice speaking that never was silenced. There was a life lived that could not be bought out, bribed, or wasted with selfish gratification, Enoch was God’s man. Enoch will forever be the example of how to stand alone for God.
(5:20-24) Message # 6: enoch’S WALK OF FAITH. Here is the great and grand point: Enoch lived in dark, hostile days that were uncongenial to his faith. Life was so inhospitable that finally, in the time of Noah: Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence. God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways. So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.” (Genesis 6:11–13). However, Enoch resisted the sinful gravity of his culture and walked with God for over 300 years! He set his goal on the city of God—God’s place; so he walked the same path—striding in step with God’s pace. Three hundred years of faithfulness! The question is, do we truly believe God like Enoch
The world that perished in the Genesis flood
(6:1-5) Message # 1: no time for god. No time for God, what a dangerous condition. This morning we begin a study of the World that Perished in the Genesis Flood. The entire world had come to the dangerously deadly state of having no time for God. God has told us that one of the final stages of terminal cancer of the soul is when humans have no place for their Creator in their hearts, minds, or lives.
(6:6-7) Message # 2: No Regard for the Creator. The fact that the entire World Perished in the Genesis Flood has been scoffed about for thousands of years. Even today there are men and women scientists and educators who systematically deny that there was a Global Flood of Noah as described in the Bible. What is it that they are trying to remove? God’s compelling testimony of Global Death through a catastrophic flood. He has placed on every continent, every land and under every sea the vivid record of a global flood.
(6:8-12) Message # 3: No man like noah. Noah was the only dad on earth who saved his family from drowning in the great flood. He was unique. We are all unique. God created Adam and Eve in such a way that it would be impossible to ever have two descendents exactly alike. When God breathed a soul into Adam He made him one of a kind. Every human born in Adam’s descent has shared this uniqueness. But among Adam’s generations, God introduces us this morning to a man we can truly say was one in a billion. His name was Noah and his world was on the brink of destruction, eaten by the cancer of sin to the point of being hopelessly, completely and irreversibly evil.
(6:13-22) Message # 4: no testimony more vivid. That huge box, sitting in the back of Noah’s home with rivers of animals marching two-by-two from every corner of the globe was hard to miss. Yet, in their hardness the whole world missed the message, refusing to even listen! No scene so powerful as ark.So all who entered survived; none were lost, none perished. God preserved them all and perfectly portrays our Lord Jesus. While the door was open, anyone and all who believed God’s word could come in. but once the door was shut, no one else could come in. However, there is one little phrase in the account which is often overlooked. It is the record that when the door was shut, no one could get out again; and once they were in, God shut them in so that they were secure
(7:1-22) Message # 5: no escape from god’s wrath. No one could escape the Flood because God caused the earth’s crust to break up at the start of the Flood. Huge eruptions under the oceans for thousands of miles literally boiled the ocean and released steam into the air along with volcanic ash. Immense tidal waves were also created. The steam and the ash that went up precipitated as rain for the entire period of the eruptions. All that are familiar with volcanic eruptions knows this phenomenon. There would be a cooling down of the earth’s atmosphere as well due to the blockage of sunlight. Then oceanic waters not only boiled off and gave the rain, but also swept across all landmass with such force, that the soil and all the trees were uprooted into a muddy soup. No one escaped, the Lost World perished in the Genesis Flood engineered by God. This is the event we will read about in God’s Word. And this event directly caused the death of every man woman, and child on Earth, except 8. It devastated all the forests of earth. It drowned, or suffocated every land animal on earth. It killed every massive and powerful dinosaur. It destroyed every human being. And it left its footprints globally.
(7:23) Message # 6: no event more catastrophic. No event compares to the catastrophic flood of Noah’s day. When Noah walked up the ramp and into the Ark there was no turning back. Noah turned his back on his world, his possessions, his treasures. Instead of grasping what would be destroyed, he walked into the place of God’s Will. He left all and follows the Lord. What about those who stayed back on earth? What did those who were unwilling to leave all behind to go into the ark? They lost everything. All that lasted had to be in the ark. Nothing he left behind would survive.
The Brave New World of Noah and His sons
Under our feet tonight lays the result of Noah’s Flood. Sometimes more than a mile deep is a sedimentary layer cake that shows the global extent of the destruction of the Lost World by the Flood. All that remains of the World that Perished in the Genesis Flood is underneath upwards of a mile of rock layers under our feet. No city, no walls, no towers, no villages remain from the Lost World, they all perished when God destroyed mankind. All remains of humanity from the World that Perished in the Genesis Flood have been buried a mile deep. So that means the Brave New World was the world that Noah stepped into when he exited the Ark. The Brave New World of Noah and His sons was a fresh start for man. Every Stone Age tool, every caveman artifact, and every archaeological ruin on the surface (less than a feet deep) of the earth, all are from the Brave New World of Noah and his sons. Nothing on earth survived the Flood in the World that Perished in the Genesis Flood.
This evening we are going to survey what is probably the most intriguing, fascinating, and informative part of the Bible. Genesis 8-11 lays the foundation for every person on this planet. Every nation, every culture, every legend and myth all come to us from the Brave New World of Noah and His sons. Lets trace the chapters and what we will study in the next few weeks.
|The Brave New World|
As we look around us in this planet we find there is no remnant of mankind that can be verified that predates the World that Perished in the Genesis Flood. What that means is, there is no remaining building of any civilization, no pottery fragment, no tool, no giant living tree, no ancient fragment of writing – nothing on the planet older than 4,600 years ago! All scientific study leads to the conclusion that something wiped out surface life on planet earth about 5,000 years ago!
We live in the Brave New World that was founded by Noah after the World that Perished in the Genesis Flood. It is well known that the oldest living things on Earth are trees. Many of the giant sequoias are known to be over 3000 years old and except for unusual catastrophe, seem to be immune to disease and pest attack. A remarkable fact is that these still-living trees seem to be the original trees that grew in their present stands. Note the following very interesting observation:
Perhaps the most intriguing of the unanswered questions regarding longevity in conifers has to do with Sequoia gigantea trees, which, some believe, may enjoy perpetual life in the absence of gross destruction, since they appear immune to pest attack…. Does this mean that shortly preceding 4000 year ago, (if John Muir’s count was correct) all the then living giant sequoias were wiped out by some catastrophe? 
Has God left a marker that points to the World that Perished in the Genesis Flood? There is no living member of the nearly immortal sequoia trees that dates past the Flood of Noah. All living things date back to the Brave New World of Noah and His sons.
Consider the advance in the study of ancient trees. All findings only further the proof of a recently settled Brave New World. The dendro-chronological laboratory at the University of Arizona recently discovered a stand of trees older than the sequoia trees. These trees are in the White Mountains of California, and are a group of bristle cone pines. Their discoverer says:
Only recently we have learned that certain stunted pines of arid highlands, not the mammoth trees of rainy forests, may now be called the oldest living things on earth. Microscopic study of growth rings reveals that a bristle cone pine tree found last summer at nearly 10,000 feet began growing more than 4,600 years ago and thus surpasses the oldest known sequoia by many centuries…Many of its neighbors are nearly as old; we have now dated 17 bristle-cone pines 4,000 years old or more…
So now think with me. Since these, as well as the sequoias and other ancient trees, are still living, it is pertinent to ask why these oldest living things apparently have had time to develop only one generation since they acquired their present stands at some time after the Deluge. There is no record of a tree, or any other living thing, being older than any reasonable date for the Deluge.
Only God’s Word records the dawn of the Brave New World of Noah and His sons
Now ponder the remarkable antiquity of the Bible you hold in your hands this morning. What this book records is seldom appreciated as it should be.
The Greek writer Herodotus is known as the “father of history,” and yet his writings are contemporary with those of Nehemiah and Malachi, the very last of the Old Testament writers!
The writings of Homer are a mixture of mythology and history, and the line of demarcation between them is quite nebulous, but they date from the same period as the sober histories of Samuel, 3,000 years ago.
And yet the Bible records detailed and accurate histories as far back as 42 centuries ago. This is the world of Abraham and beyond. Abraham’s time was at least a thousand years earlier even than Homer!
In the entire world, there is no other book like this. God’s Word recording the dawn of the Brave New World of Noah and His sons stands alone. The sacred books and the ancient records of other nations fade into dim tradition and sheer mythology only a few hundred years before Christ, but the Hebrew Scriptures incorporate great sections of sober history stretching back to the days before Abraham and, for that matter, back to the very Creation itself! No other writing of such antiquity is at all comparable as a book of history, entirely apart from the question of its divine inspiration.
The Sign Posts to God 11:1-9 Over your head this evening are the bright dots of light we call stars. Many in our world live by the stars, astrologically depending upon the stars for daily guidance. God condemns all such activity as occultic. But do the stars trace an ancient even divine pathway to God? Genesis 11:1-9 shows us the Signposts to God. Babel’s Astrology: The Sign Posts to God 11:1-9 Over your head this evening are the bright dots of light we call stars. Many in our world live by the stars, astrologically depending upon the stars for daily guidance. God condemns all such activity as occultic. But do the stars trace an ancient even divine pathway to God? Genesis 11:1-9 shows us the Signposts to God.
Could God have directed that revelations about Him be engraved upon the only indestructible systems they knew about—namely, the starry heavens. And could it be that the distinctive groupings of stars that had become familiar to all who looked at the night skies were an early set of Signposts to God? These constellations proceeded month-by-month across the heavens, returning again in the same order the following year. Did God present to someone that these star groups and movements could be utilized to record the great cosmic narrative. Since the stars would be permanent, so would the great saga, and so, hopefully, the primeval revelations and promises would be preserved for all time to come.
But the key Biblical reference to the Signposts of God may be Job 38:32: “Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season?”
We know the word Mazzaroth means the twelve signs of the Zodiac and their associated constellations. All conservative scholars and commentators agree on this. But the context shows that God spoke these words to Job, strongly implies that the “bringing forth of Mazzaroth” each season was something that had been designed and established by none other than God Himself. From this we can conclude that the various star groupings and their symbolic counterparts were originally used, and perhaps even designed, for the purpose of conveying a continuing message to people of all places and times, that message consisting essentially of God’s plans and promises concerning man’s redemption.
No matter what the Bible has revealed about the stars, fallen man has taken it in the opposite direction.
- God always condemns the modern system of interpretation of star meanings—that is astrology—in the Bible so that we must by all means avoid any association with these particular teachings.
- God always condemns the modern system of astrology as essentially synonymous with ancient polytheistic paganism.
- God always condemns the modern system of worshiping “the host of heaven” as worship of the fallen angels, or demons, so that whatever evangelical use may have originally been intended by the “signs” in the stars, they have long since been thoroughly corrupted to the ends of paganism and demonism.
The Witness Recorded in the Stars
The most important of these primordial truths seem actually to have been impressed upon the very stars themselves. It almost seems as though certain antediluvian prophets, in view of the impending destruction of the earth and its civilizations in the coming Flood, desired to preserve these revelations by engraving them upon the only indestructible systems they knew about—namely, the starry heavens.
The heavens were filled with distinctive groupings of stars that had become familiar to all who looked at the night skies. These constellations proceeded month-by-month across the heavens, returning again in the same order the following year. Accordingly the idea presented itself to someone that these star groups and movements could be utilized to record the great cosmic narrative. Since the stars would be permanent, so would the great saga, and so, hopefully, the primeval revelations and promises would be preserved for all time to come.
The Bible, of course, does not say which of the antediluvian patriarchs may have undertaken the task of inscribing the great prophecies on the heavens. Josephus, the Jewish historian, recorded an ancient tradition that this had been done mainly by Seth and Enoch.
It is even possible that God Himself was the author of this sidereal “Bible.” The creation record does state that one of the purposes of the heavenly bodies was to be “for signs and seasons” (Genesis 1:14). The Scriptures also indicate that the stars were given names by God (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26).
In fact, the Bible actually refers by name to a number of the stars and their constellations. This is especially true in the book of Job, probably the oldest book in the Bible, if not in the world. Job mentions “Arcturus with his sons” (38:32), the “sweet influences of Pleiades” (38:31), the “bands of Orion” (38:31), the “crooked Serpent” (26:13), and the “chambers of the south” (9:9). There are many other references scattered through the Bible.
Perhaps the most important Biblical reference to this subject is Job 38:32: “Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season?” The fact that these words were spoken to Job directly by God, in the context where they are contained, strongly implies that the “bringing forth of Mazzaroth” each season was something that had been designed and established by none other than God Himself.
The significant fact is that the word Mazzaroth means the twelve signs of the Zodiac and their associated constellations. All scholars and commentators are in agreement on this.
Thus, there is good reason to believe that the various star groupings and their symbolic counterparts were originally used, and perhaps even designed, for the purpose of conveying a continuing message to people of all places and times, that message consisting essentially of God’s plans and promises concerning man’s redemption.
- Nevertheless, there are still so many points of similarity between the themes of mythology, including astrology, and the prophetic themes of Scripture, that it seems the former must be corruptions of an original revelation, rather than raw inventions of either men or devils. Thus, to whatever extent we can still recognize the remnants of that primeval revelation, to that extent we have an additional evidence of the truth of the Bible and Christianity.
The Signs of the Zodiac
The most important of the star symbols are, of course, the twelve signs of the Zodiac, the mazzaroth of Job 38:32. Each sign corresponds to a given month of the year and is referenced to the group of stars which is located on the sun’s “ecliptic” (its apparent path through the sky) during that month. These continually change, of course, as the earth makes its annual revolution around the sun.
As a matter of fact, because of the slight “wobble” of the earth’s axis, the equinoctial points (the “equinox” is one of the two points during the year when the ecliptic crosses the celestial equator and the days and nights are equal) gradually shift from one year to the next. This “precession of the equinoxes” causes the months corresponding to the respective signs likewise to change very gradually.
If the purpose of the Zodiac is to relate a story in the stars, it would, therefore, be important to know the point at which to begin the story. There is no reason to suppose, for example, that the present-day sign corresponding to the month of January would be the starting-point.
Furthermore, there are many other constellations that may have been utilized along with the twelve major signs. The Zodiacal system has been in use since the dawn of history, and usually the ancient Zodiacs (whether in Egypt, India, Greece, Israel, China, or elsewhere) not only exhibit the same twelve major signs, but also thirty-six additional “decans,” or “side-pieces,” three secondary constellations accompanying the major constellation for each month.
For reference purposes, these 48 constellations are listed in the table below.
|Virgo, the Virgin||Coma, the Infant (or Berenice’s Hair)
Centaurus, the Horse-Man
Bootes, the Shepherd
|Libra, the Scales||Crux, the Southern Cross
Victima, the Slain Victim
Corona, the Northern Crown
|Scorpio, the Scorpion||Serpens, the Serpent
Ophiuchus, the Serpent-Fighter
Hercules, the Serpent-Crusher
|Sagittarius, the Demi-God Archer||Draco, the Dragon
Ara, the Burning Altar
Lyra, the Harp-Eagle
|Capricornus, Half-Goat, Half-Fish||Sagitta, the Arrow
Aquila, the Pierced Eagle
Delphinus, the Dolphin
|Aquarius, the Water-Pourer||Piscis Australis, the Southern Fish
Pegasus, the Flying Horse
Cygnus, the Swan
|Pisces, the Fishes||The Band, or Bridle
Cepheus, the King
Andromeda, the Chained Queen
|Aries, the Ram||Cassiopeia, the Enthroned Queen
Cetus, the Sea-Dragon
Leviathan Perseus, the Breaker
|Taurus, the Bull||Orion, the Huntsman
Eridanus, the Fiery Stream
Auriga, the Charioteer
|Gemini, the Twins||Lepus, the Hare
Sirius, the Dog, or Prince
Procyon, the Second Dog, or Redeemer
|Cancer, the Crab||Ursa Major, the Great Bear, or Fold
Ursa Minor, the Lesser Bear, or Fold
Argo, the Ship
|Leo, the Lion||Hydra, the Fleeing Serpent
Crater, the Bowl of Wrath
Corvus, the Raven
There are four reasons for suggesting that the narrative in the heavens was intended to begin each year with the sign of the Virgin. These reasons are as follows:
- Since the primeval promise of the Gospel was contained in Genesis 3:15, it would be appropriate to begin the story with a symbol of the Woman whose miraculous seed would some day crush the Serpent.
- In the key reference to the Zodiac in Job 38:32, God had asked the rhetorical question: “Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?” This seems to be a case of Hebrew parallelism in which “bringing forth Mazzaroth (the Zodiac) in his season” is essentially synonymous with “guiding Arcturus.” It is, therefore, significant that the star Arcturus is one of the brightest in the sky and is adjacent to Virgo, in one of her decans.
- The symbol of the Sphinx is frequently encountered in ancient cultures, and is found on certain ancient Zodiacs. It seems always to be represented as a creature with the body of a lion and the head of a woman. It is shown inside the Zodiacal circle, with the woman’s head facing toward Virgo and the lion’s tail pointing toward Leo.
- If the story begins with Virgo, it must end with Leo, the Lion. This also is appropriate; the Lion represents the King (in the Bible, Christ is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah), and the Zodiacal figures show Leo as springing on the head of Hydra, the great fleeing Serpent, to destroy him.
However, on the other hand, Satan has historically always worked as a corrupter of religion, rather than an innovator. The tragic story of man’s decline from the true knowledge of God to abominable idolatries is summarized in Romans 1:21-32. It is thus much more probable that astrology is essentially a Satanic corruption of an original representation in the heavens of God’s true message to man.
If so, it may still be possible to discern the outlines of that primeval revelation, even after millennia of pagan distortions. It is obvious, for example, merely from a glance at the names of the 48 constellations above, that the story of the cosmic conflict between the Serpent and the Deliverer is the keynote of the entire narrative. It appears again and again in various ways, and this can hardly be a naturalistic accident.
The most ancient Zodiacs are probably closest to the original. Certain important differences are noted on some of these. For example, Gemini may originally have been a united man and woman, rather than two male twins. Similarly, Cancer, the Crab, seems originally to have been an enclosure into which people came from all sides. No doubt there have been many such modifications from the original symbols.
To try to recover the original story, we must, of course, adhere firmly to later written revelation, knowing that God would not contradict Himself. Also, we should in so far as possible, try to think in terms of what would be meaningful to the antediluvian patriarchs who presumably first received and transmitted this information.
With appropriate reservations, therefore, a narrative such as the following might be inferred from the twelve main signs and their respective decans.
- Virgo. “A Deliverer will come into the human family someday, born as a man, yet supernaturally conceived of a virgin, seed of the woman, yet son of God.”
- Libra. “Since man is a sinner and under the curse, an adequate price must be paid to redeem him and balance the scales of divine justice.”
- Scorpio. “The price of redemption must be the death of the Deliverer, since man is under the condemnation of death, and yet, in dying, He must also destroy the Serpent who led man into sin.”
- Sagittarius. “To prevent the coming of the Deliverer in the human family, the great Dragon will seek to corrupt mankind into a race of demon-possessed monsters and murderers.”
- Capricornus. “Man will finally become so sinful as to leave no remedy but complete inundation of his entire world.”
- Aquarius. “The floodgates of heaven will pour forth waters to cleanse an evil world, but representatives of the land animals will survive to fill the earth again.”
- Pisces. “From the waters will emerge the true people of God, as God retains His kingly throne despite all the attacks of Satan.”
- Aries. “In the fullness of time, the seed of the woman will come, ready to die as the sacrifice for man’s sins, paying the great price to redeem His Bride and destroy the works of the Dragon.”
- Taurus. “Having paid the price, the slain Ram will rise as the mighty Bull, to execute judgment on all ungodliness and to rule supreme.”
- Gemini. “As both Son of God and Son of Man, the second Adam will claim His bride as did the first Adam, taking her to Himself forever.”
- Cancer. “All the redeemed will come to Him from all times and places, secure eternally in His presence, enjoying His love and fellowship.”
- Leo. “As eternal King and Lord of Lords, He will utterly vanquish and destroy the Serpent and all his followers, reigning forever and ever.”
This suggested original message of Mazzaroth is not, of course, considered to be certain, but in view of all the unknown factors involved, seems to be a reasonable reconstruction, consistent both with what is known of primeval revelation and with later Scripture. In any case, there seems to be sufficient correlation to indicate the divine origin of this “Gospel in the stars.”