Astronomy 101

This is quite involved, but I feel it is necessary for you to get an understanding of the God of the Bible and how He has designed everything for a purpose. We’ll cover the concept and give one example below.

How Did the Constellations Come About?

Mankind walks underneath the most glorious record of deliverance each night, and yet most are totally unaware of this magnificent story written in the stars above. The study of the stars, and more specifically the study of the constellations and what they are saying to us, is not typically taught from the church pulpit today. Some even consider the discussion of such a subject tantamount to witchcraft. The fact that the Lord has warned us in the Old Testament not to worship the stars, and by so doing break the first commandment, has kept many from looking to the story that God has written in the heavens.

(Isa 47:13-14) “All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up.”

The Word of God does, in fact, warn us about soothsayers, fortunetellers and other black arts. Lucifer and his army of followers have always attempted to lure mankind into their distorted camp. If the destroyer of men’s souls can deceive a person into looking to anything other than the true God, he has achieved his goal. Satan will take what God created for beauty and good, and twist, pervert, confuse and cover it, to try to turn man’s heart to the worship of the creation, rather than the Creator, Who deserves glory and honor forever!

“Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the creator” Romans 1:21,22

Most of today’s common knowledge of the constellations, even among renowned astronomers and so called astrologers, is totally devoid of the awesome spectacle of love and redemption which God has recorded in the heavens through the ancient zodiac. In fact, the word zodiac comes from the ancient word Zoa, which means “the path” or “the way.” How wondrous is His love that moved Him to record His word in the heavens, so that all could see.

(Ps 19:1-4) 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. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.

God said, let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and days, and years. ” Genesis 1:14,15

If God made the stars, and they were to be for “signs”, it is logical to ask, “What are the signs is talking about?” The wise men from the east who visited the young child Jesus must have been very assured of the signs that they read in the heaven. They were convinced enough of the star they observed in the east to travel a great distance by camel. These wise men were priests from the country where Daniel and the children of Israel had been led captive. Their culture was schooled in the study of the stars from before Abraham’s time. Daniel himself could have identified to these priests the promise of the coming Messiah to be born of the tribe of Israel, and out of the house of David. After all, he was the chief of all the wise men!

In order to understand the origin and the true meaning of the zodiac, you must believe that the written Word of God is true. You would therefore believe that the world was at one time, approximately four thousand five hundred years ago, covered by a flood. The record of Noah was not “just a story” made up by the Bible’s authors, but an actual event that changed the face of the earth and the history of man. The fact that modern man has been talked into believing the “theory” of evolution is evidenced by the ridicule one often gets when making known he actually believes the story of the Flood. Many people do not believe the creation story of Adam and Eve and the subsequent record of the fall of man. Without this foundation, it is difficult for a person to understand the story written in the stars. The whole subject of the constellations, from Virgo though Leo, is the fulfillment of the promise of God written in Genesis:

‘And I will put enmity between thy seed and the seed of the woman. You shall bruise his heel, but he will crush your head. ” Genesis 3 :15

God had promised a redeemer for fallen man. He first wrote His promise in pictures in the heavens. These pictures told the story in great detail. The promised redeemer, the Messiah, the desire of all nations, the coming branch, would be born of a Virgin. Satan would bruise his heel, but the redeemer would crush Satan’s head. This is the story the constellations give us! The first four of the twelve constellations, and each of their three decans, or sub constellations, deal with the promise of His first coming. The second group of four outline the salvation brought to God’s people as a result of His first coming. The final four specifically proclaim His second coming in power and judgment upon the face of the earth. Death, the last enemy, is destroyed! What a glorious message written above us to read each night.

If it is true that the story written in the heavens is the story of salvation, is it any wonder why the prince of the power of the air, the god of this world, Satan, would work to pervert this original story, this promise of redemption? The birth, life, death and resurrection of the promised redeemer, and his triumphant and total victory over sin and death is a message the adversary would want to cover up.

The origin of the figures written in the stars dates from the days before Noah, when the original patriarchs, the children of Adam through Seth lived. Look at Jude’s bold proclamation:

“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. ” Jude 14,15

Who was this man Enoch? He is the earliest person in the Bible specifically identified as a prophet, (Jude says he prophesied) and a man born in the seventh generation from Adam, through Seth. He was the father of Methuselah and Noah’s great grandfather. Since men lived to such a great age then, it is also known that Enoch lived while Adam was still alive. We also know the Bible says he was “translated,” in Hebrews 11:5.

“And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years; And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him. ” Genesis 5:21-24

There is a ancient book called “The Book of Enoch” which Jude quotes from, but time here does not allow a further study of that writing. You the reader may wish to order it if the subject is of interest to you. Whatever else we may learn about Enoch from reading The Book of Enoch, one thing is certain: this man walked with God.

We know from Genesis that Adam named all of the animals. Could it be possible that on those many starlit nights, as he gazed up at the stars with Eve, that Adam also named the stars? Certainly God gave these names by revelation to someone, because the ancient meaning of the names of the stars in each constellation also tells God’s meaning of the constellation. Perhaps Adam passed the names on to Seth, and Seth to Enos, and Enos to Cainan, and Cainan to Mahalaleel, and Mahalaleel to Jared, and Jared to Enoch, and Enoch to Methuselah, and Methuselah to Lamech, and Lamech to Noah, and Noah on to the post-Flood world. This knowledge was somehow passed on with great accuracy because all the most ancient civilizations have the same twelve figures represented in their zodiacs!

The book of Job, which most Bible scholars believe to be the oldest book in the Bible, was probably written approximately 2150 B.C., 650 years before Moses was born in Egypt. This is over 1,100 years before Homer’s Odyssey and 1,500 years before Thales, the first of the philosophers, was born. There are many references in the book of Job to the constellations. In Chapter 38, God breaks into the conversation and speaks to Job and his false comforters, saying:

“Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? Canst thou bring Mazzaroth in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?” Job 38:31,32

This is a clear reference to the constellations of Orion and Pleiades, and the star Arcturus. Mazzaroth is a Hebrew word which means “the constellations of the zodiac.” Also in the book of Job there is reference to Cetus, the Sea Monster, and to Draco, the Great Dragon. Here in the oldest book of the Bible, written centuries before the Greek and Roman pagan cultures, we find that the constellations of the zodiac were already clearly known and understood.

“By His Spirit he hath garnished the heavens, His hand hath formed the crooked serpent. ” Job 26:13

The purpose of this study is to clearly set forth the basic information you will need to know in order to understand the magnificent beauty of God’s handiwork in the heavens. The foundation for this work was laid in the 1800’s through the work of E.W. Bullinger, and Joseph Seiss, both of whom wrote wonderful and thorough works on the subject. In more recent times, Dr. James Kennedy’s book entitled, “The Real Meaning of the Zodiac,” has served to enlighten many in modern America.

(2 Peter 1:20-21)Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. “

The Twelve Signs of the Zodiac The chart of the zodiac shows twelve major signs around the ecliptic, which was the apparent path that the sun traveled through the heavens. This path was determined by the earth’s rotation, and its tilt away from or toward the sun. The ecliptic is divided into twelve houses, or tabernacles, each of which is 30 degrees of the 360 degree circle the sun travels.

In addition to the twelve major signs, each sign has three decans, which is a word which comes from the ancient shemetic root dek which means a “piece” or “to break in pieces.” So in addition to the twelve major signs, there are 36 decans. Another way of seeing the Mazzaroth (the constellations of the zodiac) is having twelve major themes, each with three minor themes. As there were twelve tribes, and twelve apostles, so there are twelve chapters in the heavenly story. The twelve chapters are divided into three major themes, or sections, each comprising four figures of the zodiac. As we look at each of the twelve signs, the orderliness of God’s design becomes apparent.

The first constellation in each section has for its great subject the person of the redeemer in prophecy and promise. The last constellation in each division has for its subject the fulfillment of that prophecy in triumph and victory. The two central constellations in each section tell of the work which is accomplished, the first in grace, and the latter in conflict. Praise God that at the end of each of the three divisions of the constellations, we see the devil vanquished. The first being Draco, the dragon being cast down; the second division ends with Cetus, the Sea Monster destroyed. The orderliness of God’s design is astounding! Each of the decans tells the story of the major constellation in further detail. The Lord did not want us to be ignorant concerning his promise. For whoever has eyes to see and ears to hear, the message in the heavens speaks very loudly.

NOTE: This same kind of information is available for all the zodiac signs and the planets, sun and moon. God designed the zodiac for HIS purposes. It is such a shame that once again Satan has made way to confuse what God had designed, and deceive the world.

An Example: VIRGO (The Virgin)

“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. ” Genesis 3 :15

This record in the Bible is called the protoevangelium, or the first evangel, the first preaching of the Gospel. When God says the seed of the woman would bruise thy head, and thou shall bruise his heel, it means that Satan was going to bruise the heel of Christ by bringing about his death on the cross, but He (Christ, the redeemer) would rise again and totally and eternally destroy Satan. This is the Gospel that the pictures in the heavens portray. Let us then proceed with the first figure of the zodiac, the one from whom “her seed” was to come. There is no redeemer without his birth, and so Virgo is the first in logical order of all the twelve signs, and the first chapter in the story of salvation. It is also interesting to note that the ancient sphinx of Egypt helps us unlock which sign is first and which is last. In the ancient temple of Esneh in Egypt, there is a great painting in the ceiling which shows the whole picture of the zodiac with all the constellations. Between the figure of Virgo, the Virgin, and Leo, the Lion, there is carved the figure of the sphinx. The most ancient zodiac begins with Virgo.

“Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son.” Isaiah 7:14

At the beginning of the Gospel presentation lies the Virgin. As Christians, we confess that Jesus Christ was “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.” The central theme of the whole Bible and of primeval astronomy was the way of salvation through the promised Messiah, the Gospel of the grace of God through his only begotten Son. So it is that this Constellation stands first, representing the virgin who would bring forth the promised One. In all ancient cultures, she is clearly understood to be a Virgin.

Most noteworthy is what the maiden is holding. In her left hand is the spica, which represents the ear of grain, the best seed, which when sown, would bring forth the harvest of salvation. In John 12:21-24 the Lord himself witnessed that he was as the seed, which needed to fall to the ground and die in order to bring forth fruitfulness. In her right hand is a branch, or a sprout of a plant or root. This is another reoccurring theme through out the scriptures.

“In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful and glorious” Isaiah 4:2

“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will raise to David a Branch of righteousness; A King shall reign and prosper, and execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. ” Jeremiah 23: 5

“Then speak to them saying: Behold, the man whose name is the Branch! From His place He shall branch out, and he shall build the temple of the Lord. He shall bear the glory, and shall rule and sit on His throne. ” Zechariah 6:12.

The Major stars in this constellation are named as follows: Al Zimach, “the shoot,” AI Azal, meaning “the branch,” and Subilon, which means “the ear of wheat.”

The Birth of Christ & The Heavenly Signs The date of the birth of Jesus Christ has been a subject of much debate for hundreds of years. Science has come up with the date September 11, 3 B.C.

Revelation 12:1 is pronouncing the heavenly sign that was taking place at the birth of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 12:1-2 (NIV) ‘A great wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars can her head -‘She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth.

Scientific computer generators confirm this celestial event occurred in the constellation Virgo (The Promised Seed of the woman) on September 11, 3 B.C. (Tishri 1), shortly after sunset. Note: Tishri 1 is one of the months on the Religious Calendar that used in the past. We will cover the calendar in depth later.

The woman is clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet. Venus (The Promised Seed arriving) and Mercury (Gabriel) are in the upper part of the woman, between her breast and her head. Venus and Mercury are also in conjunction with the constellation Coma. Jupiter is seen in near conjunction with the star Regulus (anciently known as the king star) in the constellation Leo (representing the tribe Judah). Jupiter, Venus and Mercury were seen in the eastern sky, before sunrise, on the morning of September 12 (Tishri 1), 3 B.C. Venus and Mercury were still in conjunction with Coma on the morning of September 13 (Tishri 2), when Jupiter was in conjunction with Regulus.

The eighth century Arabian astronomer Albumazar wrote, concerning Coma, “There arises in the first Decan, as the Persians, Chaldeans, and Egyptians, and the two Hermes and Ascalius teach, a young woman, whose Persian name denotes a pure virgin, sitting on a throne, nourishing an infant boy, said boy having a Hebrew name, by some nations called IHESU, with the signification IEZA, which in Greek is called CHRISTOS.” On the mornings of September 12 (Tishri 1) and September 13 (Tishri 2), 3 B.C., Venus (Jesus Christ the Promised Seed) was in conjunction with the infant boy in Coma. Mercury (Gabriel) was in conjunction with the woman in Coma, even the woman’s womb on September 12 (also in the evening of September 11, though set below the western horizon and not seen from Israel until its rising just before sunrise). The heavens at this time were announcing the birth of the long desired Promised Seed. It was Gabriel (most likely) who literally announced this good news to the shepherds on the evening of September 11 (Luke 2:8-20).

The position of Jupiter in Leo puts emphasis on the Promised Seed, the King of the Judeans, coming from the tribe of Judah. This is foretold in Genesis 49:8-12, and is also mentioned in Revelation 5:5.

Revelation 5:5 (KJV) And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

There was a lot of celestial activity in the sign of Leo shortly before and after the birth of Jesus Christ. These included a Jupiter/Venus conjunction on August 12, 3 B.C.; the above mentioned Jupiter/Regulus conjunction (Jupiter and Regulus were in the same celestial longitude) on September 13, 3 B.C.; a Jupiter/Regulus conjunction on February I9/20, 2 B.C.; a Jupiter/Regulus conjunction on May 5/6, 2 B.C.; a very close and well noted conjunction of Jupiter and Venus on June 17, 2 B.C.; and the massing of the planets Jupiter, Venus, Mars and Mercury on August 26, 2 B.C.

It is believed that Jupiter is what the Magi (wise men) were referring to as “his star” in Matthew 2:2.

Matthew 2:1-2 (KJV)’Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east (anatole) to Jerusalem, ‘Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east (anatole), and are come to worship him.

The word east in the text is from the greek word anatole, which can mean the direction east, or the heliacal rising of a planet, star, or constellation (the rising of a planet, star, or constellation at or just before sunrise so that it can be seen in the morning sky). Jupiter was seen in the heliacal rising in late July, 3 B.C., throughout the Mid-East area. As the days went on, Jupiter was seen higher in the sky at sunrise. The conjunction of Jupiter and Venus on August 12 in Leo was most likely well noted by the Magi. As they continued to watch Jupiter as it neared its first conjunction with Regulus, they would have seen Venus and Mercury in the heliacal rising and in conjunction with the constellation Coma on the morning of September 12 (Tishri 1).

Tishri 1 is Rosh Hashanah and New Year’s Day (civil year) on the Hebrew Calendar. It is designated as the Day of Trumpets. During this day, trumpets would be blown in Jerusalem from morning to evening. Since Tishri 1 was also considered the beginning of a king’s reign (no matter what time of the year the king actually began reigning), at certain times the blowing of the trumpets on that day were part of the coronation ceremony for a new king. On this day the trumpets blew for the King of Kings, though most Judeans were not aware that the Promised Seed, the Messiah, the King of the Judeans had arrived.

The celestial events continued to announce the birth of the Messiah for many months after his birth. Those most notable were in the sign Leo (Judah), and mentioned above. The Magi (wise men) did not arrive in Bethlehem at the time of the Lord’s birth as traditionally taught, for when they saw Jesus he was a young child in a house, not an infant in the manger (Matthew 2:11). It was most likely in December, 2 B.C., about one year and three months after the birth of the Messiah, that the Magi arrived in Jerusalem and then proceeded to Bethlehem. This is why Herod had all the male children killed who were two years old and under in the Bethlehem area according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the Magi of when the Messiah was born (Matthew 2:16). As the Magi were proceeding from Jerusalem to Bethlehem, the star which they saw in the east or rising, well over a year before, went before them and came and stood over where the young child was (Matthew 2:9). In December of 2 B.C., Jupiter in its nightly course, would come to a point in the sky which would appear to be directly over Bethlehem to anyone approaching the city from the north. This point would be on the meridian (an imaginary line passing from north to south which intersects the celestial equator at a right angle).

As the Magi were traveling to Bethlehem, which is about 6 miles south of Jerusalem, Jupiter was approaching the meridian, and finally reached that point and stood over the town of Bethlehem. Jupiter was in the sign Virgo at this time and in conjunction with the constellation Coma. When Jupiter was on the meridian above Bethlehem, so was the constellation Coma (the woman and child -the Desired).

There is also the possibility that “his star” was a supernova. Though there are none listed in historical records for that time, there is evidence from “traditional prophecy” and “ancient Christian writers” that a new star appeared in the constellation Coma when the Messiah was born. The following are quotes from The Witness of the Stars, p.36-39.

“It was in all probability the constellation Coma in which ‘the Star of Bethlehem’ appeared. There was a traditional prophecy, well-known in the East, carefully preserved and handed down, that a new star would appear in this sign when He whom it foretold should be born. ”

“Thomas Hyde, an eminent Orientalist (1636-1703), writing on the ancient religion of the Persians, quotes from Abulfaragius (an Arab Christian Historian, 1226-1286), who says that Zoroaster, or Zerdusht, the Persian, was a pupil of Daniel the Prophet, and that he predicted to the Magians (who were the astronomers of Persia), that when they should see a new star appear it would notify the birth of a mysterious child, whom they were to adore. It is further stated in the Zend Avesta that this new star was to appear in the sign of the Virgin. Some have supposed that this passage is not genuine. But whether it was interpolated before or after the event, it is equally good evidence for our purpose here. For if it was written before the event, it is evidence of the prophetic announcement; and if it was interpolated after the event it is evidence of the historic fact.”

“There can be little doubt that it was a new star. In the first place a new star is no unusual phenomenon. In the second place the tradition is well supported by ancient Christian writers. One speaks of its ‘surpassing brightness.’ Another (Ignatius, Bp. of Antioch, A.D. 69) says, ‘At the appearance of the Lord a star shone forth brighter than all the other stars.’ Ignatius, doubtless, had this from those who had actually seen it! Prudentius (4th cent. A.D) says that not even the morning star was so fair. Archbishop Trench, who quotes these authorities, says “This star, I conceive, as so many ancients and moderns have done, to have been a new star in the heavens. ”

It is possible that a supernova occurred in the constellation Coma when Jesus Christ was born. It would have been seen in the heliacal rising on the morning of September 12, 3 B.C., and over Bethlehem, not only on the meridian, but on the meridian’s highest point, at zenith, or directly overhead in December 2 B.C. Though the light from a supernova fades over time, it may be seen with the naked eye for well over a year. There are x-ray and radio sources in the constellation Coma which may show evidence of past novae.

September 11, 3 B.C. Mars is in the sign Capricornus, which is giving witness to the fact that this is the Promised Seed, he who will be the “Atoning Sacrifice” for Israel. Saturn is in the sign Taurus and in a relative position over Orion which will come up again in the crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ; and also in the beginning of the “Millennial Reign” of Jesus Christ. Saturn is between the forehead of the on-rushing bull and the club of Orion. Orion is actually looking in the direction of Saturn’s position in most drawings of the constellation. Saturn seems to be in this position when the Devil fails to defeat God’s purposes (when the Devil gets hammered). In this case, he failed to cut off the birth of the Promised Seed. As earlier mentioned, he tried with all of his cunning wisdom and might for four thousand years to cut off the bloodline to the Messiah, but here the Messiah has arrived.

An equally dramatic grouping of the planets Jupiter, Mars, and Saturn as seen in 6 B.C. occurs only once every 800 years according to Chet Raymo, “365 Starry Nights” p.21 4. A more dramatic grouping of the three planets occurs in the Spring of the year 2000 A.D. The sign Libra (the scales) was in ancient times also known as the sacred alter. On this day the sun was in the midst of the sacred alter and Venus was in near conjunction with the star Zubeneschamali or Zuben al Chemah (The Price Which Covers). This well portrays what was spoken by the prophetess Anna that day in the temple.

Luke 2:38 (KJV) And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem (Israel).

Jupiter moves forward from this position and turns back in retrograde motion and passes this position again on January 2, 2 B.C. Jupiter later turns back to its forward motion (as seen from Earth) and arrives at this position again where Jupiter is met by Venus in the well celebrated conjunction of June 17, 2 B.C. Jupiter and Venus are so close in conjunction that they appear as one huge star. It is interesting that this is the same position (relative to the constellation Leo) that Saturn occupied at the time of the fall of Adam (if May 22, 3914 B.C. is the correct date for that event).

Maybe you’ve already skipped to the bottom of this page. The point of this study was to show you that God has a master plan, and even the heavens speak of it. Are you getting the big picture yet? This universe and everything in it was designed to glorify it’s maker. We are priviledged to be able to have a personal relationship with this Creator… that, I am not able to fully grasp!

I want to make sure you get the point that the stars and the zodiac were designed by God to show us the dates of His appointments with man. Over time, this was perverted so much that today people are reading their horoscopes, looking to the stars for guidance and not God. What a huge mistake and an abomination! With the aid of computers, research on nearly every major event of Christ’s life is now able to coincide with the exact heavenly signs. The stars were not responsible… God was!

Once again, no man would have the ability to control the heavenly bodies on the exact dates of events in his life! Let us be sure to make the point… this is science proven by computer analysis.  God is crazy cool!

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