Deuteronomy--Moses' first speech, Part 20
Jul 07, 2012
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. (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 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, as I have written elsewhere. Likewise, 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.
I wrote a series of articles about the stars, beginning Sept. 22, 2009, on the occasion of a heavenly event known as "The Sickle of Leo."
The series ended on October 3, 2009. If interested, you may find them in the archives.
There are two main points that Moses mentioned in Deut. 4:19. First, Israel was not to worship the hosts of heaven. Second, the hosts 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.
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.
So the revelation of the Passover Lamb was given during the month of the constellation Aries, which pictures the Ram in the heavens, and pointed 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."
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.
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.
In Deut. 4:20 Moses spoke of Israel's affliction in Egypt as being "the iron furnace." 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 or 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 and past weblogs.
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.
There is much more that we could write about this, but space does not permit it. When Moses alluded to Egypt as being "the iron furnace," he hinted of much tragedy that lay ahead for the nation. It is sufficient for us now to see that link between Egypt and Assyria and know that "the iron furnace" is a time of tribulation based on the numbers 21, 210, and their multiples.
This is the twentieth part of a series titled "Moses' First Speech." To view all parts, click the link below.
Dr. Stephen Jones