The Eighteen Principles of Divine Revelation

Principle No. 14 The Election Principle Part 2

By Clifton L. Fowler

Taken from Grace and Truth Magazine 1924



GOD has had, in the course of the years since the creation of Adam, two Bibles. The first Bible was the one which He used with the early peoples of the earth, when human mentality had not descended to its more modern crassness. The first Bible was made up of the most intricate system of symbolology. It was, however, fully understood by the things that were made so that man was without excuse when he spurned God's grace in that early day, just as fully as he is without excuse today when the plain statements of God's written Word, His second Bible, are ignored, rejected, and trampled under foot. In relation to God's two Bibles His purpose according to election stands,— He sets aside the first that He may establish the second.

God's first Bible was the starry heavens. By means of a series of marvelously designed figures (now called the zodiac) which were arbitrarily associated with the so-called "fixed stars," a system of doctrine concerning a coming Deliverer and Redeemer was placed within easy reach of earth's early men. Since virtually all men of the first twenty-five hundred years of earth's history were more or less familiar with the arrangement of the stars, God's placing the story of the coming Messiah in the heavens was a bold stroke whereby He placed the knowledge of the way of salvation within the reach of every man of that early day.

God's second Bible, the written Word, which we now have, spreads before us seven facts concerning the stars. These seven facts point conclusively to the truth which we have indicated, — the starry heavens contain God's primitive revelation.

First: The stars were created by God. Although modern pseudo-scientific guessers are now seeking to crowd the Creator out of His universe, the Word of God has not undergone any evolutionary transmutations. It remaineth firm; it standeth sure. Its enemies jeeringly dub it "static," while its friends lift thankful hearts to heaven that the Old Book is "immutable." The changeless Word of God declares that God created the stars.

"By the word of the Lord were the heavens made: and all the host of them by the breath of His mouth" (Ps. 33:6).

"Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number, He calleth them all by names, by the greatness of His might for that He is strong in power not one faileth (Isa. 40:26).

It is evident from these passages that God employs in the Scripture the expressions, "heavens," "the host," and the 'host of the heavens," to speak of the stars. It is God Who creates. He bringeth out the host of heaven. He it is Who spangles night with the beauty of myriads oi twinkling stars.

Second: The stars were numbered and named by God. There was a time when astromers reported that there were a few thousand stars in the heavens. We are now told that the numbering of the stars is an impossibility. It is most unique, in the presence of this evidence of human uncertainty and ignorance, to face the calm and assured statements of God's Word,

"He telleth the number of the stars., He calleth them by their names" (Ps. 147:4).

"He calleth them all by names" (Isa. 40:26).

It is noteworthy to observe that God has done two seemingly impossible things.. He has both NUMBERED and NAMED the stars. God does nothing uselessly. There are no superfluities with Deity! He declares He has done a thing, which from the standpoint of the men of the highest training and equipment, is an impossibility. We are forced to the conclusion that so vast a performance as the numbering and naming of the humanly countless host of heaven must have been impelled by a Divine purpose which was commensurate with the vastness of the thing accomplished. God did not do this stupendous thing without a reason! What was His reason.^

Third: The star-groups (constellations) were formed or designed and numbered by God. The wonderful and interesting figures in the star-groups, or constellations, which constitute the zodiac have been the subject of many books. Inquiries into the origin of these star-groups have been most numerous and have been conducted with scholarly patience and research. The results have not always been as satisfactory as the vast outlay of labor would apparently have warranted. Upon one point, however, the astronomers and archaeologists are in perfect accord, — the figures of the zodiac are of very great antiquity. While agreeing ungrudgingly on this point, the students have failed utterly to agree on the question, — who formed the zodiac? The Bible answers this question.

"Seek Him that maketh the seven stars (Heb. Keemah, a heap or cluster of stars. Referred by the ancients to the Pleiades) and Orion" (the name of one of the star-groups of the zodiac) (Amos 5:8).

"By His spirit He hath garnished the heavens; His hand hath formed the crooked serpent" (Bible students agree that this is a direct reference to one of the constellations of the zodiac) (Job 26:13).

Why, pray tell, should there be any question as to the origin of the zodiac in view of such clear Scriptural statements? The Bible says, "God made Orion," one of the constellations. The Bible says, "The hand of God hath formed the crooked serpent,' another one of the constellations. Since He made a part of the constellations. He must have made them all. In the light of such passages, the question cannot be regarded as an open question. The zodiac was not of human origin. The Spirit of God in the Book of God teaches us that the hand of God formed the figures of men and women, beasts, birds and monsters which appear in the zodiac.

In another passage in Job, the Holy Spirit employs a word which by its then common meaning reveals the number of signs of the zodiac.

"Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth (the twelve signs of the zodiac) in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus (according to Gesenius, this word means "the constellation of the Bear") and his sons" (Job 38:32)?

It is necessary to employ the Context Principle ( Principle No. 7) to catch the intent of this verse. It occurs in the midst of a long speech addressed by the Lord Himself to Job. The speech is composed of a striking series of incisive questions everyone of which points to the mighty power of God in creation. No answers are given because they were not necessary. Job knew the answers. If the answers were supplied, they would but furnish an imposing array of didactive declarations of God s absolute creatorhood. The chapter might appropriately be labeled, God's reply to the evolution hoax. A glance at some of the questions and their self-evident answers will clearly exhibit the character of the context in which our passage about the twelve signs of the zodiac and the constellation of the Bear occurs.

"Who laid the measure thereof (i. e., the earth)?"

ANSWER— God did that.

"Who laid the cornerstone thereof ( i. e., the earth)?"

ANSWER— God did that, too.

"Or who shut up the sea with doors, when it brake forth as if it had issued out of the womb?"

ANSWER— And God did that.

"Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days and caused the dayspring (the sun) to know his place?"

ANSWER— 1 haven't, but God has.

"Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? Declare if thou knowest it all."

ANSWER— 1 do not know all things, but God does.

"Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth (the twelve signs of the zodiac) in his season? Or canst thou guide Arcturus —?" (Heb. the constellation of the Bear.)

ANSWER — I can't, but that is exactly what God docs

God is simply saying to Job in the form of an interrogation, — I brought forth the twelve signs of the zodiac, I am the Designer of the figures of the constellations, and having formed them, I guide them from day to day and from year to year through the heavens.

Forth: The stars were given meanings by God. The first reference to the fact that there is a God-given meaning in the stars is in the first chapter of Genesis:

"And God said. Let there be lights (vs. 16 and 17 show that the "lights" here spoken of included the sun, the moon and the stars) in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for SIGNS, and for seasons, and for days, and for years" (Gen. 1:14).

To this hour the stars "are for seasons" and for "days" and "for years," but what could be the thought in the mind of God when He said, "and for signs?" Save only for the so-called astrologers of today with their imaginative superstitions, the use of the stars "for signs" has died from the earth.

The scriptural usage of the Hebrew word translated "signs" sheds much light on this subject. The same word is rendered "token" in God's words to Noah concerning the rainbow:

"And God said. This is the TOKEN of the covenant which I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations: I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a TOKEN of a covenant between me and the earth" (Gen. 9:12-13).

Again, the same word is rendered "mark" in the record concerning Cain:

"And the Lord said unto him. Therefore whosoever slayeth Cain, vengeance shall be taken on him sevenfold. And the Lord set a MARK upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him" (Gen. 4:15).

In numerous other passages this word is rendered "sign," as in Genesis 1:14. Miracles are called "signs." The overthrow of Pharaoh in the Red Sea is called a "sign." The plagues in Egypt are called "signs." Thus we find from the Holy Spirit's usage of this word, as we see it connected with the mark of Cain, the rainbow, the destruction of Pharaoh's host, and many other wonders in God's dealings with the race, that its meaning becomes clear. A "sign" is a special, visible, manifestation, often miraculous, which is intended to convey a message.

This is borne out most plainly in God's words to Moses concerning the signs of the rod and the leprous hand.

"And Moses answered and said, But behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice; for they will say. The Lord hath not appeared unto thee. And the Lord said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand. That they may believe the Lord God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. And the Lord said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom; and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And He said. Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and he plucked it out of his bosom, and behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the VOICE OF THE FIRST SIGN that they will believe the VOICE OF THE LATTER SIGN" (Ex. 4:1-8).

The word translated "voice" in this passage is one which means message, or proclamation, or declaration. How clear God's conception of a "sign" becomes. A sign is some visible "mark" or "token" which gives a message or revelation to man.

Genesis 1:14 says that God gave the stars "for signs." In the light of the common usage of the word the self-evident meaning of the passage is that God placed the stars in the firmament to impart to man a message, a proclamation, a revelation. The starry heavens were God's first Bible.

Fifth: The message of the stars was known by early man. The Apostle Paul in the Roman Epistle leaches that all men have heard the gospel message. The passage is an unusually interesting one.

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. But I say, Have they (mankind, the race) not heard.' Yea, verily" (Rom. 10:17-18).

He raises a thought-provoking question. If hearing comes by the Word of God, and the Word of God as we have it, began with Moses, what about the men who lived from Adam to Moses, a period of 2,500 years? Have they, earth's earliest men, ever had a chance to hear the message of the Lord? Paul's answer to this question is "YEA VERILY," which forces us to raise the query, how did they hear? Paul's next words give the answer:

"* * * Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world" (Rom. 10:18).

Here is evidently a universal testimony, but by whom is it given? "Their sound," — whose sound? Find the antecedent of the word "their" and you have found out the source of the early preaching which reached "all the earth ' and went to the "ends of the world." But the word "their" is very far removed from its antecedent. It is removed by a thousand years. The words just quoted from Romans 10:18 are themselves a quotation from the wonderful 19th Psalm. If we will go back to the original context (Principle No. 7) of these words we will find the lost antecedent.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their line (sound) is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun" (Ps. 19:1-4).

The antecedent of the word "their" in Romans 10:18 is the word "heavens" in Psalms 19:1. It is the "sound" or message of the heavens, which has gone to "all the earth." It is the "words" or preaching of the heavens which has been carried to the "ends of the world." There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. The message which the heavens declare is plainly set forth, —

"The heavens declare the glory of God" (Ps. 19:1).

But who is the glory of God? The glory of God is our Lord Jesus Christ. In Hebrews 1:3 Jesus is definitely said to be "the brightness" of God's "glory" and in Revelation 21:23 we find the words, —

"And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof" (Rev. 21:23).

The "Glory" lightens the city, and the "Lamb" is the Light, — Only one conclusion is possible, — the Lamb is the glory. When the Psalmist cried out, "The heavens declare the glory of God," he is simply saying "the heavens preach Christ." This wondrous stellar proclamation of the gospel goes back to the very beginning.

"For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse'' (Rom. 1:20).

God did not allow early men to be ignorant of the gospel. By means of the starry Bible the message was received and "understood" by all men. Hence, God declares "they are without excuse."

It is particularly comforting to those who may have had questions as to the justice of God's dealing with the immediate descendants of Adam to know that He placed before their very eyes a clear testimony concerning Jesus Christ, that they understood the testimony, but rejected it, hence they are without excuse and God is in the clear when He metes out upon them His divine judgment.

Sixth: The message of the stars was perverted by man. One of the clearest of the Biblical references to this fact is found in the first chapter of Romans:

"Because that, when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things" (Rom. 1:21-23).

It is most convincing to observe the exact wording employed by the Holy Spirit in this passage. He says, "they changed the glory of God into an image."

We have already learned that "the glory of God" can refer to none other than Jesus Himself. These early men turned Jesus, the Lord, as set forth in the symbols of the twelve signs, into an image. They twisted true worship of God into idolatry. They changed the truth of God into a lie. The results of this awful perversion of God's first Bible are to be seen in several passages in God's second Bible.

"And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled at the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have BURNED INCENSE UNTO ALL THE HOST OF HEAVEN, and have poured out drink-offerings unto other gods" (Jer. 19:13).

"* * * I will cut off the remnant of Baal from this place, and the name of the Chemarims, with the priests; and them that WORSHIP THE HOST OF HEAVEN" (Zeph. 1:4.-5).

"Saying unto Aaron, make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him. And they made a calf in those days and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands. Then God turned, and gave them up TO WORSHIP THE HOST OF HEAVEN; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O, ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness? Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and THE STAR OF YOUR GOD Rempham, figures which you made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon" (Acts 7:40-43).

"And they left all the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and WORSHIPPED ALL THE HOST OF HEAVEN, and served Baal" (II Kings 17:16).

"And he (Josiah) put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, AND TO THE PLANETS TO THE TWELVE SIGNS OF THE ZODIAC (Heb. Mazzaloth) AND TO ALL THE HOST OF HEAVEN" (II Kings 23:5).

There can be little doubt in the mind of the thoughtful and prayerful student that the perversion by man of God's first Bible was very full and very complete, and that the result of that perversion was horrid idolatry accompanied by a terrible breakdown in man's conception of personal purity. The modernistic attitude of mind in any age brings with it the loss of respect for the authority of Divine revelation, and this skepticism is always the harbinger of loose morals.

Seventh: The stars shall he moved by God. It is told of an old darky preacher that he preached on the subject, "The Sun Do Move." The Bible certainly does teach that, for the stars' moving day is coming. The stars shall move.

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and THE STARS SHALL FALL from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken" (Matt. 24:29).

"And THE STARS OF HEAVEN SHALL FALL, the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken" (Mark 13:35).

"And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree" (Isa. 34:14)

"The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the (starry) heavens shall pass away (from their present arrangement of the twelve signs of the zodiac) with a great noise and the elements shall melt (be loosed from their present condition) with fervent heat" (II Pet. 3:10).

There will come a day when the twelve signs of the zodiac will be but a memory. Jesus is coming back again, and when He comes the stars of the heavens shall fall and the last vestige of God's first Bible will disappear.

God's purpose according to election shall stand. He hath declared that all firsts shall be set aside and all seconds established. The principle never breaks down. God sets aside the starry Bible that He may establish His written Bible. Not one word that He hath predicted shall fail. The starry Bible shall pass away, but the Word of our God endureth forever.