Scholar Amar Annus has shown that the name of the old gods of the Greeks, the Titans, was derived from the name of an ancient Amorite tribe, the Tidanu. The word behind the name Tidan (sometimes transliterated into English as “Ditanu”) is the Akkadian word ditânu, which means “bison,” or “bull” (and probably refers to the aurochs, an ancient species of very large wild cattle from which modern domesticated breeds descend). This is more evidence that the story of the Titans originated in Mesopotamia and not with Indo-Europeans.
That’s not all. Because Kronos, king of the Titans, and El, creator-god of the Canaanites, were identified as one and the same by the people of the ancient world, we can make a good case that the name Kronos probably had a Semitic origin, too:
The bovid sense of the form Ditanu/Didanu is particularly intriguing in view of other tauromorph elements in the tradition. Thus, the prominent Titan Kronos was later identified with El, who is given the epithet tr, “Bull”, in Ugaritic and biblical literature. Apart from this explicit allusion, we may well ask whether the name El, (Akkadian and Ugaritic ilu) does not already itself have a bovine sense. … Does it perhaps mean “Bull”, (perhaps more generically “male animal”), so that the epithetal title tr is in effect a redundant gloss on it? …
Furthermore, the name Kronos may well carry the same nuance, since it may be construed as referring to bovine horns (Akkadian, Ugaritic qarnu, Hebrew qeren), which feature prominently in divine iconography in the Near East. (Emphasis added)
It’s interesting enough to see the additional link between Kronos and El through the bull imagery of their names, but did you notice that there are references to “Bull El” in biblical literature?
In the book of Hosea, the prophet recalled the idolatry of Jeroboam, the man who led the rebellion against Solomon’s son, Rehoboam:
I have spurned your calf, O Samaria.
My anger burns against them.
How long will they be incapable of innocence?
For it is from Israel;
a craftsman made it;
it is not God.
The calf of Samaria
shall be broken to pieces. (Hosea 8:5–6, ESV; emphasis added)
The phrase, “For it is from Israel,” comes from the Masoretic Hebrew text, kî miyyiśrāʾēl, which literally means, “for from Israel.” That doesn’t make sense. But separating the characters differently yields kî mî šōr ʾēl, which changes verse 6 to this:
For who is Bull El?
a craftsman made it;
it is not God.
The calf of Samaria
shall be broken to pieces. (Hosea 8:6, ESV, modified; emphasis added)
That’s a huge difference! Jeroboam set up worship sites to rival the Temple for political reasons. If the northern tribes continued to travel to Jerusalem for the feasts, they might eventually switch their loyalty back to the House of David. Apparently, Jeroboam felt that the worship of El was close enough to do the trick. After all, hadn’t Yahweh revealed Himself to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai? Hence, the golden calves at Bethel and Dan.
Since El was Kronos, king of the Titans, then he was also Shemihazah, leader of the rebellious Watchers on Mount Hermon thousands of years earlier. Like the Titans of the Greeks, the Watchers had been confined to Tartarus (see 2 Peter 2:4; the word rendered “hell” in English bibles is the Greek word tartaroo), a place that was separate and distinct from Hades. By erecting the golden calves, Jeroboam drew the northern tribes back into the worship of a god who introduced the pre-Flood world to the occult knowledge that Babylon was so proud of preserving.
This crossed a big red line, and God made it clear that it was completely unacceptable. He directed the prophet Ahijah to give this message to Jeroboam:
You have done evil above all who were before you and have gone and made for yourself other gods and metal images, provoking me to anger, and have cast me behind your back, therefore behold, I will bring harm upon the house of Jeroboam and will cut off from Jeroboam every male, both bond and free in Israel, and will burn up the house of Jeroboam, as a man burns up dung until it is all gone. (1 Kings 14:9–10, ESV)
By reading “Bull El” in Hosea 8:6, instead of “Israel,” the verse becomes a polemic directed not just at the idols of Jeroboam, but against the creator-god of the Canaanites as well. Frankly, it fits the context of the passage better than the common English rendering. And this isn’t the only place in the Bible where that substitution may come closer to the Hebrew original.
The epithet has also been identified recently in a perceptive study of Deuteronomy 32:8 by Joosten, in which he proposed a similar consonantal regrouping in the expression bny yśrʾl (bĕnê yiśrāʾēl) to read (bĕnê šōr ʾēl). Since LXX (ἀγγέλων θεοῶ, some mss υἱων θεοῶ), and one Qumran text, 4QDeutj (lmspr bny ʾlhym), already read a divine reference here, rather than the “Israel” of MT, this proposal has much to commend it:
yaṣṣēb gĕbulōt ʿammîm he set up the boundaries of the nations
lĕmisparbĕnê šōr ʾēl in accordance with the number of the sons of Bull El. (Emphasis added)
As noted earlier, most English translations render Deuteronomy 32:8 “number of the sons of Israel.” A few, such as the ESV, follow the Septuagint (“angels of God” or “divine sons”) and the text of Deuteronomy found among the Dead Sea scrolls (“sons of Elohim”). What scholars Simon and Nicolas Wyatt propose is reading the Hebrew as “sons of Bull El” instead at the end of the verse. And to be honest, it fits.
That may sound like we’re playing fast and loose with the text. But note: In the Genesis 10 Table of Nations, there are seventy names, and in Canaanite religious texts, El had seventy sons.
Coincidence? No, it is not. I’ll explain next month.

 

Every so often, someone asks why I spend so much time studying the giants mentioned in the Bible. The implication is that the giants, variously called Anakim, Rephaim, and Nephilim, are “fringe,” and thus irrelevant. Isn’t Jesus enough?

Yes, of course he is. But contrary to what’s being taught in seminaries, the “mighty men who were of old” are not “fringe”; they are, in fact, woven through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. The prophets and apostles knew about them, and texts from pagan kingdoms around ancient Israel, some of which have only been translated within the last forty years, are helping us put these characters into their proper context.

In the Canaanite Rephaim Texts, “Travelers” are spirits who “travel” or “cross over” from one plane of existence to another, from the realm of the dead to the land of the living—in other words, demons, the spirits of the Nephilim destroyed in the days of Noah. It’s significant because “Traveler” can be interpreted as a divine name in Ezekiel’s prophecy of the Gog-Magog war.

On that day I will give to Gog a place for burial in Israel, the Valley of the Travelers, east of the sea. It will block the travelers, for there Gog and all his multitude will be buried. It will be called the Valley of Hamon-gog.

Ezekiel 39:11, ESV (emphasis added)

These Travelers, the Rephaim, were also called “warriors of Baal” in the Rephaim Texts. The reference to the Travelers in Ezekiel 39 is not just significant, it’s critical. The pagan Amorites of Canaan venerated spirits of the dead for centuries before Israel arrived. That’s why God prohibited consulting with mediums and necromancers, and why He sent a plague against Israel, before the people crossed the Jordan to march around Jericho, for eating sacrifices offered to the dead.

Ezekiel places the Valley of the Travelers east of the Dead Sea, an area where the veil between the worlds was believed to be thin. Place names along the Exodus route in Moab include Oboth (“Spirits of the Dead”), Peor (“cleft” or “gap,” which in this context refers to the entrance to the netherworld), and Iye-Abarim (“Ruins of the Travelers”). Mount Nebo, across the Jordan from Jericho, is called the “mountain of the Abarim (Travelers).”

Archaeologists working at Tall el-Hammam, a site about seven and a half miles northeast of the Dead Sea, have uncovered physical evidence that strongly suggests it was the site of Sodom. A thriving city with massive defensive walls appears to have been leveled around 1700 BC in a single, cataclysmic event that left it and the fertile plain around it uninhabited for the next six to seven hundred years, about the time of Saul, David, and Solomon. Just southeast of the city is a cluster of about five hundred dolmens, megalithic funerary monuments that scholars date to the Early Bronze Age, possibly as old as 3300 BC. It’s estimated that as many as fifteen hundred once stood there, along with menhirs (standing stones), henges, and stone circles, the largest such collection of megalithic structures in the Levant.

The site rises 75 to 150 feet above the plain. So, the stone monuments and the ruined, still-deserted city would have been easily visible to the Israelites who camped on the plains of Moab. It’s even possible that their stop at Iye-Abarim, “Ruins of the Travelers,” was among the rubble of the city that God destroyed with fire from the sky.

Dr. Phillip Silvia, the director of scientific analysis for the Tall el-Hammam Excavation Project, told me in a 2019 interview that the dolmens, unlike some others in the Jordan valley, don’t appear to be aligned with any astronomical features. Instead, they appear to be oriented toward what project archaeologists believe was the temple of Tall el-Hammam.

We’re eagerly waiting to see what the ongoing dig turns up, but this is a tantalizing bit of information. Consider: The east side of the Jordan valley is where the Bible places the Rephaim tribes in the days of Abraham. Some twenty-five thousand dolmens have been found along the Jordan from the Golan Heights (ancient Bashan) to the Dead Sea, with the largest concentration of them just outside the walls of Sodom—the largest and most influential city in the Transjordan until the time of Abraham and Lot. Scholars date the construction of the dolmens to time of the Rephaim, the Early and Middle Bronze Ages (roughly 3300–1800 BC), which coincides almost exactly with the period that Sodom dominated the region. Those dolmens apparently faced the city’s temple.

That begs the question: Who or what was worshiped in that temple? Why was God compelled to destroy the city and those around it? In my view, His judgment was about more than just the Sodomites’ choice of lifestyle.

The Hebrew prophets, especially Isaiah and Ezekiel, were clearly familiar with the pagan cult of the dead. References to the Rephaim are there in the original Hebrew, but they’ve been obscured by translators who may not have understood the historical and religious milieu of the ancient Near East.

Let’s start with Ezekiel, who prophesied the return of the Nephilim at Armageddon. The spirits of the Rephaim are the Travelers, the demon warriors of Baal (Satan) who make up the army of Gog (Antichrist) at the final battle for Zion.

That may sound crazy, but consider: Since this happens on the Day of the Lord, the day of His terrible judgment on the world, the church won’t be here. We are not destined to suffer His wrath. With Christians gone, those still on the earth will not be protected by the Holy Spirit from this demonic army. What the people of Jerusalem face in that final battle is an attacking force possessed by the Travelers—demonic spirits of the “mighty men who were of old,” the Nephilim, following their spirit fathers into battle for one final assault on the holy mountain of God.

It will quite literally be an army of the evil dead.

This brings us to Isaiah 14, where we find the Rephaim, translated into English as “shades,” welcoming the divine rebel upon his fall from Eden.

Sheol beneath is stirred up 

to meet you when you come; 

it rouses the shades [Rephaim] to greet you, 

all who were leaders of the earth; 

it raises from their thrones 

all who were kings of the nations. (Isaiah 14:9, ESV)

The description by Isaiah matches the sense of the term in the pagan Rephaim Texts from five hundred years earlier: The Rephaim were dead kings of old who now inhabit the netherworld. The main difference is that the Amorites believed those spirits of the dead would bless and protect their kings, while Isaiah described them as “weak,” sleeping beneath worms on a bed of maggots. 

Isaiah 14 is, without a doubt, one of the most important chapters in the Bible for understanding this long supernatural war in which you and I are deployed. It tells us about the divine rebel, Day Star (Lucifer), son of Dawn, and his fall from Eden. The five “I wills” that illustrate his destructive pride and ambition. But Isaiah’s report on Lucifer’s fall is even more fascinating that we’ve been taught.

First, because Isaiah identified Lucifer’s mount of assembly as Mount Zaphon, the mountain sacred to Baal (whom Jesus identified as Satan), we can be pretty sure that Satan is in view here.

Second, the prophet, who is known for his love of wordplay, employed an Egyptian loanword to reveal more about the final destiny of the rebel god.

All the kings of the nations lie in glory,

each in his own tomb;

but you are cast out, away from your grave,

like a loathed branch,

clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword,

who go down to the stones of the pit,

like a dead body trampled underfoot.

Isaiah 14:18–19, ESV (emphasis added)

What did Isaiah mean by calling Satan “a loathed branch?”

Most English translations agree that the Hebrew word netser means “branch.” The range of adjectives chosen by translators includes “loathed,” “repulsive,” “rejected,” “worthless,” and “abominable,” but they convey the same sense—something utterly detestable. The adjective translated “abhorred” or “abominable,” Hebrew taʿab, is significant. It modifies the noun netser, which would normally have a positive connotation. In this context, taʿab means something like “unclean” or “ritually impure.”

Still, even allowing for differences in cultures over the last twenty-seven hundred years, calling someone an “unclean branch” is puzzling. But there is an explanation: Isaiah meant something other than “branch” because the Hebrew netser wasn’t the word he used at all.

[The] term is best explained as a loanword from the common Egyptian noun nṯr. Nṯr is generally translated “god,” but is commonly used of the divinized dead and their physical remains. It originally came into Hebrew as a noun referring to the putatively divinized corpse of a dead king, which is closely related to the Egyptian usage. (Emphasis added)

“Divinized dead” describes perfectly the Rephaim, the Nephilim spirits venerated by the Amorites of Canaan, whom the prophet mentioned above, in verse 9. Isaiah used an Egyptian word that sounds like the Hebrew word for “branch” to connect the rebel from Eden to the Rephaim by calling Satan an abhorrent dead god.

This definition fits. Satan was thrown down from Eden to the netherworld and demoted from “an anointed guardian cherub” to become the unclean, repugnant, eternally cursed lord of the dead.

What humiliation.

The Antichrist’s church of the last days is called “Babylon the great,” but Mystery Babylon is the name that’s stuck. After two thousand years, scholars still can’t agree on what it represents. Here’s what we know: The Babylon of John’s vision is a religion and a city. Ezekiel gave us important clues that modern prophecy scholars have missed because they haven’t considered the history and religion of the people who lived in the ancient Near East.

Chapter 27 of Ezekiel is a lament over the city of Tyre. The great trading city was founded by the Phoenician descendants of Amorites who settled along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean. This lament has a clear parallel in Revelation. It not only cements the connection between the visions of Ezekiel and John, it shows that the iniquity of the Amorites is still with us.

The word of the Lord came to me: “Now you, son of man, raise a lamentation over Tyre, and say to Tyre, who dwells at the entrances to the sea, merchant of the peoples to many coastlands, thus says the Lord God:

“O Tyre, you have said,

‘I am perfect in beauty.’

Your borders are in the heart of the seas;

your builders made perfect your beauty.

They made all your planks

of fir trees from Senir;

they took a cedar from Lebanon

to make a mast for you.

Of oaks of Bashan

they made your oars;

they made your deck of pines

from the coasts of Cyprus,

inlaid with ivory.” (Ezekiel 27:1–6, ESV, emphasis added)

Tyre was the most powerful commercial empire in the Mediterranean for centuries. Even after the city’s influence began to fade, its colony in north Africa, Carthage, grew so powerful that its most famous general, Hannibal, nearly destroyed Rome. At the peak of Tyre’s power, in Ezekiel’s day, the prophet linked the strength of Tyre, its ships, to Mount Hermon and Bashan.

Senir was the Amorite name for Hermon, the mount of assembly ruled by “the” god of the western Amorites, El. But the Amorites were history by Ezekiel’s day, at least under the name “Amorite.” Their lands were ruled by their descendants, the Arameans, Phoenicians, and Arabs, by the time of King David, about four hundred years before Ezekiel. So, why did the prophet use the archaic name for the mountain?

Ezekiel deliberately linked Tyre to the region’s spiritual wickedness in the minds of his readers. Not only was Senir/Hermon the abode of El, where the Rephaim spirits came to feast, it towered over Bashan, the entrance to the netherworld. By calling the mountain Senir instead of Hermon, Ezekiel specifically connected Tyre to the Amorites, whose evil was legendary among Jews. 

As we noted early in the book, Babylon was founded by Amorites. Descendants of Amorites, the Phoenicians, made Tyre the foremost commercial empire of the ancient world. The link between Tyre and Mystery Babylon is the lament over its destruction:

At the sound of the cry of your pilots

the countryside shakes,

and down from their ships

come all who handle the oar.

The mariners and all the pilots of the sea

stand on the land

and shout aloud over you

and cry out bitterly.

They cast dust on their heads

and wallow in ashes;

they make themselves bald for you

and put sackcloth on their waist,

and they weep over you in bitterness of soul,

with bitter mourning.

In their wailing they raise a lamentation for you

and lament over you:

“Who is like Tyre,

like one destroyed in the midst of the sea?

When your wares came from the seas,

you satisfied many peoples;

with your abundant wealth and merchandise

you enriched the kings of the earth.

Now you are wrecked by the seas,

in the depths of the waters;

your merchandise and all your crew in your midst

have sunk with you.

All the inhabitants of the coastlands

are appalled at you,

and the hair of their kings bristles with horror;

their faces are convulsed.

The merchants among the peoples hiss at you;

you have come to a dreadful end

and shall be no more forever.” (Ezekiel 27:28–36, ESV)

Now, compare that section of Ezekiel’s lament over Tyre to John’s prophecy of the destruction of Babylon the Great in Revelation 18.

After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was made bright with his glory. And he called out with a mighty voice,

“Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!

She has become a dwelling place for demons,

a haunt for every unclean spirit,

a haunt for every unclean bird,

a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast….

And the kings of the earth, who committed sexual immorality and lived in luxury with her, will weep and wail over her when they see the smoke of her burning. They will stand far off, in fear of her torment, and say,

“Alas! Alas! You great city,

you mighty city, Babylon!

For in a single hour your judgment has come.”…

The merchants of these wares, who gained wealth from her, will stand far off, in fear of her torment, weeping and mourning aloud,

“Alas, alas, for the great city

that was clothed in fine linen,

in purple and scarlet,

adorned with gold,

with jewels, and with pearls!

For in a single hour all this wealth has been laid waste.”

And all shipmasters and seafaring men, sailors and all whose trade is on the sea, stood far off and cried out as they saw the smoke of her burning,

“What city was like the great city?”

And they threw dust on their heads as they wept and mourned, crying out,

“Alas, alas, for the great city

where all who had ships at sea

grew rich by her wealth!

For in a single hour she has been laid waste. (Revelation 18:1–2, 9, 15–19, ESV)

 

Let’s compare some key phrases from these chapters.

Tyre (Ezekiel 27) Babylon (Revelation 18)
“enriched the kings of the earth” (Ezekiel 27:33) “kings of the earth…lived in luxury with her” (Revelation 18:9)
Lamented by mariners, pilots of the sea, merchants, and kings (Ezekiel 27:28–36) Lamented by kings, merchants, shipmasters, and seafaring men (Revelation 18:9–19)
“‘Who is like Tyre, like one destroyed in the midst of the sea? …with your abundant wealth and merchandise you enriched the kings of the earth.’” (Ezekiel 27:32–33) “‘What city was like the great city…where all who had ships at sea grew rich by her wealth!’” (Revelation 18:18–19)

 

The parallels here have been noted by Bible scholars for generations. What I propose is that this connection points to the spiritual source of this global end-times religion—the gods of the Amorites, who joined forces as the directors of Allah, Inc.

By extension, then, it also points to the city that this religion calls home—Mecca.

When God made His covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15, He told the patriarch that his descendants would spend about four hundred years in a land that wasn’t theirs, “for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” Ezekiel gave us the clues. He pointed to Mount Hermon, Bashan, and the neighbors of ancient Israel who worshiped the gods who called that region home.

Who, what, or where is Babylon the Great of Revelation 17 and 18? The connection between Mystery Babylon and the Amorites is key. Spiritual wickedness, symbolized by the Amorite kingdom of Babylon, connected to an unparalleled maritime trading empire are the two main features of Mystery Babylon.

Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.” And I saw the woman, drunk with the blood of the saints, the blood of the martyrs of Jesus.…

This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. (Revelation 17:1–6, 9–10, ESV)

As you see, there are other characteristics. “Sexual immorality” is a euphemism for spiritual rebellion, like Israel’s “whorings” with the gods of the pagan nations against which the prophets of the Old Testament thundered.

Geography is another, but a location on seven mountains or hills is one of the easiest for potential candidates to meet. While Rome is the first name most people think of, it appears to be a status symbol for a city to claim that it, too, was built on seven hills. Other cities ostensibly sitting on seven hills include Mecca, Jerusalem, Brussels, Tehran, Istanbul, Moscow, and dozens of others.

Joel Richardson made a strong case for Mecca in his 2017 book Mystery Babylon. He argues that no other city on the earth has influenced world leaders over the last century like Mecca, home of Islam’s holiest site. The vast wealth accumulated by the House of Saud over the last century has enabled it to bend bankers, academics, and politicians to their will, using petrodollars to draw the West into Mecca’s orbit. Until very recently, OPEC nations, led by Saudi Arabia, dominated world oil markets, with about forty percent of that black gold delivered to end users by ocean-going tankers. 

Some argue that OPEC’s declining influence with the recent surge in American oil production means the Mecca-as-Mystery Babylon theory is flawed. On the contrary, it suggests that even as Islam grows, the Saudis themselves are not indispensable to the global economy. And since the Antichrist and his minions turn on Mystery Babylon, we know that the spirits behind Allah, Inc., consider the “great prostitute” expendable. While the scarlet woman of Revelation 17 has “dominion over the kings of the earth,” she’s resented by the ten principal kings represented by the ten horns on the beast. They and the beast “hate” her, and so they “devour her flesh and burn her up with fire.” 

The faithful followers of Muhammad won’t know what hit them.

It’s tragic irony. The ultimate end of Mystery Babylon is to be slaughtered and served up as a sacrifice for the Beast from the Abyss—just like the thousands upon thousands of children who were passed through the fire and buried in the tophets of the ancient world.

Mystery Babylon—Mecca—will be destroyed in the war that brings the Antichrist to power; a war that sacrifices an entire religion in a diabolical double-cross to lure Jews (and Christians, if the church is still on the earth) into worshiping the Man of Sin.

A key thread woven through the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft was a fictional grimoire, or book of witchcraft, called the Necronomicon. The book, according to the Lovecraft canon, was written in the 8th century AD by the “Mad Arab,” Abdul Alhazred. This was a bit of wordplay, Lovecraft’s childhood nickname because of his love for the book 1001 Arabian Nights (Alhazred = “all has read”).

Lovecraft claimed inspiration for the Necronomicon came to him in a dream, and through his many letters to friends and colleagues he encouraged others to incorporate the mysterious tome into their own fiction. Over time, references to the Necronomicon by other authors led to a growing belief that the book was, in fact, real.

By the 1970s, Lovecraft’s work had found a new audience, and his stories were being mined by Hollywood. Then in 1977, a hardback edition of the Necronomicon suddenly appeared (published in a limited run of 666 copies!), edited by a mysterious figure known only as “Simon,” purportedly a bishop in the Eastern Orthodox Church. A mass market paperback edition followed a few years later. That version has reportedly sold more than a million copies over the last four decades.

Simon’s Necronomicon arrived on the wave of a renewed interest in the occult that washed over the Western world in the 1960s and ‘70s. Interestingly, it was a French journal of science fiction that helped spark the revival, and it did so by publishing the works of H. P. Lovecraft for a new audience. Planète was launched in the early ‘60s by Louis Pauwles and Jacques Bergier, and their magazine brought a new legion of admirers to the “bent genius.” More significantly for our study here, however, was the book Pauwles and Bergier co-authored in 1960, Les matins des magiciens (Morning of the Magicians), which was translated into English in 1963 as Dawn of Magic.

 

The book covered everything from pyramidology (the belief that the Egyptian pyramids held ancient secrets) to supposed advanced technology in the ancient world. Likewise, the authors praised Arthur Machen, the Irish author of horror fiction, about surviving Celtic mythological creatures, and they discussed the genius of H. P. Lovecraft in the same breath as the scientist Albert Einstein and psychoanalyst Carl Jung. From Lovecraft, Bergier and Pauwles borrowed the one thought that would be of more importance than any other in their book. As we have seen, Morning of the Magicians speculates that extraterrestrial beings may be responsible for the rise of the human race and the development of its culture, a theme Lovecraft invented (emphasis added).

 

The success of Pauwles and Bergier inspired others to explore the concepts they’d developed from the writings of Lovecraft. The most successful of these, without question, was Erich von Däniken’s Chariots of the Gods, the best-selling English language archaeology book of all time.

You can say one thing for von Däniken—he wasn’t shy about challenging accepted history:

 

I claim that our forefathers received visits from the universe in the remote past, even though I do not yet know who these extraterrestrial intelligences were or from which planet they came. I nevertheless proclaim that these “strangers” annihilated part of mankind existing at the time and produced a new, perhaps the first, homo sapiens.

 

The book had the good fortune of being published in 1968, the same year Stanley Kubrick’s epic adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey hit theaters. The film, based on the idea that advanced alien technology had guided human evolution, was the top-grossing film of the year, and was named the “greatest sci-fi film of all time” in 2002 by the Online Film Critics Society. By 1971, when Chariots of the Gods finally appeared in American bookstores, NASA had put men on the moon three times and the public was fully primed for what von Däniken was selling.

It’s hard to overstate the impact of Chariots of the Gods on the UFO research community and the worldviews of literally millions of people over the last fifty years. In 1973, Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling built a documentary around Chariots titled In Search of Ancient Astronauts, which featured astronomer Carl Sagan and Wernher von Braun, architect of the Saturn V rocket. The following year, a Chariots of the Gods feature film was released to theaters. By the turn of the 21st century, von Däniken had sold more than 60 million copies of his twenty-six books, all promoting the idea that our creators came from the stars.

This, despite the fact that von Däniken told National Enquirer in 1974 that his information came not through archaeological fieldwork but through out-of-body travel to a place called Point Aleph, “a sort of fourth dimension” outside of space and time.

To put it simply, the claims of von Däniken don’t hold water. His theories have been debunked in great detail and he’s even admitted to making things up, but lack of evidence has never stopped crazy ideas for long. And now, thanks to a new generation of true believers, Ancient Aliens and its imitators are still mining von Däniken gold five decades after his first book hit the shelves.

Ancient alien evangelists have effectively proselytized the American public since Chariots of the Gods went viral nearly fifty years ago. This may sound like a joke, but more adults in the United States believe that the earth is being visited by extraterrestrials than believe in God as He’s revealed Himself in the Bible.

MUFON, the Mutual UFO Network, which calls itself “the world’s oldest and largest UFO phenomenon investigative body,” has gone all in with ancient aliens in recent years. The group now openly supports pseudoscientific and New Age interpretations of the UFO phenomenon instead of sticking to what can be supported by evidence. For example, the theme of MUFON’s 2017 national convention was “The Case for a Secret Space Program,” which was described by one critic as “blatantly unscientific and irrational.”

The conference featured among its speakers a man who claims he was recruited for “a ‘20 & Back’ assignment which involved age regression (via Pharmaceutical means) as well as time regressed to the point of beginning service.” In plain English, he claims he served for two decades in an off-planet research project, and then was sent back in time to a few minutes after he left and “age-regressed” so no one noticed that that he’s really twenty years older than he looks.

Another speaker claimed he was pre-identified as a future president of the United States in a CIA/DARPA program called Project Pegasus, which purportedly gathered intel on past and future events, such as the identities of future presidents. He also claimed Barack Obama was his roommate in 1980 in a CIA project called Mars Jump Room, a teleportation program that sent trainees to a secret base on the red planet.

 

You know, it sounds really bizarre when we step back and summarize things but there is no way to make this sound rational. The horror fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, which was inspired by the spirits behind 19th century occultists like Helena Blavatsky (and possibly the same spirit that communicated with Aleister Crowley), was filtered through the French science-fiction scene in the 1960s, adapted by a Swiss hotel manager named von Däniken, and recycled back to the United States at the time of the first moon landings, where it’s grown into a scientistic religion that replaces God with aliens.

Wow.

To paraphrase our friend, Christian researcher and author L. A. Marzulli: Now fifty years on from the publication of Chariots of the Gods, the ancient alien meme is real, burgeoning, and not going away.

And the old gods are using it to set the stage for their return.

“The Betrothal at Sinai,” and “The marriage of God and Israel.” These are two different phrases I read over and over again in articles about Shavuot (a.k.a. Pentecost).

At Mt. Sinai God asked Israel to marry Him. They said “Yes,” and Moses officiated the wedding.

While preparing Moses for his meetings with Pharaoh, God says I will take you for My people, and I will be your God. (Exodus 6:7)

Years ago when arranging a marriage in the Ancient Near East, a groom would say to a lady, “You will be my wife and I will be your husband.” Since the words God said to Israel are so similar it appears that God declared His intention to marry the people of Israel.

God delivered Israel from their slavery in Egypt and brought them to Mt. Sinai. At Mt. Sinai God shared with Moses His covenant or conditions for His relationship with Israel. Moses relayed this to the people of Israel, and they …

(Exodus 19:8) … answered together and said, “All that the Lord has spoken we will do!” And Moses brought back the words of the people to the Lord.

The people of Israel said “We do” to God. During this time when couples got betrothed they wrote a contact or covenant stating the terms and conditions of their marriage. This covenant defined the relationship between the two people.

At Mt. Sinai the terms of Israel’s relationship with God were written down, and we call it the Torah. The Torah is our wedding Ketubah detailing our covenant of marriage with God.

At Mt. Sinai God entered a relationship with the people of Israel. All throughout the Scriptures God shares His desire to be in a lasting relationship with Israel, but what about people from the nations? Does God love them too?

Who heard God’s wedding proposal?

(Exodus 20:18 (15 JPS)) Israel heard the thunder or voices –הַקּוֹלֹת

(https://www.sefaria.org/sheets/177393.16?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=enAnd all the people perceived the thunderings” (Exodus 20:15). Since there was only one voice, why “thunderings” in the plural? Rabbi Yochanan said: Because God’s voice divided into seventy voices, into seventy languages, so that all the nations might hear it … (Shemot Rabbah 5:9)

(Shabbat 88b) Every single word that went forth from the Omnipotent was split into seventy languages.

Why do the rabbis say “seventy voices” and “seventy languages”? In Genesis 10 we read that Noah had 70 descendants, so the 70 families from Noah became the 70 nations of the earth. Since there were 70 nations, these phrases are used to mean all the nations, or all the people on earth.

When God spoke in 70 languages it means that His words were spoken in every language so that all people on earth could hear Him in their native tongue. This means that God did not just speak to the people of Israel, but He spoke to everybody, or all mankind.

At Mt. Sinai, God gave an open invitation to everyone on the earth to become His bride. God is inviting you to become His bride; have you said “Yes” to His wedding proposal?

In the book of Exodus there is another sign given to us which proves that God invited people from every nation to join Israel and become His bride.

God invited people to be His bride at Mt. Sinai. He did not wait until they arrived in Israel. If God waited until after they entered the land of Israel, people could say that it was only the Jewish people God proposed to. But God asked people to marry Him at Mt. Sinai which is in the wilderness and belongs to no nation. Since God proposed in the wilderness it was an open wedding invitation to all mankind. Anyone, and everyone, can marry God. Have you said “Yes” to God’s proposal?

God’s laws were written in all languages

There is still another sign given in the Bible showing that God’s wedding invitation was made to all mankind.

(Deuteronomy 27:1-8) … when you cross the Jordan to the land which the Lord your God gives you, that you shall set up for yourself large stones and coat them with lime and write on them all the words of this law, when you cross over, … So it shall be when you cross the Jordan, you shall set up on Mount Ebal, these stones, as I am commanding you today, and you shall coat them with lime. … You shall write on the stones all the words of this law very distinctly.”

Moses told the people that when they cross the Jordan and arrive at Mt. Ebal they are to set up large stones and clearly (plainly) write on them all the words of God’s law. In Joshua 8 we read that Joshua had the people do exactly as Moses commanded. In Joshua 8:35 we read that “There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel with the women and the little ones and the strangers who were living among them.”

People from the nations were living together with Israel, and they were there when this happened. These foreigners probably learned some Hebrew during this time, but the Mishnah says that the words were written in seventy languages on the altar. (Mishnah Sotah 7:5) Ancient rabbis believed that Israel wrote down God’s Laws in all languages so that people from every nation could read them.

Since the rabbis wrote this in the Mishnah, they either had some information or evidence that God’s commands were written in 70 languages, or they strongly believed that God wanted everyone to be His people or married to Him. Either way, we see that ancient rabbis believed that God married Israel, and people from the nations. Have you married God?

God’s invitation spoken in all languages once again

(Acts 2:1-3) When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them.

On the Feast of Shavuot (or Pentecost) shortly after Yeshua rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, we see God interacting with the people of Israel exactly the same way He did at Mt. Sinai (which also happened on Shavuot).

Is this simply an amazing coincidence, or did God do this on purpose? I am thoroughly convinced that God did this on purpose so that we would connect these two events.

At Mt. Sinai God spoke in all languages, and in Jerusalem (Acts 2) God’s people spoke in all languages. On both occasions God invited people to be His people so His invitation was given in all languages so that everyone would hear it. Have you heard God’s invitation and said “Yes” to His wedding proposal?

By the fourth quarter of the 19th century, the Spiritualist movement was joined on the
spiritual scene by the new Theosophist movement, a blend of Eastern and Western mystical
traditions that found fertile ground among urban elites. Following the lead of their founder,
Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, Theosophists saw Spiritualism as unsophisticated and provincial. For
their part, “Spiritualists rejected Theosophy as unscientific occultism.” 1
Blavatsky is an enigmatic character, partly because it’s difficult to confirm a lot of
what she said and wrote about herself. According to official histories, she was the daughter of a
Russian-German nobleman who traveled widely across Europe and Asia in the 1850s and 1860s.
By cobbling together traditions cribbed from Eastern sources, Blavatsky was guided by her
“ascended masters” to lay the foundation for the modern UFO phenomenon and ET disclosure
movement.
Entire books have been devoted to the life and claims of Madame Blavatsky, and we
don’t have time or space here to dig deeply into the material. Briefly, Blavatsky acknowledged
the existence of Spiritualist phenomena, but denied that mediums were contacting spirits of the
dead. She taught instead that God is a “Universal Divine Principle, the root of All, from which
all proceeds, and within which all shall be absorbed at the end of the great cycle of Being.” 2
That’s a very Eastern worldview. Madame Blavatsky wove Hindu and Buddhist concepts into
her philosophy, and it’s claimed that she and Henry Steel Olcott, with whom she founded the
Theosophical Society in New York City in 1875, were the first Western converts to Buddhism.
The success of Theosophy in the U.S. and U.K. did much to spread Eastern mysticism in the
West. The New Age movement owes a huge debt to Helena Blavatsky.
Through her most famous books, Isis Unveiled, published in 1877, and her magnum
opus, The Secret Doctrine, published in 1888, Blavatsky attracted international attention to her
society and its goal of uniting the world in brotherhood by blending the philosophies of East and
West through the study of comparative religion, philosophy, and science. 3
In The Secret Doctrine, which Blavatsky claimed was channeled from a prehistoric
work called The Book of Dzyan (which critics accused her of plagiarizing without credit from a
number of sources, including the Sanskrit Rigveda), she wrote that “Lemuria was the homeland
of humanity, the place of the first creation. Further, there were to be seven Root Races ruling the
Earth in succession, of which humanity today was only the fifth. The fourth of these races were
the Atlanteans, who were destroyed by black magic. Lemuria would rise and fall to spawn new
races until the Seventh Root Race, perfect in every way, would take its rightful place as master of
the world.” 4
Who, you ask, were the Atlanteans, and what is Lemuria? In the 19th century, this odd
marriage of Spiritualism and Modernism gave rise to competing claims that the human race was
either evolving or devolving. Spiritualists more or less accepted Darwinian evolution because it
supported their belief in the continued development of the spirit after death. Blavatsky and her
followers, on the other hand, believed that humanity had left behind a golden age that collapsed
when Atlantis fell beneath the waves, similar to the belief of ancient Greeks in a long-ago golden
age when Kronos ruled in heaven.
Lemuria, like Atlantis, was another lost continent believed to be submerged
somewhere in the Pacific or Indian Oceans. It got its name in 1864 when zoologist Philip Sclater
noticed that certain primate fossils existed in Madagascar and India, but not in Africa or the

Middle East. To solve the puzzle, Sclater theorized that a lost continent that once connected
Madagascar and India accounted for the similar lemur fossils—hence Lemuria.
No kidding.
While belief in the existence of Lemuria was abandoned by mainstream scientists
when plate tectonics and continental drift caught on, the lost continent was kept alive by the
imagination and teachings of pseudo-scientists and spiritual deceivers like Helena Blavatsky.
Mysterious symbols, tragic history, and memories of a glorious, golden past
transmitted to Blavatsky by disembodied Masters via “astral clairvoyance” apparently stirred
something in the hearts of those who read The Secret Doctrine. Through the force of her
powerful will, Madame Helena Blavatsky convinced thousands that the history they’d been
taught was a lie, and that humanity’s future was to return to the golden age that was lost when
Atlantis slipped beneath the waves.
To put it simply, Blavatsky’s occult system Theosophy is a religious faith with human
evolution as an integral part of cosmic evolution. The ultimate goal was perfection and conscious
participation in the evolutionary process. This process was overseen by the Masters of the
Ancient Wisdom, a hierarchy of spiritual beings who’d been guiding humanity’s development
for millennia.
From a Christian perspective, it’s easy to recognize the deception embodied by the
doctrines of Theosophy. While Blavatsky’s critics believed she invented her faith out of whole
cloth, a discerning follower of Jesus Christ sees through the lies. Humanity is not the product of
random evolutionary chance; the “golden age” was the pre-Flood era during which the “mighty
men who were of old” spread their terror throughout the earth; and there is no spiritual discipline
that will enable us to become one with God and the cosmos.
The appeal of the old lie, “Ye shall be as gods,” is why the Infernal Council keeps
rolling it out. It deceived Adam and Eve, the kings of the Amorites, and even Manasseh and
Amon, the son and grandson of King Hezekiah of Judah, who, like the pagan Amorites, aspired
to join the “assembly of the Rephaim” 5 or the “council of the Ditanu” (i.e., the Titans) 6 after
death.
And now these messages from beyond the grave have been rebranded as
communications from beyond the stars—thanks to the wickedest man in the world and an atheist
author of horror fiction.
Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) is one of the giants of 20th century literature,
although he wasn’t recognized as such until after his death. And because he wrote horror fiction,
he wasn’t the kind of writer who got invited to fancy society parties. Lovecraft and his friends,
most of whom he knew through volumes of letters that some believe were more influential than
his published work, wrote to entertain, usually by crafting terrifying tales and conjuring
monstrous images of overpowering, inhuman evil.
H. P. Lovecraft was a sickly child who missed so much school in his youth that he was
basically self-educated. He never completed high school, giving up on his dream of becoming an
astronomer, because of what he later called a “nervous breakdown.” It’s possible that whatever
intellectual gift Lovecraft was given came at the expense of social skills. It’s also possible that he
was tormented by the same demons—psychological or spiritual—that drove both of his parents
to spend the last years of their lives in an asylum. Lovecraft lived as isolated an existence as he
could manage most of his life, and he admitted “most people only make me nervous—that only

by accident, and in extremely small quantities, would I ever be likely to come across people who
wouldn’t.” 7
As a child, Lovecraft was tormented by night terrors. From the age of six, young
Howard was visited by what he called night-gaunts—faceless humanoids with black, rubbery
skin, bat-like wings, and barbed tails, who carried off their victims to Dreamland. The nocturnal
visitors were so terrifying that Howard remembered trying desperately to stay awake every night
during this period of his life. These dreams, which haunted him for more than a year, apparently
had a powerful influence on his fiction.
From a Christian perspective, it’s a shame that Lovecraft’s mother, who raised Howard
from age three with his aunts after his father was committed to a psychiatric hospital, failed to
recognize the phenomenon for what it was—demonic oppression of her only child. But by the
late 19th century, the Western world didn’t have room in its scientific worldview for such things.
In fact, despite his personal experience with what many would call the spirit realm, Lovecraft
claimed to be an atheist throughout his life.
In spite of his disbelief, the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft has been adapted and adopted by
occultists around the world. The man who died a pauper not only found an audience over the last
eighty years, Lovecraft has inspired an army of authors who have preserved and expanded the
nightmarish universe that sprang from his tortured dreams.
Although Lovecraft claimed he didn’t believe in the supernatural, he was more than
happy to use the spirit realm as grist for his writing mill. Lovecraft apparently saw potential in
the doctrines of 19th century occultist Helena Petrovna Blavatsky for stories that would sell. And
they did, but mostly after his death. During his lifetime, Lovecraft was barely known outside the
readership of pulp magazines.
While Lovecraft may have rejected the idea of lost continents like Atlantis or Lemuria
as the forgotten motherland of humanity, a popular pseudo-scientific theory in the late 19th
century, the concept served him well as an author. The notion that certain humans gifted (or
cursed) with the ability to see beyond the veil were communicating with evil intelligences vastly
greater than our own also made for compelling horror. Lovecraft viewed the universe as a cold,
unfeeling place, so in his fiction those entities, unlike the kindly “ascended masters” of
Blavatsky’s Theosophical teachings, had no use for humanity—except as slaves or sacrifices.
The horror of discovering that one is at the mercy of immense, ancient beings
incapable of mercy is a common theme in Lovecraft’s tales, and he gave those ideas flesh and
bone with carefully crafted prose that infused them with a sense of dread not often distilled onto
the printed page.
And next time we’ll show you how Lovecraft’s fiction, inspired by the occult teachings
of Madame Blavatsky and another influential occultist, Aleister Crowley, was repackaged by a
Swiss hotel manager in 1969 into what’s become received wisdom for the teachers of the gospel
of “ancient aliens.”

1 David J. Hess, Science in the New Age: the paranormal, its defenders and debunkers,
and American culture (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 1993), p. 20.
2 Helena P. Blavatsky, The Key to Theosophy (London: Theosophical Publishing Society,
1889), p. 43.
3 Alvin Boyd Kuhn, Theosophy: A Modern Revival of Ancient Wisdom. (PhD thesis).
American religion series: Studies in religion and culture (Whitefish, MT: Kessinger
Publishing, 1992 [originally published 1930]), pp. 63-64.
4 Jason Colavito, The Cult of Alien Gods: H.P. Lovecraft And Extraterrestrial Pop Culture
(New York: Prometheus Books, 2005), p. 44.
5 Mentioned in Proverbs 21:16, though usually translated into English as “assembly of the dead.”
6 See Derek’s book Last Clash of the Titans for a detailed explanation of the archaeological evidence
connecting the ancient Amorite tribe called the Ditanu or Tidanu and the elder Greek gods, the Titans.
7 Howard Phillips Lovecraft (David E. Schultz & S. T. Joshi, eds.), Lord of a Visible
World: An Autobiography in Letters (Athens: Ohio University Press, 2000), p. 187.

We are living in a time period where nothing is what it used to be and we are not sure it will ever go back. I would like to offer a different perspective so that we don’t look at things from a human point of view but get God’s perspective and be plugged in to His timeline and greater plan.
 
Covid 19 did not take God by surprise. It’s a test to see where our heart is, to determine what our source really is.
 
There are many times in my life when I’ve not had a salary and had to live on whatever came in through love offerings and freelance jobs in music. My bills kept coming but many a time I needed $2000 or more by the end of the week and I did not know how God would provide. Not one time did He let us down.
 
I want to encourage you to look beyond the circumstances and challenges that you are facing. You may have lost your job but you haven’t lost your God.Can you imagine if that was the other way around. Sometimes one door has to close before another opens.
 
You may have lost your routine and things seem upside down.Its good when things shake because it allows you to see what needs to be pruned and what things are meant to stay.
 
God wants you to trust Him with your life, your livelihood, your family and your finances. Yes I’m over simplifying with these words because sometimes we over complicate the way through when all God wants from us, is to be quiet enough to hear His still small voice directing us.
While we are in that place of stillness, we need to keep sowing of our time and resources and walk in love and forgiveness one with another. Sometimes we feel overwhelmed as we look at the state of our country and say, what difference could I make? It starts with us, a random act of kindness, going out of our way to help someone that can’t help themselves,
demonstrating reconciliation with someone with a different skin color.These small steps by individuals can become a big step by society, and change is induced.
We need to feed our spirits with the truth and with a worshipful heart, trust in the Lord leaning not to our own understanding but acknowledging Him in all our ways and He will,direct our paths. (Prov.3:5)

 

With the recent admission by the United States Department of Defense that remarkable videos captured by US Navy F-18s purporting to show UAVs—Unidentified Aerial Vehicles, the modern term for UFOs—are genuine, we’re going to devote several articles to putting this subject in context. You may be surprised to learn that the modern UFO is just a sci-fi veneer on a very old phenomenon.

It’s not extraterrestrial, it’s interdimensional.

Humans have wondered about the stars since forever. That’s understandable; they’re beautiful and mysterious, as out of reach as mountain peaks. And perhaps for the same reasons, the earliest speculation about the stars revolved around gods, not extraterrestrials.

As with mountains, humans have associated stars with deities since the beginning of human history. Three of the most important gods in the ancient Near East, from Sumer to Israel and its neighbors, were the sun, moon, and the planet Venus. To the Sumerians they were the deities Utu, Nanna, and the goddess Inanna; later, in Babylon, they were Shamash, Sîn, and Ishtar. The Amorites worshiped Sapash, Yarikh, and Astarte.

Yahweh not only recognized that the nations worshiped these small-G gods, He allotted the nations to them as their inheritance—punishment for the Tower of Babel incident.

When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God. (Deuteronomy 32:8)

And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. (Deuteronomy 4:19)

In other words, God placed the nations of the world under small-G “gods” represented by the sun, moon, and stars, but He reserved Israel for Himself. The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were to remain faithful to Yahweh alone, and through Israel He would bring forth a Savior.

But the gods Yahweh allotted to the nations went rogue. That earned them a death sentence.

God has taken his place in the divine council;

in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

“How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah […]

I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die,

and fall like any prince.” (Psalm 82:1-2, 6-7)

To be absolutely clear, those small-G gods are not to be confused with capital-G God, Yahweh, Creator of all things including those “sons of the Most High.” We know the consensus view among Christians is to treat the gods of Psalm 82 as humans, usually described as corrupt Israelite kings or judges. With all due respect to the scholars who’ve held that view over the centuries, it’s wrong. First, the Hebrew word elohim (“gods”) always refers to spirit beings, and verse 7—“nevertheless, like men you shall die”—makes no sense if God was addressing a human audience.

Humanity has looked to the stars as gods for at least the last 5,000 years. End times prophecy, from the perspective of pagans, is about the return of the old gods, spirits defined as rebel angels and demons by the Hebrew prophets and apostles.

The Infernal Council has been playing a very long game. Once upon a time, Christians generally held a biblical worldview. The influence of the spirit realm on our lives wasn’t perfectly understood, but at least it was acknowledged. And while the church of Rome can be fairly criticized for keeping the Bible out of the hands of lay people for nearly a thousand years, at least the learned scholars and theologians of the church made a fair effort to interpret their world through a biblical filter.

In our modern, enlightened age, however, the principalities and powers have nudged and prodded humanity through the Enlightenment and Modernism into Postmodernism, shifting us from a supernatural worldview to one that only accepts an external creator in the form of “ancient aliens,” which allows us to account for the supernatural while simultaneously denying the existence of God.

In 1973, science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke wrote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” By substituting advanced science for the supernatural, ancient aliens evangelists have created a godless religion perfect for the 21st century. It offers mystery, transcendence, and answers to the big questions: Where do we come from, why are we here, and where do we go when we die?

Best of all, believers in ET don’t need to change the way they think or act, except maybe to promise to our benevolent space brothers that we’ll live peacefully with our galactic neighbors. And, as surprising as it may seem, the followers of Eric von Däniken and Zecaria Sitchin aren’t the first to concoct a religion that includes a belief in extraterrestrial life.

Consider, for example, Emanuel Swedenborg, an 18th century Swedish scientist, philosopher, and mystic. He was undoubtedly brilliant, but sometimes the brilliant are blinded by their own light. His theology encompassed the following concepts:

  • The Bible is the Word of God; however, its true meaning differs greatly from its obvious meaning. Furthermore, he and only he, through the help of angels, could discern the true meaning and message of the Scriptures. 
  • Swedenborg believed that the world of matter is a laboratory for the soul, where the material is used to “force-refine” the spiritual. 
  • In many ways, Swedenborg was quite universal in his concepts, for he believed that all religious systems have their divine duty and purpose and that this is not the sole virtue of Christianity. 
  • Swedenborg believed that the mission of the Church is absolutely necessary inasmuch as, left to its own devices, humanity cannot work out its relationship to God. 
  • He saw the real power of Christ’s life in the example it gave to others and rejected the concept of atonement and original sin.

Swedenborg believed he heard directly from angels who lived elsewhere in the solar system. To this day, the Swedenborg Foundation offers a modern translation of the mystic’s 1758 work Life on Other Planets, a book that “details Swedenborg’s conversations with spirits from Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, Venus, and the moon, who discuss their lives on other planets and how their cultures differed from those of earthly life.”⁠ Swedenborg’s teachings on spiritism and angelic ETIs and those who believe them are still around, although they’ve rebranded the faith as The New Church. (Maybe “Swedenborgianism” didn’t test well in focus groups.) It’s a small sect, about 10,000 adherents worldwide, but the point is this: The messages Swedenborg received are very much like the telepathic contact some claim to receive from ETIs today—and similar to messages whispered into the minds of the demonically oppressed and possessed.

Of course, Swedenborg, who died in 1772, wasn’t the last word in the rise of mystic scientism. Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism about fifty years after Swedenborg’s death, incorporated belief in the existence of many worlds in the doctrines of the Church of Latter Day Saints. Smith taught that God was flesh and blood, formerly a mortal man who’d earned godhood and, apparently, the right to create multiple earths.

Book of Moses Chapter One-Joseph Smith

29 And [Moses] beheld many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.

30 And it came to pass that Moses called upon God, saying: Tell me, I pray thee, why these things are so, and by what thou madest them?

31 And behold, the glory of the Lord was upon Moses, so that Moses stood in the presence of God, and talked with him face to face. And the Lord God said unto Moses: For mine own purpose have I made these things. Here is wisdom and it remaineth in me.

32 And by the word of my power, have I created them, which is mine Only Begotten Son, who is full of grace and truth.

33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.

34 And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.

Mormonism was just one among the waves of new spiritual movements that washed across the United States in the 19th century. Beginning with the Second Great Awakening in the 1790s, a reaction to the rationalism and deism of the Enlightenment, a series of revivals, cults, and camp meetings followed European settlers westward as the country grew and prospered. The raw, unspoiled nature of the frontier contributed to a desire to restore Christianity to a purer form, free from the formality and hierarchy of the churches of Europe.

The Second Great Awakening, which swelled the numbers of Baptists and Methodists especially, peaked by the middle of the 19th century, but other spiritual movements followed close behind. And here’s where the Venn diagram begins to overlap ancient cults of the dead and a modern “scientific” worldview.

The spiritualist movement, which emerged from the same region of western New York state that produced Joseph Smith, the so-called Burned-over District, first appeared in the late 1840s. Sisters Kate and Margaret Fox, ages 12 and 15, claimed to communicate with spirits of the dead through coded knocks or “rappings.” They either convinced their 17-year-old sister, Leah, or brought her in on the gag, and she took charge of the younger two, managing their careers for years.

The Fox sisters not only enjoyed long careers as mediums, they left a legacy that continues to this day in the work of television mediums like John Edward, Theresa Caputo, and Tyler Henry—despite the fact that Margaret and Kate admitted in 1888 that they’d invented the whole thing:

“That I have been chiefly instrumental in perpetrating the fraud of Spiritualism upon a too-confiding public, most of you doubtless know. The greatest sorrow in my life has been that this is true, and though it has come late in my day, I am now prepared to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help me God! . . I am here tonight as one of the founders of Spiritualism to denounce it as an absolute falsehood from beginning to end, as the flimsiest of superstitions, the most wicked blasphemy known to the world.”

The Fox sisters used a variety of techniques, one of which was simply cracking their toe joints, to produce the sounds that fooled gullible audiences into believing that spirits answered their questions. But even after their confession was published by a New York City newspaper, the spiritualist movement never skipped a beat. To this day, “many accounts of the Fox sisters leave out their confession of fraud and present the rappings as genuine manifestations of the spirit world.”

Isn’t that remarkable? Humans are so desperate for contact with the dead that the spiritualist movement lives on into our enlightened age even though its founders admitted their act was as real as professional wrestling. Well-known believers have included such powerful intellects as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

In fact, Conan Doyle wrote The History of Spiritualism in 1926, and he pegged March 31, 1848—the very first time Kate and Margaret Fox claimed to hear from spirits—as the date the movement began.

 

Next Month: Blavatsky, Crowley, and Lovecraft.

All Pro Pastors International was honored to go to India and inaugurate Dr Ashok Karkera as our National Director for the countries of India and Nepal. It is our heartfelt belief that India is the doorway to reaching the entire continent of Asia and Dr Ashok, Dr Regina (his wife) and his wonderful team are the ones to make this happen.

We especially want to thank our financial partners who made this trip possible and who also faithfully support this vital ministry. Your financial support is truly reaching massive numbers of people for Jesus and feeding countless hungry families. Thank you for making such a different in these pastors and the ones they faithfully serve.

Now please click the link below to see first hand the results of this mission trip!

Link –  APPI India Nepal Report Mumbai Trip 2020

The title “lord of the dead” was probably some kind of honor in the minds of the pagan Canaanites. The spirits of the Rephaim were called “warriors of Baal” and “warriors of Anat” (their incredibly violent war-goddess), and some scholars believe that one of Baal’s functions may have been to resurrect them at ritual meals to which the Rephaim were summoned.

However, the prophets Isaiah and Ezekiel make it very clear that this was a demotion.

You were in Eden, the garden of God;

every precious stone was your covering, 

sardius, topaz, and diamond, 

beryl, onyx, and jasper, 

sapphire, emerald, and carbuncle; 

and crafted in gold were your settings 

and your engravings. 

On the day that you were created 

they were prepared. 

You were an anointed guardian cherub. 

I placed you; you were on the holy mountain of God; 

in the midst of the stones of fire you walked. 

You were blameless in your ways 

from the day you were created, 

till unrighteousness was found in you. 

In the abundance of your trade 

you were filled with violence in your midst, and you sinned; 

so I cast you as a profane thing from the mountain of God, 

and I destroyed you, O guardian cherub, 

from the midst of the stones of fire. (Ezekiel 28:13–16)

***

All of [the Rephaim] will answer 

and say to you: 

“You too have become as weak as we! 

You have become like us!”

Your pomp is brought down to Sheol, 

the sound of your harps; 

maggots are laid as a bed beneath you, 

and worms are your covers. (Isaiah 14:10–11, 15)

From the pinnacle of creation to a bed of maggots. A real comedown. Even the Rephaim, who are supposed to be Satan’s warriors, recognize his diminished status.

Lest you think we’re reading our preconceptions of Satan into Isaiah 14, let’s take this a bit further. Scholars have known for a long time that the prophet was a brilliant writer, and he was a master of wordplay. The influence of Egypt on the kingdom of Judah during Isaiah’s lifetime provided him with another opportunity to make his point.

All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; but you are cast out, away from your grave, like a loathed branch, clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a dead body trampled underfoot. (Isaiah 14:18–19)

At the risk of pointing out the obvious, the phrase “a loathed branch” in verse 18 is weird. And remember: weird = important. What in the world did Isaiah mean by that?

The Hebrew word netser is easy. It means “branch.” The adjectives translators chose to describe the branch includes “loathed,” “repulsive,” “rejected,” “worthless,” and “abominable,” but they convey the same sense—something utterly detestable. The Hebrew word rendered “abhorred” or “abominable,” taʿab, is significant. It modifies the noun netser, which would normally have a positive connotation. In this context, taʿab means something like “unclean” or “ritually impure.”

Still, even trying to allow for differences in cultures over the last twenty-seven hundred years, calling someone an “unclean or impure branch” is puzzling. But there is a likely explanation: Isaiah meant something other than “branch” because the Hebrew netser wasn’t the word he used at all.

[The] term is best explained as a loanword from the common Egyptian noun nṯr. Nṯr is generally translated “god,” but is commonly used of the divinized dead and their physical remains. It originally came into Hebrew as a noun referring to the putatively divinized corpse of a dead king, which is closely related to the Egyptian usage. (Emphasis added.)

The Egyptian word nṯr is especially relevant here. Isaiah connects the divinized dead god, Baal/Satan, with the dead kings venerated by the pagan Amorites and Canaanites, the Rephaim—the spirits of the Nephilim destroyed in the Flood.

This is not a weird, out-of-left-field stretch to force the Scriptures to fit a pet theory involving antediluvian giants. The prophet devoted several chapters, especially Isaiah 30 and 31, to condemning Israel for turning to Egypt instead of Yahweh for protection against Assyria. Sennacherib’s official mocked Hezekiah for “trusting in Egypt, that broken reed of a staff, which will pierce the hand of any man who leans on it.”

Recently, a seal of Hezekiah was found in Jerusalem at the foot of the southern wall of the Temple Mount. While this one, apparently from later in Hezekiah’s reign, featured an Assyrian-style winged solar disc, his older seals were decorated with a scarab beetle, which represented the Egyptian sun-god Ra. This was apparently part of Hezekiah’s foreign policy, an attempt to curry favor with his stronger neighbor, Egypt, to further his dream of reunifying Judah and Israel. This required standing up to the Assyrian juggernaut, which had destroyed the northern half of the kingdom of David and Solomon about six years after Hezekiah became king.

By using a loan word from Egypt that meant “dead god”—and not “branch,” as translated in our English Bibles—Isaiah was emphasizing the theme of chapter 14: The entity who rebelled in Eden, the storm-god Baal (whom Jesus identified as Satan), was cast down to the land of the dead to become the unclean, profane, abominable lord of the shades—the Rephaim.

This theme is echoed by Ezekiel in chapter 28. A deeper dive into the Hebrew of that text reveals a surprising parallel with Isaiah.

Your heart was proud because of your beauty; 

you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor. 

I cast you to the ground; 

I exposed you before kings, 

to feast their eyes on you. (Ezekiel 28:17) 

Reading this as another account of Lucifer’s fall to Sheol is a bit of a stretch, but only until we dig into the original Hebrew behind the English text. The word translated “kings,” mǝlākîm, uses the same consonant sounds, M-L-K, as mal’akh, or “messenger,” a word usually translated into English as “angel.” But in the Semitic languages spoken in the lands to the north and east of the ancient Israelites, similar words such as maliku and malku referred to underworld spirits who received kispum offerings and were possibly linked to the Rephaim.

Translators, both English and Hebrew, seeing the consonants mlkm would understandably assume that the word referred to kings. Translators may not have been aware of the maliku spirits of ancient Ebla or Mari or why they were relevant to Ezekiel’s verse. But in the context of the cults of the ancestors and divinized dead kings who were an integral part of the pagan religions in and around ancient Israel, it seems more likely that Ezekiel was referring to malakim, the malevolent spirits of the dead Nephilim, rather than “kings,” just as Isaiah called the demoted rebel from Eden an unclean dead god and not a “loathed branch.”

This has interesting implications. It suggests that the fall of Satan, or at least his punishment, took place after the Flood, because the “shades,” the Rephaim (the spirits of the Nephilim), were already in Sheol when Satan landed there. That assumes, of course, that time in the spirit realm moves in a linear manner, the way it does for us. But that kind of speculation is way outside the scope of this book.

The bottom line is this: Satan’s ambition got the better of him. He was thrown out of Eden, cast down from the mountain of God, where he was greeted by the shades, the Rephaim—and not exactly with praise and thanksgiving (“You have become as weak as we!”).

However, while Satan was down, he wasn’t out. Although he’d been demoted from guardian of the throne of God to overseer of the disembodied spirits of the Nephilim, Satan took the form of the storm-god under names like Hadad (Baal), Zeus, Jupiter, and Thor, and set himself up as king of pagan pantheons from India to Rome to Scandinavia. And the Rephaim, called “warriors of Baal” in ancient Amorite ritual texts that have only been translated within the last fifty years, have been literally bedeviling humanity—which they will continue to do until Jesus returns.

If you’re reading this, you’ve probably read enough of the Bible to know that the serpent in Eden was the first character in the Bible to reject the authority of God. It may surprise you to learn that there was another rebel subdued by God, and this took place earlier—even before He said, “Let there be light.”

Right at the very beginning of the Bible, we read:

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2, ESV)

 

The Hebrew word translated “the deep” is tehom, which is a cognate (same word, different language) for the Akkadian têmtum. That, in turn, is a cognate for Sumerian ti’amat, or Tiamat, the primordial chaos-dragon. This link connects the Mesopotamian tale of a warrior-god defeating chaos, recorded in the Babylonian creation epic Enuma Elish, to the Canaanite version of the story. In the Baal Cycle, the storm-god becomes king of the pantheon by defeating the god of the sea, Yam, in single combat. A text found at the ancient city of Mari reveals that the clubs with which Baal allegedly “fought the Sea [Têmtum]” had been transferred from the storm-god’s city, Aleppo, to the temple of the creator-god Dagan at Terqa.

One of Yam’s minions who fell at the hands of Baal was the sea-dragon Lotan (alternatively Litan or Litanu), described in the Baal Cycle as the “wriggling serpent,” the “writhing serpent,” and the “Encircler-with-seven-heads.” That description echoes the Bible’s depiction of the sea-dragon: “Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent,” which is not a coincidence.

Secular scholars take this as evidence that the Hebrews plagiarized their religion from their Mesopotamian ancestors. As a Christian, I believe that the testimony of Jesus validates the Old Testament, which makes the Mesopotamian accounts (and later stories from other cultures around the world) the derivative accounts that were borrowed from the original in the Bible.

Roughly 80 miles west of Aleppo, Syria is a mountain that everyone in the ancient world knew was home to Baal’s palace. Mount Zaphon, today called Jebel al-Aqra, was known to the Greeks as Mount Kasios. The Greek storm-god, Zeus, was identified with Baal, and the aspect of Zeus who reigned there was known as Zeus Kasios (and Jupiter Casius to the Romans). Mount Zaphon was the site of the epic battle between Zeus and the chaos-monster Typhon, a story that’s a clear parallel with Baal’s victory over the Yam and his minion, Lotan.

The victory of a warrior god over the chaos-monster representing the sea, or as scholar Robert D. Miller termed it, the storm god-slays-dragon myth, is a theme that stretches back to Sumer in the ancient Near East. The conflict between Zeus and Typhon was preceded by the Hittite myth of the storm-god Tarhunt and the dragon Illuyanka, the Indian myth of Indra’s defeat of the dragon Vrtra (with a thunderbolt, naturally), and before that, the account of Marduk and Tiamat in the Babylonian creation epic, the Enuma Elish.

In the god lists found at Ugarit, which serve as a lexicon between Ugaritic and Akkadian, Tiamat is equated with Baal’s nemesis, Yam. After his victory, Marduk, like Baal, was declared king of the gods and had a palace built in his honor.

Some scholars have observed that because no copy of the Enuma Elish predates the tablets containing the Baal Cycle found at Ugarit, and probably originated no more than two hundred years before the Baal Cycle, the storm-god-slays-dragon myth may well have traveled to Babylon from the region around Mount Zaphon, and not, as is generally assumed, the other way around. And this makes a lot of sense. It’s far more likely that people near the Mediterranean would envision the sea as a monstrous opponent of the gods than the inhabitants of arid central Mesopotamia, where the sea was not an important part of daily life.

Linking the Sumerian chaos-monster Tiamat to “the deep” of Genesis 1:2 puts that verse in a new light. The Spirit of God hovered over the waters because Yahweh defeated a divine rebel before creating Adam and Eve. After subduing Tehom/Tiamat His Spirit remained to guarantee the monster would stay down.

Thus, the creation of the world as recorded in Genesis is linked to the Enuma Elish, the Baal Cycle, and the storm-god-slays-dragon myths of ancient Anatolia and Greece, the Indian myth referenced above, the Norse tales of epic battles between Thor and the giant serpent Jörmungandr, and others. Not surprisingly, secular scholars generally believe the biblical account was inspired by the Babylonian myth. It’s what military professionals call a MISO—Military Information Support Operation, the modern term for a PSYOP. Remember, the oldest written account isn’t necessarily the correct one.

Why does this matter? God didn’t put filler in the Bible. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16). The victory over Leviathan was important enough that it’s mentioned several times in scripture:

 

You divided the sea by your might;

you broke the heads of the sea monsters on the waters.

You crushed the heads of Leviathan;

you gave him as food for the creatures of the wilderness.

Psalm 74:13-14 (ESV)

 

By his power he stilled the sea;

by his understanding he shattered Rahab.

By his wind the heavens were made fair;

his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

Job 26:12-13 (ESV)

 

Awake, awake, put on strength,

O arm of the Lord;

awake, as in days of old,

the generations of long ago.

Was it not you who cut Rahab in pieces,

that pierced the dragon?

Was it not you who dried up the sea,

the waters of the great deep,

who made the depths of the sea a way

for the redeemed to pass over?

Isaiah 51:9-10 (ESV)

 

O Lord God of hosts,

who is mighty as you are, O Lord,

with your faithfulness all around you?

 

You rule the raging of the sea;

when its waves rise, you still them.

 

You crushed Rahab like a carcass;

you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm.

Psalm 89:8-10 (ESV)

 

Rahab literally means “proud one” in Hebrew. It’s clear from the context of the passages above that it’s linked to the sea, chaos, and evil. But unlike the lesser gods of the ancient world, who trembled with fear at the power and fury of the chaos sea-monster, and whose champions needed the help of other gods to subdue it, Yahweh’s victory was quick and unassisted.

And from chaos, He brought forth Eden.

Let your light shine

(Matthew 5:14-16) “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”

(Ephesians 5:8) For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.

We are taught to place our Chanukah Menorah in a window so everyone who goes by our house can see it. Light is not meant to be hidden; it is meant to be seen. Yeshua needs to be seen so people can receive the gift of eternal life and have their needs met for their spirit, soul and body. Yeshua lives in us so now it’s our job to let Him shine so people can see Him and get their needs met.

When we do good works and are used by God we are not to draw attention to ourselves. Yeshua the light is to shine in such a way that it’s evident or plain to see that we are not the Light, but Yeshua is. When it’s obvious that Yeshua is the Light, people will thank God and glorify Him.

This is one reason we light the Menorah. We should not spend too much time inside our homes or the Synagogue/Church. We need to get outside where there are people and let God’s Light shine so that others can see it. Today, this includes using the internet to shine God’s Light.

We are mirrors who reflect Yeshua

(2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT) So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into His glorious image.

(2 Corinthians 3:18 TLB) But we … have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord.

(2 Corinthians 3:18 MSG) Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of His face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like Him.

Since the Hebrew word Chanukah means dedication, we need to dedicate our temples (or bodies) to God every year during this feast. When we dedicate our temples to God, we remove things that function as a veil. Things that are like a cover or blanket and prevent people from seeing Yeshua. We need to remove any masks that hide Yeshua’s face from being seen. 

We need to make sure there is nothing between us and God so we can be a mirror which reflects and shines the glory of God or the brightness of Yeshua’s face. 

Judas Maccabee told us to celebrate the rededication of God’s temple every year, over and over again. We too must rededicate our temples to God over and over again. The truth is we’re all works in progress. We will spend our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as we allow God to enter our temples and make us more like Him.

Take time to celebrate Chanukah and rededicate your temple to God. Clean your temple so Yeshua the Light will shine more than ever before, and people will glorify your Father in heaven.