Ur was not the only center of the moon-god cult in the ancient world, but it was the most important. As we noted above, the akiti festival, which was eventually celebrated for gods at cities all over Mesopotamia, probably originated at Ur sometime between 3000 and 2500 BC. Throughout most of that millennium, other cities dominated the Fertile Crescent. After the decline of Uruk around 3100 BC (in our view, probably due to the confusion of language at Babel), “kingship” alternated between cities in Mesopotamia, including Uruk, Kish, Lagash, Mari, and Ur, down to the time of Sargon the Great. Around 2334 BC, Sargon of Akkad established the first pan-Mesopotamian empire since the days of Nimrod, conquering and controlling an area that stretched from the Persian Gulf to the modern border between Syria and Turkey. The great king attributed his success mainly to the elder gods of the pantheon (except for Inanna/Ishtar, goddess of sex and war): Sargon, king of Akkad, overseer (mashkim) of Inanna, king of Kish, anointed (guda) of Anu, king of the land, governor (ensi) of Enlil. 1 But as with all kingdoms, the Akkadian Empire eventually collapsed. It was overrun by the Gutians, barbarians from the mountains of western Iran, around 2154 BC. Fifty years later, Ur-Nammu came to power in Ur. He ran the Gutians out of the land and then defeated the city- states of Uruk and Lagash. Ur-Nammu and his descendants, the Third Dynasty of Ur, controlled the entire Fertile Crescent for the next 150 years, apparently collecting tribute from as far away as Canaan. Ur-Nammu was a builder credited with the construction of a number of buildings in Sumer, most notably the Great Ziggurat of Ur for Nanna/Sîn, the moon-god. You’ve probably seen pictures of American soldiers visiting the reconstructed step pyramid after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Saddam Hussein rebuilt the facade and the enormous staircase of the crumbling temple in the 1980s. Before the Gulf War erupted with “shock and awe” in 1990, it was widely reported that Saddam was rebuilding Babylon, perhaps seeing himself as a modern Nebuchadnezzar. 2 It wasn’t as well known that he also spent a lot of money reconstructing the ancient temple of Sîn. No wonder; as we’ve seen (pardon the pun), the spirit behind Babylon wasn’t Marduk—it was the moon-god. The ziggurat of Ur was immense, measuring 210 feet long, about 150 feet wide, and at least 100 feet high. Imagine that—a ten-story building made entirely of mud brick, still standing (though in disrepair) four thousand years after it was built. The temple was called Ekishnugal, the “House of Thirty, the Great Seed,” an obvious reference to the fertility aspect of the moon- god. The massive platform that formed the base of the temple was the E-temen-nì-gùru, which means “House-foundation That Is Clad in Terror.” Unintentionally prophetic. The brief renaissance of Ur came to an end around 2004 BC when the Amorites, probably with help from the Elamites and Gutians, stamped out the last Sumerian kingdom in Mesopotamia. After that, for our purposes, the important centers of the moon-god shifted north and west, to the heart of Amorite country. One of the reasons the moon-god is a focus of our study is the biblical connection between Ur and ancient Mesopotamia’s other major center of moon-god worship, Harran. That link is Abraham. Until about a hundred years ago, when the famed archaeologist Sir Leonard Woolley excavated the fabulous Royal Tombs of Ur in the early 1920s, Bible scholars generally believed the patriarch of Jews, Muslims, and Christians had come from southern Turkey. That’s exactly where we find ancient Harran (spelled with a single r in the Bible), on the Balikh River about ten miles north of the Syrian border. In the early second millennium BC, after the collapse of the Third Dynasty of Ur, Harran was an important trading center on the caravan route between the Mediterranean coast and Assyria, in what was probably in a border zone between the Assyrians to the southeast, the Hurrians to the northeast, an emerging Amorite kingdom at Halab (Aleppo) to the southwest, and the Hittites, who were arriving in Anatolia to the northwest around that time. Close by Harran was Ura, a town known as a home base for traveling merchants, 3 as well as cities bearing the names of Abraham’s father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and brother—namely Serug (Sarugi), Nahor (Nahur), Terah, and, of course, Haran, the father of Lot. 4 Those cities are older than the time frame of the Bible. Working backwards from the Exodus, Abraham was born around 1950 BC. That puts the births of Terah, Nahor, and Serug around 2020 BC, 2049 BC, and 2079 BC, respectively. It’s probable that Abraham’s relatives were named for those cities instead of the other way around. At the very least, their names suggest a much stronger connection between Abraham and northern Mesopotamia than with Ur in Sumer, about six hundred miles to the southeast. Likewise, Abraham’s lifestyle as a tent-dwelling nomad is more consistent with the Amorite culture of the Levant than with Sumer. He was not a city-dweller, and neither were Isaac and Jacob. Based on Sumerian writings about the Amorites of the Syrian steppe, such a lifestyle would have been completely alien to someone raised in the sophisticated urban culture of Sumer. And this must be said: If Abraham’s father, Terah, really meant to go from Ur in Sumer to Canaan, he wouldn’t have ended up in Harran, not even by mistake. A map of the caravan trails of the ancient Near East makes it obvious. After following the Euphrates northward from Ur, Terah would have had to miss a left turn at Mari, near the modern border between Iraq and Syria. A well-known caravan trail there crossed the steppe to Tadmor (Palmyra) and Damascus before descending into Canaan by way of Bashan, the modern Golan Heights. Harran isn’t just a little out of the way; it’s ridiculously out of the way. Going from Ur to Canaan by way of Harran is like driving from Atlanta to Dallas by way of Chicago. It would not have happened like that. Most important, the Bible supports this theory. When Joshua called on the tribes of Israel to remember their origins, he said: Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, “Long ago, your fathers lived beyond the Euphrates, Terah, the father of Abraham and of Nahor; and they served other gods. Then I took your father Abraham from beyond the River and led him through all the land of Canaan, and made his offspring many.” (Joshua 24:2–3, ESV) The key phrase there is “beyond the River.” Ur in Sumer is on the west bank of the Euphrates River. Abraham would not have crossed it to get to Canaan. Harran, however, is on the far side of the river. As scholar Cyrus H. Gordon argued in 1958, “it is now clear that Abraham was a merchant prince…from the Hittite realm.” 5 Abraham was not from Sumer. He came from northern Mesopotamia and the pastoralist Amorite culture. The moon-god’s importance in Harran is no mystery; the city was founded as a trading outpost by the kings of Ur, city of the moon-god. 6 Harran, where the deity was mainly called by his Akkadian name Sîn, sat on the main east-west route between Antioch and Nineveh. From there, traders could follow the Tigris River south to Babylon, which, as we noted above, was just beginning its rise to power in the days of Abraham. The temple of Sîn in Harran was an important religious and political site for the Amorites of northern Mesopotamia. For example, Amorite tribes would meet at the temple of Sîn and sacrifice a donkey to ratify treaties. 7 That wouldn’t have been weird in Syria four thousand years ago. Donkeys were sacred animals to the Amorites, and they’ve been found buried after ritual slaughter at sites all over the Near East, like Mari, Jericho, and Avaris in northern Egypt. 8 In fact, Amorite kings rode donkeys, not horses. That tradition was still alive when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, a point not lost on the people or the local authorities. 9 It’s important to remember that there was no separation of church and state back then. As we’ll see, that hasn’t changed in that part of the world over the last five thousand years. Farther west, another moon-god center is famous for being the first city conquered by Joshua west of the Jordan River. You see, the Amorite name for the moon-god was Yarikh, which is similar to the Hebrew form, yareakh. (That’s where yerakh, the old Hebrew word for “month,” comes from.) Transliterating from Semitic into English turns the y into a j, and Yarikh becomes Jericho. We’ll have more to say about Jericho in a bit. Another site at the north end of the Jordan River Valley was also home to worshipers of the moon-god. At the southwest corner of the Sea of Galilee is Bet Yerah (“House of Yarikh” or “Temple of Yarikh”), an important center for pottery production throughout the Early Bronze Age, from about 3500 to 2300 BC. 10 Artifacts at the site and at Abydos, an ancient city on the Nile in central Egypt, confirm that Bet Yerah traded with the First Dynasty of Egypt between about 3100 and 2850 BC. 11 However, after 2850 BC, following an unidentified crisis that resulted in the abandonment of a number of sites in the Jordan Valley, Bet Yerah was resettled by migrants from the area of modern Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan. 12 Around that time, a megalithic, crescent-shaped stone structure longer than one and a half football fields was built eighteen miles (about a day’s journey) from Bet Yerah. Known locally as Rujum en-Nabi Shua’ayb, or “Jethro’s Cairn,” it was finally identified in 2014 as a monument to the moon-god. 13 So, during the Early Bronze Age, both ends of the Jordan River Valley, the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, were anchored by sites occupied by worshipers of the moon-god. Although Bet Yerah had fallen on hard times by Abraham’s day, with nothing left other than a small potter’s workshop, it points to the popularity of Sîn/Yarikh among the people who lived in the region for more than a thousand years by the time the patriarch entered Canaan. And, as we’ll see, the fallen elohim who passed himself off as the moon-god was a target of God’s wrath very early in the history of Israel. 1 Inscription found at Nippur. Amélie Kuhrt, The Ancient Near East C. 3000–330 BC: Vol. 1 (London: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, 2009), 49. 2 “Saddam Does Battle with Nebuchadnezzar.” The Guardian, January 4, 1999 (, retrieved 2/7/19. 3 Cyrus H. Gordon, “Abraham and the Merchants of Ura.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1 (Jan. 1958), 28–31. 4 Mark Chavalas, “Genealogical History as ‘Charter’: A Study of Old Babylonian Period Historiography and the Old Testament.” In Faith, Tradition, and History: Old Testament Historiography in Its Near Eastern Context (Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 1994), 122. 5 Gordon, op. cit., 31. 6 Tamara M. Green, The City of the Moon God: Religious Traditions of Harran (Leiden; New York: E. J. Brill, 1992), 20. 7 Minna Silver, “Equid Burials in Archaeological Contexts in the Amorite, Hurrian, and Hyksos Cultural Intercourse.” Aram 26:1&2 (2014), 342. 8 Kenneth C. Way, “Assessing Sacred Asses: Bronze Age Donkey Burials in the Near East.” Levant 42:2 (2010), 214. 9 Jack M. Sasson, “Thoughts of Zimri-Lim,” Biblical Archaeologist (June 1984), 118–119. 10 Raphael Greenberg, Sarit Paz, David Wengrow, and Mark Iserlis, “Tel Bet Yerah: Hub of the Early Bronze Age Levant,” Near Eastern Archaeology 75:2 (2012), 90. 11 Ibid., 95–96. 12 Sarit Paz, “A Home Away from Home? The Settlement of Early Transcaucasian Migrants at Tel Bet Yerah,” Tel Aviv Vol. 36 (2009), 196–216. 13 “5,000-year-old Moon-shaped Stone Structure Identified in Northern Israel,” Haaretz, September 16, 2014 ( identified-in-north-1.5301928), retrieved 3/18/17.

Akiti is the Sumerian form of the word akitu, the name of the Babylonian festival celebrating the new year. It refers both to the holiday and the special building where it was held. Unlike the festival for the chief god Marduk in Babylon, which was held only in the spring, the akiti celebrated for the moon-god Nanna at Ur was also held in the seventh month, around the time of the autumn equinox. The celebration involved the image representing the god traveling by boat from the city to the akiti-house and then returning to the city with great fanfare.

The autumn festival was the more important of the two. Why? Nanna was the patron god of Ur, and the fall akiti, which lasted at least eleven days into the month, took place as the waxing moon grew larger and larger, symbolizing the god’s reentry into his city just as the days were getting visibly shorter and the moon asserted his dominance in the sky over Utu, the sun-god.

Similar festivals were held in many cities for their patron gods, from Ur to Babylon to Harran in northern Mesopotamia. The question is why the ritual required the patron god to travel from his or her city to the akiti-house and back. Scholars who have studied this festival report that “nothing unusually significant occurred” at the akiti-house. So, why bother?

The solution is the obvious. Perhaps the best-known children’s riddle is, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” The answer to this riddle is the obvious: “to get to the other side.” Why then was the akitu-house built outside the city? The answer: “so that the gods could march back into the city.”

But why? We may never know for sure, but there’s a fascinating tidbit buried just beneath the surface of the historical record. It appears the akiti rites at Ur included a ritual procession around the fields outside the walls, presumably to call for divine protection of the crops. This circular march, or circumambulation, was combined with offerings to Nanna, a ritual purification of the gate to the moon-god’s temple, and of course tithing by merchants to the temple.

The significance of the circumambulation ritual will become obvious later in this series. And it may be much, much older than the city of Ur.

In September of 1869, British military engineer and explorer Sir Charles Warren climbed to the summit of Mount Hermon on behalf of the Palestine Exploration Fund (PEF). The PEF was founded in 1865 under the patronage of Queen Victoria. The society included some of the giants in the field of archaeology, such as Sir William Flinders Petrie, T. E. Lawrence (“of Arabia”), Kathleen Kenyon, and Sir Leonard Woolley, who excavated Ur in the 1920s. But it’s no coincidence that many of those sent into the field had military training; by the second half of the nineteenth century, the Ottoman Empire was crumbling, and the great powers of Europe had their knives out, ready to carve up the carcass. While we’ve learned a lot about the ancient world from the work of men like Warren, Petrie, and Lawrence, the British government collected useful intelligence at the same time.

Anyway, on top of Hermon, more than nine thousand feet above sea level, Warren visited an ancient temple called Qasr Antar, the highest manmade place of worship on the planet. It was probably built during the Greek or Roman periods, so it only dates to about the second or third century BC at the earliest.

But inside the temple, Warren found an artifact that had been overlooked by visitors for nearly two thousand years—a stela, a slab of limestone about four feet high, eighteen inches wide, and twelve inches thick, inscribed in archaic Greek:

According to the command of the greatest a(nd) Holy God, those who take an oath (proceed) from here.

Because the inscription is Greek rather than a Semitic language like Aramaic, Hebrew, Canaanite, or Akkadian, the stela probably can’t be dated earlier than Alexander the Great’s invasion of the Levant in the late fourth century BC. But it still connects Mount Hermon to the Watchers of Genesis 6, whose mutual pact on the summit is described in the Book of 1 Enoch:

Shemihazah, their chief, said to them, “I fear that you will not want to do this deed, and I alone shall be guilty of a great sin.” And they all answered him and said, “Let us all swear an oath, and let us all bind one another with a curse, that none of us turn back from this counsel until we fulfill it and do this deed.” Then they all swore together and bound one another with a curse. And they were, all of them, two hundred, who descended in the days of Jared onto the peak of Mount Hermon.

Since the “greatest and holy god” on Warren’s stela is linked to the Watchers, it almost certainly refers to the Canaanite creator-god, El, who was believed to make his home on Mount Hermon, which was essentially “the Canaanite Olympus.” The summit of Hermon has been scooped out like a giant bowl, probably to receive a drink offering, something scholars call “the rite of hydrophory.” This ritual was called yarid in Hebrew, based on a root that means “to come down,” which it shares with the names Jared and Jordan (since the river “comes down” into the Galilee from Hermon). This suggests that the Watchers did not descend to Mount Hermon in the “days of Jared,” but rather in the days when yarid was performed on the summit of Hermon.

The point is this: Warren noted that those bringing the yarid had to approach the summit in a specific way:

On the southern peak there is a hole scooped out of the apex, the foot is surrounded by an oval of hewn stones, and at its southern end is a Sacellum, or temple, nearly destroyed: the latter appears to be of more recent date than the stone oval…

The oval is formed of well-dressed stones, from two to eight feet in length, two and a-half feet in breadth, and two feet thick; they are laid in a curved line on the uneven ground, their breadth being their height, and their ends touching each other.

In other words, to reach the summit of Mount Hermon in ancient times, one had to circumambulate the peak, walking in a spiral with the summit always on the left—counterclockwise. 

That leads to this question: Is there a link between religious rituals on Mount Hermon and the oldest akiti rites for the moon-god at Ur?

Admittedly, this is speculation, another bit of circumstantial evidence as we build our case. There is smoke, but not exactly a smoking gun.

One more note, a hint at the importance of the moon-god in the ancient Near East: During the time of the patriarchs, which scholars call the Old Babylonian period, the moon-god Nanna/Sîn was, at least for some, the most important god in the pantheon.

Even though Enlil was still king of the gods at that point in history, a text fragment from Nippur written during the Old Babylonian period, only translated in 2011, explicitly describes the moon-god as ruling over the Mesopotamian divine assembly, which was called the Ubšu-ukkina. Anu and Enlil, whom we’d expect to be the presiding deities, are described as advisors, along with the other “gods who decree.”

“You, who stand before him to sit in the Ubšu-ukkina

An, Enlil, Enki, Ninhursag, Utu, and Inanna sat in assembly for the king

They advised him there.

Nanna sets the holy…in order.…”

The great gods were paying attention to….

Suen [Sîn], his assembly’s decision, his speech of goodness, abundance.…

for Suen, they implement abundance in heaven and earth properly(?)

The king suitable for holy heaven, the barge in the midst of heaven.

“The barge in the midst of heaven” is the crescent moon. Besides resembling the horns of a bull, it also looks like a reed boat sailing across the night sky. Even though bits of the tablet are missing, it’s clear that Sîn was “the king” in the Mesopotamian divine assembly, with the other “great gods” in subordinate roles. Marduk isn’t even mentioned. This supports the theory that the Amorite founders of Babylon, even though they hailed from the city of Marduk, considered the moon-god, Sîn, their patron.

It’s also important to remember that to Mesopotamians, the Ubšu-ukkina was a physical place. The assembly of the gods took place in Nippur, inside Enlil’s temple complex the E-kur, or “House of the Mountain.”

That’s important, too. From Eden to Armageddon, this long spiritual war is all about the mountain where the gods assemble. The prize is Yahweh’s har môʿēd (“mount of assembly”)—Zion.

Next up: The city of the moon-god.

Babylon was founded by an Amorite chief named Sumu-Abum of the Amnanum tribe, who got the party started around 1894 BC by grabbing land from a neighboring town, Kazallu. Babylon was so unimportant that the first four kings of the dynasty didn’t even call themselves “king of Babylon.” It wasn’t until Hammurabi put it on the map in the eighteenth century BC that the city became Babylon as we think of it. Beginning around 1792 BC, he conquered all of Sumer, Akkad, and the Euphrates Valley as far as Mari, where Hammurabi not only defeated his “old friend” and “brother,” the Amorite king Zimri-Lim, but he apparently ordered the ritual destruction of the palace and main temple there.

That points us back toward the theme of the book, which is identifying the spirits behind geopolitics—“theopolitics,” to borrow a phrase coined by my wife, Sharon.

Scholars typically define the name of Babylon’s greatest king as meaning “my kinsman is a healer,” from the Amorite term ʻAmmurāpi, derived from ʻAmmu (“paternal kinsman”) and Rāpi (“healer”). But rāpi is from the same root as the biblical word “Rephaim.” There isn’t a single example in Canaanite texts where the rapha are healers. It’s more likely his name means “my kinsmen are Rapha,” or more simply, “my fathers are the Rephaim.”

A genealogy of the dynasty of Hammurabi, compiled about a hundred years after he died, names one of the ancestors of the Amorite kings of Babylon as Ditanu, which, you’ve noticed, is the name of the ancient Amorite tribe that, as we showed in an earlier article, gave its name to the old gods of the Greeks, the Titans. That same Ditanu was claimed as an ancestor by the ruling houses of at least two other powerful Amorite kingdoms between the eighteenth and thirteenth centuries BC. Ditanu was one of “seventeen kings who lived in tents” named as ancestors of Shamshi-Adad, an Amorite king who ruled northern Mesopotamia around the time of Hammurabi.

About five hundred years later, the Amorite kingdom of Ugarit summoned a group called “the council of the Ditanu” from the netherworld during necromancy rituals, and a temple to the Ditanu confirms that they were believed to be among the gods.

The kingdom established by the Amorite dynasty that produced Hammurabi has cast a long shadow across history. It built on earlier religious and cultural traditions established by the Sumerians and Akkadians, but God called out Babylon and the Amorites specifically for their wickedness. The occult religious system of Babylon was so vile it became a symbol of evil from the time of Moses through the end of the apostolic age. John the Revelator used Babylon to represent the corrupt end-times church of the Antichrist.

Of course, the kingdom of Hammurabi’s Babylon was doomed to collapse almost as soon as he established it. After the great lawgiver’s death around 1750 BC, his successors kept the kingdom intact for a while, but Elamites from the east, Assyrians from the north, and people in the far south broke away, so that by about 1600 BC, the Amorite dynasty in Babylon once again controlled only the land around the city. Still, the power of Hammurabi was such that southern Mesopotamia has been called Babylonia ever since the time of Abraham.

In 1595 BC, an army from the new Hittite kingdom in central Anatolia (modern Turkey), led by king Ḫattušili I, conducted a long raid down the Euphrates. Bypassing the Assyrians in northern Mesopotamia, the Hittites sacked Mari and then ejected the Amorites from Babylon. The Hittite withdrawal back into Anatolia left a vacuum that was filled about twenty-five years later by the Kassites, a mountain people from western Iran who captured Babylon and controlled it and much of the territory once ruled by Hammurabi for the next four hundred years.

This makes the Kassites, not the Amorites or Chaldeans, the people who ruled Babylonia the longest, and the Kassite kingdom endured from the time of Jacob until the period of the judges in Israel.

Meanwhile, Amorites slowly assumed power in northern Egypt. During the time of the Hebrew sojourn, the rulers of Egypt—at least the part where the Israelites settled, the Nile delta—were Amorites. They were called “Hyksos” by native Egyptians, a word that roughly translates as “rulers of foreign lands.” Egyptologists refer to it as the Second Intermediate Period, which lasted from about 1750 BC to 1550 BC. It appears that after a series of weak rulers, Egypt was divided between a native kingdom in the south based at Thebes and the foreign Hyksos in Lower (northern) Egypt, whose capital city was Avaris in the northeastern Nile delta. The Hyksos brought with them their art, their architecture, their weapons, and their gods.

This helps make sense out of the greatest miracle that God performed during the Exodus. You see, even though the Hyksos were run out of Egypt by the Egyptians about a hundred years before Moses led Israel to Mount Sinai, the chief god of the Hyksos, Baal, was worshiped in Egypt for several centuries more. Ramesses the Great, who ruled Egypt about two hundred years after the Exodus, was a Baal worshiper. He set up a stela at Pi-ramesses, near the site of the abandoned Hyksos capital Avaris. The engraved memorial stone commemorated Set’s four hundredth anniversary of ruling at Tanis, but the god was depicted exactly like the images of Baal found in Syria, with a tasseled Canaanite kilt and conical headdress with a streamer. The gods of the Amorites influenced Egypt far more than we’ve been taught; the Amorite Hyksos and the Egyptian pharaohs who came after them worshiped Baal-Set as a single entity.

That’s the key to understanding the parting of the Red Sea: In Canaanite religion, Baal became king of the gods by fighting and beating the sea-god, Yamm. Amorite, Canaanite, and Phoenician sailors worshiped Baal as their patron and protector for more than a thousand years.

So, the parting of the Red Sea, which happened right in front of a place called Baal-zephon, named for Mount Zaphon, which the Amorites believed was the home of Baal’s palace, demonstrated Yahweh’s mastery over the chief god of Israel’s oppressors.

Have you ever noticed that God told Moses to turn the Israelites around and camp in front of Baal-zephon to wait for the Egyptian cavalry to catch up? God didn’t just deliver Israel from the hand of Pharaoh; He delivered Israel from the hand of Baal!

In short, the social and religious culture of the Amorites was the world from which God called the patriarchs and prophets to establish His chosen people in the land where His Name would dwell, Canaan. The language, customs, and, most of all, the gods of the Amorites dominated the world of the ancient Hebrews.

The Amorites faded from history after the conquest of Canaan, at least under the name “Amorite.” But their descendants continued to play important roles in ancient Israel. The Arameans, whom scholars generally agree were descended from the Amorites, set up kingdoms in Damascus and elsewhere in Syria after the so-called Bronze Age collapse, a period of violence and chaos in the eastern Mediterranean around 1200 BC. They were a thorn in the side of Israel (and Judah, after Solomon’s death) for hundreds of years. The Chaldeans, who established the Neo-Babylonian Empire in the seventh century BC, likely emerged from nomadic Amorite tribes who migrated from the west into southeastern Mesopotamia sometime around 900 BC.

The greatest Chaldean king, Nebuchadnezzar, is generally who comes to mind when we think of Babylon, but that city was around for a long, long time before the Chaldeans took it over. Think about the time scale—Hammurabi the Great died more than eleven hundred years before Nebuchadnezzar was born. Now, who was the king of England in 923 AD?

Exactly. Eleven hundred years is a very long time. Yet the gods of Mesopotamia were the same, with few exceptions.

Meanwhile, the Phoenicians, descendants of the Amorites who occupied the Mediterranean coast of Syria and Lebanon, brought their culture and religion into Israel from the time of the judges to the time of Jesus and beyond. For example, Jezebel, the infamous wife of Israel’s king Ahab, was from Tyre, which competed with the Greeks and Romans for control of trade on the Mediterranean for centuries. Carthage, a colony in north Africa established by Tyre around the time of Jehoash, king of Judah (circa 814 BC), nearly destroyed Rome in the late third century BC. Temples to Phoenician gods like Melqart, Baal-Hammon, and Tanit have been found as far away as Spain.

And tophets, ritual places of burial for infants and children sacrificed to Baal-Hammon, similar to the Tophet near Jerusalem where children were burned as offerings to Molech, have been excavated at Carthage and multiple sites on Sicily and Sardinia.

Here’s the point of this brief history: The iniquity of the Amorites still affects the world today. And the gods behind the Amorites are pushing the world toward Armageddon.

Two hundred years after their existence was confirmed by clay tablets found in Mesopotamia, the history of the Amorites is still debated by scholars. We don’t really know the details of their rise and fall, even though it was must have been spectacular. The truth is the Amorites set the cultural and religious tone of Mesopotamia, including Canaan/Israel, for about two thousand years, all the way down to the time of Jesus. So, it’s worth summarizing the history of the Amorites, but I’ll keep it brief—a detailed history would be way too long, mostly irrelevant, and probably boring.

The earliest reference of the Amorites is from about 2600 BC in the ancient city of Shuruppak, in what is Iraq today. The next mentions show up in the archives of Ebla, a city near modern Aleppo that dominated northern Syria from about 3000 BC until about 2250 BC, when it was destroyed either by Sargon the Great of Akkad or by Ebla’s main rival, the kingdom of Mari in southeastern Syria. The discovery of the ruins of Ebla in 1964, confirmed in 1968, included about 1,800 complete clay tablets and thousands of fragments covering a period from about 2500 BC to about 2250 BC.

One of the last rulers of Ebla, a vizier named Ebrium, married his daughter to an Amorite named Tidinu, “chief of the mercenaries.” Because you’re observant, you’ve noticed the similarity between the name of this soldier and that of the legendary Amorite tribe. Apparently, since Ebla depended on foreign soldiers, a marriage to secure the relationship between the government of Ebla and its Amorite contractors was good politics.

This highlights an important point: Even though they weren’t mentioned often in the texts from the third millennium BC, it appears that even at that early date, Amorites in general and the Tidanu/Ditanu in particular had a warlike reputation. 

This is reflected in a number of texts found in southeastern Iraq, the heart of ancient Sumer. The “Tidnumites” are among the barbarians blamed for the destruction of Sumerian civilization:

Below, the Elamites are in charge, slaughter follows in their wake,

Above, the Halma-people, the “men of the mountains,” took captives,

The Tidnumites daily fastened the mace to their loins.

Incursions by Amorites, who apparently found a way around the “Amorite Wall That Keeps Tidanu Away,” had weakened the kingdom of Ur by making travel between the cities of Sumer too dangerous for the cheap transport of goods. Imagine the price of a loaf of bread if armed guards had to protect farmers, crops, bakers, and truckers at every step of the process before the bread even reached your local grocery store.

That may have been a picture of the situation in Sumer in the last years before Ur collapsed. Records from the seventh and eighth years of the reign of Ur’s last king, Ibbi-Sin, show that the price of grain skyrocketed to sixty times normal! Finally, weakened by the breakdown in communications between the capital and the edges of its empire, Ur was overrun by invaders from Elam, a kingdom along the coast of the Persian Gulf in what is now western Iran. Around 2004 BC, Ibbi-Sin, the last Sumerian king of Mesopotamia, was carried off to Elam, where he was imprisoned and presumably killed.

This led to a dark age of about a hundred years in Mesopotamia. Despite the many tablets found at major archaeological sites like Ur, Babylon, Mari, and Ebla, scholars really don’t know what happened in the twentieth century BC. All that can be said for sure is that when the dust settled around 1900 BC., Amorite dynasties controlled every major political entity in what is now Iraq, Syria, southern Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel. It was the dawn of the Age of the Amorites.

Until the mid-1800s, the Amorites were known only from a handful of mentions early in the Old Testament. When scholars began pulling clay tablets out of the Mesopotamian sand in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the many references to Amorites they found convinced some that the Amorites had ruled a vast empire across the Near East around the time of Abraham. That wasn’t quite true; divisions between the Amorites, like the rivalries among the tribes of Israel, prevented any of the various Amorite kingdoms from ruling the Near East for very long.

The first Amorite kingdoms to emerge after the collapse of the Third Dynasty of Ur were the city-states of Isin and Larsa. Both were located on the Euphrates in what is southern Iraq today—Larsa, a little north of Ur, with Isin farther northwest, about halfway between the Persian Gulf and Babylon.

These two cities gave their names to the Isin-Larsa period of Mesopotamian history, which covers the time from the fall of Ur in 2004 BC until the defeat of Larsa by Hammurabi of Babylon in 1763 BC.

The first kings of Isin and Larsa were named Ishbi-Erra and Naplanum, respectively. Ishbi-Erra may have been an Amorite. He was described by king Ibbi-Sin of Ur as “a monkey from the mountains,” a “man of Mari with the mind of a beast” who was “not of Sumerian seed.” This suggests that Ishbi-Erra was either an Amorite or an Akkadian from a city that had frequent contact with Amorite nomads. Ishbi-Erra may have put those Amorites to use as mercenaries in support of his ambition to set up his own royal dynasty. (It also tells us something about the attitude of Sumerians toward people from the Amorite homeland in Syria.)

For his part, Naplanum of Larsa was definitely an Amorite. Both were clearly men of power during the last years of Ur. Ishbi-Erra had been made a governor of the territory around Isin and Nippur by king Ibbi-Sin of Ur, but Ishbi-Erra either had more ambition than the king realized, or he took matters into his own hands when it became obvious that the government of Ur was no longer powerful enough to enforce the king’s will. The fact that Ishbi-Erra was either an Amorite or had friendly dealings with the Amorites, the bandits who’d made it too dangerous for most travel and trade in the kingdom, is probably relevant. Ishbi-Erra may have encouraged the turmoil that led to the downfall of Ur, which led to his own rise to power.

Whatever his reasons, Ishbi-Erra became a king in his own right around 2017 BC, and he survived the Elamite sack of Ur in 2004 BC by about twenty years. In fact, Ishbi-Erra eventually marched downriver, drove the Elamites back out of Sumer, and recaptured Ur along with the important cities of Uruk and Lagash.

Meanwhile, Naplanum established a dynasty that ruled Larsa, only about twenty miles from Ur, as an independent city-state for nearly 250 years. Records of grain sales found at Ur mention a wealthy merchant named Naplanum, who may be one and the same, although some scholars believe Naplanum was head of the royal bodyguard for the last two kings of Ur. That could explain how he was able to establish an independent kingdom so close to the throne of his former boss. It also explains the title of rabium amurrim, “chief (or “great one”) of the Amorites,” which was used by the kings of Larsa for generations.

Over time, Naplanum’s successors realized that their location between Isin and the Persian Gulf gave them a strategic advantage over their northern rival. By blocking Isin’s access to the Gulf, the kings of Larsa controlled the lucrative trade route to the Indus River valley (now southern Pakistan), which was home to the prosperous Harappan civilization that reached into India and Afghanistan for nearly two thousand years. The Harappans traded with Mesopotamia and Egypt via the Persian Gulf throughout the second millennium BC, and for the first half of the millennium, that trade was controlled by Amorites.

A pattern that began with Nimrod has continued down to this day in the Near East (and, sadly, around the world): Cycles of war based on strong, charismatic leaders who rise to power, dominate a region and elevate his tribe, culture, or civilization for a time until another leader emerges, the kingdom collapses, and the cycle starts again. It’s like a pot of stew simmering on the stove: Bubbles form, rise to the surface, and burst—over and over. Some bubbles are bigger than others, but all of them collapse in the end. The Amorites didn’t invent the game, but they were very good at it.

During the lifetime of Abraham, who was born around 1950 BC, entered Canaan from the north around 1876 BC, and died in the Holy Land around 1776 BC, Amorite kingdoms emerged to dominate the entire Near East, from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean. By the time of Isaac’s birth around 1850 BC, all of modern-day Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and even northern Egypt were ruled by Amorite kings and chiefs. Regional powers included Isin and Larsa, already mentioned; Mari; Yamkhad, based at Aleppo; Qatna, near modern Homs in west-central Syria; the kingdom of Northern Mesopotamia, centered on what later became Assyria; smaller Amorite kingdoms in Canaan, with Hazor near the Sea of Galilee the largest of those; and the most famous (and infamous) of them all: Babylon.

God made a puzzling statement to Abraham while establishing His covenant with the patriarch, linking the time that Israel would sojourn in Egypt to the behavior of one group of people. 

Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years. But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions. As for you, you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried in a good old age. And they shall come back here in the fourth generation, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete.” (Genesis 15:13–-16, ESV)

Iniquity is easy enough to understand; it means sin, vice, or immorality. But what did the Amorites do that God found so offensive? Who were these people and where did they come from?

The Amorites first stepped onto the world stage in the middle of the third millennium B.C. The earliest known reference to an Amorite was from the ancient city of Shuruppak, dated to about 2600 B.C. According to the Sumerian King List, Shuruppak, about halfway between modern Baghdad and the Persian Gulf, was the home city of the last Sumerian king before the Flood. That king was either a man named Ubara-Tutu or his son, the hero of the Sumerian flood myth, Ziusudra, the Mesopotamian Noah.

Scholars disagree on the location of the Amorite homeland. There are two main candidates: One is Jebel Bishri, a low mountain range along the west side of the Euphrates River in central Syria. The other is the Diyala River valley, which descends from the Hamrin mountains toward modern Baghdad. This is the traditional border between Iraq and Iran, and between Arab lands to the south and Kurdish territory to the north.

There is evidence for both theories. One of the peaks in the Jebel Bishri range, Jebel Diddi, may be named for an ancient Amorite tribe, the Didanu (or Tidanu, or Tidnum, depending on when and in what language it was written). Or it may be that the tribe was named for the mountain. Either way, the name is important.

Estonian scholar Amar Annus has demonstrated that the name of this ancient Amorite tribe was probably the origin of the name of the old Greek gods, the Titans. That’s significant, because it links the Amorites and their worship of gods connected to the netherworld, such as Molech, Dagan, Baal-Hammon, and the Rephaim, to the sinful angels mentioned by Peter and Jude—the “sons of God” of Genesis 6:1–4, called “Watchers” in Jewish texts of the Second Temple period such as the Book of the Watchers, or what we know now as the first thirty-six chapters of the Book of First Enoch.

Annus also showed that the Watchers were known as apkallu in ancient Mesopotamia long before the Second Temple period. They were considered sages who brought the gifts of civilization to humanity on behalf of Enki, the god of wisdom. That’s similar to the description of the Watchers in Enoch, although the Jewish and early Christian view of “gifts” like weapons, witchcraft, and mating with human women to produce giants was considerably less favorable than in, say, Babylon.

How do Watchers differ from run-of-the-mill angels? Unfortunately for us English speakers, our language lacks the richness of some others. The word “angel,” borrowed from the Greek angelos (“messenger”), hides the fact that there are several classes or categories of angel, such as malakim (“messenger”), cherubim, seraphim, ophanim (the wheels of Ezekiel’s vision), and others. Based on the use of the term in Enoch, it’s clear that Watchers were especially powerful and exercised free will. Their decision to commit what they knew was a sin suggests that they also had knowledge of good and evil.

Not coincidentally, the Bible tells us that these rebellious angels were cast into Tartarus, just like the Titans of the Greeks. Although your Bible probably reads “hell” in 2 Peter 2:4, the original Greek names Tartarus as the prison of these spirits. Tartarus is a separate place from Hades, a sort of maximum-security hell reserved for supernatural threats to the divine order. Yet the Amorites (and their descendants, the Phoenicians), Greeks, and Romans continued to worship the old gods, especially the king of the Titans, Kronos (Saturn to the Romans, Baal-Hammon to the Phoenicians). Their offspring, the demigod heroes such as Perseus and Hercules, were, by definition, Nephilim.

By 2000 B.C., the Tidanu tribe had developed a reputation across the ancient Near East of being mad, bad, and dangerous to know—so dangerous, in fact, that the last Sumerian kings of Mesopotamia ordered a massive public-works project directed at these savage Amorites. The kings of the Third Dynasty of Ur, a mighty city-state in what is now southeastern Iraq, built a wall north of modern Baghdad 175 miles long, from the Euphrates across the Tigris to the Diyala. This wall, which one smart-aleck scholar recently suggested was intended to “make Sumer great again,” was built specifically to keep the Tidanu away. We know this because the Sumerian name of the wall literally translates into English as, “Amorite Wall That Keeps Tidanu Away.”

The problem for Ur was that it didn’t keep Tidanu away. More on that later.

So, the big question for scholars is this: Did the Amorites come from the middle of Syria, or did they come from northeastern Iraq/northwestern Iran? The answer may be “yes” to both.

Some scholars believe that Amorites, specifically the Tidanu/Ditanu, began migrating east from around Jebel Bishri sometime in the middle of the tThird mMillennium B.C., moving through northern Mesopotamia and northwest Iran before descending the Diyala Vvalley and entering Sumer from the north. Evidence suggests that Amorites lived farther east into what is now Iran than previously thought, possibly following their flocks through the mountains or setting up trading posts along routes that connected Sumer to people living east of Mesopotamia. Lapis lazuli, a blue stone prized in the ancient world, is still found mainly in northeast Afghanistan, and it was used in art and jewelry in Egypt as far back as 3700 B.C. Merchants hauling cargo through the mountains needed places to eat, sleep, and care for their donkeys, and it appears that some of those ancient caravan stops on the eastern edge of Mesopotamia may have been staffed by Amorites by the time of Abraham in the early second millennium B.C.

We’re limited in how far back we can trace the Amorites. While it’s clear that the Amorites had their own language, most of what we know about it comes from deciphering Amorite names. Almost all of the early written records from the places they lived are in Sumerian or Akkadian. For example, while the moon-god was called Nanna by Sumerians and Sîn by Akkadians, he was Yarikh to the Amorites. But when Amorites came to power across the Near East after 2000 B.C., government documents were still written in Sumerian or Akkadian, even in diplomatic messages sent to faraway countries like Hatti (the Hittites, who controlled most of modern Turkey) and Egypt. So, piecing together Amorite culture and history from tablets written in Amorite will probably never happen. Tracing their movements is only possible by identifying Amorite names in Akkadian and Sumerian records.

While it can’t be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt, evidence suggests that the cult of Kronos, king of the Titans, began where the Amorites were first identified. Stories of the old god did not originate in Greece. Instead, evidence firmly documents the earliest worship of Kronos in northern Mesopotamia (southern Turkey or northern Syria), and older circumstantial evidence points specifically to Jebel Bishri, exactly where the earliest Mesopotamian records place the Amorites.

At the risk of sounding like a television presenter (oh, wait—I am one), I have to ask It’s worth asking at this point: Is it possible that the Titans, called Watchers by the Hebrews, made an infernal bargain with the early Amorites? Was this why the Amorite kings who ruled nearly all the lands of the Bible in the days of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob traced their ancestry back to one Ditana, the legendary founder of the Tidanu/Ditanu tribe? Could this explain the pride of the Amorites who founded Babylon, whose magicians considered themselves masters of occult knowledge received from the spirit realm before the Flood? Is this why Amorite kings as late as the time of the judges in Israel summoned “the council of the Ditanu” from the netherworld through necromancy rituals?

More important: Is the child sacrifice demanded by the old god, Kronos (and his other identities, Saturn and Baal-Hammon), the reason the practice continues even today?

Almost five thousand years after they emerged onto the world stage, the iniquity of the Amorites is still not complete. The bad news is the Watchers/Titans were not the only gods they served.

In our day where technology seems to take us almost anywhere by the click of a button. We want to invite you to an extraordinary event that will take you back in time to a bigger than life experience. On September 18 and 19th the full length feature movie “Route 60, The Biblical Highway” opens in theaters all across America.

Seeing this beautifully produced movie in Israel by TBN on the big screen is second to only being there in person. Linda and I have been to Israel and “Route 60” takes us on a journey where few are able to visit. With our hosts Mike Pompeo and David Friedman we are able to travel on the screen to places as special guests of Israel. All of these locations are rich in the history of our Judeo Christian heritage.

As I was watching the screening we were honored to see, it actually brought clarity to me about locations that we read about in the Bible. This movie brings to life where Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and many of our heroes and prophets walked. We go with them to where Jesus lived and ministered to the masses. Mike Pompeo and David Friedman bring together the connection of Jews and Christians and how we are blessed to have such a common history.

The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous and you will feel as if you are right beside them. Stepping into the past has never been easier and we are certain that even if you have visited Israel many times “Route 60, The Biblical Highway” will take you places and share some history you have never seen.

David Friedman as our former Ambassador to Israel and Mike Pompeo as a former Secretary of State were given this special opportunity to travel and see these historic landmarks and thanks to TBN and Mathew and Laurie Crouch we are able to join them.

Let us encourage you get your tickets early as we expect it to sell out everywhere.

Click Here to watch the Trailer!

Special Note: Our APPI Team wrote all of the Study Resources for “Route 60, The Biblical Highway”

The account of chaos—Leviathan—in Psalm 74 is a bit different from that in Genesis 1. We learn God is from old, working salvation in the midst of the earth (which again, at the beginning would have been only water). Then we learn God divides the seas (which, in Genesis, occurs in Genesis 1:6) and breaks the heads of the sea monsters, along with crushing the heads of Leviathan. Later, we learn God establishes the heavenly lights and the sun (which, in Genesis, doesn’t occur until the fourth day, described in Genesis 1:14–19).

            It is generally believed among biblical scholars Psalm 74 and Genesis 1 are likely polemics of the Baal Cycle. That is to say, they are attempts to take credit away from Baal for subduing chaos (Leviathan) and giving proper credit to YHWH for this and for creation itself. It is known from tablets found in Syria over the last 150 years that the Semites of western Mesopotamia, the Amorites and Canaanites, believed that it was their storm-god Baal who had subdued the chaos monster.

Thus says Adad, I brought you back to the throne of your father, I brought you back. The weapons with which I fought Tiamat I gave to you. With the oil of my bitter victory I anointed you, and no one before you could stand.[1]

            Adad is the actual name of the west Semitic storm-god we know in the Bible as Baal. (“Baal” is a title that means “lord,” not a proper name.) The excerpt above is from a letter from Adad through his prophet, Abiya, to the king of Mari, Zimrī-Līm. The god was apparently reminding Zimrī-Līm that the king had been restored to power by his divine favor, which included sending to Zimrī-Līm the clubs he’d used to defeat Tiamat!

            Another tablet found at Mari, which was located on the Euphrates River near the modern border between Syria and Iraq, confirms that the clubs had been sent from Aleppo, which was known as the “city of Adad,” to the temple of Dagan (the earlier spelling of the Philistine god Dagon) at the town of Terqa, south of Mari.

            While that’s a fascinating bit of history—think about that: the divine clubs of Baal were physical objects!—the point is that Zimrī-Līm ruled at the same time as Hammurabi the Great of Babylon, which is about the time scholars believe the Enuma Elish was composed, and at least four hundred years before the Baal Cycle. So, it appears that even between Baal and Marduk there was competition over just who defeated the monstrous god of chaos.

            We must remember, people in the ancient Near East would not have the type of scientific, literal, and material point of view we have today in the western world. Rather, their view would have been more symbolic. This doesn’t mean it is any less real or true, it is merely a different way of looking at the world. When we look at the sea, we think of ocean currents and marine biology. When they looked at it, they thought of Leviathan/Tiamat/Litanu, chaos, and death. Therefore, what we have in Genesis 1 and Psalm 74 is not a scientific description of how everything was created, but a symbolic polemic describing who gets the credit for creating everything. According to the Bible, it’s not Baal. It’s not Marduk. It is YHWH.

            One might wonder, if it is a polemic, where is the battle? It is true, we do not see an epic battle in Genesis 1. There is a description of a defeat in Psalm 74, but it is still quite different when compared against the Baal Cycle. The idea conveyed by the biblical writers is when YHWH of Israel started creation, these chaotic forces were already held in check. There was no need for a battle; Leviathan was already bound because the one true God didn’t need to fight.

This would have been considered a slap in the face to Canaanite religion and the inferior god Baal. It was saying YHWH is the God who is truly in control and always has been. YHWH restricts chaos, not Baal. If a Canaanite living at that time were to read the Genesis account of creation, he would understand instantly what the text was doing. It’s busting down Baal and lifting up YHWH as supreme.

            We see this same sort of thing in Psalm 89:

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. The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them. (Psalm 89:9–11, ESV)

This idea is repeated as an apocalyptic idea by the prophet Isaiah 27:

In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea. (Isaiah 27:1, ESV)

In Psalm 89, Rahab is a name for Egypt but is also equated with the sea beast Leviathan. In Isaiah 27, we read of a time in the future where chaos is not simply subdued but is destroyed forever. Consider what John N. Oswalt’s commentary on the book of Isaiah says about this:

Most scholars today are in agreement that while the exodus events are in the center of the writer’s thinking, they are not by any means all that is there. Rahab is clearly a term for Egypt (cf. 30:7; and Ps. 87:4, where Rahab and Babylon are paired); so also the monster (or “dragon”) is a term for Pharaoh (Ezek. 29:3). But it is also clear that those terms are not limited to those historical referents. As is known from Ugaritic studies, the twisting monster is a figure in the struggles of Baal with the god of the sea, Yam, as is “Leviathan,” which is equated with the monster in Isa. 27:1. Given these facts, and the evidence that the myth of the struggle of the gods with the sea monster was known in one form or another all over the ancient Near East, one has reason to believe that Isaiah is here, as in 27:1, utilizing this acquaintance among the people for his own purposes. It is important to note that the allusions to Near Eastern myths in the Bible all occur after 750 B.C., long after the basic antimythic character of biblical faith had been established. Thus there is an appeal here neither to some current Hebrew myth nor to some original one, now dead. Rather, just as a contemporary poet might allude to the Iliad or the Odyssey, utilizing imagery familiar to his hearers but that is hardly part of their belief system, so Isaiah uses the imagery of the well-known stories of creation to make his point. It was not Baal or Marduk or Ashur who had any claim to being the Creator—it was the Lord alone.[2]

            The idea coming out of this comparison of Psalm 74 and Genesis 1 is that by the time the actual creation starts, Leviathan/Chaos is already subdued. This would seem to indicate in the text, at least in the mind of the writers of these passages, there is a lot more going on with Genesis 1:1-3 than what we are typically taught in Sunday school. We learn in the very first verse God created the heavens and the earth. However, what was that process like? What were the conditions? How long did it take? We are not told specifically, but we are given clues if we think of this as a polemic on ancient Canaanite religion.

            Whether taken as literal or symbolic, the texts indicate a creation story unlike anything most of us were taught in the Church, but it’s one that biblical scholars are very familiar with. The sea represents chaos, yet as we see in Genesis 1:2, chaos is already subdued by the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters. The battle was over before it began. Whether Leviathan is meant to be understood as a literal sea beast existing somewhere in spiritual existence or as a symbol for the very real chaos of nature is unknown. Perhaps it is both. In any event, the text allows us a little more freedom in understanding creation than what we may have previously been taught.

            There are other interesting things to pull from this idea as well. In Genesis, once the water was still and chaos subdued, God started to create order from disorder. This idea, order from disorder, is common throughout ancient near-eastern religious texts, yet the writer of Genesis gives proper credit to YHWH, the God of Israel. To the writer of Genesis, the other, lesser gods tried to usurp YHWH’s accomplishments and attributes, so he wishes to set the record straight.

            The main reason for reiterating this point is because there are occult/pagan circles today who follow doctrines related to “order out of chaos,” “as above, so below,” and others. Since, in our culture today, those are recognized as doctrines outside of Christianity, it is worth repeating the point of polemics here. It seems the writer of Genesis was dealing with a similar thing in his day, so to set the record straight, he gave credit to YHWH for these things instead of allowing the lesser gods to usurp and defile them.

[1] “A Prophetic Letter of Adad to Zimrī-Līm” (A.1968). English translations in J. J. M. Roberts, The Bible and the Ancient Near East. Collected Essays (Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 2002), ch. 14, pp. 157-253, “The Mari Prophetic Texts in Transliteration and English Translation,” and in M. Nissinen, Prophets and Prophecy in the Ancient Near East, with contributions by C. L. Seow and R. K. Ritner (ed. P. Machinist; Writings from the Ancient World, 12; Atlanta, GA., Society of Biblical Literature, 2003), pp. 21-22 (A. 1968).

[2] John N. Oswalt, The Book of Isaiah, Chapters 40–66, The New International Commentary on the Old Testament, Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1998), 341-42.

(Rev Joshua Omolo)

Ezekiel 37:1-4 – The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the spirit of the Lord and he set me in the middle of a valley, it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “son of man, can these bones live?”

The hand of the Lord was upon prophet Ezekiel and carried him in the spirit of the Lord and set him in the midst of the valley which was full of bones, and caused him to pass by them around about. The bones were very many and very dry. Then the Lord spoke to Ezekiel asking, “Son of man can these bones live? Then Ezekiel answered, “Oh Lord God, you know”

Every life consists of dry bones in one way or the other. The many questions in our life which we do not have answer to is an indication of dry bones. Many times we find ourselves embroiled in certain complex challenges which we can’t establish solutions to them, this is a sign of dry bones that only God can provide the right prescription to solve the paradox. You could be walking through the top of the mountain of your life and you are wondering what this pastor is talking about with regards to the valley of dry bones, but I can tell you that at the end of every mountain there is always a valley. 

Your dry bones could be your dysfunctional marriage; it could be your son who is going through drug addiction or your endless cycle of financial challenges while to some it could be the spiritual instability. All these are signs of dry bones. God’s plan is to give life to these dry bones regardless of how big and complex they may seem to be; the truth is that they can experience breath of heaven and live again in Jesus name. The spoken word of life from a prophet of God is able to restore back to life any dream even from the grave yard in Jesus name.

The answer to God’s question to prophet Ezekiel was yes, the dry bones can live again and the answer God is giving you today is, “yes the dry bones in your life can come back to life if only you believe in Jesus”. Can you locate the dry bones in your life today? There is a need for you to identify the dry bones that needs to encounter divine prophetic utterance for them to experience restoration of life. In Africa, God is causing divine restoration of life in many faculties of our political governance and spiritual leadership systems so much so that the final face of revival across the globe is expected to come from Africa and this will impact the entire world. The church therefore needs to embrace global vision in order to hear clearly the prophetic voice of God in this age and time. 

Many Nations across the world will come to Africa to seek for solutions because God is already in the business of sending his true messengers with the special prophetic anointing to pronounce the end time blessing upon God’s people. Part of the reason why there seems to be an upsurge in the second scrambles for Africa by the western powers and the tiger nations is a confirmation the fact that God is lifting up the countenance of the dark continent.

 The current wide spread corruption in many countries in the continent of Africa will soon come to an end since God is raising a Joseph generation who are going to restore proper governance structure across the continent. The new breed of leaders will consist of visionary leaders both in the corporate and religious sector whose agenda will be to cause exponential economic growth. The new crop of leaders will be filled with the spirit of servanthood and they will no longer be lovers of themselves.

 The church needs to position herself for the great paradigm shift which is about to take off both from the economic and spiritual perspective. God is going to cause divine transfer of wealth to the house of God in a manner that has never been witnessed before. The continent of Africa which for a long time has been referred to as the third world will soon draw such a great attention and cause unprecedented level of huge investment from across the world. The global powers are soon going to develop such deep interest towards Africa simply because the so called Dark Continent has become a city on the hill. The church should not be left behind so far as this paradigm shift of interest is concerned. 

The dry bones in the valley were a sign of the sting of death, but now we have every reason to bless God because one of the primary goal and objective why Jesus Christ came to the Earth was to conquer death so that mankind can experience abundant life and receive life eternal, it is for this reason that we have come to discover the need to live above the limitation and threat of death. Many people today are going through serious limitations because they are dead even though they are still alive physically. Some have been told by their doctor’s report that they are suffering from terminal illness and that they are soon going to die. Some have suffered multiple divorce and they aren’t sure whether their marriage life will ever work. The time for the redemption of the dry bones of dead marriages has come to you today. 

I have a good news for you  from the Lord of Lords whose name is Jesus of Nazareth , the Bible says with God all things are possible (Mathew 19:26Jesus looked at them and said, “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”) Some doctors go to an extent of prescribing the number of days left for the patient to die. Diseases like cancer can be healed because all things are possible with God, premature death is defeated on the cross and now men can live to the fullest because Jesus has conquered death. The world can now celebrate victory over death by coming to Jesus and receiving him as Lord and savior in their life in order to experience abundant life through Christ Jesus, Hallelujah to the lamb.

Death is more spiritual than physical

Origin of death can be traced back in the Garden of Eden where the first man sinned against God and that marked the beginning of both physical and spiritual death. The spiritual death is the spiritual separation between man and God while the physical death is separation of life from the physical body. If you take a critical look at our moral decay today you are left to wonder where we dropped the ball of our value system as the body of Christ. We as a people are totally dead morally, living in a society whose value system is rotten. The practice of homosexuality and legalization of abortion is just but a tip of the iceberg. Our God is asking from heaven whether these dry bones can live again.

The spiritual challenges in life requires spiritual solution which subsequently leads to physical solution .The first spiritual death occurred when Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:17 – But the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat therefore you shall surely die), this marked the beginning of the spiritual death which also gave birth to the physical death. The first person to experience physical death was Abel at the hands of his brother Cain. The incident of this death also marks the first time of the mention of the blood in the Bible (Genesis 4:10-11). In the same breath that the first occurrence of death led to the first mention of blood in the Bible so it is that through the blood of Jesus on the cross men have conquered death.

The cause of death begins in the spiritual realm before it manifests in the physical realm. Human beings need therefore to master the spiritual power from God that is able to provide abundant life that leads to eternity with God. The book of John 10:10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, I have come that they may have life and have it in all its fullness

Death can also kill your name and that is the reason today some are called barren because they are carrying dead wombs, others are called orphans because they lost their parents, some are called widow because they lost their husbands. The story of the lame man from his birth who was sited at the beautiful gate paints a clear picture how death can swallow the real name of a person (Acts 3:11). The bible only refers to him as lame from birth. In the book of Joel 3:10 – Bible says, “let the weak say I am strong” God is simply giving us instruction to give ourselves the right name because that comes with power.

 I want to call upon you to make a choice from now on to refuse to lose your name because of the dead portion of your life. You could be suffering economic death till you are being called a poor man or a beggar, but the Lord is saying let the poor say I am rich. I decree and declare that you are rich in Jesus name; I decree and declare that you are healed in Jesus name. The situation you are in is just but a condition, but greater is he that is in you than him who is in the world. 

Your true name should not be determined by the environmental events or circumstances instead it should be determined by the great I am who dwells in the inside of you whose name is Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Jesus has the power of resurrection to bring back to life every vital dead part of your being. Every dry bone in the valley which God revealed to Ezekiel came back to life through the same power of God through divine prophetic utterance of Rhemah word by prophet Ezekiel. God has given every believer in Jesus Christ the power to exercise prophetic utterance over situations and circumstances. 

 The choice lies with an individual to decide either to speak life or death. Every believer in Jesus Christ has the power to prophesy over the dead bones in their closet and the Lord of resurrection will cause restoration of life to come into that situation in Jesus name. Broken families can be restored back to life through prophetic utterance. Only God understands the secret on how to win this battle against death. Deut 29:29Secret things belongs to God, But those things which are revealed belongs to us and our children forever. Death has robbed many people’s destiny due to ignorance and lack of knowledge. 

When the people of Africa were told that Africa is a dark continent, then the  great grandparents gladly accepted and till today the continent is still lagging behind despite the fact that its in Africa alone that we find the greatest deposits of natural mineral resources than any other continent in the world. Many of our political leaders also accepted the tag with gladness in order for them to use that as a bargaining chip to ask for aid and loans with greater chunks of it goes into their individual pockets.

 Africa has remained dead economically till today, our prayer now is that God is raising  a prophetic voice that is going to reclaim the glory from the grave yards and that is the reason we are saying that the dry bones shall live again. The church is moving to the next level where it’s going to operate in both priestly and kingly anointing in order to take dominion in the line of economic and spiritual investment.

5 Steps to conquer DEATH

  1. Receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and savior of your lifeJohn10:10 

Jesus Christ came on earth to die for mankind so that anyone who receives him as Lord and savior may experience eternal life which is full of abundance. When we receive Jesus Christ we get admitted into the family of God through adoption and become the sons of God. All sons of God have the gift of eternal life as one of the main inheritance and promises that God has given to his people. Believing in Christ brings legitimacy to becoming a member of the family of God, Jesus being the first born among many. 

When we get born again we receive the DNA of God the father who is also the creator of the whole universe, we then share with God the nature of immortality because our God who is the father of our Lord Jesus Christ is immortal. Yet to all who received Christ, to those who believed in his name he gave the right to become the children of God (John 1:12). Abundant life comes from Jesus Christ because he is the way the truth and the life… (John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the father except through me). You can defeat the spirit of death by allowing Jesus to come into your life right now. One simple step to salvation is by making a prayer of repentance by asking Jesus to come into your life and save you. If you accept this message and you would like to accept Jesus now as Lord and savior over your life then you can make this simple prayer of repentance after me, say, “Lord Jesus, I come to you today. I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I have heard your word and now open my heart that you may come into my life as Lord and savior. Forgive me my sins and write my name in the lambs’ book of life. Thank you Lord for saving me, in Jesus name I pray. Amen”

Praise the Lord, now you are born again and you have become a member in the family of God

  1. Exercise prophetic anointing – Ezekiel 1:4 

All those who are born again  are endowed with the divine supernatural prophetic power in their life When you receive Christ then you become ordained by God to undertake divine calling and accomplish the will of God here on earth on behalf of the kingdom as an ambassador of Christ. The power of God operating in you elevates you to an extent that you no longer belong to yourself but you become a representative of the kingdom of God in all things that you do.

God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy to the dry bones so that they may come back to life. The great revelation from this scripture indicates that everything remained constant in the valley of dry bones until the time Prophet Ezekiel obeyed the instruction to prophesy. Your prophetic word has power to cause resurrection. God has given us the word in the Bible (logos) which is the letter of the law. In the book of 2Corinthians 3:6 – He has qualified us (making us sufficient) as ministers of a new covenant (of salvation through Christ), not of the letter (of written code) but of the spirit; for the letter (of the law) kills, but the spirit gives life. 

The spoken prophetic word translates the logos (law) into rhema (life) which means from law to life. Rhema is an inspired word birthed within your own spirit, a whisper from the Holy Spirit like the still small voice that spoke to Elijah in the cave. You need to prophesy to your condition of the dry bones in your life. Your circumstance has ears and it can listen to that prophetic word of God in your mouth. You have known for a long time that God can heal but now God is calling upon you to prophesy healing to your sick body in order to get healed in Jesus name. That troublesome boss at the work place does not need to hear a piece of your mind; he needs to hear a prophetic Rhema word of God for him to start seeing you from God’s lenses.

 Moses took the Rhema word to Pharaoh and God was able to back up every single Rhema word with the miracle working power. The power of spoken word can be traced back into the Garden of Eden during the time the time of creation in the book of Genesis 1:3-5 – And God said, “Let there be light.” And there was light. God saw that the light was good…. When you carry the DNA of God then you have the capacity to speak the Rhema word. 

  1. Sacrificial Giving to God – (Romans 12:1)

Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God – this is your true and proper worship

Men ought to serve God with their substance, wealth, talent and every resource that God has provided in their life. They need to demystify a certain notion that giving should be left to the rich amongst us. There isn’t any single person on earth who is too poor to give to God. The church must go back to the drawing board and rediscover her strength and take advantage of that same strength to serve God through giving. Peter and John while walking to the temple during the hour of prayer, they came across a lame man at the beautiful gate asking for money. But the two men responded to the lame man saying, “silver and Gold we have non, but that which we have we give unto you , in the name of Jesus rise up and walk and the man got healed instantly” They simply gave what they had and the man received his miracle.

Sacrificial giving was the first step that was taken by God in order to redeem mankind from eternal damnation. God gave his son Jesus to die on the cross with expectation that men may also give their life to Jesus in accomplishing this divine exchange. The death of Jesus on the cross took away our punishment of death which was brought about by the sin of the first man Adam in the Garden of Eden.  Our bodies are the temple of God where the Holy Spirit dwells. Every believer in Christ Jesus is therefore expected to stop living in sin after receiving salvation through Christ Jesus.

The world around us today has normalized immorality and it’s unfortunate that those who condemn immorality are the ones who are being vilified and are seen like they have lost touch with the normal trend of life. Legalization of abortion is now becoming a wide spread practice in many countries around the world, but it still remain to be a sinful practice because its’ murder. Life is sacrosanct at any given stage whether its’  a day old or a hundred years old, only God has the power to take it away since he is the creator of the same life. No one is allowed to terminate life in form of abortion in the name of human rights.

When we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice then we will learn ways on how to embrace moral and ethical standards according to the values of the kingdom of God. The Lord has promised that we will receive a helper in the name of the Holy Spirit whose mandate is to comfort us and to guide us along the journey of faith. When you learn to listen to the Holy Spirit of God in you then you will always live a holy life worthy and acceptable to God.

Always remember that you have a divine resident in your body who is the Holy Spirit. The challenge is that the stay of this resident can only be assured when we choose to handle our bodies in a manner that gives glory to God. As an ambassador of the kingdom of God, you need to learn to discover the culture of the kingdom that you represent.

  1. Discover the power of RESURRECTIONPhil 3:10 – I want to know Christ and experience the power that raised him from the DEAD

Experiencing the power of Christ’s resurrection should become your life style. One thing that is standing out, is that the power of resurrection is not a common experience with everyone except those filled with the power of the Holy Spirit. When God rose Jesus from the dead, men ought to learn certain things and one of them is that God is unlimited and he is all powerful so much so that even death cannot obstruct him from accomplishing his perfect will.

Lifespan of many areas of your life could be dead as we speak and buried in the grave yard. May be to some they could be going through dead vision, dead business, dead careers or even dead ministry. One thing you need to experience is to discover the power of resurrection that raised Jesus from the dead. The only way to discover this power is through Jesus Christ. Jesus being God himself understands certain things which no man can understand.

I Peter1: 3-4 – He has given us a new Birth into a living Hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead. When we get born again in Christ Jesus then we acquire a new identity that gives us an express ticket to heavenly citizenry. A new hope of eternity is created in you such that every faculty of your being that was dead prematurely is brought back to life.

The power of resurrection is so powerful such that no amount of human barrier can stop it. When Jesus resurrected from the dead, the power of God rolled away the stone which was used by the soldiers to cover the tomb. The power of God stuck the soldiers who were guarding the tomb and they all fell down till they lost their consciousness. I pray that God is going to release you to a new season of resurrection in Jesus name. Power in the blood of Jesus is the key to resurrection and divine restoration that you need to experience revival.

  1. Learn to Defeat the orphan spirit – John 14:18 – I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you

The spirit of orphan operates on the platform of premature death; the main objective of the spirit is to deny the carrier the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of helping hand from the destiny helper. Parental figure in life usually are meant to play a crucial role of mentoring their sons by walking sons through paths of many support systems in life. Orphans will therefore find themselves in a tricky position where they cannot have access to these advantages hence exposing them to a lot of disadvantages in their developmental stages leading to stunted growth.

God in his wisdom created these protocols that should make provision for support systems to enable uninterrupted growth into prosperity. When premature death comes into place it robs the sons an opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the parental mentorship. Many servants of God today are serving as lone rangers because the orphan spirit is obstructing them from locating the true spiritual fathers in their life. 

Jesus looked at his disciples and promised that he will not leave them as orphans, but he will send a helper in the form of the Holy Spirit. The purpose of the Holy Spirit is to renew our minds to be like that of Jesus. When the filling of the Holy Spirit takes place in a believer it creates such a deeper understanding and releases special supernatural power that enables one to accomplish the divine plans of God without struggle.

Filling of the Holy Spirit – Acts 1:8 –But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the world.

The reason why you will find many Christians claiming today to know God but are unable to witness is because they are in need of this kind of power of the Holy Spirit. Some Christians will tell you that they fear approaching the world with the testimony of Christ, the reason is that they are lacking the filling of the Holy Spirit.

The majority of the disciples of Jesus Christ went into hiding after the crucifixion and subsequent death of Jesus. Peter the Apostle is on record having already denied Jesus three times and now he is suffering from a guilty conscious. Some of them are now back to their fishing career and have given up on everything about ministry.

Immediately on the day of Pentecost there came a great revival and resurrection of hope in Christ Jesus. Acts 2:1 – When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a mighty wind came from heaven and filled the house and each of them spoke in tongues. And after this experience all the apostles came out to preach the gospel in boldness and more than five thousand people gave their life to Jesus. The Bible says they preached the gospel with authority. They did not fear anything because they were filled by the Holy Spirit.

Signs and wonders accompanied their ministration and the early church was born through this revival. The filling of the Holy Spirit will open a new frontier of new level to an extent that you will never lack again.

Spirit filled church is a power packed church. The capacity created through the filling of the Holy Spirit is what the present church requires in order to fulfil her mandate according to the will of God. Soul winning has been thrown to the back seat because the service has become more of a social gathering. God’s plan from the beginning was to raise a church that can impact the world with the power of God through enablement of the Holy Spirit power. 

The absence of the operation of the discernment spirit in the current is a clear testimony that the church needs to crave for the filling of the Holy Spirit. Many churches gathering today are trying to substitute the role of the Holy Spirit with certain human programs but to no avail. The church can only regain her impact by allowing the filling of the Holy Spirit so that effective ministry can be restored towards the end time.

The Lord’s desire is to speak to her bride which is the church; unfortunately the church is unprepared to hear from God because of lack of the filling of the Holy Spirit. The still small voice that carries the message of God can only be realized through enablement of the Holy Ghost. The power of revelation of the mind of God can only be accessed through the language of the Holy Spirit. The Lord of host is about to release the hunger for filling of the Holy Spirit.

Many battles in our lives as believers in Christ are meant to be carried out by the Holy Spirit. Bible says it’s not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord. Spiritual battles require spiritual intervention, Every time we are tempted to take over and handle the battles according to our understanding. By the end of the season we find ourselves loosing such battles because the Spirit of God has not been given an opportunity.

With popular shows such as Ancient Aliens promoting the belief that ancient gods were just
misidentified extraterrestrials, mistaken for gods by the men who met them, the world is now
very familiar with the Ancient Astronaut Theory. Many ancient texts, especially those from the
ancient near-east, are used to support this claim. Among the most used are ancient Sumerian,
Babylonian, and Jewish texts.
However, there are certain inconsistencies found within those texts which do not seem to
promote Ancient Astronaut Theory. For example, in the creation mythology of Baal, the gods
existed in a watery abode. Ancient Astronaut theorists might be tempted to think of this as a
water-world exoplanet. If this were the case, and if these alien gods communicated with
mankind, we should expect beliefs around those communications to develop within their culture
and religion. Why is it, then, large bodies of water such as the sea were more closely related to
concepts of chaos and death in these belief systems? If alien creator gods came from water-
worlds, shouldn’t the seas of Earth represent life rather than death? A closer look at the ancient
texts themselves can provide us a clearer picture of the whole story.
The Enuma Elish is the Babylonian epic of creation, also known as The Seven Tablets of
Creation. 1 All the tablets containing the creation myth were found at Ashur, Kish, Nineveh,
Sultante, and other excavated sites. The tablets date to about 1100 BC but there are indications
that they’re copies of a much older version of the story. 2 The myth describes the birth of the
gods, the universe, and human beings. In the beginning, according to the story, there was nothing
else except chaotic water everywhere. Out of the movement of the water, the waters divided into
fresh and salt water. The fresh water is identified as the god Apsu while the salt water is
identified as the goddess Tiamat. Through these two entities came the birth of younger gods.
The younger gods were noisy and troubling Apsu, so upon the advice of Mummu, Apsu
decides to kill the younger gods. Tiamat hears of this and warns her eldest son, Enki (sometimes
Ea), so he puts Apsu into a sleep and kills him. Enki then creates his home from Apsu’s remains.
Tiamat becomes angry over Apsu’s death and consults with Quingu, who advises her to bring
war against the younger gods. Tiamat gives Quingu the Tablets of Destiny, which solidifies the
rule of a god. Quingu wears the tablets as a breastplate. Tiamat then summons the forces of chaos
and creates eleven monsters to destroy the younger gods.
Ea/Enki and the other younger gods fight against Tiamat, but are unable to win the battle
until Marduk emerges as a champion among them. Marduk defeats Quingu and kills Tiamat by
shooting her with an arrow, splitting her in two. Marduk creates the heavens and the earth from
Tiamat’s corpse (half to make the heavens, half to make the earth). He then appoints jobs to the
younger gods and binds Tiamat’s eleven monsters to his feet as trophies. He then takes the
Tablets of Destiny from Quingu, thereby solidifying his reign.
Marduk then talks with Ea, recognized as the god of wisdom, and decides to create
human beings. He does this by killing the gods who convinced Tiamat to go to war. Quingu is
found guilty and killed. Ea creates Lullu, the first man, from the blood of Quingu. Lullu’s job is
to help the gods in their task of maintaining order and keeping chaos restrained. The story then
ends with a long praise of Marduk for everything he did. The entire story is about chaos being
subdued by the destruction of a great sea beast.
In other words, the sea beast is a symbol for chaos.
A similar story can be found in the Ugaritic Baal Cycle. Ugarit was an ancient city,
located at what is now Ras Shamra in northern Syria.

In the second millennium BC, the population of Ugarit was Amorite and would have
controlled roughly 2,000 square kilometers on average. 3 During some of its history, Ugarit would
have been directly within, or at least in close proximity to, the Hittite Empire.
Ugarit was destroyed in the early 12th century BC and its location forgotten until 1928
when a peasant accidentally discovered an old tomb. The area of the tomb was found out to be
the necropolis of Ugarit. Excavations have since revealed a city with a prehistory reaching back
to c. 6,000 BC. 4
Archaeologically speaking, Ugarit is considered Canaanite. 5 Arguably, the most important
literary document recovered from Ugarit is the Baal Cycle, which describes the basis for the
belief system surrounding the Canaanite deity Baal. In fact, Ugarit bordered the northern Israelite
kingdom and can be considered the center of ancient Baal worship. Of further importance is the
discovery of the Ugaritic language, which is closer to biblical Hebrew than any other Semitic
language. There are extremely interesting word-for-word parallels between Ugaritic myths and
passages in the Old Testament which show clear polemics (controversial arguments intended as
an attack on a differing belief or idea). As we will explore a bit later, we can read the creation
account in the Bible and see a polemic to the Baal Cycle.
The Baal Cycle isn’t as much about creation as it is a competition between gods to win a
position of rulership with the supreme god El. It describes a battle between Baal (meaning
“lord”) and Yam (meaning “sea”), and another battle between Baal and Mot (meaning “death”).
Yam is also called Nahar (meaning “river”) and is also described as a sea monster with seven
heads named Litanu (the Canaanite word for ‘Leviathan”). In the Baal Cycle, Yam is a symbol
for the sea and the forces of chaos, comparable to Tiamat in the Enuma Elish. Baal defeats Yam
and is declared king of the other gods, yet still under El. He is given the titles “the Rider on the
Clouds,” “Most High,” and is described as having everlasting dominion.
To a person in the ancient Near East, the sea was considered extremely dangerous,
chaotic, and even otherworldly. The sea is untamable, unpredictable, and wild. Sea creatures
themselves were considered symbolic portrayals of the place in which they lived: the sea. This is
the reason we see the symbol of the sea and a great sea beast/monster/dragon repeated in the
religious texts of the ancient near-east. To those people, there was no better representation for
death and chaos. 6 We even see this idea turn up in the Bible.
We are at least two thousand years and half a world removed from the ancient Jewish
culture in which much of the Bible was written. The best way to understand and interpret the
Bible is to put yourself in the ancient writer’s shoes. What was going on at the time of the
writing? What was the writer dealing with in terms of competing theologies? What was the
cultural environment of that time? By asking these questions and looking at the text through
ancient Near Eastern eyes, we can gain a better understanding of the scriptures.
This brings us back to the idea of polemic. As stated briefly earlier, a polemic is a type of
theological jab at a different religion or belief. These show up all over the texts in the Bible. The
idea was not always to give a literal account of something, but to attribute credit to the true God
of Israel, YHWH. For example, we find in the Baal Cycle the term “Rider on the Clouds” is
attributed to Baal. Yet, we read a response to that claim throughout the Bible as YHWH is
referred to in the same way. 7 Even Jesus Christ referred to Himself in this manner. 8 The point was
not to describe the oddity of God riding on clouds; it was to state that Baal was not the one in
charge. It is a deliberate swipe at the belief of Baal having everlasting dominion by taking his
title and attributing it to the true God, YHWH.
This is only one example of a polemic in the Bible. There are many others.

Some of the most interesting polemics can be found in the creation accounts of the Bible.
The idea of polemic will also help explain some different descriptions between these creation
accounts. For example, we can compare Genesis 1:1-3 with Psalm 74:12-17.
1 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. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. (Gen. 1:1–3, ESV)
Yet God my King is from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. 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. You split open springs and
brooks; you dried up ever-flowing streams. Yours is the day, yours also the night; you have
established the heavenly lights and the sun. You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth; you
have made summer and winter. (Ps. 74:12–17, ESV)
Here, we have two very different sounding accounts. In Genesis, we learn God created the
heavens and the Earth; the Earth was without form and void; there was darkness over the face of
the deep; the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters; and then God began His creation by
creating light.
The account in Genesis establishes the conflict between God and primordial chaos,
represented by the sea and a sea monster, in the very second verse of the Bible. The word
translated “deep” is the Hebrew tehom. That’s a cognate—same word, different language—to the
Akkadian têmtum, which in turn is a variant form of Tiamat, the Sumerian name for the chaos
monster of the sea.
Why did the Spirit of God hover over the waters? Although there is no record here of the
conflict between YHWH and “the deep,” it appears the intent was to restrain something—chaos

1 All seven tablets, translated to English, can be read here:
3 Pardee, Dennis. “Ugaritic”, in The Ancient Languages of Syria-Palestine and Arabia (2008) (pp. 5–6).
Roger D. Woodard, editor. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0-521-68498-6, ISBN 978-0-521-68498-9
(262 pages).
4 Yon, Marguerite (2006). The City of Ugarit at Tell Ras Shamra. Singapore: Eisenbrauns. p. 15.
ISBN 978-1-57506-029-3. Retrieved 16 May 2015.
5 Tubb, Jonathan N. (1998), “Canaanites” (British Museum People of the Past)
6 For more information on this, refer to the Chaos to Restoration Lecture Series by Dr. Michael S. Heiser
7 Psalm 68:4 and Daniel 7:13, for example.
8 Mark 14:61-62

Linda and I had the privilege to preview the movie Route 60: The Biblical Highway and were so excited to see how this movie brings to life our Judeo Christian history and heritage. Mike Pompeo and David Friedman host this wonderful documentary taking us along the highway in Israel, Route 60 which runs through the middle of the country from north to south.

Linda and I spent about 12 days there a few years ago and loved it however we never heard one word about Route 60 and the remarkable historic sites along this route. After watching the movie we felt like we needed to return to Israel and see it first hand but both of us replied that this movie was almost as good as being there in person.

Mike Pompeo and David Friedman walk through history showing the actual locations where Abraham walked and lived, where Joshua made a great altar, where Jesus walked was born and buried, plus much much more.

The movie brings to life the ancient Hebrew lifestyle and that this was how Jesus lived. It demonstrated the importance of Christians understanding our Jewish roots and ultimately what it means to be grafted in as Paul wrote. It was beautiful to see David Friedman an Orthodox Jew and Mike Pompeo an Evangelical Christian walking together discussing the history and the relationship of these two great religions.

Many people forget that Jesus was a Jew and he actually said to his disciples to reach out to the Jews first with his gospel message. He never said to leave and ignore them. He said to love them and share the good news.

This movie explains and shows where and how to start and that is with relationships! Until you understand your own heritage and history as a Christian, it is very hard to have an honest loving conversation with our Jewish friends and neighbors.

We loved this movie because it takes us right to where Christianity started, Bethlehem in Judea. Route 60, explains so much of the history of Israel before Christ that is essential to understanding Christ as a Jew and some of his teachings. Traveling back in time down Route 60 you actually feel like you are there and a part of something much bigger than you can imagine.

This movie brought a lot of the Old and New Testaments together very clearly and made people and locations real! I would suggest that every Pastor make plans to see this movie and to take the time to teach on the history and relationship of Jews and Christians. Teach on what is happening in Israel today and why the entire world is watching this tiny little country!

Finally, I would suggest if I may, take a group to see Route 60, The Biblical Highway and utilized the study materials that will be made available. Israel is the most watched and contested country on the planet. Jerusalem is the most coveted city on earth. Take the tour with Mike and David and see and hear for yourself why this is still true today. As they were both part of the making of the historic Abraham Accord a few years ago, they cover a lot more in what they say than any tour guide.

Finally, Linda and I pray you will be encouraged to pray for Israel and the Jewish people, and if possible take your own trip down Route 60! It will change your life forever!

Pastors and leaders watch this trailer to get a taste of what you will experience: Route 60


Without a doubt, Star Trek has been one of the most influential entertainment franchises
in history. Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty, and others are iconic characters, recognized around
the world. Oddly enough, though, through the series creator Gene Roddenberry, the starship
Enterprise is linked to CIA mind control experiments, a group of “aliens” who claim to be
the creators of humanity, and—believe it or nothere we go again—the assassination of John
F. Kennedy.
Let’s back up to World War 2. During the war, Andrija Puharich, the son of immigrants
from the Balkans, attended Northwestern University outside Chicago where he earned a
bachelor’s degree in philosophy in 1942 and his M.D. in 1947. Through an invitation from a
well-off family friend, who’d married into the Borden dairy family, Puharich found himself
in Maine in early 1948, where he established a research institute to pursue his interest in
parapsychology, the Round Table Foundation of Electrobiology, usually shortened to the
Round Table. 1
An early member of the Puharich Round Table was Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New
World and The Doors of Perception, a book about his experiences with mescaline (and the
book that inspired rock singer Jim Morrison to name his band The Doors). Puharich financed
his research with gifts from donors, one of whom was Henry Wallace, who’d been vice
president under Franklin D. Roosevelt. Wallace, a 32 nd degree Freemason, persuaded
Roosevelt to add the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States—the pyramid and the all-
seeing eye—to the dollar bill. 2
This book isn’t big enough to hold a full account of what Puharich was up to for the U.S.
Army in the 1950s 3 , but the upshot is that he was apparently researching parapsychology and
chemical substances that might stimulate the human mind to reach into realities beyond those
we can normally perceive with our natural senses. And at one of his gatherings in Maine, on
New Year’s Eve in 1952, Puharich and his Round Table, working with a Hindu channeler
named Dr. D. G. Vinod, conducted a seance that apparently made contact with something
calling itself The Nine. 4 Thus began a truly breathtaking chapter in America’s mostly hidden
programs that searched for ways to weaponize the occult.
Some months later, on June 27, 1953, the night of the full moon, Puharich gathered
around him what was to be a core group of the Round Table Foundation for another
session with Vinod. The membership of this group of nine members—á la The
Nine—is illuminating. Henry Jackson, Georgia Jackson, Alice Bouverie, Marcella Du
Pont, Carl Betz, Vonnie Beck, Arthur Young, Ruth Young, and Andrija Puharich. Dr.
Vinod acted as the medium.
Imagine the Fellowship of the Ring, with government funding and a security
classification that was, well, “cosmic.” 5

This group included old money—very old money. The Du Pont name is obvious, but
some of the others were no less prominent. Alice Bouverie was an Astor—a descendent of
John Jacob Astor and the daughter of Col. John Jacob Astor IV, who built the Astoria Hotel
and went down with the Titanic. Arthur Young was the designer of the Bell helicopter; his
wife had been born Ruth Forbes. Yes, that Forbes.
Ruth’s previous marriage had been to another old money family that traced its roots back
to the early days of the American colonies, George Lyman Paine. Their son, Michael Paine,
married a woman named Ruth Hyde, and in 1963, Michael and Ruth Paine became friends
with a young couple newly arrived from Russia, Lee and Marina Oswald.
Yes, that Lee Oswald. Lee Harvey Oswald.
So. A Du Pont, an Astor, and a Forbes/Paine, in a psychic research group funded by the
U.S. government, communicating with… what?
And what was the monkey god doing there?
Dr. Vinod sat on the floor, the nine members of the group in a circle around him, with
a copper plate on his lap, prayer beads in his hands, and a small statue of “Hanoum,”
a Hindu god that the author believes to be Hanuman, the Monkey King. If this is so, it
is interesting in that Hanuman was a human being, a minister, before becoming divine
due to his devotion and courage. The half-human, half-divine image is one that
becomes more important and more obvious as this study progresses. Another
important aspect of Hanuman is his depiction in much Indian art as holding an entire
mountain in one hand (and a club in the other). When—in the Ramayana and during
the battle of Rama and Ravana—Lakshmana was mortally wounded, Hanuman raced
to a mountain covered with different healing herbs. Not knowing which one
Lakshmana required, Hanuman simply brought the entire mountain. Hanuman—as
well as his fellow monkey-men, the Vanaras of southern India—is often shown with
his hand in front of his mouth, signifying “silence” as well as obedience, in much the
same way western occultists depict Harpocrates. In this sense, replete with silence,
obedience, a club, and a mountain of herbs, Hanuman might easily have been the
patron saint of MK-ULTRA. 6
What an interesting coincidence, if you’re a coincidence theorist. Remember that Aleister
Crowley believed The Book of the Law was dictated to him by Aiwass, the messenger of
Anyway, The Nine disclosed that they wanted the Round Table to lead a spiritual renewal
on Earth, and eventually revealed that they were extraterrestrials orbiting the planet in a
giant, invisible spacecraft.
It sounds crazy, but remember that the group assembled that night included highly
intelligent, very successful people. And Puharich later wrote, “We took every known

precaution against fraud, and the staff and I became thoroughly convinced that we were
dealing with some kind of an extraordinary extraterrestrial intelligence.” 7 In other words, if
this was a hoax, it worked on some very smart people.
On the other hand, the decades-long career of Andrija Puharich suggests that it may also
have been a case of “leading the witnesses,” in a sense. He appears to have been a seeker
who, like Fox Mulder in The X-Files, really wanted to believe.
But it was more than that. The Nine declared, “God is nobody else than we together, the
Nine Principles of God.” 8
So extraterrestrial and divine. Remember that while the Round Table was hearing from
The Nine, Aleister Crowley’s acolyte Kenneth Grant was developing his occult system based
on an ET god from Sirius.
Dr. Vinod returned to India a short time later and contact with The Nine was interrupted
for more than fifteen years. Then, in 1971, Puharich discovered Israeli psychic Uri Geller.
Geller, best known for his alleged power to bend silverware with his mind, became for a
time the new link to The Nine. Through Geller, The Nine informed Puharich that his life’s
mission was “to alert the world to an imminent mass landing of spaceships that would bring
representatives of The Nine.” 9
Well, that didn’t happen. And Geller decided to move on in 1973, so Puharich had to find
someone else to bridge the gap between Earth and the giant, invisible craft allegedly orbiting
the earth. He eventually connected with former race car driver Sir John Whitmore and
Florida psychic Phyllis Schlemmer, who became the authorized spokesperson for their
contact within The Nine, who identified himself as “Tom.” 10
Puharich, Whitmore and Schlemmer then set up Lab Nine at Puharich’s estate in
Ossining, New York. The Nine’s disciples included multi-millionaire businessmen
(many hiding behind pseudonyms and including members of Canada’s richest family,
the Bronfmans), European nobility, scientists from the Stamford Research Institute
and at least one prominent political figure who was a personal friend of President
Gerald Ford. 11
Also, a member of Lab Nine in 1974 and ’75 was Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry,
who reportedly wrote a screenplay based on The Nine. Some suggest that concepts from the
channeling sessions Roddenberry attended surfaced in the early Star Trek movies and in the
series Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Before Lab Nine folded in 1978, the identities of Tom and the Other Eight were finally
revealed: Tom was Atum, 12 he said, the creator of the Great Ennead, the Egyptian gods
worshipped at Heliopolis, near modern-day Cairo. Besides Atum, the Ennead included his
children Shu and Tefnut; their children Geb and Nut; and their children Osiris, Isis, Set,
Nephthys, and sometimes the son of Osiris and Isis, Horus. 13

Connecting dots between Andrija Puharich, who was almost certainly a CIA asset during
much of the time he conducted parapsychological research, 14 and the volunteers of his Round
Table and Lab Nine, we can link the United States government (and specifically the U.S.
Army and CIA during the period of mind control research projects like BLUEBIRD and
MKULTRA), 15 members of upper class society from the East Coast and Canada, the creator
of the most successful science fiction entertainment franchise in history, extraterrestrials, and
gods. And not just any gods—the pantheon that included the chaos god, Set, who Crowleyite
Kenneth Grant believed was the spirit of the age.
Oh, yes—and the Kennedy assassination.
How do we wrap our heads around this? Considering that Puharich was likely doing this
research for the government and that he led the witnesses, suggesting to Geller and at least
one of his successors while they were under hypnosis that they were being contacted by The
Nine, 16 it appears that this was a long PSYOP to stir up belief in the existence of ETIs and the
return of the old gods.
To what end? For Puharich and his superiors, maybe it was an experiment into group
dynamics, or maybe a test of how people would react to the imminent arrival of
extraterrestrial visitors. Or maybe, as with the Paul Bennewitz case, it was an intelligence op
to misdirect the wealthy members of Lab Nine and their social circles toward an ETI
explanation for any unexplained aerial phenomena and away from secret government

1 Levenda, Peter (2005). Sinister Forces—The Nine: A Grimoire of American Political Witchcraft. Walterville,
Oregon: TrineDay. Kindle Edition, Kindle Locations 7603-7604.
2 Melanson, Terry (2001). “The All-Seeing Eye, The President, The Secretary and The Guru.”, retrieved 8/14/17.
3 For that we recommend Peter Levenda’s Sinister Forces: The Nine.
4 Levenda, op. cit., Kindle Locations 7734-7737.
5 Levenda, op. cit., Kindle Locations 7765-7769.
6 Levenda, op. cit., Kindle Locations 7809-7815.
7 Puharich, A. (1974). Uri; a journal of the mystery of Uri Geller. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press, p. 18.
8 Penre, Wes (1999). “The Council of Nine.” Fortean Times. Republished at Retrieved 8/22/17.
9 Ibid.
10 Ibid.
11 Ibid.
12 Ibid.
13 Christiane., Zivie-Coche, (2004). Gods and men in Egypt : 3000 BCE to 395 CE. Cornell University Press.
14 Penre,

By: Dr Kevan Kruse

Special Note: The subject matter of this article has caused much debate in the Christian community. As a ministry we try to provide content that might help you and educate you regarding a variety of these type subjects. Please review and pray about every article that we offer. Thank you very much.

Paul Pickern

Part 1- John 8:32

Goal: To Show how “The Truth” of what Jesus would have done in the face of a Pandemic will set us free.

1) Jesus is the Way, The Life, and The Truth (John 4:6)

2) The truth will set us free. (John 8:32)

3) But those who seek shall find. (Matt 7:8)

4) Even God’s people can perish for lack of knowledge. Hosea 4:6.

Loving the Truth Is Part of Loving God.

Loving truth is loving reality, embracing our situation, understanding our enemies, and not allowing Satan to take away the joy of our salvation.

  • 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one will be accompanied by the working of Satan, with every kind of power, sign, and false wonder, and with every wicked deception directed against those who are perishing, because they refused the love of the truth that would have saved them. For this reason, God will send them a powerful delusion so that they believe the lie, in order that judgment may come upon all who have disbelieved the truth and delighted in wickedness. (BSB)

God’s Promises Regarding Truth

•       Seek and you shall find. – but there may also be some asking and knocking involved. (Matt 7:8)

•       Verse: Ask and you shall receive, Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door will be opened to you

•       God’s children will be able to know the truth and the truth will set them free. (John 8:32)

•       God’s people can perish for lack of knowledge. – Hosea 4:6

We Were Destined To Be a Culture of Truth Seekers

•       Acts 17:11 – Now the Berean’s were more noble-minded than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if these teachings were true. BSB

 Why Is Truth So Important?

Because Deception Is the Signature of Satan and the “End Times.”

  • Mark 13:22 – For false Christ’s and false prophets will rise and show signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. (NKJV) The number one sign of the times is deception.
  • The reason why it is impossible to deceive the very elect is because they have remained “In Christ” and in the truth.
  • The truth of what we believe is the biggest factor in making a good decision.

A Culture of Truth Versus a Culture of Deception

  • Review: “Mass Formation Psychosis” & Cognitive Dissonance
  • We cannot commit to any leader we already have one and his name is Jesus.
  • When we fail to seek or address the truth on any matter, we are allowing Satan to have dominion over that area.
  • Satan will always use lies to form the construct a prison full of hate, slavery and Bondage.

Question: Were God’s people kept in slavery, bondage and fear needlessly during this supposed pandemic?

Top 10 Covid Deceptions

# 1: The CDC Changed the Rules

Vital Statistics Reporting Guidance – Report No. 3 ▪ April 2020

Guidance for Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19)

  • The change allowed for Covid to be listed as the cause-of-death whether it was confirmed or suspected.
  • Previously, death certificates could not be based upon suspicion.
  • The change allowed for an “active” or immediate condition to supersede the normal procedure of using the “underlying condition” as the (line a) cause of death.
  • The active condition was always Covid and it allowed for people with heart disease, cancer, and even car accidents to legally list Covid as the cause of death.
  • These rule changes make it impossible to compare Covid to other calendar diseases because they changed the way they counted deaths.

# 2: A Covid Diagnosis Was Given Significant Monetary Incentives

CDC director agrees hospitals have monetary incentive to inflate COVID-19 data

Hospitals were paid $13,000 per person if they were admitted as a COVID case, and another $39,000 for every patient put on a ventilator.”


# 3: The Covid Numbers Are Inflated

Fauci admits Covid hospitalization numbers are inflated.

  • Play Video:

Democrat Governor Admits COVID Hospitalization May Be Inflated By 50%, Makes Move To Change Count


New York Times issues correction after egregiously exaggerating coronavirus child hospitalizations

  • Just how far did they overestimate the number of child Covid hospitalizations: 900,000 was decreased to 63,000

Rhoda Wilson, BREAKING: NHS Director confirms Hospitals lied about Cause of Death to create illusion of COVID Pandemic


Another Example Of The Numbers Being Inflated

CDC Says It Accidentally Inflated Children’s COVID Death Numbers In ‘Coding Logic Error’

  • “An adjustment was made to COVID Data Tracker’s mortality data on March 14 involving the removal of 72,277 — including 416 pediatric deaths — deaths previously reported across 26 states because CDC’s algorithm was accidentally counting deaths that were not COVID-19-related,” Jasmine Reed, a spokesperson for the CDC, told the Washington Examiner


# 4: Is Covid Statistically Different Than Other Respiratory Diseases?

In the 2017-2018 flu season 2.56 million people died from pneumonia in 6 to 8 months. How long did it take Covid-19 to reach the same figures? Answer: closer to 14 months.

  • This did not include pneumonia, which could be another 400-600 thousand deaths.

The world suffered 1.88 million COVID deaths in 2020.

Is Covid Statistically Different Than the Flu in Children?

The Wall Street Journal admits: The Flimsy Evidence Behind the CDC’s Push to Vaccinate Children By The Wall Street Journal

  • the evidence behind vaccinating our children is flimsy at best.
  • For example, did you know that according to the CDC, only 335 children have died from Covid from its inception to July of 2021?
  • Depending on when you officially say Covid arrived in the US, that means 16.75 to 19.7 kids died per month. (see article below)
  • To put that in perspective, up to 16.6 kids per month have died from the flu.
  • They also won’t consider if one shot is sufficient.

We have run out of time, but next week we will be talking about the problems with the PCR test.


  • Already, most of us feel polarized by what we have heard so far.
  • Remember, be like the Berean’s – a culture of truth seekers.
  • Be open, but search for the truth.
  • Remain relational by remaining in Christ.
  • Only in Christ can we have peace.
  • Remember what love will not do, which is take away our choices.
  • Do not disconnect from people you disagree with,

Bottom Line:

  • Was the unanimous truth being presented by our government and media regarding Covid-19 actually true?
  • Did they harm the church and God’s people by causing needless closings, threats, fear, and religious discrimination?
  • I believe that when we end this series, the answer to these questions will be an unequivocable yes!
  • The Truth of Covid Can Set Us Free, as well as Reveal Our Enemy!