by Walter Giddings
December 20, 2020
Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 10-1-3
Greetings Kindred. We are on a first name basis here. My name is walter. This lesson comprises Scriptures that have puzzled me for a long time.
Acts 28:11 And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria, which had wintered in the isle, whose sign was Castor and Pollux.
This ship’s sign was Castor and Pollux. Ships have names. The most famous names for ships in elementary school in the 1950’s were the Nina, the Pinta, the Santa Maria, the ships of Columbus’ first voyage to the New World, and the Mayflower. The Mayflower was the place the Pilgrims composed their Deed of government, the Mayflower Compact. That solemn Christian Covenant of their formation into a Civil Body Politick, the Law of the Land, was drawn up on that ship in Cape Cod cove.
Scripture does not tell us the name of the ship that wintered at Malta. What is this ship’s “sign” in Acts 28:11? Is it the flag the ship sails under? We see from the Scriptures that it is “a ship of Alexandria”. Alexandria was the major Mediterranean port for Egypt. “Castor and Pollux” is not an Egyptian flag. What does it mean that the ship’s “sign was Castor and Pollux”?
The word “sign” translates the Greek word whose meaning indicates the ship was marked or labelled with a figure head. The figurehead was Castor and Pollux. What are Castor and Pollux?
Castor and Pollux translates the Greek word Dioskouroi. The English word from the Latin, Dioscuri, means the same thing: the twin sons of Zeus. In the Latin this means the twin sons of Jupiter. This is a reference to the stories of Greek and Latin mythology. Castor and Pollux are also well known as stars of the first and second magnitude in the Constellation Gemini, the Twins. Worshippers of the host of heaven are more familiar with these stars than many of us.
Why does the Holy Spirit, moving Luke to write, call our attention to the mythological figurehead of this Alexandrian ship? Does the “sign”of Castor and Pollux reference the worship of Greek and Roman gods? Why does Luke reference Zeus’ children, the twins, Castor and Pollux? Does the Holy Spirit expect us to know something relative to this? What is this ship’s figurehead supposed to mean to us?
Josiah of the kings of Judah reigned thirty one (31) years over the House of Judah. In the eighth year of his reign, he looked to the God of his forefather King David. In the twelfth year of his reign at the age of twenty he ordered the evidences of idolatry destroyed out of the southern Kingdom. In the eighteenth year he ordered the repair of the House of God and Hilkiah the Priest found the Book of the Law of the LORD given by Moses. Shaphan the scribe read the Book to the king. Josiah rent his clothes. “Great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us.” Josiah read the Book to all the gathered elders of the House of Judah. This became a time of one of the greatest revivals in the History of Israel. After cleansing the temple they observed the Passover. Second Kings 23 tells us that “Surely there was not holden such a Passover from the days of the judges that judged Israel, not in all the days of the kings of Israel nor the kings of Judah.” Shall we read in unison what Judah did to rid the Temple of all evidences of idolatry and to cleanse it?
2 Kings 23:4-5
4 And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel.
What are “all the host of Heaven”? What is Isaiah referencing here in the histories of Israel’s Kings?
5 And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven.
There is a worship of the sun, the moon, the planets, and all the host of heaven. Josiah, king of Judah, after reading the law of Moses, removed the profane priests of Baal worship, removed all evidences of idolatrous worship from the Temple, and cleansed it. Baal is the name of a fallen angel. The fallen angels were the officers of the host of heaven, God’s army. The stars bear the names of fallen angels. Castor and Pollux are the names of fallen angels. Unholy angels. Wicked angels. Demons! The revival of Josiah’s reign put an end to obeying demons and ran unrepentant demon-worshippers without the borders of the House of Judah.
The Apostle Paul found the same breach of the First Commandment: “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” There were members in the churches at Corinth who named the name of Christ, yet departed not from the heathen rituals of demon worship. They were guilty of mixed worship. And why not? They lived in a permissive society. And Paul talked about the society in which they lived.
1 Corinthians 10:20-21
20 But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
“Sacrifice to devils and not to God” is what the Gentiles did. That is what the Gentiles still do! Ecclesiastes puts us in remembrance: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.” [Ecc. 1:9] The city of Corinth sacrificed to devils and not to God. The Christians were the oddballs. That is a lot of peer pressure. And we are such sheep. No one of us has complete immunity to flock pressure. People look very uncomfortable when they discover we do not observe Halloween. And Halloween is obvious!
21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
Did we hear what we just put out into the air of the sanctuary? What part of “mixed worship is a no-no” do we fail to understand?
How long did it take Josiah to remove all idolatrous worship from the Kingdom? How long should it take to do the same thing within ourselves? Should we forbear one another in meekness? Should we be gentle, apt to teach?
Shall we look at what King Josiah read from the law of Moses? In Deuteronomy 4:9 the LORD God of the Hebrews admonished our forefathers to “take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.” He reminded the Hebrews that he spoke to them out of the midst of the fire, commanded them to perform His Covenant, “even ten commandments; and He wrote them upon two tables of stone.” God warned our Fathers, “Take ye therefore good heed unto your- selves ... lest ye corrupt yourselves, ... and,”
Deuteronomy 4:19 And lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the LORD thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven.
To understand why the nations are permitted to worship the host of heaven makes a fascinating Bible Study. That is not the subject matter of this lesson. We simply take notice that to Israel it is forbidden, but to the nations it is not.
Review Acts 28:11. Are we missing something? “And after three months we departed in a ship of Alexandria...” Paul and his fellow prisoners spent three winter months on the isle. Verse 11 tells us that the ship on which Paul and the other prisoners sailed under Roman guard had wintered three months at Malta. The sign or the figurehead of the ship was Zeus’ twin children. Do the Scriptures tell us anything as remarkable about any of the other ships on which Paul sailed before and after the shipwreck at Malta?
In the first verse of Acts 27 we find this curious expression: “it was determined that we should sail into Italy ...”. Who is “we”? Is this Luke’s briefest notation that he was witness with Paul of these events? Would a ship refuse passage to a physician? Was it an advantage to have one aboard? They set sail from Caesarea in “a ship of Adramyttium”. At Myra, a city of Lycia, the centurion booked passage on a ship of Alexandria. Luke says, “... and he put us therein.” This second ship was wrecked at Malta. The third ship that the Centurion put Paul and all the other prisoners on, another ship of Alexandria, had the figurehead, Castor and Pollux.
In short, we know none of the names of the ships, we know the flags they flew under, Adramyttium, Alexandria, and Alexandria. The one ship of which we know extra is the second, the wrecked ship of Alexandria, a grain ship. The last ship had the figurehead.
The Bible Archaeology Search and Exploration Institute (BASE Institute) completed a decade of research confirming the discovery of the second ship’s three surviving anchors and paid the expenses for the museum on Malta to exhibit them there. The Institute’s Director Robert Kornuth, a retired CSI investigator in L.A. County, negotiated the amnesty for the divers that brought the three anchors up from the reef on Malta’s southeast coast. He wrote a book, The Lost Shipwreck of Paul. The book and the thirty minute DVD are available. They establish the archaeological witness to Paul’s shipwreck in history. The name of that second ship is still unknown. Robert Kornuth credits the success of the Search and Exploration to trusting and believing The Bible.
Why does God’s Word call us to study what The Dispersed in apostasy worshipped? We have not answered the question: What does the third ship’s figurehead mean to us? Have we missed a clue?
When we have been in prayer all along, and we reach a moment like this in private Bible Study, what is the first thing we are supposed to do? To show us the first thing we are supposed to do, we need to picture a library. What do we picture a library to contain? Can we hold a library in one hand? When was the last time we held a library in one hand? Barring oversize we can hold a Bible in one hand today. The term Bible means books. Have we ever walked into a library that failed to post The Rules for its use? Even our Mom and Dad’s private library had rules for its use. The MeetingHouse Library, the Village, Town, or City Library, the County Library, the State Library, and the Library of Congress all have rules posted for its use. “Let everything be done decently and in order.” [1 Cor 14:40].
Why should it be any different for The Library of God?
What do we call The Rules posted for the use of God’s Library? They are the same as The Rules for witnessing. Witnessing for Christ to potentially redemptive sons and daughters of Adam through the miracle child Isaac, Isaac’s sons, Saxons, have the same rules as the Laws for Bible Study. I have heard those rules preached from the Christian Reform Fellowship pulpit several times. Pastor Jerry taught us that to witness effectively for Christ we need to establish common ground. Some students call that a common point of relativity, the opportu- nity to relate to one another on a common or shared point. The acronym for common point of relativity is CPR. We could say it is God-directed CPR for the walking dead. Jesus said, (in Matthew and Luke) “Let the dead bury their dead.” That is scary. The Apostle Paul wrote, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”
Suppose there is no immediately identifiable common ground between two men. One is a husbandman engaged in crop and animal husbandry, and the other writes computer programs for a living. How would one of these men, approached by the other, establish common ground from the beginning?
He will ask the other if he accepts and receives The Bible as The Truth. When the answer is yes, he will ask if the other trusts that God does not change, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, and forever. When he answers yes, he will ask the other if he trusts The Bible to interpret The Bible. With open Bibles, and unity on all three questions, the trust of both has invoked the Presence of God. The Cornerstone for Fellowship Bible Study is laid.
These three basic Rules for witnessing are also three of The Laws of Bible Study:
Truth The Bible is the sufficient and com-plete truth to make us wise unto salvation.
Harmony The Scriptures are in harmony witnessing to the unchanging God.
Interpretation The Bible interprets The Bible.
We are not stuck with man’s interpretation.
What is the figurehead on the ship suppose to mean to us in Acts 28:11? To get help with the question we apply the Laws of Bible Study.
First, we confess that what the Bible says in Verse 11 is true. Everyone survived the shipwreck. Everyone spent three months on Malta. Everyone left on a ship of Alexandria which had wintered in the isle. The figurehead on the ship that wintered at Malta was Castor and Pollux.
Second we confess the harmony of the Scriptures. The prohibition to Israel of worship- ping the host of heaven in Deuteronomy and Kings is just as true as the prohibition to Disper- sed Israel of worshipping demons in Corinthians. God’s Injunction is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
Third we confess The Bible interprets The Bible. Mentioning the Castor and Pollux figurehead, on the ship, that brought Paul and Luke to Rome, is not a call to worship the host of heaven. The Laws of Bible Study, the Rules posted for the use of the Library of God, serve us well.
What is the next question we need to ask?
If the mention of the Castor and Pollux figurehead is not a call to worship the host of heaven, what then is it a call to do? When the thought occurred to me to ask this question I felt my heart fill with Thanksgiving. It took me a long time to get to this question. What is The Holy Spirit, our Real Teacher calling us to do here? I have often thought back to this moment. The thought occurred to me about the thought that occurred to me to ask this question is that God is in charge of the thought occurring process. Because our Heavenly Father let me struggle with this before he intervened, I stay in remembrance. He has answered my prayer for Him to keep us in remembrance. The Apostle Peter’s last Epistle talks about the Church’s need to be kept in remembrance. We are such Sheep. We are so forgetful. Our weekly Sabbath meetings are designed to meet this great need among many important needs. Our Saviour Jesus Christ meets us at our every need. That is why it is called The Meeting House.
What is our Real Teacher the Holy Spirit calling us to do here? Have we ever found a vain or meaningless Scripture in our Bibles?
What does the mention of the Castor and Pollux figurehead mean to us?
Who or what are Castor and Pollux?
Did we say earlier that Castor and Pollux are stars of the first and second magnitude in a constellation called Gemini? Should we follow this clue? Or does the prohibition against host of heaven worship forbid us?
Shall we take possession of a vantage point that can only belong to Christians? It is a special position of immense military advantage in a world of warfare. This vantage point is sheep staying real close to The Great Shepherd. From this position of advantage enjoying love, joy, peace in the midst of longsuffering, we have from time to time opportunity to see the world in two antonymical ways. Bible Opposites are good and evil, righteousness and wickedness, heaven and hell, holy angels and wicked angels, rewards and punishments, sheep and wolves in sheeps’ clothing, names written in heaven and names written in the earth, the strait gate narrow way and the broad way that leadeth to destruction, and salvation and damnation.
Some of these antonyms represent the genuine and the counterfeit: the Jesus of The Bible and the Jesus of this world; the gospel and the perverted gospel; and the Holy Spirit and the spirit of this world. In all three sets of antonyms one is a very clever counterfeit of an- other. This pattern began all the way back in the Garden. On several occasions I have asked members of churchianity a set of questions hoping to plant a seed that calls their attention to what happened in the Garden that cannot be seen by the unaided eye.
The first question I ask: How many trees in the Garden of Eden? The answers I accept are a lot, many, and I do not know, because I do not know either.
The second question I ask: How many trees in the midst of the Garden? The answer I accept is two. If they do not know I name one of the Trees. If they say one, I ask them to name the Tree. If they say two I ask them to name both.
What are the names of both Trees in the midst of the Garden? And one of those Trees is a very clever counterfeit of the other. Perceiving the world in sets of antonyms is an exercise in discerning the genuine from the counterfeit.
Why is conviction that the Christmas tree is a heathen ritual, giving demons power in the lives of those obeying, so hard bought, hard fought, blood bought?! Is it because what we obey is our god? Is Demons gaining power in our lives mind altering? The difference between mind altering and mind transforming is distinct.
We saw in Deuteronomy 4:19 that host of heaven worship is divided to the nations and prohibited to Israel. What is prohibited to Israel is, in one form, carried in our daily newspa- pers. Under the proposition that the twelve houses of stars in the Zodiac determine the fate or destiny of those born under those signs, the papers publish predictions about the course of their day. To have faith that the signs of heaven determine our destiny is a potential prediction of a very bad end in the next life. The choices we are making are determining our destiny. Our choices manifest or reveal in whom or what we have the most faith. Pastor Jerry repeatedly says, The battle ground is the mind of Adam. May the God of our Fathers dwell with us as our Wisdom to make wise choices through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Do the Scriptures tell us how Christians view the signs of heaven?
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
We remember from elementary school grammar that a verb is an action word. A verb shows a subject acting, or being acted upon. In verse 1 what is the first action word? “Declare.” Is there another? “Sheweth.” What are the verbs in verses 2-3? “Uttereth, showeth, is, heard.”
With the exception of the verb to be, in verse 3, what do all the other verbs have in common? What is the subject matter of all the other verbs?
Communication. Have we ever heard of “show and tell”?
The verb “to be” in verse 3 is negatived by the word “no”. This indicates that no language barrier exists to what the heavens tell and the firmament shows.
How does God communicate in spite of language barriers? Why are the speeches of the peoples of the world no barrier to His Heavens telling and His firmament showing?
Genesis 1:14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of heaven to divide the day from the night; ...
Remember what we read from Psalm 19:2, “Day unto day uttereth speech and night unto night showeth knowledge.”
Genesis 1:14 continued... and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.
Notice the word “signs”. The Iroquois Confederation, direct lineal descendants of the Hebrew colonists in America 600 B.C., developed the Universal Indian Sign Language to facilitate communication with the Asiatic strain of Indians with their multiplicity of pidgin dialects. The Iroquois used “signs” to defeat language barriers.
Continuing in Genesis 1 verses 15-18:
15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.
17 And God set them in the firmament of heaven to give light upon the earth.
18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good.
“And God saw that it was good.” Does that mean that Castor and Pollux are good? They are God’s creation! Castor and Pollux are the two most visible stars in the Constellation Gemini. Gemini is one of the Twelve Houses of the Zodiac having its place in the daily horoscope with its fateful predictions for those whose natal day falls under the time of the calendar year the sun courses through Gemini. The twelve major Constellations are in a circle or belt called the Zodiac which is visible from around the surface of the earth.
Psalms 19:4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.
The Book of Job is as old as the source material Moses used in composing the first eleven chapters of Genesis. Both have a lot to do with the Bible’s reputation for being the oldest literature in Adam. God challenges Job to an omnipotence contest, maintaining the orderly and timely movements of heavenly bodies, especially the Twelve Major Constellations of the Zodiac:
Job 38:32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season?
The Hebrew word Mazzaroth means the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac. The entire globe of the earth and its peoples, even the nations to whom host of heaven worship is divided, view God’s bringing forth the Twelve Signs of the Zodiac in his season. Astrologers view it and Christians view it. Viewing it is not the sin. What we do with the view is the difference between righteousness and wickedness. We have to review this point heavily since we saw Castor and Pollux in the figurehead of the Alexandrian ship. The sole reason for this review is the heavily reinforced ignorance among those naming the name of Christ.
What part of “The counterfeit always witnesses to the Genuine” do we fail to understand? What should Christians do with the view of the Zodiac, the Mazzaroth of Job? We already know what the Astrologers worshipfully do. They begin with Aries the Ram and end with Pisces the Fish. They expect the stars to have power, influences, to determine their destiny. What do Christians do?
The Zodiac is a circle. Exactly opposite on that circle from where astrologers begin and end, Christians begin with Virgo the Virgin and finish at Leo the Lion of Judah. What Astrologers and Christians do with the view is the exact opposite of each other. The only faith that Christians have in astral influences upon destiny is their awareness of the multitudes that believe that fervently. As Christians believe they can hold the Library of God in one hand, so they believe that the heavens hold a second witness, the Library of God Celestial in view of all the earth.
We said the Zodiac is a circle. That begs the question: where do we begin and end. What evidence do we have that we should begin with Virgo the Virgin and end with Leo the Lion of Judah. Two men have collected, from the ancient history surviving to us today, the antiquities or record of the ancient names of stars and the stories they tell: Bullinger, TheWitness of the Stars, and Raymond Capt, The Glory of the Stars. Remember Psalms 19? The one verb in those first three verses that did not directly fall under the subject matter communication, witnessed to the non-existence of any language barrier.
What justification do we have to say that the second witness to the Bible is God’s star-show in the heavens from Virgo the Virgin to Leo the Lion of Judah? Is it so hard to believe that the God of the Bible, the God of all Creation would have a second witness to the Bible in His Heavens? Does Psalms 19:1 say, “the firmament sheweth his handiwork”? Are the Bible and the heavens his handiwork? What testimony and evidence do we have that the firmament is showing his handiwork, The Bible? The most quoted book from the old testament books of The Bible in Matthew unto Revelation is the Book of Deuteronomy. Deuteronomy is quoted more often in the new testament books than any other old testament book of The Bible.
Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
God wants us to have the testimony of the witnesses. God is in the Providence business. He has already provided us with the unimpeachable witnesses of the Scriptures of His Word. In more than five thousand (5000) years, no one has successfully shaken the credibility of God’s appointed witnesses. Do we have at least two witnesses, if not three, that the heavens witness the Story of The Bible? And do we have the witnesses to establish the Story begins with Virgo the Virgin and finishes at Leo the Lion of Judah?
What have we understood from this Lesson? Are we in remembrance that old Serpent counterfeits by enchantment every meaningful plan and purpose God has set in motion? Are sheep easily led? Do sheep think thieves are shepherds? Are we too forgetful of the catas- trophic, dire, disabling, disastrous, extreme, pandemic consequences of The Fall? Should we be surprised that Lucifer withstands The Truth of God’s Star Show in His Heavens Are we filled with the demonic notion that the books of the Old Testament are done away? Do we forget that if Genesis chapter 3 had never been written that Lucifer will not write it for us? Shall we trust The Scriptures instead of ourselves? To be continued, God willing, on another occasion.
Old Testament Psalms 19:1-7. 7 verses
New Testament Acts 27:42-44, Acts 28:1-11. 14 verses
Responsive Reading 1 Corinthians 10:14-21. 8 verses
1. Acts 28:11
2. 2 Kings 23:4,5
3. 1 Corinthians 10:20,21
4. Deuteronomy 4:19
5. (Acts 28:11)
6. (Acts 27:1)
7. (1 Corinthians 14:40)
8. (Acts 28:11)
9. Psalms 19:1-3
10. Genesis 1:14, 15-18
11. Psalms 19:4
12. Job 28:32
13. Deuteronomy 19:15