Come to Understanding

They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding,

and they that murmured shall learn doctrine. ó Isaiah 29:24

So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense,

and caused them to understand the reading. ó Nehemiah 8:8

April 14, 2007

Volume 6 Number 8

The Spirits of the Bitter Water

Moses led Israel in singing to Yahweh the song of victory. Yahweh had miraculously dried up the water of the Red Sea, allowing Israel to escape from the pursuing Egyptians:

1 Then sang Moses and the children of Israel this song unto Yahweh, and spoke, saying, I will sing to Yahweh, for he has triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea.

2 Yah is my strength and song, and he has become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him a habitation; my fatherís God, and I will exalt him.

3 Yahweh is a man of war: Yahweh is his name.

-Exodus 15

Then Miriam, Moses and Aaronís sister, rose up to sing what appeared to be the same song. However, she went farther than Moses did. She led the women in the song, also adding tambourines and dances:

20 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dances.

21 And Miriam answered them, Sing you to Yahweh, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider has he thrown into the sea. -Exodus 15

Moses then led Israel through the wilderness of Shur:*

22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. -Exodus 15

After Miriam, whose name in Hebrew (Myrm Miryam) means "bitter or rebellious" "water or sea," celebrated, they journeyed for three days but could find no water.

Finally, Moses and the people of Israel came to a place that had water. However, the place was called Marah, which means bitter, and the water was unfit to drink:

23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah.

24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? -Exodus 15

Finally, Yahweh showed Moses a tree, which was able to heal the bitter water and make it sweet. He reminded Israel that, if they would listen to Him and obey His word, they too would be healed:

25 And he cried unto Yahweh; and Yahweh showed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them,

26 And said, If you will diligently listen to the voice of Yahweh your God, and will do that which is right in his sight, and will give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon you, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am Yahweh that heals you. -Exodus 15

As we study Revelation 16, we find a world of unrepentant people who, while perhaps pretending to worship the God of heaven, are really worshipping the "beast" through itís name and image. The vials containing the last seven plagues are poured out upon the elements, which are comprised of earth, water, fire, and air, and also upon the spirits.

The second and third vials are poured out upon the water, which becomes contaminated. Rather than giving life, they became as lifeless blood:

3 And the second angel poured out his vial upon the sea; and it became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea.

4 And the third angel poured out his vial upon the rivers and fountains of waters; and they became blood. -Revelation 16

The judgements upon the sea, the rivers, and the fountains of water remind us of the judgement that Yahweh poured out upon Egypt when Israel was in captivity.

20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as Yahweh commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.

21 And the fish that were in the river died; and the river stunk, and the Egyptians could not drink of the water of the river; and there was blood throughout all the land of Egypt. -Exodus 7

Water should bring life and life is in the blood. However, when the water becomes blood, those who drink of it bring death upon themselves. We are commanded not to eat (drink) any blood:

14 For it is the life of all flesh; the blood of it is for the life thereof: therefore I said to the children of Israel, You shall eat the blood of no manner of flesh: for the life of all flesh is the blood thereof: whoever eats it shall be cut off. -Leviticus 17

The New Testament apostles concluded that the Gentiles must abstain from four things- idols, fornication, strangled animals, and blood:

20 But that we write to them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood. -Acts 15

Instead of bringing life to the drinker, bitter water, which has become as the blood of a dead man, brings death. When we remember that God uses earthly examples to show heavenly things, bitter water takes on a new meaning. Just as bitter physical water is poison to the body, bitter spiritual water is poison to the soul.

When we remember the "great star" that fell from heaven, we recall that it fell upon the water, causing a third of the water to be poisoned. Those who drank this bitter water died:

10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. -Revelation 8

The "star" that made the water bitter is called "Wormwood." The genus name for wormwood is Artemisia, which is named after the Greek goddess, Artemis (she is also called Diana by the Romans).

Paul created a great commotion among the goddess worshipping Ephesians, who claimed that her image fell down from heaven (from Jupiter or Zeus):

35 And when the town clerk had appeased the people, he said, You men of Ephesus, what man is there that knows not how that the city of the Ephesians is a worshipper of the great goddess Diana [Artemis], and of the image which fell down from Jupiter [Zeus]? -Acts 19

The goddess is believed by many to represent the planet Venus, which appears as either the "morning star" or as the "evening star." When it appears as the morning star, it is called the "bringer of light," which is interpreted as "Lucifer." When it appears as the evening star, it is believed by many to represent the goddess, which is called many different names, under the title of the "Queen of Heaven." She is called a virgin and also the goddess of war, as well as the goddess of peace, love and fertility. Her image is believed to have fallen from heaven as a bright star.

The goddess is identified by a five pointed star, representing spirit, earth, air, fire, and water. By some accounts, the star, known to Babylonians as Ishtar, fell into the Euphrates River, from which she assumed different identities. After the waters of the earth are poisoned, John tells us that water of the Euphrates River will dry up as a way is made for the "kings of the east" (The Greek text literally calls them the "kings of the rising sun):

12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. -Revelation 16

Just as frogs come out of the water from which they are hatched, John saw "unclean spirits like frogs" arise for the purpose of a battle against the people of God:

13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. -Revelation 16

Before we are persuaded to believe the spirits of devils, we are cautioned:

15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walks naked, and they see his shame. -Revelation 16

*Many years earlier, Hagar, the mother of Abrahamís son, Ishmael, had found a fountain of water as she had travelled southward, on the way to Shur:

7 And the angel of Yahweh found her by a fountain of water in the wilderness, by the fountain on the way to Shur. -Genesis 16




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