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Rising Stars
The Stellar Destiny of the Redeemed

Peter D. Goodgame
June 7, 2015

The book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible, and it is here that we find a picture of the family of God celebrating in unity at a time before any of the angels rebelled:

Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
'Where were you... when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?'

Job 38:1,4,7

In the beginning the family of God existed in perfect unity and harmony, but at a certain point in the distant past there was an angelic rebellion and a rift in the family of God. One of the mysteries of God’s plan of redemption is that the rift in the family was initially an angelic rift, but the repairing of that rift will involve human beings who are elevated into God’s family, taking the place that was left vacant by the fallen angels. The story of the Gospel is the story of how God gets His family back. [1]

Moving from the unity described in Job, past the angelic rebellion and the process of human redemption, we find a picture of the family of God restored and singing a new song in unity and harmony in Revelation 14. In contrast to Satan who led the original rebellion (the murderer who is also the “father of lies”) we are told that the new members of God’s unified family are blameless and “no lie was found in their mouths.” [2]

In the Old Testament the designation "sons of God" always refers to the heavenly host that make up the inner circle of God's family. These beings are also referred to as angels, although this term essentially means messenger and is much more broad. Throughout the Bible we find that the beings known as sons of God and angels are also equated with stars.

In the Torah foreign gods are identified as real spiritual principalities that were allotted to the Gentile nations, who were worshiped by bowing down to the stars (Deut. 4:19, 17:3, 32:8-9). In contrast to the Gentile nations Israel is commanded to worship the One who created the heavenly host, and is strictly forbidden from worshiping the gods of the other nations. Tragically, Israel ignores this command and becomes carried away in rebellious idolatry in the form of star-worship, which the prophets railed against throughout their careers (2 Kings 17:16, 21:3, 23:5, Jeremiah 8:2, 19:13, etc).

In the end the rebel angels that deceived Israel and once ruled over the nations of the earth will be judged, and the false gods of the heavenly host will be removed from their exalted positions. We find this predicted in Psalm 82 and also described by the prophet Isaiah:

On that day the LORD will punish the host of heaven, in heaven,
and the kings of the earth, on the earth.

Isaiah 24:21

And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll:
and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.
For my sword shall be bathed in heaven..."

Isaiah 34:4-5

This upcoming judgment that extends even to heaven is described in Revelation where members of the heavenly host are pictured as stars falling to the earth:

When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake,
and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,
and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree sheds its winter fruit when shaken by a gale.

Revelation 6:12-13

In Isaiah 14:13 the King of Babylon dreams in his heart of being exalted “above the stars of God”; in Daniel 8:10 we find a strange prediction that the Antichrist will succeed in throwing down some of the starry host and trampling on them; and in Revelation 12:4 we find Satan pictured as a great dragon, causing one third of the “stars of heaven” to fall to the earth with a sweep of his tail. Other star references in Revelation seem to refer to fallen angels (8:10-11, 9:1), while at the same time we are encouraged by references to seven stars that are the faithful angels watching over the seven churches (1:16, 1:20, 2:1, 3:1).

Look to the Stars!

For about six months I have been meditating on all the star imagery scattered throughout the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. This new interest was sparked by watching the movie Interstellar, a Hollywood science-fiction epic of a group of astronauts fearlessly launching into the cosmos in search of a new heaven and a new earth.

Although secular the film spoke to me on a spiritual level, and although I did not like how the supernatural elements played out in the film it did inspire me to see our unfolding human drama from a new perspective.

The Garden of Eden was the original heavenly place, the home of Adam and Eve where they enjoyed perfect relationship with God. When sin entered the picture they were cut off from the family of God, which was enforced by their exile from the Garden and by the angelic guard that was posted to keep them from the Tree of Life. The whole redemption story is an Exodus-journey back to the family of God.

Fast forward to Noah after the Flood and we find that the slate has been cleaned and the responsibilities once given to Adam are now given to Noah and his family. In this way the human family takes its first initial steps on the restoration process.

After Noah, Nimrod, and the debacle at the Tower of Babel, the redemption narrative picks up with the choosing of Abraham. The Genesis chronology lists ten generations from Adam to Noah, and ten more from Noah to Abraham. After Babel all of the seventy nations of the world are under the power of the fallen angels, yet God intervenes in human history and chooses Abraham as the forefather to lead His own nation.

God first calls Abraham in Genesis 12 and begins to make some incredible promises to him. A number of years later Abraham begins to doubt these promises because he has no natural heir, so one night he proposes to God that perhaps the promises will be fulfilled in his servant Eliezer (Genesis 15:2-3). God hears Abraham and then speaks to him saying,

"Abraham, listen to me. Eliezer will not be your heir because you will produce an heir from your own body.

Abraham, come outside for a moment…

Now take a look up into the heavens…

Do you see all those stars, Abraham?

Go ahead and count them, if you can.

Abraham, you can trust me. My word is good.

And my promise to you is that your descendants will be just like the stars."

Now of course what I just offered is a dramatic paraphrase of Genesis 15:4-5, but I did so to highlight something that is often unrecognized. Yes, we know that here God was promising Abraham that the number of his offspring would be as great as the number of the stars in the sky, just as he had previously (Gen. 13:16) promised Abraham that his descendants would be as numerous as the dust particles of the earth. This is true and this numerical part of the promise is referred to often, as in 1 Chronicles 27:23, “...for the LORD had promised to make Israel as many as the stars of heaven.” Yet there is another implication of God’s promise to Abraham here, and it begins with this subtle connection between the seed of Abraham and the stars in the sky.

The Twelve Stars of Israel

What God promised to Abraham was fulfilled in Jesus Christ. Furthermore, those who receive the message of the Gospel and believe in the work of Jesus, by faith, are adopted into God’s new eternal family. For Paul, it is the faith of Abraham that stands as the historic template for all those who choose to believe in Jesus. This epic and foundational faith-statement is given in Genesis 15:6, as the response from Abraham to God right after the dialogue recounted above:

“Then he believed in the Lord, and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”

Yes, against all common-sense Abraham believed that God would be faithful and that his descendants would be like the stars in the sky. This was the faith of Abraham that was credited to him as righteousness.

Fast-forward now past the story of Abraham’s son Isaac, and the struggles of Isaac’s son Jacob, to the account of Joseph that is given in Genesis 37. Here we are introduced to the 11th son of Jacob, a young man who dreams that one day his jealous brothers will bow down to him and he will rule over them. The first dream takes the form of eleven sheaves of wheat bowing down, while in the second dream Joseph is shown a strange vision of the sun and the moon and eleven stars bowing down to him. Yes, this is the first glimpse of the fulfillment of the word to Abraham that his descendants would be like the stars, and there seems to be more involved here than merely their number.

This symbolism of the twelve sons of Jacob appearing as stars is repeated later in Revelation 12:1 in the cosmic picture of eschatological Israel, where she is shown as “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

Notice that after Joseph shared his strange star-dream with his father and brothers we are told that his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the saying in his mind (Gen. 37:11). Perhaps the telling of this dream brought back to Jacob’s memory the star-promise that the Lord had given to his grandfather Abraham.


A Star Is Born

Many of us are familiar with the very first Messianic promise in the Bible, which predicts that the seed of the woman will defeat the seed of the serpent (Gen. 3:15). After that there are numerous typological prophecies of the Messiah, such as the life of Isaac who was presented as a sacrifice to God as Abraham’s “only son,” and the story of Joseph, who was sold into slavery but eventually forgave and saved his family. Other Messianic types also exist, such as the Passover lamb and the bronze snake raised up on a pole. In fact, the Law of Moses is filled with typological and hidden predictions about the coming Savior.

However, aside from these typological prophecies, the next explicit Messianic prophecy after Genesis 3:15 is found in Numbers 24:17. This is a word given by Balaam, a pagan seer whose career ended badly. Yet his prophecy is true:

And he took up his discourse and said, “The oracle of Balaam the son of Beor, the oracle of the man whose eye is opened, the oracle of him who hears the words of God, and knows the knowledge of the Most High, who sees the vision of the Almighty, falling down with his eyes uncovered: I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near: a star shall come out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel.” Numbers 24:15-17

Once again we have another prediction that a descendant of Abraham would be like a star. Of course we know that this prophecy was fulfilled by Jesus Himself, whose birth was literally marked by the Star of Bethlehem.

This brings us to a good bit of irony here. You see, the very first people that the Bible identifies as worshipers of Jesus were a group of pagan star-worshipers. These were likely pagan astrologers who identified, tracked, and worshiped the stars as representations of their invisible gods. The children of Israel had been warned not to bow down and worship the stars (Deut. 4:19), yet at the birth of Jesus we find a group of pagans awestruck at coming upon the visible manifestation of the divine Star that they had been inspired to follow:

After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother,
and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him.
Matt. 2:11

The life of Jesus is introduced and signified by a star, and in the very last book of the Bible, in the conclusion to the amazing Gospel story, Jesus confirms His mysterious stellar identity:

"I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches.
I am the root and the descendant of David,
the bright morning star." Rev. 22:16


As the Father sent me, I send you...

Throughout the teachings of Jesus we find that Jesus is consistently offering to His followers the very things that God the Father has given to Him. For instance, the Gospel of Matthew (4:14-17) introduces Jesus as the One who has come to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah (9:1-2) that predicts the arrival from Galilee of a great Light to Israel. Yet in the very next chapter (5:14-16) Jesus looks out upon His audience and provokes them into action saying, "You are the light of the world!"

In the beginning of Jesus' ministry He announced the good news that the Kingdom of Heaven was at hand, and then He confirmed the reality and the power of the Kingdom by healing the sick, casting out demons, and raising the dead. Shortly after, Jesus turns to His disciples and gives them the same responsibility and power in Matthew 10:7-8 saying, "Go out, preach the Kingdom, and perfom the very same miracles that the Father has given Me to perform!" Jesus was a miracle-worker, and now we are called to be miracle-workers.

In John 4:7-24 Jesus meets the woman at the well and offers her living water, saying that if she will take this water from Him, then she herself will become a spring offering that very same water to others. In the Old Testament the only living water that is mentioned is the water that flows from the rebuilt and glorified Temple in Ezekiel 47:1-12. Jesus goes on to explain to this woman that He Himself is the fulfillment of these Old Testament Temple-prophecies, and that soon true worship of God will no longer be limited to a man-made building in Jerusalem. Furthermore, just as Jesus referred to Himself as the true Temple, we also are being built up with Him into this greater spiritual Temple. Jesus was the Temple and now we are a part of it, being built upon Jesus the Chief Cornerstone and the foundation of the apostles and prophets.

In the final prayer of Jesus prior to the crucifixion we find Jesus reflecting on the passing of the baton to His disciples, saying to His heavenly Father, "As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world," (John 17:18), and also, "The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one," (John 17:22).

Jesus Christ paved the way for the human race to be adopted into the very family of God. Paul refers to Jesus as the "firstborn of many brethren" (Romans 8:29), and Peter wrote that through Jesus we can become "partakers of the divine nature" (2 Peter 1:4). This is an amazing destiny and calling that we should not shrink back from! But what does it all mean? Paul had  a glimpse of this incredible inheritance, but he could not adequately put it into words, choosing instead to quote from Isaiah saying, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him." 1 Cor. 2:9

Called to be Stars

Everything that Jesus had He gave to us, yet even His very life was simply a gift from the Father to all humanity. James the brother of Jesus recognized this when he wrote,

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
coming down from the Father of lights
with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
James 1:17

If you look out into the universe on a dark night you will see that the stars are the only source of light. Apart from stars there is only darkness. God is the Father of lights, and we are called to be those lights!

The prophet Daniel had a vision of the end times. He saw the darkness and the perilous times yet he also saw a promise and a hope. In the midst of the greatest time of trouble ever to hit planet earth he saw that “…those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.” Daniel 12:3

The Apostle Peter viewed this present evil age as an age of darkness with the prophetic word of God shining forth like a lamp. Yet he also saw an end to this darkness and a new day dawning:

“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts…” 2 Peter 1:19

Jesus identifies Himself as the Morning Star, yet here Peter says that the Morning Star will one day rise in our very hearts! This mysterious prophecy is not alone, however, because within His message in Revelation to the church at Thyatira Jesus Himself says that He will give the Morning Star to those who overcome:

“The one who conquers and who keeps my works until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron, as when earthen pots are broken in pieces, even as I myself have received authority from my Father. And I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” 
Rev. 2:26-29

What does it mean to be given the Morning Star, and for it to rise in our hearts? What kind of far-out mystical doctrine is this? I don’t know exactly, but this teaching comes straight from Jesus and the Apostles. My feeling is that it has to do with our future transformation from biological Homo Sapiens into eternal singing stars, as we become filled with Light and elevated into the inner circle of the family of God.



In the beginning all of the Morning Stars sang together and shouted for joy. Yet this unity and harmony did not last forever, and according to Genesis was first broken when Adam and Eve fell through disobedience. In this way the Bible depicts Adam and Eve as the first fallen stars. To repair this break and to fill the void in the divine family God sent His unique Son to earth in human flesh as the prophesied Star of Jacob.

The Apostle Paul recorded an early Christian hymn about Jesus in Philippians 2:6-11, in which the faithfulness of Jesus is implicitly contrasted with the shortcomings of Adam.[3] Remember that Adam was also a "son of God" and made in the image of God, but he grasped for something greater, and wrongly aspired to a greater reputation. Adam rejected being a servant and desired to be equal with God. Adam sought to exalt himself and through his disobedience he was condemned and disgraced. On the other hand Jesus...

“...though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Where Adam failed, Jesus was faithful, and now it is through Jesus, the bright Morning Star, that the human family can be redeemed, rising as new Morning Stars in the dawning of the new day to take our place in the chorus of the eternal heavenly family.

“Praise Him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars!”
Psalm 148:3

“He determines the number of the stars; He gives to all of them their names.”
Psalm 147:4


This article is a part of Peter Goodgame's New Exodus series:

May 15, 2014 - Through the Wilderness: Prophetic descriptions of The Way of salvation

May 26, 2014 - Rulers of Babylon: An end time study from the New Exodus perspective

May 19, 2015 - The Tree of Life: The mysterious symbol at the heart of the New Exodus

June 7, 2015  - Rising Stars: The Stellar Destiny of the Redeemed

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1. Most Bible scholars will point to Isaiah 14 as a narrative of the first angelic rebellion, and identify Lucifer as another name for Satan their leader. However, my studies have shown that Satan is indeed the foremost fallen angel, but Isaiah 14 has nothing to do with Satan. On the contrary, Lucifer is simply another name for the King of Babylon who is identified as Asshur at the end of the passage. 

2. Yes, more and more I tend to believe that the 144,000 is a symbolic description of the church triumphant —eschatological Israel— perfectly numbered and in perfect order, who are also shown to John as “a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and tribe.”

3. Special thanks to my friend Nathan W. of the Religious Vortex blog who alerted me to the significance of Philippians 2 by way of an article by Michael Hardin located here.

For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest,
nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.

Luke 8:17