Perpetuated in Righteousness by Daniel Kikawa
Book review by Mike Oppenheimer
“The serpent seduced Nimrod and his priests into using God's story of redemption in the stars for fortune-telling and occult practices. (Perpetuated in righteousness pp.15-16). There are so many assumptions in this book, such as, God called a group of people out from the exodus to go the other way to the pacific instead of toward the Promised Land to enter with the rest of the nation Israel. But for the time being we will limit ourselves to only one issue, the Gospel in the stars.
Daniel Kikawa not only claims that the early Hawaiians had divine truth in their legends but in chapter 5 of his book Kikawa writes ( p.89) God’s plan in the Stars “There is other evidence of the common history of man up to the time of the Tower of Babel. This author believes that there is evidence of an ancient knowledge of the stars and a story that God had put into them” He explains that God also placed His message of salvation in the stars and they were able to read it. The Hawaiian people had learned this ancient knowledge of redemption because God placed it in the stars. Through this “constellation” revelation they were able to worship correctly and learned the salvation of the Lord. Too bad the Bible is completely silent on this.
Daniel Kikawa is not the first person to believe that God has put His Bible in the stars. However, this book is the first to integrate this idea with a culture and people thereby inventing a new view of God's revelation to mankind throughout history. Both Bullinger and Seiss in the 1800's came up with this theory, of which it is evident Kikawa gleans from as he cites them in his book.
The Bible speaks of two sources of revelation. One of these is nature- the creation which includes the stars. This is a general revelation through nature to reveal to mankind that God does in fact exist. However it does not give one knowledge of how to obey or worship Him. Whether one is a Buddhist, Hindu, or even an Atheist, they can all see the intricate order behind life and that there is an intelligent Designer that has created life on Earth and the stars in heaven (Romans 1:18-32).
The other source of revelation is the Bible itself, which God directed to be written. By this He can speak to everyone specifically, giving them personal knowledge and the opportunity to know Him personally by believing in His Word.
Is there enough information in the stars to save someone, can reading the story in the stars save mankind? Daniel Kikawa believes this to be so; this is how he claims the ancient Hawaiians received the redemptive story, not having the written Word of God. Rom.1:18-25 tells us when mankind sees the evidence of God’s power in nature, they naturally suppress it, and change it into a lie, worshipping the creation and creatures instead of the Creator. The Hawaiians were no different until the Word of God came to them with the missionaries.
In Perpetuated in Righteousness Daniel Kikawa assumes that God's whole plan of redemption is in the Zodiac and that one can know the meaning of the constellations to see the history of mankind and Christ. He uses Psalms 19:1-4: “The heavens declare the glory of God...' as a literal example of God's plans. Right after this, he tells us that, “The Law of the Lord (His words) are perfect converting the soul.” While both the stars and the law point to God as the Creator, it's the law, not the stars, which only point to God as the ruler and His ability to change ones heart. The laws purpose is completely different than God’s witness in nature. It convicted man of sin something the stars cannot do. This does not exclude nature showing there is a God but only in generality as a witness that He exists, as Rom.1 states. Mr. Kikawa has a lack of understanding in regards to “natural” or “general” revelation and God’s “special” revelation” by His Word.
The Bible does teach God has revealed Himself in the things He has made. Psalm 19, Psalm 104, and Romans 1 all explain the way that God has provided a general revelation of Himself by all the created objects, not just the stars.
What he and others propose is that all the specific acts of God, were told through nature before they happened and before He gave His specific revelation to the Hebrew people. This means that other people had specific revelation of God before the Hebrews. This implies there is a 67th book of the Bible (Which is really the first book, since it existed before the 66 books were written); but it also tells everything from Adam through the Millennium. This is prophecy, whose source is not God, because God calls this divination. God specifically tells us not to look to the stars for spiritual information, especially of the future. While Astrology, which is the occult, claims to predict people's futures, Kikawa uses a sanitized Christian interpretation to give it credibility. But if looks at it carefully, one finds his whole premise does not hold together from the Bible’s explanation of truth. Throughout the Bible, God had revealed Himself and His redemptive plan to men not through nature, but by special revelation with the Word of God, spoken to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, and the prophets.
Kikawa’s concept is not new, in the late 1800’s two books were written, one by E.W. Bullinger's “The Witness of the Stars” in 1893 and Joseph A. Seiss's “The Gospel in the Stars” in1884. Seiss said, “all the great doctrines of the Christian faith were known, believed, cherished, and recorded (in the stars) from the earliest generations of our race, proving that God has spoken to man, and verily given him a revelation of truths and hopes precisely as written in our Scriptures, and so fondly cherished by all Christian believers” (p. 15). Seiss said his information came “in connection with his studies of the marvelous wisdom embodied in the Great Pyramid of Gizeh.” It is from these men’s fables that almost everyone who holds this position come from.
This is no different from the Jehovah’s Witnesses with whom we would expect this kind of folly. It was Charles T. Russell the founder of Jehovah’s Witnesses that believed the pyramids were another witness of God like the Bible. Most who teach this extra Biblical nonsense have the stars linked with the pyramids as a source of knowledge.
On page 16, he writes that when Io (who is supposed to be Jehovah) saw the stars that He had placed in the sky to direct worship to Himself were now being used to praise His enemy, (The Great Serpent), He destroyed the tower and scattered' the people by making the different tribes unable to understand each other. Kikawa is speaking about the Tower of Babel. There is some truth to this story in that the people had built a Ziggurat which served as a tower for the people to practice occult spirituality. In no way did God use stars to direct worship to Himself, the bible does not teach this, but rather to reflect God's glory by referring to Him as the Creator of Heaven and Earth.
He goes on to say “According to Arabic tradition, the ancient knowledge of the stars was handed down by Seth, the son of Adam, and Enoch” (Chapter 5 God’s plan in the stars). According to tradition- what about according to the Bible?
Throughout this book, there are constant references to astrology, such as the Hawaiians being guided by the bright star in the Northern sky. This is referring to the constellation Bootes (“the coming shepherd Judge”) whose right hand reaches for his crown, the Corona Borealis. If this sounds as if it were laced with hidden meanings, it certainly is. The Bible never refers to descriptions such as these.
“Atea was given a sacred assurance that one day Io would send a great king and judge who would defeat the wicked Ilioha and redeem his mo `opuna (descendants).
This promise was written where no man could cover it, in the stars. The stars in whose names the future victory was foretold.( p.15 2 ed.)
Where does it ever say the story was written in the stars in the Bible. The point that Kikawa is trying to make is that the Hawaiians, whom he claims came from Israel, or from the tower of Babel (your choice), knew about God, His Son, His plan of sacrifice, and the resurrection. He says that they learned all of this by looking at the stars and had enough revelation and information to worship Him (whose name is called Io). Imagine God giving specific revelation of His plan and prophecy from groupings of stars made into shapes of animals and people.
On page 52, Kikawa states that Job knew the redemption plan from the stars, ignoring the fact that the Bible states not to learn from the sun, moon, or stars as other nations do. Kikawa had failed to mention that Job had a direct encounter with Jehovah who revealed Himself to him, not through the stars, but through special revelation. In Job 42:5, Job himself admits that he has heard of God through hearing and that now he has seen Him. Nowhere does Job say that he has learned of the Creator by observing the stars. In Job 38:32, God asked Job if he knew the ordinances of the heavens. The answer was obviously no.
In the following pages of Perpetuated in Righteousness, Kikawa gives names and descriptions of the stars in Hawaiian to prove his points. He quotes Ps. 147:4: “ He counts the number of the stars; he calls them all by name” 'He then states that “These ancient mariners must have known the meaning of the stars and the story that God put into their names.”
While it is true that God can call all the stars by name, as well as count them all, these are names unrevealed to us. Only He knows them he has not revealed this to man. What ancient book has the name of all the stars, Certainly not the Bible. To claim that the ancient Hawaiian mariners knew the story in the stars is, at best, an assumption. At worst it lifts up the Hawaiian people to have a revelation of God unbeknownst the Hebrews, which is more than “highly unlikely.” One needs to consider who Gods chosen people really were?
People used the stars for navigational purposes, but there is no historical proof that Biblical stories were known from the constellations. However, there is much written on the Zodiac and the occult practices of Babylon. This is where we first have record of man assigning names and animal pictures to the star groups. (Romans 1 addresses this issue). Despite the historical facts, Kikawa holds to his preconceived idea “ We can still glean from the stars and the constellations of the Zodiac (which have been twisted into astrology and occult meanings) the story of the coming Savior.
The author claims that the name “Arcturus' is Hebrew for “The Coming Savior' and tries to fit ft in the scenario of God's redemptive plan. Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum, a renowned Hebrew scholar, states that there is no Hebrew word “Arcturus”, so he wonders what the author's source of information is for this.
Kikawa claims that the star Orion in Hebrew is “Chiseil” which means 'Strong One'. When I looked it up, it actually means “Surly One” which comes from the root word meaning 'silly' or “foolish'. On page 55, he even makes the assumption that the wise men may have seen a new star or heavenly sign within the constellation Coma. Coma is supposed to be one of the deacons of Virgo the Virgin. Dr. Fruchtenbaum again comments that there was no star or constellation with that name among the Jews, nor does it appear in the Hebrew text, however it is true in Greek astrology. (Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s review on this book is available from our ministry).
The author also makes incredible claims that the feast days were mentioned in the stars. This produces many problems. For example, why did God wait until Lev. 23, after the Law was given to tell the Israelites how to conduct feasts? Why not tell them to look at the stars which will outlast any book written? Or will they? Jesus said, “Heaven and Earth will pass away but God’s Word will last forever.”
On page 57, he writes that God places this prophecy of Christ's wounding and triumph in the stars for all men to see. The problem is that all men can't see it. Not all the constellations are visible from everywhere on Earth. Those South of the Equator' see different constellations than those in the North. So they would only have part of the story.
On page 58, the author points to October as the commencement of their seasons by the rising of the Pleiades. He claims that this was almost a universal prehistoric tradition found in almost all of the races of mankind. This constellation was part of Taurus, the great bull. Kikawa then poses the question why would there be this universal marking of this new year in the fall? The answer is in the stars, which is Taurus the bull. He then uses names from various cultures - Hawaiian, Egyptian, and Maori. He even ties in the bull referred to in the Hebrew Scriptures to prove the new year ritual of the seasons. However, Israel's religious new year always begins in April with the Feast of the Passover, and their civil new year begins with the Feast of Trumpets, which is in the seventh month, September (not October). There is no correlation between the pagan cultures, Israel, and the stars.
On page 56, he relates the Gemini twins as the Ruler and Judge to the Alpha and Omega mentioned in Rev. 1:8. Alpha and Omega does not even remotely mean Ruler and Judge. It means beginning and end first and last, just as the Bible explains it.
This theme runs the course of the book. However, when compared with the Scriptures, this theory not only fails, but we find that it is forbidden. In Deut. 18:10-12, God forbid Israel to practice or worship as the other cultures do. Divination is the occult art used to determine the future by a source outside of God's Word. This includes learning the future from creation, astrology, or through wizardry (One who receives future knowledge by looking for secret meanings). God gave us prophecies, not all at one time as in the stars, but through history as He slowly revealed Himself to the prophets of Israel (which is another problem, Kikawa does not believe God's specific revelation was only given to Israel)..
Divination leads to idolatry and to receive knowledge from these sources is not true knowledge (Deut.4:19). Deut. 17:3 condemns looking to the stars for worship or anything else. Using the stars as a means to receive knowledge about God may not always be referred to as worship. However, one is seeking hidden and secret wisdom, which is beyond the ordinary means available from the scriptures. It seems obvious that the pagans put the stories and the pictures into the constellations for remembrance and religious purposes. It certainly wasn’t God who did this.
In Isa. 47:12-13, God mocks the people telling them to seek out their counsels from among the astrologers to save them. God calls this sorcery. He never said look for the true astrologers those with correct knowledge. In Jer. 7:23 God tells Israel to obey His voice and “I will be your God and you shall be My people and walk in all the ways I have commanded you that it Will be well with you.”
Deut. 12:30-32: “take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.”’ You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way” God never condoned the pagan practice of having animal and human shapes assigned to star formations and strictly forbids His people to be involved with it. So this could never have been passed down, corrupted or uncorrupted to the Hawaiian people by God or by Israel.
Last of all, and most importantly-- Romans 16:25-26 tells us that “Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began but NOW has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations”
The Gospel according to the apostle Paul was kept hidden for ages and generations, As well as Col.1:25-26 “... God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness- v.26 the mystery that has been but is now disclosed to the saints.” If we are to take Mr. Kikawa's evidences that the Polynesians knew God and so much of his revelation from star-gazing, then we must reject the Biblical Scriptures teaching. The two cannot be reconciled. God would be going against His own Word as to how He revealed the Gospel to the world and the timing he revealed it. (Also see 1 Cor.2:7-8, Eph. 3, and 1 Peter 1: 10). We are told by God, through the Scriptures, not to think beyond what is written (1 Cor.4:6).
Nowhere in the Bible do we find it saying the gospel was put in creation as a completed story (or even in part.) It says it was unknown until the Scriptures in the New Testament. We are told by Scripture that someone cannot hear the gospel without one being sent Rom.10: 14-15: “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!” God has revealed His eternal power and nature in the world around Him, but if a man is going to call on the Lord for salvation he is going to have to believe in Christ, by the gospel. According to Kikawa, if a culture has a teaching on a supreme being, it is equal to Judaic/Christian undertsanding.
Natural revelation does not reveal to us is God’s plan of salvation through Jesus Christ. This fact is made very clear in Romans 10:13-17: “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” The gospel comes from specific revelation not general revelation. Nature speaks of the existence of God; the New Testament speaks of how one comes into relationship with God through the means God gave, His Son and his death and resurrection (the gospel). Salvation comes by hearing and believing that word preached from the Word of God, not by the stars (Romans 10:17). This is God’s source of revelation to know Him.
Can anyone tell me the story in the stars without knowing the story first? Look up at the stars, what do you see?
There is so much more to say about this book being a fertile work of the imagination. All one has to do is go to the sources quoted to see the speculation Mr. Kikawa has used to build his own intricate version of history. We have looked at his research and have found him quoting what fits (which he calls “gleaning') his own view and rejecting what doesn't. Which happens to be the major portion of his sources. I would suggest reading this book with care. It is safer read as a work of fiction than of fact. By reading the book with this in mind, you can be safe from any influence that would lead you astray from the Bible and true history.
(since this review there have been revisions of this book, none of which has changed its content but only added to it, more will be forthcoming in reviewing the other areas written.)
FURTHER PROOFS THAT REFUTE A GOSPEL PUT IN THE STARS
There is no uniform zodiac constellation for all the cultures. Some claim there are 24 zodiac signs, others have eight, ten, or fourteen. The Babylonian charts which are the oldest records, do not contain the complete zodiac constellation. Not only are the numbers are different, but so are the creatures applied in them. The Chinese interpreted their constellation charts with animals such as the rabbit, mouse, and dog completely different from what we use today.
The strongest case is that the zodiac signs do not even appear above the Arctic Circle (66 degrees latitude) - which means that is no “Gospel in the Stars” for many Eskimos, Siberians, and Scandinavians. So how can this proclaim the stars as a gospel witness to all people.
There is no uniform message behind the stars. As in the case of astrology, the animals and creatures assigned to formed zodiac signs is subjective they can be whatever meaning the interpreter decides upon; likewise the messages in the signs are arbitrary. The Jews did not include any reference to the fall of Adam and Eve or their future seed that would become humankind's Deliverer in their interpretations.
The message of the stars is out sequence. The sign of Virgo (representing a virgin conceiving the Deliverer, the “seed of the woman”) comes before the sign of Libra (which symbolizes the fact that humankind has sinned). In the Book of Genesis it is the opposite, the promise of the “seed of the woman” (Gen. 3:15) is given after humankind sinned (Gen. 3:1-14).
Who put the message in the stars? Obviously it was not God, there is no mention of this in Scripture. If there was such a revelation surely it would have been referenced to and Paul could have mentioned it possibly on Mars hill. Certainly God named all the stars and put them in their proper place, but this does not mean he revealed it all to man. Where did we get all the names of the stars from, God? Clearly the forms and names are man made and not God given (except a few). The example of the centaur being half man and half horse shows Christ's dual nature is absurd. Where does the Scripture say a horse represents his deity? Besides Christ was not half human and half God, but 100% of each. There is no way to claim (or prove) there is an original authentic Zodiac, which is God given and there is a Satanic counterfeit which corrupted it.
While promoters claim each of the signs is said to depict a specific phase in God's plan of salvation, beginning with the fall of man into sin right through to mans redemption to God's eternal kingdom. This is nonsense. Admittedly there are a few similarities, but these could also be found in other spiritual systems and religions despite their pagan source. The whole concept is far reaching and goes beyond what is written, which is what Paul expressly told us not to do (2 Cor.4:6). You can't gain specific knowledge ie. of the Gospel by general revelation.
for more reading- Perpetuated in Righteousness or Perpetuating a modern myth