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The center of the Traditional Anglican Communion; adhering to the Holy Bible (KJV) in all matters of Faith and Doctrine, a strict reliance on the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, The two Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, the Two Creeds, and the Homilies and formularies of the Reformation Church of England.

Verse of the Day

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Seven Sisters – 20 July 2017, Anno Domini


A
nD God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so. (Gen 1:14-15)

W
HEN I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?  (Psalm 8:3-4)

T
HE heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. (Psalm 19:1)

Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle, twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
When the blazing sun is gone
When he nothing shines upon
Then you show your little light
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night
Twinkle, twinkle, little star
How I wonder what you are

            Perhaps the first rhyme I learned as a child was Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. In the dawning mornings, while it was yet dark, my father would wake me up, wash my face with cold water (I hated that), and take me outside to see the gleaming stars of heaven. It was almost a ritual with him. I was fairly grumpy at first, but the was awed by the appearance of heavenly bodies in the pristine skies of the late 1940s. I once insisted that my dad get a ladder and reach up and take the moon for me  he never even tried! He pointed out different star constellations including the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper and the smallest dipper of all the Seven Sisters (Pleiades). He also taught me how to distinguish the North Star, Polaris, by extending a line through the two stars of the extreme boundary of the Big Dipper to the tip of the handle of the Little Dipper. That star was Polaris that is located in the constellation, Ursa Minor.  The Big and Little Dippers can only be seen from the Northern Hemisphere.  But, thankfully, the Seven Sisters cluster can be seen from every inhabitable point on the globe.

            That Littlest Dipper from antiquity, has been known as the Seven Sisters. Strangely, one of those seven stars has gone dim and is no longer visible to the naked eye. Astronomers posit this may be a result of that missing star being a shell star whose characteristic is to periodically change the intensity of its energy output. The Seven Sisters star cluster is also known more primitively as Pleiades, but in ancient lore, it has always held a special meaning in its definition as the Seven Sisters. There are astrological superstitions that are common to Greek and Roman mythology concerning the meaning of the Seven Sisters, but I discount any influence whatsoever to the stars in determining the course of events in human history. However, I do believe that God places His seal on every aspect of that Creation which He began in the utter darkness of that first night of Creation in Genesis. 

            If we see the hand and glory of God in the rose, the newborn baby, the way of the ocean seas, and in the soul of man, perhaps we should also seek to see His glory in the heavenly bodies He has so artfully placed before us - not for any supernatural power of the superstitious, but for their abject beauty and whatever meaning we may perceive of God in setting them there. As the Psalmist proclaims: let them be for SIGNS, and for SEASONS, and for DAYS, and YEARS. There are four different purposes listed in that verse, but one is quite different from the other three as Dr. D. James Kennedy points out in one of his sermons on the topic.  That different purpose is the nature of heavenly lights as SIGNS - not signs to forecast future events, but to remind us of the greatness and glory of God.

            The Scriptures make much ado about the number seven. Seven is the number of Gods completeness and perfection. It is the number of days of the biblical Creation. The sign of the New World following the deluge was that of the RAINBOW with seven colors thereof. If you mix every color of the rainbow together, you will have the color that best describes the Godhead - WHITE! There are seven notes in the musical scale - the eighth being the beginning of another scale. There are seven churches in Revelations, and the number of sevens continue in great number (for a reason that we should be curious to study). Time does not permit an in-depth study of these sevens in a mere devotion, however, the Bible is available to every reader for further research.

            It is interesting to note the star cluster known as Draco, or the Great Dragon, almost encircles the Seven Sisters formation. It is perhaps a coincidental reminder of the Woman spoken of in Revelations 12: 1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 3 And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. 4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. (Rev 12:1-6) We know the Great Dragon was Satan because we are told so in the verses that follow in that same chapter. His encirclement is to the south, but the great North Star is the One to who we look.

            When I look upon the natural Creation, I see the fingerprints of God everywhere. If I see them in the morning dews and damps, why not in the greater splendors of the heavenly bodies. In my imagination, the Seven Sisters represent those seven Churches of Revelation 1-3. That church that received the greater condemnation of the Lord was Laodicea - they were not fervent in faith, but were, as many churches today, lukewarm. Perhaps that is the dimming star of the seven. And who is it that is the Bridegroom and Protector of the churches - the Lord Jesus Christ. He is like the star at the tip of the handle of the Little Dipper - Polaris, the North Star. He is unvarying in His position and is used as a guide for all who travel this world - or should be.

            Who is your North Star, or Polar Star? Whose counsel do YOU seek for every step of your journey of faith? If you seek the counsel of frail men, you may suffer the same fate of the blind guides. But if you seek the Counsellor of the Way, the Truth, and the Life, your course is certain and your destination assured. Our Lord Jesus Christ said, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. (John 14:6-7) Our Lord is not simply A way, but He is THE WAY! THE TRUTH! And THE LIFE! There is no other WAY. God says in Malachi: For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed(Mal 3:6) And in another place, Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.   (Heb 13:8)

            Just as there is a hierarchy of laws of earth beginning at the smallest village and extending up to the highest judicial authority - and then to God, for all legitimate law descends from God; there is likewise a hierarchy of law in nature beginning in the smallest one-celled organism and extending up to the heavenly bodies whose orbits obey the gravitational principles instilled by their Creator - and then to God, the Lord of Heaven and Earth. 

            So the next night you walk out to view a clear sky, look to those bodies that God created in the immense firmament and consider Gods great love for you. Not a single star bears the value you hold in the love of the One who made you. The stars have no soul or mind. You do have. This is the one and only God - all others (Allah, Buddha, the Hindu gods) are all imposters to enslave the souls of man. No one is like unto God in His power, majesty, and glorious omniscience  Which shaketh the earth out of her place, and the pillars thereof tremble. 7 Which commandeth the sun, and it riseth not; and sealeth up the stars.  Which alone spreadeth out the heavens, and treadeth upon the waves of the sea.  Which maketh Arcturus, Orion, and Pleiades, and the chambers of the south.  Which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number.  (Job 9:6-10) Remember the awe ascribed to God in Job: 31 Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? 32 Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons? 33 Knowest thou the ordinances of heaven? canst thou set the dominion thereof in the earth(Job 38:31-33)

He has known you and I before the worlds were made. What a preeminence of value a soul has in the eyes of our God!


Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Devotion on Hymns of the Church - Hymn 6 – Creator of the Stars – 18 July 2017, Anno Domini

If you prefer, there is an easy to read and print READER version RIGHT HERE!

A
nd God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: 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 the 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. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.  (Gen 1:14-19)

            The name of the author of this hymn has been lost in antiquity, however we may assume that every Godly and biblical hymn such as the present one has its Author in the Heavens where He placed His stars in illustrious  array. The music is a CONDITOR Sarum melody of the 7th century. The English translation from the Latin is by Mr. John M. Neale. (1852)

Creator of The Stars of Night

Creator of the stars of night,
Thy peoples everlasting light,
Jesu, Redeemer, save us all,
And hear Thy servants when they call.

Thou, grieving that the ancient curse
Should doom to death a universe,
Hast found the medicine, full of grace,
To save and heal a ruined race.

Thou camst, the Bridegroom of the bride,
As drew the world to evening-tide;
Proceeding from a virgin shrine,
The spotless Victim all divine.

At Whose dread Name, majestic now,
All knees must bend, all hearts must bow;
And things celestial Thee shall own,
And things terrestrial, Lord alone.

O Thou Whose coming is with dread
To judge and doom the quick and dead,
Preserve us, while we dwell below,
From every insult of the foe.

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Laud, honor, might, and glory be
From age to age eternally.

Creator of the stars of night, Thy peoples everlasting light, Jesu, Redeemer, save us all, And hear Thy servants when they call. The Creator of the earth and all the heavens knows every star and its position where it was flung by the Finger of His Word. The stars are forever over-watching our world, but we can only see them after sundown. There is a very Bright Star called the Bright and Morning Star that represents our Lord Jesus Christ and His presence among us during the darkest hours of our earthly life. The Morning Star is the last to lose its brightness in Heaven at the rising of the sun. He is with us all the night long, and when the dawn comes stealing across the sky, He is the rising Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings. He hears His people when they call upon Him day or night.

            Thou, grieving that the ancient curse Should doom to death a universe, Hast found the medicine, full of grace, To save and heal a ruined race. The ancient curse was occasioned by the Serpent in the Garden at Eden when Eve was beguiled by that old master of deceit. The curse of death and darkness came upon, not only all mankind, but all living things. It was ruinous to the world that God had made; but God offered a remedy through the means of a Redeemer. The leprosy of sin is a blood disease that can only be healed by a change in the constituent natures of our blood. That healing comes through the washing of the Blood of Christ for sinners who are called and chosen in Christ.

            Thou camst, the Bridegroom of the bride, As drew the world to evening-tide; Proceeding from a virgin shrine, The spotless Victim all divine. Our Lord Jesus Christ came into the world under the gracious auspices of the Father to satisfy the terms of n arranged betrothal’ – a betrothal to the Church which our Lord bought and paid with the blood of His sacrifice. In the latter sun of our world, the Bridegroom will come to claim His Bride and carry her across the threshold of the Gates of New Jerusalem to be wedded and remain with Him in eternity. In the process of time, our Lord is preparing a celestial mansion for His Bride, and when the preparation is complete, He shall return to claim His Bride.

            At Whose dread Name, majestic now, All knees must bend, all hearts must bow; And things celestial Thee shall own, And things terrestrial, Lord alone. Yes, all knees shall bow at His coming even the wicked murderers of Racca, and shall confess Him as Lord, but too late to claim the salvation He has offered to those who trust in Him. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. (Romans 14:11-12) Those who have raped, tortured, and beheaded little children and their parents will rue the day they committed such unmentionable sins. They will no longer bend the knee to a false idol of Allah, but to the Triune God who has a Son, a Holy Ghost, and a terrible swift sword to execute justice and punishment to the wicked.

            O Thou Whose coming is with dread To judge and doom the quick and dead,  Preserve us, while we dwell below, From every insult of the foe. Who are the quick and the dead? The dead are those who, living in this worldly physical life, are dead to Christ. These are the walking dead of Ephesians 2. The quick are those who have been made alive in Christ to the Way, the Truth, and the Life. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (John 11:25-26) Did you note the subtle distinction Christ is making here of life or death? If we are dead in Christ, we yet live the true life of the saint. And we MUST believe while we yet live in this world. After death, no decision will be accepted. God will close the door of salvation at the moment of our death just as He closed (not Noah) the door of the Ark when the Floods were upon the earth. When we are assaulted day in and day out by the enemy, God will prepare a table before us in the presence of our enemies.

            To God the Father, God the Son, And God the Spirit, Three in One, Laud, honor, might, and glory be From age to age eternally. If you thought, from the title of this hymn, that the subject of the hymn was the stars, you would be mistaken. The subject is not about the creature but rather the Creator. His creation of the worlds, the stars, the suns, the moons, of the world, of the rivers, seas, mountains, valleys, and of life itself, only gives testimony to His glory and Holiness. If I ask you Who created the world? what would you answer? If you answer God, you would be correct. But could you be more specific? Yes, you could. On the eve of Creation, when the world was without form and void, God the Father brooded over the morass of mud and darkness in company with the Holy Ghost - And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Gen 1:2) 

            Where was our Lord Jesus Christ ever present from eternity past with the Father during this great event of the creation of the worlds? He was right beside the Father acting under the direction of the Great Architect (God the Father) executing the creation plans of the Godhead. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. (John 1:1-4) 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)


            If you are a bear hunter, you learn to identify bear tracks. If you would know the Creator better, look to the stars, the sun and moon, and to the beauty of the rose, the newborn baby, and the multitudinous beauties found in nature. Those are the tracks of God!