Fourth Day Gazette, Spring 2020

Honoring Our Creator & Defending a Created Universe

Vol. 24, No. 01

And beware lest you raise your eyes to heaven, and when you see the Sun and the Moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, you be drawn away and bow down to them and serve them, things that the LORD your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.

Deuteronomy 4:19, ESV

Welcome to Fourth Day Gazette 82 (FDG-82), the 24th Anniversary edition. Watching the “outer creation” with a telescope is my brief definition of astronomy. Many people think astrology and astronomy are the same thing. The scripture above clearly separates worshiping from watching. Practicing the horoscope is a modern violation of that scripture and is a branch of idolatry. FDG-12 Dec. 1998 provided a thorough challenge to astrology verses astronomy. (Note: to access past issues of the Fourth Day Gazette (FDG), email erp72creek@yahoo.com).

Diagram courtesy of Guy Ottewell, October 2019

Venus the Evening Star

Venus the Evening Star shines bright in the west sky until summer 2020. That is an unusual pattern for a planet which normally crosses the night sky in a period of six months. The diagram shows how the second planet from the Sun moves around the west sky. It indicates size and brightness but is exaggerated in scale. If we were closer to Venus to match the view we would be toast, literally. Start your watch at dusk looking southwest (about 15-30 minutes after sunset) on a clear evening sky. You cannot mistake Venus since it is the brightest object other than the Moon and Sun. Notice that it slowly winds around and is farthest left of the sunset in January and February. Venus crosses the ecliptic plane (dotted line) into the northern hemisphere. It slowly moves toward the Sun by June. Seasons are changing as the sunrise begins earlier and the sunset begins later. 

You are watching the planet that is almost as large as Earth but was created 25 million miles closer to the Sun than we are. Yes it is very, very hot there. We can see phases of Venus that similar to those of our Moon, as the diagram illustrates. Venus grows much brighter from March to May as it approaches the sunset. Venus reaches maximum brightness passing between Earth and the Sun as a crescent shape, seen through even a small (2 inch or 50 mm diameter) telescope! WARNING: Do not follow Venus to the Sun because that is dangerous to your eyesight! 

The Hand of God

Watching any planet allows you to discover our Creator’s handiwork. We use the planets and stars to mark seasons as they cross our night sky; plus, between sunset and sunrise we can define night time. They do cross the day sky but we cannot see them normally. That big bright light (Sun) outshines the darkness and illuminates our daytime. During a Total Solar Eclipse it can become dark enough to see stars and planets for up to ten minutes. The other big object defines our months. We call it the Moon. 

“Yours is the day, Yours also the night;
You have established the heavenly lights and the Sun.
You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
You have made summer and winter.”

Psalm 74:16-17, ESV

Orion


Constellation Orion shines until April as it crosses our night sky. The hourglass-sevenstars are a winter constellation. Three belt stars mark the equatorial plane of Earth. Two top stars mark the north end and two more the lower south end.

Noah’s Flood on North America

Thanks to Dan A. Biddle, Ph. D., and Genesis Apologetics for their documentary video on Noah’s Flood:

Overhead we have busy night skies. 

Full Moons

On March 9, April 7, May 7, and June 5 we can enjoy Big Bright Full Moons. They occur at or near Perigee when the Moon is closest to Earth. 

Eclipses

There will be six (count them!) eclipses in 2020. Four of them (the ones in January 10, June 5, June 21, and December 14) are not visible in the continental USA. Two late night lunar eclipses are July 4 and November 29 which are penumbral or involve the dim shadow only. So we cannot enjoy any of the eclipses this year. Readers on the rest of God’s Globe can see the top four eclipses. Timing and our location determines how many of us see them! 

However, 2021 and 22 will begin another set (those terrible tetrads) of four total lunar eclipses.

Jupiter and Saturn

Planets Jupiter and Saturn will shine best from June to December as they move closer together for a grand conjunction on December 20-22, 2020. 

Mars

Planet Mars will cross our sky again. It will be biggest and brightest in September 2020 and the best we shall see until September 2035! 

You early risers can see three planets an hour before sunrise. Look southeast for Mars, Saturn and Jupiter lined up. They are closest together in March and April. 

Spring

March and April brings seasonal change and festivals. The annual vernal equinox or Spring begins early on Thursday March 19. Notice that sunrise and sunset occur directly east and west. Afterwards, days will become longer and nights will become shorter. 

Passover & Easter

The Full Pink Moon on Tuesday April 7, is not only the biggest and brightest, but will also begin a historical festival at sunset which began according to Exodus Chapter 12 about 3470 years ago! Modern Israelites and Christians celebrate Passover, which is a festival of deliverance and sacrifice.

While naturalistic cultures await an extraterrestrial to visit Earth, the scriptures record a visitor known as Emmanuel (one reason for modern Christmas). All four biblical Gospels record His arrival and departure and a 33 year period of historical monumental proportions! 

Then the unbelievable occurred when Emmanuel fulfilled the Exodus Passover on a Friday of Crucifixion. Our Messiah, Christ Jesus (the Anointed One) gave up His spirit (died) and then rose again (was resurrected) three days later. Modern sanctimonious terminology is “Good Friday” and “Easter.” Forty days later, He left Earth and returned to Heaven-above, in front of witnesses according to Acts Chapter 1

Which Is More Unbelievable?

So this writer asks, which is more unbelievable: Our Creator produced all reality, or millions and billions of years of evolution from atoms and humans, for what? A clue: when America was discovered, most explorers acknowledged our Creator and Nature as His handiwork. 

Ernie & Ruth Poani

At your service with telescopes and sky. Sign up for our mailing list, request a back issue, or send a copy to a friend. Contact (217) 361-6374 or email erp72creek@yahoo.com.

What Does the Bible Say about Trials and Temptations?

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you…”

Jesus, John 15:4

What better way to remain in Christ, than to abide in His Word? This gentle teaching shares God’s truth about trials and temptations, encouraging you to walk closely with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Warrior-Fest 2020

You’re invited to Warrior-Fest! 

What: Worship, teaching, and revival!
Where: Online at perrystone.org/warrior-fest
When: Tonight (Friday, March 20th)—LIVE now!
            Tomorrow (Saturday, March 21st)—at 6 PM

We are so excited and can’t wait for our Warrior-Fest family to join us via livestream! Joining us live from the Omega Center International stage will be Eddie James, Catherine Mullins, First Hearts, Remnant, and Perry Stone! This year, as we prayed about what Warrior-Fest would look like, it was clear that we were taking EVERY limit OFF of God! There are NO LIMITS! God will deliver you in your bedroom just like He would in our altars! WE are filled with such expectations. Revival is coming through the LENS OF A CAMERA! We are so excited to yield to the Holy Spirit in a new way, and we cannot wait to read EVERY testimony! We are asking for everyone watching to email us and tell us what you are expecting God to do for you! Email us at info@ociministries.org. Warrior-Fest will also be held next weekend, Friday, March 27th at 7PM and Saturday, March 28th at 6PM. You can start streaming 30 minutes before each service starts!

Watch live tonight at perrystone.org/warrior-fest

Coronavirus: Unshakable Faith in a World That is Being Shaken

The following is a World Challenge podcast. It was originally published here.

We are living in shaky times. As a global pandemic of coronavirus makes its way around the globe, taking lives, crashing stock markets and threatening the livelihood of millions, people are afraid. How are you doing handling the fear. Or maybe put another way, how’s your faith holding up? In this special edition of the Gary Wilkerson podcast, Gary is joined by Keith Holloway, the Senior Director of Missions Development at World Challenge to talk about faith in a time of fear. We hope this podcast gives you hope and encouragement that even in desperate times like these, God is in control.

Notable Quotes from the Podcast

“…in the midst of all the shaking that’s going on in the world today, there is an unshakable foundation. There is an internal foundation of an unshakable faith, of an unshakable hope, of an unshakable resolve that I know my Redeemer lives and I know there’s joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

Gary Wilkerson

“I shall ask God mercifully to protect us. Then I shall fumigate, help purify the air, administer medicine and take it. I shall avoid places and persons where my presence is not needed in order not to become contaminated and thus perchance inflict and pollute others and so cause their death as a result of my negligence. If God should wish to take me, he will surely find me, and I have done what he has expected of me and so I am not responsible for either my own death or the death of others. If my neighbor needs me however I shall not avoid place or person but will go freely as stated above. See this is such a God-fearing faith because it is neither brash nor foolhardy and does not tempt God.”

Martin Luther

“We are born again believers. We’re walking in the natural, but we’re also being led and guided and controlled by the Holy Spirit. So, it’s an awesome time for us to not feel diminished, but to actually feel prepared for this hour where we have an answer of the hope that lies within us…”

Keith Holloway

Bible Verses Mentioned in the Podcast

“When God spoke from Mount Sinai His voice shook the earth, but now He makes another promise: ‘Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.’ This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe.”

Hebrews 12:26-28, NLT

“The Lord reigns; Let the earth rejoice;”

Psalm 91:1a, NIV

Resources Mentioned in the Podcast 

About Keith Holloway

Keith Holloway is the Senior Director of Missions Development at World Challenge. Keith is a CHE trainer, facilitator, and a member of the Global CHE Network’s Representative Council. He and his wife Maureen live in Colorado Springs; they have six grown children and seven grandchildren. 

About Gary Wilkerson

Gary Wilkerson is the President of World Challenge, an international mission organization that was founded by his father, David Wilkerson. He is also the Founding Pastor of The Springs Church, which he launched in 2009 with a handful of people. He has traveled nationally and internationally at conferences and conducted mission ventures such as church planting, starting orphanages, clinics, feeding programs among the poorest of the poor and the most unreached people of the earth. Gary and his wife Kelly have four children and live in Colorado Springs, CO.

Fear Not

“‘[N]o weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me’…” — The Lord, Isaiah 54:17, NIV

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.
Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
— Jesus, John 14:27, NIV

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” — Paul, 2 Timothy 1:7, KJV

I Know What Faith Is

The following is a letter from Hazel Moyers, a believer born in Southern Missouri in 1909:

“I have studied and have had a great time this morning with my Lord here at Paradise Valley. I know wonderful peace because of Him. 

This spring I planted a small garden and have enjoyed many good meals from it. 

I know what the life in the tiny seed will bring forth. 

I know what faith is. 

I have received many uplifting calls, many beautiful letters from my precious earthly family Father God has blessed me with—I know what love is. 

I have stood & talked to the Martins and other birds as they would chatter back to me in their lovely singing.

Hazel Moyers, 1982

Free Indeed 2020

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” — Jesus, John 8:36

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” — Paul, 2 Corinthians 3:17-18

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” — Paul, Galatians 5:1
Come celebrate freedom in Christ!

In Afikomag’s first annual young adult conference, we’re looking forward to worship, teaching, sports, line dancing, film, food, fireworks, and fellowship!

The Harvest

Things aren’t always as they seem.
Sometimes we see, sometimes we dream.
Purpose means an aim, a goal,
a reason for our undying soul.
Amid the turmoil and the pain,
We ask for just one refrain:
“Move with the punches.”
That’s what God said.
“Be careful by whom you are led.
“Remember well the lessons learned.
“The harvest reaped is the one you earn.”

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)

Christian philosopher, Bible teacher, author, and prolific poet, Margarett Inez Bates is a graduate of Mount Vernon Bible College with a Bachelor’s degree from the Christian International School of Theology. Actively involved in Christian service for over forty years, she currently resides in her hometown, Kokomo, Indiana. Margarett has published two books: Poetical Insights: Lifting Up a Standard, and Poetical Insights Vol. 2: A Closer Look. You can read more of her work at Kokomo Poet.

Hope That Assures

“We have this hope [Jesus] as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” – Hebrews 6:19

Coulda, shoulda, woulda, maybe, might, perhaps, someday, if only … sigh …

Alas… whither hope? And oh, by the way… prove it.

Is hope a wish or a fact? Is it faith to come, or faith in action? And how in the world do we prove it? Is hope something we already have or something we “hope” to attain? Or is hope, in fact, the living presence of Jesus? I’d say, let’s go with that.

I can’t think of a less appealing and less useful way to describe one’s trust in God–“the hope we have,” etc. (1 Peter 3:15)–than to think the fruits of our relationship with the eternal God through Christ are something indeterminate and far off in the future: a big, subjunctive “maybe” of expectation someday later rather than the active, inspiring, and assuring truth of God’s presence, grace, and relationship today. In Christ.
Jesus can’t be much of an anchor if His truth is still bouncing along the ocean bottom, dragged uncertainly by its tether to the boat above being tossed by the winds, currents, and vagaries of life’s–and the fallen world’s–temptations, untruths, dangers, and deceptions.  A “set” anchor is a sure and present truth to a voyager in a storm:

We are the voyagers, the world is the storm, and Jesus is the set anchor we trust.

Hope is neither subjective nor subjunctive nor far off; it is the truth we know now. It is the Jesus truth of mankind. It is Christ resurrected and the Holy Spirit in our hearts, today. Hope that hasn’t happened yet is the longing of unmet truth; the patient waiting we see throughout the Old Testament. The arrival of Jesus brings human life’s greatest gift: humanity’s restoration of relationship to God and participation in His glory.

For Abraham, hope meant patiently waiting.

For us, hope–the baptism by the Holy Spirit–arrived in the person of Jesus. Our joy is not in the faith and patience of something still to come; we have it right now in our love for Christ and love for each other. It occurs to me that to love God and to love others are the two great commandments because love is the gearbox of putting our hope in motion in our lives. We miss out horribly if we think the Kingdom is relegated to some unknown time years hence and defined by that which we cannot know.

“Hope” infused with “maybe” inspires no one; unanchored expectations are the bane of good will. “I hope so!” is unpersuasive, like when one “hopes” all that stuff in the Bible about salvation and heaven and forgiveness is true.  Instead of being anchored assuredly–now–to the greatest truth of existence, Jesus, one’s modern tires are spinning in the muck of the current, ill-defined culture of self-interest, satisfaction of personal appetites, and transmission of Satan’s soul-killing sacrilege. Our redemption in Christ is now… and forever. Be thankful. Use the hope of Jesus–the anchor of our soul–to live in His kingdom, in His hope, in the here and now. “Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done…” is Jesus teaching us to pray for, attain, and internalize the assurance of who He really is. He, Jesus, is our rest and our peace.

Our joy in knowing through Jesus that God is real, God is truth, God is eternal, and God wants us with Him, is the Kingdom that has come in Christ’s holy relationship.

Hope is assured today; firm and secure. No waiting required.

Walters (rlwcom@aol.com) hopes you’ll believe him that he just noticed, halfway through writing this, that his coffee cup has an anchor and Hebrews 6:19 on the side. For more of Walters’ columns, see commonchristianity.blogspot.com. For his books, see www.lulu.com/spotlight/CommonChristianity.