Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church



Rev. Angus Stewart

Lord’s Day, 8 June, 2008


"Happy is he that hath the God of Jacob for his help,

whose hope is in the Lord his God" (Ps. 146:5)



Morning Service - 11:00 AM

God’s Uncursable Church (2)

The Mad Prophet Rebuked by His Dumb Ass (I)

Numbers 22:15-35

I. The Mad Prophet

II. The Dumb Ass

Psalms: 145:1-8; 126:1-6; 25:8-14; 32:7-11


Evening Service - 6:00 PM

God’s Uncursable Church (3)

The Mad Prophet Rebuked by His Dumb Ass (II)

Numbers 22:15-35

I. The Angel’s Explanation

II. The Divine Purpose

Psalms: 63:1-8; 127:1-5; 106:11-18; 15:1-5


For audio cassettes of the worship services or CDs of the sermons, contact Sean Courtney (


CPRC website:

Quote to Consider:

Calvin on Numbers 22:20: "[Balaam] wickedly lies to God, when he asks for a permission to go, which would convict God Himself of capriciousness and inconstancy. God, therefore, ironically permits what He had before forbidden. If any should deem it to be absurd that God, who is truth itself, should speak deceptively, the answer is easily found, viz., that God was guilty of no falsehood, but that He loosed the reins to a man obstinate in his own perverseness, just as a person might emancipate a wayward and grossly immoral son, because he will not suffer himself to be ruled. For, had not his ungodly covetousness blinded Balaam, the meaning of this ironical permission was not difficult to be understood. Hence, then, let hypocrites learn, that they profit nothing by their vain pretences, although God may indulge them for a time, since He at length taketh the wily in their own craftiness ..."

Announcements (subject to God’s will):

The June C. R. News (including days and times of the speeches at the BRF Conference at the end of July), the Beacon Lights, and the Standard Bearer (including a preview of the PRC Synod which starts this week) are available today. CDs of Friday’s lecture on "The Antichrist" are also on the back table

Offering: General Fund - £752.49. Building Fund - £309.44. Donations: £50, £104.50 (Ballymena lecture).

Martyn McGeown plans to return to N. Ireland on Saturday, 14 June. There will be tea after the evening service next Lord’s Day to welcome Martyn back.

The Reformed Witness Hour next Lord’s Day (8:30-9:00 AM, on Gospel 846MW), is "Confessing My Sin" (Psalm 32:5) by Rev. W. Bruinsma.

Family Visitation: to be arranged - Crossetts and Sinead Hanna

The Consistory has granted the request of the Grahams to have their son, Samuel, baptized. The baptism will take place in the morning service of 22 June.

Everyone is invited to a barbecue at the manse on Friday, 27 June.

The Lord’s Supper is scheduled for the morning of 29 June.

Upcoming Lectures: Friday, 20 June, in Limerick, on "Prayer & the Sovereignty of God" Friday, 4 July, in S. Wales, on "Prayer & the Sovereignty of God"

Website Additions: 1 Afrikaans, 1 Portuguese, 3 Italian (the new CR News and the Declaration of Principles), and 4 Spanish (by Marcelo Sanchez Avila from Chile) translations were added this week. Friday night’s lecture on "The Antichrist" is also on-line.

PRC News: Hope PRC continues to help Rev. Titus and the Burmese saints in the PRCM since the cyclone hit in early May. They have succeeded in getting funds over to them for food, shelter, and other necessities. Rev. Titus’ phone line has been reconnected, but there still is no electricity.

Considering Saturn

… then ye shall bring a sheaf of the firstfruits of your harvest unto the priest: And he shall

wave the sheaf before the Lord, to be accepted for you (Leviticus 23:10b-11a)

Saturn, one of the most beautiful objects in the night sky, can now be seen high in the southwest after dusk. To locate it, start with the "pointer" stars at the end of the Big Dipper’s bowl. Instead of going in the usual northern direction to find the North Star, go in the opposite direction. You will notice a bright, bluish-white star at the bottom of a pattern of dimmer stars which forms a backward question mark. The asterism which forms the backward question mark is the head of Leo, the celestial lion. The star at the bottom of the question mark is Regulus, the heart of the lion. A short distance to the left of Regulus is a brighter, golden-coloured star. That is Saturn, the most distant planet visible to the unaided eye. If you ever have the opportunity to view Saturn through a telescope, even a modest one, the experience is one of unforgettable splendour.

Few myths about Saturn survive, but he is pictured as a strong old man with a long grey beard who carries a scythe. Saturn is the counterpart of the Greek god Kronos, Father Time. A possible explanation of this is that Saturn is the slowest-moving visible planet. Saturn will return to his current position in 29 years when he completes another of his steady, slow-moving, stately orbits. To observe this movement for yourself, hold your fist out at arm’s length and use your knuckles to measure Saturn’s distance from Regulus. You will notice it is slowly increasing.

Although current researchers say there is no evidence that Saturn was the Roman harvest god, he is often represented as such. After all, he does carry a scythe, and Saturn’s beautiful golden colour always reminds me of the colour of a wheat field which is ready for harvesting.

In July of 1610, Galileo was the first man to observe Saturn with a telescope. His telescope did not show Saturn’s rings clearly, so he thought Saturn had moons as Jupiter did but that Saturn’s moons were stationary. The mystery of Saturn’s appearance was to be unsolved until 1655, when Dutch brothers Christian and Constantin Huygens combined the sciences of mathematics and precision lens grinding to make a telescope which was the best of its time. Not only they did they observe the rings, they also discovered Saturn’s moon, Titan, the second largest moon in the solar system. Then by 1684, Giovanni Cassini, who had been appointed the director of the Paris Observatory by King Louis XIV, carefully observed Saturn and not only discovered four more moons, but he also noticed a narrow gap in Saturn’s rings, now called the Cassini division.

This brief history explains why the space probe sent to Saturn by NASA and the European Space Agency was named Cassini-Huygens. The $3 billion vehicle was launched in October of 1997 and arrived at Saturn on July 1, 2004, where it remains today. Cassini continues to orbit Saturn, studying Saturn and its moons. (If you are interested in what the probe is doing, you can check up on it on the web site of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.) Cassini launched the Huygens probe, which landed on the surface of Titan in January of 2005. Titan is the only moon in the solar system which has an atmosphere. Because Titan is so far from the sun, it is very cold. Consequently the molecules which comprise Titan’s atmosphere cannot move quickly enough to escape Titan’s gravity. Scientists think it is possible that Titan has lakes of liquefied methane. However, before considering Titan as a place for a relaxing stay at the beach, be advised that Huygens measured Titan’s surface temperature to be 290° F. Sunscreen would be optional.

The Israelites knew the true God of the harvest. God gave His people laws regarding their annual feasts through Moses, and these laws are recorded for us in Leviticus 23. One of these feasts celebrated the harvest season. It was the Feast of Weeks, known to us as Pentecost. The Jews’ barley harvest began just after the Passover feast. They were to bring their first sheaf to the priest, who would wave it as an offering to the Lord. The people were not to eat the fruit of their labour until they had brought this offering to Jehovah (Lev. 23:14).

Then the Jews were to count seven weeks, and on the day after the seventh Sabbath, the fiftieth day, Pentecost, they were to bring two loaves of bread and animal sacrifices as an offering to God. The fiftieth day came at the end of wheat harvest. By bringing the best of their harvest, the first-fruits, they supported the Levites and honoured the God who had blessed their work. These sacrifices were spiritual lessons to God’s people that all the harvest was truly His. The people merely returned what God’s favour had provided.

Although we no longer observe the Feast of Weeks, its spiritual principle holds for us. First, we are reminded that Christ is risen as the first-fruits of those that slept. We find our life and hope in our Saviour. Someday He will come and fulfil all the promises given to His church. We will be with Him, and our bodies will be changed to be as His.

We are also reminded by the harvest feast that we are stewards. We can claim nothing as our own. We have merely been put in charge of what our Master has placed in our care, and He will have us report on what we have done with His goods. The Jews could not eat of their harvest until the sheaves had been brought to the priest. Similarly we must support the Master’s causes first; then we may attend to our needs. Economic times are tough. We know and experience that, but at the same time we have received letters from our schools notifying us that we have not met the goals of the deficit drives we agreed to establish. Let us remember the true God of the harvest, and give Him our first-fruits, the best we have to offer, and trust that He will make our needs His care.

Mr. Brian Dykstra, teacher at Hope Protestant Reformed Christian School