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Covenant Reformed News - November 2019

Covenant Reformed News


November 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 19



Christ’s Triumph Over the Demonic Powers (3)

In the last two issue of the News, we have been considering this inspired statement by the apostle Paul: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:14-15).

This is not the only Scripture to speak of Christ’s blessed victory over Satan at the cross. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews writes, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (2:14-15).

Likewise, the apostle John declares, “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8).

Before the cross and with a view to its accomplishment, our Lord Jesus proclaimed, “Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out” (John 12:31).

Not long after the fall, God Almighty promised, “I will put enmity between thee [i.e., Satan] and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed [i.e., Christ]; it [i.e., He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Gen. 3:15). 

All this helps us answer two crucial questions. First, for whom were Satan and his host defeated, disarmed and made a public spectacle at the cross? Not for all men head for head. The devil and his demons rule over many, even most, people. He is not disarmed regarding his abuse of the law against them or rule over them through sin. He is even called “the god of this world” (II Cor. 4:4; John 12:31).

The truth is that Jesus Christ’s sacrifice is particular, for the elect alone. He made atonement for His chosen people’s iniquities, making satisfaction to God’s law for us. In this way, He disarmed Satan of these weapons so that he cannot condemn us. Thus Isaiah exults in our Lord’s victory: “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors” (53:11-12).

Second, in what way were the devil and his demons defeated, disarmed and made a public spectacle at the cross? Christ’s atonement justifies His elect before Jehovah, dealing with our sin and God’s law, so that Satan is disarmed regarding us in these crucial areas. With respect to our sanctification, we add that our flesh is dethroned and not dominant, and Jesus is Lord over us.

However, it is also true that Satan and his demons tempt us and even seduce us into sin, for our “adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (I Pet. 5:8).

We must keep praying the sixth petition of the Lord’s prayer: “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; that is, since we are so weak in ourselves that we cannot stand a moment; and besides this, since our mortal enemies, the devil, the world, and our own flesh cease not to assault us, do Thou therefore preserve and strengthen us by the power of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this spiritual warfare, but constantly and strenuously may resist our foes, till at last we obtain a complete victory” (Heidelberg Catechism, A. 127).

But Satan does not rule over us and he is a defeated foe. At the judgment day, he will be made a public spectacle, even before the wicked, and he shall be cast into the lake of fire as he deserves (Rev. 20:10)!

All of this is good news for the Christian! First, in Christ we are “more than conquerors” over the demonic powers (Rom. 8:37-39). We triumph over the guilt of sin and have victory over the law as a condemning power!

Second, we are also “hyper-conquerors,” another translation of the famous phrase in Romans 8:37, over the (ungodly) world. We are victors over the world which stands in the service of Satan and sin, the world as it works through humanism and false religion to make righteousness appear wicked, sin look good, truth seem foolishness and the lie to be veracity itself.

Rejoice in this testimony of sacred Scripture: “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (I John 5:4-5). Rev. Stewart


For further study on this subject, listen to “The Devil and His Demons,” on-line or order the box set of 10 CDs from the CPRC Bookstore for just £10 (including P&P in the UK). We now have 93 titles of box sets of CDs and/or DVDs for sale.

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (4)

How does God reveal Himself in the salvation of His church? What does it mean that He works His great work of salvation organically? That is the question we now face.

I have written about the idea of God’s organic working in a world of sin, beginning with the sin of Adam. Adam’s sin brought the guilt and the pollution of sin upon the whole human race. Death was the punishment for sin, and all the grief and sorrow we witness in the world today is God’s punishment upon a sinful human race. The awful wickedness of the idol worship of the heathen, the cruelty of Islam and the debauchery of Western civilization are all due to the evil development of Adam’s one sin of disobeying God.

But it is not and never was God’s ultimate purpose to abandon a sinful world to its own depravity. We are now talking about the counsel of God: His eternal purpose in all His works. What is the highest and final purpose of the living God in His eternal counsel?

God is sovereign in all things—or He is not God! He does all His good pleasure, and does not purposelessly or arbitrarily exercise His sovereignty. He is not fickle in the exercise of His sovereign rule. Nor does He abdicate His throne or share His sovereignty with foolish and depraved man. He is God! There is none else!

Scripture tells us that the eternal purpose of God’s eternal counsel is His own great glory, the glory of His infinite majesty, His holiness, His perfections, His blessedness, His supreme joy in Himself and all His virtues as the Triune God. The Bible tells us that He has chosen to reveal all His glory in the highest possible way. What is this highest possible way? Again, according to Scripture, the highest possible way for God to reveal Himself is through Jesus Christ, His eternal Son, the perfect and full manifestation of God.

The opening words of Hebrews declare this astounding truth: “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (1:1-3).

Colossians 1:14-19 and Proverbs 8:22-36 teach the same ideas as Hebrews 1. In this chapter, we have enough scriptural truth to occupy all our time throughout our entire life. This passage is so profound and wonderful that I have never dared to preach on it lest I do it injustice by making our God and His Christ less glorious than they are.

A few obvious truths found in these three passages are important for us now.

God’s eternal counsel to reveal His glory makes it clear that He determined to reveal Himself through His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ is the purpose of the counsel, the goal of the God who has determined to reveal Himself in the highest and best way. Everything in His counsel is subservient to this purpose. Everything must serve this goal. All God determined to do, which is all He does, serves the revelation of His glory in Jesus.

Christ is, therefore, before Adam in the counsel of God—if I may speak of one thing as “before” another, given that God’s counsel is eternal, that is, timeless, not made in the framework of time’s succession of moments.

That this is true is evident from Paradise itself. The whole of the original garden pictured the tabernacle and temple, where sacrifices were made: the Garden of Eden = the outer court; Paradise itself = the holy place; the holy of holies = the tree of life.

The carnivorous animals were created with jaws and digestive systems fit to eat meat, when there was no death. The immune system was created in man, when there was no disease. Most important of all, Christ Himself was created in Adam and Eve, as was the entire human race, which was born from Adam and of which Christ is a part.

In other words, in His creation God had another organism as the goal of His eternal purpose. Not the organism of the creation with all its sub-organisms, and not the organism of the human race with Adam at its head, is God’s eternal purpose, but Christ who was destined to be head over all in this new organism through which God would reveal His great glory.

Christ is God’s only begotten Son, who was made like us in all things except sin. He had no sin because the Triune God was His Father and He was born of the virgin Mary by the miracle of conception without a man. The Holy Ghost came upon Mary and “the power of the Highest” overshadowed her (Luke 1:35). He was, and is, the Son of Man. He is also the Son of God, “Light of Light, true God of true God,” to use the words of the Nicene Creed.

Does this all mean that the first Paradise and the first Adam mean nothing? No, they were “the shadow of things to come” and thus serve the purpose of achieving the goal of God’s counsel in Christ, “the last Adam” (I Cor. 15:45).

Was the original creation with Adam at its head spoiled by Adam’s transgression such that God had to reformulate His counsel because Adam made it impossible for Him to realize His purpose in the original Paradise? No, the first Adam was “the figure of him that was to come” (Rom. 5:14).

One more significant point. The Scriptures teach that Christ is the one true organic head of all things and people in this universe. But Christ is also the organic head of heaven and all the heavenly creation and its inhabitants, including the angels. This is clearly taught in Colossians 1:20: “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him [i.e., Christ] to reconcile all things to himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

This is a startling verse. Paul is concerned that the readers of this passage (or the listeners in Colosse who heard their minister read Paul’s letter) might mistakenly assume that he meant merely everything here on earth. So he repeats himself: “I mean ‘all things,’ and that includes everything in this earth all right but also all things in heaven.” This statement by Paul quite naturally raises questions for Christ died for SIN!—and there is no sin in heaven.

But we shall discuss this problem a bit later. Indeed, we will discuss the whole idea further in future issues. Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
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South Wales
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536) was a great English preacher, Bible translator, theologian, Reformer and martyr. Born in Gloucestershire, studied at Oxford University, and pursued by his enemies through Germany and the Lowlands, Tyndale was 
burned at the stake near Brussels for the truth of God’s Word. Come, hear and see this lecture with Powerpoint presentation!

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Thursday, 23 January, 2020
 
7:15 PM

Venue: 
Margam Community Centre
Bertha Road, Margam, Port Talbot, SA13 2AP

Books, CDs and DVDs available at the lecture
Coffee and tea provided after the lecture

All are invited! 

cprc.co.uk/south-wales-lectures

Jehovah’s
Mighty Acts

by Nathan Langerak
(100 pp. Hardback)  
 
This Bible story book for primary school children consists of 31 Old Testament Bible stories about Jehovah’s saving acts toward His covenant people. Each story is paired with beautiful full-colour illustrations. The stories and accompanying illustrations in Jehovah’s Mighty Acts are a tool for parents to use in instructing their children in the truth of God’s saving wonders in the Old Testament, which point to the mightiest act of all—our salvation in Jesus Christ! 

£16.50 (inc. P&P)

Order on-line from the 
CPRC Bookstore
or by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!


For God's Glory & the Church's Consolation
edited by
Ronald Cammenga
(320 pp. Softback)  
 
This powerful book defends and promotes the Bible’s teachings on particular salvation as systematized in the Canons of Dordt (1618-1619) with special focus on the gospel call, the covenant, reprobation and assurance. It also covers the significance, polemics, sessions and church polity of Dordt. The chapters of this book were written by Prof. Douglas Kuiper, Rev. Angus Stewart, Prof. Brian Huizinga, Rev. Mark Shand, Rev. William Langerak, Prof. Ronald Cammenga and Prof. Barry Gritters.   

£14.30 (inc. P&P) 

Order on-line from the 
CPRC Bookstore
or by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!
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New Issue of Salt Shakers - November 2019

SS genl pic"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the November 2019 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#57), their youth magazine.

The November 2019 issue of "SS" is once again filled with interesting and instructive articles, and our PRC young people especially are encouraged to make it part of their reading content.

Below you will find a note from the "SS" Committee introducing the issue and a note from the editor summarizing the contents of this issue. The entire issue is also attached here in pdf form.

Dear readers,

As we reach the end of the year, we present to you our fifth issue of 2019! You may have wondered why this e-publication has been delayed. The magazine was released in conjunction with our church's celebration of Reformation Day on 9 November. In such an occasion, we pray the content of this issue reflects not only what it means to be Reformed, but also the glory of our covenant God.
DV, we hope to release our final issue of the year near Christmas. Stay tuned!
In Christ,
Lim Yang Zhi, On Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee

Welcome to the 57th issue of Salt Shakers!

Dear Reader, 

The Salt Shakers committee presents another issue of the Salt Shakers. We are pleased to present this issue at CERC’s Reformation Day Conference (RDC). The RDC commemorates the wondrous work of God in preserving the Reformed church in the truth, over against the errors that abounded during the great Synod of Dordt. These errors are ever present in the church today — old errors dressed in new garments. The church is therefore called to do battle constantly, on behalf of God’s truth and His precious church. She fights a valiant warfare, counting all but loss for the excellency of the truth that is in Jesus Christ. 

In this issue we have Prof. David Engelsma explaining the nature, necessity and history of polemics in the church. Prof. Engelsma demonstrates that polemics have long been a characteristic of faithful Reformed churches. Failure on the part of Reformed churches today to do polemics is failure to recognise that glorious history and confession that they possess. Polemics is a bloody warfare, according to Prof. Engelsma; it requires great sacrifice and will involve suffering and persecution on the part of the faithful church. 

Prof. Herman Hanko relates the concept of wisdom and helping others in his article. He explains how the concept of love is involved in the wisdom of helping our neighbour, which seeks his salvation ultimately. Our neighbours are not those out there in the world, but those whom we come into contact with every day, especially our neighbour in church. Wisdom seeks the salvation of those we come into contact with. This is the nature of true love. 

Dr. Matthias Wee also pens an enlightening article on the griefs of miscarriage, a grief not uncommon to couples in the church. He explains its impact on the couple and to those around them, and offers biblical suggestions for coping with this tragedy. 

We pray that you will be edified by these articles, and remember to pass the salt. 

Blessings,

Aaron

Read more...

Reformed News Asia - October 2019

Issue 56 - October 2019
Pamphlets

We print pamphlets written by our members and those from other Reformed churches of like-minded faith. They include a wide range of topics from doctrines to church history and practical Christian living. These pamphlets serve to promote knowledge of the true God as expressed in the Reformed faith.
NEWPamphlet!
The Christian and Work
By Various Authors

"Labour is an institution of God. Like marriage and government, labour is a creation ordinance. The God who made man, made man to work. We ought to work. Work is good for us. We should be thankful that we can work. We can be sure that we will work in heaven, in the new creation of God."

"Each of us must consider his work a calling from the Lord, whether that's mother in the home, teacher in the school, worker in the factory, businessman, farmer, doctor, lawyer, minister of the Word. God assigns to each his or her own position. God is the one Who gives to us the gifts and talents that are ours for the work which we are called to do. Since our work itself is provided us by God, since our strength and ability to do the work comes from God, our work itself ought to be done to the glory of God."

Click hereto view our catalogue of pamphlets.

Click here to make an order.

All pamphlets are free. CERC reserves some discretion regarding large orders and/or orders from those outside Singapore.
 
Featured Book
For local orders (S'pore), please contact Ms Daisy Lim at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
For international orders, click here.
The Royal Sufferer
by Herman Hoeksema

From the RFPA website:

Among Reformed Christians, the celebration of the anniversary of the Synod of Dordt (1618–19) is second only to the commemoration of the Reformation of the sixteenth century. Indeed, marking the anniversary of the “great synod,” as it soon was called, is commemoration of the Reformation. For mainly Dordt’s accomplishment was the preservation of the gospel of God’s sovereign grace, which was restored to the church through the Reformation.

The Protestant Reformed Theological Seminary held a conference to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the Synod of Dordt. For God’s Glory and the Church’s Consolation includes all the presentations made at this conference, plus a bit more. The book explores the heritage that faithful Reformed churches ought to esteem, as that heritage was defended and handed down by the Synod of Dordt.

 
Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the sermons on Lord's Day 21 by Rev Arie Den Hartog
 
The Church Of Jesus Christ
The Church As The Communion Of The Saints
I Believe In The Forgiveness Of Sins
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Save the date!

17 Nov 2019 - CERC 32nd Anniversary Celebration
 
 
Reformation Day Conference 2019

Come join us in commemorating Reformation day this November!

Details in the poster below:
 
Past Events...
 
Mooncake Gospel Meeting 2019

We Thank God for having Elder Chew who gave a talk on 这就是爱了 (This is Love), taken from 1 John 4:9-10 for this year's mooncake gospel meeting. The talk can be found here.
 
Notes
 
Salt Shakers

Salt Shakers is a bi-monthly magazine published by the youth in Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church (CERC). Included in each issue are writings pertaining to bothReformed doctrine and practical theology. Contributors to Salt Shakers include our pastor, youth and members of CERC, and pastors and professors from the Protestant Reformed Churches in America. Salt Shakers also features articles from the Standard Bearer and other Reformed publications. Click here to access.

 
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
We are a Reformed Church that holds to the doctrines of the Reformation as they are expressed in the Belgic Confession, the Heidelberg Catechism and the Canons of Dordt.

Lord's Day services on Sunday at 930 am & 2 pm ~ 11 Jalan Mesin, #04-00, Standard Industrial Building, Singapore 368813 ~ Pastor: Rev Andy Lanning  ~ www.cerc.org.sg 
 
Read more...

Covenant Reformed News - October 2019

Covenant Reformed News


October 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 18



Christ’s Triumph Over the Demonic Powers (2)

In the last issue of the News, we rejoiced in the glorious victory over Satan and his fallen angels gained through the cross of Jesus Christ: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:14-15).

However, you may not have gotten this impression from reading only the narratives of our Lord’s crucifixion in the four gospel accounts. In the records of Christ’s arrest, His trials before the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate, His scourging and being nailed to the cross, the first three hours of His crucifixion and then the three hours of darkness, where do Matthew, Mark, Luke or John speak of our Saviour’s disarming the demonic hosts and triumphing over them openly?

We also have Christ’s famous seven words on the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34); “I thirst” (John 19:28); “It is finished” (30); “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46); etc. But none of them explicitly mentions the “principalities and powers,” never mind Christ’s making a public spectacle of them.

At the time of the cross, none of the key parties involved understood the truth of Colossians 2:14-15. The Jewish rulers thought that they had disposed of their biggest adversary and threat. Satan believed that he had defeated the Son of God. The eleven disciples saw no victory; all their hopes were dashed! Paul, before his conversion, reckoned Jesus’ crucifixion as God’s judgment and curse upon Him, as a false Messiah and blasphemer (cf. Gal. 3:13).

The Roman centurion, however, recognized that Jesus was “a righteous man” and even “the Son of God” (Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47). The penitent thief understood that Christ was entering His heavenly kingdom and so he asked to be remembered by Him (40-42). But we have no indication that either the centurion or the thief saw the cross as Christ’s disarming and triumphing over the demonic host.

Here we need to grasp the relationship between the four gospel accounts and the New Testament epistles. By divine inspiration, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John relate the events of the cross and how these were understood by various parties at that time. The God-breathed letters of Paul, Peter, John and others, instead of narrating Jesus’ passion week, set forth the true meaning and theological interpretation of the cross.

Thus it is a matter of true faith: faith in God’s Word, faith in the Lord Jesus, faith in Christ crucified. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we believe the four gospel accounts, which contain the events leading up to, and culminating in, the crucifixion, and the New Testament letters, which especially explain the spiritual significance of the cross.

So how did Jesus conquer the principalities and powers of the fallen angels at the cross? Obviously, this was not a physical battle and Christ was in no condition to fight such. His hands were bound at His arrest, He was imprisoned and He was nailed to the cross.

Christ did not physically disarm Satan and his host. What material weapons does the devil, who is a spirit, carry anyway? At the cross, Jesus was stripped of most of His clothes; Satan was stripped of nothing physical.

Christ did not make the demonic principalities and powers a visible spectacle at Golgotha. Indeed, Satan thought that he had won a public victory over the Son of God. It was Jesus Himself who was displayed before the masses, for the crowds jeered and mocked Him! Apparently, the false church and the wicked state triumphed over Christ, as if He were a vile criminal, a capital offender.

So how did Jesus Christ defeat, disarm and triumph over the demonic hosts at the cross? The answer involves the law, as Colossians 2:14 states, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

The law issues commands and prohibitions, hundreds and hundreds of them. We have broken that law millions of times. The “handwriting of ordinances” is very badly “against us,” so, of ourselves, we are guilty and condemned.

What did Jesus Christ do with “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us”? The gospel of our salvation is that He “took it out of the way” by “nailing it to his cross.” In other words, there were two entities nailed to that wooden cross: Jesus Christ (physically and according to the wickedness of man) and “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us” (spiritually and according to the grace of God).

We could even say that the handwriting of ordinances against us was nailed to the cross in that Jesus Christ our representative was nailed to the cross. There He bore God’s punishment due to us for our transgressions as our substitute and sin-bearer!

There is another image dealing with what God did in Christ regarding the handwriting of ordinances that accused and condemned us. Not only did He take it out of the way by nailing it to the cross but He also blotted it out (14).

This is good news for every believer. You cannot read the accusations of God’s law against you, because this extremely lengthy list has been taken away and nailed to your Saviour’s cross. Even if you had that paper in your hand, it would still be illegible, for it has been totally and permanently blotted out by the blood of the cross!

How does this explain Christ’s defeating, disarming and triumphing over the demonic powers? Satan uses sin and the law as his weapons to destroy and slay people. Guilty sinners are enslaved by the devil through transgressions and the law. But once the law is satisfied and sin is blotted out, we are free of Satan’s bondage.

Thus the defeat of sin and the law at the cross is Jesus’ defeat of Satan, disarming of Satan (who uses sin and the law as his weapons) and public triumph over Satan.

Colossians 2 magnifies Christ’s atonement—“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (14)—as a glorious victory over the devil and his minions—“having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (15)! Let us be glad in Him! Rev. Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (3)

Scientists are increasingly finding that the creation itself is an organism. Every part of the creation is related to every other part and what happens in one part affects every part. It is becoming more clear that radical changes made in one part of our world affect other parts in sometimes surprising ways. While such unity among all parts of creation is often most apparent in living creatures, the same unity can be found among non-living creatures as well. A forest fire can rejuvenate the entire burned area. Modifications in the weather ultimately affect life in every part of the world. Volcanic eruptions leave behind rock that, over the years, can and does become fertile soil for crops.

Within the larger organism of the creation, individual organisms, such as a tree, a grape vine, a bed of roses or an individual rose, a bird, etc., are composed of many different creatures. What happens to one affects all the other creatures—for good or ill.

To fertilize a rose is to give food to the roots and the entire plant benefits from it. But blight in one part of the rose bush will spread and ultimately destroy the entire plant.

In the vineyards of France, a rose bush is often planted at the end of a row of a particular kind of grapevine. If some deadly disease begins to show itself in the roses, some time later the vines will be struck with the same blight. This early warning system gives the vigneron time to save the vine by spraying some cure.

In the creation as a whole, the curse of God came down when Adam sinned. That curse came from God’s curse upon Adam because he was created head of the creation. The disease of sin entered into Adam and killed him spiritually; it also entered into the creation in which Adam lived and upon which he was dependent.

Do good to a healthy plant, and it will grow and flourish. Do serious harm to it, even one part of it, and it will die.

So it is in all of life. A nation is an organism. When the government declares war, you may be fiercely opposed to it, but your sons are going to have to go to war and perhaps be killed. Your house may be bombed and you will suffer the shortages that war brings. The whole nation is responsible for the war as an organism.

A family is an organism. A father who is a drunk harms himself and the whole family suffers. In a school classroom, 90% of the children may generally be obedient and attentive to the teacher, but one or two or three can be so disruptive that teaching is difficult or even impossible. The whole class suffers by not being able to learn as much as normal, for all in the class bear the consequences of the conduct of a few.

A congregation or a denomination of churches is an organism. If false doctrine or wicked living enters one congregation, and the biblical surgery of the discipline of the rebel or heretic in the congregation is not performed, the whole denomination is affected. In time, it will go astray and the entire denomination will be corrupted, for the false doctrine or godless living of one part (I Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9).

A man or woman or family may claim that he or she or it will remain faithful to the truth, when they leave a faithful church for another congregation less than pure in doctrine. But that family, even if some in the family wish to remain where the truth is preached, is guilty of tolerating false doctrine and will bear the consequences. All are responsible for the false doctrine and all will suffer—as Israel did when Achan stole forbidden things from Jericho (Josh. 7). The family goes the dreary and fatal way of apostasy in its generations, and its children are lost to the church.

I do not know how many times I have dealt with this problem in my own ministry. Parents who depart from a true church or refuse to leave an erring church lose their children and successive generations because of their sin. Even the law says that God visits the “iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate” Him (Ex. 20:5). Parental failure to bring up their children in the ways of God’s covenant often means that they see their children and children’s children leave the church and walk in the world.

In Reformed theology, this is called “corporate responsibility.” How little is this accepted in today’s individualistic world where it is every man for himself. As I have said before, Arminianism, in all its different kinds, is individualistic, having no room for organic relationships and corporate responsibility.

The proponents of the well-meant or gracious offer of the gospel to the reprobate have no understanding of the organic either, as we saw in the last News.

God has provided a way to escape corporate responsibility for one in an organism who does not want the sin of the organism. He must make his disagreement known; he must refuse to follow his leaders when they lead into sin; he must leave the organism, if possible.

For example, a member of a family, who does not want to leave a true church with his close relatives, must confess his family’s guilt, as Daniel confessed the sin of Israel as his own (Dan. 9), and he must make his refusal known. In this way, he is pardoned. To give another instance, although the Christian is guilty, for example, of his nation’s sin of abortion, God will forgive him in Jesus, and out of faith he will raise his testimony against the terrible practice of murdering unborn children.

In the next issue, I hope, the Lord willing, to demonstrate from Scripture what these organic relationships mean in the work of salvation and how organic relationships are an integral part of God’s gathering His church. Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
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Reformation Day
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536) was a great English preacher, Bible translator, theologian, Reformer and martyr. Born in Gloucestershire, studied at Oxford University, and pursued by his enemies through Germany and the Lowlands, Tyndale was burned at the stake near Brussels for the truth of God’s Word.

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Friday, 25 October
 
7:30 PM

Venue: 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence St. 
Ballymena BT43 5DR

Books, CDs and DVDs available at the lecture
Coffee and tea provided after the lecture

All are invited! 
www.cprc.co.uk
 

Unfolding Covenant History

Homer C. Hoeksema &
David J. Engelsma
 

Unfolding Covenant History is an exposition of the Old Testament from a covenantal perspective. Volumes 1-4 by Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema cover Creation to the Conquest of Canaan. Volume 5 by Prof. David J. Engelsma treats Judges & Ruth. These volumes contain solid, satisfying interpretation of Old Testament history; exalt God’s glorious, sovereign grace; and demonstrate that Jehovah’s covenant is the unifying principle of Old Testament history and of the very gospel itself. Order individually or save over £5 by ordering all five.

Volume 1: From Creation to the Flood - Hardback, 367 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 2: From the Flood to Isaac - Hardback, 327 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
    Volume 3: From Jacob to the Exodus - Hardback, 325 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 4: Through the Wilderness Into Canaan - Hdbk, 394 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
  Volume 5: Judges & Ruth - Hardback, 213 pp.,
£16.50 (inc. P&P)
  ALL FIVE VOLUMES for the special price of £90.00 (inc. P&P)


Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells,
N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!


NEW WEBSITE!

Have you seen our new website at cprc.co.uk

We have redone our website so it is more mobile/smart phone compatible ... same content but a fresh new look!

• watch worship services and lectures live
(https://cprc.co.uk/live-streaming
• listen to some 2,000 audio sermons, speeches, interviews, classes, debates, etc.   
• read on-line or order from our list of some 130 free pamphlets 
• read hundreds of quotes and articles on biblical and
practical subjects 
• learn about upcoming lectures 
• make purchases from our
website bookstore 
• receive information on Reformed Witness Hour broadcasts on Radio North (846 AM or MW) on Sundays (8:30-9:00AM)
• check out our foreign languages pages with over 2,500 pieces in 128 foreign tongues

Check it out at
www.cprc.co.uk
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Philippines Mission Newsletter - October 2019

PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
OCTOBER 2019 NEWSLETTER


Rev. D. Holstege (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Rev. D. Kleyn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Rev. R. Smit (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America and our sister churches, warm greetings from us missionaries in the Philippines!

A New Theological School Begins

August 13, 2019 is now a significant date for the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines because that was the first day of classes at their theological school.

On the Sunday prior to August 13, special sermons were preached in the four Protestant Reformed Churches (PRCP) to direct the attention of God’s people to this momentous occasion in the life of their churches.

  • Rev. Vernon Ibe preached at the Berean PRC on “Men Entrusted with the Gospel” (II Tim. 2:1-6).
  • Rev. D. Kleyn preached at the PRC in Bulacan on “Abounding in the Lord’s Work” (I Cor. 15:58).
  • Rev. R. Smit preached at the Maranatha PRC on “Jesus’ Fishermen” (Mk. 1:14-20).
  • Rev. D. Holstege preached at the Provident PRC on “Training Men for the Ministry” (II Tim. 2:2).

We missionaries of the PRCA, with the approval of the PRCP Classis, are giving the instruction at the seminary at this time. Rev. Holstege is teaching Hermeneutics (The principles of interpreting Holy Scripture). Rev. Kleyn is in charge of Homiletics (The principles and practice of making a sermon). He is also teaching Ancient Church History. Rev. Smit is teaching Greek Grammar (for exegesis of the New Testament). He is also teaching the first locus of Reformed Dogmatics (Theology), rightly called the “queen of the sciences.” These courses aim to give the PRCP students a firm theological foundation in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, which is life eternal.

There is one full-time student at the seminary for the 2019-2020 school year, Bro. Jeremiah Pascual (see picture). He and his wife are members of the PRC in Bulacan and are expecting their first child this November. Bro. Jethro Ace Flores served as a pastor for about eighteen years in another denomination. He attended some of the 7M classes of our missionaries in the past and became a member of Provident PRC with his wife and daughter just last July. His desire is to become a pastor in the PRCP and he is currently visiting a few classes at the seminary. Bro. Emmanuel Jasojaso is a school teacher who also plans to join Provident PRC with his wife and four little children. He too desires to become a pastor in the PRCP. With Bro. Jeremiah, he is studying Greek at seminary this year, with Classis’ approval. Besides these men, there are others who also plan, if the Lord wills, to begin studying at the seminary next year (2020-2021).

The classes are being taught this year in the sanctuary of Provident PRC in Marikina City, Metro Manila, a quiet and comfortable environment, which is conducive to teaching and learning. The classes meet in the mornings from Tuesday through Friday. For our devotions on the first day of class, we reflected together for a few moments on the mandate of the apostle to Timothy: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (II Tim. 2:2).

PRCP Seminary opening day Aug 2019
Sitting from left to right: Bro. Emmanuel Jasojaso, Bro. Jeremiah Pascual, and Bro. Jethro Ace Flores

Other Developments on the Mission Field

On Sunday, August 25, I made the monthly visit to a congregation in the town of Guiguinto in the province of Bulacan: Bearers of Light Community Church (Pastor: Ronil Domingo). Deacon Jun Armas from Provident PRC accompanied me. This small congregation used to be a Brethren church, like Provident PRC. But now they too are reforming. They are the object of the evangelism work of Provident PRC (which is still the main focus of my labors). The office bearers of PPRC have begun to join me on these visits to assist and to oversee the work being done.

Bearers of light church AdultSS 2019

• [No benediction yet]
• Doxology (“Praise God from
whom all blessings flow…”)
• Psalter (#1)
• Ten Commandments
• Psalter (#53)
• Congregational prayer
• Psalter (#325)
• Scripture reading (Psalm 96)
• Sermon (Psalm 96:1-2)
• Prayer
• Offering
• Psalter (#257)
• Doxology (Psalter #196)

On August 25, as on prior visits, I first taught the Heidelberg Catechism (LD 7) in what they call the “adult Sunday school.” Later in the morning, at their request, I led them for the first time in a Reformed worship service, following the order of worship you see above, which is the order followed in the PRCP churches. We gave them some Psalters from which they sang a new song to Jehovah! After lunch, I began teaching them the Church Order of the PRC (photo above). The plan is to teach them the Church Order on each monthly visit. Pastor Ronil and his little flock have received all our instruction with eagerness; but sadly, some of their members have left because of the Reformed faith.

philippines map 1

Let me now turn your attention to Southern Negros Occidental (SNO), where our missionaries have been instructing a group of pastors for many years now. On Sunday, September 15, Rev. and Sharon Kleyn spent the day with the congregations of two of the pastors who normally attend the monthly classes: the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan (Pastor Ezekias Rosal) and the Reformed Church in Sialay, near Sipalay (Pastor Eduardo Donasco). The plan is to expand our work in Negros from teaching pastors to also preaching in their congregations and guiding them to organize properly as Reformed churches. We are very excited about this development because the SNO pastors are very enthusiastic and committed brethren who are eager for us to develop their churches. On September 15, Rev. Kleyn preached Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism in the “adult Sunday school” of the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan (pictured below; the one standing on the right is Pastor Rosal). Then he led their worship service, preaching on Deuteronomy 7:6-8 which speaks of divine election. There were about 100 in attendance. Later that afternoon, he gave a speech on “God’s Sovereignty in Salvation” to the Reformed Church in Sialay. In both locations, they worshiped God together using the Psalter.

Reformed Free Church Negros Sept 2019

Besides these developments, the four congregations of the PRCP in the area of Metro Manila continue to grow, sometimes through the crucible of fiery trials, sometimes through joys which earth cannot afford. We missionaries all preach and teach in these churches, give advice to their councils, committees, and Classis, and engage in other work. The great commission is being fulfilled! We count it a high privilege to participate in the spread of the gospel of gracious salvation through Christ. Pray for the believers who desire to become Reformed churches. Pray for the seminary that is training men for the ministry of the gospel. We thank God constantly for your support of the work here.

In Christ’s service,
Rev. Daniel Holstege

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"Living Wisely in a Digital Age" - Crete PRC's Fall Lecture - October 31, 2019

The Evangelism Committee of Crete PRC (IL) will be hosting a lecture on October 31 titled “Living Wisely in a Digital Age,” to which the public is invited. Below are the details.

The world around us is becoming increasingly digital; we see many instances of this in society as well as in the church. Digital technology can be used wisely and productively; however, we often do not notice or stop to think about the effects it may be having on our spiritual life. Plan now to join us for our fall lecture “ Living Wisely in a Digital Age” to be given by Rev. Nate Dekker on Thursday, Oct. 31 at Crete Protestant Reformed Church D.V. Rev. Dekker will address this topic from a distinct reformed viewpoint and have us consider wisdom in our use of digital media.

Crete Fall 2019 lecture

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