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Covenant PRC, N. Ireland Newsletter - May 2019

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

Ballymena, NI

Dear saints in the

Protestant Reformed Churches,

Dordt’s 400th Anniversary Commemorations

SynodofDordt1618 19

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the conclusion of the great Synod of Dordt (1618-1619). As the only church in Northern Ireland which subscribes to the Canons of Dordt (and loves the truth they teach), the CPRC wanted to commemorate this milestone in the history of the church of Jesus Christ.

So we asked Prof. David Engelsma, who embodies the message of Dordt, to give speeches on this worthy subject. He gladly agreed and set about preparing four lectures which would (1) explain the events which led up to the Synod; (2) set forth the positive teaching of the Canons and (3) the errors that they reject; and (4) cover the other ecclesiastical decisions at Dordt. The Engelsmas stayed in Northern Ireland for almost a month (11 April - 7 May).

Our celebrations began with a half-day conference under the theme “The Original Five Points of Calvinism: The 400th Anniversary of the Canons of Dordt” (Saturday, 13 April). The two excellent lectures were entitled “The Onset of the Great War: Ecclesiastical and Doctrinal” and “The Confession of the Gospel (of Grace): The ‘Five Points of Calvinism’ (as the Content of the Canons of Dordt).” A lovely lunch was served at church between the two lectures.

Besides our two American guests, a fine turnout by the members of the CPRC, and several visitors from Northern Ireland, eleven saints flew in to join us for the weekend: five from Wales, one from Germany, and five from Hungary. This was our first meeting with two of the young Hungarian men and they are now among our translators (www.cprf.co.uk/languages/hungarian.html)

That Lord’s day (14 April) was an especially blessed and well-attended day of fellowship with the saints. The congregation and visitors enjoyed tea together after the evening service.

On two Wednesday evenings, Prof. Engelsma gave his remaining speeches on Dordt: “The Defence of the Gospel: The Rejection of Errors(17 April) and “The Other Decisions of the Dordt Synod and Their Importance for the Reformed Churches Today” (1 May). The videos of all four of the Professor’s lectures, plus their question-and-answer sessions, are on a handy playlist on YouTube (www.youtube. com/playlist?list=PL2Y5Eq5r6y2GAFwEiN6AHNQ6vKraJdLJf). His speech on the errors rejected by Dordt will be published in written form in the upcoming, special issue of the British Reformed Journal, devoted to the 400th anniversary of the Canons of Dordt.

The CPRC probably spent more money and effort advertising these superb speeches on Dordt than any other event in the last 20 years. We wrote articles and placed ads in the weekly Ballymena Guardian and the monthly In Touch. We even paid for a large colour advertisement in the Belfast News Letter (11 April).

Prof. Engelsma also preached five times for the CPRC, with four of these sermons being on Romans 7 (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/ visitorsermons.htm), the chapter on which James Arminius was preaching in Amsterdam when he especially revealed his heresy. After Prof’s last sermon (on Romans 7:14-16), on the evening of Sunday, 5 May, the congregation bade the Engelsmas farewell. Their time here passed so quickly.

AStewart speech 5 points 1
Rev. A. Stewart delivering his speech at the PRC Seminary Dordt400 Conference, held April 2019 at Trinity PRC

With Prof. Engelsma filling the CPRC pulpit at both services on Sunday, 28 April, I was able to accept an invitation to speak at “Dordt 400,” a conference sponsored by the Protestant Reformed Seminary and hosted by Trinity PRC in Hudsonville, Michigan (25-27 April). The lectures, fellowship, and organization were excellent. The RFPA is to be heartily commended for its plan and work to produce a book from these speeches later this year, Lord willing.

Besides spending time with family and friends, I preached in Grandville PRC and Hope PRC that Sunday (28 April). After the evening service in Hope, Mary and I enjoyed Rev. Titus’ presentation on the Lord’s work in Myanmar.

In order to prepare for my lecture at the American conference, I chose “The Canons of Dordt: The Original Five Points of Calvinism” as the title of a speech in South Wales (21 March). We had a lovely visit with friends in Bristol and a very good night with the saints at the lecture.

Along with a few Protestant Reformed ministers on other nights, I was interviewed on Iron Sharpens Iron Radio (5 April) by Chris Arnzen on issues pertaining to the Canons of Dordt. Besides inviting people to come to the two Dordt conferences in N. Ireland and America, I spoke about God’s sovereign grace, especially in regeneration or the new birth (John 3:1-12), and repeatedly got out of answering any question pertaining to gynaecology (www.cprc.co.uk/isiin terview1.mp3)!

 

Other News

The delay in writing this letter is not because there is little to report. Instead, there has been so much to do that, alas, something had to give way. Sadly, it was my (ordinarily, bimonthly) letter. But now that I am getting caught up on things, I resume this very pleasant duty. However, I must wholly omit some matters and be brief regarding others, for a fair amount has happened since my last letter (27 December) and I would like, if possible, to fit my report on two pages.

In the 4 ½ months of 2019, we have added to our website 40 translations (www.cprf.co.uk/languages.htm). They are 11 Hungarian, 9 Chinese (by a brother in Hong Kong), 6 Polish, 6 Portuguese, 3 Spanish, 2 French, 2 Russian, and 1 Ekegusii (an East African language).

This year’s church visitors, Rev. Koole and Peter VanDerSchaaf, came with their wives, Pat and Dorothy, respectively, which always makes a good visit even better (10-17 January)! Besides preaching twice for the CPRC (13 January), Rev. Koole gave a special lecture on “The Reformation and Family Worship” (16 January), about which a local newspaper carried a short article.

We also enjoyed the visit of Deane and Donna Wassink (Georgetown PRC) with Mark and Kristin Bleyenberg (Grandville PRC). The Wassinks first came to Northern Ireland to help in a Christian school for about a year (1984-1985), so they are old friends to some here and new friends to others. Deane gave an engaging presentation on the witness in Vellore, India, after a Sunday evening service (3 March).

Between these visits to Northern Ireland from our American brothers and sisters, Mary and I flew to the US, having heard that her mother (Ruth Hanko) was not doing well. When we arrived at Sunset Village in Jenison on Friday, 8 February, we heard that she had died that morning. Mom’s funeral was the following Monday. After spending time with Mary’s dad, we flew home late that week. On this visit, I preached at Faith PRC and Providence PRC (10 February).

On 14 March, Marco Barone, a member of the CPRC, and before that a member of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF), flew to Michigan to marry Paula Kuiper (23 March). One of our Italian translators, Marco has moved from southern Italy to the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland and now to the United States—four different countries.

Another brother whom we met through his on-line translation work for us, Tibor Bognar, arrived in Northern Ireland to join the CPRC on 14 January and is settling in well. May the Lord continue to build up His catholic or universal churches by His Word and Spirit!

Thank you for your prayers and support,

Rev. & Mary Stewart

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Covenant Reformed News - April 2019

Covenant Reformed News


April 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 12



Zechariah’s Day of the Lord (6)

The first article on “Zechariah’s Day of the Lord” (Zech. 14:1-15) proved that these fifteen verses predict Christ’s second coming, including events that immediately precede it and the new creation that it ushers in. In the next four instalments, we treated four of the six main themes in this passage: the plundered city (1-2), the coming God (1, 3, 5), the holy war (3, 12-15) and the movements of Judah’s mountains (4-5, 10-11). Now we will cover one of the remaining two topics: the flowing of living waters (8). Next time, Lord willing, we will consider the sixth and final motif: the change in cosmic light (6-7). All of this is a demonstration of the gracious, global and exclusive kingship of Jehovah for the salvation of His elect church in Jesus Christ: “the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (9).

In Zechariah’s vision, as one might have expected, the movements of Judah’s mountains (4-5, 10-11) affect the flowing of living waters (8). Such was needed because Jerusalem lacked a river, having only springs. King Hezekiah had built a channel to bring these waters into the city itself (II Kings 20:20) but it was still barely enough, especially in summer droughts.

The Old Testament prophets picture the glorious, coming salvation in terms of living, that is, not stagnant but flowing, water. First, Joel speaks of waters flowing east from the temple: “a fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and shall water the valley of Shittim” (3:18). Second, Ezekiel also envisions water flowing east from the temple; he speaks of it getting deeper and deeper, until it can only be crossed by swimming, before adding that it will heal the Dead Sea (47:1-12).

Zechariah 14:8 goes further, for the living waters from Judah’s capital city will never fail in any season and will flow not only east to the Dead Sea but also west to the Mediterranean: “it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.”

At this, the premillennialists exclaim, “Isn’t the [earthly and literal] millennium going to be wonderful! Believers of Jewish descent are going to have a well-irrigated land!”

The problem with premillennialism is that its sights are far too low and earthy. This fits with its faulty hermeneutic: its literalism regarding Old Testament apocalyptic imagery. It refuses to let Scripture interpret Scripture and especially will not allow New Testament Scripture interpret Old Testament Scripture.

What was John shown in Revelation 22:1? “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.” The “water of life” or the living or flowing waters spoken of by the prophets are here described as “pure” and “clear as crystal.”

What is the source of these life-giving waters? Jerusalem (Zech. 14:8) or, more specifically, its temple (Joel 3:18; Eze. 47:1), where God has His throne, symbolized by the ark of the covenant. Revelation 22:1 is even more explicit: “the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

The idea is that the Triune God rules through the Lamb, Christ crucified. What is the water of life that flows from the Triune God through Jesus? The Holy Spirit. He is the water and river that brings life in the new heavens and the new earth. The Judaizing premillennialists are fixated merely on physical, running water in Palestine!

Even the true, enlightened saints in the Old Testament knew better than premillennialism. Psalm 46:4 declares, “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.” But there is no literal river in Jerusalem, either in the days of the old or the new covenant!

So to what is the Psalmist referring? The Holy Spirit who invigorates and refreshes God’s children, for the Most High is in the midst of Jerusalem by His blessed Spirit. He is the Spirit of Christ crucified and risen, since the Lord’s death for us has not only purchased the forgiveness of our sins and everlasting righteousness, but also the Holy Spirit, who is poured out on the church in this age (Zech. 12:10) and is the flowing river of the age to come (14:8).

What shall we say regarding the development of the imagery of the mountain movements and the living waters together? First, the Mount of Olives divides and moves north and south, creating a valley to the east of Jerusalem (4). Second, this has two results: it removes a formidable barrier to the east, enabling the flight of God’s people (5) and the flow of the waters of life (8). These last two pictures speak of Jehovah’s gracious, saving work in Jesus Christ, both the preservation of His elect saints and the gift to us of His life-giving Spirit, respectively. Rev. Stewart

_____________________________

Herman Bavinck: “Now it is true that [the] future is depicted [in the Old Testament Scriptures] in images derived from the historical circumstances that then prevailed, so that Zion and Jerusalem, temple and altar, sacrifice and priesthood, continue to occupy a large place in it. But we must remember that we ourselves do the same thing and can only speak of God and divine things in sensuous, earthly forms. One reason God instituted Old Testament worship as he did was that we would be able to speak of heavenly things, not in self-made images but in the correct images given us by God himself. The New Testament, accordingly, takes over this language and in speaking about the future kingdom of God refers to Zion and Jerusalem, to temple and altar, to prophets and priests. The earthly is an image of the heavenly ... The New Testament views itself—and there can certainly be no doubt about this—as the spiritual and therefore complete and authentic fulfillment of the Old Testament” (Reformed Dogmatics, 4:659, 660).
 

Deep Issues Raised by the Intermediate State

In the February News, I answered a question concerning the intermediate state, that is, the state of the soul between the believer’s death and the final coming of Christ, when all the bodies of the dead shall be raised. I say, the state of the soul between the believer’s death and the final coming of Christ but we must remember that the question also can be asked concerning the impenitent wicked. Do their souls go to hell, while their bodies remain in the grave until the resurrection? Yes (Luke 16:19-31). Quite naturally, however, the discussion almost always concerns the elect.

Although the question I face now was submitted by the same person who asked the last one and although the question I am going to answer is not clearly stated, I think the reader is concerned with those who were raised from the dead by the Lord or by His prophets, that is, brought back to this life.

There are a number of such cases in Scripture. Elijah and Elisha both raised young boys, born in the apostate Northern Kingdom, from the dead. The bones of Elisha were given power by God to raise an unknown man from the dead, when his body was hastily thrown into the prophet’s grave, as those who were going to bury him had to flee for their lives from a Syrian raiding party (II Kings 13:20-21). The Lord also raised the daughter of Jairus, the son of the widow of Nain and Lazarus.

These last three whom Christ raised were raised in an interesting order, for each was dead longer than the one whom He previously raised. The daughter of Jairus was raised shortly after she died, the son of the widow of Nain was raised as he was being carried away to be buried and Lazarus was raised after he had been dead for four days and already buried.

I said in my earlier article that the only possibility for the intermediate state of those brought back to this life was that God prepared some special place for their souls until their bodies were raised. Such provision of their souls would be a kind of short period of soul sleep. But the Bible does not give us any information about this question and we can only speculate.

There are other aspects to this question of the intermediate state that only make the question more difficult.

The Scriptures teach that during the history of this world, before the coming of Christ and the final resurrection, the souls of believers are consciously in heaven. The word of Christ to the thief on the cross was that today he would be with Him in Paradise (Luke 23:43). The fifth seal, when opened, reveals the souls of the elect under the altar who are eager for their fellow saints to join them in glory when their cause would be vindicated (Rev. 6:9-11).

It is highly unlikely that, when Lazarus and the others I mentioned died, they were taken to heaven. Anyone who has been in heaven would not want to return to this present, fallen world, for he would take on a depraved human nature once again after he had tasted the delight of moral perfection. This is not even mentioning going from the glory and joy of Christ’s presence back to the misery of this corrupt and violent earth.

This brings up the question of the Lord’s resurrection and exaltation. Christ arose from the dead and appeared to His disciples and others in the forty days between His resurrection and ascension. Where was Jesus during those forty days? Was He in heaven? Did He only return to earth for His ten or eleven appearances? Or was He in this earthly creation somewhere for forty days, though invisible?

The appearances themselves include aspects that we do not understand. He appeared in different forms to different people (Mark 16:12). He may have appeared to Mary as a gardener. Did He ever appear without nail holes in His hands to the disciples?

There is a striking passage in John 21 where we are told that, when the Lord appeared to some of His disciples who were fishing, they wanted to ask who He was but they did not dare, for they knew it was Jesus. They thought they recognized Him, but they were not sure and wanted desperately to ask (12).

When the Lord appeared, He did so in a way that would lead one to the conclusion that He had been with them all the time but that He was invisible. When He twice stood before His disciples in the upper room in John 20, He passed through locked doors or walls (or simply appeared), and knew exactly what they had been talking about. He was there all the time but they could not see Him. Had He not told them, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world” (Matt. 28:20)?

Stranger yet, when we go to heaven and when our bodies are raised to be joined with our souls, we will not need, nor be able, to eat earthly food. Yet our Lord, in the period before His ascension and exaltation at His Father’s right hand, ate fish and honey in the presence of His disciples (Luke 24:41-43) in His resurrection body.

So the questions multiply—and I have no answers to them. They are puzzling and outside the realm of our experience. In fact, the wonderful works of God are, after all, works that belong to heaven, but burst into our earthly creation to reveal to us that God is the God of His people and that His work of salvation is from heaven, not from this earth. It is a marvel beyond us. No wonder that, when God’s works are revealed in Christ, they are more distant yet from our understanding, though they are performed right in front of us. When heaven breaks into our earthly creation full of sin and death, one will stand with one’s hand over one’s mouth, and be filled with awe and wonder.

The wicked deny it all and will not believe what they cannot explain. The righteous bow in humility and confess it all to be true, for our God saves us in Christ—a wonder of grace that takes eternity to understand and to praise the One who does such miracles.

I have written all I know of what the Bible teaches us. There is more, far more. I cannot wait to see it all. That will be glory, the glory of our Triune God! Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: www.cprc.co.uk • Live broadcast: www.cprf.co.uk/live.html
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.www.youtube.com/cprcniwww.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 6 June
 7:15 PM

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart

(pastor of the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church, N. Ireland)

Subject:
The Burnt Offering


The first sacrifice in the history of the world and in the levitical offerings (Lev. 1), what is the idea of the burnt offering? How does it picture the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? What are the lessons for the people of God today?

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

Book Table (including DVDs,
CDs & pamphlets) 
Coffee & tea provided afterward

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm

The Amazing Cross
Herman Hoeksema 
(160 pp., hardback) 

“The vicarious suffering of the Lord must occupy a central place in the consciousness of faith and in the preaching of the gospel. On the death and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ depend all of salvation.” So states the author of these powerful meditations on the passion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, giving us all the reason we need to read them and digest them, to believe on the Christ presented in them and magnify the God of our salvation whose work is set forth in them. (The 13 chapters of this book were originally published as part of Herman Hoeksema’s longer work, When I Survey.)

Only £11.00 (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!

Christ’s Presence in the
Lord’s Supper


10 classes on Belgic Confession 35 (Vol. XXIX) on CD in an attractive
box set 


How is Jesus Christ present in the Lord’s Supper? What are the views of Rome, Lutheranism and Anabaptism? Why is the Reformed doctrine biblical? Listen and learn about the second sacrament our Lord gave to His church!

(1) Introduction and the Doctrine of Transubstantiation (Matt. 26:26-29)
(2) Transubstantiation: What Remains or Is Added or Subtracted? (I John 1)
(3) The “Miracle” of Transubstantiation (Mark 14:22-25)
(4) “This Is My Body”—Grammar (Luke 22:7-23)
(5) “This Is My Body”—Other Arguments (John 6:32-65)
(6) Lutheran Ubiquity (Phil. 2:1-11)
(7) Lutheran and Romish Views Compared (I Cor. 15:40-48)
(8) Lutheran Arguments for Ubiquity (Eph. 4:1-12)
(9) Reformed and Anabaptist/Baptist Views Compared (1)
(Matt. 26:26-29)
(10) Reformed and Anabaptist/Baptist Views Compared (2) (I Cor. 10:14-22)

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

Listen free on-line or
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!
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Reformed News Asia - April 2019

 
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Issue 54 - April 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!
Unity of the Church
By Various Authors

"I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."
Ephesians 4:1-3

Where this unity is established there is no schism, no conflict, no warfare; rather, peace reigns. All disrupting forces have been eradicated. Harmony, tranquillity, unanimity prevail. When the Spirit of unity takes hold of us, members of Christ's church, then we, too, endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Then we make every effort, strive diligently to guard the unity which the Spirit has wrought.

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:

Christ is and was the king…
…whose kingdom is not of this world, and who rejected all the glory that this world offers.
…who refused to allow the Jews to crown him king, though he was the King of the Jews.
…who fought alone, without an army.
…who was arrested by his own people, and mocked by the representatives of the Roman Empire, the great earthly kingdom of that day.
…who was crucified because he was King, and remained King when he died.
…who, being risen and ascended, is the King of kings and Lord of lords.
To this divinely anointed King, this book is witness. Behold your King, and worship him!

 
Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the series of sermons by Rev Arie Den Hartog

Jesus At The Last Passover With His Disciples
Jesus In Gethsemane
Jesus At Calvary
The Miracle of Jesus' Resurrection
 
Upcoming Events!
 
Sports Day - 20 May 2019
 
CERC Church Camp 2019

Some details of this year's church camp are as follows. More details will be announced closer to the date. 

Date: 10-13 June 2019
Venue: Pulai Spring Resort, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Theme: Holiness: "Walking in the Spirit" - Gal 5:16.
Speaker: Rev. A. den Hartog
 
 
Past Events...
 
Infant Baptism of Jeshurun

We were blessed to witness the Infant Baptism of Jeshurun, son of Yang Zhi and Nicolle! We rejoice with them, thanking God for adding to the church and praying for God's blessings upon them as they bring up their covenant child in the fear of the Lord. The applicatory sermon preached under the title  'Daily Performing Our Vows', Psalm 61:8 can be found here. May we examine ourselves also and glorify God as we perform our vows.
 
 
Gospel Meeting 2019

This year, our Gospel Meeting was given by Rev Arie Den Hartog, under the theme of 'The Suffering Servant of God', taken from Isaiah 53:1-5 and can be found here. Thank God for sending His Son to die on the cross for us! Thank God for the good time of fellowship also and we welcome many visitors. 
 
Wedding of Jonah and Zhi Leng

This April, Jonah and Zhi Leng were united in holy matrimony. We rejoice with them and pray the Lord's blessings upon their union!

"For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church." Ephesians 5:31-32
 
 
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: Vacant  ~ www.cerc.org.sg 
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New Salt Shakers Magazine - April 2019

SS April 2019 cover 2"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the April 2019 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#54),their youth magazine.

The APRIL 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 contents of this issue and images of the cover and table of contents. The entire issue is also attached here in pdf form.

Dear readers,

Our second issue of the year is here! An assortment of Reformed, Christian literature awaits your spiritual consumption; download the PDF attachment below!
May the LORD continue to use the magazine for your spiritual profit and the glory of His name.
 In Christ,
Lim Yang Zhi, On Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee

Inside the April Issue:

~ Giants Contending for the Faith

~ Wisdom (2): Wisdom and the Tongue

~ Heroes of the Faith - Barak

~ Homosexuality: What Does the Bible Teach (2)

~ Going Green in the Right Direction

~ Godly Zeal in the Second Generation (2)

~ Fellowship and the Incarnation

~ How the Reformed Faith Arrived in Kolkata

~ New from the Churches

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Reformed Witness Hour Newsletter - April 2019

News from the
RWH for April 2019

To learn more about us or to make a donation
to our internet and radio ministry, click here.

 

Sponsoring the Reformed Witness Hour

Did you know that the RWH is a non-profit? We rely on financial support from individuals and the Protestant Reformed churches to continue the work of our ministry.
One way a church can support the RWH is through sponsorship. But sponsorship does not just support the RWH; it benefits the church too!
 
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"You can love only when you are humble."

Love is Not Proud, Rev. Rodney Kleyn's message based on I Corinthians 13:4 was our most-downloaded message last month on sermon audio.

You can read or listen to it too!





 

Who downloaded the RWH on sermon audio last month?

The RWH was downloaded by people in 18 countries and 35 states in March. That's a total of more than 660 downloads

 
 
 

Celebrate 400 years of the Canons of Dordt!

1. Visit the RWH table at the Dordt400 conference April 25-27 at Trinity Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, MI!

2.Tune in to the RWH from June-September as we air a special series of messages on the 5 points of Calvinism by Rev. Cory Griess. Visit our website to download the messages after they air or to find a radio station near you broadcasting our program!
 
If you wold like to receive these newsletters by email, sign up here: http://eepurl.com/gikNsL
 
Copyright © 2019 The Reformed Witness Hour
All rights reserved.


Our mailing address is:
PO Box 1230 Grand Rapids MI 49501
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Covenant Reformed News - March 2019

Covenant Reformed News


March 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 11



Zechariah’s Day of the Lord (5)

The earthquake and mountain movement in Zechariah 14:4-5 point to something far greater, as the book of Revelation teaches: “the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places” (6:14). “And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great ... And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found” (16:18, 20).

The explanation lies in the fact that Judah, indeed the whole of Canaan, is a picture of the world or cosmos in biblical typology. For Abraham was not promised merely a strip of land on the east of the Mediterranean Sea (Gen. 12-25); he was an “heir of the world” (Greek: kosmos), as Romans 4:13 teaches!

It is not only a mountain in Judah or even all the mountains of the world but the cosmos itself and even the very heavens that will be shaken! “The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel” (Joel 3:16). “For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations” (Hag. 2:6-7). Haggai 2 is quoted and explained in Hebrews 12:26-27: Jehovah “hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.”

It is not only in Zechariah 14:4-5 but also in verses 10-11 that we read of mountain movements. “All the land [of Judah] shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem” (10). From Geba, Judah’s northern border (II Kings 23:8), to Rimmon, its southern border (Josh. 15:32), all will be levelled to a plain.

Also something happens to Jerusalem. It will be elevated: “it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses” (Zech. 14:10). 

In other words, before the fulfilment of this prophecy, Judah is hilly and uneven, while Jerusalem is higher than most parts of Judah, though lower than some of the surrounding mountains. But Zechariah 14:10-11 pictures Judah as one large plain, with Jerusalem elevated above it.

The premillennialists wax lyrical about how wonderful it will be when Jerusalem in the Middle East is raised above a level Judah. Our response is: “Your Jerusalem is too low; it is too earthly!”

The biblical and Reformed position is, first, that even now we have a far more elevated city, the “Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all” (Gal. 4:26). Second, we look for the future coming of the new Jerusalem from heaven, as in the vision of the beloved apostle: “I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband” (Rev. 21:2).

Our hope is Christ’s coming to usher in the new heavens and the new earth with “a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations” (22:1-2).

Let us return to the imagery of Zechariah 14:10-11. First, these verses state that Jerusalem will be “inhabited” by people dwelling there. Compare this with the far more excellent “holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband ... Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God” (Rev. 21:2, 3).

Second, “Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (Zech. 14:11), for “God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Rev. 21:4).

Third, Zechariah 14:10 speaks of the gates of Jerusalem’s walls but the coming reality will be much more wonderful: “that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels” (Rev. 21:10-12).

Fourth, “there shall be no more utter destruction [or curse]” for Jerusalem (Zech. 14:11) in the new world, for “there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him” (Rev. 22:3)! Rev. Stewart

 

Two Questions on Creation

Question 1: “What kind of light did God create on the first day? On the fourth day, He made the sun, moon and stars. They are light-giving bodies.”

We must not forget that the whole work of creation is a miracle. As with all miracles, we cannot explain creation completely for we cannot comprehend God’s mighty works. Our confession is always, “How great and marvellous are Thy works, O Lord!”

Nevertheless, I can suggest one possible answer to your question. It arises from the fact that the creation of the stars, the sun and the moon was the creation of light-bearing bodies. That is, they have no light in themselves but were created to carry the light created on the first day. On the fourth day, God gathered the light He had created on to the heavenly bodies.

There are many things to learn from the creation of light and it is well that we mention a few. One is that before the creation of light, all that the Almighty had created was one mass “without form, and void” (Gen 1:2). It is impossible for us to imagine it. It was not just a huge hunk of clay or anything resembling it. It was lifeless, unformed, neither hot nor cold, without any kind of movement. But from it came the entire creation, not only the earth but the entire solar system.

For the creation to be formed, light had to be created. Light is the source of life. With it we have heat and cold, light and darkness, and movement. No creation would have been possible without light.

Yet, even though light is the fundamental creation of God that gave form to it all and even though it was created first, man still does not know with certainty what light is. Some say it is packets of energy. Others say that light is waves. Yet others say that light is both under different circumstances.

No one understands what light is, even though it is God’s first creation, yet evolutionists in their folly claim to understand how all things came into existence.

Further, light is closely associated with what was once called the “ether theory.” That theory claims that the whole of space is filled with some sort of invisible substance called ether through which light can travel.

This controversy brings to mind an interesting discussion that was held in my Reformed Dogmatics class in the days of my seminary training. My professor, Herman Hoeksema, was lecturing on creation and defended the ether theory. One student, braver than I, contradicted him by saying that the ether theory had been disproved. His only response was, “We shall see.” Lately, I have been reading that the ether theory is returning in scientific discussions.

However all that may be, astronomers reckon that there are billions of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way. Yea, there are billions of galaxies in outer space, each with innumerable stars. They all give light, some so much light that, if even one were as near to us as our sun, the earth would be burned to a crisp.

The Bible often speaks of holiness as light. God’s holiness is His light. All the light in the universe is only a revelation of the light of God’s holiness. All the light of trillions of heavenly bodies is only a flickering and sputtering flame in comparison with God’s infinite holiness. “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers ... What is man, that thou art mindful of him?” (Ps. 8:3, 4).

Even before the creation of light-bearing bodies, the diffused light was divided into light and darkness, for “the evening and the morning were the first day” (Gen. 1:5). Darkness is the absence of light, and darkness in Scripture is used to describe sin and evil.

The dawn of a new day speaks of the defeat of darkness by the light. It will be perfectly and forever light, when Christ comes again to destroy evil and make all things new. “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5); we shall be like Him!

Question 2: “If God’s creation took six days, how can we explain the seventh day?”

I am happy to answer this question because it gives me an opportunity to say some things that I have long wanted to say but lacked the occasion.

First of all, God rested on the seventh day and, regarding His creation, we read, “behold, it was very good” (Gen. 1:31). Did God mean by that only that the creation was free from all moral defects? No. Nor did God cease working when He finished His work of creation, for He continues to uphold and govern every creature by the word of His power. We call this providence.

God means by this that He entered into the enjoyment of His own work, for it was perfectly suited as a stage on which He would enact the great drama of the fall and sin, the salvation of His elect church in Christ, the revelation of His justice in punishing the wicked in hell, and the revelation of His grace in Jesus Christ in the everlasting new heavens and new earth. God rested in the sure confidence that His creation was perfect to serve His purpose.

In the old dispensation, the seventh day was at the end of the week because man had to work six days to enjoy God’s sabbath, that is, the enjoyment with God of His works. But because of sin, the day of rest, the seventh day, was completely out of reach for man, for he could not labour one second of an entire week so as to earn the sabbath.

But Christ arose on the first day of the week and thus began a new sabbath. Christ is God’s perfect work, for He kept God’s law and through His obedience earned rest for His people. When we enjoy a sabbath, we do so by faith in Christ which enables us to serve God faithfully the rest of the week. Christ has done for us what we could never do.

As Hebrews 4 is at great pains to inform us, we enter into God’s rest to rest in fellowship with Him only by faith in Jesus. That is, not by our own works do we enter rest. Such nonsense brings us into wicked legalism. But by faith in Christ, in union with Him, we enjoy God’s perfect work by entering into the rest that He graciously gives us through Christ’s atoning sacrifice and victorious resurrection.

We must lay aside all our works for they are nothing but “filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6). Christ’s obedience, not ours, secures our rest. Christ’s work, not ours, gives us the true rest. By faith in Christ, we enter into God’s work and rest in His everlasting covenant of grace. Prof. Hanko


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

Thursday, 25 April
 7:15 PM


Speaker:
Rev. Martyn McGeown


Subject:
The Development of God’s Covenant (5): Jacob

Having traced the development of God’s covenant with Adam, Abel, the saints before the flood (especially Enoch), Noah, Abraham and Isaac, we will now consider God’s covenant with Jacob. Jacob struggled for the covenant for his whole life, yet he had to learn, through much divine chastisement, that the covenant is not gained by man’s trickery or efforts, but through God’s grace alone and by faith in His promises! 

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

Book Table (including DVDs,
CDs & pamphlets) 
Coffee & tea provided afterward

www.cprc.co.uk
www.cprf.co.uk/swales.htm

www.limerickreformed.com


Gospel Living
(vol. II)


8 sermons on Romans 12:13-21 on CD or DVD in an attractive box set 

What is the Christian life which flows out of the gospel of sovereign grace (God’s unconditional election, Christ’s particular atonement, justification by faith alone and sanctification by the Spirit)? Romans 12:13-21 explains by dealing with hospitality, like-mindedness, humility and (extensively) revenge!

(1) Christian Hospitality
(Rom. 12:13)
(2) The Christian’s Reactions (Rom. 12:14-15)
(3) Being Like-Minded Towards One Another (Rom. 12:16)
(4) No Retaliation! (Rom. 12:17)
(5) Be at Peace With All Men! (Rom. 12:18)
(6) Vengeance! (Rom. 12:19)
(7) Heaping Coals of Fire on Your Enemy’s Head (Rom. 12:20)
(8) Overcoming or Being Overcome? (Rom. 12:21)

£8/box set (inc. P&P)


Listen free on-line or
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!

The Original
Five Points of Calvinism


400th Anniversary of the Synod of Dordt

Mini-Conference

Saturday, 13 April
1) The Onset of the Great War: Ecclesiastical and Doctrinal - 11 AM
(lunch served between
the two lectures)
2) The Confession of the Gospel (of Grace): The “Five Points of Calvinism” (as the Content of the Canons of Dordt) - 1 PM

Wednesday, 17 April
7:30 PM
 
The Defence of the Gospel: The Rejection of Errors

Wednesday, 1 May 
7:30 PM
 
The Other Decisions of the Dordt Synod and Their Importance for the Reformed Churches Today

Speaker
 Prof. David J. Engelsma 
emeritus Professor of Dogmatics at the Protestant Reformed Seminary, USA

Venue
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence St., Ballymena,
N. Ireland BT43 5DR

Prof. Engelsma is also to preach, DV, at some of the CPRC worship services (11 AM & 6 PM) on Lord’s Days 14, 21 & 28 April and 5 May

www.cprf.co.uk/dordtconference.html or for more details contact us at (028) 25 891851
video live-stream available at www.cprf.co.uk/live.html 
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