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News from All Churches

Reformed News Asia - April 2018

Issue 48 - April 2018
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!
COVENANT GODLY LIVING
By Rev. Carl Haak

"And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."
Genesis 17:1

“The covenant is that truth of Scripture, from its beginning to its end, of the bond of friendship with God given to us through the blood of Jesus Christ, in which God becomes our God and we are made His people, who now live under the blessing of God and desire to show forth His praise in all we do. Covenant, godly living emphasizes that this covenant is not simply an external code, that religion is not merely an outward matter, but that true covenant living is fueled by personal godliness. Covenant, godly living - that is, the truth of God's gracious covenant as applied to our life in our home, in our marriage, and in every aspect of our walk."

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 (Singapore), 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 AMAZING CROSS
by Herman Hoeksema

From the RFPA website:

“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 depends 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.

 
Audio Recordings
Series of sermons on the Suffering of Jesus Christ focusing on the words of Jesus while He was hanging on the cross by Rev. A. Den Hartog:

Father Forgive Them
The Salvation Of An Evil Doer At The Cross
Eli, Eli. Lama Sabacthani?
Good Friday Gospel Meeting - It Is Finished

 
 
Upcoming Events!
 
CERC Sports Day

Date: 1 May 2018
Venue: Bishan Active Park
Time: 9am - 1pm

This year, we will be revisiting some old but familiar games played especially by the older generations. All members, of all age groups, are encouraged to join and have a time of fun/sports together.
 
CERC Church Camp 2018

The highly anticipated 2018 Church Camp will be held from June 12-15, 2018 (Tue-Fri). More details will be announced closer to the date.

Date: 12-15 June 2018 (Tue - Fri)
Venue: Bayou Lagoon Park Resort, Meleka
Theme: Holiness: Not a Condition but a Necessity (1 Peter 1:16)
Speaker: Rev. A. den Hartog

For more information, please contact Ishu Mahtani at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
 
Past Events...
 
Wedding of Yang Zhi and Nicole
This March, Yang Zhi and Nicole were united in holy matrimony. We rejoice with them and pray the Lord's blessings upon their union.
 
 
Infant Baptism of 3 children
Early this April, we were blessed to witness the Infant Baptism of not 1 but 3 infants- Micah Liu, Jedidiah Lee and Lydia Boon! We rejoice with their parents, thanking God and praying for God's blessings upon the them as they bring up their covenant child in the fear of the Lord. 
Baptism of Micah, son of Paul and Anthea
Baptism of Jedidiah, son of Kong Wee and Dorcas
Baptism of Lydia, daughter of Cornelius and Jemima Joy
 
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 both Reformed 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 - April 2018

 

Covenant Reformed News

April 2018  •  Volume XVI, Issue 24



“Lead Us Not Into Temptation” and Pope Francis

In a video in December, 2017, Pope Francis claimed that “lead us not into temptation” is a bad translation of the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer. However, this is a very accurate rendering of the words of the Lord Jesus in the original Greek.

The Pope made this outrageous statement because he cannot reconcile Christ’s teaching with his own base view of God’s sovereignty. Semi-Pelagianism, which is akin to Arminianism, is Rome’s historic position. However, contemporary Romanism and its Pope have degenerated such that they are more accurately described as Pelagian, which is even further from the truth than the heresy of Semi-Pelagianism.

Francis and the Roman Church believe that man is not totally, but only partly, depraved and so is able to do good works that please God (contra Rom. 3:9-20). According to them, Jehovah loves and wants to save everybody, and so Christ died for all head for head (contra Matt. 11:25-27; Eph. 5:25). Every pleasant thing is grace to all men absolutely and is proof that God loves everybody (contra Rom. 11:7-10).

This is a wicked denial of the biblical and Reformed truth of God’s particular grace and love in His election, Christ’s redemption and the salvation applied by the Holy Spirit (John 17; Rom. 9:6-24; Eph. 1:3-14; I Pet. 1:1-12). It should not be too much of a surprise to Christians that this is the heretical papal position. Even more disturbing is that the views in the previous paragraph are also the teaching of most of Evangelicalism!

For the Roman church and its pontiff, God’s sovereignty is an extremely meagre thing. According to their position, Jehovah could accurately be presented as the great spectator who watches the earth (and weeps!). He does not govern everything in the world and thus He is not truly sovereign at all!

So the Pope reckons that, when Jesus taught us to pray, “lead us not into temptation,” He is wrong, for only the devil leads into temptation. Thus Francis opts for the recent French Roman Catholic false retranslation of the sixth petition, which in English would read, “do not let me fall into temptation.” Thus the alleged vicar of Christ corrects the true Christ! The papal antichrist thinks he knows better than the biblical Christ!

The truth is that the Triune God is absolutely sovereign over all things, including every sin and every temptation. Absolutely everything, including every sin and every temptation, was included in God’s eternal decree. Yet Jehovah does not approve of sin and is not soft towards it. Instead, He hates it—always, infinitely! Absolutely everything, including every sin and every temptation, occurs in God’s providence in time. The Most High orders, bounds and disposes all things, whilst always hating sin and punishing it, either in the impenitent sinner or in Christ, the gracious substitute for all those the Father eternally gave Him (John 17:2, 6, 9, 11, 12, 24).

Note carefully that God does not sin or engage in any evil activity. Instead, it is man and fallen angels who sin and break Jehovah’s commandments. Contrary to extreme hyper-Calvinists, God is not the author or doer of sin, for such is blasphemy (Belgic Confession 13; Canons I:15). Men and demons are the authors and doers of sin.

The Westminster Confession provides a superb summary: “The almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness of God so far manifest themselves in His providence, that it extendeth itself even to the first fall, and all other sins of angels and men; and that not by a bare permission, but such as hath joined with it a most wise and powerful bounding, and otherwise ordering and governing of them, in a manifold dispensation, to His own holy ends; yet so, as the sinfulness thereof proceedeth only from the creature, and not from God, who, being most holy and righteous, neither is, nor can be, the author or approver of sin” (V:4).

We need to distinguish carefully. There is a difference between tempting and trying. The devil and his angels (and other sinful human beings) tempt us: they want us to sin because they love evil and wish to ruin us. On the other hand, God tries and tests His people. He does not love sin; He hates it. He does not hate us; He loves us. He uses difficult circumstances to try and test us for our good and to purify us by His grace.

To put it slightly differently, of course, it is God the sovereign Lord who leads us into temptation, for everything is under His control. On the other hand, Satan tempts us, wanting us to fall into sin and desiring to destroy us.

Do you have this straight, believer? First, as regards God, He does not tempt anyone (James 1:13); Jehovah tries us and tests us and leads into temptation. Yea, He leads us into temptation in order to try and test us. Second, Satan tempts us, as the one who loves evil and wants our ruin in sin. Third, the authors or doers of sin are fallen angels and fallen humans, who wickedly yield to temptation.

Only in Christ crucified and risen is the believer free from the guilt, punishment and dominion of sin. Only by the power of Jesus’ Word and Spirit is the child of God able to overcome temptation. Thus we pray the sixth petition: “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). Rev. Stewart
 

Do Not Tell!

A reader asks, “Why did Christ command those whom He healed not to tell who healed them, yet we are commanded to witness of Him?”

In addition to the historical fact that Jesus commanded some whom He healed not to reveal who healed them, He also told only a few who He truly was. First, He said He was the Christ to the Samaritan woman (John 4:25-26). Second, He identified Himself as the Son of God to the man born blind whom He healed (John 9:35-37).

It is striking that both instances are recorded in John’s gospel narrative, for John’s express purpose in writing his gospel, under divine and infallible inspiration, is given in chapter 20:31: “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

A third incident in which Christ declared who He was is recorded in Matthew 16:13-20. This passage describes Jesus’ question put to His disciples: “Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” After receiving the answer, Jesus put the same question to the disciples. Peter, speaking for all of the disciples, said, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus confirmed this truth by telling them that this confession would be the rock on which He would build His church. Yet, even then, Jesus “charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.”

Why the command not to tell? Setting aside for the moment Jesus’ injunction to His disciples in Matthew 16, we should notice that both the Samaritan woman and the man born blind were already inclined to think that He was the Messiah. The woman from Samaria hinted at this when she said that she knew and believed that the promised Messiah would come. She as much as asked Him, “Art thou that Messiah?” 

The same was true of the blind man. He called Jesus “Lord,” which name already set Jesus aside from others whom the blind man knew. But his question is also a sort of revelation of his inward questioning: he wanted to believe but was not sure Jesus was the promised Messiah. In other words, both the Samaritan woman and the man born blind saw that Jesus was divine, that is, the Son of God. God had put this faith within their hearts.

But with so many others who were healed, this was not the case. They did not have this saving faith. Again, it is John who gives us insight into this matter. At a very early time in our Lord’s ministry, after He had cleansed the temple (John 2:14-22), we read that Jesus was in Jerusalem where He performed many miracles and many believed on Him. But, John adds, “Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man” (24-25).

In other words, many believed in Jesus only as a miracle-worker. They did not see Him as the Samaritan woman and the man born blind saw Him, as the promised Messiah, the seed of the woman who would crush the head of the serpent and deliver them from their sins. Jesus knew all men, including who were and who were not true believers. He knew that most of them who swarmed around Him did so because of His eloquence as a preacher and His ability to perform miracles. 

Again John makes this clear when Jesus had fed the crowds with five loaves and two fishes. When He would not be their king and would not feed them with earthly bread, and when He pointed out to them that He was the Bread of Life and that faith that He was from God was required of them, we read “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him” (John 6:66).

When Jesus turned to His disciples and asked them whether they wanted to leave as well, their answer, with Peter again as the spokesman, was, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God” (68-69).

By all this, I do not mean to say that many of those who believed in Christ only for the miracles were not God’s elect. Later history tells us that there were thousands who were the chosen people of God, though as yet they did not believe in Christ as God’s Son.

In the purpose of God, that true faith in the hearts of His people had to wait for Pentecost. Even the disciples who possessed true faith did not understand Christ’s work in its entirety. Just before Christ’s ascension into heaven, they asked, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” (Acts 1:6). In their carnality, they kept thinking of an earthly kingdom. It was only after the Spirit of Christ was poured out that all became clear: the cross, the resurrection, the ascension and the New Testament church. The Spirit made all the difference, for the Spirit, as Christ Himself had told them, would lead them into the truth and make all Christ’s work plain (John 16:13).

How frequently the same mistake is made by today’s throngs that fill mega-churches. They believe in a Christ who does healing miracles today (or so the Charismatics claim) or that faith in Him will guarantee a trouble-free life here in this world of sin and darkness or that believing will give them prosperity and wealth. They may claim to follow Christ but they are following a phantom. More subtly, many claim to believe in Christ because He loves all men, gives them a chance to be saved and lets them have a gloss of religion while their hearts remain in the world.

True faith confesses that we are totally depraved sinners who cannot believe of ourselves and who do not deserve salvation. We know our sins and realize that only God can save us by the power of His irresistible grace. We know that our salvation was accomplished in the cross and to that cross we flee with broken hearts and cries of sorrow.

So, my answer is this: Miracles themselves were only signs of Christ and what He did as Saviour. Healing blindness is a sign of Christ’s gift of healing our spiritual blindness. Making the lame walk was a sign of Christ’s work of enabling us to walk in the way of His commandments. Raising the dead points to Christ’s work of raising us from our spiritual death to new and heavenly life. And so it was with all the miracles. But the faith of many ended with miracles. Christ does not want to be known merely as a miracle-worker. He is the Saviour and Redeemer of His people, and faith in Him brings true heavenly salvation and deliverance from all our physical and spiritual ailments and troubles in the next world. That He saves me is the greatest miracle of all!  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
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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British Reformed Fellowship Family Conference

21-28 July 2018

Hebron Hall
Conference Centre

South Wales

Theme:
The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God

Speakers:
Prof. David Engelsma
Rev. Andy Lanning

Check the conference website
for more details and booking forms
http://brfconference.weebly.com/
Study Guides

Ideal for individuals or groups, each study guide contains a brief overview of the book, short remarks on each passage and questions for study. 

Studies in Ruth - C. Haak
(36 pp. Softback, £3.30)

Studies in Ezra - B. Gritters
(40 pp. Softback, £3.30)

Studies in Malachi - C. Haak
(72 pp. Softback, £4.40)

Studies in Acts - M. Hoeksema
(176 pp. Softback, £5.50)

Studies in Romans - M. Hoeksema
(96 pp. Softback, £4.40)

Studies in Philippians - C. Haak
(30 pp. Softback, £3.30)

Studies in I Thessalonians - C. Hanko
(29 pp. Softback, £2.75 inc.)

Studies in II Thessalonians - C. Hanko
(22 pp. Softback, £2.75)

Studies in Hebrews  NEW!  - M. Hoeksema
    (88 pp. Softback, £4.40) 

Studies in James  NEW! - M. Hoeksema 
    (63 pp. Softback, £3.85)

Studies in I Peter - C. Hanko 
    (80 pp. Softback, £3.85)
Order from the 
CPRC Bookstore
on-line, by post or telephone
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland BT42 3NR
(028) 25891851
.
Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.”
Thank you!

Baptism: Formula, Administrators, 
Validity, Mode and Meaning


11 classes on Belgic Confession 34 (Vol. XXVI)
on CD in an attractive box set 

 Some dismiss baptism as of little importance. Yet Christ appointed it as a sacrament (Matt. 28:19), and all the issues addressed in these audios arise from Scripture and in the life of His church!

(1) The Importance and Beginning of This Article (Matt. 28)
(2) God’s Fatherhood and the Baptism Formula (Matt. 28:11-20)
(3) The Administrators of Baptism (Acts 8:5-40)
(4) What Constitutes a Valid Baptism? (I Tim. 2:11-15)
(5) Mode [1]: 7 Arguments Against Immersionism (Acts 9:1-20)
(6) Mode [2]: Responding to Immersionist Arguments (Matt. 3)
(7) Mode [3]: Immersion, Sprinkling and Pouring (I Peter 1:1-12)
(8) Meaning [1]: Old Testament Baptisms (Heb. 9:6-23)
(9) Meaning [2]: Baptisms Administered by John (John 1:19-42)
(10) Meaning [3]: Baptisms by or Upon Christ or His Disciples (Gal. 3:22-29)
(11) Meaning [4]: Reformed Doctrine and Ephesians 4:5 (Eph. 4:1-16)

£12/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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Young Men's Conference This Saturday, April 28 - Georgetown (MI) PRC

run fight lead WEBSITE header

Young Men's Conference (High School / College), "Run, Fight, Lead!" is THIS Saturday, April 28, from 8-12:30, at Georgetown PRC.

Run, Fight, Lead! is a Christian Young Men's Conference for high school and college age young men. The goal of the conference is to equip and encourage Christian young men to grow in Biblical manhood.

The topics will follow the theme of Run, Fight, Lead! Running from lust and pornography and instead running toward biblical manhood and Godly dating and marriage. Fighting against, gossip, bullying and hate while fighting for truth, peace and love. Leading Christian brothers out of sinful rebellion and leading them in the way of holy obedience.

The conference speakers and their topics will be:


Rev. Mahtani – Run, Fight, Lead!
Rev. Spronk – Social Media
Rev. Eriks – Dating
Justin Visser – Pornography
Karl Dykstra – Life After High School & Biblical Manhood

There will also be a multi-generational panel following the speakers to address questions.

The conference will begin at 8am with breakfast and coffee and will finish around 12:30pm.

GTPRC2012

Breakfast Included! Register Today! Wednesday, April 25, is the FINAL day to register.

For more details and to register please visit georgetownprc.org/runfightlead

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Covenant PRC, N. Ireland Newsletter - April 2018

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, NI

19 April, 2018

Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,

Translations

The last two months have been very fruitful with regard to Reformed translations (www.cprf. co.uk/languages.htm). We have received 44 articles in 8 different languages, plus Hungarian subtitles to a video in which Prof. Hanko answers a question from Patrick Duerr from Covenant of Grace PRC.

The Belgic Confession is now on the CPRC website in Armenian, thanks to an Armenian brother living in Germany. This is the first time that this creed has been put online. It may even be the first time anyone has translated the Belgic Confession into Armenian.

Ivan Ortu in Sardinia sent us 5 Italian translations. We received 2 chapters of Prof. Engelsma’s Hyper-Calvinism and the Call of the Gospel in Russian, as well as 2 Spanish translations.

A lady in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF) has become our first translator to send us materials in two different languages. As a Greek citizen with Albanian parents, she knows both tongues. From her, we have gotten 8 Greek and 4 Albanian articles.

The 10 recent German translations bring our total in that language to 170. With the 12 new Hungarian translations, we now have 234 articles in that tongue.

These translations are definitely reaching people. In fact, so far in April, 15 of the 20 most hit articles on our website are in languages other than English. It is not an exaggeration to say that our translations receive more hits than our English articles!

Our Translators Fund is very low, since we have lately posted a number of boxes of RFPA and British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) books to our hard working translators in various parts of the world. If you would like to contribute to this worthy cause, please contact me (pastor @cprc.co.uk).

Ministry of the Word

“Earnestly Contending for the Faith” is the theme for our ongoing sermon series on the Epistle of Jude (www.youtube.com/user/CPRCNI). So far we have covered the first eleven verses. This Sunday morning’s text describes false teachers: “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever” (Jude 12-13).

Our Tuesday morning Bible study recently treated the feast of Pentecost in the Old Testament and its fulfilment in Acts 2. Having covered all three of ancient Israel’s pilgrimage feasts, we are now considering the relationship between Passover/Unleavened Bread, Pentecost and Tabernacles, especially noting that Passover, fulfilled in Christ crucified (I Cor. 5:7), comes first and is the basis for the other feasts.

Last night, we had our nineteenth class on “Holy Baptism” (Belgic Confession 34). For the last two months of these classes, we have been considering the inclusion of the children of believers in the kingdom of the Messiah, as prophesied in Isaiah 40-61, Jeremiah 31-32, and Ezekiel 34-37, and as described in the four gospel accounts and I Corinthians (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/belgiccon-fessionclass.htm). It has been very helpful to see so much Scripture teaching the Reformed view of covenant seed in the New Testament age and not that of the Baptists (the little children of believers cannot repent and believe, and so cannot be baptized).

“Feed my lambs” (John 21:15) is Christ’s command to Peter and to the whole of His New Testament church. Upon the conclusion of the CPRC catechism classes, we had our end of year tests. They were all marked today and the covenant children did well. May God bless His Word to the next generation of the church!

Visitors

The CPRC enjoyed the visits of Herman and Lindy Hanko (Grace PRC), Ed and Jessica Hanko (Lynden PRC), and Stephanie Van Maanen (Hull PRC) in March.

The Ramsay family (Dan, Katie, Olivia, Caleb, and Sophia) from Bristol, England, stayed with us (30 March-2 April). Dan has bought a number of copies of Saved by Grace, by Prof. Cammenga and Rev. Hanko to give  to friends, and has attended several lectures in South Wales. Mary and I had dinner with the Ramsays in their home some months ago, and it was lovely to have them with us for a long weekend.

Candidate Jonathan Langerak was Rev. McGeown’s pulpit supply in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF), while he was in America for his wedding and honeymoon with Larisa (De Jong). So the CPRC asked Cand. Langerak to bring a word of edification to us on Sunday 8 April, while I led the worship in the LRF. His grandparents, Harry and Evelyn Langerak, joined him for part of his time in Limerick and all of his time in Ballymena, so they were all able to join the congregation for tea after the Sunday evening service. The three Langeraks brought a lot of RFPA books with them and stayed at the CPRC manse, so we were able to fellowship with them and show them around parts of N. Ireland (4-9 April).

langerak family limerick 2018
Rev. Stewart (in back) with Harry, Evelyn, and grandson Candidate Jonathan Langerak

At present, Shimone Spyker from Perth, Western Australia is staying with us (17-23 April). She has just returned from Northern Ireland’s north coast with a sun tan, for today is the sunniest and hottest day in 2018 for us.

Others

The Ballymena Guardian published an article I sent them about Marco Barone’s book, Luther’s Augustinian Theology of the Cross: The Augustinianism of Martin Luther’s Heidelberg Disputation and the Origins of Modern Philosophy of Religion (12 April, 2018). A member of the CPRC, Marco lives in Ballymena, and the Heidelberg Disputation occurred exactly 500 years ago this very month (25-26 April, 1518). Marco’s excellent book is available on-line through the publisher, Wipf and Stock, as well as Amazon, etc.

Mary and I will be in Grand Rapids during the week of Synod, DV, for I am this year’s delegate from the CPRC. While there, I am to give a speech on “Gottschalk: Medieval Confessor of God’s Absolute Sovereignty” in Trinity PRC (13 June). On the Sunday after Synod, I am to preach in Crete PRC and Bethel PRC in Chicagoland (17 June).

hooper monument
Bishop John Hooper Monument

There are places still available at the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) Conference in Hebron Hall, Cardiff (21-28 July). While in South Wales to give a speech on “Angels as Messengers of the Lord” (12 April, 2018), Mary and I visited Gloucester, a destination of one of the Conference day trips. It is a beautiful town with an impressive cathedral, historic docks, and scenic walks. It has a lot of Christian interest, for it is the birthplace of George Whitefield (the eighteenth-century evangelist), the place of the first Sunday school, and the location of the martyrdom of Bishop John Hooper (9 February, 1555) under Bloody Mary, etc. For more information on the BRF Conference on “The Reformed Family—According to the Word of God” with Prof. David Engelsma and Rev. Andy Lanning, check out this website (http://brfconference.weebly.com). All are warmly welcome!

Please continue to pray for your sister church in Northern Ireland and the Limerick Reformed Fellowship. May the Lord be with you all,

Rev. Angus & Mary Stewart

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Philippine Mission Newsletter - April 2018

PROTESTANT REFORMED FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES - APRIL 2018 NEWSLETTER

Rev. Daniel J. Holstege (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Rev. Daniel Kleyn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) Rev. Richard J. Smit (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

PROTESTANT REFORMED CHURCHES IN THE PHILIPPINES

  • The Protestant Reformed Church in Bulacan (Muzon, San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan) oversees the mission field in Albuera, Leyte. In the absence of a full-time missionary in Albuera, the consistory of PRCB has been sending monthly committees of a pastor, with an elder or deacon, to preach, teach, provide pastoral care, and administer benevolence to the needy with the Word of God and prayer. Rev. Smit provides pulpit supply to the BPRC or PRCB, depending on which pastor is involved in the monthly visit. The worship services of the PRCB are broadcast live via the internet to 4 locations in the Philippines and one location in the Middle East where the PRCB has Filipino contacts.
  • The Berean Protestant Reformed Church (Antipolo, Rizal) has, in addition to its regular Sunday worship services and catechism schedule, an evangelism work at the Kerusso Community Church in the downtown Manila area (Tondo) at which Pastor Ibe preaches regularly and afterwards conducts an Essentials of Reformed Doctrine class. Once a month, Pastor Ibe and one consistory member lead a Bible study in Gabaldon (5 hour drive north of Manila). This Bible study is held in Sitio Karugang, which is a different location than Bagong Sikat where previous work was done.
  • The Berean Protestant Reformed Church is sponsoring a conference on May 1, 2018, a national holiday. The theme is “The Power of the Gospel.” The four speakers and their speeches are as follows:
    Rev. L. Trinidad, “What is the Gospel?”
    Rev. J. Flores, “The Gospel and the World”
    Rev. D. Kleyn, “Regeneration and Calling”
    Rev. V. Ibe, “The Gospel and Sanctification”
  • The Maranatha Protestant Reformed Church (Valenzuela, Metro Manila) hosted the recent Classis of the PRCP on February 25. One of the significant decisions of the Classis was that Rev. Leovy Trinidad, pastor of Maranatha, was appointed to represent the PRCP at the upcoming Synod of the PRCA in June 2018, particularly in regards to the finalization of a sister-church relationship between the PRCP and the PRCA.
  • Seminary training for the ministry of the Word in the PRCP remains a priority for the PRCP and us. Preparations are being made for the start of a seminary program in the future, as well as providing pre-seminary instruction in N.T. Greek, the Lord willing. More updates on this work will follow as plans develop and are approved. We see the need for the training of local ministers of the Gospel for the churches here, both in their own pulpits and their mission fields. We commit the desire and planning of a theological school for the PRCP to the Lord’s blessing and guidance.

PRCA MISSIONS

  • Our Reformed doctrine and Reformed church order classes continue once a month in Sipalay, Southern Negros Occidental (SNO), with local pastors and leaders of various churches, mission groups, and other groups. The men come from an area that extends from Inayauan to Hinobaan, a distance which would take about 1 hour to travel by car or motorcycle. Rev. Kleyn has been giving lectures on the articles in the Church Order and is almost finished with this work, before moving on to another subject of benefit to the pastors for their continuing education. In February, I resumed instruction and review in the section of Reformed doctrine regarding Christology. The brethren in SNO maintain faithful and lively attendance.
  • In the Provident Christian Church (Marikina, Metro Manila) Rev. Holstege continues to serve full-time, preaching on Sundays, giving instruction in the Church Order between the 2 worship services, and providing catechism instruction in the Wednesday Night Bible Study (recently on the truth of Matthew 24-25). In addition to this, Rev. Holstege leads a Youth Fellowship Bible study on Sunday afternoons. Rev. Kleyn has continued to teach the Saturday morning Bible History catechism for the children of the PCC. Recently, under the guidance of Rev. Holstege with the help of Rev. Kleyn, the PCC is working towards the goal of becoming a part of the PRCP denomination.

VISITORS

  • In the past several months, we hosted the PRCA Contact Committee delegation in late October so that they could be present at the November 1 meeting of the PRCP Classis in order to convey the greetings and decisions of the 2017 PRCA Synod about a sister-church relationship with the PRCP.
  • Then, the Holstege family enjoyed parents, grandparents, and a sister and aunt visiting over U.S. Thanksgiving and around the time of the Christmas holidays.
  • Mr. Nathan Pastoor visited in December. Mr. Elliot Ensink and Miss Elizabeth Ensink visited around the beginning of 2018, enjoying even our annual New Years’ Day picnic with all of us at Faith Academy’s elementary school playground. Mr. Peter Kleyn and Mr. David Dijkstra visited in January. Mr. and Mrs. Colin Lim and their daughters, Cheryl and Bernice, from CERC in Singapore visited at the time of Chinese New Year (Feb. 16).
  • The FMC/Doon Council delegation of Mr. Joel Van Egdom (with his wife, Michelle) and Rev. Cory Griess visited us in the second half of February and even joined the monthly visit to SNO. We have enjoyed the encouragement of our visitors.

3 missionaries families 2017

A NEW MISSIONARY FAMILY

  • After the usual long trip from North America, we arrived at our house on December 29. The clock in the above picture even reminds me that it was about 9:30 a.m. when we finally arrived at our new but old home.
  • What exactly did I mean by “our new but old home”? The Kleyns and Holsteges searched for suitable housing for us in the current subdivision and surrounding areas in October. Then, in late October 2017, when I was here for a Contact Committee delegation, I and my wife (via Skype) discussed what to do with the available options. After some discussion together about the feasible options, we mutually agreed on the option of a great missionary house exchange.
  • What exactly was this great missionary house exchange of 2017? Our house is the former house of the Holsteges which was our former house (October 2010 to March 2015). So, in an unexpected way, we are living nicely in our old house again! In turn, the Holsteges have occupied , since December, the former house of the Kleyns. Then, to complete this amazing house exchange of 2017, the Kleyns have occupied, since November, their new house on a different street of our subdivision. Their house is very nice, too. And, our children noticed an interesting mathematical pattern about the address numbers of our 3 houses: #12 (Smits), #23 (Kleyns), #34 (Holsteges).
  • A week after our arrival, our children joined Gabriel Holstege as returning students to Faith Academy on January 4. The Smit children have adjusted well to classes, teachers, and classmates at Faith Academy. Our school “March Break” is coming soon. We don’t call our mid-semester break “Spring Break” because it’s actually the hot summer time here. Our vacation starts on March 23 and continues through April 2. The children expect to return to class refreshed and well-tanned on April 3.

SUMMARY OF OUR DIVISION OF LABOURS

  • With the addition of a third missionary and his family to the work, some thought and attention was given to sort out where the third missionary would fit into the current stream of work. Here is a summary of what we are doing.
  • Labors of Rev. Holstege: Rev. Holstege works full-time in the Provident Christian Church with preaching, catechism, Bible Study, family visitation, chairman of steering committee, and PCC’s own evangelism work. He serves as an advisor to the PRCP in the area of missions, contact with other churches, and translation work.
  • Labors of Rev. Kleyn: Rev. Kleyn works in the Maranatha PRC with preaching twice a month and attendance at their monthly consistory meetings. Rev. Kleyn serves as an advisor to the consistory of the PRCB at their request and to the 2 standing committees of the PRCP Classis which oversee all of the denominational work of the PRCP. Rev. Kleyn will continue to lecture at the monthly pastors classes in SNO, and, if possible, make longer visits to the area in order to help the churches in SNO in their development in the Reformed faith and church government.
  • Labors of Rev. Smit: Rev. Smit will help the PRCP to develop a seminary program for its seminary students. For this goal, Rev. Smit serves as an advisor to Committee 1 of the PRCP Classis which oversees the work of the PRCP Seminary, as well as other denominational matters. Rev. Smit provides preaching in the PRCP congregations and the Provident Christian Church when the regular pastors or missionaries are scheduled to be absent from their pulpits. Rev. Smit plans to continue his lectures at the monthly SNO classes.
  • Labors Together: Together, we are continuing our Tagalog education, providing lectures to the 7M classes, providing lectures at PRCP sponsored conferences and youth retreats, and helping the churches with their mission work in Albuera, Bulacan, Gabaldon, Tondo, Laguna, and other places. We continue to be involved in the congregational life of the churches, including such things as their annual church picnics. We plan to take turns again with the writing of our quarterly newsletters, and, as we have done in the past years, we are willing to provide live-interviews via Skype to our PR young people societies, high school classes, or Bible Study groups that are interested in a pre-arranged Q/A session with one of our missionaries.
  • We understand that after reading this long list, you might find it difficult to visualize who is doing what and where and how even we ourselves can keep it all straight. Yet, you can surely appreciate that we are being kept busy. Pray for us that God give us the grace to be sustained in all of these harvest labors.

FURLOUGH PLANS FOR 2018

  • There is a time for intense labor, but there is also a time and need for rest in order to rejuvenate ourselves for further work. The Holstege family plans to have their six-week furlough from June 11 to July 24. The six week furlough includes 3 weeks for vacation and 3 weeks for preaching, for attendance at Synod, and for mission field presentations in our churches.
  • Their busy itinerary is as follows:
    June 11-17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grand Rapids
    June 18-27 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Randolph
    June 27-July 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Doon/Hull
    July 2-15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Grand Rapids
    July 16-23 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Loveland

REFORMED BOOKSHELF

  • The sale of RFPA books continues to go well. The number of books sold in 2017 was 1,780. This is slightly less than what was sold in 2016: 1,800.
  • A Tagalog translation of Come, Ye Children is moving closer to typesetting, printing, and distribution. We are excited about this project because this book will make available to Tagalog-speaking believing parents a tool of instruction for their young, Taglog-speaking lambs in Bible history according to the Reformed faith, something sorely lacking here.
  • We express our thanks to you for faithful and generous support of the Philippine Book Fund and the goal that it is serving now: distribution of soundly Reformed books in English, and soon also Tagalog, that instruct and sound forth the Word of God according to the Reformed faith for God’s sheep and lambs in the Philippines.

CONCLUDING THOUGHTS

  • We covet your prayers for our labours in your behalf and for the propagation of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ in the Philippines through our small work. Similar to what a Presbyterian missionary once wrote, we do it not because it is somehow more heroic than being a local pastor, for it is not. We do it not because it is of itself a more attractive endeavour, for it is not. We do it not because it supposedly makes us more pious than seeking God’s kingdom first in Canada or the USA, for it does not.
    This also is harvest work: challenging, blood, sweat, and tears work. Hence, we learn more and more to be motivated with the same believing conviction and focus of Paul on Christ as inspired in 2 Timothy 2:10, “Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.”
  • Since in this work no man of himself is able to do it, pray for us that the Lord sustain our strength, conviction, and desire to serve Him and His church in this work: seeking to do this work in His way according to His Word and our confessions, trusting by faith in Him alone that it has His approval and indispensable support for the glory of His grace.

In His service,
Rev. Richard J Smit

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New Salt Shakers Magazine - March 2018

SS 48 March 2018 Page 1

"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the March 2018 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#48),their youth magazine.

The March 2018 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.

Beloved Readers,

 Salt Shakers is pleased to bring you Issue 48!
 We continue our consideration of the important calling of holiness in our lives. May God give us the grace to live out this calling unto Him.
 Do give our Bible riddle a try, it's a tough one! You may email us to check if you've got the answer, or wait till it is revealed in the next issue!
 Our heartfelt appreciation also goes to all our writers for their contributions to Salt Shakers!
In the March 2018 issue:
The Necessity of Reforming the Church by John Calvin Aaron Lim
Scripture's Covenant Youth (XI): David - Prof. Herman Hanko
Are Unbelievers in God's Image? (VI) - Rev. Angus Stewart
Holiness as Young Adults (I) - Wee Gim Theng
Life in the Seminary -Josiah Tan
A Letter to My Unforgiving Self (II) - Marcus Wee
Book Review: Little White House in IowaEmily Lanning
The Great Flood - Lisa Ong
The Pressure of Busyness on the Covenant Family - Rev. Joshua Engelsma
Reformed Polemics for the Reformed Believer (II) - Rev. Nathan Langerak
Rejoicing and Weeping Together (II)  - Lim Yang Zhi
Called to be Saints - Daisy Lim

Remember to pass the salt!

Pro Rege,
Chua Lee Yang, On Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee
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