News from All Churches
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
9 February, 2018
Dear saints in the Protestant Reformed Churches,
Rev. Nathan Decker (Trinity PRC) and Elder Sid Miedema (Byron Center PRC) were this year’s church visitors in the CPRC (18-25 January) and the Limerick Reformed Fellowship (LRF) (25-29 January). It was good to have both of these men back with us again!
Annual Congregational Dinner
Their first engagement was the CPRC annual congregational dinner (19 January). Besides members and friends of the church in Ballymena, Rev. McGeown, Colm Ring, Manuel Kuhs, Chester Mansona, and Sam and Jason Watterson of the LRF made the four-hour journey to join us (and that is only one way!). After a good meal, William Graham asked the questions for an excellent table quiz.
Chester Mansona, Sid Miedema, Rev. Decker, Rev. McGeown
Rev. Decker preached at both of our Sunday services (21 January) and led a fine Bible study on Psalm 73 at the church on Tuesday morning. On the next night, his lecture on “Living Wisely in a Digital Age” was well attended and the on-line video has attracted a lot of interest ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=TorlK7c_CYw ).
Besides the official church visitation with the CPRC Council, our two American brethren had dinner with several families and visited with other saints. On the morning of their departure for Limerick, they even fitted in breakfast with a former member (Kristin Crossett) and a current member (Carolyn Prins) of the church that Rev. Decker pastors.
Teaching in the CPRC
“Ezekiel’s Prophecies Against Tyre” (Ezek. 26:1-28:19) was the subject of a recent 4-sermon series in the CPRC. God judged that wealthy island trading centre so that it was reduced to a rock upon which fishermen repaired and cleaned their nets. The prophet pictured the city as a great ship filled with international merchants and all their wares, but it was going to sink to the bottom of the Mediterranean. The king of Tyre thought that he was wiser than Daniel and even a god. His realm was another Eden for precious stones and gold, and he was like Adam or a cherub guarding the garden. Yet he was a fallen son of Adam and the image of Satan, and he would soon be cast from his garden of God and destroyed. The 4 sermons are on-line in audio (www.cprf.co.uk/audio/OTseries.htm) and video ( www.youtube.com/user/CPRCNI ), and soon will be available in a box set of CDs or DVDs for just £6.
In our Tuesday morning Bible study, we have been considering the Feast of Tabernacles, the most joyful of the Old Testament feasts. We have looked at its institution in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and its celebration in Joshua, Judges, I Samuel, and I Kings. More material is to come, including 4 major Old Testament passages and John 7.
Since the middle of November, our Wednesday night doctrine class has been studying the subject of baptism in connection with Belgic Confession 34. Our treatment has included the baptismal formula, the administrators of baptism, the requirements for a valid baptism,
immersionism, the mode of baptism, the meaning of baptism, etc. ( www.cprf.co.uk/ audio/belgicconfessionclass.htm ). It is a rich subject that opens up a lot of Scriptures.
The fortnightly Ladies’ Bible Study, which meets on Friday mornings, is now discussing Rev. Smit’s book, The Fruit the Spirit of Jesus Christ. The fortnightly Saturday night Men’s Bible Study has begun Studies in Acts by Mark Hoeksema. These fine RFPA resources are already proving beneficial to our members. Almost all of the copies of Rev. Brian Huizinga’s “Keeping the Sword Drawn” brought over by the two church visitors have gone already ( www.cprf.co.uk/pamphlets/keeping sworddrawn.pdf ). Some of the saints in the CPRC are also using a yearly Bible reading programme that Mary prepared from two existing programmes.
“God’s Saving Will in the New Testament” was the subject of a lecture I gave in South Wales on 25 January. There are two main Greek words that deal with willing, determining, desiring, wishing, etc., in the New Testament. What does a study of this concept in the New Testament reveal about the will of God’s decree and the will of His command? We had a blessed night of fellowship with the saints, including with Timothy Spence, a member of the CPRC who is at a university in South Wales. Also a good number of books and box sets were purchased. The video is on-line ( www.youtube.com/ watch?v=rPml_52T__0 ).
The last couple of months have seen 14 translations added to our website (www.cprf. co.uk/languages.htm): 6 Hungarian (by 2 young men who are coming to the 2018 British Reformed Fellowship Conference), 6 German (on Pentecostal issues by a brother who last did some translations for us in 2010), 1 Italian (by a Calvinistic Baptist in Sicily), and 1 Hindi (Prof. Engelsma’s pamphlet “Try the Spirits” by Sam Salve in India).
We added our second video with French subtitles, thanks to Timothée Rapak of Reims. This brings our foreign language videos to 28 ( www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2Y5Eq5r6y2HmXGp8oXTSI2QS6_FJYjyJ ). The USA, UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia often feature in the top 5 countries using the CPRC YouTube page. However, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, of all places, have broken into the top 5 in recent times!
We continue to get a lot of good feedback. “I love the steadfast, Calvinist, Reformed theology [of the CPRC] on the internet. Bless you!” (Florida, USA). “Just a note to say thank you for the great book, Knowing God and Man. I couldn’t lay it down once I started reading it. It is profound truth and an absolutely brilliant book. I will be using its contents for many references” (Northern Ireland). “I read the excellent article on the subject of Lefèvre [‘Jacques Lefèvre d’Étaples: Pioneer of French Reform’]...I would love to quote it in an essay I’m writing to raise awareness of Lefèvre and his influence on the Reformation in France” (France). “Thank you for the books you kindly sent me. They will be very useful in the year ahead and also for the British Reformed Journals. The materials you send me are so appreciated in these days of Arminian churches” (England). “I have been a long-time reader of your website and have encouraged many to read your articles. One of the members of our church has recently translated some articles for you into Portuguese” (Australia).
Thank you for your support and prayers in Christ,
Rev. & Mary Stewart
Rev. Rodney Kleyn, pastor of Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA), begins his four-month service for the RWH program, giving a special series on the Old Testament book of Ruth, as evidence of God's great covenant faithfulness to His people (cf. schedule of messages below).
February 4 - God Chastens an Unholy Family, Ruth 1:1-6
Rev. Rodney Kleyn
February 11 - The Conversion of Ruth, Ruth 1:7-18
Rev. Rodney Kleyn
February 18 - The Homecoming of Naomi, Ruth 1:19-22
Rev. Rodney Kleyn
February 25 - The First Meeting of Boaz and Ruth, Ruth 2:1-17
Rev. Rodney Kleyn
You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 77th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!
Use the attached flyer (pdf) to spread the news of these important gospel messages!
Myanmar Mission Report - January 2018
Greetings in our sovereign and gracious covenant Lord's name. Blessed New to you all. This is the First letter that I wrote to you in this new year. Thanks for all your prayers and encouragements in 2017.
A year is speedily gone and a new year started, the time of our Lord Jesus returns in one more year near, for that we are thankful, then new creation will start for the final fulfilment of His covenant of grace.
Thank you very much for all the cards that you send us in covenant love. We (my wife Certe, our children, and myself) do not know how to express our joy seeing them; some time we like to cry for joy knowing we have brothers and sisters in the Lord for His covenant sake. And I like to tell you that, that is the first time in our life that much cards received in one time; so first time has a lot to say in one's life. Thank you and the Lord's blessings on you all in 2018.
That reminds us Ps. 133 "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." And our Apostle's creed, "I believe an holy catholic church: the communion of saints." We are united in His truth, that is a real beauty.
When, my wife and I were in U.S., there were many places that we enjoy very much visiting. Among them, some of the place for me, personally, were, visiting the RFPA building. The Lord used books and Standard Bearer to lead me to know the truth and to know you all. My life was richly blessed by those books, and I am translating some of the books from that publishing, so to see it face to face was really something special for me, I could not express it with words. Some pastors think that, to preach good news in the only important thing, and they even suggest that I should not translate books rather preach gospel; but I think books are like coffee to American. When I was in U.S., even before breakfast, you drink at least a cup of coffee, but if I ask you, what will be your main source of energy, your will tell me food, but coffee also have a very important role in American's life. In that way, the Bible and preaching are our main spiritual food, but books also very important. Books still talk and preach after that person died. Even, e g. Hoeksema still talks to us with his triple knowledge volumes and others books also the same.
And visiting PR Seminary classes and attended some classes there, from the day that I learned PR distinctives, I am so eager to see that school; for your kindness, I could made that dream come true. Thanks to you all and to our faithful covenant Lord.
Thursday Bible classes begin again; now the first hour, we listen Prof. Cammenga's seminary lectures on "Soteriology," that is doctrine of salvation. Now we reached third lecture of four; the second hour we discuss our Essentials of Reformed Doctrine. Now I am discussing the means of grace, preaching especially, how to make sermons Reformed way, especially for Ah Lin; the rest also as leading their small groups, they said very helpful. For me also, all the books on preaching are in English, this is the first time I am putting them in Burmese language, quite a challenge, because, Burmese language does not really concern "Tenses of Verb." It is kind of spoken written language; e g. I can say "I come yesterday," which is very wrong in English but it is perfectly OK in Burmese, I think you will notice in my report as well, when I write English that kind of thing always there. But we enjoy very much in learning together.
And on Thursday night, I have another Bible class to equip two young men from our congregation to become new elder and deacon, so that we may have rotation of office bearers. Since the Bible said, " In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, (Titus 2:7 KJV)" I am teaching them, all the things that necessary to know as officers of His covenant Church. They are brought up under my pastoring from their very young, so class is like lecturing. They dare not to ask me questions, so I have to encourage them: "do not afraid me but ask me and have dialogue with me." I hope slowly they will do that.
I am still busy, editing my KJV Burmese translation, I am now editing the book of Revelation, the last one, very soon NT will be ready to publish. Evening services Heidelberg Catechism, now eight time just started, reached LD 7.
For Sunday Digest, now I started translating, the book of Judges, reach chapter 8, I reached translating "Come, Ye Children," by Gertrude Hoeksema, "Jeroboam Teaches Israel to Worship Idols." I am translating, "Unfolding Covenant History," by Homer C. Hoeksema, I am translating the topic "The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil." I send Sunday Digests as attachment.
Catechism classes, younger one, Heidelberg Catechism, by Rev. Wilbur Bruinsma; this week we reach lesson 48. Older youth, I am teaching them our Belgic Confession itself now, reach Art. (11).
Thank you very much for supporting my ministry, without your help I cannot do all the things that I do for His people. Please, continue to pray for us, so that the Reformed truth that we hold dear as PR churches will be through out generations, not just when I did ended.
In my congregational prayer as well as in personal prayers, I continue to pray, always for you, especially the long struggle that the Lord sent to your midst to end. The Lord's blessings to you all.
"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has now released the January 2018 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#47),their youth magazine.
The January 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.
- Calvin's Instruction on Church Membership - Aaron Lim
- Scripture's Covenant Youth (X): David - Prof. Herman Hanko
- Are Unbelievers in God's Image? (V) - Rev. Angus Stewart
- CKCKS Camp Review: Examine Yourselves - Nichelle Wong
- In the Year of the Dog - Daisy Lim
- Raising a Covenant Family - Rev. Arie Den Hartog
- A Letter to My Unforgiving Self (I) - Marcus Wee
- The Importance of Family Devotions - Rev. Ryan Barnhill
- Reformed Polemics for the Reformed Believer - Rev. Nathan Langerak
- Rejoicing and Weeping Together (I): Introduction - Lim Yang Zhi
- Bold to Witness - Rev. Stephan Regnerus
- Holiness: A Conscious Choice - Eld. Lee Kong Wee