News from All Churches

Covenant Reformed News - November 2016


Covenant Reformed News

November 2016  •  Volume XVI, Issue 7

God’s Longsuffering and the History of Sin

In the last four issues of the News, we surveyed all the references to God’s longsuffering in both the Old and the New Testaments, emphasizing that the exercise of this divine attribute is particular, for the elect alone. But what about how this works out in the history of sin?

Let us start with the beginning of the history of sin: the fall in Genesis 3. Why did the Most High not cast Adam and Eve into hell immediately after their eating the forbidden fruit? Surely, this is what their sin deserved? However, in God’s eternal decree, He had a wonderful plan to glorify His great name through the salvation of an elect church in Jesus Christ. The immediate death and damnation of the first two human beings would have stopped the propagation of mankind! What then of the history of the world? What about the coming of the Messiah?

Moving forward many centuries, we come to the flood. Why did God tell Noah that 120 years would pass before the global deluge (Gen. 6:3)? It was not because the Almighty was longsuffering to the reprobate in that age. Rather, time was needed to build the ark and for Noah to preach about God’s coming judgment (II Pet. 2:5). Also within these twelve decades, other elect saints, like Methuselah, died. They could not perish in the flood because it was a picture of Jehovah’s avenging wrath against the ungodly! The longsuffering of God saved the eight souls in the ark; it was not trying to save the impenitent reprobate who drowned under the judgment of the Most High (I Pet. 3:20).

Why did the Lord not destroy Sodom earlier? It was not that God loves, and is longsuffering towards, everybody head for head. Instead, the Sodomites had to fill up the cup of their iniquity. The development of their wickedness even reached to their attempted, homosexual gang rape of two strangers (Gen. 19:1-11). Until the departure of believing Lot, the only elect person in Sodom, the Almighty could not burn up the city, as Abraham well understood: “That be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” (18:25). After all, the fire and brimstone are a picture of the “eternal fire” of hell (Jude 7; II Pet. 2:6)!

What about the Egyptians in the book of Exodus? Was the Almighty longsuffering towards them? No. Through the words and miracles of Moses, God hardened the hearts of Pharaoh (Ex. 4:21; 7:3, 13; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8), his servants (10:1) and his people (14:17). Jehovah’s hardening of the Egyptians issued from His eternal reprobation and holy hatred of them (Rom. 9:10-24; 11:7-10). Moreover, the Egyptians were destroyed for the sake of His beloved Israel: “For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life” (Isa. 43:3-4).

Why did God not destroy the inhabitants of Canaan earlier? Was this because they were the objects of His longsuffering? No. In the days recorded in Genesis 12-50, there simply were not enough descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to possess the promised land. Besides, the people in Canaan had not yet sufficiently developed in their sin. As Jehovah told Abraham centuries before the conquest of the holy land, “But in the fourth generation they [i.e., Abraham’s descendants] shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full” (Gen. 15:16). Then the Most High would use the sword of Joshua and the nation of Israel to inflict His judgment upon the wicked inhabitants of Canaan (cf. Lev. 18).

After the Jews crucified His Son, why did Jehovah not devastate Jerusalem and its temple sooner? Why did He wait four decades until AD 70? Christ explains that the Jews must commit other sins, especially persecuting His followers, so as to be fully ripe for their inescapable judgment: “Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar” (Matt. 23:32-35). Furthermore, elect Jews in and around Jerusalem needed to be saved first, as we read in the early chapters of Acts (e.g., 2:41; 4:4; 6:1, 7).

Does the sparing of the Gentile world for many hundreds of years before the Holy One of Israel began to gather a catholic or universal church (cf. Acts 14:16; 17:30) prove that He was longsuffering to these reprobate people? Of course not! How could the Triune God save elect Gentiles in the New Testament age, if He had wiped out their ancestors centuries before? The Lord had His elect among the subsequent generations and numerous descendants of ancient idolaters, including the (largely Gentile) readers of the Covenant Reformed News!

Finally, does the “delay” of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for the final judgment indicate that God is longsuffering to the reprobate? No. Revelation 6:9-11 records “the fifth seal.” John “saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held.” This is the loud cry he heard: “How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?” John beheld that “white robes were given unto every one of them.” Then we read of the answer to their earnest cry: “it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.”

In short, the scriptural explanation of the delay of the great judgment day is that more saints must be martyred and the ungodly world must fully manifest its wickedness. Only then will all things be ready for the glorified Christ to return to deliver His beloved people and punish those who rebel against Him. “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom” (Luke 12:32)!  Rev. Stewart


Could Christ Be Sick?

This is a reader’s response to my last article: “Jesus would have had to have sinned in order to become ill and to know sickness by experience, because the weakness of the body is through sin.

First, Matthew 26:38 and Romans 8:10 make clear that sin makes the body weak, in fact, dead. But Christ’s body was neither dead nor weak.

Second, Jesus did not defeat, and did not know illness; He only commanded illness in others to depart. What sense would it make for Him to be sick, if He needed only say a word in order to be healed?

Third, the lamb for the sacrifices in Israel had to be without blemish. This pointed to Jesus (I Pet. 1:19). If He had His own weaknesses and sickness, then it would have been good for Him to take care of His own blemishes.

Roman 8:3 states, “For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.” The body of Jesus was not weak, and that was true until God left Him and burdened Him with our sins. He was even then able to bear the punishment and say, “It is finished.” Then He gave up His soul.

I understand that the article’s point was that Christ was tempted in all things but did not sin, yet I find the approach rather objectionable. He was sick so that He could heal! With the same logic, was it true that He was possessed so that He could exorcise demons? In addition, He must have first sinned, if He could be sick, yet He was not sinful!

The article is not based on God’s glory but on a human approach.

Finally, Jesus bore our weaknesses and our sicknesses. If He had His own, He could have bore only His own weaknesses and sicknesses.”

I have provided the lengthy question above because its author was kind enough to give the reasons for his disagreement with what I wrote in a recent article, namely, that, although we do not read in Scripture that the Lord was ever sick, He could have been sick because He was like us in all things, except sin.

The questioner is from Hungary and I have summarized his arguments. I have also improved the English translation to make it clearer for readers of the News. I hope that I have accurately represented his ideas. If I have not, he can let me know.

I appreciate the fact that the questioner took the time to argue his case in some detail and, therefore, it will take a few issues to answer the brother adequately. This is worth our time and effort, for we are dealing with the great “mystery” of Scripture: “God was manifest in the flesh” (I Tim. 3:16). The brother’s arguments concerning this great truth must be answered.

I take issue with the questioner, however, when he charges me with using human logic instead of Scripture. It would be terrible if I did this, for I would be slandering our only Lord and Saviour if I used only logic to explain the mystery of His incarnation. The charge is doubly serious given that I have been preaching and teaching for over 60 years, and have always preached and maintained that our Saviour was like us in all things, sin excepted. That includes our sicknesses and diseases.

I will limit my answer in this issue of the News to underscoring and developing parts of two statements in our Reformed confessions. Belgic Confession 18, entitled “The Incarnation of Jesus Christ,” declares that God’s “only-begotten and eternal Son ... took upon Him the form of a servant, and became like unto man, really assuming the true human nature, with all its infirmities, sin excepted.” Notice the word “all,” in the phrase “all [our] infirmities.” That must include sicknesses for it is one of our infirmities.

The texts referred to in Belgic Confession 18 include Hebrews 2:14-15: “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 14, in explaining part of the Apostles’ Creed, says, “That God’s eternal Son, who is and continueth true and eternal God, took upon Him the very nature of man, of the flesh and blood of the Virgin Mary, by the operation of the Holy Ghost; that He might also be the true seed of David, like unto His brethren in all things, sin excepted.” One verse quoted is Philippians 2:7: “But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men.” The next text Lord’s Day 14 cites is Hebrews 4:15: “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

What I have explained in the News has been the teaching of the churches of the Reformation for the last 500 years. It is not my idea, but part of the heritage of the truth.

The truth of Christ’s federal headship and organic headship brings up the question of how our Lord could be like us in all things, except sin, but remain free from the guilt of sin and the pollution of sin. An explanation of this would take up more space than is available in this issue of the News, so I intend to deal with this next time, God willing.  Prof. Hanko

Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: • Live broadcast:
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. • •

South Wales Lecture

Thursday, 8 December, 2016
at 7:15 PM

The Round Chapel
274 Margam Road, Port Talbot, SA13 2DB

John Owen and the Death of Christ

Rev. Angus Stewart

All welcome!


Bound to Join a Faithful Church

8 classes on Belgic Confession 28 (Vol. XX)
on CD in an
attractive box set

Is it important to be a member of a (faithful) church? Is it historic, Christian, Reformed and creedal teaching that there is no salvation outside the (institute) church? Is this doctrine true? Why? What does it mean? What about exceptions? Why do we need to separate from false and departing churches? What practical steps are involved in leaving such churches and joining true churches?

£10/box set (inc. P&P)

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

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








New Issue of "Salt Shakers" Magazine - November 2016

SS 40 Nov 2016 Page 1"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has just released the November 2016 issue of "Salt Shakers" (#40),their youth magazine.

Once again, this issue of "SS" is filled with interesting and profitable articles, and our PRC young people especially are invited and 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,

The Salt Shakers is pleased to bring you Issue 40 of Salt Shakers!

In this issue, we wrap up our consideration of this year's theme: A Pilgrim's Path. Look out for the theme article A Pilgrim's Path: A Stranger in the World by Boaz Leong! Also in the same vein there is Preparing for Persecution by Cheryl Lim. In this issue, we also begin a series on practical eschatology, based on notes from a seminary class given by Prof. David Engelsma. Josiah continues his series on dating with his latest article on Intimacy in a Courting Relationship. We are thankful to all our writers for their excellent contributions to this Reformed magazine.

Once again, we are thankful for the Lord' grace in sustaining the continued publishing of Salt Shakers.

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

SS 40 Nov 2016 Page 2


Myanmar Mission Update - November 8, 2016

Myanmar map 2

Myanmar Mission Newsletter - November 8, 2016

For many years the Hope PRC Council, along with recent help from Hope’s Reformed Witness Committee (RWC), has been laboring with our brethren from the PRC of Yangon, Myanmar. Many of you are aware of this work to some degree, but others may not be as familiar with these labors.

We would like to first introduce to you the historical background of our work with the PRC of Yangon. Following this introductory article will be regular reports from Rev. Titus Sanceuluai (referred heretofore as Rev. Titus) and from Hope PRC’s RWC. As you will come to understand in this and subsequent installments, the PRC of Yangon is part of the true church of Christ and is growing daily in its understanding of Reformed doctrines and what church membership means.

The work in Myanmar began originally as an offshoot of the PRC’s work in Singapore with the Asian Reformed Theological School. This work began first with Rev. J. Kortering, and was continued by the extensive work of Rev. A. den Hartog who made a total of seven different visits to Myanmar. Most of these trips involved teaching men from various churches at seminars. Rev. den Hartog states that the most lasting legacy of his work in Myanmar is the continued existence of the PRC of Yangon, of which Rev. Titus is still the faithful pastor.

When the Contact Committee of the PRC decided that the work in Myanmar did not fit within the scope of its constitution, the 2007 synod adopted Hope PRC’s recommendation that they continue the work with the PRC in Myanmar. Hope provided both financial support and spiritual guidance along with technological tools for improved communications. This improved communication proved to be indispensable and helped the spiritual development of the Yangon congregation grow by leaps and bounds. Rev. Titus no longer had to wait for delegation visits to have real time correspondence with Hope PRC’s Council.

Myanmar mapDelegates from Hope PRC have made a total of five visits to Myanmar over the course of six years. The main objective of each visit went from initially learning the details of the work in Yangon to spiritual guidance and establishing that the PRC of Yangon is a properly instituted church with officebearers lawfully called and installed. The most recent delegation provided instruction in church government, which ranged from managing a church budget to establishing and maintaining proper church membership. This led to the Yangon congregation reaffirming its membership by formal public confessions of faith.

Hope PRC’s Council hopes to continue the work in Myanmar with at least one visit per year. As you will learn in subsequent reports from Rev. Titus, a large part of this continued labor will involve assisting in organizing new congregations with the eventual goal of forming a functioning Reformed denomination of churches in Myanmar. Due to the daunting amount of work, the many opportunities available, and the many other responsibilities that consistory work brings, The Hope RWC has offered to assist Hope’s Council in their work in Myanmar. This help will consist of updating the denomination on progress in addition to several other initiatives that involve working directly with Rev. Titus and the PRC of Yangon. There will be regular updates in the future that include the progress of the work in Myanmar and reports from Rev. Titus and delegate visits.

Also please look us up on Facebook at and on Hope PRC’s website at



Hope PRC (Grand Rapids, MI) Sponsoring Special Lecture - November 11, 2016

Hope PRC RWC 2016 Lecture DJE

The entire Reformed community, indeed all Protestants, in Western Michigan are cordially invited to attend a special lecture on the evening of November 11, 2016.

The subject of the lecture will be a biblical topic of the greatest importance and urgency for all confessing Christians and their children: “The Necessity of Membership in a True Church of Jesus Christ.” Not that such membership is preferable, but that it is necessary. Not membership in some church or other, perhaps a church that is active in the community, or a church with a friendly minister, but membership in a true church.

The importance and urgency of the topic are, according to Article 28 of the Reformed creed, the Belgic Confession, that “out of it [a true church] there is no salvation.”

What makes this topic especially urgent in our day is the widespread ignorance of this truth and practice, and even powerful attack on this truth and practice, within Protestantism, evangelicalism, and even Reformed Christianity. Confessing Christians make their decision regarding church membership regardless that the church they choose obviously lacks the marks of the true church. Confessing Christians contentedly remain members of churches that plainly fall away from Jesus Christ, or show themselves apostate. And then there are such unbiblical movements as the “home church movement,” which openly despise the instituted church of Jesus Christ.

All Reformed Christians confess in Article 28 of their creed, the Belgic Confession of Faith, that “all men are in duty bound to join and unite themselves with [a true church].”

The speaker will be the Rev. Prof. David J. Engelsma, minister of the gospel and retired professor of theology in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America.

The lecture will be held at Hope Protestant Reformed Church, 1580 Ferndale Ave SW, Grand Rapids MI, 49534.

The lecture begins at 7:30PM.

After the speech, the audience will have opportunity to ask questions of the speaker, which he will answer publicly.


Reformed Witness Hour Messages for November 2016

First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for November 2016 on the RWH radio program.

WBruinsma 2Rev. Wilbur (Bill) Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC) continues his four-month service for the RWH program with a special series on the virtuous woman, and a special Thanksgiving Day message.

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, celebrating in 2016 its 75th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign particular grace!

To find a station in your area, visit the RWH website.  Or visit the RWH Sermonaudio channel.

Below is the schedule of messages, which you will also find below in flyer form and attached in pdf form.

November 6, 2016 - Looking Well to Her Household, Proverbs 31: 27,28

November 13, 2016 - Living with an Unbelieving Spouse, 1 Corinthians 7: 13-16

November 20, 2016 - In What Does Life Consist?, Luke 12: 13-21

November 27, 2016 - Aged Women: Holy Teachers, Titus 2: 3-5

November 2016 flyer Page 1


Reformed News Asia: Issue 34 - October 2016

Issue 34 - October 2016
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.
FEATURED Pamphlet!
God's Way
By Rev Angus Stewart

Through 4 articles, this pamphlet considers Psalm 77 where the author Asaph struggled to understand the ways of God. He wondered if God had forsaken him and "in anger shut up His tender mercies".

Troubled and distressed, Asaph "sought the Lord", eventually concluding that God's way is in the sanctuary and in the sea. Truly, His ways are not our ways.

This pamphlet remind us of Jehovah's preservation of His saints. No matter what earthly circumstances may indicate, He is always gracious towards His elect. Though weary and cast off, a child of God will never lose his faith.

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.
Be Ye Holy: The Reformed Doctrine of Sanctification 
by Profs David Engelsma and Herman Hanko

Extracted from the Foreword:

"The goal is that we might know the truth of sanctification—which biblical doctrine, like all other aspects of God’s truth, makes us free (John 8:32)—and obey the gospel call to holiness in heart and life, by God’s grace. Some 2,000 years ago, on the day before His crucifixion    for us, our Saviour prayed, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17). Christ’s prayer on that momentous night    and His continuous intercession for His church embraces not only the billions of God’s elect over the millennia and the innumerable    occasions whereby He uses His truth in various ways; it also includes this humble book and all the saints who shall read it."

Click here to read the book online!

Upcoming Events!
Reformation Day Conference 2016
Come join us in commemorating the 16th century reformation this November!

Details in the poster below:

Youth Reformation Day Conference 2016
Date: 12 Nov 2016
Time: 3 - 630pm
Venue: CERC (see map above)
Speaker: Rev Andy Lanning

Dinner will be provided! Do invite your friends and family for this event.

Vacation Bible School 2016
Details for VBS 2016 are out!

Dates: 6-8 Dec 2016 (no stayover)
Location: CERC (6-7 Dec) and Singapore Science Centre (8 Dec)
Participants: Children from K2 to Pri 6

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to register!

CKCKS Camp 2016
Our annual youth camp is here again!

Theme: Ask for the Old Paths (Jer 6:16)
Dates: 14-17 Dec 2016
Location: Aloha Changi, FP Chalet 7
Speaker: Rev Andy Lanning

Visit for more details and to register!
Past Events...
Infant Baptism
On 2 Oct, CERC was privileged to witness yet another Infant Baptism, this time of the son of Mr and Mrs Aaron Lim: Herman Lim.

"And I will establish my covenant between me and thee and thy seed after thee in their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be a God unto thee, and to thy seed after thee." Gen 17:7

Examination of Emmanuel Singh
On 29 Oct 2016, church members and visitors gathered in CERC for a significant event - the examination of Bro Emmanuel Singh. This examination took place in accordance with Article 9 of our church order, as a necessary step towards calling Emmanuel as a missionary of CERC.

"Preachers without fixed charge, or others who have left some sect, shall not be
admitted to the ministry of the church until they have been declared eligible, after
careful examination by the classis, with the approval of synod." Article 9, Church Order.

Revs Daniel Kleyn and Wilbur Bruinsma, delegates from the Protestant Reformed Churches of America (PRCA), were present to assist in the examination.

Emmanuel delivering his specimen sermon on Acts 13:48
Examination on the 6 loci of dogmatics and other topics
Presentation of diploma
We are thankful to the Lord for providing His church with a labourer for the gathering of His sheep in India.

"And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." (Jer 3:15)

Confession of Faith of Emmanuel and Sonali Singh
The day after the examination (30 Oct), Emmanuel and his wife, Sonali, made Confession of Faith and joined CERC as members. We greatly rejoice with our brother and sister in their membership and warmly receive them into our fellowship.
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  • 

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