Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

Covenant Reformed News - January 2019


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Covenant Reformed News

January 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 9

Zechariah’s Day of the Lord (3)

Three verses in Zechariah 14 specifically refer to God’s coming at the end of this age: “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh” (1), “Then shall the Lord go forth” (3) and “the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (5). Putting all this together, Jehovah goes forth from heaven (3) so that “the Lord my God shall come” in the air (5; cf. I Thess. 4:17) with the result that this day—the best of all days—comes to the Most High for His glory (Zech. 14:1)! 

Notice the first person singular pronoun in verse 5: “the Lord my God shall come.” Zechariah is speaking here, first of all, but every believer also declares with true hope in Jesus, “the Lord my God shall come” (5). This is our confession regarding Christ: He is Jehovah God. As well as confessing Jesus’ deity, the believer affirms that He is “my God” personally: “I have covenant fellowship with Him, as one chosen in Christ, redeemed by Him and united to Him by a living faith.”

When the resurrected Jesus was before him, Thomas exclaimed, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28). When we think of Christ’s return, each one of us says, “the Lord my God shall come” (Zech. 14:5). He will come for His church and for me personally, if I am alive on the earth at “the day of the Lord” (1).

This is our comfort. This is deep consolation also for the saints to whom we speak of these things. “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (I Thess. 4:17-18).

There is also an important preposition in Zechariah 14:5: “the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” The “saints” or holy ones are the elect angels and/or the glorified believers (I Thess. 4:14). This is our honour: to be with Christ as His train, flanking Him on that glorious day. This also magnifies the glory of the Lord Jesus, for He is coming with His perfected people attended by His mighty angels.

The coming of God in Jesus Christ is the climax of the “holy war” in the Bible: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zech. 14:3).

Deuteronomy 20 is the greatest chapter in the Bible explaining Israel’s holy war. Fundamentally, the command is fear not: “let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them” (3)! Why? “For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you” (4). Scripture includes many instances of the holy war: the crossing of the Red Sea (Ex. 14-15), the fight with the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8-16), the conquest of Canaan in the book of Joshua, the battles of the judges, the wars under Samuel and David, etc.

The second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ will be the culmination of the holy war, the war to end all wars. This will be the case because, first, Christ will fight not only against the Egyptians or the Philistines but against the whole world of the ungodly. Second, this battle will occur at the end of the world: “Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zech. 14:3).

Zechariah 14:12-15 graphically portray how God will destroy the Antichristian forces at Christ’s second coming. Verse 12 describes a plague upon the wicked people: “this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh [in which they attacked the church] shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes [that looked with hatred upon God’s people] shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue [that they used to slander the saints] shall consume away in their mouth.” Ultimately, this is the horrible corruption of hell (Isa. 66:24; Mark 9:44, 46, 48). 

The destruction of the wicked on the day of the Lord is also presented in terms of infighting: “it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour” (Zech. 14:13). There are other instances of God's holy war taking the form of infighting among His enemies (e.g., Judg. 7; I Sam. 14; II Chron. 20).

Zechariah 14 pictures the church as joining in the holy warfare: “Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance” (14). We will be victorious and we will take the spoil!

Moreover, the plague will be not only on people (12) but also on the animals: “And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague” (15).

There are many other passages which describe the holy war that God fights with the wicked at the end of the world. Ezekiel 38 portrays an earthquake (19) that even makes the fish of the sea and the birds of the air to quake at Jehovah’s presence (20). Like Zechariah 14, Ezekiel 38 speaks of infighting among God’s enemies: “I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother” (21). Then it mentions six more divine judgments: “I will plead against him with [1] pestilence and with [2] blood; and I will rain upon him, and upon his bands, and upon the many people that are with him, [3] an overflowing rain, and [4] great hailstones, [5] fire, and [6] brimstone” (22).
Revelation 19:11-21 pictures Christ coming on a great white charger with His armies following Him on white horses. The birds feast on the carcases of His defeated foes. Upon their capture, the beast and the false prophet are cast into the lake of fire.

Likewise, when “the camp of the saints” is surrounded, fire from God comes down to devour the wicked (Rev. 20:9); and the breath of Christ's “mouth” and “the brightness of his coming” will consume the man of sin and son of perdition (II Thess. 2:8).

The culmination of the holy war at the second coming of Jesus Christ is founded upon the great battle of the cross. There our Saviour defeated sin, Satan and the world, when He bore the punishment for our iniquities. Only the mop-up operation remains, the final destruction of all the wicked, those who thought that they had won!  Rev. Stewart


Polygamy in the Old Testament

A reader writes, “I Corinthians 6:9-10 states that ‘neither fornicators’ ‘nor adulterers’ ‘shall inherit the kingdom of God.’ Surely in Israel people like King Solomon (1,000 wives and concubines) and those returned exiles described in Ezra 10 (assuming they remarried) would have been guilty of these sins and thus were barred from heaven? Surely God never lowers the standard of the law?”

We read of various men in Old Testament times who married more than one wife or who had concubines. In fact, some of the most prominent saints in the old dispensation married multiple wives or took concubines. I need name only a few: Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and others. Undoubtedly, some of the kings married more than one wife because it was a custom in those days for monarchs to demonstrate their greatness with a harem. Judah even had intercourse with a woman he thought was a whore, yet Tamar’s son by Judah, though born outside of wedlock, was a father in the promised line that brought forth our Saviour. 

Sadly, fornication also occurred among the males in Israel. When Judah was guilty of this sin, it seems as if no one thought much about it (Gen. 38), although, when Shechem the Hivite raped Dinah, Levi and Simeon were furious (Gen. 34). There is evidence though of Judah’s repentance (38:26; cf. 44:18-34).

The case of some of the returned captives who married foreign wives is somewhat different (Ezra 10). They sent away their wives and the children born to them. This was probably done under the law of Deuteronomy 24:1-4.

But even this regulation in Deuteronomy 24 has been an occasion for some serious disagreement and debate. It is a passage in Scripture that is appealed to in support of the legitimacy of remarriage after a separation or divorce in new covenant days. It is interesting to note, however, that the New Testament Scriptures emphatically forbid remarriage in the case of a rupture of the first marriage, so long as one’s spouse is alive (Mark 10:11-12; Luke 16:18; Rom. 7:2-3; I Cor. 7:39).

It is true, as the questioner observes, that God never lowers the requirements of His law. But it is also a fact that the seriousness of a sin is determined by God in connection with the circumstances. Jesus Himself reminds us that the one who knew his Lord’s will and disobeyed him is worthy of many stripes, whereas ignorance is a significant mitigating factor (Luke 12:47-48). Therein also lies the solution to the problem. 

There can be no question that God punished the sins of adultery and fornication in the old dispensation as well as the new. Lamech, in the line of Cain, had two wives. He murdered a man and then boasted of his foul deed to his wives. He was totally disinterested in obeying God’s laws (Gen. 4:19-24).

Abraham, who married Sarah and took Hagar as a concubine, saw Hagar’s attitude towards Sarah change after Hagar conceived (16:4). He finally had to send Ishmael away because of Ishmael’s sin of mocking Isaac. Jacob married Leah and Rachel, and took two concubines, but witnessed nothing but jealousy on Rachel’s part and strife between the two sisters. Elkanah married Peninah and Hannah, but endured the grief of seeing Peninah mocking Hannah. Solomon had many wives but they led him to serve idols. God did not allow the sin to go unpunished!

The sin was less serious, however, in the old dispensation than it is in the new.

There is a good reason for this. Marriage is a picture of a heavenly reality, the true and spiritual marriage of Jesus Christ and His church (Eph. 5:22-33). The heavenly and spiritual marriage of the Lord and His bride was only dimly perceived in the old dispensation. There are many times, especially in the prophets, where God calls Israel His wife. And so the relationship of marriage and the true heavenly marriage was already dimly defined. But the picture in earthly marriages of the heavenly marriage was not very clear. The picture was blurred and of poor quality. 

Yet it was a sin to distort the picture of marriage by marrying many wives. Those who did this were afflicted with trouble and grief in their homes.

I suppose, perhaps, that an illustration can be used. If you have a picture of someone you loved, anyone who would mar that picture by tearing it or defacing it with a pen would do you a great wrong and you would be angry with such a one.

But if the picture of someone you loved was a picture of someone still living and somebody would murder that person, the sin would be far greater.

So it is with marriage. The picture of our marriages is that of Christ and His church. But the marriage of Christ and His church is a reality already accomplished in those who believe in Christ and are grafted into His body by a true and living faith. Any two saints that are married are also married to Christ. The reality itself of Christ and His church is present in a very real sense in our marriages.

To desecrate our marriages by unlawful divorce and to remarry if divorced are dreadful sins that mar the figure of the reality. A man and a woman, united in sacred marriage, cannot and may not break the bond that binds them as one, simply because the bond between Christ and His people cannot be broken. 

Marriage is a great gift. It is a union of love rooted in Christ’s love for His bride. It is the sacred bond that it is because it is God’s way of bringing His elect children to life in His church (Mal. 2:15). It is honourable and beautiful. Yea, it is an institution that God created in Paradise. 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, 21 March
 7:15 PM

Rev. Angus Stewart

The Canons of Dordt: 
The Original Five Points
of Calvinism
(400th Anniversary Lecture)

What are the Canons of Dordt (1618-1619)? Are they biblical? Why are there five points? How are these doctrines related? And what have they to say about worship?

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

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


Grace & Assurance:
The Message of the Canons of Dordt

by Martyn McGeown
(384 pp., hardback)

In 1618-1619, the great Synod of Dordt met to counter the Arminian error that was threatening the peace and welfare of Christ’s churches in the Netherlands. The fruit of their deliberations was the Canons of Dordt, which set forth the scriptural truth of unconditional election (and reprobation), limited (or particular) atonement, total depravity, irresistible grace and the perseverance of the saints.

This accessible commentary on the Canons leads readers through the biblical and comforting message of the creed: being wholly saved by God’s efficacious grace, we have the steadfast assurance of our eternal election and blessed glorification.

Only £19.80 (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!

Gospel Living (vol. I)

12 sermons on
Romans 12:1-12
on CD or DVD in an attractive box set 

Coming after the most doctrinal presentation of Christ’s salvation in all the Bible (Rom. 1-11), Romans 12 superbly explains the holy life and Christian ethics which flow from the gospel of sovereign grace!

(1) Presenting Our Bodies a Living Sacrifice
(2) Christian Thinking About Oneself
(3) The Members of the Body
(4) The Gifts of the Members of the Body
(5) The Seven Gifts of Romans 12
(6) Gifts and Office-Bearers Among the Members of the Body
(7) Love Without Hypocrisy
(8) The Moral Absolutes of Good and Evil
(9) Abhor! Cleave!
(10) Relating to One Another
(11) The Christian’s Work
(12) The Christian’s Attitude

£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!

Reformed Witness Hour News - February Newsletter & March Messages

News from the RWH for February 2019

To learn more about us or to donate to our internet-radio ministry, click here.


The RWH is now being translated into Spanish!

Doner Bartolon has begun translating Rev. Rodney Kleyn's popular series on the last things.
We interviewed Doner and asked him about this work and why he is especially interested in translating the RWH.
Read More

Who downloaded the RWH last month?

The RWH was downloaded by people in 13 countries and 27 states in January 2019. That's a total of more than 500 downloads


The Lord Revealed from Heaven

Rev. Bruinsma's message based on 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 was our most-downloaded message last month.

You can read or listen to it too!

RKleyn RWH

 March 2019 Messages

March 3, 2019 - Love Is Not Proud, 1 Corinthians 13:4

March 10, 2019 - Love Does Not Act Inappropriately, 1 Corinthians 13:5

March 17, 2019 - Love Is Not Self-Seeking, 1 Corinthians 13:5

March 24, 2019 - Love Is Not Easily Provoked, 1 Corinthians 13:5

March 31, 2019 - Love Keeps No Record of Wrong, 1 Corinthians 13:5

RWH Facebook image

Use the attached flyer (pdf) to spread the news of these important gospel messages!

PO Box 1230, Grand Rapids MI, 49501 | reformedwitnesshour.org | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you wish to be added to the mailing list to receive the printed booklet of the messages each month, send an email to Judi Doezema at doezema at prca.org.


Reformed News Asia - February 2019

Issue 53 - February 2019

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.
Evangelism in the Established CHurch
By Jason L. Kortering

" The heartbeat of all evangelism in the local church is the living testimony of a godly walk by the members and their eagerness to share the gospel with those who cross their pathway. The great motivation for effective evangelism in the local church is a heart that truly loves God and loves the neighbour for God’s sake. If we truly love God, the goal of evangelism is not self, not even the neighbour, but it is God and His glory through the gathering and strengthening of His precious people. "

"..personal evangelism is God’s work through us. We must be obedient to Him and pray that His Holy Spirit will use us to promote the gospel to His glory."

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.
Walking in the Way of Love - Volume 2
by Nathan J. Langerak

From the RFPA website:

This volume treats the apostle's explanation of the main theme of the epistle in his glorious paean to love in 1 Corinthians 13. Also included in this commentary is treatment of the doctrinal heart of the epistle—the apostle's instruction regarding the resurrection. The apostle grounds all of his instruction about the way of love in the gospel of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

This second volume covers chapters 10-16 of 1 Corinthians.

Audio Recordings
Click to listen to the sermons on Lord's Day 3 in 2 parts by Rev Audred Spriensma

Humans Wonderfully Made
The Blessedness Of The Truth: The Fall Into Sin
Upcoming Events!
Good Friday Gospel Meeting - 19 April 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...
Church Retreat

This year, our church retreat consisted of a speech by Prof Cammenga titled "Unity of the Spirit and the Bond of Peace" followed by prayer meeting and a time of fellowship over lunch. The speech follows our church's theme for 2019: Keeping the Unity of the Church from Ephesians 4:1-3 and can be found here..
Wedding of MIlton and Celina

This January, Milton and Celina were united in holy matrimony. We rejoice with them and pray the Lord's blessings upon their union!
Infant Baptism of Asher

We were blessed to witness the Infant Baptism of Asher, son of Lee Yang and Joanna! 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. 

"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."
Genesis 17:7
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: Supply from PRCA  ~ www.cerc.org.sg 

PRC and Sister-Church News for the Week of February 24, 2019

Psalms 34 8On this eighth Lord's Day of 2019, February 24, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be noted.


  • The Council of Trinity PRC has formed a new trio from which to call her next pastor: Revs. E. Guichelaar (Randolph PRC) , W. Langerak (SE-GR PRC), and J. Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC). The congregation will vote on March 3 after the evening service, D.V.

  • On Feb.10 Rev. J. Laning (Hull PRC) received the call from Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB). He plans to answer by March 3. Today Immanuel's pulpit is being supplied by Rev. R. Hanko.

  • On Feb.10 Rev. C. Haak (Georgetown PRC) received the call from Grandville PRC to serve as minister-on-loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. According to Covenant ERC's bulletin today, he plans to answer by March 10.

  • While Rev. S. Regnerus is in Singapore serving Covenant ERC for three Sundays, Rev. K. Koole is supplying the pulpit in Lynden PRC for two weeks.

  • And from Doon (IA) PRC's bulletin we learn the following today about her supply and the work of her pastor and Rev. N. Decker in the Philippines:

    We welcome Rev. Kleyn to our pulpit and he and Sharon into our fellowship again today.  They plan to return to Michigan this week.  We are thankful for their coming and for the time we could spend together.

    Today Rev. Engelsma is scheduled to preach the first service in the Berean PRC and the second service in Provident Church, while Rev. Decker preaches in Maranatha PRC.  On Monday they plan to attend the Classis of the PRCP, and on Tuesday they plan to return home.  Please continue to remember them in your prayers.


Classis West: Classis West of the PRC will meet in Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) on Wednesday, March 6, 2019, at 8:30 AM, the Lord willing. All material for the agenda is to be in the hands of the Sated Clerk by Feb.4 (30 days before classis convenes). All delegates in need of lodging or transportation from the airport should notify the clerk of Heritage's Consistory.  ~ Rev. J. Engelsma, Stated Clerk

Contact Committee: "A delegation of Rev. J. Engelsma and Rev. N. Decker, from the Foreign Mission Committee and the Contact Committee, left this past Thursday for the Philippines [Feb.14]. They will visit our sister churches there the next two weeks, the Lord willing. In addition, Rev. Decker will go to Singapore to conduct church visitation with the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church. Please pray for the Lord’s blessing upon their labors and their travels."

 Sem sign winter 2016PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary has now completed five weeks of the second semester - one third of the way. The schedule of courses and calendar of events for this semester may be found on this page. If you would like to visit for a day or a class, call or email the seminary secretary, Sharon Kleyn.

  • Besides their regular studies, the students are busy making sermons for the first round of practice preaching this semester.  Sems. M. Kortus and J. Maatman delivered theirs on Monday, Feb.11; Sem. J. Tan delivers his on Monday, Feb.25. Pray for them as they busy themselves in this work. Did you know that these sermons are delivered in the sanctuary of SW PRC just down the hill from seminary? They are also recorded (video), so that the students may benefit from the critique they receive from the professors and their peers.

  • Our professors and students also keep busy with various activities in the churches in west Michigan - and beyond. They lead worship services and preach, teach catechism, lead Bible studies and also speak for chapels in the Christian schools and retirement homes. If you are in need of a preacher or speaker, contact the rector, Prof. B. Gritters.

  • If you have not yet done so, check out the new PRC seminary website! There are many new features and updates, including a blog. Visit the site and check out the various pages - and sign up to receive seminary news by email!

  • With improved weather this week, good progress was made on the seminary addition project (new archives and offices). For updates and pictures, visit this blog post.

  • *Special notice: Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2019 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 31st.

  • The PRC Synod 2018 took a decision urging “the churches and the pastors in particular in their public prayers to pray the Lord of the harvest for able, faithful, and devoted pastors and teachers (Ephesians 4:11) for us and our children, as well as for the gathering of the elect out of the nations (Matthew 28:19).” A number of ministers are nearing the age of emeritation, and the number of students in the seminary at this time will not be sufficient to fill the upcoming needs of our churches either in our own congregations or in the work of missions. Please remember this urgent need in your prayers and encourage young men whom you observe to have the gifts to consider the ministry.

Dordt conf flyer speakers color 2

  • The Seminary faculty along with Trinity PRC Evangelism Committee are busy preparing for a Spring 2019 conference to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the great Synod of Dordt, 1618/19 - 2018/19. The following updates have been given:
    Dordt 400: Did you know November 13 1618, 400 years ago, the Synod of Dordt began and didn’t conclude until nearly 6 months and 154 meetings later?! Are you familiar with the preceding history that led to this lengthy meeting? Do you know the week by week events that happened during the Great Synod? Follow that history and join the blog at Dordt400.org to view the weekly events  Synod of Dordt. Stay up to speed in light of Seminary's conference April 25-27 2019.

    Dordt 400 Writing contest:  The conference also includes a writing contest with great prizes!  The deadline for submission was January 15. The committee will now be reviewing and judging the essays.

Maranatha PRC logo

*Host of this week's Classis meeting in the Philippines (see note below)


  • Concerning our newest sister, the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, Bulacan PRC, and Maranatha PRC:
    • Berean PRC:

      "Rev. Engelsma will lead us in our 1st worship service today and Rev. Ibe in our 2nd worship service. Next Sunday, Rev. Smit will lead us in our worship services, D.V.

      Our pastor is also scheduled to preach at Kerusso Community Church today at 3P.M. and will lead the saints there in their study of the C. O. Art. 71-13 at 5P.M, the Lord willing.

This week’s Tuesday morning, the delegation from the PRCA represented by Rev. Nate Decker (CC) and Rev. Josh Engelsma (Doon PRC/FMC) will return to the USA. We heartily give thanks to our Heavenly Father for their visit, fellowship and oversight of the PRCA mission work here in the Philippines as well as the love and care they shared with us as one in the Lord Jesus Christ! May God be with them and provide traveling mercies in their trip home on Tuesday, the Lord willing."

  • Maranatha PRC:
    • "Rev. R. Smit, our missionary and Rev. Nathan Decker of Grandville PRC will lead us in the First and Second services, respectively. Rev. Smit will continue teaching the Belgic Confession Lesson.

    • *Classis of the Federation of the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines is scheduled to convene on Monday (Feb. 25, 2019) at 9:00 A.M. at Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela City, the Lord willing. Those who desire to attend the Classis, please see and or contact our pastor or one of the Elders to confirm. We pray for God’s continued blessings, guidance, and wisdom upon all the delegates in all their deliberations and decisions, for the edification of the churches and for the glory of God!

  • Rev. Daniel & Sharon Kleyn are currently taking an extended furlough in the U.S. (until June 18). Per the decision of the PRC Synod of 2018, "the purpose of the furlough is to give Rev. Kleyn time to take some courses with a view to obtaining an advanced degree, to prepare classes to be taught in the PRCP [Philippines] seminary in the future, and to give both Rev. & Sharon opportunity to be refreshed and to reconnect with family."

  • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following items from her bulletin today (Feb.17):
    • "We welcome Rev Stephan Regnerus into our midst over the next 3 Lord's Days. Rev Regnerus is currently the pastor of the Lynden PRC in Lynden, Washington. Those of us who wish to host him can approach Elder Lim. We thank the Lord again for filling our pulpit and pray the Lord's blessing upon our time of fellowship with him individually and as a church together in the weeks ahead.

    • This morning we will be reading a letter from Rev Carl Haak during the worship service. The letter is an acknowledgement that he has received the extension of call to serve as MOL to Singapore from PRC Grandville. In his letter he requested prayer as he consider this important call to serve in Singapore. He will be answering the call on 10 March. Let us continue to pray that the Lord will make clear His will to Rev Haak.

    • This week we welcome Rev Nathan Decker and Rev Stephan Regnerus to conduct Church Visitation in CERC. We are thankful to God for our sister church, PRCA who so willingly provide resources to conduct Church Visitation in CERC every year. Church Visitation is an important part of the life of the church. The benefit of Church Visitation is that it helps the church and her leaders to reflect if we have been faithful in our calling as a Reformed congregation and also her Minister and Office Bearers discharged their respective Office in accordance to the Word of God and our Confessions and Church Order. The Church Visitation will be held on 26 February 2019."

    • Her latest newsletter (DECEMBER 2018) - Reformed News Asia - was recently posted and may be found on this page.

    • The latest young peoples' magazine, Salt Shakers, was received and posted recently (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.
  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • In her Feb.24 bulletin we find this interesting note: "There will be tea after the evening service next Lord’s Day. After tea upstairs, Deane Wassink from Georgetown PRC in Michigan will give a presentation on the work in India."

    • And note this upcoming event:  "S. Wales Lecture: Rev. Stewart will speak on “The Canons of Dordt: The Original Five Points of Calvinism” in Margam Community Centre on Thursday, 21 March."

    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted (December 2018).

    • Read the latest issue of Covenant Reformed News! That issue (December 2018) can be found here.
  • The PRC also has a "corresponding relationship" with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) of Australia. We remember these brothers and sisters in our prayers and labors also.

kjv of bible
Does it matter what Bible translation you read and use for study? We believe so, and to find out why we recommend this pamphlet.


  • If you are in need of some pamphlets published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing, visit the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church. Looking for items on salvation by grace alone in Christ alone? Visit this page for more information.

  • Would you like to read good Reformed literature and a solid Reformed and biblical magazine? Visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association's website (www.rfpa.org), where you will find information on books in all major Christian categories, as well as on the bi-monthly periodical, the Standard Bearer.

  • If you are in West Michigan, be sure to visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville, MI! The RBO is a great source for Bibles, Bible study materials, music, cards, RFPA books, and other Reformed literature; stop at the RBO, or visit their website.

  • You can now listen to the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the Canons of Dordt on audio! Visit the links provided to hear the Catechism, the Confession, and the Canons read by Elijah Roberts, one of our pre-seminary students. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH logo 1

 Lynden PRC YP retreat 2019
*Learn about registration for the Lynden PRC YA Retreat below

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • Young Calvinists is holding another Talking Points! Mr. Jon VanOverloop will be speaking on the topic titled "Robert's Rules of Order". Zion PRC will be hosting this event on March 6 at 6:45PM. Refreshments will follow. This event is designed for Young People and Young Adults. Plan on attending and bring a friend. You will not want to miss out on this one!

  • NEWS about the 2019 PRYP's Convention: Southwest & Providence Protestant Reformed Churches will be hosting the 2019 PRC Young People's Convention on August 12-16, the Lord willing.  The convention will be held at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.  Registration for chaperones is now open!  Please visit our website at prcconvention.com to register.

  • *Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat updates: Our registration will be opening on Monday night, February 25! We will post the link to our Facebook page and plan to post the link in upcoming bulletins. Complete the forms on our website to secure your spot! We plan to cap out at 60 retreaters, so make sure to register early on! If you have any questions about the registration form, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or message us on our Facebook group: Lynden PRC Young Adults Retreat 2019. We look forward to seeing you!
  • A matter for our young people to consider prayerfully. From the Federation of PR School Societies: “There is a significant need for more good Christian teachers for our beloved schools. This is true in light of increasing enrollment, recently established and emerging schools, and continual teacher retirements. We ask that this need be prayed for and supplication made that the young men and women of your congregation be led by God to enter into the vocation of a Christian school teacher. This…is intended to bring the serious need for teachers to your attention so this specific request can be brought to our heavenly Father and the need made known directly to your congregation.”

  • *Special notice: Future Teachers and Ministers: Information for the 2019 PR Scholarship Fund essay competition is now available. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive the essay topics and submission requirements. Completed essays must be submitted by May 31st.

  • Are YOU a subscriber to the PR Young People's magazine, the Beacon Lights? Visit the website and learn how to become one!

  • *The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (November 2018 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Letye PRF Aug 2018

*Worship in the Leyte PRF in the Philippines


Domestic Labors:

  • Remember in prayer our home missionary, Rev. A. Spriensma, who continues to labor in the West Michigan area and beyond through Byron Center PRC, the calling church. From BC-PRC's bulletin this week we learn the following concerning his labors:
    • Missionary Spriensma will be leading the noon service today at the New Hope Reformed Fellowship Church of Dorr, MI.

United Kingdom:

Philippine Missions:

  • Doon PRC has this note in her bulletin today re the delegation sent on Feb.14:

    Today Rev. Engelsma is scheduled to preach the first service in the Berean PRC and the second service in Provident Church, while Rev. Decker preaches in Maranatha PRC.  On Monday they plan to attend the Classis of the PRCP, and on Tuesday they plan to return home.  Please continue to remember them in your prayers.

  • The last Philippines mission newsletter was received and posted back in January 2019 and may be found on this PRC webpage.

  • For more on life and activities in the Philippines from the personal perspective of the missionary's, visit the Kleyn's blog, the Holstege's, and the Smits!

  • From this Sunday's bulletin of Provident Christian Church in Marikina we find the following notes concerning their pastors as well as concerning our missionaries and their labors today and in this coming week:
    • Rev. Holstege will preach in the first service today and administer baptism.... Rev. Josh Engelsma will preach for us in the second service.
    • The Classis of the PRCP will meet tomorrow at 9:30 am in the church building of Maranatha PRC in Valenzuela. At the meeting, Lord willing, Classis will treat the request of PCC for membership in the PRCP. May the Lord bless the deliberations of the Classis.

Let us continue in prayer to the Lord for the fulfillment of the needs of these busy pastors and missionaries in the Philippines. May the Lord of the harvest give them grace to be faithful and encouraged in all their labors.


  • Let us also remember Hope PRC's (Grand Rapids, MI) support of and involvement with Rev. Titus' work in Myanmar; for his latest report, visit this page.

Home Missions Newsletter - January 2019

revaspriensma 1Missionary Report to the Churches

The year 2018 has come to an end, and the year 2019 has begun. So also it is with some of the mission work done in 2018 and work now begun in 2019.

The calling of the missionary is to “work to develop a field of labor and then preach and teach on any field that the Spirit gives through that work.” My wife and I were in St. Petersburg, Florida for three weeks at the end of March and the beginning of April. It was a group of folks from many different Christian backgrounds and expectations of what church and worship ought to be. We can expect that in missions. It is what missions are all about, giving biblical instruction. On Easter Sunday, we were joined in our worship by several families from our churches that were on vacation that week in Florida. Members of the Fellowship were delighted at the many visitors, and surprised that these families were willing to drive for two hours to attend the worship service. What a nice testimony to the group of what Sabbath observance means to us!

We returned there again in late June. By this time many of the members of the fellowship had left in order to join a charismatic church nearby. The fellowship was reduced to one married man and his three sons. There were serious challenges to doctrines that we in the PRC hold dear and there was not a desire to reach out and do evangelism in the neighborhood. There were not sufficient contacts to consider St. Petersburg as a possible church plant.

Dorr library 2I was able to work with several Evangelism Committees of our churches in regard to how to set up Bible studies in their outlying areas, attending and at times filling in as a leader. I continue to lead Byron Center PRC’s Bible study, begun before I was a missionary. Byron Center started one in Wayland, and about one year ago transferred the Bible study to the Dorr area, gaining many new members. Those who attend come from a variety of church backgrounds. It is a pleasure to see men and women faithfully come, eager to dig into the study of the Word. This group meets year around, no breaks! This, I believe, is important for consistency, rather than having to start up again each fall. This group has been meeting for about three years. We began by going through the various loci of Reformed doctrine. Having finished that, we have now begun a study of the Gospel of John.

At our Dorr Bible study in July, a contact suggested that I help fill the pulpit of the New Hope Reformed Fellowship in Dorr. Meetings were held, and a request came to our DMC New Fields committee for me to preach twice a month in the second worship service. After various committees examined this request and gave approval, I began to lead these worship services the first Sunday of January 2019. An elder from BC-PRC is present to gauge interest and receptivity. What a privilege to share the rich reformed heritage that has been given to us as churches.

I am also presently following up on two contacts that came to two of our churches requesting a church plant in their area. There were communications via email, and the distribution of our literature. We are thankful for such literature; for it causes folks to examine the Scriptures as did the saints in Berea of old. Visits were made to each of those contacts, and we wait to see if this is where the Lord is opening up a field for us to labor in. Again, I encourage our churches to send me contacts that they have that they wish for me to follow up on.

Working with those, whose knowledge of Scripture is limited, demands that we produce tracts that are easy to understand with plenty of Bible texts to support it. Therefore I have written nine tracts with the theme, “Who is Jesus?” These are based on the Gospel of John, including the seven “I am” statements of Jesus. These are being proofread and edited, and will soon be available for our churches and members to distribute to others.

I have enjoyed giving presentations in our churches in Wisconsin, the greater Chicago area, and in Singapore regarding the work of the home missionary, and the role of the church members in evangelism. I look forward to doing so in the future in other areas of our churches. While in Singapore in January and February, I hope to be working with their evangelism committee, looking at what they have done in the past and what they are continuing to do now.

I continue to work with the DMC to develop a manual for doing home missions. This demands that we look at all pertinent synodical decisions, write up scriptural principles, and then practical applications as we do the work as missionary and denomination. This way, the wheel does not need to be reinvented each time there is a new missionary.

I close with thanks for the many prayers that are uttered for our work in domestic missions.

In Christ’s service,

Missionary-pastor Audred Spriensma


Belgic Confession, Article 21: Forsaken for the Remission of Our Sins

Belgic Confession, Article 21: Forsaken for the Remission of Our Sins    

Matthew 27:46: “…My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?”

From the depths of Christ’s agonies came the cry of abandonment: “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” These words spoken by Christ from the cross are among the most profound, mysterious, and sacred in Scripture. The Son forsaken by the Father! What could this mean? How could this be possible? What is its significance?

We must remember the events of the cross. For three hours, Jesus had hung on the cross as a spectacle before men; and men had been active in mocking him. It was not enough for his enemies that they had brought him to the cross they, but they gathered like bloodthirsty wolves to growl at him. “He saved others. Himself He cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him come down from the cross and we will believe him” (Matt. 27:42). Even the two thieves—one of whom would later repent and be forgiven by Jesus (Luke 23:43)—mocked him (Matt. 27:44). But the blasphemous chatter at the cross ended when God plunged the earth into darkness for three hours (Matt. 27:45). This was a miraculous darkness which lasted from high noon until three o’clock, when the sun was normally at its hottest. During those three hours of darkness God was judging sin and the Sinbearer, Jesus Christ. Judgment came to Calvary that day in the form of thick, impenetrable, oppressive darkness. That darkness was upon Jesus Christ because he was the object of the righteous and holy judgment of God against all the sins of God’s people. Only after Jesus had purged our sins and exhausted the wrath of God against our sins, did the light return.

It was as Jesus plumbed the depths of that darkness—the outer darkness of hell itself—and just before he emerged from it, that he cried with a loud voice the words of abandonment. At this point Christ was being crushed by the heavy hand of God; the billows of God’s wrath like a raging ocean of fire were flooding and overwhelming him; Jesus was tasting, drinking, and emptying the bitter cup which God had given him. At that point, inexpressive horror gripped Christ’s soul. God had forsaken him. In that horror Christ called out in agony, seeking for fellowship with his God: “My God, my God …” But there was no fellowship possible. God did not answer his Son with his favour. Our Mediator, who had always known and enjoyed communion with his Father, who was the object of the Father’s delight, who dwelled eternally in the Father’s bosom, was now without the presence of God’s love.

This does not mean that there was suddenly a schism in the being of the Trinity. This does not mean either that the Father now hated his Son. The Father loved the Son even when He did not spare him. The Son loved the Father even as the Father inflicted suffering upon him. It means that the Son of God experienced in his human nature of body and soul that God was not his benevolent Father, but the avenging and righteous Judge. It means that in his capacity as Judge God showed no mercy to his Son, but punished him to the fullest extent, pouring out the full fury of his wrath.

That, the presence of God in wrath, but the absence of God’s favour, was intolerable for the holy Son of God. But that was necessary for our salvation. Christ experienced hell that day so that we would never experience hell, we who believe in him.

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