Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

Sister and Other Church Relationships

In harmony with the principles of holy Scripture and our Three Forms of Unity, the PRC through its Committee for Contact with Other Churches maintain full sister church relationships with two foreign churches and a corresponding relationship with one other foreign denomination.

Covenant PRC Ballymena, Northern Ireland

Covenant PRC Ballymena, Northern Ireland (74)

Website

83 Clarence Street,

Ballymena BT42 3NR, Northern Ireland

Services: 11:00 A.M. & 6:00 P.M.

RevAStewart

Pastor: Rev. Angus Stewart

7 Lislunnan Rd.

Kells, Ballymena, Co. Antrim

Northern Ireland BT42 3NR

Phone: (from U.S.A.) 011 (44) 28 25 891 851

pastor@cprc.co.uk

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Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (85)

CERCS 30thanniv 2017 group

Website

11, Jalan Mesin #04-00

Standard Industrial Building

Singapore 368813

Worship Services: 9:30 A.M. & 2:00 P.M. 

AndrewLanning

Pastor: Rev.Andrew Lanning

148 Bishan Street 11 #06-113 

Singapore  570148

lanning.andy@gmail.com

pastor@cerc.org.sg

Blog: "Stories from Singapore"

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Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Australia (EPC) (2)

For information on this small Presbyterian denomination in Australia with whom the PRCA have a "corresponding relationship", visit their website.

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Latest Issue of "Salt Shakers" from the "Covenant Keepers" - September 2015

"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has just published issue #34 of "Salt Shakers" (September 2015),their youth magazine.

Once again the "SS" is packed with interesting and edifying articles, and our PRC young people especially are invited and encouraged to read it. 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.

Dear Beloved Readers,

The e-copy of Salt Shakers Issue 34 has arrived! The committee is thankful to God for the continued publication of this Reformed young people's magazine.We pray that wherever you may be reading Salt Shakers, you may be nourished and edified! Many thanks to all our writers for their hard work and contributions.
Blessings in Christ,
Chua Lee Yang
on Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee
You are encouraged to visit the "Salt Shakers" webpage where you will find a downloadable e-copy for your reading and spiritual growth. Or you may find the full copy attached here in pdf form.
SS 34 Sept 2015 Page 1
SS 34 Sept 2015 Page 2
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Covenant Reformed News - September 2015

CPRC News Header

Covenant Reformed News

September 2015 • Volume XV, Issue 17


The Rock Whence We Are Hewn (4)


We conclude our exposition of Isaiah 51:1-3 with the third verse: “For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.” Here God promises to console devastated Zion by making it like the Garden of Eden so that His people will rejoice.

Do you see the Spirit’s method in our text? The first problem was the lack of numbers in the church, so the Holy Ghost points to a person, Abraham, noting how Jehovah multiplied his seed (1-2). The second issue is the desolation of Jerusalem, so God reminds us of a place, Eden, pledging that His people will dwell in paradise (3).

The Holy Spirit in Isaiah 51:3 recalls us to the words He inspired in Genesis 2, such as the following: “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food ... And a river went out of Eden to water the garden ... And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat” (8-9, 10, 15-16).

In other words, our text promises that the “waste places,” “wilderness” and “desert” of Zion will be transformed into a new Garden of Eden, with the greatest fertility and blessedness (Isa. 51:7).

So what is the fulfilment of Isaiah 51:1-3? The first stage of the fulfilment is the return from the Babylonian captivity. The number of the people of God increased (1-2) but not massively, however. In fact, the largest group of returnees was only about 50,000 (Ezra 2; Neh. 7). Jerusalem was rebuilt with houses, city walls and a temple that was much smaller than Solomon’s, but it was not like Eden (Isa. 51:3)!

The second stage in the fulfilment of our text is the first coming of Jesus Christ, His substitutionary sufferings on the cross for His elect and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. As regards numbers (1-2), our Saviour is now gathering His catholic or universal church, which consists of millions and millions of Jews and Gentiles. The people of God in the New Testament age are much more numerous than in the Old Testament, with more being gathered every day all around the world. But what about the land (3)? Has the world become like a new Eden? No!

The third and final stage in the fulfilment of Isaiah 51:1-3 awaits Christ’s glorious, bodily, second coming. Then the whole catholic or universal church of all ages consisting of millions upon millions upon millions of people will be gathered unto Him (1-2). As regards the land promise (3), all the people of God will enjoy the rich blessedness of everlasting life in the new heavens and the new earth, which will be far better than Eden—more wonderful and completely unloseable!

Isaiah 51:3 speaks twice of “comfort.” This is a frequent and blessed word in the second “half” of Isaiah (Isa. 40-66). In fact, the second part of the evangelical prophet begins with two occurrences of this word: “Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God” (40:1). The church’s comfort consists in the fact that “her iniquity is pardoned” (2). Isaiah then introduces John the Baptist, the Lord’s forerunner: “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it” (3-5; cf. Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4-6; John 1:23).

Jesus Christ is “the Lord” and “our God,” whose “way” or “highway” John prepared (Isa. 40:3). Our Saviour is “the glory of the Lord” who was “revealed” so that “all flesh”—people all around the world—have seen Him by faith (5).

John’s message also includes a comparison between the transitoriness of mankind and his goodness, and the abiding permanence of the Word of God: “The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass. The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (6-8).

Not just John the Baptist but even Zion proclaims, “Behold your God!” (9). The church’s God is heralded as a strong and tender shepherd: “Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him: behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young” (10-11).

Within this framework of comfort, and building upon it, Isaiah 51:1-3 holds out the consolation of the increase of the church with more to be added with the return from the Babylonian captivity and throughout the New Testament age until our Lord comes again (1-2), for God is not willing that any of His beloved, elect people should perish but that all of them should come to repentance (II Pet. 3:9). Moreover, our comforting hope is not only the bliss of heaven with Christ after death, but especially the new creation, the perfect paradise of the far greater Eden (Isa. 51:3)! Rev. Angus Stewart

The Work of the Holy Spirit (3)

In 2008, the British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) held its tenth biennial conference at the Share Centre on the shores of Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, N. Ireland. The subject was “The Work of the Holy Spirit.” Later, the speeches and sermons were published in book form. One reader recently asked me a series of questions about the contents of the book, wanting to have the answers included in the News.

His second question reads,“What is the difference between the Spirit now as the Spirit of the risen Christ rather than just the Spirit of Christ? You mention that the Spirit could not work the reality of salvation because all he had to use was a picture book [The Work of the Holy Spirit, p. 34]. Could you expand on that? I think the footnote on page 35 goes a long way to answering that—the anointing teaches you all things (I John 2:27). The Spirit of truth ... and more truth than before! On the next page you say it was difficult for Old Testament saints to pray and impossible for them to call God ‘Father.’ But nevertheless many examples can be found and there are instances where Israel calls God ‘Father.’”

Of the questions he asked me, two remain to be answered. The first one has to do with the question that arises out of statement I made that the Spirit of Christ, poured out on Pentecost, was poured out in heaven as well as on earth. The questioner wanted to know what difference the outpouring of the Spirit made in the lives of the saints in heaven.

We know very little of what heaven is like and we face great difficulties in trying to know what precisely happens in heaven. But, given the fact that the Holy Spirit of Christ is the One who binds all the saints together in the one body of Christ, this must, of necessity, include the saints in heaven, for they are one with the saints on earth.

We must also remember that Christ had not yet come into our flesh to accomplish His glorious work of redemption in His death, resurrection and exaltation. The devil still had access to heaven to slander the saints and fight with Michael (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; Rev. 12:7-10; Jude 9). What a tremendous difference came about when our Lord ascended on high and was crowned as universal king: king over the whole earthly and heavenly creations, king over His beloved church, king over the devil and his demons, king over all!

To mention only what I discussed in the last News, just as saints on earth became prophets, priests and kings under Christ by the Spirit of Christ, so it was also in heaven. It is impossible to say what difference that great event made in the lives of the saints in heaven to see Christ Himself and to be prophets, priests and kings under Him. But different it was: vastly different!

The second question that still needs answering concerns the Old Testament saints calling God “Father.” I had said that this was rare, if indeed it ever happened. The questioner challenges this assertion. He cited no texts and I would be interested in receiving from him a list of such verses.

There is one point that does need to be made, however. God repeatedly addressed Israel as His “son,” His “firstborn” (Ex. 4:22; Jer. 31:9, 20). In that sense of the word, the nation as a whole, taken in its organic unity, is God’s son for He is the nation’s “father” (Deut. 32:6; Jer. 31:9) and was addressed by Israel as such (Isa. 63:16; 64:8). God called Israel His son when He led them out of the land of Egypt by signs and wonders. Israel as a nation recognized that it was the son of God because He had delivered the nation from the bondage of Egypt, a picture of the bondage of sin. It was, for the nation, Israel’s regeneration, Israel’s second birth. This is the reason why Hosea, referring to this event, says, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt” (Hos. 11:1).

But, do not forget that Joseph and Mary were commanded by God to flee from Herod’s bloody sword because, as Matthew tells us, Hosea had prophesied this. We read that Joseph “took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son” (Matt. 2:14-15). Hosea was speaking of Christ who was present in Israel—in Israel’s loins. God called Christ out of Egypt when Israel was delivered.

The only Old Testament references to God’s being the “father” of an individual who is His “son” involve the anointed King Jesus, typified by Solomon (II Sam. 7:14; I Chron. 17:13; 22:10). Jehovah calls Christ His “firstborn” (Ps. 89:27) who cries out to Him, “Thou art my father” (26). In Psalm 2, the Most High addresses “his anointed” (2) as “my king” (6) and “my Son” (7). God’s “Son” (12) is “begotten” of Him (7).

The point is that the New Testament calls us sons (or daughters) of God as individuals only because we belong to Christ who is the Son of God who has come into our world and died for our sins. Only because we belong to Christ can God possibly be our Father—as He is Christ’s Father. Only, therefore, because we have the Spirit of Christ, whom the old dispensational saints did not possess, can we call God our Father.

Thus Galatians 4:4-7 states, “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

The disciples must have been momentarily stunned when Jesus, teaching them how to pray, said that they must begin their prayers with the words, “Our Father.”

To appreciate what the old dispensational saints lacked is to appreciate what we now have in the cross, resurrection and Spirit of Christ! Prof. Herman Hanko

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The 180-page softback book by Profs. Hanko and Engelsma entitled The Work of the Holy Spirit to which Prof. Hanko refers in this series of articles is available from the CPRC Bookstore for just £5.50 (inc. P&P). Simply contact the Bookstore or order on-line through the CPRC website.

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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Covenant Reformed News - August 2015

Covenant Reformed News

August 2015 • Volume XV, Issue 16


The Rock Whence We Are Hewn (3)


In the last two issues of the News and in this issue and the next, we are considering this glorious prophecy of Isaiah: “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody” (51:1-3).

In last month’s News, we drew attention to the word “alone” in Isaiah 51:2: “Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.” In order to understand the significance of the little word “alone,” let us consider the life of Abraham as recorded in Genesis 11-25, in connection with God’s covenant with the patriarch and his seed.

Abraham was an idolater in Ur of the Chaldees (Josh. 24:2). There were many idolaters in that city, but Isaiah 51:2 states that God “called him alone.” “But what about Terah, Abraham’s father?” someone might object. Abraham was the one who was principally called (Acts 7:2-3) and his father merely accompanied him. Terah never even reached the promised land, for he died in Haran (Gen. 11:32). “But what about Lot, Abraham’s nephew?” Though he made it to Canaan, Lot left Abraham (Gen. 13; 19).

God promised Abraham that He would multiply his seed, so that they would be as numerous as the stars of the heavens and the sand on the beach. Jehovah would make of Abraham a great and mighty nation, and all of the families of the earth would be blessed in him.

There was just one problem! Abraham was an old man—too old to beget children—and Sarah was an old woman—too old to bear children.

Yet whom did God call out of Ur? Just one man—not many men—and that when he and his wife were past having children. As Romans 4:19 puts it, “his own body [was] now dead” (as regards having children) and there was also the barrier of “the deadness of Sara’s womb.”

The rest of the Abrahamic narrative develops this theme. Time and time again, God repeats His promise to Abraham of a vast number of children as his descendents. We read of Abraham’s unbelieving and sinful arrangement with Hagar and the birth of Ishmael, with all the grief that caused (Gen. 16). Finally, Abraham and Sarah have a boy! She was 90 and he was 100. They called their son, Isaac, which means laughter!

Even then, God told Abraham to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, in order to test and purify the old man’s faith (Gen. 22). Later, Abraham’s servant goes to great lengths to obtain a godly bride for Isaac, lest he marry a pagan girl from Canaan (Gen. 24).

Let us now think of this narrative and subsequent history in terms of numbers. Abraham and Sarah are first introduced as two dry sticks, as you might say. After many years and various wrong turns, the chosen son, Isaac, is born, of whom God said, “In Isaac shall thy seed be called” (Rom. 9:7; Gen. 21:12; Heb. 11:18). Later, elect and beloved Jacob is born to Isaac and Rebekah, along with his twin, reprobate Esau, whom God hated (Rom. 9:13). Jacob has twelve sons. When they marry and have children, his family numbers seventy. At the time of the exodus from Egypt, Israel consists of more than two million. In the reigns of David and Solomon, Abraham’s descendents are even more numerous.

Now we can understand the text: “look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged” (Isa. 51:1). That is, consider your origin, consider your origin historically, consider your origin historically in Abraham and Sarah: “Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you” (2).

Now think about the three verbs in the remainder of verse 2: “for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.” God “called” Abraham with the effectual call to salvation in Jesus Christ in the promised land. Jehovah “blessed” him with covenant blessings according to His covenant promises. The Almighty “increased” Abraham so that that one man’s seed grew to seventy and even to millions. This is a wonder of grace! The whole inspired narrative underscores repeatedly and in vivid ways the amazing truth that God alone did it and not man, to whom this was impossible.

Thus the message to Isaiah’s readers, heart-broken over the smouldering ashes of Jerusalem, is that God has multiplied His people from very small beginnings before. He can do it again and He will do it again!

Those who believe this promise are the true children of Abraham (for they follow in their father’s footsteps) and chips off the old block, so to speak, for God “is able of ... stones to raise up children unto Abraham” (Matt. 3:9). Just like us believing Gentiles!

This then is the connection between verses 1 and 2 of Isaiah 51: “look unto the rock whence ye are hewn” (1), that is, “Look unto Abraham your father” (2). This is not in conflict with looking to the living God in Jesus Christ, as we are commanded to do in Isaiah 45:22: “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else,” for six chapters later we are also exhorted, “Look unto Abraham your father” (51:2).

The call to look at Abraham does not mean that he is the object of our faith, as if we are saved by believing in the patriarch. Rather, we look at Abraham to see what God did for him in Jesus Christ. This is a standing lesson to the church, for just as Abraham was once numerically small, so God blesses His church by increasing her.

Next time, we will conclude our study of Isaiah 51:1-3 by looking more closely at the beautiful promise of verse 3 and how the whole passage is fulfilled. Rev. Stewart

The Work of the Holy Spirit (2)

In 2008, the British Reformed Fellowship (BRF) held its tenth biennial conference at the Share Centre on the shores of Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, N. Ireland. The subject was “The Work of the Holy Spirit.” Later, the speeches and sermons were published in book form. One reader recently asked me a series of questions about the contents of the book, wanting to have the answers included in the News.

His second question reads,“What is the difference between the Spirit now as the Spirit of the risen Christ rather than just the Spirit of Christ? You mention that the Spirit could not work the reality of salvation because all he had to use was a picture book [The Work of the Holy Spirit, p. 34]. Could you expand on that? I think the footnote on page 35 goes a long way to answering that—the anointing teaches you all things (I John 2:27). The Spirit of truth ... and more truth than before! On the next page you say it was difficult for Old Testament saints to pray and impossible for them to call God ‘Father.’ But nevertheless many examples can be found and there are instances where Israel calls God ‘Father.’”

These are good questions: apparently my presentation at the conference was not as clear as one could wish. I appreciate the opportunity to expand on these things further.

I must, however, make one correction. I did not distinguish between the Spirit of Christ and the Spirit of the risen Christ. Rather, I distinguished between the work of the Spirit in the church of the old dispensation and the work of the Spirit that was given to Christ at the time of His exaltation (Acts 2:33).

It is true, though, that there was a certain manifestation of the Spirit of Christ in the old dispensation but then the same is true of Christ Himself, who appeared in the old dispensation as the Angel of Jehovah. So also the Old Testament prophets could not have spoken in such an (almost) New Testament way (e.g., Isa. 53) without speaking in the church of the knowledge given to them by the Spirit, who revealed to them the things of Christ.

However that may be, and without going into the question in detail, there are especially two ways in which the work of the Spirit in the old dispensation differed from the work of the Spirit in the new dispensation. The first is that the Holy Spirit always does His work in the hearts of the people of God through the Word! It is never any different. He binds Himself in an unbreakable bond to the objective Word of God and always works through it. But in the old dispensation, the Word of God came to the church through types and shadows. Christ had not yet come. All the church had were pictures of Chist and His wonderful works.

As everyone knows, as nice and as accurate as a picture may be, it is not the reality. I cherish a picture of my wife, but I would far and away rather have her with me. So it was with the Old Testament church. The Word that came through pictures, which the Holy Spirit used, was subject to the same limitations as a picture always is.

In the new dispensation, with the work of Christ and the reality embodied in the New Testament Scriptures, the Spirit gives us a much clearer understanding of the great mystery of godliness, God become flesh (I Tim. 3:16). We see the reality, not a picture.

The second difference between the work of the Spirit in the old dispensation and the new was that God’s people did not hold the office of believers. I do not say that they were not believers, for they were. Read Hebrews 11. But they did not hold the office of believers.

That office of believers had three aspects to it: the offices of prophet, priest and king. No believer held these offices in the old dispensation. The result was that these offices were held by individuals who were chosen by God, anointed with oil and given their assigned work by Him.

If an Israelite wanted to know the will of God, he had to go to a prophet. If the nation wanted to worship God, they had to go to a priest who would make the necessary sacrifices. And when there was no king in Israel, every man did that which was right in his own eyes (Judg. 21:25).

Each saint in the new dispensation, through the work of the Spirit of Christ, is, in his own right, a prophet (I John 2:27), a priest who can worship God anywhere and at any time (I Pet. 2:5), and a king who rules his own life under Christ, as one who knows and does God’s will (Rev. 1:6).

These are fundamental differences. And we ought to be thankful for the work of the Holy Spirit, who brings us the reality of Christ and all He did through the infallible Scriptures.Prof. Hanko

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Westminster Confession VII: “5. This covenant was differently administered in the time of the law, and in the time of the gospel: under the law it was administered by promises, prophecies, sacrifices, circumcision, the paschal lamb, and other types and ordinances delivered to the people of the Jews, all fore-signifying Christ to come, which were for that time sufficient and efficacious, through the operation of the Spirit, to instruct and build up the elect in faith in the promised Messiah, by whom they had full remission of sins, and eternal salvation; and is called the Old Testament. 6. Under the gospel, when Christ the substance was exhibited, the ordinances in which this covenant is dispensed are the preaching of the word, and the administration of the sacraments of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper; which, though fewer in number, and administered with more simplicity and less outward glory, yet in them it is held forth in more fullness, evidence and spiritual efficacy, to all nations, both Jews and Gentiles; and is called the New Testament. There are not therefore two covenants of grace differing in substance, but one and the same under various dispensations.”
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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Reformation Lectures

"Jan Hus: His Martyrdom and Ecclesiology"

This year is the 600th anniversary of the martyrdom of the Czech pre-Reformer Jan Hus, who was burned at the stake at the Council of Constance in southern Germany in 1415. Join us at this special Reformation lecture to learn of this great man, what he stood for and what the lessons are for us today.

Speaker: Rev. Angus Stewart

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S. WALES

Thursday, 8 October
7:15 PM

at The Round Chapel
(274 Margam Rd., Port Talbot, SA13 2DB)

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N. IRELAND

Friday, 30 October
7:30 PM

at Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
(83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR)

ALL WELCOME!

Faith Made Perfect


by Herman Hanko
304 pp., hardback

This eminently practical book by Prof. Hanko gives instruction for living the Christian life in many of its aspects. A salient feature is the relation between justification and works, which James explains by the examples of Abraham and Rahab. Buy Hanko on James and benefit spiritually!

£16.50 (inc. P&P)


Order on-line or
Post orders to:
CPRC Bookstore,
c/o Mary Stewart,
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, Ballymena, BT42 3NR

In N. America, please
order from the RFPA

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


The Abolishing of the Ceremonial Law

8 classes on
Belgic Confession 25 plus
3 sermons on Hebrews 13
on CD or DVD in an attractive box set

What is the ceremonial law of the Old Testament? How did this law increase and decrease through the Scriptures? How would you prove its abolition from the New Testament and even the prophecies of the Old Testament? How does this enrich our understanding of Jesus Christ, Christian liberty and the unity of the Scriptures?!
£12/box set (inc. P&P)

Listen free on-line or
Post orders to:
CPRC Bookstore,
c/o Mary Stewart,
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, Ballymena, BT42 3NR

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

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Reformed News Asia - August 2015 (Issue 20)

The latest issue of "Reformed News Asia" (#20) has been released by the Christian Literature Ministry (CLM - check out their new website!) of our sister church in Singapore, the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church. Once again you will find an issue filled with informative and profitable content - from publications being promoted, to missions/evangelism labors being performed, to church activities being planned and carried out.

The entire issue is posted here. You may also subscribe to receive your own e-version - see below.

Issue 20 - August 2015

Daily Meditations - Sep 2015

“What is the idea of the rest to which we are called on the Sabbath?"

- Rev Steven Key, on True Rest

This issue of Daily Meditations takes us through Lord's Days 36-39. May the Lord bless you in the reading of these devotions.
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For hard copy orders of the Daily Meditations, please click here.
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.
FEATURED Pamphlet!
Click to download!
Imparting wisdom, knowledge, and joy: The calling of the Reformed Christian school teacher
by Rev. Cory Griess
Published by The Evangelism committee, Grandville PRC

Solomon tells us in Ecclesiastes 1:13 that he undertook a study of all the things that are done under heaven. Solomon in his inspired conclusions also presents us with two worldviews. One of life under the sun and the other under the Son. These worldviews are strictly antithetical one to another.

Solomon experienced both worldviews and concluded with Ecclesiastes 2:26 "For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy." The only hope, is to know God and to view life in this world as a fight from God to His people.

The calling of a Reformed Christian school teacher is to impart this wisdom to his students by God's Spirit, from the Scriptures. All classes must be taught under the framework of life in the covenant. Be it Mathematics, Science, Musics or even Cooking. God uses these school teachers to teach His children the secrets of His creation. This pamphlet also goes deep into the attributes of wisdom, knowledge and joy.

All are encouraged to pick up a copy in light of CERC's development of Christian Education.

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.
Audio Recordings

On 9 Aug 2015, Singapore celebrated 50 years of Nation Building. Churches too are called to engage in a different type of Nation Building. Click here to find out more!
Upcoming Events!
Bible Studies Workshop 2015
Mooncake Gospel Meeting
Date: 19 September
Time: 5pm
Venue: CERC (11 Jalan Mesin)
Language: Mandarin
Speaker: Elder Lee Kong Wee
Text: John 3: 1 - 8
Theme: Ye Must Be Born Again
Dinner will be provided.

Do invite your friends and relatives to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ!
CERC 28th Anniversary

Lord willing, we will be celebrating our 28th Church Anniversary on Sunday, 20 September at 11.30am. Rev. Lanning will be giving an exhortation titled “Praying for God’s Blessing” taken from Psalm 67: 1 - 2. Let us remember and give thanks unto the Lord for His goodness and blessings this past year.

Do join us in a time of praise and thanksgiving!
Past Events...
Lentings' and Van Der Noords' Visit

We were blessed by the fellowship of our friends from Crete PRC from 5 to 20 Aug.

Heidelberg Catechism LD 21
Q. 54. What believest thou concerning the “holy catholic church” of Christ?
A. That the Son of God, from the beginning to the end of the world, gathers,
defends, and preserves to Himself by His Spirit and Word, out of the whole human
race, a church chosen to everlasting life, agreeing in true faith; and that I am, and
for ever shall remain, a living member thereof.
At Aaron and Iva's wedding
Atop Mt. Faber
At the southernmost point of continental asia
The SEA aquarium~
Group photo at our traditional Sunday farewell dinner
Notes

NEW CLM WEBSITE!!

Visit our new CLM website to read the latest articles and access archives of the Daily Meditations. Click the picture to access.
Salt Shakers
Salt Shakers is a bi-monthly magazine published by the youth in CERC. Included in each issue are writings pertaining to both Reformed doctrine and practical theology. Articles are contributed by the Session, youth and members of CERC, as well as pastors and professors from the Protestant Reformed Churches in the USA and Northern Ireland. Salt Shakers also features articles from other Reformed publications, notably the Standard Bearer and Beacon Lights. 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
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Copyright © 2015 Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up for Reformed News Asia at Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church's Christian Literature Ministry website.

Our mailing address is:
Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church
11, Jalan Mesin #04-00
Singapore 368813
Singapore
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Covenant PRC N.Ireland Newsletter - August 2015

Our sister church in Northern Ireland, Covenant PRC, Ballymena, has just released her latest newsletter. In this August 2015 issue her pastor, Rev.Angus Stewart, reports on the latest activities inside and outside the congregation, with special mention of their trip to the U.S. and the Haak's visit to Northern Ireland while they were absent.

Updates are also provided on their witness in their community and country, through their website, lectures, sermons, and printed materials.

Be sure to read this newsletter below to be better informed of what our "sister" and her pastor are doing in the British Isles. This newsletter is also attached here in pdf form (see below).

CPRCNI Newsletter Aug2015 Page 1

CPRCNI Newsletter Aug2015 Page 2

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New Issue of "Salt Shakers" Magazine - July 2015

SS 33 July 2015 Page 1"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has just published issue #33 of "Salt Shakers" (July 2015),their youth magazine.

Once again the "SS" is packed with interesting and edifying articles, and our PRC young people especially are invited and encouraged to read it. 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.

Dear Beloved Readers,

The e-copy of Salt Shakers Issue 33 is finally available! We are thankful to the Lord's grace, to be able to bring you this new edition and it is our heartfelt prayer that you may be edified by the many articles in this unashamedly Reformed magazine.
Do read Rev. Angus Stewart's article The Three Waves of Charismatic Christianity and learn about history and origins of the modern charismatic movement, and appreciate the marvel of God's work in creation in The Human Brain by Koh Zong Jie. Do read, enjoy and meditate upon the many other excellent articles! We thank all of this issue's writers for their contributions.
Love in Christ
Chua Lee Yang, on Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee
You are encouraged to visit the"Salt Shakers" webpage where you will find a downloadable e-copy for your reading and spiritual growth. Or you may find the full copy attached here in pdf form.
SS 33 July 2015 Page 2
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Reformed News Asia - June 2015 (Issue 19)

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The latest issue of "Reformed News Asia" (#19) has been released by the Christian Literature Ministry (CLM - check out their new website!) of our sister church in Singapore, the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church. Once again you will find an issue filled with informative and profitable content - from publications being promoted, to missions/evangelism labors being performed, to church activities being planned and carried out.

One of the special resources made available in this issue is the daily devotions, which continue a series covering the Heidelberg Catechism (LDs 27-31 - the sacraments and the keys of the kingdom). Written by Rev.A. den Hartog, these devotions on the "HC" take you through the month of July and into August (July 2- August 5). You will find great spiritual profit in using these devotions day by day (By the way, you may also find these same HC devotionals on the PRC website.).

The RNA also reports on recent activities in the CERC, such as the Covenant Keepers 2015 Retreat (see group picture below) and the annual church camp, at which Prof.B.Gritters spoke in June (The picture below is a group photo taken at the church camp).

For more information on events and activities in the CERC as well as on life in Singapore, with lots of great pictures and descriptions, visit the "Stories from Singapore" blog of the Lannings.

To subscribe to "Reformed News Asia", visit this link.

CERC Youthcamp June2015

church camp June 2015 group pic

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Covenant Reformed News - June 2015

CPRC News Header

Covenant Reformed News

June 2015 • Volume XV, Issue 14


The Rock Whence We Are Hewn (1)

In the sixth century BC, Jerusalem was devastated by the Babylonians. Its temple, its palace, its houses, its city walls—all were reduced to rubble by the ungodly invaders. Along with that, there were very few people of God left. Many were slaughtered or died of famine or diseases. Others were scattered, never to return, and many apostatized.

It is harder for us to understand their deep grief at the physical desolation of Jerusalem, for many of us have never experienced anything like this; we probably have more of a sense of their hardship due to their fewness.

So what does Isaiah do, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to encourage God’s small band of afflicted people? What does he draw upon from earlier biblical history? First, he has recourse to the Abrahamic covenant and the narrative concerning Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 11-25. Second, the prophet writes of Eden, the paradisaical garden of the Lord in Genesis 2-3.

This is what we read in Isaiah 51:1-3: “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody.”

The introductory address, “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness” (1), does not refer to those Israelites who sought after righteousness by works and who went about to establish their own righteousness. “But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone” (Rom. 9:31-32; cf. 10:3).

Instead of self-righteous hypocrites, God is here speaking to the godly, those who fear the Lord and obey the voice of His servant, the Messiah (Isa. 50:10); those who know righteousness, those who have God’s law in their heart (51:7).

The righteousness of these people is the imputed righteousness of justification (45:24-25). They are also righteous with the infused righteousness of sanctification so that they obey God’s Word not to merit but out of gratitude. They “follow after righteousness” (51:1) by pursuing it diligently.

Let us earnestly follow after righteousness in God’s way and “hearken” to the prophet in the next issue of the News. Rev. Angus Stewart

Interpreting Old Testament Prophecy (2)

A brother from continental Europe writes, “In a recent conversation, I was told that, when Jesus comes back, He will arrive on the earth on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4) and come through the Golden Gate. I found it a really strange and false idea, but I couldn’t think of a good argument against it. (Personally, I reckon it’s senseless to talk about the place of Christ’s return as, first, it shall be seen from each point of the earth, and also the earth and heavens shall be destroyed, and, second, we cannot imagine that event and the Bible also uses only pictures for illustrating it.) If you have a brief answer, that would be nice for me.”

I answered the question that is quoted above in the last News by addressing the issue of hermeneutics or the interpretation of Old Testament prophecy. Now I have two additional points that I would like to make, before presenting positively the meaning of Zechariah 14:4.

1) The first point is a question that arose out of what I wrote last time (it would be good if you would re-read that). That question is: Who are the true children of Abraham?

The premills and Baptists claim that the true children of Abraham are ethnic Jews. Their theology is based on this assumption, that Abraham is the father of Jews only.

The truth is that they are dead wrong. In fact, if a Baptist or premill can show me one passage anywhere in Scripture where the expression “seed of Abraham” or “children of Abraham” is used to refer to Jews only, I will publicly apologize in the News. I am convinced that the Bible never uses the expression “seed [or children] of Abraham” to refer to Jews only.

The expression is found early in sacred history. It is used in connection with the establishment of God’s covenant with Abraham. This important event is recorded for us in Genesis 17. There God tells Abraham, “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” (7).

God Himself explains what He means by “thy seed after thee.” He speaks of an “everlasting covenant.” It seems to me that this term does not and cannot mean, as Baptists insist, that God establishes a temporal covenant with Abraham. If such is the case, words no longer have meaning.

I know, the Baptists say that the word “everlasting” in Scripture sometimes means “temporal” or “a long time.” It is more than passing strange that those who are so insistent on interpreting Scripture literally, should suddenly want to interpret “everlasting” as “temporal.” Are they not being “hoisted on their own petard”?

But, if that is not enough, to God the question of who are true children of Abraham is so important that He even changed the patriarch’s name from Abram to Abraham to express in his name that Abraham is not, most emphatically not, the father of Jews only, but also of the Gentiles: “Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee” (5).

Paul underscores this truth in Romans 9:6-8: “For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” What can be gained by denying this flat-out contradiction of the premill position?

Galatians 3:28-29 is also important in this connection: “There is neither Jew nor Greek ... And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

2) The second point that needs to be made is a refutation of the claim of the premills that they alone take Scripture literally.

I see no need to go into this in detail. The fact of the matter is that the premills themselves do not take Scripture literally and cannot do this. But what is more serious is that by their claim they make the Bible a rather dull book. They are forced to deny that Scripture has in it all kinds of figures of speech: metaphors, similes, apostrophes, symbols and many other sorts of figures. God’s Word is a beautiful book, even as a literary masterpiece. Figures of speech make the truths of Scripture come alive and these figures often carry us away with their pointed and sharp truth.

But, more importantly, by means of figures of speech, Scripture makes clear to us that this earthly (from which all figures of speech are taken) is created after the pattern of the heavenly; that the heavenly is the true reality, while the earthly is the shadow. And, at the same time, these figures of speech tell us to look ahead to that reality that is to come, when this earthly shall be redeemed by Christ and made like to the heavenly.

By rendering ineffective the many figures of speech, the premills also take away the rich, beautiful and important types in the old dispensation that pointed God’s people then, and point us now, to new dispensation realities. The whole subject of types is most interesting and enlightening. Study the subject.

Let us now have the text to which the brother refers, as well as the next verse, with which it is very closely associated, clearly set before us: “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east thereof and toward the west thereof, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall move toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (Zech. 14:4-5).

Below is the positive explanation of the passage given by my son, Pastor Ron Hanko, in his recent book The Coming of Zion’s Redeemer, a commentary on Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

“The literalists believe that Christ will actually stand on the Mount of Olives and that it will split in two when he returns a thousand years before the end to establish an earthly kingdom with Jerusalem as its center. The rest of this chapter, when compared with Revelation 21 and 22, shows that this interpretation is faulty. Even in the prophetic language of the Old Testament, the reference is obviously to the end of all things and not to some period a thousand years before the end.

Especially the last words of verse 5 remind us of the end. The coming of the Lord with his saints is not some coming long before the end, but at the very end. In 1 Thessalonians it is announced by the last trump, not a trump that will be followed by many others. In Jude it is part of his coming for final judgment ...

Christ’s standing on the Mount of Olives, as so much of the book of Zechariah, is symbolic. The point is that through the coming of Christ, God’s people will escape the judgment that is coming—a way of escape will be provided them, something like their escape from Egypt. The walls of the valley that is made between the two halves of the Mount of Olives will be on each side of them like the waters of the Red Sea, and the presence of the Lord will overshadow them as the pillar of cloud and fire did in the days of Moses. They will be protected on every side.

The Mount of Olives stands on the east side of the city of Jerusalem and guards the city on that side. It also, however, cuts off a quick escape from the city on the east, except that in this case God provides a way. The picture is of Jerusalem surrounded by enemies on the north, south, and west, but God opens a way through the mount so that his people are able to abandon the city and escape the city to the east, toward the rising sun.

The passage does not speak of the place to which they escape. The valley of the mountain is the valley that God makes through the Mount of Olives, part of the way of escape. That they escape to the east suggests that their refuge is finally heaven, for in the east the sun rises, and according to Malachi east is the direction from which Christ also comes as the rising Sun of righteousness.

Having escaped, they find their way back to Jerusalem, not Jerusalem as they knew it, nor Jerusalem as it once existed, nor Jerusalem as it comes under the judgment of God, but a Jerusalem that knows no night, from which flow living waters, a Jerusalem in which even the bells of the horses are holy, a new Jerusalem. The picture is somewhat confusing, but the reality is not. The message is the important thing. One must simply overlook the fact that having escaped Jerusalem they are found again in Jerusalem as a place of refuge. The truth is that, having escaped this world, they find their way to heaven” (The Coming of Zion’s Redeemer [Jenison, MI: RFPA, 2014], pp. 394-395).

This book is available from the CPRC Bookstore for £22 (inc. P&P in the UK) or from the RFPA in the US. Prof. Herman Hanko

CPRC Visiting Ministers

Rev. Carl Haak, pastor of Georgetown Protestant Reformed Church and speaker on the Reformed Witness Hour radio broadcast, will be preaching in the CPRC on 19 July and 2 August and in the Limerick Reformed Fellowship on 26 July. Rev. Martyn McGeown of the Limerick Reformed Fellowship will preach in the CPRC on 26 July. All are welcome!

Rev. Stewart's USA Schedule

12 July - 9:30 AM preaching and presentation in Kalamazoo PRC in Michigan
12 July - 5:00 PM preaching and presentation in Cornerstone PRC in Indiana
19 July - 9:30 AM preaching in Loveland PRC in Colorado
19 July - 7:00 PM preaching and presentation in Loveland PRC in Colorado
26 July - 9:30 AM and 7:00 PM preaching in Loveland PRC in Colorado
2 August - 9:30 AM preaching and presentation in Georgetown PRC in Michigan
2 August - 6:00 PM preaching and presentation in Grace PRC in Michigan

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

N. Ireland Lecture

"What is a Protestant?"

Speaker: Rev. Angus Stewart

Friday, 26 June
at 7:30 PM


at Portadown Town Hall
(15 Edward Street, Portadown, BT62 3LX)

ALL WELCOME!
----------

South Wales

"The Holy Spirit"


Speaker: Rev. M. McGeown

Thursday, 2 July
7:15 PM


at The Round Chapel
274 Margam Rd., Port Talbot, SA13 2DB
------------


In the Beginning God


by Homer Hoeksema
144 pp., softback

The conflict between creation and evolution as the explanation of the origin of the world is intensifying, and the truth of God’s inerrant Word is increasingly compromised, even in historically Protestant circles. In the Beginning God by Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema, son of Herman Hoeksema, is written in opposition to all forms of theistic evolutionism and in unequivocal defence of the Bible’s teaching on the Bible.

£5.50 (inc. P&P)

Order on-line or
Post orders to:
CPRC Bookstore,
c/o Mary Stewart,
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, Ballymena, BT42 3NR

In N. America, please
order from the RFPA

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

Samson: Strong in Jehovah, Weak
in the Flesh

8 sermons on Judges 13-16 by Rev. Martyn McGeown
on CD or DVD in an
attractive box set

In the book of Judges, Samson is the last judge and the one who
receives the longest treatment (Judg. 13-16). He is also most
people’s favourite judge and, like us, he is both strong in Jehovah
and weak in the flesh. Fascinating historical and practical material!
£10/box set (inc. P&P)


Listen free on-line or
Post orders to:
CPRC Bookstore,
c/o Mary Stewart,
7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, Ballymena, BT42 3NR

Make cheques payable to “Covenant Protestant Reformed Church.” Thank you!
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New Issue of Salt Shakers Magazine - May 2015, #32

SS32 eMag May 2015 Page 1"Covenant Keepers", the youth ministry of the Covenant Evangelical Reformed Church of Singapore (our sister church), has just published issue #32 of "Salt Shakers" (May 2015),their youth magazine.

Once again the "SS" is packed with interesting and edifying articles, and our PRC young people especially are invited and encouraged to read it. 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.

Dear Beloved Readers,

The Salt Shakers Committee is thankful to bring to you the May 2015 edition of our magazine! We give thanks to God that by His grace we may continue to publish this youth magazine and confess the blessed Reformed truths. Catch the exciting report by Rev. Andrew Lanning on Investigating Missions in Kolkata, as well as Brother Ishu Mahtani's Vesak Day article Speaking the Truth in Love. Do also read and be edified by the many other interesting articles from our excellent writers, who we thank most heartily for their contributions.
As we give thanks and for the release of SS issue 32, work for issues 33 and 34 are well under way and we look forward to bringing them to you soon, God willing! Once again, if you wish to ask Salt Shakers any questions on doctrine and living which may be published in our new Questions rubric, do email them to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We thank those who have sent in their questions already at this time.
Love in Christ, Chua Lee Yang on Behalf of the Salt Shakers Committee

You are encouraged to visit the"Salt Shakers" webpage where you will find a downloadable e-copy for your reading and spiritual growth. Or you may find the full copy attached here in pdf form.

SS32 eMag May 2015 Page 2

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May 2015 Newsletter from Covenant PRC, N.Ireland

Our sister church in Northern Ireland, Covenant PRC, Ballymena, has just released her latest newsletter. In this May 2015 issue her pastor, Rev.Angus Stewart, reports on the latest activities inside and outside the congregation, with special mention of the Annual General Meeting of the CPRC, the death of two dear saints with ties to the British Reformed Conference, and recent visitors to the congregation.

In addition, Rev.Stewart writes about their upcoming visit to the States (July-August) and his busy preaching and PowerPoint presentation schedule.

Be sure to read this newsletter below to be better informed of what our "sister" and her pastor are doing in the British Isles. This newsletter is also attached here in pdf form (see below).

CPRCNI Newsletter May 2015 Page 1
CPRCNI Newsletter May 2015 Page 2

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