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Covenant Reformed News - October 2019

Covenant Reformed News


October 2019 • Volume XVII, Issue 18



Christ’s Triumph Over the Demonic Powers (2)

In the last issue of the News, we rejoiced in the glorious victory over Satan and his fallen angels gained through the cross of Jesus Christ: “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (Col. 2:14-15).

However, you may not have gotten this impression from reading only the narratives of our Lord’s crucifixion in the four gospel accounts. In the records of Christ’s arrest, His trials before the Sanhedrin and Pontius Pilate, His scourging and being nailed to the cross, the first three hours of His crucifixion and then the three hours of darkness, where do Matthew, Mark, Luke or John speak of our Saviour’s disarming the demonic hosts and triumphing over them openly?

We also have Christ’s famous seven words on the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34); “I thirst” (John 19:28); “It is finished” (30); “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46); etc. But none of them explicitly mentions the “principalities and powers,” never mind Christ’s making a public spectacle of them.

At the time of the cross, none of the key parties involved understood the truth of Colossians 2:14-15. The Jewish rulers thought that they had disposed of their biggest adversary and threat. Satan believed that he had defeated the Son of God. The eleven disciples saw no victory; all their hopes were dashed! Paul, before his conversion, reckoned Jesus’ crucifixion as God’s judgment and curse upon Him, as a false Messiah and blasphemer (cf. Gal. 3:13).

The Roman centurion, however, recognized that Jesus was “a righteous man” and even “the Son of God” (Mark 15:39; Luke 23:47). The penitent thief understood that Christ was entering His heavenly kingdom and so he asked to be remembered by Him (40-42). But we have no indication that either the centurion or the thief saw the cross as Christ’s disarming and triumphing over the demonic host.

Here we need to grasp the relationship between the four gospel accounts and the New Testament epistles. By divine inspiration, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John relate the events of the cross and how these were understood by various parties at that time. The God-breathed letters of Paul, Peter, John and others, instead of narrating Jesus’ passion week, set forth the true meaning and theological interpretation of the cross.

Thus it is a matter of true faith: faith in God’s Word, faith in the Lord Jesus, faith in Christ crucified. By the grace of the Holy Spirit, we believe the four gospel accounts, which contain the events leading up to, and culminating in, the crucifixion, and the New Testament letters, which especially explain the spiritual significance of the cross.

So how did Jesus conquer the principalities and powers of the fallen angels at the cross? Obviously, this was not a physical battle and Christ was in no condition to fight such. His hands were bound at His arrest, He was imprisoned and He was nailed to the cross.

Christ did not physically disarm Satan and his host. What material weapons does the devil, who is a spirit, carry anyway? At the cross, Jesus was stripped of most of His clothes; Satan was stripped of nothing physical.

Christ did not make the demonic principalities and powers a visible spectacle at Golgotha. Indeed, Satan thought that he had won a public victory over the Son of God. It was Jesus Himself who was displayed before the masses, for the crowds jeered and mocked Him! Apparently, the false church and the wicked state triumphed over Christ, as if He were a vile criminal, a capital offender.

So how did Jesus Christ defeat, disarm and triumph over the demonic hosts at the cross? The answer involves the law, as Colossians 2:14 states, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.”

The law issues commands and prohibitions, hundreds and hundreds of them. We have broken that law millions of times. The “handwriting of ordinances” is very badly “against us,” so, of ourselves, we are guilty and condemned.

What did Jesus Christ do with “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us”? The gospel of our salvation is that He “took it out of the way” by “nailing it to his cross.” In other words, there were two entities nailed to that wooden cross: Jesus Christ (physically and according to the wickedness of man) and “the handwriting of ordinances that was against us” (spiritually and according to the grace of God).

We could even say that the handwriting of ordinances against us was nailed to the cross in that Jesus Christ our representative was nailed to the cross. There He bore God’s punishment due to us for our transgressions as our substitute and sin-bearer!

There is another image dealing with what God did in Christ regarding the handwriting of ordinances that accused and condemned us. Not only did He take it out of the way by nailing it to the cross but He also blotted it out (14).

This is good news for every believer. You cannot read the accusations of God’s law against you, because this extremely lengthy list has been taken away and nailed to your Saviour’s cross. Even if you had that paper in your hand, it would still be illegible, for it has been totally and permanently blotted out by the blood of the cross!

How does this explain Christ’s defeating, disarming and triumphing over the demonic powers? Satan uses sin and the law as his weapons to destroy and slay people. Guilty sinners are enslaved by the devil through transgressions and the law. But once the law is satisfied and sin is blotted out, we are free of Satan’s bondage.

Thus the defeat of sin and the law at the cross is Jesus’ defeat of Satan, disarming of Satan (who uses sin and the law as his weapons) and public triumph over Satan.

Colossians 2 magnifies Christ’s atonement—“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (14)—as a glorious victory over the devil and his minions—“having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it” (15)! Let us be glad in Him! Rev. Stewart

 

The Idea of the Organic in Scripture (3)

Scientists are increasingly finding that the creation itself is an organism. Every part of the creation is related to every other part and what happens in one part affects every part. It is becoming more clear that radical changes made in one part of our world affect other parts in sometimes surprising ways. While such unity among all parts of creation is often most apparent in living creatures, the same unity can be found among non-living creatures as well. A forest fire can rejuvenate the entire burned area. Modifications in the weather ultimately affect life in every part of the world. Volcanic eruptions leave behind rock that, over the years, can and does become fertile soil for crops.

Within the larger organism of the creation, individual organisms, such as a tree, a grape vine, a bed of roses or an individual rose, a bird, etc., are composed of many different creatures. What happens to one affects all the other creatures—for good or ill.

To fertilize a rose is to give food to the roots and the entire plant benefits from it. But blight in one part of the rose bush will spread and ultimately destroy the entire plant.

In the vineyards of France, a rose bush is often planted at the end of a row of a particular kind of grapevine. If some deadly disease begins to show itself in the roses, some time later the vines will be struck with the same blight. This early warning system gives the vigneron time to save the vine by spraying some cure.

In the creation as a whole, the curse of God came down when Adam sinned. That curse came from God’s curse upon Adam because he was created head of the creation. The disease of sin entered into Adam and killed him spiritually; it also entered into the creation in which Adam lived and upon which he was dependent.

Do good to a healthy plant, and it will grow and flourish. Do serious harm to it, even one part of it, and it will die.

So it is in all of life. A nation is an organism. When the government declares war, you may be fiercely opposed to it, but your sons are going to have to go to war and perhaps be killed. Your house may be bombed and you will suffer the shortages that war brings. The whole nation is responsible for the war as an organism.

A family is an organism. A father who is a drunk harms himself and the whole family suffers. In a school classroom, 90% of the children may generally be obedient and attentive to the teacher, but one or two or three can be so disruptive that teaching is difficult or even impossible. The whole class suffers by not being able to learn as much as normal, for all in the class bear the consequences of the conduct of a few.

A congregation or a denomination of churches is an organism. If false doctrine or wicked living enters one congregation, and the biblical surgery of the discipline of the rebel or heretic in the congregation is not performed, the whole denomination is affected. In time, it will go astray and the entire denomination will be corrupted, for the false doctrine or godless living of one part (I Cor. 5:6; Gal. 5:9).

A man or woman or family may claim that he or she or it will remain faithful to the truth, when they leave a faithful church for another congregation less than pure in doctrine. But that family, even if some in the family wish to remain where the truth is preached, is guilty of tolerating false doctrine and will bear the consequences. All are responsible for the false doctrine and all will suffer—as Israel did when Achan stole forbidden things from Jericho (Josh. 7). The family goes the dreary and fatal way of apostasy in its generations, and its children are lost to the church.

I do not know how many times I have dealt with this problem in my own ministry. Parents who depart from a true church or refuse to leave an erring church lose their children and successive generations because of their sin. Even the law says that God visits the “iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate” Him (Ex. 20:5). Parental failure to bring up their children in the ways of God’s covenant often means that they see their children and children’s children leave the church and walk in the world.

In Reformed theology, this is called “corporate responsibility.” How little is this accepted in today’s individualistic world where it is every man for himself. As I have said before, Arminianism, in all its different kinds, is individualistic, having no room for organic relationships and corporate responsibility.

The proponents of the well-meant or gracious offer of the gospel to the reprobate have no understanding of the organic either, as we saw in the last News.

God has provided a way to escape corporate responsibility for one in an organism who does not want the sin of the organism. He must make his disagreement known; he must refuse to follow his leaders when they lead into sin; he must leave the organism, if possible.

For example, a member of a family, who does not want to leave a true church with his close relatives, must confess his family’s guilt, as Daniel confessed the sin of Israel as his own (Dan. 9), and he must make his refusal known. In this way, he is pardoned. To give another instance, although the Christian is guilty, for example, of his nation’s sin of abortion, God will forgive him in Jesus, and out of faith he will raise his testimony against the terrible practice of murdering unborn children.

In the next issue, I hope, the Lord willing, to demonstrate from Scripture what these organic relationships mean in the work of salvation and how organic relationships are an integral part of God’s gathering His church. Prof. Hanko


Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence Street, Ballymena, BT43 5DR • Lord’s Day services at 11 am & 6 pm
Website: https://cprc.co.uk/ • Live broadcast: cprc.co.uk/live-streaming/
Pastor: Angus Stewart, 7 Lislunnan Road, Kells, N. Ireland, BT42 3NR • (028) 25 891851  
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Reformation Day
Lecture


William Tyndale: 
English Bible Translator


William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536) was a great English preacher, Bible translator, theologian, Reformer and martyr. Born in Gloucestershire, studied at Oxford University, and pursued by his enemies through Germany and the Lowlands, Tyndale was burned at the stake near Brussels for the truth of God’s Word.

Speaker:
Rev. Angus Stewart


Date:
Friday, 25 October
 
7:30 PM

Venue: 
Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
83 Clarence St. 
Ballymena BT43 5DR

Books, CDs and DVDs available at the lecture
Coffee and tea provided after the lecture

All are invited! 
www.cprc.co.uk
 

Unfolding Covenant History

Homer C. Hoeksema &
David J. Engelsma
 

Unfolding Covenant History is an exposition of the Old Testament from a covenantal perspective. Volumes 1-4 by Prof. Homer C. Hoeksema cover Creation to the Conquest of Canaan. Volume 5 by Prof. David J. Engelsma treats Judges & Ruth. These volumes contain solid, satisfying interpretation of Old Testament history; exalt God’s glorious, sovereign grace; and demonstrate that Jehovah’s covenant is the unifying principle of Old Testament history and of the very gospel itself. Order individually or save over £5 by ordering all five.

Volume 1: From Creation to the Flood - Hardback, 367 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 2: From the Flood to Isaac - Hardback, 327 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
    Volume 3: From Jacob to the Exodus - Hardback, 325 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
   Volume 4: Through the Wilderness Into Canaan - Hdbk, 394 pp., £19.80 (inc. P&P)
  Volume 5: Judges & Ruth - Hardback, 213 pp.,
£16.50 (inc. P&P)
  ALL FIVE VOLUMES for the special price of £90.00 (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!


NEW WEBSITE!

Have you seen our new website at cprc.co.uk

We have redone our website so it is more mobile/smart phone compatible ... same content but a fresh new look!

• watch worship services and lectures live
(https://cprc.co.uk/live-streaming
• listen to some 2,000 audio sermons, speeches, interviews, classes, debates, etc.   
• read on-line or order from our list of some 130 free pamphlets 
• read hundreds of quotes and articles on biblical and
practical subjects 
• learn about upcoming lectures 
• make purchases from our
website bookstore 
• receive information on Reformed Witness Hour broadcasts on Radio North (846 AM or MW) on Sundays (8:30-9:00AM)
• check out our foreign languages pages with over 2,500 pieces in 128 foreign tongues

Check it out at
www.cprc.co.uk
Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, October 20-26, 2019

Deuteronomy 6 5On this forty-second Lord's Day of 2019, October 20, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be noted.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Every good thing we could think or desire is to be found in Jesus Christ alone. For He was sold to buy us back; captive to deliver us; condemned to absolve us. He was made a curse for our blessing, sin offering for our righteousness, marred that we may be made fair. He died for our life, so that by Him fury is made gentle, wrath appeased, darkness turned into light, fear reassured, despising despised, debt canceled, labor lightened, sadness made merry, misfortune made fortunate, difficulty easy, disorder ordered, division united, ignominy ennobled, rebellion subjected, intimidation intimidated, ambush uncovered, assaults assailed, force forced back, combat combated, war warred against, vengeance avenged, torment tormented, damnation damned, the abyss sunk into the abyss, hell transfixed, death dead, mortality made immortal. In short, mercy has swallowed up all misery, and goodness all misfortune ~ John Calvin

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • On October 13 Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA) declined the call from Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB). Today and next Sunday Rev. N. Langerak (Crete PRC) is supplying her pulpit.

  • On October 6 Grandville PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. J. Mahtani to serve as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. We include him and his family in our prayers as he weighs this call.

  • Special notice for TONIGHT from First PRC-Grand Rapids, MI: Mexico City Presentation: Sunday evening, October 20, at First PRC (GR) there will be a presentation on the work that took place in the Mexico City area this past summer. The presentation will begin at 7:15 PM. All in the area are invited to attend.

  • Georgetown PRC is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year. This note is found in her bulletin about that upcoming celebration THIS WEEKEND AND NEXT SUNDAY: "Georgetown PR Church invites you to join their 25th Anniversary Celebration with two special services on Sunday, October 27 under the theme, "Thanking God for Our Treasured Heritage." Rev. VanOverloop will preach on Ps. 16:5-6 for the am service and Rev. Haak on verses 8-9 in our pm service. Photos, a powerpoint, and various other memorabilia will be displayed. Please join us in thanking God for His gracious care these past 25 years."

  • From the bulletin of the new daughter church of Byron Center PRC comes this significant notice: "At a [recent] council meeting, our mother church set the date for Unity PRC organizational service for Wednesday, October 30 at 7pm at BC PRC. After our organization, there will also be a congregational meeting at which elders and deacons for Unity PRC will be elected, the Lord willing."

luther reformation

Reformation Day / Fall Lectures planned by PRC congregations:

  • Kalamazoo PRC - October 25: "Many denominations, some even Reformed, are looking at going back to the Roman Catholic Church. Do you know the deepest common bond between them that gives them hope for union? Join us to hear Prof. Barry Gritters speak on: "Evangelicals and Catholics Together? Reconciling the Unreconcilable" on Friday, October 25, at 7:30 pm at Kalamazoo PRC, 4515 Green Acres Dr., Kalamazoo, MI. Refreshments will be served."
  • Crete PRC - October 31: "The world around us is becoming increasingly digital; we see many instances of this in society as well as in the church. Digital technology can be used wisely and productively; however, we often do not notice or stop to think about what effects it may be having on our spiritual life.   Join us for our fall lecture “Living Wisely in a Digital Age” to be given by Rev. Nate Decker on Thursday, Oct. 31 at Crete Protestant Reformed Church D.V.  Rev. Decker will address this topic from a distinct reformed viewpoint and have us consider wisdom in our use of digital media."
  • Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA) - November 1: "Reformation Day Lecture: Prof. R. Dykstra will be here on Friday, November 1, to give a lecture on the subject “Blessed Assurance: Reaffirmed by the Canons of Dort.”
  • Hull PRC (IA) - November 1: "On November 1 at 7:00 p.m. the Reformed Witness Committee is hosting a presentation by Prof. B. Gritters on this subject: "The Sabbath Command: The Law That Christians Love to Keep". This presentation will take place at Hull Protestant Reformed Church (1006 Hayes Ave, Hull, IA). Everyone is encouraged to attend. Bring a friend or family member with you. If you can’t be there in person, you can catch it on SermonAudio.com.
  • Pittsburgh PRC - November 1: "Our church is hosting our annual Reformation Day lecture on Friday, November 1st at 7 PM. Rev. Bruinsma will speak on the subject, "Ulrich Zwingli and the Restoration of Preaching." Mark your calendars and invite a friend."
  • Randolph PRC - November 1: "The Evangelism is preparing for a Reformation Day Presentation to be held at church on Friday, November 1, at 7:30 P.M. Rev. Guichelaar plans to speak on "The Reformation of 1834: A Return to Dordt." The Reformation of 1834 (known as the Afscheiding - the Secession) is where the PRC, the CRC, the URCNA, the CanRC, and the FRCNA all have their spiritual roots. Invite your friends, and those who might have an interest in this history, to the presentation."
  • Lynden PRC (WA) - November 8: "The Evangelism Committee is planning a fall lecture that will be given by Prof. Doug Kuiper.  The lecture will be about the Swiss Reformation under Ulrich Zwingli.  The date of the lecture will be November 8.  We look forward to seeing you there!"
  • Wingham (ON) PRC - November 8: "The Consistory is holding a Reformation Day Rally on Friday, November 8, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Prof. Ron Cammenga will be speaking on the topic, “What was the Reformation?”

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis East: Classis East met on Sept.11 at Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI). For the official public report of the Stated Clerk, visit this special news page about the work and decisions.

Classis West: Classis West met from Sept.25-27 at Calvary PRC in Hull, IA. It will reconvene on Tuesday November 5 to finish its work. For the full, official report of the stated clerk, visit this special news page on this meeting.

Contact Commitee:  Revs. C. Griess and C. Spronk along with their wives, and Pete Vander Schaaf and his wife, returned home safely this past Monday after visiting the BERG in Giessen, Germany from September 30 to October 14.

Front Oct 2019 1

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its ninth week of the first semester in the new school year, and faculty, students, and staff stay busy with their respective tasks. It is also the time of year when our professors deliver special Reformation Day lectures (see the special Reformation lecture section above). Continue to pray for the seminary.

  • The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.

  • On Thursday and Friday, October 10 and 11, the PRTS hosted Dr. Nick Willborn, senior pastor of the Covenant Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee and adjunct professor of church history at Greenville Presbyterian Seminary in Taylors, SC. Dr. Willborn presented two speeches dealing with Southern Presbyterian theologians of the 19th century: "The Theological Distinctives of the 19th-Century Southern Presbyterians"  and "The Pastoral Qualities of the 19th-Century Presbyterians." Both presentations are now available on the seminary's YouTube channel.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.

  • The finishing touches are being put on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). More decorating was completed in the library this week and more work continues on the archives room. The other custom library desks will be finished soon, along with the work area for the archives room. A special display case for archives was installed in the hallway this past week. Final inspection should be soon!
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email!

CPRC News Header
One of the PRC "sisters" - Covenant PRC in Ballymena, N. Ireland

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. Stewart led the services today.
    • The CPRC Reformation Day Lecture is planned for Friday, 25 October at 7:30 PM. Rev. Stewart will speak on “William Tyndale: English Bible Translator.”
    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted (August 2019).
    • A new issue of the Covenant Reformed News" is out! Read the September 2019 issue here.
  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife are once again serving the CERC while she is vacant.
    • Re the recent call of Grandville PRC: "As we wait patiently for God’s choosing of His servant to be sent to CERC as MOL, do continue to pray for Rev. Jonathan Mahtani as he considers the call. Let us pray earnestly that God will show him the way clearly. Though we are without an under shepherd for now, we must learn to be like the small creatures of God’s creation, always preparing, working together tirelessly and cooperatively, building on the strong foundation and be found to be doing the work which God has placed us in."
    • And about her church anniversary celebration we find this: "Session met this past Wednesday night and one of the many decisions was to confirm the new date of 17th Nov 2019 for the Church Anniversary celebration. Session has appointed two Elders to come out with a simplified version of the COF questions to interview our two very senior Chinese-speaking regular worshippers who are seeking to join our church."
    • Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Berean PRC: Rev. V. Ibe is leading the worship services today.
    • Maranatha PRC: Rev. L. Trinidad led her services today and taught the Canons of Dordt.
    • Provident CC: Rev. D. Holstege led her services today.
    • Denominational News:

The PRCP Classis will have their regular meeting on October 31, 2019 at 9:00 in the morning. D. V.

A new mission newsletter was published and distributed this week. You may find that October 2019 update here.

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

  • 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.

whatitmeansreformed
Looking for some good materials to read during this Reformation month? Visit our pamphlet section and our special Reformation article section.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles 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 a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville!

  • Do you have an interest in 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 missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting this past week, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."

  • 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. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • For October to January (2020) the RWH welcomes Rev. W. Bruinsma of our Pittsburgh PRC to the microphone. Today he delivers the message "Rebekah Marries Isaac" based on Genesis 24:55-67
      (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

      Did you read our latest newsletters - October 2019? Have you signed up yet to receive the emailed Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) newsletter? Six times per year, we update you on news about our speakers, program, and online reach, and we share stories from listeners and readers who have been blessed by the RWH, a ministry of the PRC. Please visit http://eepurl.com/gikNsL to sign up for the newsletter.

    • A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 BL Poster Hope Page 1

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this year's event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel or the Facebook page. The 2020 PRYP's Convention will be hosted by Georgetown PRC and held at Lake Williamson Christian Center (St. Louis, MO).
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia from the 28th of December 2019 – 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker, taking the camp on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be on the “Australian Bush”. The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the full flyer + registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

greatcommission1

PRC MISSION NEWS:

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. In that connection, BC-PRC's bulletin today had this note: "Today Pastor Spriensma is preaching both services at Hope PRC (Walker) and giving a mission presentation tonight after the evening worship service."
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • A fresh mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship is now available! The September 2019 edition may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

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.

India:

Myanmar:

  • 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.
Read more...

Philippines Mission Newsletter - October 2019

PRCA FOREIGN MISSIONS IN THE PHILIPPINES
OCTOBER 2019 NEWSLETTER


Rev. D. Holstege (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Rev. D. Kleyn (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), Rev. R. Smit (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ in the Protestant Reformed Churches in America and our sister churches, warm greetings from us missionaries in the Philippines!

A New Theological School Begins

August 13, 2019 is now a significant date for the Protestant Reformed Churches in the Philippines because that was the first day of classes at their theological school.

On the Sunday prior to August 13, special sermons were preached in the four Protestant Reformed Churches (PRCP) to direct the attention of God’s people to this momentous occasion in the life of their churches.

  • Rev. Vernon Ibe preached at the Berean PRC on “Men Entrusted with the Gospel” (II Tim. 2:1-6).
  • Rev. D. Kleyn preached at the PRC in Bulacan on “Abounding in the Lord’s Work” (I Cor. 15:58).
  • Rev. R. Smit preached at the Maranatha PRC on “Jesus’ Fishermen” (Mk. 1:14-20).
  • Rev. D. Holstege preached at the Provident PRC on “Training Men for the Ministry” (II Tim. 2:2).

We missionaries of the PRCA, with the approval of the PRCP Classis, are giving the instruction at the seminary at this time. Rev. Holstege is teaching Hermeneutics (The principles of interpreting Holy Scripture). Rev. Kleyn is in charge of Homiletics (The principles and practice of making a sermon). He is also teaching Ancient Church History. Rev. Smit is teaching Greek Grammar (for exegesis of the New Testament). He is also teaching the first locus of Reformed Dogmatics (Theology), rightly called the “queen of the sciences.” These courses aim to give the PRCP students a firm theological foundation in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent, which is life eternal.

There is one full-time student at the seminary for the 2019-2020 school year, Bro. Jeremiah Pascual (see picture). He and his wife are members of the PRC in Bulacan and are expecting their first child this November. Bro. Jethro Ace Flores served as a pastor for about eighteen years in another denomination. He attended some of the 7M classes of our missionaries in the past and became a member of Provident PRC with his wife and daughter just last July. His desire is to become a pastor in the PRCP and he is currently visiting a few classes at the seminary. Bro. Emmanuel Jasojaso is a school teacher who also plans to join Provident PRC with his wife and four little children. He too desires to become a pastor in the PRCP. With Bro. Jeremiah, he is studying Greek at seminary this year, with Classis’ approval. Besides these men, there are others who also plan, if the Lord wills, to begin studying at the seminary next year (2020-2021).

The classes are being taught this year in the sanctuary of Provident PRC in Marikina City, Metro Manila, a quiet and comfortable environment, which is conducive to teaching and learning. The classes meet in the mornings from Tuesday through Friday. For our devotions on the first day of class, we reflected together for a few moments on the mandate of the apostle to Timothy: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (II Tim. 2:2).

PRCP Seminary opening day Aug 2019
Sitting from left to right: Bro. Emmanuel Jasojaso, Bro. Jeremiah Pascual, and Bro. Jethro Ace Flores

Other Developments on the Mission Field

On Sunday, August 25, I made the monthly visit to a congregation in the town of Guiguinto in the province of Bulacan: Bearers of Light Community Church (Pastor: Ronil Domingo). Deacon Jun Armas from Provident PRC accompanied me. This small congregation used to be a Brethren church, like Provident PRC. But now they too are reforming. They are the object of the evangelism work of Provident PRC (which is still the main focus of my labors). The office bearers of PPRC have begun to join me on these visits to assist and to oversee the work being done.

Bearers of light church AdultSS 2019

• [No benediction yet]
• Doxology (“Praise God from
whom all blessings flow…”)
• Psalter (#1)
• Ten Commandments
• Psalter (#53)
• Congregational prayer
• Psalter (#325)
• Scripture reading (Psalm 96)
• Sermon (Psalm 96:1-2)
• Prayer
• Offering
• Psalter (#257)
• Doxology (Psalter #196)

On August 25, as on prior visits, I first taught the Heidelberg Catechism (LD 7) in what they call the “adult Sunday school.” Later in the morning, at their request, I led them for the first time in a Reformed worship service, following the order of worship you see above, which is the order followed in the PRCP churches. We gave them some Psalters from which they sang a new song to Jehovah! After lunch, I began teaching them the Church Order of the PRC (photo above). The plan is to teach them the Church Order on each monthly visit. Pastor Ronil and his little flock have received all our instruction with eagerness; but sadly, some of their members have left because of the Reformed faith.

philippines map 1

Let me now turn your attention to Southern Negros Occidental (SNO), where our missionaries have been instructing a group of pastors for many years now. On Sunday, September 15, Rev. and Sharon Kleyn spent the day with the congregations of two of the pastors who normally attend the monthly classes: the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan (Pastor Ezekias Rosal) and the Reformed Church in Sialay, near Sipalay (Pastor Eduardo Donasco). The plan is to expand our work in Negros from teaching pastors to also preaching in their congregations and guiding them to organize properly as Reformed churches. We are very excited about this development because the SNO pastors are very enthusiastic and committed brethren who are eager for us to develop their churches. On September 15, Rev. Kleyn preached Lord’s Day 1 of the Heidelberg Catechism in the “adult Sunday school” of the Reformed Free Church in Inayauan (pictured below; the one standing on the right is Pastor Rosal). Then he led their worship service, preaching on Deuteronomy 7:6-8 which speaks of divine election. There were about 100 in attendance. Later that afternoon, he gave a speech on “God’s Sovereignty in Salvation” to the Reformed Church in Sialay. In both locations, they worshiped God together using the Psalter.

Reformed Free Church Negros Sept 2019

Besides these developments, the four congregations of the PRCP in the area of Metro Manila continue to grow, sometimes through the crucible of fiery trials, sometimes through joys which earth cannot afford. We missionaries all preach and teach in these churches, give advice to their councils, committees, and Classis, and engage in other work. The great commission is being fulfilled! We count it a high privilege to participate in the spread of the gospel of gracious salvation through Christ. Pray for the believers who desire to become Reformed churches. Pray for the seminary that is training men for the ministry of the gospel. We thank God constantly for your support of the work here.

In Christ’s service,
Rev. Daniel Holstege

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"Living Wisely in a Digital Age" - Crete PRC's Fall Lecture - October 31, 2019

The Evangelism Committee of Crete PRC (IL) will be hosting a lecture on October 31 titled “Living Wisely in a Digital Age,” to which the public is invited. Below are the details.

The world around us is becoming increasingly digital; we see many instances of this in society as well as in the church. Digital technology can be used wisely and productively; however, we often do not notice or stop to think about the effects it may be having on our spiritual life. Plan now to join us for our fall lecture “ Living Wisely in a Digital Age” to be given by Rev. Nate Dekker on Thursday, Oct. 31 at Crete Protestant Reformed Church D.V. Rev. Dekker will address this topic from a distinct reformed viewpoint and have us consider wisdom in our use of digital media.

Crete Fall 2019 lecture

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This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, October 13-19, 2019

Psalm95 1On this forty-first Lord's Day of 2019, October 13, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be noted.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:It is God's making Himself little which is the cause of our being made great. We are so little, that if God should manifest His greatness without condescension, we should be trampled under His feet; but God, who must stoop to view the skies, and bow to see what angels do, turns His eye yet lower, and looks to the lowly and contrite, and makes them great. … David ascribes all his own greatness to the condescending goodness of his Father in heaven. … How marvelous has been our experience of God's gentleness! How gentle have been His corrections! How gentle His forbearance! How gentle His teachings! How gentle His drawings! Meditate upon this theme, O believer. Let gratitude be awakened; let humility be deepened; let love be quickened ere thou fallest asleep tonight."  ~ Charles H. Spurgeon

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • Today Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC, Spokane, WA) declined the call from Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB).

  • Last Sunday Grandville PRC voted to extend a call to Rev. J. Mahtani to serve as minister on loan to Covenant ERC in Singapore. We include him and his family in our prayers as he weighs this call.

  • Our Canadian churches will be celebrating their national Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, October 14, with a special morning worship service. "Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever." Ps.106:1

  • Special notice from First PRC-Grand Rapids, MI: Mexico City Presentation: Sunday evening, October 20, at First PRC (GR) there will be a presentation on the work that took place in the Mexico City area this past summer. The presentation will begin at 7:15 PM. All in the area are invited to attend.

  • From the bulletin of the new daughter church of Byron Center PRC comes this significant notice: "At a [recent] council meeting, our mother church set the date for Unity PRC organizational service for Wednesday, October 30 at 7pm at BC PRC. After our organization, there will also be a congregational meeting at which elders and deacons for Unity PRC will be elected, the Lord willing."
  • Georgetown PRC is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year. This note is found in her bulletin about that upcoming celebration: "25th Anniversary and Church Picnic is planned for Saturday, October 26.  Join us for breakfast at Heritage Christian School! Our theme is, “Thanking God For Our Treasured Heritage”. The following Sunday, we will have special sermons by Rev. R. VanOverloop for our morning service and Rev. Haak for our evening service on Psalm 16: 5,6 and 8,9. Please plan to attend as we have so much to be thankful for!"

  • Pictures taken at the recent Seniors' Retreat in Gull Lake, MI (Sept. 2019) may be found in a pdf accessed by registered users on the PRC bulletin page. Thanks to Phil Harbach for providing these. 

luther reformation

Reformation Day / Fall Lectures planned by PRC congregations:

  • Kalamazoo PRC - October 25: "Many denominations, some even Reformed, are looking at going back to the Roman Catholic Church. Do you know the deepest common bond between them that gives them hope for union? Join us to hear Prof. Barry Gritters speak on: "Evangelicals and Catholics Together? Reconciling the Unreconcilable" on Friday, October 25, at 7:30 pm at Kalamazoo PRC, 4515 Green Acres Dr., Kalamazoo, MI. Refreshments will be served."
  • Crete PRC - October 31: "The world around us is becoming increasingly digital; we see many instances of this in society as well as in the church. Digital technology can be used wisely and productively; however, we often do not notice or stop to think about what effects it may be having on our spiritual life.   Join us for our fall lecture “Living Wisely in a Digital Age” to be given by Rev. Nate Decker on Thursday, Oct. 31 at Crete Protestant Reformed Church D.V.  Rev. Decker will address this topic from a distinct reformed viewpoint and have us consider wisdom in our use of digital media."
  • Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA) - November 1: "Reformation Day Lecture: Prof. R. Dykstra will be here on Friday, November 1, to give a lecture on the subject “Blessed Assurance: Reaffirmed by the Canons of Dort.”
  • Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) - Novemeber 1: "On November 1 at 7:00 p.m. the Reformed Witness Committee is hosting a presentation by Prof. B. Gritters on this subject: "The Sabbath Command: The Law That Christians Love to Keep". This presentation will take place at Hull Protestant Reformed Church (1006 Hayes Ave, Hull, IA). Everyone is encouraged to attend. Bring a friend or family member with you. If you can’t be there in person, you can catch it on SermonAudio.com.
  • Pittsburgh PRC - November 1: "Our church is hosting our annual Reformation Day lecture on Friday, November 1st at 7 PM. Rev. Bruinsma will speak on the subject, "Ulrich Zwingli and the Restoration of Preaching." Mark your calendars and invite a friend."

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis East: Classis East met on Sept.11 at Southwest PRC (Wyoming, MI). For the official public report of the Stated Clerk, visit this special news page about the work and decisions.

Classis West: Classis West met from Sept.25-27 at Calvary PRC in Hull, IA. It will reconvene on Tuesday November 5 to finish its work. For the full, official report of the stated clerk, visit this special news page on this meeting.

Contact Commitee:  Revs. C. Griess and C. Spronk along with their wives, and Pete Vander Schaaf and his wife, are currently visiting the BERG in Giessen, Germany on behalf of the Contact Committee of our PRC.  They will be gone from September 30 to October 14 (tomorrow).

Sem sign Fall 2018 2

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its eighth week of the first semester in the new school year, and both faculty and students remain busy with their tasks of teaching and studying. The students are taking mid-term exams in some of the classes. It is also the time of year when our professors deliver special Reformation Day lectures. Continue to pray for them.

  • The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends. And you may also make use of our library - here's the link to our online catalog if you wish to search for something to read or use.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.

  • The finishing touches are being put on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). More decorating is to be done in the library this week and more work continues on the archives room. The other custom library desks will be finished soon, along with the work area for the archives room. A special display case for archives was installed in the hallway this past week. Final inspection should be soon!
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email!

ProvidentCC 2
Provident Christian Church, part of the PRC in the Philippines

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife are once again serving the CERC while she is vacant.
    • Re the recent call of Grandville PRC: "Last Sunday, Grandville PRC congregation voted to extend the call to Rev Jonathan Mahtani to be the Minister-on-Loan to CERC. Rev Jonathan Mahtani is currently the pastor of Cornerstone PRC, Indiana. He has 3 weeks to consider this call and prayerfully seek God’s will. Do remember to keep Rev Mahtani in your prayers that God will make His will plain to him so that he will give an answer to this call with a clear conviction of his heart. Beloved, trust in our Sovereign God who rules and reigns all things, including our need for a pastor, for the glory of His name. Pray that God will give us patience to wait upon Him to send us the man of His choosing in His perfect timing to be our minister-on-loan."
    • Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Berean PRC: Rev. V.Ibe is leading the worship services today. He is also scheduled to preach at Kerusso Community Church at 3P.M. today
    • Maranatha PRC: Rev. R. Smit is leading her services today.
    • Provident CC: "Rev. Kleyn will preach for us in both worship services today, the Lord willing. Rev. Holstege is scheduled to preach once today in the PRC in Bulacan."
    • Denominational News:

      The Seminary of the PRCP will be having mid-term exams this week (Oct. 15-18).

      The PRCP Classis will have their regular meeting on October 31, 2019 at 9:00 in the morning. D. V.

    • 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 Ballymena, N. Ireland, Covenant PRC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. Stewart is leading the services today.
    • The CPRC Reformation Day Lecture is planned for Friday, 25 October at 7:30 PM. Rev. Stewart will speak on “William Tyndale: English Bible Translator.”

    • Covenant PRC's latest newsletter was received and posted (August 2019).
    • A new issue of the Covenant Reformed News" is out! Read the September 2019 issue 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.

the church today DJE
Looking for some good materials to read during this Reformation month? Visit our pamphlet section and our special Reformation article section.

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles 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 a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville!

  • Do you have an interest in 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 missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting this past week, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."

  • 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. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

RWH Logo 2019

  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • For October to January (2020) the RWH welcomes Rev. W. Bruinsma of our Pittsburgh PRC to the microphone. Today he delivers the message "The Faith of Sarah" based on Hebrews 11:11,12 (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

      Have you signed up yet to receive the emailed Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) newsletter? Six times per year, we update you on news about our speakers, program, and online reach, and we share stories from listeners and readers who have been blessed by the RWH, a ministry of the PRC. Please visit http://eepurl.com/gikNsL to sign up for the newsletter.

    • A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

 BL header lighthouse

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this year's event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel or the Facebook page. The 2020 PRYP's Convention will be hosted by Georgetown PRC and held at Lake Williamson Christian Center (St. Louis, MO).
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia from the 28th of December 2019 – 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker, taking the camp on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be on the “Australian Bush”. The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the full flyer + registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

Gospel to all nations

PRC MISSION NEWS:

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. In that connection, BC-PRC's bulletin today had this note: "The Dorr Bible Study meets this Thursday, October 17 at 7:30 PM. We plan to take up our discussion beginning at John 8:31. Please join us and bring friends or neighbors along to the library in Dorr!"
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown spoke in Margam Community Centre this past Thursday, 10 October, on “The Development of God’s Covenant (7): Joseph and the Bondage in Egypt.” Remember this witness in your prayers.
    • A fresh mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship is now available! The September 2019 edition may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

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.

India:

Myanmar:

  • 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.
Read more...

Bethel PRC's Annual Reformation Day Lecture - Friday, October 11, 2019

BethelPRCPic

PUBLIC LECTURE - PEACE IN TROUBLED TIMES

Mass Shooting in...Nine Dead. Trade Wars with China…Stock Market Drops.
North Korea Tests Another Missile. GM Laying off. Hurricane Hits.
Registered Sex Offender attempts to Kidnap Child. Mother of Three Missing. Cancer.

Headlines such as these are becoming common place. It seems that life is increasingly violent and
dangerous. Events around the world and closer to home threaten our safety, our peace, our way of
life. Life seems quite uncertain.

In the face of these unsettled times, is peace of mind possible? No one is totally protected from these
evils. When danger and suffering surround, many feel that lasting peace or tranquility is impossible.
In contrast to that feeling, true peace of mind is really possible. Christians can and do know peace
in the face of troubles, sorrows, and the uncertainty of life. They know that there is a God in control
of all these events, and that he is a Father who loves and cares for his people. They have a sure hope
of lasting peace in their lives. They have this by faith in Jesus Christ.

You are cordially invited to hear about the God who rules all things for the good of his people, and
how God gives true and lasting peace.


www.bethelprc.org
You are also invited to join us for Sunday worship, each week, at 9:30 AM and 5:00 PM.

Friday, Oct. 11, 2019
7:30 PM

RDykstra1

About the Speaker:
Russell Dykstra in a minister in the Protestant Reformed Churches. He was a pastor of two congregations before becoming
a professor in the seminary of the PRC. He has nine children, all married, and many grandchildren, and is well acquainted
with the dangers that threaten both old and young.

Place: Bethel Protestant Reformed Church
115 Pratt Blvd, Roselle, IL 60172


ALL WELCOME
Speaker: Prof. Russell Dykstra
Topic: Peace in Troubled Times

Read more...

This Week's PRC and Sister-Church News, October 6-12, 2019 *(Updated)

Jer3 15 pastorsOn this fortieth Lord's Day of 2019, October 6, the following news and information concerning PRC congregations, the Seminary, sister churches, and mission fields may be noted.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “(On hearing the preaching) “...It shouldn't merely bounce off our eardrum or glide smoothly through our soul's networks. But it should directly, immediately, intensely, and totally penetrate our whole being. It should grip us in our entirety as spiritual beings. Its message should touch every spot in our soul. It should make us quiver in our total being. Not externally like the Quakers' experience, as though our lips and hands should tremble. But internally, so that our hearts quiver in our chests. It should also mean that our spirits tremble 'because the Word of God is living and active and sharper than any double-edged sword that cuts to the cleaving of soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and is the judge of all thoughts.” ~ Abraham Kuyper

CONGREGATIONAL NEWS:

  • This morning pastor-elect M. Kortus was ordained into the ministry of the Word and sacraments in the PRC and installed as the new pastor of Hope PRC (Redlands, CA). We rejoice in God's gracious gift of another minister of the Word in the PRC. May the Lord continue to prepare and equip this brother for his labors as a servant of Jesus Christ and His church.

  • On September 22 Immanuel PRC (Lacombe, AB) extended a call to Rev. R. Kleyn (Covenant of Grace, Spokane). He plans to answer by Oct.13. We remember him in prayer as he weighs this call. Rev. T. Miersma is leading the worship services at Immanuel PRC again today. The next two Sundays are "open" weeks for her supply.

  • The congregation of Grandville PRC was to vote this evening from the Council's new trio for calling a minister on loan to labor in Covenant ERC in Singapore: Revs. Garrett Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) and Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC). *Rev. J. Mathani has received this call.

  • Special Lecture, Bethel PRC: Bethel PRC is holding its annual Reformation Day Lecture at its premises in Roselle, IL on Friday, October 12, at 7:30 p.m. Professor R. Dykstra will be speaking on the subject: "Peace In Troubled Times". All are welcome.

  • From the bulletin of the new daughter church of Byron Center PRC comes this significant notice: "At a council meeting this past week, our mother church set the date for Unity PRC organizational service for Wednesday, October 30 at 7pm at BC PRC. After our organization, there will also be a congregational meeting at which elders and deacons for Unity PRC will be elected, the Lord willing."
  • Georgetown PRC is celebrating her 25th anniversary this year. This note is found in her bulletin about that upcoming celebration: "25th Anniversary and Church Picnic is planned for Saturday, October 26.  Join us for breakfast at Heritage Christian School! Our theme is, “Thanking God For Our Treasured Heritage”. The following Sunday, we will have special sermons by Rev. R. VanOverloop for our morning service and Rev. Haak for our evening service on Psalm 16: 5,6 and 8,9. Please plan to attend as we have so much to be thankful for!"

  • Pictures taken at the recent Seniors' Retreat in Gull Lake, MI may be found in a pdf accessed by registered users on the PRC bulletin page. Thanks to Phil Harbach for providing these. 

DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

Classis West: Classis West met from Sept.25-27 at Calvary PRC in Hull, IA. It will reconvene in early November to finish its work. For the full, official report of the stated clerk, visit this special news page on this meeting.

Contact Commitee:  Revs. C. Griess and C. Spronk along with their wives, and Pete Vander Schaaf and his wife, are currently visiting the BERG in Giessen, Germany on behalf of the Contact Committee of our PRC.  They will be gone from September 30 (tomorrow) to October 14.

Sem front Oct 2018

PRC Seminary News:

  • The seminary is now entering its seventh week of the first semester in the new school year, and both faculty and students are busy with their tasks of teaching and studying. Some of the students and most of the professors also teach catechism and lead Bible studies in the West Michigan area. The first practice preaching session will be held Monday Oct.6, as Sems. Tan and Wee will deliver their first sermons of the new term. Pray for them and for the staff as they busy themselves in these kingdom labors.
  • The schedule for the first semester has been posted on the seminary's website. If you are interested in visiting, please contact the seminary.

  • Looking for some good Reformed books to read, Bible study materials or seminary publications to use? Come and visit the seminary's bookstore! We have a variety of Bibles, commentaries, and good books - used and new - for our members and friends.

  • Need for Ministers: Synod 2019 took a decision to place the urgent need for seminary students before our churches. Nine of our 39 active ministers are 63 years of age and older. The next prospect for seminary graduates in our churches is not for another four years. Then those nine ministers will be 67 and older. Please remember in your prayers to petition the Lord of the harvest for pastors, and please encourage young men, whom you observe to have the gifts, to consider the ministry.

  • The finishing touches are being put on the seminary addition and library renovation projects (new archives and offices). The second shioment of new furniturte for the library arrived last week and more preparations were done on the special fire protection system in the arcives room. The other custom library desks will be finished soon, along iwth the work area for the archives roowi
  • Be sure to visit the new PRC seminary website! Visit the site and check out the various pages, including the new blog - and sign up to receive seminary news by email! The library is also online there (under Resources). If you are looking for a particular book to read or use, or just want to browse, visit the library page.

ephesians 4 3

SISTER-CHURCH NEWS:

  • Concerning our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, we may note the following:
    • Rev. A. denHartog and his wife returned to the CERC to take up the work again while they are vacant.
    • The congregation of Grandville PRC was to vote Sunday evening from the Council's new trio for calling a minister on loan to labor in Covenant ERC in Singapore: Revs. Garrett Eriks (Hudsonville PRC), Rodney Kleyn (Covenant of Grace PRC) and Jon Mahtani (Cornerstone PRC).
    • Her latest newsletter (August 2019) - Reformed News Asia - was posted recently posted and may be found on this page.
  • Concerning the PRC in the Philippines, we may note the following from the bulletins of the Berean PRC, PRC in Bulacan, Maranatha PRC, and Provident CC:
    • Berean PRC: "Rev. Smit will lead us in our worship services today. Rev. Ibe will lead the worship service with the saints in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija today. We pray for God’s continued blessings as they hear and receive the proclamation of His Word!"
    • Maranatha PRC:

      Let us pray for Rev. D. Kleyn in his missionary work in Sipalay, Negros Occ.

      The PRCP Classis will have their regular meeting on October 31, 2019 at 9:00 in the morning. D. V.

    • Provident CC: "Rev. Kleyn will preach in the first service today and Rev. Holstege in the second. Next week, Lord willing, Rev. Kleyn will preach both times for PPRC and Rev. Holstege will preach once for the PRC in Bulacan."
    • And for more on the life and work of our "sisters" in the Far East read the news under Philippine missions (bulletins).
  • 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.

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Looking for Bible study resources or a good book to read this Fall? Visit the RFPA Bookstore in Jenison, MI or shop online at her website.

If you missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting on Sept.26, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."

SPECIAL NOTICES:

  • If you are in need of some pamphlets and/or articles 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 a study Bible or Bible study resources this Fall? Visit the Reformed Book Outlet in downtown Hudsonville!

  • Do you have an interest in 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 missed the speech at the annual RFPA meeting this past week, visit this link to watch Rev. J. Smidstra's fine talk on "Training Our Children in the Discipline of Reading."

  • 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. It's another excellent way to learn the Reformed faith and memorize these Reformed creeds.

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  • Remember to listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you or on Sermonaudio wherever you are!
    • For October to January (2020) the RWH welcomes Rev. W. Bruinsma of our Pittsburgh PRC to the microphone. Today he delivers the message “The Woman Eve” based on Genesis 2:23-24; 3:20 (or visit the RWH website linked here to listen anytime).
    • From the Reformed Witness Hour Committee:

      Have you signed up yet to receive the emailed Reformed Witness Hour (RWH) newsletter? Six times per year, we update you on news about our speakers, program, and online reach, and we share stories from listeners and readers who have been blessed by the RWH, a ministry of the PRC. Please visit http://eepurl.com/gikNsL to sign up for the newsletter.

    • A new Spanish edition of the RWH has been produced and may be found on this YouTube channel (PRC Espanol). Why not check it out - and help spread the word!

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Are you active in participating in your church's young people and young adult Bible study groups?

ESPECIALLY FOR PRC Young People and Young Adults:

  • The 2019 PRYP's Convention is now history (held Aug.12-16 at Michindoh Conference Center in Hillsdale, MI.). Southwest and Providence PRCs hosted this year's event. For pictures and more visit this YouTube channel or the Facebook page. The 2020 PRYP's Convention will be hosted by Georgetown PRC and held at Lake Williamson Christian Center (St. Louis, MO).
  • THE EVANGELICAL PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF AUSTRALIA would love to invite any young people and young adults, aged 13 and up, to their biennial youth camp. This youth camp will be held in Brisbane, Australia from the 28th of December 2019 – 3rd January 2020. Rev. Martyn McGeown from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship of the Republic of Ireland will be our guest speaker, taking the camp on the topic of ‘The Christian’s Armour’ (From Ephesians 6). Amongst other activities, the theme night will be on the “Australian Bush”. The cost for the camp is $250 AUD (approx $170 USD). This is a great time to meet other young people, fellowship with them and learn about our Saviour. Please contact Megan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for the full flyer + registration form, or for any additional questions/information.

  • The latest young peoples' magazine of Covenant ERC in Singapore, Salt Shakers, was received and posted (August 2019 - cf. image above). Check that out on this page.

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PRC MISSION NEWS:

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.
  • Limerick Reformed Fellowship News:
    • Rev. M. McGeown is preaching today and will lead the Bible study Tuesday 8 PM in Corbally.
    • S. Wales Lecture: Rev. McGeown will speak in Margam Community Centre on Thursday, 10 October, at 7:15 PM on “The Development of God’s Covenant (7): Joseph and the Bondage in Egypt.” Remember this witness in your prayers.
    • A fresh mission newsletter from the Limerick Reformed Fellowship is now available! The September 2019 edition may be found here.

Philippine Missions:

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.

India:

Myanmar:

  • 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.
Read more...

Reformed Witness Hour Messages for October 2019

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First PRC of Grand Rapids, MI and the Reformed Witness Hour Committee announce the messages scheduled for October 2019 on the RWH radio/Internet program.

This month we welcome back to our broadcast Rev. W. Bruinsma, pastor of Pittsburgh PRC (PA). He will be doing a special series on "Women in the Bible," beginning with Eve. Be sure to tune in for these important messages. The schedule for this month is laid out below and also attached in pdf form.

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October 6 - The Woman Eve, Genesis 2:23-24; 3:20

October 13 - The Faith of Sarah, Hebrews 11:11-12

October 20 - Rebekah Marries Isaac, Genesis 24:55-67

October 27 - Shiphrah and Puah Fear God, Exodus 1:14-21

You are encouraged to listen to these important messages and to let others know about them too. Help spread the word about the Reformed Witness Hour, now in its 78th year of broadcasting the truths of God's sovereign, particular, efficacious grace!

Visit our website for the latest podcast and for other news and information!

And don't forget our Spanish programs on YouTube!

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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.

*Special RWH newsletter note: Did you know that Reformed Witness Hour messages are downloaded each month by saints all over the world—saints living in South Africa, Cambodia, Nigeria, and China? If you would like to stay informed about the reach of this distinctly Reformed radio and internet ministry and about ways you can support this witness, sign up at http://eepurl.com/gikNsL for a bimonthly newsletter.

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