Missions of the Protestant Reformed Churches in America

PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for January 9, 2022

Psalm 36 9Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this second Sunday of the year of our Lord 2022, January 9. At the beginning of this new year, we praise the Lord for the hope we have in Him and the promise that He will be with us and will go before us. May our worship rise up to our faithful God as a sweet-smelling sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Savior.

How excellent is thy lovingkindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light. ~ Psalm 36:7-9

If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.

  • Rev. D. Holstege was installed as Wingham PRC's pastor this morning, with Prof. R. Dykstra leading the service. We join the saints there in praising God for the provision of another undershepherd to feed them with the Bread of life.

  • The Council of Heritage PRC formed a trio from which to call a new pastor: Revs. Ryan Barnhill (Peace PRC, Dyer, IN), Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC), and J. Marcus. The congregation voted to extend a call to Rev. R. Barnhill today after the morning service.

  • The Council of Doon PRC announces a new trio: Revs. J. Holstege (Zion PRC), D. Kleyn (missionary to the Philippines), and M. Kortus (Hope PRC-Redlands, CA). The congregation will vote after the evening service on Jan.16.
     
  • This is the time of year when the newly elected elders and deacons are installed into office in the PR churches. May we remember to thank the retiring men who have served and to pray for those entering office, some for the first time. May Jesus Christ, the only King of the church and the chief Shepherd of His sheep, use these officebearers for the proper care and guidance of His people. And we also remind our officebearers of the special resource section for them on this website.

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R. Hanko in Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA); Rev. S. Key (1st week) in Doon (IA) PRC; Rev. M. DeBoer (1st week) in First PRC, Edmonton, AB; Prof. C. Griess and Rev. M. DeVries in Grace PRC; Sem. M. Koerner and Rev. G. Eriks in Hudsonville PRCWe thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.

  • For those whose in-person public worship may still be limited, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

  • Did you know that...
    •  that Lacombe PRC is still meeting with rotating groups of members due to the covid restrictions in Alberta province? Let's not forget their needs during this ongoing limitation on her worship and full fellowship. And, we might add, such restrictions also apply to our brothers and sisters in Singapore, in the Philippines, in India, and in Myanmar. We pray for them as well.
    • the webmaster recently (Jan.3) received this wonderful encouraging note from a new contact in the USA? It is worth sharing in its entirety here:
      "I was brought to saving faith in Jesus Christ almost 40 years ago while I lived in Chicago. I became involved with a local Baptist church where I met the young woman I eventually married. This church was very dispensational in its preaching and I figured that must be the way it is. Until a friend introduced me to the Banner of Truth Trust and I began to read about the doctrines of grace. Over the years I became more convinced that Calvinism most accurately explained the truths revealed in God's Word.
      I retired from a long career working with computers and networks. We relocated to Anoka, MN. I have a fair amount of time to read and I have found the PRCA website to be most helpful as well as the Reformed Free Publishing Association. I have also started listening to the Reformed Witness Hour. I know there is a PRCA church in Edgerton but I am somewhat limited in mobility and have availed myself of a nearby Baptist church.
      Enough about me, I really wanted to thank you for the website and what a blessing it has been to me."

Providence PRC 2015
Providence PRC, host of the meeting of Classis East this week.

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • PRC Contact Committee: Prof. B. Gritters and Mr. S. Miedema arrived safely in N.Ireland this past week. They are visiting our sister-church, Covenant PRC in Ballymena. May the Lord bless their labors for the mutual benefit of CPRC and the PRC.
  • Classis East is scheduled to meet this Wednesday, Jan.12, at Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI. May the King of the church give the delegates grace and wisdom in dealing with the matters before them.
  • After a three-week visit to the States, Rev. D. Kleyn and Sharon returned to the Philippines this past week.

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A view of the 2022 Interim course on Christian Education taught by Prof. R. Dykstra (including auditors)

PRC Seminary Notices:

  • Currently the 2022 Interim course is being held (Jan.3 - Jan.11), with Prof. R. Dykstra teaching "The History and Principles of Christian Education." There are eight auditors also sitting in on the class. The class will end this Tuesday, Jan.11.
  • The second semester of the 2021-22 school year will begin, D.V. on Tuesday, Jan.18. The schedule and calendar have been posted on the seminary's website and the PRC website. (see special calendars on the right side). Two of Prof. R. Cammenga’s classes are open for auditors: NT History and Dogmatics. NT History will begin with the passion of Christ and conclude with the missionary journeys of the apostle Paul. Dogmatics will cover soteriology or the doctrine of salvation, including the critical doctrines of justification and sanctification. Prof. R. Dykstra’s class on Reformed Symbols (Creeds, Heidelberg Catechism, Belgic Confession) is open as well. If you are interested in attending, please contact the seminary secretary at 616-531-1490 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to find out the day and time the class you are interested in will meet.
  • Prof. R. Cammenga is recovering from his mid-December knee-replacement surgery and should be ready to return to teaching next week. We thank the Lord for a successful surgery and for healing mercies to this point.
  • Senior Sem. M.Wee has completed his internship at Faith PRC under Rev. C. Spronk. He returns for this final semester next week.
  • The seminary is open daily (8-5), including the library and bookstore, for our members and friends. The staff is available to assist with any other needs you may have as well. Feel free to call in advance for help with any questions.
  • The Fall 2021 issue of the PRT Journal is at the printer and should be ready by the end of January. But the digital editions (pdf and ePub) are now available on the seminary's website. If you want to be added to our mailing list (either print or digital), contact Sharon, the seminary secretary.
  • For the latest seminary news and information, visit the seminary's website.

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SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • This past week the sister-church visitors from the PRC Contact Committee (Prof. R. Dykstra and elder D. Kregel) finished their labors and returned to the States.
    • From today's bulletin: We give thanks to God for the annual church retreat we could have yesterday. May God bless us in our cell groups that we may continue to study the Word of God together, pray over the Word of God together and live out the Word of God together.
    • A new issue of "Reformed News Asia" is available - December 2021 - #65. Be sure to check it out for the latest news from our sister!
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A.Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena. Today Prof. B. Gritters preached both services. From last Sunday's bulletin: Prof. Gritters and Elder Sid Miedema are to be in N. Ireland from 5-14 January. Prof. Gritters will be giving a lecture entitled, “Being the Hand of God: Godly Parenting in an Ungodly World,” on Wednesday, 12 January at 7:30 PM.
    • Be sure to check out the lastest edition of "Covenant Reformed News" - December 2021. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles by Revs. A. Stewart and R. Hanko.

  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • The Kleyns finished their visit in the States this past week and returned to the Philippines on Thursday (see note below under Provident PRC).
    • A new Philippines Newsletter is available (visit the foreign missions page and see the download at the top of the right-hand column). Rev. R. Smit has penned a report on various aspects of the life and labors of our missionaries there, including this encouraging news about resuming work in SNO: "Our work in southern Negros Occidental [SNO] has been on hold because of travel restrictions. This situation is beginning to change with the government recently allowing fully vaccinated travelers to SNO. Of course, there is a list of rules that travellers must follow in order to visit, but at least the door is opening again for a resuming of our mission labors in SNO in 2022, D.V."
    • Berean PRC bulletin: "Rev. Ibe will lead us in our worship services today via live stream. The saints in All of Grace Protestant Reformed Fellowship (AGPRF), Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija will join us in our worship services today via live streaming at our Facebook page."
    • Provident PRC bulletin: "Rev. Smit will lead and preach in our worship services today. A live stream of our services will be provided at the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page. Welcome home, Rev. D. Kleyn and Sis. Sharon. We’re so glad and thank our God for their safe return. They are now in quarantine for 14 days (first 5 to 6 days in a quarantine hotel then the remainder at their home, DV). Thus their quarantine at home will end on Friday, January 21, 2022."

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Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

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  • Currently, Rev. W.Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC, Pennsylvania) is the featured speaker, with focus on a series on Hebrews 11. Today's message is based on Hebrews 11:22 and titled "Joseph's Command Concerning His Bones."
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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Ignited by word mag 2021 
The third issue of Ignited by the Word will soon be mailed. The first two issues were mailed out complimentary. If you would still like to receive Ignited by the Word, please subscribe to the magazine!

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • Are you interested in learning more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • The Reformed Book Outlet (downtown Hudsonville, MI) is open four days a week and features Reformed publications, good Christian music, and other practical items (cards, etc.) Come visit the store Tuesday - Friday from 10am-5pm, or Saturday from 10am - 1pm!

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

“"And He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new.'

Do you know what that means in negative terms? It means that Aser and Naphtali will no more throw their brother Joseph in that dark pit. They will no longer sit down to eat bread while Joseph cries his heart out. Read Gen. 37:25 and 42:21. Also, Isa. 11:13, "Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim." 

In the new kingdom, in that new world, all inhabitants, be they men or angels, shall love one another, trust one another, enjoy one another, for all shall be filled with God. 

The text has something about that blessed new estate: God will dwell with them. You are very particular whom you invite into the intimate circle of your family. Not just anyone occupies a chair in the parlor, the sitting room, the front room. 

So is God particular. He does not invite just anyone. He invites only His own whom He saw in the palms of His hands from all eternity. And their image in that palm was beautiful. 

And God works with and in His people, until they are as beautiful as His Christ whose image is in the very center of that palm of God. We call that process, that operation: sanctification. 

And that process begins on earth. 

The beauty of the Godhead is given when you are born anew. It is brought to your consciousness in conversion. 

He even gives us a place where we may practice how to behave in the House of God in heaven. 

And that place is the church on the Sabbath. 

It is a bad sign when they must drag you to church. Then you have not tasted that the Lord is gracious. Church is the most beautiful thing on earth. It is the anticipation of God's tabernacle in the New World.

~ Gerrit Vos' (Rev.) Meditation in the January 15, 1957 Standard Bearer

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Reformed Witness Hour Messages for January 2022

News from the
Reformed Witness Hour for January 2022

 

Upcoming Broadcasts for January 2022


 
For January, Rev. Bruinsma continues his series on Faith from Hebrews 11. Rev. Bruinsma is the pastor of Pittsburgh Protestant Reformed Church in Pittsburgh, PA. 
January 2
By Faith Jacob Blesses Joseph's Sons 
Hebrews 11:21

January 9
Joseph's Command Concerning His Bones
Hebrews 11:22

January 16
The Faith of Moses' Parents
Hebrews 11:23

January 23
By Faith Moses Forsakes Egypt
Hebrews 11:24-26

January 30
By Faith Moses Endured
Hebrews 11:27
Listen to the current message here
 
Sermon Statistics
In the second half of this year, we have had nearly 8,500 message downloads, an increase from about 7,000 in the first half of the year. Nearly 90 countries were reached by RWH messages, the countries with the most downloads after the U.S include: Cambodia (672), United Kingdom (370) Australia (205) and Canada(150).
 
 
New Year's Message


Take a few minutes to enjoy Rev Haak's 2002 New Year's message that is still applicable today!
 
The world in this year is not going to declare a truce in its efforts to conform you to its mold.

The Lord greets you at the beginning of this year, 2002. He comes into your house through this message today and He says, “My child, in this coming year I have a warning for you. You must beware, you must take heed to yourself.”

Exactly what is the specific focus of ourselves that we must watch carefully? Is it our dress or appearance or health? No. The Lord says it is our hearts. “Lest at any time your heart be overcharged.” The heart is our spiritual center. It is our spiritual center-point.

The Bible says in Matthew 15, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts and murders and adulteries and fornication.”

And the book of Proverbs tell us “Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Beware of your spiritual center, of your heart, lest it be overcharged.

That word “overcharged” could be translated “weighed down,” or “burdened,” that the heart comes under a heavy weight. The Lord uses the same word in Matthew 26:43, where we read that Jesus “found them asleep again (the three disciples who were to watch with Him): for their eyes were heavy (literally, overcharged, weighed down, under a big burden, they couldn’t keep their eyes open).” An overcharged heart is a weighed down heart, it is a heart that is unresponsive to God, it is out of touch with the reality of the Lord’s second coming.

The heart of the child of God is looking for Jesus’ coming. If you cut that heart open, in that heart you will find the prayer, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.” 

How do we keep our hearts from being overcharged and continualy pray "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly?"  Here the answer in the rest of Rev. Haak's message.

Listen to the full message here
 
 

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PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for January 2, 2022

Psalm 35 28Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this first Sunday of the year of our Lord 2022, January 2. As we begin a new year, we praise the Lord for the hope we have in Him and the promise that He will be with us and will go before us. May our worship rise up to our faithful God as a sweet-smelling sacrifice through Jesus Christ our Savior.

Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me. ...And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD: it shall rejoice in his salvation. All my bones shall say, LORD, who is like unto thee, which deliverest the poor from him that is too strong for him, yea, the poor and the needy from him that spoileth him? ...I will give thee thanks in the great congregation: I will praise thee among much people. ...Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long. ~ Psalm 35:1; 9,10; 18; 27,28

If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.

  • Rev. D. Holstege and family were able to move to Wingham this past week and are settling into the parsonage there. His installation as Wingham PRC's pastor will take place next Sunday, Jan.9 with Prof. R. Dykstra leading the service.

  • The Council of Heritage PRC has formed a trio from which to call a new pastor: Revs. Ryan Barnhill (Peace PRC, Dyer, IN), Rev. Erik Guichelaar (Randolph, WI PRC), and J. Marcus.
     
  • This is the time of year when the newly elected elders and deacons are installed into office in the PR churches. May we remember to thank the retiring men who have served and to pray for those entering office, some for the first time. May Jesus Christ, the only King of the church and the chief Shepherd of His sheep, use these officebearers for the proper care and guidance of His people. And we also remind our officebearers of the special resource section for them on this website.

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R. Hanko in Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA); Rev. D. Kleyn in Doon (IA) PRC; Rev. T. Miersma in First PRC, Edmonton, AB; Prof. B.Gritters and Prof. B.Huizinga in Grace PRC; Prof. B. Huizinga and Rev. C.Haak in Hudsonville PRCWe thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.

  • For those whose in-person public worship may still be limited, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

  • Did you know that...
    • Many of our ministers exchanged pulpits today and helped one another out or received pulpit supply after a busy holiday schedule? Probably not surprising, given the number of services in the last two weeks. And we are thankful they are able to do this. Let us remember to pray regularly for God's patience (endurance) to be given them in all their busy labors.
    • Rev. J. Slopsema, of the PRC's emeritus ministers, was installed this morning as an elder in First PRC, Grand Rapids, MI? Perhaps a first in PRC history! We are thankful that he is willing to serve that congregation and the churches in this way too.

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

  • PRC Contact Committee: The delegation (Prof. R. Dykstra and Elder D. Kregel) to visit our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, returned home safely this past week.  This week Tuesday, Jan.4, Prof. B. Gritters and Mr. S. Miedema are scheduled to leave for sister-church visitation with Covenant PRC in Ballymena, N.Ireland. May the Lord grant them safety in their travels and grace for their labors.
  • Classis East is scheduled to meet Wednesday, Jan.12, at Providence PRC in Hudsonville, MI.

sem front dec 2021
Three times this past week fresh snow graced the seminary grounds.

PRC Seminary Notices:

ephesians 4 3

SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • This past week the sister-church visitors from the PRC Contact Committee (Prof. R. Dykstra and elder D. Kregel) finished their labors and returned to the States.
    • From today's bulletin (special new-year message): It is now 2022. We at this time of the year, must especially count our blessings of the past year. We also must remember our sure hope in our Lord Jesus Christ at the dawn of the new year. Hope is having a right perspective of the future. Without hope, without the proper understanding of the future, there will only be anxiety. Hope is seeing that the future is ALL IN FATHER’S HANDS. Not just the joys in 2022, but be assured that trouble, persecution, perplexing trials, suffering and death, all of this too are in Father’s hand. Everything will go according to his eternal decree and plan. Nothing will derail Father’s will. Nothing will stop the footsteps of Christ, and His coming. No forces of darkness or evil plan of man, no gates of hell will prevail against His precious blood bought church. The King of this church, Christ himself will gather, preserve and defend. Not just us collectively as a church, but each and every one of us personally. Do you believe this?
    • The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is October 2021 - #64. Be sure to check it out for the latest news from our sister!
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A.Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena. From Sunday's bulletin: Prof. Gritters and Elder Sid Miedema are to be in N. Ireland from 5-14 January. Prof. Gritters will be giving a lecture entitled, “Being the Hand of God: Godly Parenting in an Ungodly World,” on Wednesday, 12 January at 7:30 PM.
    • Be sure to check out the lastest edition of "Covenant Reformed News" - December 2021. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles by Revs. A. Stewart and R. Hanko.

  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • The Kleyns are wrapping up their visit in the States.  They are presently in Iowa, where Rev. Kleyn is scheduled to preach in Doon PRC on Dec. 31, Jan. 1, and Jan. 2. They plan to return to the Philippines on Jan. 4, Lord willing.
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. R. Smit led the services today.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Elder Bien will lead our worship services today using Video recordings of sermons by Prof. R. Cammenga from PRCA. A live stream of our services will be provided at the “PPRC and Friends” Facebook page.

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

WBruinsma 2017

  • Currently, Rev. W.Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC, Pennsylvania) is the featured speaker, with focus on a series on Hebrews 11. Today's message is based on Hebrews 11:21 and titled "By Faith Jacob Blesses Joseph's Sons."
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

BL Jan 2022 new format 
Have you seen the new format of the Beacon Lights? The January 2022 issue features the new, smaller format but with the same large Reformed content - for young people and for adults!

  • Are you interested in learning more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • The Reformed Book Outlet (downtown Hudsonville, MI) is open four days a week and features Reformed publications, good Christian music, and other practical items (cards, etc.) Come visit the store Tuesday - Friday from 10am-5pm, or Saturday from 10am - 1pm!

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

“As we launch out into another year, there is little visible prospect of a smooth and pleasant voyage. To the natural eye, the clouds are dark and fierce storms seem imminent. The very uncertainty of what the morrow may bring forth, fills many with uneasiness and trepidation.

But how different should be the state of God's children—an all-sufficient Object is presented to the eyes of their faith, from which unbelief derives no comfort. If the poor worldling is concerned with what lies before him, it is the blessed privilege of the believer to be occupied with Who goes before him—the One who is his Captain, his Guide, his Forerunner. "The LORD Himself goes before you and will be with you! He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid—do not be discouraged." (Deuteronomy 31:8).

The Lord has gone before you in the grand decree of His PREDESTINATION. Last year was one of suspense and sorrow, of trial and trouble—and perhaps you tremble at what this one has in store. Well, here is solid comfort. Your future has all been marked out for you! You shall not tread a step which is not mapped on the grand chart of God's foreordination. All your circumstances have been Divinely ordered for you.

Ah, Christian reader, what an immense difference this makes that you are not a child of chance, that your lot is not decided by the caprice of fickle fortune. Infinite wisdom and infinite love have arranged everything. You will go nowhere during 1943 [and 2022!]—but where God has decreed, His "goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting" (Micah 5:2), planning your path, your life. A predestinating God has appointed "the bounds of your habitation" (Acts 17:26). You may be thrust into the furnace of affliction—yet you will not be deserted. You may be brought low—yet it will be for your future blessing. You may be chastened—yet the rod is in the hand of your Father.” 

~ Arthur W. Pink (1943) - found in Covenant of Grace PRC's bulletin today

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In Memoriam: Remembering Fellow Saints Who Died in the Lord in 2021

Romans8 39On this last day of 2021, there are many things on which to reflect as God's pilgrims and strangers in this world: the ongoing pandemic with its continued effects on our lives, work, schooling, and worship; an increasingly wicked world that more openly mocks our Christian faith and oppresses God's people; governments that rob us of basic freedoms and widely hinder and limit our ability to serve God and carry on our callings in this world. Besides, all of us can recall the personal events we experienced in this past year - from the joyful (births, anniversaries, etc.) to the sorrowful (losses and crosses).

Especially, on this December 31, 2021, we remember those PRC members who died and were received into glory by their Savior Jesus Christ, including little ones unborn or stillborn, not numbered here but who belong to Jesus and make up His church in heaven. And we know that many of our members also lost other family members who were believers and who have entered into their everlasting reward - grandparents, parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, and friends. And with many people in different places still suffering restrictions due to COVID-19, it was a difficult time to see loved ones depart this life.  In some cases, loved ones in their final days and hours could not be ministered to as normal. Visitations and funerals could not be conducted as usual. Sorrows were multiplied and griefs extended.

And yet our faithful Father, our merciful Shepherd, and our abiding Comforter were present with us and ministering to us - through the Word and through pastors, fellow saints, and friends. In God's abounding grace He remained with us and with our loved ones. In His irresistible power He broke through all restrictions with the light of the gospel and comforted those about to die and us. And by His merciful hand He delivered our loved ones out of this vale of tears and into His presence of endless joy! All praise be to our great and good God! May we humble ourselves before Him as we remember His work in the life and death of these precious saints of His.

Here, then, is the list of those PRC members who passed from this life into the life hereafter in this past year. I have counted 52 members who departed the church militant for the church triumphant in 2021. I have not knowingly or intentionally left anyone out. If you see someone that was missed, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

In Memoriam: PRC members who died in the Lord in 2021 (by month and date, with ages and church affiliation)

January

  • 19 - Ronald A. Bauman, 84 (Pittsburgh PRC)
  • 27 - Dick Burgers Jr., 91 (Doon PRC)

February

  • 5 – Pauline M. Breen, 94 (Southeast PRC-GR)
  • 14 - Leonard Van Bemmel, 84 (Doon PRC)
  • 17 – Audrey Reitsma, 95 (SE PRC)
  • 22 - Theodore Mingerink, at birth (Byron Center PRC)

March

  • 2 – Sylvia Van Baren, 79 (Byron Center PRC)
  • 5 – Audrey Van Voorthuysen, 91 (Hope PRC-Redlands, CA)
  • 9 – Dora Haak, 97 (Crete PRC)
  • 11 – Sadie Knoper, 90 (Southwest PRC)
  • 23 – Frances Koning, 86 (First PRC-GR)
  • 23 – Berdena Rust, 92 (Kalamazoo PRC)
  • 31 – William Oomkes, 83 (Grandville PRC)

April

  • 2 – Thelma Westra, 93 (Faith PRC)
  • 11 – Tom DeVries, 77 (Hope PRC-GR)
  • 11 – Margaret Faber, 91 (Georgetown PRC)
  • 24 – Wilbur Linker, 78 (Immanuel PRC, Lacombe, AB)
  • 25 - Ken Kooiker, 68 (Hull PRC)

May

  • 5 – Robert D. Decker, 80 (Georgetown PRC)
  • 23 – Calvin Yonker, 69 (First PRC-Holland)

June

  • 2 – Genevieve Warner, 95 (First PRC-Holland)
  • 8 – Elaine Bos, 86 (Faith PRC)
  • 19 - Samuel Marcus, 16 (Grace PRC)

July

  • 22 - Debra Kuiper, 55 (Southwest PRC)

August

  • 9 – Sarah E. Feenstra, 50 (Hope PRC, Redlands, CA)
  • 13 – Reka Sietstra, 97 (Faith PRC)
  • 30 – Jeanette DeVries, 92 (Grandville PRC)
  • 30 – Beverly Hoekstra, 85 (Southwest PRC)

September

  • 7 – Daniel J. Schutz, 85 (Covenant of Grace PRC)
  • 12 – Peter Poortenga Jr., 76 (Hudsonville PRC)
  • 14 - Ruth Lubbers, 89 (Byron Center PRC)
  • 16 - Jo Anne Weimeister, 85 (Loveland PRC)
  • 23 – Cora Van Den Top, 94 (Hull PRC)

October

  • 1 – Joanne Vlietstra, 70 (Kalamazoo PRC)
  • 5 – Clarice Gritters, 93 (Hope PRC-Redlands, CA)
  • 7 – David M. Ondersma, 79 (Georgetown PRC)
  • 11 – Mary R. Potjer, 78 (Georgetown PRC)
  • 14 – Theresa Looyenga, 91 (Southwest PRC)
  • 16 – Donna Dykstra, 87 (Trinity PRC)
  • 26 – Leah Huisken, 45 (Hope PRC-Redlands, CA)

November

  • 7 – Leon Kamps, 81 (Hudsonville PRC)
  • 18 – Berend Meelker, 62 (Hope PRC-Redlands, CA)
  • 21 – Don Vander Klok, 79 (Byron Center PRC)
  • 21 – Henry Vander Meulen, 83 (Lynden PRC)

December

  • 1 - Cornelius (Case) Nymeyer, 85 (Cornerstone PRC)
  • 4 - Beverly Langerak, 74 (Grace PRC)
  • 6 - Ed Van Ginkel, 90 (Doon PRC)
  • 7 - Hennie Gritters, 84 (Hull PRC)
  • 17 – Ryan J. Oosterheert, 46 (Byron Center PRC)
  • 18 – Mark Hoeksema, 72 (Trinity PC)
  • 23 - Carl W. Potjer, 84 (Georgetown PRC)
  • 25 - Kathryn Grusczynski, 92 (First PRC-Grand Rapids)

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I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. (Psalm 16:8-11)

 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints (Psalm 116:15)

Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world (John 11:25-27).

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:1-3)

For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. (Romans 14:7-9)

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).

For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:19-21).

That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec (Hebrews 6:18-20).

And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them (Revelation 14:13).

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away (Revelation 21:1-4).

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Covenant Reformed News - December 2021

 
 
 

Covenant Reformed News


December 2021 • Volume XVIII, Issue 20


Introducing the Four Horsemen of Revelation 6

Horses and horsemen are mentioned some 300 times in the Bible. Zechariah 1 and 6 speak of various coloured horses. John’s vision in Revelation 19 portrays Christ on a white horse followed by His armies of saints upon white horses. But it is the four horsemen of Revelation 6 that are the most famous, and always provoke interest and wonder.

In this series of articles, we will study the identity and meaning of the four horsemen. We shall learn to recognise and listen to their hoof beats. As we see them riding forth, we should pray with all our hearts, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (22:20)!

Right at the beginning, we need to identify the highly significant time period of the four horsemen and the seven seals to which they belong. When does the period of the seals in Revelation 6 end?

The sixth seal takes us to the very door of the final judgment (6:12-17). First, awesome events transpire in the creation: there is a great earthquake, and all mountains and islands are moved out of their places; the sun becomes black as sackcloth and the moon as blood; the stars fall to earth and the heavens are rolled up as a scroll (12-14). In His Olivet discourse, Jesus Christ speaks similarly regarding events at His second coming: “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory” (Matt. 24:29-30).

Second, the sixth seal speaks of the “great day” of “the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:16-17), when all of ungodly humanity, including “great men” and “mighty men,” will cry out in terror (15-16). This is another reference to the last day: “The great day of the Lord is near ... the mighty man shall cry there bitterly” (Zeph. 1:14).

Third, Revelation 6:12-17 introduces the last judgment. Chapter 11:15-19 fills out the picture with verse 18 being especially clear: “thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead [i.e., their resurrection], that they should be judged [i.e., at the great assize], and that thou [1] shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and [2] shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” Revelation 14:17-20 vividly portrays the harvest of the wicked and their being trampled in “the great winepress of the wrath of God” (19). Chapter 20:11-15 presents the final judgment of all human beings before the great white throne of Jesus Christ, with the wicked being “cast into the lake of fire” (15).

When does the period of the seals in Revelation 6 begin? With the session of Christ, when He opens the seals of the scroll which He took “out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne” (5:7)! The Lamb’s opening the seven seals is His execution of God’s eternal decree as the exalted Lord. Our Redeemer rules in heaven as Jehovah’s vicegerent governing all of world history from the time of His exaltation onwards.

Thus the period of the seals in Revelation 6, including the four horsemen, is from Christ’s session at God’s right hand to His glorious return in the clouds of heaven. James B. Ramsey makes the same point by arguing from seven as the number of the seals: “the uniform and well-established meaning of the number seven in all symbolical representations, and occurring frequently in this book, being completeness in all covenant matters, renders it certain that this book, being a seven-sealed book, implies that it contains, not a part, but the whole perfect scheme of God’s providence in regard to His church” (The Book of Revelation, p. 312). Moreover, as well as being “sealed with seven seals,” the book or scroll is “written within and on the backside” (5:1). In other words, the book is full since it is the complete record of all of history from Christ’s enthronement at His ascension until His bodily return.

Clearly the book and the opening of its seven seals deal with past, present and future, from our perspective in the twenty-first century. It covers that which has been, is and will be. It treats the period between our Lord’s first and second comings.

To state it antithetically, the seals of Revelation 6, including the four horsemen, do not speak exclusively of the past, whether the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70 or the Roman Empire, as postmillennialists claim. Nor do the four horsemen and the six seals speak solely of times future to us, say, the literal seven-year tribulation after the rapture and before Christ’s return, as postulated by dispensationalism.

Some claim that the four horsemen in Revelation 6 ride forth chronologically, with the white horse (1-2) covering the first couple of centuries or so after Christ’s exaltation, the red horse (3-4) dealing with the period after that and so on. Such a type of interpretation is mechanical and not the idea of biblical prophecy or apocalyptic. It is also speculative and unprovable, leading to many differences in identification. Does anyone really expect the ordinary believer to know the world’s history for the last 2,000 years so as to be able to identify this or that event or person as the specific fulfilment of each of the many sections in Revelation 6-19? We hold the biblical and Reformed principle of Scripture interpreting Scripture as the way of understanding God’s Word!

The truth is that the four horsemen ride forth throughout the New Testament age from Christ’s coronation in heaven to His return with clouds. They occur contemporaneously throughout this period, portraying the main aspects of the history of the gospel era and intensifying as the end approaches! Rev. Stewart

 

 

Christ's Miracles and Two Natures

The question for this issue of the News is, “While on earth did Christ perform miracles by His Deity or because He received the fullness of the Spirit in His human nature or some combination of these two or something else? Could you please explain?”

There can be no doubt that the power to perform miracles is the power of God. As the Son of God, Jesus had that power in Himself and did not need to have that power given Him as others did. Jesus Himself refers to His miracles as proof of His divinity (John 10:37-38) and the fourth gospel concludes with the same testimony: “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name” (20:30-31) Mere men, like the twelve apostles, had to receive the power to perform miracles from God (cf. Matt. 10:1).

Christ’s divinity and humanity may not be separated, however, in His miracle-working. As the only begotten Son, He was able to perform and did perform many miracles, but He performed them as the Son of man. He shows us this in His healing the paralysed man who was let down by his friends into the presence of Jesus through the roof (9:1-8). Claiming both the power to forgive sins and to heal, He refers to Himself as the Son of man, that is, the one born in our flesh and like us in all things except sin: “But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house” (6). The passage concludes with the thoughts of those who witnessed the miracle (and they were not wrong): “But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men” (8).

But Matthew 9:8 implies that Christ, as man, had to receive the power to perform miracles. As Matthew 28:18 and John 10:18 suggest, Jesus was truly a man in that He had to receive the power He had to lay down His life and to do miracles. How could He at the same time have that power as the eternal Son and also have to receive it? This is the mystery of the incarnation: God came in the flesh!

The preceding raises this question: What about miracles in our day? That is, does God still give power to men to perform miracles as Jesus Himself, according to His human nature received it and as He gave that power to His disciples?

Scripture’s answer is “No.” Miracles are “the signs of an apostle” (II Cor. 12:12) and, since there no longer are any apostles, any who were eyewitnesses of Christ’s earthly ministry and resurrection, there can be no more miracles performed by men. Nor are they needed, since the Scriptures are completed and the miracles were only ever a witness to God’s Word and extraordinary office-bearers (Mark 16:20; Heb. 2:4).

Another issue raised by the question we have answered concerns the relationship between the two natures of Christ, His human and divine natures. The church of God, following the teaching of the Word, has always insisted that Christ’s two natures are united in one Person and must not be separated. After the incarnation, all that He did was done by One who was both God and man. It was God come in the flesh who was born in Bethlehem; God and man in one Person who walked the roads of Galilee and performed many mighty works. It was God incarnate who taught the people, called the disciples together, ate and drank with them, and lived among them. It was God manifest in the flesh who was arrested in Gethsemane, was tried and condemned and crucified, and who died for our sins and rose again on the third day and ascended into heaven, and who continues there for our interest until the end of the world.

That is the great “mystery of godliness” (I Tim. 3:16). God cannot suffer and die, and so we say that Christ suffered according to His human nature, but it was only as the eternal Son of God that Christ was able to bear the wrath of God against sin and deliver us from it, doing what no mere man could do. That mystery is evident in His miracles as well. When He stilled the wind and waves of the Sea of Galilee with a word, He did that as the same Person who moments before had been sleeping, exhausted and unheeding of the storm. The same Person who wept at the tomb of Lazarus was able to call life out of death when He raised His friend. This is indeed a great mystery, a mystery which ought to delight the souls of all who believe in Jesus. The mystery of God manifest in the flesh is proof that He is everything we need as Saviour, man to pay for man’s sins and God to do what man could never do.

The two natures of Christ may not, therefore, be separated, as the Creed of Chalcedon (451) states, “one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, to be acknowledged in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation.” I mention this because I have met people who think that Christ, when He rose from the dead and ascended to heaven, left His humanity behind. If that were indeed the case, we would have no part or interest in Him any longer. He is still God manifest in the flesh. As God incarnate, He prays for us in heaven, prepares a place for us, rules over all things on our behalf and readies all things for the day of His return.

Everything He does, therefore, He does as God come in our likeness, and everything He does is miraculous and wonderful. He was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin. He suffered all His life long but took that suffering upon Himself—it did not just happen to Him. He, God and man in one Person, gave Himself to shame and spitting (Isa. 50:6). He controlled all the events leading up to His death, sending Judas out to do his evil work, surrendering Himself to those who came to arrest Him and testifying to Pilate that he, the representative of mighty Rome, had no power but what had been given him by God. He died, not because His life was taken from Him but, because He laid it down (John 10:18) which, for a mere man, would be suicide. He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. One stands amazed at every word He spoke and all He did.

And the greatest wonder of all is in these two words: “for me.” The incarnate Son came for my salvation and did so in the everlasting love of God, but also in His love and pity as One who was touched with the feeling of my infirmity. This He did for me, one who is no better or more worthy than others and who, until He rescued me by a miracle of grace, was lost with no hope of being found. Rev. Ron 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  
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. • www.youtube.com/cprcni • www.facebook.com/CovenantPRC
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PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for December 26, 2021

Psalms 34 15Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, December 26, the fifty-second and final Lord's Day of this year 2021. As His pilgrim people, we praise the Lord for every blessing of His saving rest in Christ Jesus this past year on our Sundays. May today be another spiritual oasis for us as we journey to our heavenly homeland.

I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. ...The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the LORD, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. ~ Psalm 34:1-3; 7-9

If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.

  • YOU ARE INVITED! This Friday evening (Dec.31 - Old Year's Day)  and Saturday morning (Jan.1 - New Year's Day) the PR congregations will be holding special worship services to mark the end of the year of our Lord 2021 and the beginning of the new year of our Lord 2022. Most services begin at 7:00 p.m. and 9:30 a.m., but check the website of the church near you for details.

  • Last Sunday Rev. J. Langerak (Heritage PRC) accepted the call to Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA). We rejoice with this congregation in God's goodness, and also pray that the Lord may give grace to Heritage as they prepare to say farewell to their pastor and his wife.

  • Last Sunday Rev. C. Spronk declined the calls from Hudsonville and Doon PRCs. We continue to pray for the needs of these vacant congregations, even as we are confident of their Shepherd's perfect care for them during their time of vacancy.

  • Rev. D. Holstege and family are tentatively planning to move to Wingham this week and it appears his installation as Wingham's pastor will take place now on Sunday, Jan.9. We pray that the Lord may fulfill these plans for all involved.

  • This is the time of year when the newly elected elders and deacons are installed into office in the PR churches. May we remember to thank the retiring men who have served and to pray for those entering office, some for the first time. May Jesus Christ, the only King of the church and the chief Shepherd of His sheep, use these officebearers for the proper care and guidance of His people. And we also remind our officebearers of the special resource section for them on this website.

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R. Hanko in Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA); Rev. M. DeVries in Doon (IA) PRC (Rev. D.Kleyn for Old Year's and New Year's); Rev. T. Miersma in First PRC, Edmonton, AB (and this week's special services); Prof. B.Gritters and Prof. B.Huizinga in Grace PRC (Prof. B. Gritters - Old Year's and New Year's); Prof. B.Huizinga  and Rev. A.Spriensma in Hudsonville PRC (Old Year's - Rev. K.Koole; New Year's - Sem. M.Koerner); no supply in Wingham PRC.  We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.

  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

SW PRC SS Christmas Program 2021 2
A welcome and familiar scene this December (after last year) - Southwest PRC's Sunday School Program Christmas morning (Wyoming, MI)

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

From the PRC Contact Committee: The delegation to visit our sister church in Singapore, Covenant ERC, plans to return this week. We pray for Prof. R. Dykstra and David Kregel and their wives as they finish their work and travel back to the States. Next week Prof. B. Gritters and Mr. S.Miedema leave to visit Covenant PRC in Ballymena, N.Ireland.

sem sign Nov 2020

PRC Seminary Notices:

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SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • This past week the church visitors from the PRC Contact Committee met with the Session of the CERC and fellowshipped with the saints. The delegation of Prof. Dykstra and D.Kregel and their wives will leave early Tuesday morning. Prof. Dykstra led both services today.
    • From today's bulletin (special end-of-year message): As we conclude this festive season and this year of 2021, we conclude with the verse 15-17 of Psalm 90 “Make us glad according to the days wherein thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.” This is our comfort, this is our peace. That our Lord Jesus Christ is ever faithful to his precious bride. Even though she sins greatly against God, even though she not just once or twice but constantly plays the harlot and is called a whore, God ever preserves her. God preserve her does so by supernaturally working in her repentance.
    • Mission news from Kolkata (India): Today an adult baptism and an infant baptism took place. We praise God for this evidence of His covenant mercy!
    • The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is October 2021 - #64. Be sure to check it out for the latest news from our sister!
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A.Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena. From Sunday's bulletin: Prof. Gritters and Elder Sid Miedema are to be in N. Ireland from 5-14 January. Prof. Gritters will be giving a lecture entitled, “Being the Hand of God: Godly Parenting in an Ungodly World,” on Wednesday, 12 January at 7:30 PM.
    • The last CPRC newsletter - November 2021 - is available on the website! Visit this page to view it and read it (*cf. the newsletter column on the right side of the webpage).
    • Be sure to check out the lastest edition of "Covenant Reformed News" - November 2021. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.

  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • The Kleyns are currently in USA.  They are here especially to spend time with family and friends. They will also go to Iowa (this week) since Rev. Kleyn is scheduled to preach in Doon PRC on Dec. 31, Jan. 1, and Jan. 2. They plan to return to the Philippines on Jan. 4, Lord willing.
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V. Ibe led the services today.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. R.Smit led her services today. 

RWH Logo 2019
Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

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  • Currently, Rev. W.Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC, Pennsylvania) is the featured speaker, with focus on a series on Hebrews 11. Today's message is a special end-of-year one based on Psalm 37:27,28 and titled "God's Saints Preserved."
  • "The REFORMED WITNESS HOUR (RWH) COMMITTEE thanks you, PRC members, friends, and donors, for your prayers and financial support during 2021.  As you plan for your year-end giving, we ask that you prayerfully consider helping with one of these current RWH costs: continued broadcasts on WYLL in the Chicago area and extended Internet outreach through our website (reformedwitnesshour.org), social media, and SermonAudio.  Thank you for your continued support of this important PRC ministry."
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

 
Back in print and highly recommended! Visit the RFPA website for more information.

  • Are you interested in learning more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • The Reformed Book Outlet is running their 25% off sale for the month of December again this year. This sale includes 25% off most books, Bibles, and Bible covers. Come visit us Tuesday - Friday from 10am-5pm, or Saturday from 10am - 1pm!

Jesus – Prince of Peace - Enduring Peace | Calvert Grace Church

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

“'Peace on earth': this is the song of heaven’s army. Peace is something that exists in heaven, for there is peace in the being of God, peace between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and there is peace among the angels. Peace is harmony, wellness, or wholeness. To be at peace means to be in a harmonious relationship with God. The angels enjoy peace with God, for they have never sinned.

Man enjoyed peace with God before the fall, but he forfeited it by his sins. Now because of man’s sin, God is at war with man, and man is at war with God. Man hates God and fights against him, and peace is lost. As long as man is a sinner, peace with God is impossible. Peace must remain in heaven, but it cannot come to earth. That explains the history of this world, a history of man’s inhumanity to man and a history of war, violence, bloodshed, and murder. That explains God’s dealings with mankind, a history of terrible judgments because man has rebelled against his Creator.

But God made a promise to his people that he would send peace to men. That peace is brought about because of the coming of Jesus the savior. God creates peace between heaven and earth by coming to earth. The incarnation of the Son of God is the greatest announcement of peace that has ever been heard. In that great act, God says, “I am at peace with you. I am sending my Son to be the Prince of Peace.”

Moreover, that coming is not only an announcement, but it also actually accomplishes peace. It accomplishes peace by uniting in one person the divine and the human. Jesus is the second person of the holy Trinity; therefore, he is fully God. The man Jesus is the true son of the virgin Mary, of her flesh and of her blood; therefore, he is fully man. The incarnation brings these two together, the divine and the human. Therefore, Jesus comes as close to us as it is possible for him to come. He becomes one of us, our Immanuel, God with us. That is crucial to establish peace, for the divine Savior suffers for our sins in the human nature.

God will not simply forgive sin, for his justice must be satisfied. But we cannot satisfy God’s justice. One who is truly God and truly man does that. Since we can find no such person, God sends his own Son. That is the only way of peace, and all who reject this peace perish as God’s enemies. But all who by faith embrace this peace live forever as God’s friends.

What a wonder of grace: the Savior is born, to the glory of God, according to God’s good pleasure, and as proof of God’s goodwill, to bring us peace."

Rev. Martyn McGeown, Born for Our Salvation, 106-107.

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PRC and Sister-Church News Highlights for December 19, 2021

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Below you will find special highlights of PRC and sister-church news for this Sunday, December 19, the fifty-first Lord's Day of this year 2021.

This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Ps.118:24). On this new Lord's Day we bring our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving unto our sovereign Creator and Redeemer, who is worthy of all honor and glory.

The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. ...For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. ~ Isaiah 9:2,6,7

If you are new to this website and are interested in the PRC, we invite you to join us at any of our services (morning and afternoon/evening). For congregations, locations and times, visit this page.

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  • You are invited! This Saturday, December 25, the PR congregations will be holding special Christmas Day services in the morning in celebration of the birth of God's Son, the Savior. Most begin at 9:30 a.m., but check the website of the church near you for details. "O, come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!"

  • Today Rev. J. Langerak (Heritage PRC) accepted the call to Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA). We rejoice with this congregation in God's goodness, and also pray that the Lord may give grace to Heritage as they will prepare to say farewell to their pastor and his wife.

  • Today Rev. C. Spronk declined the calls from Hudsonville and Doon PRCs. We continue to pray for the needs of these vacant congregations, even as we are confident of their Shaepherd's perfect care for them during their time of vacancy.

  • Rev. J. Marcus and his wife are in Randolph PRC today while Rev. Guichelaar and his family are in West Michigan.

  • Rev. D. Holstege and family are tentatively planning to move to Wingham next week (final week of December) and be installed as Wingham's pastor on Sunday, Jan.2 by Rev. W. Langerak. The congregation is eagerly anticipating their arrival. We pray that the Lord by His good hand may fulfill these plans for all involved.

  • Classical appointments and pulpit supply for today in the vacant PRCs: Rev. R. Hanko in Covenant of Grace PRC (Spokane, WA); Sem. M.Koerner in Doon (IA) PRC (Rev. M. DeVries Christmas Day and next Sunday); Rev. T. Miersma in First PRC, Edmonton; Prof. B.Gritters and Rev. K.Koole in Grace PRC (Prof. B. Huizinga - Christmas Day); Rev. E. Guichelaar and Rev. N. Decker in Hudsonville PRC (Prof. D. Kuiper - Christmas Day); Rev. M.McGeown in Wingham PRC.  We thank the Lord for this blessing of our church federation and the privilege to be able to help one another in this need.

  • For those who may still be limited to house worship, whether completely or partially, we invite you to visit the PR churches page and follow the links to the websites where the churches' livestream may be found. Or you may visit the selected audio sermon page and listen to one of your choice there.

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A welcome and familiar scene this December (after last year) - Faith PRC's Sunday School Program this morning (Jenison, MI)

  • Watch for and attend these upcoming Christmas programs/singspirations in the PRC congregations:
    • The Edgerton (MN) PRC Young People will host their annual Christmas Singspiration tonight at First Reformed Church in Edgerton (Minnesota). A collection will be received to offset the cost of attending the Young People's Convention.
    • Heritage PRC (Sioux Falls, SD) will hold their congregational Christmas program tonight after the evening service.
    • Grandville PRC will hold a short Christmas Hymn Sing tonight after the evening worship service. The Sunday School will be singing 2 songs as a special number.
    • The Peace PRC Choir (Dyer, IN) will be hosting a Christmas Singspiration tonight after the evening worship service. "Please join us as we glorify God in singing praises to Him."

PRC DENOMINATIONAL NEWS:

From the PRC Contact Committee: This past Wednesday [Dec.15], a delegation from the Contact Committee traveled to Singapore, D.V. This is a normal annual visit, visits which have lately been curtailed due to Covid. The purposes of the visit are to conduct church visitation with the Session of CERC, to relieve Pastor Tan of pulpit duties for a couple of weeks, and to further strengthen our relationship with the CERC. Please pray for Prof. Dykstra and David Kregel and their wives as they conduct this work on behalf of the churches, and continue to pray for all those in other lands whom we have come to know and love.

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PRC Seminary Notices:

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SISTER-CHURCH/MISSION NEWS:

  • Covenant ERC, Singapore and her Kolkata, India mission work:
    • This past week the church visitors from the PRC Contact Committee arrived safely in Singapore to meet with the Session of the CERC and fellowship with the saints. We pray for a profitable visit for Prof. R. Dykstra and elder D.Kregel, along with their wives. Prof. Dykstra led the morning service today.
    • From today's bulletin: We give thanks to God for answering our prayers in the affirmative that the church visitor could come again this year. Some may wonder, why would session want others to be asking heart-probing questions to them? We desire this because we desire to be held accountable that we are doing the utmost of our ability in being faithful to our calling as office bearers. Please pray for them and for us in the meeting for the next two weeks. We thank God also for the CK camp that was just held in the week past. What a time to fellowship and enjoy the communion of the saints. May God bless all that we have learned in the camp and hide God’s word in our hearts.
    • The latest issue of Salt Shakers magazine - the October issue (#66) - is available online. Our young people and young adults are especially encouraged to read it.
    • The last issue of "Reformed News Asia" is October 2021 - #64. Be sure to check it out for the latest news from our sister!
  • Covenant PRC, N. Ireland:
    • Rev. A.Stewart continues to minister the Word faithfully to the saints in Ballymena.
    • The last CPRC newsletter - November 2021 - is available on the website! Visit this page to view it and read it (*cf. the newsletter column on the right side of the webpage).
    • Be sure to check out the new edition of "Covenant Reformed News" - November 2021. Follow the link to read the latest profitable articles.

  • PRC in the Philippines and her mission work:
    • The Kleyns arrived in USA this week (west Michigan).  They are here especially to spend time with family and friends. They will also go to Iowa since Rev. Kleyn is scheduled to preach in Doon PRC on Dec. 31, Jan. 1, and Jan. 2. They plan to return to the Philippines on Jan. 4, Lord willing.
    • Berean PRC bulletin: Rev. V.Ibe led the services today.
    • Provident PRC bulletin: Rev. R.Smit led her services today. 

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Listen to the Reformed Witness Hour each Sunday - on a radio station near you, on Sermonaudio, or on your favorite podcast - wherever you are!

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  • Currently, Rev. W.Bruinsma (Pittsburgh PRC, Pennsylvania) is the featured speaker, with focus on a series on Hebrews 11. Today's message is a Christmas one based on Luke 2:13,14 and titled "The Song of the Angels."
  • "The REFORMED WITNESS HOUR (RWH) COMMITTEE thanks you, PRC members, friends, and donors, for your prayers and financial support during 2021.  As you plan for your year-end giving, we ask that you prayerfully consider helping with one of these current RWH costs: continued broadcasts on WYLL in the Chicago area and extended Internet outreach through our website (reformedwitnesshour.org), social media, and SermonAudio.  Thank you for your continued support of this important PRC ministry."
  • The Reformed Witness Hour publishes each month's messages in an attractive booklet. These printed sermons are a great blessing to many and are distributed all over the world, including to many prisoners in the U.S. If you or your Evangelism Committee would like to receive these, let the RWHC know and they will add you to the mailing list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

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REFORMED RESOURCES FOR EDIFICATION, EDUCATION, and EVANGELISM

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Great devotional reading for Christmas! Visit the RFPA website for more information.

  • Are you interested in learning more about the doctrines and practices of the PRC? Or, are you in need of some pamphlets and/or articles published by the PRC for use in evangelism and/or witnessing? Or are you simply interested in growing in your faith and walk with the Lord? Visit the Resources pages of this website and the PRCA Evangelism page for a complete list of materials available in digital format or by order from the publishing church.

  • Do you need some catechism materials for use in your church or family? The PRC publishes catechism materials on Bible history and Reformed doctrine, for children of all ages. Visit this page for more information.

  • For sound, distinctively Reformed literature on a variety of subjects and for all ages - including church history and Bible study materials - visit the Reformed Free Publishing Association website or stop in at their Jenison (Michigan) location.

  • The Reformed Book Outlet is running their 25% off sale for the month of December again this year. This sale includes 25% off most books, Bibles, and Bible covers. Come visit us Tuesday - Friday from 10am-5pm, or Saturday from 10am - 1pm!

This Week's Thought for Contemplation

"How wondrous are the ways of God!

Thus, indeed, one exclaims ever again, as often as he may read the utterly simple, yet amazing marvelous story of the coming of Immanuel!

Wonderful it is that narrative from its very beginning.

Or is it not amazing that the story that tells of the incarnation of the Son of God, of the birth of Christ, the Anointed of God, should be introduced by the name of Caesar Augustus, the head of the mighty world power? A decree went forth from Caesar Augustus!

It testifies, indeed, that the glory had departed from Israel. How otherwise could a decree of the mighty Caesar have any bearing upon the realization of so distinctly an Israelitish hope as the birth of their Messiah? Yet, so it was. After captivity in Babylon, there had, indeed, been a brief period of hope and joy. The temple was rebuilt. Jerusalem had been raised from its ruins. The law had been restored. But never had Israel been restored to its former glory and freedom. A mere handful of people had returned to the land of their fathers. Though the temple had been rebuilt, the Holy of Holies remained empty: the art of the covenant was lost forever! Israel had been the plaything of cruel nations that plowed upon its back and left long and deep furrows. A hated tyrant, descendant and worthy representative of the Reprobate, occupied the throne in Jerusalem; and even so, the scepter in his hand was controlled by a mightier hand than his: that of the glorious Caesar of Rome! And a decree went forth from Caesar Augustus….

The outward form of the kingdom of God had been swallowed up by the mighty world power!

Even so, the fullness of time had come!

True, it did not appear so to those that had expectations of an earthly Messiah and world glory. But God’s purpose was different. The earthly form of the kingdom was a mere shadow. It might disappear. And it must needs depart, that the essence of that Kingdom might become manifest. God’s King will, indeed, also cause the kingdoms of the world power to crumble into the dust, but He would not appear in a halo of glory, with world crowns on His head, royal purple about His shoulders, and glittering sword in His hand, but as the lowly Servant of Jehovah, the Man after Go’s heart, Who will establish His kingdom in righteousness!

Hence, not in Jerusalem, but in Bethlehem, are His proper connections.

There He must be born!

And the world power must cooperate to this end: a decree went forth from Caesar Augustus!

Wonderful ways of God!"

Excerpt from The Mystery of Bethlehem by Herman Hoeksema

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