Title & Purpose

Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble:

for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand, Joel 2:1.

All quotations from the Scriptures will be from the Authorised Version - the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures.

Please see Sermons & Articles further down the Blog about why the Authorised Version is the best and most accurate English translation of the Scriptures

and why we reject the many perversions of the Scriptures, including those so beloved of many neo-evangelicals at present such as ESV & NKJV.

Beware of the Errors in The Reformation Heritage KJV Study Bible! 
Featured Sermons:

Monday, 31 May 2010

Timely words from C H Spurgeon on hating sin

Taken from Morning & Evening

Morning, 29th May
Thou hatest wickedness. Psalm 45:7

“Be ye angry, and sin not.” There can hardly be goodness in a man if he be not angry at sin; he who loves truth must hate every false way. How our Lord Jesus hated it when the temptation came! Thrice it assailed him in different forms, but ever he met it with, “Get thee behind me, Satan.” 

He hated it in others; none the less fervently because he showed his hate oftener in tears of pity than in words of rebuke; yet what language could be more stern, more Elijah-like, than the words, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer.” He hated wickedness, so much that he bled to wound it to the heart; he died that it might die; he was buried that he might bury it in his tomb; and he rose that he might forever trample it beneath his feet. 

Christ is in the Gospel, and that Gospel is opposed to wickedness in every shape. Wickedness arrays itself in fair garments, and imitates the language of holiness; but the precepts of Jesus, like his famous scourge of small cords, chase it out of the temple, and will not tolerate it in the Church. So, too, in the heart where Jesus reigns, what war there is between Christ and Belial! 

And when our Redeemer shall come to be our Judge, those thundering words, “Depart, ye cursed” which are, indeed, but a prolongation of his life-teaching concerning sin, shall manifest his abhorrence of iniquity. As warm as is his love to sinners, so hot is his hatred of sin; as perfect as is his righteousness, so complete shall be the destruction of every form of wickedness. O thou glorious champion of right, and destroyer of wrong, for this cause hath God, even thy God, anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

Lessons learned from the past 30 years Part 2

The Christian Teacher 
We have not only learned something of the nature of the truly Christian school. We have learned what constitutes truly Christian teachers i.e. teachers called of God and gifted by God to teach in a Christian school. They are not job seekers or those who think it would be nice to work with children. 

The main characteristics of truly Christian teachers are as follows: 

Christian teachers have learned to die to self and sin. They know something of being crucified with Christ, of having crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts. They have died to ambition and to the world. The Bible speaks of taking root downward and bearing fruit upwards. The teacher must be like the root, going down into the place of death, obscurity and humility in order to bear fruit. 

If asked to go one mile, they go two. They see jobs to be done and look for more. They are like Christ Who “came not to be ministered unto but to minister” (Matt. 20:28). In Luke 22:27, He said, “I am among you as he that serveth”. That is their disposition and attitude. 

This is the duty of every Christian but is specially and earnestly sought by Christian teachers. They realise that they cannot do God’s work in the energy of the flesh. God gives the Holy Ghost to them who ask. Luke 11:13 states: “If ye then being evil know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” 

God and His work come first and everything else takes second place. “Not I but Christ” is their motto. Some of our teachers are mothers with young children. God has enlarged their heart to care for the education not only of their own children but also the children of others. They remind me of the kine who carried the ark back from Philistia to the land of Israel. Their calves were shut up at home but against their natural instinct to be with their offspring, they went steadily on serving the cause of God. 

They have sympathy for the children in their care. They wipe away the tears and comfort the distressed. They care for the progress and well-being of the children. Like Ezekiel who went out to the captives at the river of Chebar in Babylon and sat where they sat, Christian teachers are able to empathise with their puopils. 

They are assiduous in attending staff prayer meetings, monthly school prayer meetings and days of prayer. They do not consider such prayer meetings as a burdensome duty but an opportunity and privilege. They are diligent in private prayer. They don’t just say prayers. They have learned to intercede and plead the promises. They wrestle in prayer. Teachers who don’t pray don’t stay the course. 

They are diligent in preparation, punctual in reporting for work and playground duties, diligent in keeping records and diligent in their cleaning duties, In short, they are examples to the pupils. 

They adhere to what the Scriptures teach about modesty of dress and appearance. They seek the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. They seek spiritual beauty and long that the beauty of Christ may be seen in them. They are not the slaves of fashion or fashion houses. 

They love the Lord with all their heart, mind strength and soul. Such a love excludes a love for the world. All, all that is in the world, is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1John 2:16). There is nothing else in the world! There is nothing for the Christian to love in the world! 

These are the features of Christian teachers. Ah, they count not themselves to have apprehended: but this one thing they do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, they press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Phil. 3:13-14). 

The Consequences of failure for the Free Presbyterian Church 
In conclusion, I have learned something of the consequences of not providing Christian Education. Our church experienced revival as a result of separation from apostasy. Christian schools were the next logical step in our separation unto God. Sadly, our church did not accept the challenge of Christian schools. The path has been downhill ever since. We have a church which is riddled with worldliness and materialism. Our young people have been swept away by worldly music and worldly social activities. Where is the holiness which God demands and without which no man will see the Lord? 

In Numbers 14, we read of a people who also refused a challenge. They refused to go forward into Canaan, despite the good reports and reassurances of the faithful spies, Caleb and Joshua. Because of perceived difficulties, they refused to enter the land of promise. They were so hostile to Caleb and Joshua that they would have stoned them. As a result, they were turned back to wander in the wilderness for another 38 years. Does that scenario seem familiar? It does to me. The church was urged to consider the need for Christian education. Those who started Christian schools urged others to launch out, for God was able to overcome every difficulty. Many were not only indifferent but downright hostile to the whole idea. Because of perceived difficulties, blown up out of all proportion, many were not willing to set up schools. The church has become increasingly barren. May God be merciful and revive the church, for a revived church will demand Christian Education for its children.

Lessons learned from the past 30 years Part 1

By E A Foster B.A. 
Principal of Kilskeery Independent Christian School 
(The substance of an address given at the 2010 Annual Education Board Dinner in Lisburn, Friday 28th May, in the presence of Education Board members, teaching staff of the Free Presbyterian Christian schools and their spouses)) 

It is good to learn lessons from the past. The Bible records the past for our learning and encouragement. 
The past thirty years have taught me much about the true nature of Christian Education. 

The Christian School 
The Christian school must be firmly and exclusively founded on the Word of God. I emphasise the word exclusively for other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid which is Jesus Christ. And isn’t it Christ Who is the Word of God? We dare not build on man’s philosophies or our own notions for such a 
foundation is flawed and will crumble and fail. We cannot incorporate our own logic and opinions and mix them with Biblical truths for to build on such a composite material will lead to disaster. A Christian school must be thoroughly Christian or it is unworthy of its name. It must be Christian in:

The topics chosen for study, the projects engaged in must all be in keeping with God’s Word. Everything must be measured against that rule. What saith the scripture? Romans 4:3.That must ever be our guideline and sheet anchor. 

The leaven of evolution has so permeated textbooks and educational materials that we must be extremely vigilant. God’s role in Creation and Providence must be stressed constantly. Evolution is the doctrine of devils and should be treated as such i.e. with total abhorrence. Textbooks should be carefully chosen and edited as necessary. 

Increasing immorality features in English and English Literature textbooks. There are sodomite overtones in half of the textbooks listed for study in GCSE English Literature. Given time, of course, these overtones will strengthen into overt relationships. Before I retired, I met with a representative of the Department of Education to inform him that we would no longer be able to offer GCSE English Literature unless we had at least one text which was not morally offensive. As the Department has a duty not to discriminate against anyone on the ground of religion, gender etc; we had a previous textbook restored to the list. I must say I was shocked to discover that one of the textbooks I objected to and which was described by the Department’s representative as graphic was being studied in one of our schools. Such action of course, as well as being reprehensible, weakens our case for demanding suitable literature.   

Immorality is also promoted in the Biology curriculum. The teaching of human reproduction, birth control and alternative lifestyles in the state system has corrupted society and brought disease and misery in its wake. These topics also feature in parts of the AS Home Economics syllabus and Personal & Social Studies. Why should Christians follow the world, merely one step behind? The Christian school should and must withstand all pressure to conform and thus acquiesce in the corruption and brutalising of our children. These sections should not be taught in a Christian school. There is knowledge which only a parent should impart and at a time when the teenager is old enough to handle it properly and not broadcast it to younger children. Library books, even those designed for very young children, need to be carefully vetted. Many so-called Christian novels and romances are not suitable reading for anyone, never mind teenagers. Many, if not all of them, contain explicit passages. I think we also need to examine, in the light of Scripture, the common and relatively new practice of speaking of private family matters, our own and that of others, in public and before children. We should follow the example of Scripture and use discreet language at all times and forbear inquiring into and discussing the private affairs of others.  

There are many fashionable topics in the educational world and Christian schools often receive project materials. Saving the world is one of the most recent.  Of course, we should keep our environment tidy and avoid waste but God does not need any help, least of all ours, in saving the world. The world is reserved unto the judgment of the great day. 

Another fashionable topic is global warming and the horror stories associated with it. I think God had the last word on that, as just after the meeting of the international summit to discuss ways of halting global warming, the northern hemisphere had its coldest winter for 30 years! He that sitteth in the heavens 
shall laugh. 

Vegetarianism raises its head on occasion as girls especially begin to think that animals should not be killed for meat. God’s Word soon puts paid to that false notion, as God Himself ordained the consumption of meat. Schools have, of late, been bombarded with health and safety issues. While we must take all reasonable care to ensure the safety and health of our pupils, we must exercise wise restraint. We cannot possibly protect children from every bump and graze. We trust to Providence to guard our children. Their angels do always behold the face of their Father in Heaven (Matt. 18:10). We cannot do God’s work for Him or presume to do so. Risk assessments should not include ridiculous possibilities. By way of example, risk assessments by our school in Newtownabbey should not include the possibility of a lion escaping from Bellevue Zoo and pouncing on a pupil during a school outing! 

A Christian school can only function as prayer is maintained. Much prayer, much blessing, little prayer, little blessing, no prayer, no blessing. School boards must  pray, churches must pray, teachers must pray, parents must pray. Every need and every aspect of the school must be brought before the Lord in prayer. No detail is too small or trivial for His attention. He is the God Who directs every raindrop. In Amos 4:7 we read how He caused it to rain on one city and caused it not to rain upon another city. We can certainly ask Him for dry weather when this is required! The monthly school prayer meeting has begun to falter at the present time. Parents and teachers must feel it their duty to be there and not only be there but participate in prayer. Teachers have a weekly prayer meeting and there should be a sharing of the burden of prayer by others at the monthly school prayer meeting. God answers prayer. “Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it” is the promise of Psalm 81:10. 

The Christian school must be in subjection to the Word of God. The Word of God is inflexible. It cannot be bent to suit us. Neither is it elastic. It cannot be stretched to include activities which we feel to be right. We must bow to its authority in all things. Current errors must be refuted. Many young people today think that it does not matter how they behave as they claim it is the heart that counts. They fail to appreciate that it is the heart that dictates their behaviour. They assert that they are not under the law but under grace so they do not need to keep the commandments. They fail to see that if we are to be Christ-like we must keep the commandments as He did. If we love God we will keep His commandments. The Scriptures demand conformity to Christ in all things. The church and young people today are largely conformed to the world. Instead of taking on the likeness of Christ, they busy themselves in being like the world. We must teach the need for holiness of life, no matter how it is received or how unwelcome it is. 

Education Board dinner

On Friday 28th May the Education Board of Presbytery held its latest dinner for the teachers within our seven independent schools and their spouses. Miss Noreen McAfee gave a report on the schools in Kenya and Mrs Ann Foster spoke on the 'lessons learned over the last 30 years'.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

An Eerie Silence!

Two incidents from yesterday demonstrate the gross hypocrisy of the political classes within society. One incident is from Northern Ireland and the other from Westminster.  

We have often before subjected to whiny lectures from the likes of Dawn Purvis about the need for inclusion. This is just double speak for turning a blind eye to the butchery and mayhem created by both loyalist and republican terrorists over the past 40 years and permitting them to hold governmental office. 

Its strange that in the light of the murder on the Shankill Road yesterday by those who are claimed to have links to the UVF for which Dawn Purvis' party is a political front there is an eerie silence from her. Not a word of condemnation or a call upon any who knows who carried out this dastardly deed to give information to the police. 

This is how it has been in our society of late. Murderers and their political associates are lauded, elevated and hailed as peacemakers. 

The second example is that of David Laws the new chief secretary to the Treasury. He has been exposed for using his MP's expenses to rent rooms in homes owned by his sodomite lover. He has promised to pay the money back. 

However there is an eerie silence from his political opponents. There are no calls for him to resign. You would wonder why? Would it have anything to do with the fact that this scandal involves his sodomite partner? 

If this had been a MP in an adulterous relationship with someone from the opposite sex and doing this with their expenses there would be a clamour among politicians to get to a microphone and call for his resignation. Being a sodomite gets you favourable treatment it seems. Just another example of the gross hypocrisy of modern society.

We are a nation ripe for judgment. The days of Sodom and Gomorrah are upon us once again as foretold by the Saviour in Luke 17:28-30:
Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

May God ha
ve mercy upon us and in wrath remember mercy and cause there to be a turning to Himself in society.

Friday, 28 May 2010

The real reason for new restrictions on open-air services and protests

Here is the text of the letter I sent to the Newsletter earlier in the week. I don't know whether it was printed unedited as I haven't seen the printed version yet:
Thanks to John O’Dowd on last week’s Hearts and Minds we now know why the new restrictions on open air services and protests have been proposed in the draft legislation on parades. These restrictions are proposed to placate nationalist resident groups who want a wider remit and more time to object. 
Anyone organising an open air Gospel meeting or protest, where there is the prospect of more than 50 people in attendance, will have to give 37 and 22 working days notice respectively, while objectors will only have to give 7 days notice. How grossly distorted this arrangement is must surely be obvious to all right thinking people.
It says a lot about these proposals when they are receiving objections from the Human Rights Commission and the likes of Emmon McCann, hardly the frontline defenders of Gospel liberties!
It is a sad day when Gospel liberties and freedoms are so casually given up to feed the insatiable appetite of republicans who are long bent on the destruction of our way of life. 
It should be clearly stated in the final legislation that open air religious services and non-parade related protests are totally exempt from these requirements even where they have more than 50 people. 
I also preached on the subject Lord's day morning past when dealing with the Christian's attitude to the state in the aftermath of the general election. 

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Special Anniversary Service

A special anniversary service has been arranged by the Kirk Session of our congregation to mark the 10th anniversary of my ordination to the Gospel ministry and my installation as minister of the Newtownabbey congregation. 

The special service is this Lord's Day afternoon at 3.30 pm. The guest preacher will be Rev Ivan Foster. The Victory Trio will be ministering in song. 

All welcome 

Some good news

The Belfast City marathon will not now take place on the Lord's day in 2011 according to a report in today's Newsletter. We thank the Lord for an answer to prayer.

The agreement to postpone any decision to change the day on which it is held is for one year while marathon organisers consult widely with all affected groups before any further decision is taken on the issue.

Members of the organising committee have acknowledged that they were 'strongly lobbied' against changing the day on which the marathon is held. 

May further 'strong lobbying' be made that will see the marathon not being run long term on the Lord's day. 

To run the marathon on the Lord's Day is to break the fourth commandment. Exodus 20:8-11 states:
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The Shorter Catechism explains the teaching of the Scriptures regarding keeping the sabbath day holy:

Question 60:How is the Sabbath to be sanctified?

Answer: The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God's worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.

Supporting Scriptures references:
Six days shall work be done: but the seventh day is the sabbath of rest, an holy convocation; ye shall do no work therein, Leviticus 23:3a;
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High: To shew forth thy lovingkindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night, Psalms 92:1,2;
What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days Matthew 12:11-12

Question 61:What is forbidden in the fourth commandment?

Answer: The forth commandment forbiddeth the omission or careless performance of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.

Supporting Scriptures references:
Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it! and ye have snuffed at it, saith the LORD of hosts; and ye brought that which was torn, and the lame, and the sick; thus ye brought an offering: should I accept this of your hand? saith the LORD, Malachi 1:13;
They have defiled my sanctuary in the same day, and have profaned my sabbaths, Ezekiel 23:38b;
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, Isaiah 58:13.