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:

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

1859 Revival series - No 4: The Features of the Revival

This is an outline of a series of sermons preached, one per month, January - June 2009, marking the 150th Anniversary of the 1859 Revival in Ulster

Previous posts:

Acts 2:41-47: Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Once again we are returning to consider some aspects of the 1859 Revival. We have already thought about the Need the Revival; the Origin of the Revival and the Spread of the Revival

This evening we want to consider the Features of the Revival. Rev William Gibson, who wrote a history of the Revival, which was published in 1860, said:
It is interesting to observe the marked coincidence between its leading features and those which characterised the working of the Holy Spirit in Apostolic times. Any work that claims to be of God must be measured up against the word of God to see whether it matches up with that which we already know to characterise God at work

Without further introduction we want to consider these features:

Sad but not surprising!

According to recent reports there has been a huge increase in the number of town and city centres, city districts and neighbourhoods officially classed as being blighted by alcohol related anti-social behaviour since the alcohol licensing laws were relaxed in 2005.

Official figures show number of alcohol trouble hotspots has risen 150 per cent since 2007. It was the last Labour Government that brought in 24 hour drinking. The problem is so great that a special name has been given to these areas. They are now called 'Cumulative Impact Zones'. An euphemism indeed, for town centres or city districts blighted by alcohol fuelled thuggish behaviour!

It has been reported that at the end of March 2007, when the licensing laws had been relaxed for just over a year, there were only 71 of these zones in the United Kingdom. Home Office officials now say that this figure has soared to 175.

The increased anti-social behaviour in these areas ranges from fighting and litter to drug dealing, pick pocketing and street robbery. Many of the problem areas are now found in small and previously quiet towns which used to have very few crimes of this nature. The situation in these areas is considered so bad councils have special powers to turn down planning applications for yet more bars to protect the public from further disorder.

Friday, 27 December 2013

The Evil of Sabbath Desecration

This is the outline of a sermon preached in March 2010 on the subject of the sabbath and its desecration, as a result of the first Irish League football match to be played on a Lord's day. It is worth posting here in the light of the recent changes to the law regarding Sunday racing.

Text: Nehemiah ch 13:15-22 & Jeremiah 17:19-27
As most of you are aware from the events of last weekend [March 2010] we witnessed the first Irish League football match on a Lord’s day. For 60 years a rule has existed, within the Irish Football Association, that prohibited such a thing taking place. It was sadly overturned last year as part of wider constitutional changes within the Irish Football Association.

It would not have been surprising if it was mainly Roman Catholic teams which chose to play on a Sunday, as the model of religion in a Sunday morning and sport the rest of the day is a long established practice among them. But it was two teams that have associations with Protestantism. It is a sad reflection on the decline in true religion in this land that these things are taking place. 

Sadder still to learn that some who profess to be believers see no wrong in such desecration of the Lord’s Day. Some have even defended this latest development and described it as moving forward with the times and not something to be concerned about.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Doctrines of Devils - No 3. New Calvinism

The term 'Doctrines of Devils' is taken from 1 Timothy 4:1 and is a description of those insidious doctrines that creep into the professing church of Jesus Christ and bring about worldliness, coldness, compromise and eventual departure from the faith once delivered to the saints. These notes were part of a three part sermon series preached in Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church in December 2012. The audio can be listened to on our Sermonaudio's webpage

New Calvinism
The term 'New Calvinism' may be unfamiliar to some, maybe to most, in Northern Ireland but its significance and influence is growing all the time. Whatever starts in American 'Christian' circles usually eventually arrives in the United Kingdom. That observation is certainly true of New Calvinism. The beliefs and practices of this movement are once again gaining a foothold within the professing Church of Jesus Christ. However, it is but a new name for old compromises!!

Time magazine, the world’s largest circulation weekly news magazine, in an article published in 2009, listed ten ideas that they reckoned were changing the World Right Then and placed New Calvinism third on their list. That will give us some idea of its significance, if not in Britain, certainly in North America.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

1859 Revival Series - No 3 The Spread of the Revival

This is an outline of a series of sermons preached, one per month, January - June 2009, marking the 150th Anniversary of the 1859 Revival in Ulster

Previous posts:
In returning to our series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the 1859 Revival we are coming to consider: The Spread of the Revival.

Up until the end of 1858 this mighty moving of God was centred upon the parish of Connor, Co Antrim. In December of that year it began its outward flow and during the course of 1859 it reached virtually every county in Ulster. The only exception was County Fermanagh. It did not come with the same force to this county as to others in Ulster. This in part may be due to the fact that it was largely the Presbyterian ministers and their people who embraced this Revival. While many, but not all, Episcopalian ministers and their people shunned it. County Fermanagh had only a small Presbyterian population.

Rev John Crockett, a Presbyterian minister in Tyrone at the time of the 1859 Revival, had this to say:
There is one thing connected with this movement that I have not seen noticed; it is this - and I say it in no sectarian spirit - that it appears to be very much confined to the localities in which Presbyterianism abounds. We are on the borders of Fermanagh, a Protestant county, but originally settled from England, where the principles of our polity are scarcely known, and other forms of Protestantism prevail. Now, every effort has been made by our Methodist brethren, who were very successful among us, to carry the work into Fermanagh, but hitherto to no purpose. I mention the fact, because to me it appears somewhat strange.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Errors of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement Part 2

These posts stem from a series of fifteen studies conducted, in our Youth Fellowship meetings, at the request of the young people who attend, dealing with the errors of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement

Study 1 - Introduction

Study Two - The Infilling of the Spirit
The whole basis for the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement is the claimed 'infilling' or 'baptism' of the Holy Spirit. It is argued by them that this infilling of the Spirit, as outlined in the New Testament, manifests itself in the supernatural 'gifts', ie. tongue speaking, faith healing, prophecy, etc. These gifts are to be sought for and displayed in the life of those who follow the Pentecostal/Charismatic Movement.

Before going on to consider individual aspects of the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement we want first to understand what the Scriptures have to say about the infilling of the Holy Spirit. This will help us to test whether what purports to be of God in the Charismatic/Pentecostal Movement is really agreeable to the Scriptures.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Doctrines of Devils - No. 2: Neo-evangelicalism

The term 'Doctrines of Devils' is taken from 1 Timothy 4:1 and is a description of those insidious doctrines that creep into the professing church of Jesus Christ and bring about worldliness, coldness, compromise and eventual departure from the faith once delivered to the saints. These notes were part of a three part sermon series preached in Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church in December 2012. The audio can be listened to on our Sermonaudio's webpage

The term Neo-evangelicalism came into existence in United States of America around 1948 to identify a new movement that was taking shape at that time within the wider Christian Fundamentalism. A Congregational minister in Boston, Mass. by the name of Harold Ockenga is acknowledged to have coined the phrase, 'Neo-evangelicalism' or 'New-evangelicalism'.

For more than 35 years prior to 1948 the term 'Fundamentalist' had been in existence. The Fundamentalist movement took its name from a set of twelve booklets originally published between 1910 and 1912.

Since that time [1910-1912], this term became the popular name attributed to those in various Protestant evangelical denominations who were opposed to the Liberalism and Modernism that were sadly taking over the major denominations of America. From the inception therefore of these terms, 'Fundamentalist' & 'Fundamentalism', were used to describe those Bible believing evangelical Christians who were on a crusade against liberal/modernistic attacks upon the faith once delivered to the saints.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Failing to protect Sunday as non North West race day erodes Christian principles

A recent post on this Blog highlighted the fact that the Northern Ireland Assembly was going to vote on opening the door to Sunday Racing. See here.

A letter from Rev Roger Higginson, minister of Coleraine Free Presbyterian Church, has been published in the Belfast Newsletter about this matter. It begins:

Recently there has been much consultation in Stormont regarding the extension of racing times during the North West 200.
This event is of great benefit to our community on many levels and is supported by people from not just the Province but also much further afield. It is the largest event to take place each year on the North Coast.
To read the rest of the letter click here

What is 'Christian Rap' & 'Holy Hip Hop' music?

'Christian Rap' is a form of music that comes from the 'Holy Hip Hop' music culture. 'Holy Hip Hop' in turn comes from the secular 'Hip Hop' music culture. 'Rap' music generally is also closely associated with the 'Hip Hop' music culture.

This particular style of music came out of the gangland culture of New York city in the 1970s, when 'Block Parties' became increasingly popular, particularly among African American youth residing in the Bronx.

'Hip Hop' is a style of music used to express the views and feelings of gangland youth about the different aspects of life. Its style was developed to reflect the disenchantment and disenfranchised of these young people who live in inner areas where poverty abounded. As one writer described it:
Hip Hop oozed forth out of the crime infested ghettos of New York.

'Hip Hop' then is the music of rebellious, sinful youth! 'Hip Hop' is the expression of street gang culture!

Another panellist apologies to 'Christian Rap' musicians

This is now becoming an epidemic! Another panellist who was involved in the discussion on 'Christian reformed rap' has apologised. This time it is Geoff Botkin. Although to be fair he qualifies his apology somewhat. 

This is what Geoff Botkin originally had to say about 'Christian reformed rap' when taking part in the panel discussion:

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Doctrines of Devils - No 1. Modernism/Liberalism

The term 'Doctrines of Devils' is taken from 1 Timothy 4:1 and is a description of those insidious doctrines that creep into the professing church of Jesus Christ and bring about worldliness, coldness, compromise and eventual departure from the faith once delivered to the saints. These notes were part of a three part sermon series preached in Newtownabbey Free Presbyterian Church in December 2012. The audio can be listened to on our Sermonaudio's webpage

From the mid 1800s onwards the leaven of Liberalism and/or Modernism began to seriously infect mainline Protestant denominations. It is very true that there always has been, down through the history of the professing Church of Jesus Christ, apostasy from the faith once revealed unto the saints. However, beginning from this time, in the mid 1800s, this departure from the faith took a significant leap forward. 

By the term 'Liberalism', we mean that open spirit of criticism and questioning of all theological doctrines, concepts and claims and the throwing off of previous constraints. By the term 'Modernism', we mean that preference for the new ways of doing things and new beliefs over the old historic, orthodox paths of the past. 

Another one of Joel Beeke's New Calvinist friends comes out in supports of 'Christian rap' music

That friend is Albert Mohler. He is a New Calvinist who has shared platforms and co-authored books with Joel Beeke. This is what Albert Mohler had to say about rap music and the so called 'Christian' variety of it:
Rap music is not my music. I do not come from a culture in which rap music is the medium of communication and I do not have the ear for it that I have for other forms of music. But I do admire its virtuosity and the hold that is has on so many, for whom it is a first and dominant musical language. I want that language taken for the cause of the Gospel and I pray to see a generation of young Gospel-driven rappers take dominion of that music for the glory of God. I see that happening now, and I rejoice in it. I want to see them grow even more in influence, reaching people I cannot reach with music that will reach millions who desperately need the Gospel. The same way that folks who first heard Bach desperately needed to hear the Gospel.

More apologies for offending 'Christian Rap' musicians

Joel Beeke isn't the only one to give in to a little criticism and apologise for offending 'Christian rap' musicians. Scott Brown who chaired the panel discussion and brought up the subject of 'Christian rap' has also caved in. He is the director of the National Center for Family-Integrated Churches.

On his Blog he makes a plead: Please Forgive me, and goes on to write:

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Stormont Assembly to vote on opening the door to Sunday Racing

Today in the Northern Ireland Assembly a Bill will be debated that will change the legislation governing motorcycle road racing in Northern Ireland.

The North West 200, one of the premier motorcycle road races held in Northern Ireland, was cancelled in 2013 due to torrential rain. This was the second occasion in three years that the North West 200 had to be cancelled due to bad weather. In addition, the Dundrod 150 motorcycle race in August 2013 and the Ulster Grand Prix in 2008 were also cancelled in similar circumstances.

It is not presently possible to re-schedule these races because the existing legislation does not permit that flexibility. Consequently alternative dates or times from those quoted in the road closing order made to facilitate the event can not be used.

The Department for Regional Development is proposing to insert one new clause into the existing legislation. This new clause will amend Article 3 of the Road Races (NI) Order to: provide that not more than two contingency days may be specified in a road closing order and that a contingency day must be one of the two days falling immediately before or immediately after a day specified in a road closing order.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Joel Beeke apologies for offending 'Christian rap' musicians!

At a panel discussion which took place at a conference sponsored by the National Center for Family Integrated Churches, the subject of 'Christian Rap' music was discussed. The whole panel discussion on the subject can be viewed here. The list of panelists included: Dan Horn, Scott Aniol, Geoff Botkin, Joel Beeke, Jason Dohm, and Joe Morecraft.

In the main the discussion took a negative line regarding rap music, and rightly so, although there was no mention of the most fundamental argument against such music being the Bible's teaching on the doctrine of separation from the world. Dr Joel Beeke spoke only briefly on the subject and not in the most negative terms as compared to some of the others. One comment remarked that his contribution to the discussion was the "least offensive".

It now transpires that Joel Beeke has repudiated these mild comments that he did make and wishes to apologies to Christian rap musicians for any offence he may have caused.

His contrite apology has been conveyed through the channel of Tim Challies, who is a pastor at Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Canada. Tim Challies who is a New Calvinist, and evident supporter of Christian rap music, was unhappy with the nature of the comments made by the panellists on rap music, describing them as "not good". Tim Challies also makes reference to the unhappiness of others about the comments made by Joel Beeke and his fellow panellists saying that: "many people have subsequently responded with calls for clarity and repentance". 

Thursday, 5 December 2013

1859 Revival series - No 2: The Origin of the Revival

This is an outline of a series of sermons preached, one per month, January - June 2009, marking the 150th Anniversary of the 1859 Revival in Ulster

Previous posts:

Psalm 81:10 …open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it
In returning to this special series of subjects we are desirous of commemorating that great outpouring of God's Holy Spirit that came upon this Province in 1859. In doing so we are seeking firstly to increase our awareness of what happened in that great awakening, 150 years ago; and secondly to stir up our own hearts to seek another mighty outpouring of blessing. We are to remember what the Lord has done for us in times past.

On our first consideration of the 1859 Revival we dealt with The State of Society. There we noticed that the days prior to the Revival breaking out were very much in keeping with the Word of God as recorded for us the Psalmist's prayer: It is time for thee, LORD, to work: for they have made void thy law, Ps 119:126. It was a day of the breaking of Gods law.

We want now to consider The Origin of the Revival. Where, how and with whom did it all commence?

Generally the times were bad prior to 1859 but here and there the Lord had a remnant that had not bowed the knee to Baal. Here and there believers were to be found who yearned for the Lord to come again and do something. In February 1853 an article appeared in a magazine entitled: The Irish Presbyterian bearing the title: Do we need a revival? There were those who desired and sought for a move of God.

Studies in the Westminster Confession of Faith - Chapter One - Part 6

Once a month since September 2010 at our midweek prayer meeting & Bible study we have been studying the Westminster Confession of Faith.
This and subsequent posts DV overtime on the blog will contain the notes which were handed out on each occasion.
An audio recording of this study can be listened to on the Church's SermonAudio page - click here

Part five - Chapter One continued
We are coming to consider section 7 of the opening chapter of the WCF. It reads:
All things in Scripture are not alike plain in themselves, nor alike clear unto all: yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation, are so clearly propounded and opened in some place of Scripture or other, that not only the learned, but the unlearned, in a due use of the ordinary means, may attain unto a sufficient understanding of them. Proofs: 2 Peter 3:16; Psalm 119:105,130.

The previous section emphasised the completeness of the Scriptures, that is, they contain the full, final and entire revelation of God unto mankind. This section emphasises:
1. The clarity of that revelation of God given in the Scriptures with respect to the matter of salvation.
2. That there are things hard to be understood in the Scriptures but these do not relate to the matters of salvation.
3. The Scriptures are designed for personal use, and are adapted to the instruction, of the unlearned as well as the learned.
4. The illumination of the Holy Spirit is a necessary in addition to the use of ordinary means.