Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 26 August, 2012

"Those that be planted in the house of the Lord
shall flourish in the courts of our God" (Ps. 92:13)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM Rev. McGeown

Enoch Pleasing God By Faith   [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Genesis 5:1-32
Text: Hebrews 11:5-6

I. His Life
II. His Testimony
III. His Reward
Psalms: 89:1-8; 2:1-7; 57:4-11; 73:19-28

Evening Service - 6:00 PM Rev. McGeown

Resting in Jehovah’s Pasture   [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Ezekiel 34:1-31
Text: Psalm 23:2

I. Enjoying Rest
II. Provided with Pasture
III. Refreshed by Water
Psalms: 100:1-5; 2:7-12; 65:9-13; 23:1-6

For CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact Stephen Murray
If you desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart

CPRC website:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Quote to Consider

J. J. Stewart Perowne on Psalm 23: "This Psalm breathes throughout a spirit of the calmest and most assured trust in God: it speaks of a peace so deep, a serenity so profound, that even the thought of the shadow of death cannot trouble it. Perhaps there is no Psalm in which the absence of all doubt, misgiving, fear, anxiety is so remarkable; and certainly no image could have been devised more beautifully descriptive of rest and safety and trustful happiness, than that of sheep lying down in the deep, rich meadow-grass, beside the living stream, under the care of a tender and watchful shepherd" (Commentary on the Psalms, p. 248).

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

We welcome Rev. McGeown who will be preaching for us today, while Rev. Stewart preaches in Limerick.

Missionary letters from Pittsburgh and the Philippines, as well as Standard Bearers and Beacon Lights are available on the back table today.

Beacon Lights subscriptions are due. Please pay Susan £10 to renew your subscription for another year.

Brian Crossett’s term as elder expires this August. The Council has decided to nominate Brian for an additional 3-year term. A vote by male confessing members to approve/disapprove of this will be held after the evening service on Sunday, 2 September (Church Order 22).

Thank you to all who hosted visitors before and after the BRF Conference. Without your generous hospitality, the conference would not have been possible!

Men’s Study meets this Saturday (1 September) at the Kennedy’s at 8 PM. Come prepared for an enjoyable discussion on the book Disciplines of a Godly Man.

Starting next Sunday, Julian and Marie Kennedy will be the caretakers of the CPRC building. We thank Philip Hall for his superb work for the past 2 years.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be "The Separated Life" (Nehemiah 13:1-3).

Ladies’ Discussion group: please speak to Susan or Alison if you are interested in joining us to discuss women of the Bible this season. We hope to meet for the first time on Friday, 21 September, at 10:30 AM.

Offerings: General - £1,024.15. Donation: £150 (CR News).

Website Additions: A Danish translation, and Vietnamese translations of the Belgic Confession and the Canons of Dordt were added.

PRC News: Hope PRC called Rev. Rodney Kleyn (Spokane, WA).

Not the Answer on Israel in Prophecy

Rev Angus Stewart


Scattered Israel to Be Gathered
J. C. Ryle
Great Britain: Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony, n.d.
Paperback, 39pp.

This is an attractively produced booklet of a speech by J. C. Ryle, the nineteenth-century evangelical bishop of Liverpool, advocating premillennialism: a physical return of the Jews to Palestine and their subsequent mass conversion, followed by Christ's first second coming, a Jewish millennium and the Lord's second second coming.

Ryle's first and foundational point is that Israel in the Bible has only three senses: Isaac's son, the twelve tribes and the N. Kingdom (pp. 5-6). Thus he disagrees with the Reformed page headings in the Authorized Version (p. 10) which understand the prophets to speak of the salvation of Christ's New Testament church of elect, believing Jews and Gentiles (I Peter 1:10-12).

However, Jesus Christ is called "Israel" in Isaiah 49:3, and a true Israelite is not merely one who is of Jewish bloodstock but one who is ingrafted into Him by a living faith (Ps. 73:1; 125:5; John 1:47; Rom. 9:6), for only such is a prince with God, which is what Israel means (Gen. 32:28). The new covenant with "Israel" and "Judah" (Jer. 31:31-34) is made with all ethnic Jews and Gentiles for whose sins Christ died on the cross, for the new covenant in His blood is signified and sealed in the Lord's Supper (Luke 22:20). Noble epithets given to Israel in the Old Testament are ascribed by God to Christ's church gathered out of all nations: "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people" (I Peter 2:9).

Likewise, Christ is the seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:16), and Jewish and Gentile believers in Him are the seed and children of Abraham for it is not merely a matter of blood (Gal. 3:26-29; 4:28; Rom. 9:7-8; John 8:33-44; Matt. 3:9). Bible believers should also consider how the apostle Paul identifies a Jew (Rom. 2:28-29) and the circumcision (Rom. 2:25-29; Phil. 3:3; Col. 2:11).

The land promise to Abraham and his seed is a promise of our heavenly world, country and city (Rom. 4:13; Heb. 11:9-16). The Jerusalem and Mt. Zion to which the believer goes in the pilgrimage of believing prayer and worship is above in heaven (John 4:21-24; Gal. 4:26-27; Heb. 12:22), where is our citizenship (Phil. 3:20), for there Christ sits on David's throne whence He sheds forth the Spirit (Acts 2:29-36). The physical, Old Testament temple foreshadows God's dwelling in Christ through the incarnation and so His dwelling in His universal church by the Holy Spirit (John 1:14; 2:19-21; I Cor. 3:16-17; II Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:20-22).

Ryle quotes ten passages from the Old Testament prophets (pp. 19-23), interpreting them with the literalist hermeneutic. But two of them, Amos 9 and Hosea 1, are quoted by James, Paul and Peter as proof of the calling of Gentiles into full salvation in Christ as members of His church (Acts 15:13-18; Rom. 9:24-26; I Peter 2:10). "And to this," declares James in Acts 15:15, "agree the words of the prophets [plural]."

Instead of premillennial literalism, the Reformed have always taught Scripture interprets Scripture and the New Testament interprets the Old Testament. The Second Helvetic Confession (1566) is representative of the Reformed rejection of premillennialism: "We further condemn Jewish dreams that there will be a golden age on earth before the Day of Judgment" (ch. 11).

There is much that is helpful, comforting and quotable in Ryle's writings, including his Expository Thoughts on the four gospel accounts (his treatment of Luke has been of great benefit in our family devotions), Practical Religion and Holiness. But on the prophets and the last times, one should read Calvin, C. F. Keil, Lenski, W. J. Grier, Herman Hoeksema, William Hendriksen, Robert L. Reymond, David Engelsma, O. Palmer Robertson, etc., or check out our on-line topical resources pages on Israel and Eschatology.