Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
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Covenant Protestant Reformed Church

83 Clarence Street, Ballymena BT43 5DR
Rev. Angus Stewart
Lord’s Day, 19 January, 2014

“But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious,
longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth” (Psalm 86:15)

Morning Service - 11:00 AM

The Prophet Jonah (8)
The Sign of the Prophet Jonah  [download]  [youtube]

Scripture Reading: Matthew 12:22-45
Text: Matthew 12:39-40

I. Time and the Sign
II. Places and the Sign
III. Faith and the Sign
Psalms: 145:1-8; 61:1-4; 88:1-9; 16:6-11

Evening Service - 6:00 PM

Believers’ Children in God’s Covenant and Church  [download]  [youtube]
Scripture Reading: Genesis 17
Text: Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 27

I. Old Testament Teaching
II. New Testament Teaching
III. Practical Teaching
Psalms: 105:4-9; 61:5-8; 127:1-5; 128:1-6

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

CPRC Website: • Live Webcast:
CPRC YouTube:
CPRC Facebook:

Announcements (subject to God’s will)

Rev. Stewart’s bi-monthly letter to the PRC is available today. The congregational dinner sign-up sheet is also on the back table. Next Sunday will be the last day to sign up.

The church visitors arrive this Friday. A sign-up sheet is on the back table for those interested in having the church visitors over for dinner.

Some have still not paid their Standard Bearer renewals (names might appear next week!). You can pay the RFPA directly ($35) or you can pay Rev. Stewart (£21.50) and he’ll pay the RFPA for you.

Monday Catechism: Bradley, Samuel (Beginners NT) - 5:30PM
Alex, Nathan (Juniors OT) - 6:15PM
Jacob, Joseph (Seniors OT) - 7:00PM
Timothy (Essentials of Reformed Doctrine) - 7:45PM

Tuesday Bible study meets at 11 AM to study Christ’s controversy regarding the forbidding of remarriage (while one’s spouse lives).

Belgic Confession Class will be held this Wednesday at 7:45 PM as we continue article 23 on the true meaning of justification.

Ladies Bible Study meets this Friday at 10:30 AM at church to finish the study on Deborah.

The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) is entitled “God’s Everlasting Glory” (Rom. 11:33-36) by Rev. Bruinsma.

Upcoming Events:
24 January - Rev. Eriks and Sid Miedema arrive for church visitation
29 January - Rev. Eriks’ lecture: “Knowing the Truth in an Age of Uncertainty”
30 January - Rev. McGeown’s S. Wales lecture: “The Signs of Christ’s Coming”
31 January - congregational dinner at 7 PM at Leighinmohr Hotel
28 February - lecture in Lurgan: “John Knox and Predestination”
6 March - Rev. Stewart’s S. Wales lecture: “John Knox and Predestination”

Offerings: General - £579.73. Donations: £50 (DVDs), £20 (C. R. News).

Website Additions: 3 Russian (now all of Rev. Ron Hanko’s book, Doctrine According to Godliness, is on-line in Russian), 2 Afrikaans, 1 Tagalog and 1 Hungarian translations.

PRC News: At the last meeting of Classis East, Rev. Slopsema’s request for emeritation was granted. This will come into effect on 1 July. Rev. Slopsema has served as a minister for 39 years. Doon PRC will call today from their trio of Revs. Koole, Key and VanOverloop.

John Gill on Matthew 12:40:

“So shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. That Christ means himself by the ‘son of man,’ there is no reason to doubt; and his being laid in a tomb, dug out of a rock, is sufficient to answer this phrase, ‘the heart of the earth,’ in distinction from the surface of it; but some difficulty arises about the time of his continuing there, and the prediction here made agreeable to the type: for it was on the sixth day of the week, we commonly call ‘Friday,’ towards the close, on the day of the preparation for the sabbath, and when the sabbath drew on, that the body of Christ was laid in the sepulchre; where it lay all the next day, which was the sabbath of the Jews, and what we commonly call ‘Saturday;’ and early on the first of the week, usually called ‘Sunday,’ or the Lord’s day, he rose from the dead; so that he was but one whole day, and part of two, in the grave. To solve this difficulty, and set the matter in a clear light, let it be observed, that the three days and three nights, mean three natural days, consisting of day and night, or twenty four hours, and are what the Greeks call ‘night days;’ but the Jews have no other way of expressing them, but as here; and with them it is a well known rule, and used on all occasions, as in the computation of their feasts and times of mourning, in the observance of the passover, circumcision, and divers purifications, that, ‘a part of a day is as the whole:’* and so, whatever was done before sun setting, or after, if but an hour, or ever so small a time, before or after it, it was reckoned as the whole preceding, or following day; and whether this was in the night part, or day part of the night day, or natural day, it mattered not, it was accounted as the whole night day: by this rule, the case here is easily adjusted; Christ was laid in the grave towards the close of the sixth day, a little before sun setting, and this being a part of the night day preceding, is reckoned as the whole; he continued there the whole night day following, being the seventh day; and rose again early on the first day, which being after sun setting, though it might be even before sun rising, yet being a part of the night day following, is to be esteemed as the whole; and thus the son of man was to be, and was three days and three nights in the grave; and which was very easy to be understood by the Jews; and it is a question whether Jonas was longer in the belly of the fish” (*T. Hieros. Pesach. fol. 31. 2. T. Bab. Moed. Katon, fol. 16. 2. 17. 2. 19. 2. & 20. 2. Bechorot, fol. 20. 2. & 21. 1, Nidda, fol. 33. 1. Maimon. Hilch. Ebel, c. 7. sect. 1, 2, 3. Aben Ezra in Leviticus 12.3).


Don Landis, “Jonah and the Great Fish”

1. Are there “great fish” large enough to swallow a man whole?
Of course! Keep in mind that modern animal classification systems weren’t exactly in use at the time of Jonah. Any aquatic creature could be referred to as a “fish.” And we know that there are whales (blue and sperm) and even sharks (great white and whale sharks) that can swallow a man whole. The sperm whale grows to a length of up to 70 feet. Its esophagus is approximately 50 cm (20”) wide and “sperm whales don’t have to chew their food - so Jonah could have been swallowed whole.” Two marine scientists from Sea World in San Diego hypothesize that it was a great white shark that probably swallowed Jonah.

2. Could someone survive three days and three nights in a whale’s belly?
This is the difficult part of the question. There are fish species that surface from the sea and gulp down air into their lungs, like the lungfish for example. But there is no explanation for how air might have been transferred to the stomach.

3. What about the digestive juices?
The Encarta Encyclopedia reports, “When whales swallow food, it travels through the esophagus to a multi-chambered stomach that resembles the stomachs of ruminant hoofed animals such as cattle, sheep and deer. In the first stomach chamber, a saclike extension of the esophagus, food is crushed. In the second chamber, digestive juices further break down food.” If Jonah remained in this first chamber, he only needed to be worried about being crushed rather than digested! Sharks, however, have a much slower metabolism and a human body could last three days without deterioration.