Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Lord’s Day, 9 October, 2011
"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
Our Lord’s Ascension Into Heaven (I) [download]
Scripture Reading: Acts 1
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 18
Psalms: 18:1-7; 108:1-7; 139:4-12; 24:5-10
Evening Service - 6:00 PM
Our Lord’s Ascension Into Heaven (II) [download]
Scripture Reading: Revelation 5
Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 18
Psalms: 103:1-7; 108:8-13; 68:16-20; 24:5-10
CDs of the sermons and DVDs of the worship services, contact
desire a pastoral visit, please contact Rev. Stewart
Quote to Consider:
Rev. Ron Hanko: "The ascension ...
completes the resurrection. In his ascension Christ himself receives the
benefits and rewards of his finished work, and as our risen Lord, he
begins to pour out upon us those same benefits, just as David did when
he gave gifts to all Israel at the time the ark was brought to Jerusalem
(II Sam. 6:19; Ps. 68:18; Eph. 4:8-13). The ascension, then, is the
promise of God that we shall also be in heaven with him. Because Christ
has ascended on our behalf, we have already been made to sit together in
heavenly places in him (Eph. 2:6). The ascension of our Lord is no small
thing in the work of redemption, but an essential and necessary part of
that work. It causes us to say with rejoicing, ‘God is gone up with a
shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet. Sing praises to God, sing
praises: sing praises unto our King, sing praises ... He is greatly
exalted’ (Ps. 47:5-6, 9)" (Doctrine
According to Godliness, p. 161).
Announcements (subject to God’s will)
Monday Catechism: 6 PM - O.T.
Beginners (Alex & Nathan) 6:45 PM - O.T. Juniors (Jacob & Joseph) 7:30
PM - Heidelberg (Timothy, Zoe, Amy & Lea)
Our Tuesday morning Bible study
meets at 11 AM. We will continue our study of the Antichrist in
Revelation 13:2-10. All are welcome.
Belgic Confession Class
meets Wednesday at 7:45 PM. We will continue Belgic Confession
12, looking at angels, their classification, election and reprobation,
and work. All are welcome.
The Reformed Witness Hour broadcast
next Lord’s Day (Gospel 846MW at 8:30 AM) will be "Spiritual Lethargy"
(Song of Solomon 5:1-8) by Rev. Haak.
Reformation Day Lectures: Rev. Stewart
will be giving a lecture entitled "Christ Alone!" in our church on
Friday, 28 October, 7:30 PM. Rev. McGeown will give a lecture on
"Freewill and Predestination" in Limerick on Monday, 31 October.
The Council will hold their next
meeting on Thursday, 3 November.
Offerings: General Fund: £699.95.
Building Fund: £355.20. Donations: £25 (DVDs), £200 (CDs), £250.
The audios of all three speeches at the
AV/KJV Conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, are now on-line for
free download (www.kingjames400years.com/downloads.html).
PRC News: Hope PRC called Rev. Hanko
(Lynden, WA). Edgerton will call from a trio of Revs. Eriks
(Hudsonville), N. Langerak (Crete, IL), and A. Lanning (Faith, MI).
excerpt from "The Reformed View of Angels"
Rev. Dale H. Kuiper in the Standard Bearer, vol. 72, issue 10
What are angels? Scripture presents us with
four main teachings.
1) Angels are creatures; they were created
by God, and are not to be worshiped. They are not eternal. And they are
dependent. They have their being, not in themselves, but in God. The
creation of angels is not recorded in the first chapters of Genesis. All
those who believe in the literal meaning of Genesis 1 agree that angels
were created on one of the six creation days. Some place their creation
on day one, when God created the heavens and the earth. They point out
that at this point the earth was without form and void, but not the
heavens. We lean towards this interpretation ...
As creatures, angels have their own
peculiar natures. They are not glorified human beings. In Hebrews 2:16
we read that Christ did not take on Him the nature of angels, but He
took on Him the seed of Abraham. Likewise, Hebrews 12:22 is careful to
distinguish between the host of angels and the spirits of just men made
perfect. They do not have flesh and blood, although God can give them
bodily form. They are spirits, not in the sense that God is Spirit, but
created spirits ...
Angels are greater than men in knowledge,
but they do not know everything. A certain woman said to king David, "My
lord is wise according to the wisdom of an angel, to know all things
that are in the earth" (II Sam. 14), but we also read that of the day
and hour when the Son of God returns, no one knoweth, not even the
angels of heaven (Matt. 24:36). And Peter informs us that the angels
desire to look into the things which the prophets foretold, the things
of salvation. No, the angels do not know all things. Nor are they
almighty, though they are stronger than men. We read of angels being
mighty in strength, of angels who have power, even the power of Christ,
of their work in rolling the stone from the door of the tomb of Jesus
and setting the apostles free from prison. But only God is omnipotent.
So angels are created spirits, higher than men.
2) Next we ought to see that God’s eternal,
double decree of predestination pertains to the angel world. In I
Timothy 5:21 the apostle writes, "I charge thee in the sight of God, and
Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things." And
of the reprobate angels we read in Jude 6, "And the angels which kept
not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved
in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the last day."
God elected some angels, and reprobated all the rest. The Belgic
Confession states that the elect angels have, by the grace of God,
remained steadfast and continued in their primitive state, while others
have fallen from that excellency in which God had created them.
At this juncture several important points
must be made. First, according to the decree of reprobation, a large
number of angels fell into sin. If you have been looking for something
new here about that fall, you will be disappointed. Very likely you know
as much as we about that matter. The angels fell sometime after their
creation and before the appearance of the devil in a serpent to our
first parents in Paradise. Their fall into sin was motivated by pride.
The prince of the devils was not satisfied in being a holy angel in the
presence of God, but he wanted to be God himself. He succeeded in
getting a large number of angels to join in his rebellion; Revelation 12
states that his tail drew a third part of the stars of heaven down with
him. But how sin entered into God’s holy heaven, how rebellion filled
the minds of Satan and his cohorts, is a mystery that has no present
answer. Will we know in heaven? Perhaps not even then.
Further, angels do not comprise a race
similar to the human race, but they are a host or a realm of
individuals. Angels are not organically related. They do not marry and
bring forth little angels. Their number is constant from the moment of
their creation. Angels are not legally related either. They do not form
a corporation or federation. When Adam fell into sin, the entire human
race became guilty and corrupt in him. He represented us in Paradise
(Rom. 5:12). But when Satan fell into sin, all the angels did not become
guilty of his sin. Those who wilfully joined his rebellion became wicked
and depraved, while those who remained steadfast by the grace of God
remained upright and are still upright today.
The third point is that the death of Christ
did not atone for the sins of a single angel. He is not the Saviour of
angels. The holy angels do not need redemption and the fallen angels
have fallen absolutely. Yet, the Scriptures make clear that the work of
Christ in His humiliation and in His exaltation does have significance
for the angel world. Through His death, resurrection, and ascension to
God’s right hand, Christ did unite all things in heaven and on earth. He
makes all of God’s creation one, and He is Head over all exalted. There
is that difficult passage in Colossians 1:20 ("And having made peace
through the blood of the cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto
Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth or things in
heaven") which states emphatically that through the blood of the cross
Christ has reconciled all things unto God whether they be in heaven or
on earth. The difficulty is that we usually think of reconciliation in
terms of the removal of the guilt of sin through the satisfaction of the
justice of God. But the holy angels have no guilt of sin. The answer to
the difficulty must be found along these lines. The peace that Christ
established through the blood of the cross is, first of all, peace with
God. The opposite of peace is rebellion and war. Man is at war with God,
and man is at war with man. There was also war among the angels or war
in heaven (Rev. 12). Although the elect angels did not sin, yet a
certain stain or reproach did attach itself to the angel realm because
of the rebellion of Satan and his demons. Christ arose as the Firstborn
of every creature, so that in the cross of Christ every thing is
reconciled to God and every aspect of the universe is brought into peace
with God. The division in the angelic realm is healed. Christ is the new
Head of the angels as well, and He has the pre-eminence everywhere for
uniting all things in one under Himself.
3) When God created the angels He placed
them in various orders or at different levels. Angels differ as far as
their glory and positions are concerned. We can call this the
classification of angels. (We will limit ourselves to the holy angels;
you can read C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters for the
classification of devils.) Scripture speaks of the cherubim which are
the guardians of God’s throne, righteousness, and holiness; of the
seraphim which stand above the cherubim, and lead the worship of God in
heaven; of the archangels, one of which is Michael and perhaps another
is Gabriel; angels entrusted with specific, great tasks by God. Paul
speaks in Colossians 1 of further organization of angels when he writes
of thrones, principalities, dominions, and powers, all of which were
created by Christ and for Christ. One more angel is mentioned in the Old
Testament, the Angel of the Lord. Really this is not a created angel,
but he is the Christ as He appeared in the form of an angel before His
incarnation through the virgin birth. When Christ appeared in the form
of an angel, to Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Balaam, Gideon, and others, there
is a foreshadowing of the great mystery of godliness, when God was
manifest in the flesh.
4) The last point we wish to make regarding angels as
such is their number. We said earlier that the number of angels remains
constant. They do not increase or decrease. Now we notice that that
number of holy angels is very great! In Daniel 7 the prophet writes that
"Thousands of thousands ministered unto God, and ten thousand times ten
thousand stood before Him." Literally that is a hundred million, but the
idea is really a countless throng! As we read in Hebrews 12, an
innumerable host of angels.