Wednesday, July 22, 2009

How greatly God has blessed us through the CPRC

The last year has been amazing. We have visited the CPRC a number of times. Once, we visited for a short weekend, and I remember spending the afternoon with Francesco De Lucia (one of CPRC's zealous translators) at Philip Rainey's house. We had a marvellous lunch, finished off with reading and discussing Luke 18 together - one of my favourite passages for the defense of not merely baptism of believing members of households, but infant baptism too, and especially, since "of such are the kingdom of God" and except we receive the kingdom of God as a little child we shall "in no wise enter therein".

It was a great encouragement too, to spend the afternoon talking with Philip and his wife and Francesco, to learn about his struggles in a compromising church so similar to my own and how "the lines are fallen unto [us] in pleasant places; yea [we] have a goodly heritage" (Psalm 16). It is good to hear the confession of the saints, and how we dwell in unity together as brothers like the unity of the Spirit that anoints our great high priest, Jesus Christ, and which fills God's temple (Psalm 133) where there is eternal life in the knowledge of Him (John 17:3). I have to explain, that here in Limerick, I would hear no-one outside the small number of the LRF who would reject the "free offer" and stand for it as Philip Rainey has done, and suffered for it - although this has clearly worked out for his good, and our good too, as his witness encourages me to follow such a godly example. The scarcity of such a witness makes it all the more precious to me.

Each time I visit the CPRC, especially joining them in the public worship service, I am quite in awe of how God closely dwells among His people, and the unimaginable difference between the true and the false church. Before I first came, I had never experienced anything like it, nor could I have imagined it - and I am further convinced of the extreme darkness covering this nation, and of the overflowing abundance of God's grace in Christ, flowing to me, and all the saints from sovereign and gracious predestination. Nothing else could explain why my eyes have been opened while so many others remain obstinately blind to the things made manifest to them all.

The mealtimes at the Stewarts, and our walks/hikes together are exceedingly precious to me also, where we spoke like men who dream (Psalm 126), and rejoiced in God, peering into the everlasting truths revealed to us in Scripture by our God and Saviour, and singing psalms to Him in thankfulness. These are marvellous things, which seem almost out of place here on earth, and amidst so much evil and sin, in the world and even in ourselves. To be singing the songs of heaven, and dwelling with the God of heaven, and hearing His heavenly voice, all here on earth! That is a wondrous thing. I long for the day in which we in the LRF, if it so pleases our ascended Lord, should be granted a minister of the word - and yet even now how greatly are we blessed to have such unity and fellowship, and joy in the truth, to be remembering Zion together, here in Babylon! Visiting the CPRC has shown me a little bit of what Zion is like, so that I would long for it more and more dearly, even with tears.

For this reason, we ought always to be zealous that God is worshipped only according to his commandments and no other way - for how can we profane that holy hill with sick and lame sacrifices (Mal. 1:14), and idolatry? The hypocrites here, and false churches constantly cry out for compromise, and the glory of God to be brought lower than a man, and for Jerusalem to be torn to the ground, only that they can mock the saints with vain superstitions, blasphemies, and abominations. And they even seem oblivious to how greatly God hates such obscenities - and in such blindness are incapable of loving God or His saints, only objecting that we do not follow their traditions and that we strenuously object to their evil practices and demonic doctrines.

And in that same ignorance, they leave true believers, the scattered sheep, also in ignorance to be tossed to and fro with every kind of deceit. How gracious God has been to have shed His light here on us! And how great our responsibility is to show forth His praises, so that the hypocrites are uncovered and their deceits laid low in the dust. To see the lampstand in Ballymena stirs us up in praying, hoping, and working that God may establish such a pillar and ground of the truth here.

So, it is encouraging to see God at work in some of our close friends, who more frequently join us on Sundays, gradually having the scales taken from their eyes. One came with us to the CPRC once too, and we spent a lot of time with Francesco, and visited the Giant's Causeway, and the Silent Valley reservoir. Of course it was the fellowship which I appreciated most. Conversations with Francesco are always a great blessing to me, and I think they were for everyone else there too. I remember that Sunday we heard a sermon on what it means to be a true Jew, and also a sermon on the Father's hand in providence. There is no comparison between biblical preaching, and the poisoned gloop that is served up in the "churches" in Limerick.

Am I being too harsh, or too extreme? Is it as bad as I paint it? Definitely not - probably not harsh and extreme enough, because the false church is always even immeasurably worse on the inside than it looks on the outside (Eze. 8). "Nice" people abound here, but hell too is full of "nice" people. How are they "nice" anyway when they contradict and oppose Scripture (the very words of the Spirit of Jesus Christ!) at every turn - just as they oppress and crush the saints? I cannot think of the blessedness of my visits to the CPRC without contrasting them with the Satanic synagogues here in Limerick - each commends and vividly illuminates the true nature of the other, so that I rejoice more in the former, and detest more the latter. It is the difference between the kingdom of Christ and the kingdom of darkness. One is a sheepfold, the other is a pig sty.

When Rev. Stewart was here, he preached a fiery sermon on the fires of division that Christ has come to bring upon the earth, and I found myself willing too, that this fire were already kindled here in Limerick (though it is in part), so that there would be a clear separation between those who love God by His grace, and those who hate Him by nature as reprobate children of Satan. His exhortations were much needed, as it is very difficult not to cave in to the pressure exerted on us from every direction. But we stand by the power of God who graciously sends us His word, and His strength and truth fights our battles for us on these banks of the Red Sea, so that we will see greater wonders than these. Left to ourselves, I shudder to think of the depths of destruction to which our depravity would take us.

There is so much I could tell of our time with Rev. Stewart and his wife, and how wonderful a time we had in the services, worshipping the living God in our midst, and in our meals and peaceful times in the afternoons. Each of us greatly benefitted from this time. It was powerful reminder of how there is always a remnant according to the election of grace - another passage that was preached on from I Kings 19 about the still small voice. But I'll not write a book here - yet.

I should finally say that the lectures have been superb, and I had long and enjoyable discussions with Rev. Stewart about evolutionism and creationism, which is an area of particular interest to me, from a scientific perspective too. It is amazing how any real scientist could believe evolutionary theory, except for total depravity. Of course, the materialists, like stupid monkeys, are busy chewing off the branch that they are sitting on - because any sort of science is impossible without biblical presuppositions. Atheism is the worst religion for science, since it inherently denies all the basic tenets that science is based upon. No surprise there, about the marvellous capabilities of the human nature to hold the truth in unrighteousness (Rom. 1:18). So, I am further astounded by the miracle of grace that has redeemed us, and therefore may we continue to stir one another up to praise our Rock.

I am very excited about the prospect of visiting the saints of the PR churches in America!

Peace be to all the saints only (I Cor. 16:22),

Sam W.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Invitation to biblical preaching!

Dear, yet scattered, believers in Limerick,

See details below for the next upcoming lecture held by the Limerick Reformed Fellowship. Please let others know, spread the news by using one of the primary means that God has appointed in personal evangelism - the invitation! I am convinced that you who love the Bible and spend much time meditating upon its glorious truths about our gracious Saviour, all know very well that there is an extreme lack of good, solid, and substantial biblical preaching in Limerick at the moment (the difference is between night and day). Now it is my duty (not to be shirked, by any means) to only speak the truth here in honesty and clarity (you must judge whether it is), but if the truth offends, that is not my fault (Gal. 4:16), and if I offend, then please forgive me. We are in a good example of the captivity in Babylon (Psa. 137) and the long-prophesied "famine of the Word" (Amos 8:11-14). And this is even though the Great Commission is that all peoples are taught to obey all things that Christ has commanded us (Matt. 28:20), and that the church must teach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:17-38), and keep nothing back that is profitable (and all Scripture is profitable - II Tim. 3:16)!

Yet there is much that the broad local groups who proudly wear the name "church" would shun to teach (but who do not bear the marks thereof, e.g. "World Outreach Christian Church" who profanely preach that earthly prosperity is the Gospel of God - I Tim. 1:5-20; I Tim. 6:3-10; "Christ Church" which allows any and all heathen and ungodly hypocrites to be partakers at the Lord's Table - I Cor. 11:27-34; "Abundant Life" which despises the Spirit who speaks by the Holy Scriptures by calling the imaginations and emotions of their own sinful hearts to be God's revelation - Jer. 23:15-17; "Mallow Street Christian Fellowship" which rebukes those who testify to the Gospel of sovereign grace alone, and against the errors of Rome's works-righteousness - Gal. 1:6-10; 5:1-12; II Tim. 4:1-5, and this is merely a cursory glance at the multitudinous wicked errors and profanities by which they manifest the lack of love both for our Holy and Almighty God and for His beloved redeemed people, and this I think is not by my judgment, but Scripture's testimony to them - John 12:48; 7:24). Ought we to be ashamed of the Gospel (Rom. 1:16-17)? Otherwise how is God's righteousness revealed from faith to faith (Rom. 10:13-17), and how will God save and sanctify His people by the truth (John 17:17-19)? But the foundation of the Lord stands sure, He knows who are His (II Tim. 2:19; Rom. 8:28-39), so let us depart from iniquity.

This is a good opportunity for starved people to get well fed (Isa. 55:1-13), to be more fully prepared in our life-long battle against our own sinful natures, the world of the ungodly, and Satan who is the spirit at work in the children of disobedience (Eph. 2:2). Not only that, but amongst the rampant disunity (which must be unity in doctrine if it is to be unity in love - I Cor. 1:10; I Cor 13:6 - and neglect of doctrine is not godly unity, it is merely unity with Satan's damning lies - I Tim. 4:16) among believers in Limerick, with God's sheep being scattered (Jer. 23:1-40 see also: and blown about by every wind of doctrine (Eph. 4:14), trained and qualified and lawfully called and ordained ministers are God's primary appointed means in this age to bring about unity (Eph. 4:1-16). And this work is His not ours - for we have strength neither to work nor will unity, except by God's working and willing in us for His name's sake (Phil. 2:13; Isa. 59:1-21). This is why we hold these lectures - for your eternal good, so that we all are conformed to the image of Christ.

Finally with this exhortation, which I hope you will consider and be stirred up by (and as the Bereans, study the Scriptures which for good reason with patience I have noted carefully, since Christ's words are spirit and life - John 6:58-65), I also want to recommend this sermon which speaks about our office as prophets in God's kingdom - and as such our own individual and corporate responsibility for the preaching, and how to exercise that responsibility for the glory of God, and the good of His people in every tribe, tongue, and nation. As a fireman ought to know and be acquainted with his office as fireman, to fulfill it, so every believer ought to know and be instructed in the exercise of their triple office as king, priest, and prophet (I Pet. 2:9). Otherwise, there is no end to the fiery catastrophe (Hos. 4:6; II Thess. 1:8; John 17:3). See:

"For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your love may more and more abound in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ; Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God." - Phil. 1:8-11.

Now, I have told you in advance so that you can plan to keep the time free and come if at all possible, and I have endeavoured (though feebly and amidst much sinfulness and pride, for which I hope you will be enabled to forgive me), and will continue to strive according to God's working in me, despite my many and grievous sins and failings, to love you more, and to seek to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of Christ, for which reason I cannot but cling to the truth (it is our belt) which has fallen in the streets in this city (Isa. 59:14-16), and the establishment of a pillar and ground of the truth in a local instituted manifestation of the church (I Tim. 3:15), reformed according to the Word of God alone (not after man's traditions, or his superstitions, or imaginations, or feelings, all of which are the vile overflow of his totally depraved, even Satanic nature - John 8:42-47, worse than a world of sewage - Matt. 15:3-20; Mark 7:9-23; Col. 2:20-23; John 4:23-24; Gen. 8:21; Jer. 17:9; Heb. 13:15; Mal. 1:6-2:8 and we are all the priests of His heavenly Kingdom), in which God's sheep will hear the voice of the Great Shepherd who gave His life for us (John 10:1-30).

And He will without fail lead us who believe in Christ alone, though through perils and troubles in this Babylon, which is doomed to destruction for our sakes (Isa. 43; Rev. 18-19; Psa. 137; Rom. 9:16-23), to green pastures and quiet waters, to dwell in the house of the Lord forever (Psa. 23; Eph 2:1-22). May we be obedient to Him, by His grace alone, that in all things He would be glorified, as He is worthy. If nothing else commends this lecture to you, for your good, and the good of others, then at least may my witness (however frail and flawed) in this message commend it to you by the authority and clarity of the perfect, powerful Word of God which communicates lucidly with us (by the soul-illuminating, eye-opening Spirit of God who mightily causes us sinners to believe it!) far better than we can communicate amongst ourselves. I also still hope that we will be able to support one another in working and praying together for biblical reformation, as it is the only strait (i.e. tortuous!) and narrow way in which we must seek to glorify and enjoy God, for the salvation of predestined souls, and the worship He deserves in all purity (Psa. 24:3-6).

Love in Christ, who has purchased us as His everlasting possession to show forth His praises (I Pet. 1:18-25),

Your servant, as every believer is, for His sake,


P.S. You may pass this message on to whoever you think may profit from it. I'm especially thinking of lots of people in Christ Church whom I remember. It would be good to see them again, and for them to know that I did not leave to forsake them, but to benefit them, Lord-willing, if they are His.


The Four Horsemen of Revelation 6
What are the 4 horsemen?
Do they ride forth today?
How do they help believers and the church understand the world
and history, calming our fears and bringing us comfort?
Speaker: Rev. Angus Stewart
of the Covenant Protestant Reformed Church
Ballymena, N.I. (
Venue: An Cistin, Conradh na Gaeilge Hall, Thomas Street, Limerick City.
7.30pm, Thursday 30th July, 2009