[2]
Editorial: EVIL AND ERROR - THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

The other day I was refreshing myself by a further reading of J. C. Philpot's classic "The Eternal Sonship" and I was greatly struck by the following:-

There are two things which every child of God has the greatest reason to dread; the one is evil, the other is error. Both are originally from Satan; both has a congenial home in the human mind; both are in their nature deadly and destructive; both have slain their thousands and tens of thousands; and under one or the other, or under both combined, all everlastingly perish but the redeemed family of God. Evil-by which we mean sin in its more open and gross form, is, in some respects, less to be dreaded than error, that is, error on vital, fundamental points; and for the following reasons. The unmistakeable voice of conscience, the universal testimony of God's children, the expressed reprobation of the world itself - all bear a loud witness against gross acts of immorality. Thus, though the carnal mind is ever lusting after evil, thorns and briers much hedge up the road toward its actual commission; and if, by the power of sin and temptation, they be unhappily broken through, the return into the narrow path, though difficult, is not wholly shut out. David, Peter and the incestuous Corinthian fell into open evil, but they never fell into deadly error, and were not only recoverable, but, by superabounding grace, were recovered. But error upon the grand, fundamental doctrines of our most holy faith is not only in its nature destructive, but usually destroys all who embrace it.

As, however, we wish to move cautiously upon this tender ground, let us carefully distinguish between what we may perhaps call voluntary and involuntary error. To explain our meaning more distinctly, take the two following cases of involuntary error by way of illustration. A person may be born of Socinian parents, and may have imbibed their views from the force of [4] birth and education. Is this person irrecoverable? Certainly not. The grace of God may reach his heart, and deliver him from his errors, just as it may touch the conscience of a man living in all manner of iniquity, and save him from his sins. Or a child of God, one manifestly so by regenerating grace, may be tempted by the seducing spirit of error breathed into his carnal mind by a heretic, or by an erroneous book, and may for a time be so stupefied by the smoke of the bottomless pit as to reel and stagger on the very brink, and yet not fall in. Most of us have known something of these blasts of hell, so that we could say, with Asaph, "My feet were almost gone, my steps had well nigh slipped;" but they have only rooted us more firmly in the truth. These are cases of what we may call involuntary error. But there is voluntary error when a man wilfully and deliberately turns away from truth to embrace falsehood; when he is given up to strong delusions to believe a lie; when he gives heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils, and seeks to spread and propagate them with all his power. These cases are usually irrecoverable, for such men generally was worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived; error so blinds their eyes and hardens their hearts, that they cannot or will not see anything but what seems to favour their views; and at last they either sink into a general state of unbelief and infidelity, or die confirmed in their conceptions. It is scarcely possible to read the Epistles of the New Testament, especially those of Paul to Timothy and Titus, and those of Peter, John, and Jude, without being struck by the strong denunciations which those inspired men of God launched, as so many burning thunderbolts, against error and erroneous men. Any approach to their strong language, even in opposing the most deadly errors, would in our day be considered positively unbearable, and be called the grossest want of charity. It is with most an unpardonable offence to draw any strong and marked lines between sinner and saint, professor and possessor, error and truth. The ancient landmarks which the word of truth has set up, have, almost by general consent, been removed, and a religious right of common has become established, by means of which truth and error have been thrown into one wide field, where any may roam and feed at will, and still be considered as sheep of Christ.

We need to return to apostolic discernment between evil and error and we need to distinguish between involuntary error and voluntary error.

Let us then shun error and erroneous men as we would a plague.

"From such withdraw thyself" is Heaven's command. May we both hear it and heed it in 1980. He that hath ears to hear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

[3]
CANDLES, CAROLS AND THE CARDINAL AT ST. ANNE'S

On Saturday December 23rd at the height of the Christmas festivities a further step was taken along the road of 'Ecumenical Achievement' that the leaders of the 'main' Protestant Churches dream about. For on that day the doors of St. Anne's Cathedral were open to receive Cardinal Thomas O'Fee the Roman Catholic Primate of Ireland. It was the first time any Catholic Primate had visited the Cathedral. To make sure the Cardinal felt 'at home' he was accompanied by Dr. George Simms, Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh, Dr. Vincent Parkin, Methodist Church President and Dr. Jack Weir of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland.

As the Cardinal arrived at St. Anne's he was met by a group of Free Presbyterians led by Rev. David McIlveen and the Rev. Jim Hartin who carried placards bearing solemn warnings and declaring sobering reminders to the Protestant participants in the service of their blatant disregard for God's Word. 'Have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness.' What agreement hath the temple of God with idols: Touch not the unclean:' were some of the scriptural messages directed to those, who in their folly compromise with the idolatry of the Church of Rome.

After the protest the Rev. McIlveen stated "It is time the ordinary church member within the 'main' churches realised where their leaders are taking them to. The compromise is all one sided with the church leaders willing to give up their principles at the expense of accommodating a false religion that brings the people into bondage. The Word of God declares 'Shouldst thou help the ungodly and love them that hate the Lord?' Therefore our first priority must be for men to be reconciled to God. not man to be reconciled to man which in itself will only come about when men know the grace of God within the heart! [5]

Motto Text 1980 Memorial Church, Belfast
A sermon preached by Dr. Paisley on Lord's Day 6th January 1980 in the Martyrs

On the first Lord's Day morning of each year we take a Motto Text for the incoming days of that year, and our Motto Text for 1980 you will find in the first chapter of Deuteronomy, verses 30 and 31. Mark it in your Bible. Learn if off and keep it before you in the incoming days. "The LORD your God which goeth before you, He shall fight for you, according to all that He did for you in Egypt before your eyes. And in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went, until ye came into this place."

Life is here depicted in three ways.

First of all, we have suggested for us in the expression, 'the LORD your God which goeth before you', that life is a pilgrimage. Life is a pathway or life is, to take Bunyan's great title, 'A Pilgrim's Progress'. That is the first thing.

Secondly, the word, 'The LORD will fight for you' suggests that life is a battle.

Thirdly you will notice, in verse 31 we have the words, 'and in the wilderness, where thou hast seen how that the LORD thy God bare thee', that life is a wilderness.

Life - a pilgrimage. Life - a battle. Life - a wilderness.

Now if life is a pilgrimage, and it is, and we do not know what lies before us in the coming days as we shall walk that pilgrim pathway, what do we need? What is the great necessity for us in a path that we do not know, in the way that we have not gone heretofore? As each morning God lifts up the curtain of a new day and we pass to a new stretch of life's pathway, what do you need? You require a Forerunner. One to go before, to face the things before you ever reach them and to deal with them.

Now look at the test. The first great truth in this text is this, God is a Forerunner. Look at it, "The LORD your God which goeth before you".

1980, the year of pilgrimage, but for the pilgrim path God is the Forerunner. I trust we will keep our eyes upon God as the Forerunner.

Secondly, if life is a battle, and it is, what do you need in the day of battle, what is the great necessity - the great imperative for God's people in the conflict? We need a fighter - someone to fight for us. Now look at the Scriptures, "The LORD will fight for you". So in the pathway God is a Forerunner, but, thank God, in the battle God is a Fighter. He is going to do the fighting for us. He is going to do the fighting through us. The Lord a Fighter. So 1980, the year of battle but God is our Fighter.

Come to the third view of life in this text, and this year is a wilderness. What a wilderness that wilderness was which Israel traversed. Would you look with me at [6] verse 19, Deuteronomy chapter 1, "And when we departed from Horeb, we went through all that great and terrible wilderness. Now let me tell you, 1980 will be a great and terrible wilderness. You will notice that there is a cross reference in that verse to chapter 8:15. What does it say? It says, "Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water". The wilderness of 1980, my brethren, will have fiery serpents. It will have scorpions. It will be a year of drought where there is no water.

Tell me, what do you need in such a wilderness? Look at the text again would you? What does God say through Moses? He says, "The LORD thy God bare thee, as a man doth bear his son". What do you need? You need a Father in the wilderness, and God is the Father, Hallelujah!

God is a Forerunner for the pilgrim pathway. God is a Fighter for the battle, and God is a Father through the wilderness.

Now you will notice that the great sin of the children of Israel was that they refused to believe God. Unbelief killed a total generation. What a killer is unbelief! What a life-giver and victory-giver is faith! That pilgrim pathway should have been a pathway right into the Promised Land for Israel but it became a cul-de-sac for an unbelieving generation. They perished in the wilderness. Those battles should have been stepping stones to glory but they became stepping stones to defeat for an unbelieving Israel. That wilderness should have been the greatest spiritual experience which Israel could have known revealing the Fatherliness of God, became a place of murmuring, of rebellion and of refusal to submit to the God of Heaven. They did not believe that God was their Forerunner. They did not believe that God was their Fighter, and they did not believe that God was their Father.

Brethren and sisters in Christ, I trust that this year as we go out we will have our faith in God as the Forerunner; we will have our faith in God as the Fighter and we will have our faith in God as the Father.

  1. THIS YEAR OF PILGRIMAGE AND THE FORERUNNER

Let us look at the first one, this year of pilgrimage and the Forerunner. What is a forerunner? It is one who goes before, who meets everything first, who makes a pathway for those that are coming after, and makes the announcement that they are on their way. That is what God is to His people in the pathway of life's pilgrimage.

What did the children of Israel face at that time? They faced the following things:- Trials, temptations, testings, treachery and tragedy. [7]

I am not a prophet nor the son of a prophet but those are the things you and I are going to face in 1980. I am going to face trials. There is no such thing as an escape from trial in this world below. You are not to fear the fiery trial that is to try you. My brother, you will be in the crucible this year and so will I. The refining fire of God will burn in your soul and in your soul's experience for your testing. God tests His people. 'Man is born unto trouble' says the old Book, 'as the sparks fly upward'. I am glad the sparks fly upward and not downward, for in that text there is hope. As God puts us in the fire and brings us white hot from the flames and puts US unto the anvil and hammers us into shape, the sparks are to fly upward not downward, for it is an upward process of sanctification going on in our life by the power of the Holy Ghost.

There will be temptations. The preacher will be tempted to compromise, to lower the flag a little, not to be so outspoken against damned black Popery and the accursed ecumenical system, not to denounce with prophetic and fiery language the apostates of our day the World Council of Churches and the great whore of the Babylon of Revelation chapter 17. "Just cool it, lower the flag a little, do not be so vehement in your protest and so strong in your separation stand" will be the cry.

The children of Israel were tempted to compromise. May God save us from such a compromise!

If God is our Forerunner and we walk in God's ways we will walk in the path of tremendous resistance to the temptation.

There is a little word here in the Book, "with every temptation God makes a way of escape". Hallelujah! So God gives us an escape route in every day of temptation. Then there will be testings. Our faith will be tested. Our prayer life will be tested and our stand for God will be tested as Israel was.

There will also be treachery, and among us will arise those who will sharpen their swords and stick those sharpened daggers in our backs, as was the case with Moses. Did you ever read the life of Moses? He found out that his best friends stood against him. His sister Miriam led a rebellion against him. We notice that God had to smite her with leprosy. His brother Aaron became an heretic and made a golden calf and offered sacrifices before it. Korah, Datham and Abiram rebelled against him. The whole children of Israel said, "Let us stone Moses". There was treachery.

God is our Forerunner, and if I walk with God though the blows of the traitors will strike against me I will have an impenetrable armour if I keep my eyes on the great Forerunner.

Then there will be tragedy. The life of the children of Israel in the desert was one of tragedy. Just imagine a whole generation, imagine everybody over twenty who had [8] gone in under the crimson archway in Egypt and had come out of Egypt and across the sea, every one of them dying in the wilderness and leaving their carcasses in the desert because of unbelief. What a tragedy was that!

Two men, Caleb and Joshua, had their eye on the Forerunner, and when the ten traitors said "We can't fight the battle in the land. We can't take the cities. The walls reach up to Heaven".

What an exaggeration that was. "Their walls reach to the very heaven". What a lie it was! The Devil always tells us lies.

Two men said "With God we are able to win the battle". They had their eyes on the Forerunner.

My brother, I am going to keep my eye on the Forerunner! I am not going to keep my eye on any believer. Don't get your eye on the preacher. Get your eye on the Lord for 1980. The preacher's feet are feet of clay, but God never fails His people and never will.

2. A YEAR OF CONFLICT AND THE FIGHTER

Let us come to the second thought. It is not only a year of pilgrimage but it is a year of conflict.

I prophecy that 1980 will be the toughest year that we will ever have to face in this Province, and I prophecy it will be the toughest year we will ever have to face as a nation.

The powers of Hell will be unloosed in 1980. There will be a new drive against the people of God, and there is one thing that we will need in 1980 and that is a great Fighter. Praise God my text tells me "He shall fight for you." Hallelujah! Ten thousand Hallelujahs to the God of Heaven!

What were the enemies that Israel had to face? Three. They fall into a category of three - Egypt. It speaks of the world. What happened to them after they were redeemed? The sins of the world, the Egyptians, tried to catch up with them.

Do you know what is chasing every child of God? The world. The world is chasing them. It won't let you go. It won't give you peace. It is trying to infiltrate your life, your home, your business, your thoughts, your recreations, your fellowships and your society. The world - the great enemy of Egypt.

Secondly, the flesh typified in Moab. The children of Moab decided to destroy Israel by a series of mixed marriages, to intermingle the true seed with the seed of Moab. The flesh. And this year will be a year of the increase of the flesh and emphasis on fleshly things. Take it from me, there will be an increase in immorality this year the like of which will stagger the nation. We successfully defeated the homosexual law in Ulster to legalise homosexuality in the last decade. Please God we will defeat it in this decade for it is coming up again. When the Gay society announced that they have now got a good friend [9] in the Archbishop Elect of Canterbury who has been known to ordain known and practising homosexuals and to look favourably on the legalisation of Sodomy, then we can realise how dark the future is. The battle for morality will have to be fought.

Then we have Amalek which speaks of the Devil. For God said He would have war with Amalek to every generation.

Let us say, briefly, there will be a moral battle which will have to be fought.

Were you not staggered with the statistics of the money spent on booze in clubs which was announced this past week? We have become a booze sodden society. The temperance battle has got to be refought. Young people are beginning to sip alcohol before they are into their teens. Drugs are on the increase. The moral fibre of our land is being shredded and torn apart. Marriages are breaking up. Divorce is the order of the day, and even Christian people are prepared to fly in the face of Scripture and condone divorce.

Let me say, the Bible makes one reason for divorce and that is if one of the parties to the marriage has been guilty of an act of immorality. That is the only condition made for divorce in the Book.

This idea of incomparability and of people having easy divorces is contrary to God's Precious Word. It is the purpose of God's Book that marriage should be a bond "in sickness and in health, until death do us part". That is what the Book teaches. So we have that battle to fight.

There will be a theological battle. The doctrines of the Gospel will be under attack. There will be an evangelistic battle. There are a whole lot of sound churches that are sound asleep as far as evangelism is concerned. Even in our own church in the past year an attempt was made by certain people to stop the free offer of the Gospel from the Free Presbyterian pulpits, and to straight jacket us in a system of hyper-Calvinism which is contrary to this Book. I give place to no man in my Adherence to the Reformed faith, and in my adherence to the system of doctrine commonly known as Calvinism, but I believe with George Whitefield, the Calvinist, and C. H. Spurgeon, the Calvinist, and with the Puritans and with the Covenanters that it is our duty to press the claims of Christ, as the Westminster Confession of Faith says, "Christ freely offered in the Gospel". This church has weathered that storm and its preachers will continue to sound the evangelistic note and call men to repentance and, glory to God, see men converted in the services. When this church ceases to see sinners converted it can close the door and you can pull that text down from the top of this pulpit and substitute in its place "Ichabod" - "The glory of the Lord hath [10] departed".

We will have more battles in the coming years, and men who are not interested in fighting the Devil's crowd but are more interested in fighting God's servants, who fill their papers with attacks, not on the Devil but upon men of God that are standing true in an evil day. We leave them to God! I will not be coming down from the wall. I will be continuing to build the wall in Jesus' Name! I am doing a great work and I cannot come down! May God keep us on the evangelistic wall in this coming year.

Oh! there will be battles and there will be people offended. Yes! You never had a battle without people getting hurt, and people will be hurt and they will go away and they will say, "I don't like that fellow. He is getting worse".

That poor fool of a spiritist said, In 1980 Ian Paisley would get Liberal'. Man, the Devil is a liar, is he not? NO chance of me becoming a Liberal. I have told the Lord if I would ever think of compromising he will put me in a box and get me across the river. It is not the way you start your ministry, it is the way you finish it that matters. May God keep us true!

We are going to have a battle in the religious world. I see that old bishop who ran out of Ulster now says, "All the churches need to unite to attack sectarianism, because in Ulster there are people who stress the difference between Romanism and Protestantism". Hallelujah for that!

He has got the message. We are going the right job, brethren, keep at it. There is a difference - the difference between Popery and Protestantism is the difference between Christ and Antichrist. There is no such thing as reconciliation between Belial and Christ. There are some clergymen today would marry Christ to the Devil for a small sum of money. That is the compromise which is in their heart. There can be no unity between light and darkness.

Well, what have we to do? We have to get our eyes upon the Lord, He is a Fighter. Praise God. God our Fighter!

These lovey dovey fellows who are running around, tell you that God never fought. I want to tell you, God declared war on the Devil in Heaven and cleaned the Devil out of Heaven. God is a separatist. He did not say to the Devil, "Let us dialogue, Satan. Let us have a round table conference and see what common ground we have between us" Christ said, "I saw Satan cast as lightning from Heaven". A clean sweep.

I led a woman to the Lord some years ago in the town of Portadown. She belonged to the Church of Ireland. She was visited by her rector and he said "I hear you have got saved". She said, "I have, glory to God!" He said, "Well, you will not leave the church". She says, "I have already left your church". He said, "Well, your husband will not be leaving". "He has got saved too, [11] under Ian Paisley in the old tent and he is leaving". He said, "Well, you will leave your family". She was only a young child in grace, she had just been born again a couple of days, but she replied, "The Bible says, sir, not a hoof will be left behind in Egypt". "My children are all going". Her daughter, today, is one of the leaders in the young people's work in the Portadown Free Presbyterian Church. The whole family are united in Christ. Why? because that child of God knew to do what God told her to do and to separate.

May God help us!

The Lord is a Fighter. I am not asking the Lord to come on my side. I am on the Lord's side and the Lord is a Fighter!

3. A YEAR OF THE WILDERNESS AND THE FATHER

Last of all, life is a wilderness but the Lord is our Father. He is going to bear us in the wilderness. He is going to lift us up. Brother, we are going to be hurt among those scorpions. The thorns of the path of life are going to go down into the depths of our soul, but, praise God, God is our Father. I can look up and say, "Father, help me" and my Father cares for His child,

'So while here the cross I'm bearing,
Meeting storms and billows wild;
Jesus for my soul is caring,
Naught can harm the Father's child.

'Though He may, send some affliction
'Twill but make me long for Home;
For in love and not in anger
All His chastenings are known'.

I am going out into this year and I know it is going to be mighty rough. I know that my little barque is going to be tossed by the stormy waves, and at times filled to overflowing, but I am glad it will never sink because Christ is aboard that vessel. I know that what ever comes to me in 1980 even mysterious sufferings that I will not understand, and I can be sure that God shall say to me "What I do thou knowest not now but thou shalt know hereafter. I am your Father and I will bear you across the wilderness".

Is that not a great promise for 1980? Could you get anything better than that? Cheer up child of God. God is a Forerunner. God is a Fighter. God is a Father. Yes and, praise God, we are going to make the Glory with flag flying, and no one is going to be lost. Every soul shall get to the Glory shore who is saved by grace.

If you are not saved, thank God you can be saved today. Come to Christ. Start 1980 on the Lord's side. Lift your heart to Heaven and say "Oh, God, save me" and He will do it.

Mr. McIlveen rang me just before [12] the service to tell me that in the prison this morning a young prisoner from Ballymena waited behind and said, "Mr. McIlveen, I want to get saved today" and today another soul was added to that little group of men that sit around the Lord's Table every Sunday morning, trophies of divine grace in the Crumlin Road Prison. It happened in Philippi, you know, that God saved the jailor. And God is still saving people today for His Name is Wonderful!

AMEN AND AMEN!

The Triumph of Grace in the Crumlin Road Prison, Belfast

In the Book of the Acts of the apostles chapter 1 we have one of the greatest exhortations that ever fell on the ears of the disciples. The Blessed Lord Jesus Christ said to His waiting people 'But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.'

It is challenging to record that God in His own Divine and Permissive Will allowed the avenue of persecution to transport His servants to the fulfilling of this blessed commission. For in Acts chapter 8, verse 1 we read 'And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem: and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

How encouraging it is to see the Lord's hand in every situation and that He ruleth over the affairs of men. Such a blessed experience has been that of the Free Presbyterian Church. For from its conception in 1951 the church has been despised by many, derided by apostates and persecuted by those in authority. The height of this persecution was clearly manifested in 1966 and 1969 when Dr. Paisley along with other faithful brethren were incarcerated in the Crumlin Road Prison for their stand for the freedom to preach the glorious Gospel of Christ. But out of God's servants' second term in the Prison a Gospel witness was to start that continues to this day with much [13] blessing from the hand of the Lord. In 1969 Dr. Paisley was able to conduct his own service within the walls of the prison, and being accompanied by his other brethren met each Lord's Day around God's Word and the Table of the Lord. Other prisoners became interested in the Service and wanted to join with the brethren to listen to the faithful exposition of the Gospel. When the time came for Dr. Paisley's release the prisoners made their 'Pastor' promise that the Service would continue as they could not see how they could go back to the other Services where the Gospel was not preached. It was a promise that Dr. Paisley was please to make and for the past ten years Dr. Paisley, helped by the Rev. David McIlveen, has seen that the prisoners have the opportunity to hear the old-fashioned Gospel of redeeming grace.

Clearly such a Service has been in the Providence of God. For over the past decade with all its troubles many young men have found themselves in prison who would not be there but for the sad state of our land; and yet in the Crumlin Road Prison many of these men have found the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour; there is for example a man by the name of John who was involved in a very serious crime, he had also a very serious problem with drinking but when invited to the Free Presbyterian Church Service heard that the Son of God could break the power of cancelled sin and set the prisoner free. As honey to his taste he partook of God's offer of mercy and became a new creature in Christ. A young Scottish soldier was sentenced to a period in jail. He was anxious out of curiosity to hear 'the big man', as he affectionately referred to Dr. Paisley, and on coming to the Service heard the Saviour's voice saying 'Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out'. He came as a sinner and today rejoices in God's salvation. The Lord's blessing has not been confined to the Protestant prisoner for just over two years ago a young Roman Catholic prisoner was aroused by the Holy Ghost to his need of Christ. After confiding with one of the other prisoners about the inward pang of his heart he was encouraged to come to the 'Free Presbyterian' Service. With great fear he made his way to the meeting one Sunday morning. He was worried about what his friends would say and how those in the Service would react to his attendance but the burden of his heart was heavier than his fear of men. And so after listening to the Gospel Paddy gave his heart to the Saviour and passed from death unto life. He later received permission from the priest to change his prison registration from Roman Catholic to Free Presbyterian but above all Paddy's heart had been changed.

There are many others who thank God for the day when they heard [14] God's Word in the prison. In fact recently we received word from a young man who is now in Canada but spent time in the jail, and since going to Canada has got wonderfully saved. He testifies to the Lord's dealing with him during the Services in the Crumlin Road.

We would ask you to pray for this Service each Lord's Day morning at 8.45 a.m. and for the 15-20 men who meet around the Lord's Table after the Gospel has been preached. These are men who found the Saviour in the prison and whose lives bear testimony to God's gracious work.

Pray for Dr. Paisley and the Rev. McIlveen that their faithful witness will be much used of the Lord. And let us all thank God that our of a day of trial He has been pleased to overrule and bring the light of the Gospel to the prisoners, for the Word of God is not bound. [15]

NEW CHURCH BUILDING IN RASHARKIN
Report by the minister REV. JOHN LONG

Toward the Autumn of 1980, Rasharkin Free Presbyterian Church expects to open its new church building. The stones will be laid on March 8, 1980, but at the time of writing the builders are already making good progress and hope to have the felt on the roof by about Christmas.

Change is something which can cause great upheaval in a congregation, but when the change which takes place is the result of the leading of the Holy Ghost then one can expect to see good coming from it. It is the hope of our Session and Committee that changing to a new building will be a great step forward toward revival in our area.

For the past twenty-eight years, our congregation has been meeting in a converted barn situated on an historic site beside a farmyard. Hundreds of years ago the site upon which the church sits was known as the "Pound-Yard". The right of way which separates the church building from the farmyard was formerly [16] known as the old coach road to Ballymoney. Tradition has it that in the seventeenth century King James and his men travelled that way. We do not despise the day of small beginnings and we thank God for the faithful men who at great personal loss laid the foundations of the separated testimony in Rasharkin.

In 1951 the great falling away in the Irish Presbyterian Church was evidenced by the presence of rank apostate ministers in many of the neighbouring churches; while Rasharkin Presbyterian Church, though led by a professed evangelical pastor, was rent asunder by internal quarrelling. Such was the division that at least three elders and five committee men felt that they could no longer worship in that congregation. A meeting was, consequently, convened in the home of Mr. Daniel Wallace on July 30, 1951. After a full and candid discussion those present agreed that the government of the new assembly should continue on Presbyterian lines. Consideration was given to affiliation with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Ireland but, after the meeting was addressed by Dr. Paisley, it was unanimously decided that an application should be made to the Presbytery of the newly formed Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. Thus the fourth assembly of the Free Presbyterian Church was constituted.

From the Lord's Day August 5, 1951, the congregation gathered weekly for worship and for the preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in the barn given to the church body by Mr. Wallace. During the ensuing twenty-eight years the congregation has prospered under the faithful ministry of Rev. S. B. Cooke, and Rev. G. S. Cooke.

Mr. Menary is remembered for his faithful work in the Christian Endeavour meetings, Rev. S. B. Cooke for his teaching, especially on the subject of separation from apostasy and Rev. G. S. Cooke for his work among the little children and his wonderful ministry in song. Each of these brethren left his mark upon the congregation and most of our present elders and committeemen were either led to the Lord or taught to take part in meetings by these ministers.

During the vacancy between Rev. G. S. Cooke's departure to Enniskillen and the commencement of my own ministry in the area, the congregation was privileged to have Rev. Alan Cairns (Ballymoney) appointed as interim moderator. His exhortation to the committee to consider erecting a new building led to Mr. A. Wilson (the father of our present Clerk of Session) donating a site on the Ballymoney road adjacent to the Manse.

The Committee's decision to build a new house of worship has been received with great enthusiasm by the entire congregation, as is manifest by the increase in attendance at meetings and also by [17] sacrificial giving to the building fund. The good attendance at the prayer meetings and the high percentage of unsaved who gather regularly at our meetings vindicate the decision of our Committee to build and prepare the way for the increase which will assuredly follow this step of faith; for we know that "Without faith it is impossible to please God . . . (Heb. 11:6)

SPECIAL VENTUIRE IN PORTADOWN
Report by Rev. Ken Elliott minister of Bethany Free Presbyterian Church

Despite wintry conditions and a large brick building with a concrete floor which rendered sufficient heating an almost impossibility, large crowds assembled in the Central Market in Portadown for two special Gospel Services organized by Bethany Free Presbyterian Church. This was the first time in almost 50 years that Evangelistic services has been held in the Market Building.

The first service on Sunday the 16th December took the form of a 'Bring a Friend Night' Service. Members of the congregation had previously distributed almost 2,000 specially prepared invitations. The guest soloists were the Rev. William McCrea and Miss Averil Wilson. Over 900 people were in attendance. The minister of the congregation the Rev. Kenneth Elliott delivered a gospel address based on 1st Timothy 1:15.

The following Sunday night another large crowd of 600 people attended a 'Family Night' service.

Mr. Sam Houston, one of our students in the Whitefield College of The Bible, and Mr. Jim Gray from our Ballygowan Church both ministered in song. A special carol sheet was used for the congregational singing and the Gospel message based on the Bible character "Simeon" was preached by Mr. Elliott.

Periodically each year special services are held by the congregation in order to reach many more people with the Gospel. Past experiences have shown that the existing facilities are inadequate to [18] accommodate many more people than already gather to hear the word of the Lord in the church. Each Sunday extra seating has to be used to accommodate the crowds that attend.

The step of faith that the congregation took in moving to the Central Market building was well justified and as well as many more people being reached with the Gospel, it is known of at least one person who was converted to Christ.

One of the many happy factors associated with the services was the readiness of a cheery band of men who gave a lot of their time to transport seats to and from the market. These seats were obtained from different venues and had to be removed from the market again following each service necessitating the workers to gather at 6 a.m. on Monday morning and 12.05 a.m. on the following Monday.

Prayer is requested from our readers for the Bethany Congregation as it labours and witnesses for the Lord in whole Craigavon and districts area.

[19-23 MEDITATIONS FOR THE MONTH]

CANADA CALLING by Rev. Frank McClelland

"There hath not failed one word of all his good promise". Thus Solomon testified of God's faithfulness in fulfilling the promises made to His people. Thus also can the members of Toronto Free Presbyterian Church add a heart-felt "Amen" to Solomon's statement.

1979 was a good year for the Church. After over two years of opposition and difficulty the congregation moved into its new Church building. The official opening service was held on 31st March 1979 when the guest preacher was Dr. Paisley.

Early in the year we had our first convert in the new building when Mrs. Nichols from Jamaica came to Christ. Later she and her family were received into membership to become the first Free Presbyterians from Jamaica.

The Sunday services have increased dramatically with around 200 each Sunday morning and 160 at the evening services. We have been encouraged to observe the growth of God's people spiritually as well as numerically and praise God for those who found Christ throughout the year. The prayer meetings with 50 in attendance now exceeds our earlier Sunday attendances.

In January 1979 Ruth Slade joined our fellowship and was put in charge of the Sunday School. Ruth is the daughter of the late Dr. Slade of the famous Jarvis Street Baptist Church and is one of the finest Sunday School workers I have ever met. Under her leadership the Sunday School has increased from four classes to 15 with a best attendance of 206.

In the classes are children of many races reminding us constantly of the chorus -

Jesus loves the little children.
All the children of the world;
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight.

Best of all some of these little ones have come to the Saviour.

The value of the Free Presbyterian Radio Ministry "Let the Bible Speak" was underlined to us recently. A family from Clarkson over 30 miles from the Church were seeking a Church home where they would be fed spiritually. In the providence of God they turned on the radio one Sunday morning and heard Alan Cairns and the advertisement for our Church. They came to us last summer and have never missed a Sunday since.

We now have our own radio ministry with a 15 minute broadcast every Sunday morning which gives us the opportunity to preach the [25] Gospel to a wider audience as well as advertising the work of the Church. The magazine "Canadian Revivalist" is another means of outreach as well as an intensive visitation programme in the area of the Church.

Several protests were made in 1979 against the apostasy firmly entrenched in the major denominations. For example, Bloar Street United brought an 8 foot crucifix depicting a naked woman into the Church during Easter week. When workmen were erecting it they let it fall and the feet were broken off. We were reminded of the fall of Dagon before the Ark of the Covenant!

St. Paul's United had a hard rock concert entitled "Act of Goddo" which was shown on television. Our Youth Fellowship protested and also wrote letters to the commercial sponsors of this outrageous programme. The sequel here is the recent news that St. Paul's has to close down being $600,000 in debt. Small wonder! The congregation has dwindled to 40 and these are to transfer to Trinity United. A recent speaker at the latter church one Sunday evening was - Bernadette Devlin! My request to the minister to rent the Church for Dr. Paisley to put the opposing view was met with a predictable negative.

What of the future? Rev. Billy Whiteside will shortly be going to Calgary to commence a church there. We are currently considering the - establishment of a second Church in Toronto on the west side of the city. We are also praying for an opening in Vancouver, British Columbia, before 1983 where the World Council of Churches will be holding their next major assembly. Already they boast this will be the greatest ecumenical meeting ever. May God help the Free Church to raise the greatest protest ever against this iniquitous system.

One special prayer request. Pray the Lord of the harvest that He will call out young men in Ireland, Canada, Australia and the United States to go forth as ministers of the Gospel. Several Ulster churches have no man in the pulpit. Many opportunities exist for the establishment of new churches but at this moment there is "no man to stand in the gap". May God "call" and "send" labourers. The fields are truly "white unto harvest".

We can say happily that "The Lord hath done great things for us whereof we are glad." We can look to the future with confidence that the best is yet to be - praise the Lord. [26]

The Free Presbyterian Church in South Australia - Appeal for 15,000 for Church Building

As Moderator of the Church I would like to issue an appeal for 15,000 towards the purchase of a building for the Port Lincoln congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church.

I have received the following appeal from Rev. Fred Buick. It speaks for itself.

Greetings in our Lord's Name.

For some time now, we here in Port Lincoln, South Australia have been seeking the Lord for a building without much success. Just last week however, our prayers have been getting answers. On my way through town on Tuesday afternoon, I noticed a piece of land for sale which I thought might be suitable for us to put a church building on. After making inquiries at the estate agents concerned, they told me of another building that would perhaps suit our needs. We drove round and had a look at the place, and it seemed right there and then that this was the guidance of the Lord. Initially the house was priced at $26,000, but no one wanted it even though it has been auctioned publicly. Some weeks later it came on the market again, this time at $20,000 buy nobody took any interest. We had a word of consultation with the committee and decided to put a price on the house. Our offer of $18,000 has been accepted, and we are negotiating about an adjoining piece of ground which would make a spacious car parking area, and would be most useful in future if we has to extend (which we hope will be the case). The total purchase will possibly cost us in the region of $23,000. Having such a small congregation leaves us with a large financial problem on our hands. We believe that we should go ahead and get the place for the work of God, but we need some help. Can you do anything to help us raise the price of the building please? In the face of such strong opposition as there is here, it will be nothing short of a miracle indeed if we actually get a building of our own.

Please ask your people to continue in prayer for the work out here. God is working but we know that He can do greater things yet. [27] Thank you for all your prayer remembrance of us in Port Lincoln. My wife and I are very much looking forward to seeing you all again (God willing) at the next Easter Convention.

Notes from my Bible by Dr. Ian R. K. Paisley

Ian R. K. Paisley - Eph. 6:19 & 20

The Holy Bible

CONTAINING THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS TRANSLATED OUT OF THE ORIGINAL TONGUES AND WITH THE FORMER TRANSLATIONS DILIGENTLY COMPARED AND REVISED, BY HIS MAJESTY'S SPECIAL COMMAND

"The book though sealed with seven seals opens to the once slain Lamb" - Andrew Jakes

"He that readeth the Old Testament aright to him it will ever become a new testament and similarly the New Testament a newer testament" - Dean Burgon

"When I am deaf this Book will be dumb" - I.R.KP.

"This Book will keep me from sin, but sin will keep me from this Book" - Anon.

"When thou goest, it shall lead thee, when thou steepest, it shall keep thee, and when thou wakest, it shall talk with thee" - Prov. 6:12

Hallelujah! Amen! [28]

BEGINNINGS GOOD AND BAD

Beginnings are all important. Life is full of beginnings. The end is a new beginning. The Bible has much to say about beginnings.

I. The Beginning of Creation

Genesis 1:1. In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. Revelation 3:14. And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; these things saith the Amen, the faithful and the true witness, the beginning of creation of God.

II. The Beginning of Sin

Micah 1:3. O thou inhabitants of Lathish, bind the chariot to the swift beast: she is the beginning of the sin to the daughter of Zion: for the transgressions of Israel were found in thee.

III. The Beginning of the Gospel

Philippians 4:15. Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, the church communicated with me as concerning givng and receiving, but ye only.

IV. The Beginning of Wisdom

Psalm 111: 10. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.

V. The Beginning of Months

Exodus 12:2. This month shall be unto you the beginning of months: it shall be the first month of the year to you.

VI. The Beginning of Confidence

Hebrews 3:14. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end.

VII. The Beginning of Sorrows

Matthew 24:8. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

SOME SEVENS IN GENESIS CHAPTER ONE

God (1) creating; (2) moving; (3) speaking; (4) observing; (5) calling; (6) dwelling; (7) blessing.

"IT WAS SO" Seven times.

"IT WAS GOOD" Seven times.
"The Seven Days".

Just seven words in the Hebrews in Genesis chapter one verse one.

THE NEW TESTAMENT is ENFOLDED IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.

THE OLD TESTAMENT is ENFOLDED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.

HERE SEARCH AND GREAT SHALL BE YOUR STORE.

HERE DRINK AND YOU SHALL THIRST NO MORE.

When thou readest what here is writ,
Let thy best practice second it,

So twice each precept writ shall be,
First in the Book and next in
thee.

GENESIS 3

Genesis 3:8. And they heard the [29] voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

I. HOW? (a) Slowly not swiftly. Psalm 18:7-15, God in his might. Thou are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. Nehemiah 9:17.

(b) Openly not secretly. He did not come without notice. They heard his voice at some distance giving warning of his advent. So in all the Old Testament we hear the voice of Christ giving notice of His first advent and in all the New Testament we hear His voice giving notice of His second advent. His voice was not heard retreating away from them, that would be separation. His voice was heard advancing towards them, this was reconciliation.

(c) Alone and not accompanied. Further down we read of having cherubims but these did not come to the garden until after God had first interviewed fallen humanity. God came alone. No flaming seraphim accompanied Him. He left them all behind to come and seek fallen man. Here is a preview of Calvary. Behold the one who came out of the Ivory Palaces into this world of woe. Surely this is the one who tread the winepress of God's wrath alone. Isaiah 63:3. Standing under the shadow of the cross erected on that dark

Palestine hill-crag and listening to that tremendous wail; My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me?" I come to realize in a measure the loneliness of the Son of God in working out my salvation. He suffered, bled and died ALONE.

II. WHO? God himself. He did not send an angel, He came Himself. SO when they received not the prophets He sent unto them His Son. Matthew 21:37.

III. WHERE? To the garden, the scene of sin, Man did not come from the place of sin seeking God but God came to the place of sin to save man. Where sin was first practised the Saviour was first promised.

IV. WHY? To proclaim the gospel. 11 Corinthians 2:16.

The many trees of Eden could not hide the just sinner but there is one tree bless God where the foremost sinner found sufficient refuge, the Cross of Calvary. "Thou blest Rock of Ages, I'm hiding in Thee". When man fell God did not shun mans company (Oh the wonder of grace) but man shunned God's company (Oh the shame of sin).

Genesis 3:9. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, where art thou? God's just words to the first sinner. Spoken in Eden they have been re-echoing to all generations since.

Genesis 3:15. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and [30] her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. The unveiling of the Christ of God. The seed of the woman, see Genesis 12:3.

Genesis 3:19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Sweat-note unity of scripture. Sweat, the result of sin, Ezekiel 44:18. Priests to wear linen in the sanctuary so that no sweat would be upon them. Luke 22:44 Christ bearing the load of sin suffered the same result.

Seven Causes of Apostasy in Noah's Day

The seven great causes of the antediluvian apostasy have been already noticed, and may be summed up as follows.

I. A tendency to worship God as Elohim, that is, merely as the Creator and Benefactor, and not as Jehovah the covenant God of mercy, dealing with transgressors who are appointed to destruction, and finding a ransom for them.

II. An undue prominence of the female sex, and a disregard of the primal law of marriage.


III.
A rapid progress in the mechanical arts, and the consequent invention of many devices whereby the hardships of the curse were mitigated, and life was rendered more easy and indulgent. Also a proficiency in the fine arts, which captivated the minds of men, and helped to induce an entire oblivion of God.

IV. An alliance between the nominal Church and the World, which speedily resulted in a complete amalgamation.

V. A vast increase of population.

VI. The rejection of the preaching of Enoch, whose warnings thus became a savour of death unto the world, and hardened men beyond recovery.

VII. The appearance upon earth of beings from the Principality of the Air, and their unlawful intercourse with the human race.

These causes concurred to envelope the world in a sensuous mist which no ray of truth could penetrate. They brought about a total forgetfulness of God and disregard of His will; and thus, by removing the great Centre Who alone is able to attract men from themselves, rendered the dwellers upon earth so selfish and unscrupulous that the world was presently filled with lewdness, injustice, oppression, and bloodshed. It remains, therefore, for us to consider whether similar influences are now acting upon society.

- G. H. Pember