About Ivan Foster

Ivan Foster is a recently retired minister in the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster. Until November 2009 he was minister of Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church. He continues to preach and write as the Lord gives opportunity.
Website:
Ivan has written 293 articles so far, you can find them below.

What is a Christian?

WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?

Scripture: Acts 11:26

Preached in Penticton FPC, April 22nd, 2018.

Stream or download What is a Christian?


“And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch,” Acts 11:26

Here in our text is the origin of the title which all true believers wear with honour. It can be seen immediately that the name Christian is that used of those who before were referred to as disciples. A disciple is one under instruction, a learner. A disciple of Christ is one who, having met with and obeyed Christ is now under His direction and tutelage.
While that may explain the meaning of the terms what we want to discover is what is a Christian? There is no title more abused and misused today. I believe that it is likely that 99% of those in this world who claim to be Christians are very sadly mistaken! “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity,” Matthew 7:22-23. I recall the parable of the lost sheep in which one sinner repented while 99 deemed repentance unnecessary! “I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance,” Luke 15:7. Please recall that these remained in the wilderness wasteland, verse 4!!
I am going to give you three things that a Christian is.

I. A CHRISTIAN IS NO LONGER WHAT HE USED TO BE
What the Christian used to be many still are. “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others,” Ephesians 2:3. This gives us the likeness of what the believer used to be like. “He was a child of wrath even as others.” He was a sinner under condemnation of God’s holy law for his breaking of it repeatedly.
But he has been changed, wonderfully changed since then.

1. No one is more aware of this change than himself. “He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see,” John 9:25.
Paul’s testimony: “I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities,” Acts 26:9-11.

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul which so long I had sought
Since Jesus came into my heart!

2. This change has been seen by others also. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2 Cor 5:17. It would hardly amount to much if others did not see it. “But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men,” Matthew 9:8.

3. Above all, there is a change in God’s eyes.
No longer condemned but forgiven. “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,” Rom 8:1.
No longer an enemy by wicked works but reconciled. “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled,” Colossians 1:21.
No longer a stranger but a citizen of heaven. “Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God,” Ephesians 2:19.
No longer afar off but made nigh. “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ,” Ephesians 2:13.
No longer unclean but washed. “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God,” 1 Corinthians 6:11.

II. A CHRISTIAN IS SOMEONE WHO IS NO LONGER TRAVELLING THE ROAD HE USED TO
There has been a complete turn about, a change of direction. That is the meaning of “repentance”!

1. He is travelling in the opposite direction. He is moving against the stream of this world. He finds himself in contradiction to the views, ideas, delights, pleasures and ambitions of this world. He can no longer agree with those with whom he formerly sped down the road of sin. “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you,” 1 Peter 4:1-4.

2. He is travelling to a different destination. Not for him the city of destruction. Now he is going to the Celestial city. Abraham, “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God,” Hebrews 11:10.

3. He is travelling in new company. There is a people which are called his people, his own company. “I am a companion of all them that fear thee, and of them that keep thy precepts,” Psalm 119:63. “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them,” Acts 4:23. “And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God,” Ruth 1:16.
Here is where the Christian now feels at home.

III. A CHRISTIAN IS ONE WHO HAS ETERNAL RICHES WHERE ONCE HE HAD NOTHING BUT POVERTY
1. How poor the unsaved man is. “But I am poor and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me: thou art my help and my deliverer; make no tarrying, O my God,” Psalm 40:17. Spiritually we are only beggars!

2. The discovery of such riches is through the gospel. “Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me,” Acts 26:17-18.

3. Such riches are not subject to decay or loss. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time,” 1 Peter 1:3-5.

4. He has a title and an estate to go with his riches. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together,” Romans 8:16-17. “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins,” Colossians 1:12-14.
A crown. “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing,” 2 Timothy 4:8. “And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away,” 1 Peter 5:4.
A Throne. “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne,” Revelation 3:21. “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years,” Revelation 20:4.

Do you meet this description? Do you have grounds for calling yourself a Christian.

The benefits of having the Bible

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple,” 
Psalm 119:130.
As a people we revere the Bible. It is given a prominent place in our services and in our lives. We preach its doctrines and contend for its truths. We seek to live by its precepts.
The word BIBLE comes from a Greek word BIBLOS = The BOOK. This is the BOOK for us.
My text is one suited to this subject. Please consider its teaching.
I. THE BIBLE IS THE WORD OF GOD.
Here is why we revere the Bible. It is the Book of God. Let me tell you some things about this Bible.
1. It is the record of God’s law. “I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted as a strange thing,” Hosea 8:12. God’s moral law for all men in all ages is found in the Bible and in the Bible ALONE. It must govern our views, our thoughts, our words and our actions.
The anarchy of today stems from the abandonment of God’s Word in pulpit, pew and parliaments.
2. It was given by the Holy Spirit.  “For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost,” 2 Peter 1:21. The penmen were mere humans but the One Who ‘moved’ (carried) them to write the Holy Scriptures was the Third Person of the Trinity – God the Holy Ghost. It is God’s production.
3. It is eternal. “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you,” 1 Peter 1:25.
What changes a lifetime brings! What changes we have seen in the affairs of the nation. Men whose words gripped and thrilled the populace have passed away and their words are forgotten. But not the Word of God! That which gave hope to the prophets, the apostles and the reformers gives hope and comfort to poor sinners still today.
4. In hearing and reading it there is a blessing.  “But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it,” Luke 11:28. “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand,” Revelation 1:3. Some books please some people while providing nothing for others. But this BOOK is one with universal appealand blessing for all who will believe its simple truths. It provides a blessing, oh such a blessing to all of every tribe and nation, who embrace by faith its sweet and precious doctrines.
5. Every word is true. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth,” John 17:17. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16. Men have sought since sin made its entrance to find an error, a contradiction, a lie in the Bible. Hallelujah, man has utterly failed!
Books that prove to be false soon fall in popularity. The Bible remains at the top of the ‘Best Sellers List.’
Were it a fraud and a deceit that would not be the case
6. It is God’s means of giving life. “Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls,” James 1:21. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever,” 1 Peter 1:23. What life it produces! What a change is wrought through the influence! “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new,” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
7. It is the Book which shall judge men. “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust,” John 5:45. Men will be judged by the Law that God gave by Moses, which is expounded and applied throughout the Bible, one day. Whether or not we believed its message will determine our eternal destination.
Hear Christ’s invitation. “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” Matthew 11:28.
Heed the Bible’s message of salvation today.
II. FOR THE BIBLE TO BENEFIT US IT MUST GAIN ENTRANCE TO OUR HEARTS.
Parable of the Sower in Mark 4:1-20. Only the seed that entered into the good ground bore fruit. The benefits of the Gospel are for those who receive it into their hearts.
1. The Word has to be received.  “And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost,” 1 Thess 1:6. “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God,” 1 Thess 2:13.
The word ‘received’ means ‘to take hold of, to grasp with the hand’. Make sure you get a hold of God’s Word by faith tonight.
2. It must be received no matter what the consequences or pressures are . The Thessalonicans received the Word of God amidst much affliction. But receive it they did to the saving of their souls. The devil will try to steal, man will persecute,and the world will allure all with the purpose of robbing you of eternal life by hindering you receiving, believing God’s Word.
3. It is received by believing the message. The old definition of ‘Faith’ stands true: “Faith is just believing what God says He will do.”
The words ‘receive’ and ‘believe’ are interchangeably, John 1: 11-12. “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” To receive the Lord Jesus as your Saviour is to believe what the Bible says about Him. John 9:35-38.
III. THE BENEFITS THE BIBLE BRINGS TO THOSE WHO RECEIVE ITS MESSAGE.
GIVETH – ‘Light’, ‘Understanding’. This principle is true of believers and unbelievers. The Christian must continue to give entrance to God’s Word.
1. There is a coming of light. Light is “given.” What a light has come into those nations which have received the Bible! The course of human history is a record of the benefits that the light of God’s Word has brought with it. It is given to the “simple”. “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting (turning back) the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple,” Ps 19:7.
2. We gain an understanding of God. We know little about God through nature though great and wonderful is it record! It is the Bible alone which reveals God for it is His self-portrait. “He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not,” John 1:10-11. The Saviour said: “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” John 14:9.
The Lord Jesus is the revelation of the Father. He is “the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person,” Hebrews 1:3.
Christ is God “manifest in the flesh.” (1 Timothy 3:16).
3. We gain an understanding of ourselves.“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9. That picture of man’s corrupt heart is given us ONLY in the Bible. The philosophies of men regarding the curing of mankind’s ills are based upon a false diagnosis. Man is not seen for what he truly is. Only the Bible gives that picture and men generally reject its wisdom. “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man,” Matthew 15:19-20.
This diagnosis is one men do not wish to receive and thereby they miss God’s cure for sin.
4. We gain an understanding of salvation. The Bible points us to Christ. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them,” 2 Corinthians 4:3-4. Salvation is not found in a church or in a creed but it is found in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved,” Acts 4:12. Paul said: “But we preach Christ crucified,” 1 Corinthians 1:23.
That is the message of the Bible. “And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name,” John 20:30-31.
This blessed BOOK is the key to life. Obey it and it will reward you well. May you heed its call to Christ today!

Josiah’s reaction to the reading of the Law

Stream or download Josiah’s response to the reading of the law


Josiah’s reaction to the reading of the Law: A lesson for today

“And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of  Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king’s, saying, Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book,”
2 Chronicles 34:19-21.

The events of this chapter took place just a few years after the beginning of Jeremiah’s ministry. I have no doubt that what Josiah initiated by way of reforms was a direct result of the early preaching of Jeremiah. “For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images,” 2 Chronicles 34:3.

It was the influence of Jeremiah’s early preaching that prompted this desire to launch a programme of reforms.

We must note in the light of our text that:

I. A GOOD MAN MAY BE UNAWARE OF THE DEPTHS OF APOSTASY AROUND HIM

1. There can be no doubt that Josiah was a good man. From a very early age he showed evidence of grace. “And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in the ways of David his father, and declined neither to the right hand, nor to the left. For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images,” 34:2-3.
And yet the revelation of the sins of the land and the anger of God was a shock to him! He rent his clothes!  Gen 37:34.

2. The natural heart cannot see how wicked the world is without the aid of God. A hidden Bible means only one thing: IGNORANCE! The devil, the world and the human heart are a trinity of deceit for which we are no match. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9.
* David was deceived by his own heart. “And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man,” 2 Samuel 12:7.
* Ezekiel the prophet required God’s teaching. Eze 8:1-3, 6-12, 13-18.

3. This will certainly be so in the last days. Rev 17:1-2, 8. Even the saints of God will fail to see the wickedness. ‘Wondered’ Matt 8:10. Be it understood that you Christian are not wholly aware of todays’s sins.

II. THE SOURCE OF ENLIGHTENMENT IS THE BIBLE

“When the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes.”

1. The great need of the hour is the rediscovery of the plain preaching of God’s Word. I mean expository preaching where the plain meaning of God’s Word is set before the people. Nehemiah 8:1-8. “So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading,” Nehemiah 8:8.
There is too much topical preaching without any reference to the context of the verse selected. Such preaching may very often make little or no reference to the contextual setting in which the verse is found! This leads to what it is God is specifically saying in the passage being missed.

2. Such preaching, blessed by the Holy Spirit, produces a spiritual awareness amongst God’s people.
1 John 2:20-21, 27. Having been taught the truth and enjoying the ministrations of the Holy Ghost there is an awareness amongst them, a strengthens all the powers and faculties of the soul of the issues that faced them.

3. Paul is an example of such spiritual awareness. Acts 13:9-11.

III. JOSIAH INDICATES FOR US THE REACTION REQUIRED

1. An understanding of the state of the nation as seen by God will bring distress and alarm amongst God’s people. That is not how it is today! “The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” Jer 5:31.
Perfectly content to sit amidst the apostasy and do not wish to be disturbed!! Isaiah 30:9-11; 2 Tim 4:3-4. (“latitudinarianism” – B W Newton.)

2. Brokenness of heart. Verse 27. Josiah wept! That is what caused Christ to weep over Jerusalem, Luke 19:41-44. “Known” = “Perceive.”

3. A seeking of God for what should be done. “Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah,” 34:21. We need instruction and it is plainly given us. Verses 29-33.

IV. GOD’S RESPONSE TO JOSIAH

1. There was a staying of judgment for the sake of Josiah’s prayer. Verses 27-28.
2. A reviving of the remnant took place. 35:18. May we hunger as did Josiah that we may see a breath of old-time religion amongst us.
3. When the judgment came, there was a people who had understanding of the times and knew what to do. It was about 45-46 years later that Jerusalem was overrun by the Babylonians. An opportunity was given to the obedient to instruct their offspring and prepare them to submit to God’s Word and the judgment that was coming. Those who obeyed lived. Jer 37:7-9, 16-17, 38:14-17. The prophet was able to inform of what was coming and what they should do. He called a for an acknowledgement of their sin and a humble submission unto God and a trusting in His mercy.

Therein is the very essence of the gospel message:— Submission and Trust!

April 2018

New audio sermons

  • KICS talks updated. Two new talks are added weekly.
  • All recently added audio sermons can be seen here.

IRA bomber abstains from vote on memorial to his victims

Read the Newsletter report here.

Seventeen murders in seven years but not one conviction

Read the Irish News report here.

Sisters of Nazareth: Nuns held to account for decades of CHILD ABUSE

Read the news report here.


WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?

Scripture: Acts 11:26

Preached in Penticton FPC, April 22nd, 2018.

Here in our text is the origin of the title which all true believers wear with honour. It can be seen immediately that the name Christian is that used of those who before were referred to as disciples. A disciple is one under instruction, a learner. A disciple of Christ is one who, having met with and obeyed Christ is now under His direction and tutelage.

While that may explain the meaning of the terms what we want to discover is what is a Christian? There is no title more abused and misused today. I believe that it is likely that 99% of those in this world who claim to be Christians are very sadly mistaken! Read more


Could be more Catholics than Protestants in NI by 2021

Rather a telling argument against the ongoing lie of Republicans that Roman Catholics suffered persecution and discrimination in Northern Ireland.

The Protestant population in the south of Ireland has dwindled from some 10% prior to partition to 4% today!!!! Read more

The benefits of having the Bible

“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple,” Psalm 119:130.

As a people we revere the Bible. It is given a prominent place in our services and in our lives. We preach its doctrines and contend for its truths. We seek to live by its precepts.
The word BIBLE comes from a Greek word BIBLOS = The BOOK. This is the BOOK for us.

My text is one suited to this subject. Please consider its teaching. Read more

Stream or download The benefits of having the Bible

Watch a video of this message here.


“Fermanagh cleric moves up the ladder that is leading down!!”

Read the report on the Protestant Revival website here.

Vigilantes ‘planning roadblock’ to stop Hither Green burglar’s funeral procession from passing victim’s house

This was bound to happen as a result of the spineless police reaction to the shameless arrogance of the dead criminal’s family and supporters! Read more


Jim Wells speaks about DUP betrayal

Below is a recording of a radio interview on BBC Ulster Radio on 9th April in which Jim Wells explains why he feels betrayed by the DUP over the matter of a promise to reinstate him as Minister of Health after he was forced to resign from that office, following a false allegation made against him by a person who was later convicted of falsehood.

He alleges that the DUP leadership has refused to honour the promise he was given. He believes that he has been treated in this manner because he holds to the moral standards once professed by the DUP.


TUV has published a leaflet to mark the 20th anniversary of the Belfast Agreement.

Highlighting the failures of the Agreement it pulls no punches in contrasting what it promised with what it delivered.

The promise versus the reality

Anyone in 1998 who dared to question the hype and promise of the Belfast Agreement was treated as a pariah. This new dawn, we were told, would bring stability and normality to Northern Ireland. So, how has it worked out? Badly: Northern Ireland is more divided than ever, and as for political normality, the parties can’t even form a government. The fact that the Belfast Agreement itself is the cause and source of such failure is an uncomfortable reality many try to avoid. Facing up to the need for radical change to the core institutional structures of the 1998 Agreement is the path to progress.  Read the full document here.

The deceptions of Anglican cleric, Sam Allberry and the dupes who believe his lie

By Rev Ivan Foster (Rtd)

A certain Anglican ‘cleric’, named Sam Allbery, introduced himself to the 2017 Anglican Church’s Synod as one who is “same-sex attracted” and further stated that he had been so all his life. He then declared just what that meant. “I have sexual, romantic and deep emotional attractions to people of the same sex”!!

Please note that he uses the plural, ‘people’ rather than ‘a person’, singular. Sodomy is the essence of base promiscuity and debauchery!!!

He betrays his heart and unveils his sinfulness in his words of introduction. Read more


Josiah’s reaction to the reading of the Law: A lesson for today

Stream or download Josiah’s response to the reading of the law

“And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the law, that he rent his clothes. And the king commanded Hilkiah, and Ahikam the son of  Shaphan, and Abdon the son of Micah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king’s, saying, Go, enquire of the LORD for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the word of the LORD, to do after all that is written in this book,”
2 Chronicles 34:19-21.

The events of this chapter took place just a few years after the beginning of Jeremiah’s ministry. I have no doubt that what Josiah initiated by way of reforms was a direct result of the early preaching of Jeremiah. “For in the eighth year of his reign, while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his father: and in the twelfth year he began to purge Judah and Jerusalem from the high places, and the groves, and the carved images, and the molten images,” 2 Chronicles 34:3.

It was the influence of Jeremiah’s early preaching that prompted this desire to launch a programme of reforms. Read more


DUP’s Jim Wells launches attack on Arlene Foster

Read the BBC News article here

DUP reneged on an agreement to bring me back as Health Minister, says Wells

Underhand and deceitful scheming: this is the reality regarding loyalty and honour in politics. Maybe Free Presbyterian members will yet waken up to what the DUP has become!

We profoundly disagree with Mr Well’s views on sodomy, which appear at the end of the Belfast Telegraph interview, when he says: “There’s nothing wrong with being gay.” We have communicated our opinion to him on this matter. Read more

Sinn Fein must be called out at all times for its breathtaking double standards

Such articles have no effect upon Sinn Fein since it is a party utterly without a conscience! Read more

When (Irish) ministers and the State bowed to the Church

The Irish Republic has begun to throw off the yoke of the Roman Catholic Church but sadly it is binding itself to ungodly ‘secularism’! Read more


Gerry Adams: Violence still legitimate way to achieve aims

Nothing new there! Adams and his ilk have long sought to justified murder and terror by spurious claims of discrimination against a community that had benefits, as an appeasement, which the majority were denied!! Read more

Michelle O’Neill: Kingsmill tweet row won’t affect Sinn Fein vote in by-election

Of course it won’t for all the supposed sorrow at the deliberate attempt to offend and insult the victims of the IRA Kingsmill massacre were but mere crocodile tears, totally insincere. Sinn Fein voters have always supported and rejoiced in the murderous actions of the IRA. Read more

Brave little Co Fermanagh group punching above its weight in the fight for victims’ rights

Read the Belfast Telegraph report.


Report of the ordination of Rev. Ivan Foster

Reproduced from the Revivalist, May 1968

Saturday 20th April (1968) was an important day for the Free Presbyterian Church and for County Fermanagh. On that day, Rev. Ivan Foster was ordained as the first minister of the first Free Presbyterian Church in the county.

For many years apostates, fearful of the effects of a strong Gospel preaching church upon their iniquitous intrigues, sought to keep us out of Fermanagh. However the Lord opened up the way, and what God opens no man can shut. As a result Lisbellaw Free Presbyterian Church was opened. Since this work commenced the devil and his agents have been busy, but their desires to bring to nought this gospel witness have miserably failed. Read more


The Preacher with an admirable reputation

“All things that John spake of this man were true,” John 10:41.

Based upon a sermon preached in Kilskeery Free Presbyterian Church on Lord’s Day evening, March 12th, 2000 by Rev. Ivan Foster

It was some three years since the death of John but the people of the area still remember his preaching. The presence of Christ in their midst brings back to their minds the words and ministry of John, and of his ministry they utter the words of our text: All things that John spake of this man were true. John wrought no miracle but he told the truth about Christ. Here is a reputation to be more desired than the working of miracles. In today’s religious world, the working of miracles would be deemed a most marvellous sign of a preacher’s divine calling. But in truth it would be no such thing. Miracles are no evidence of a man’s godliness. The magicians of Egypt worked miracles. That is recorded for us in Exodus 7:11. Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. (See also 7:22, 8:7.) The Antichrist’s companion, the false Prophet, will also work miracles. “And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live”, Revelation 13:13-14.

The true test of a preacher’s genuineness is whether he speaks well of Christ or not. “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them,” Isaiah 8:20. Read more


Lying in the arms of God or in the jaws of the devil — Which??

“And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness,” 1 John 5:19.

The whole world is truly referred to in this text. It refers first of all to the people of God. And we know that we are of God. It then refers to the rest of the world in the remainder of the verse. And the whole world lieth in wickedness. That is all this world consists of –those who are in Christ and those who are not; those who are of God and those who are of the devil. Read more

The church of Christ – an unchanging institution

“I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it,”  Matthew 16:18.

A message preached in Penticton Free Presbyterian Church,

March 25th, 2018 by Rev Ivan Foster.

Stream or download The Church – an unchanging institution


Sermon notes

(These notes contain references to some matters that the preacher was unable to deal with. They are included for the benefit of the reader.)

We live in a world which seeks change. It is as restless as the sea. “But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked,” Isaiah 57:20-21.

The change it seeks is always for the worst. It is a downward rather than an upward movement it seeks. The changes men initiate in the religious sphere show this. Please read Romans 1:21-32. Jeremiah speaks of the change sought by men. “Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. . . . . For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. . . . . Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria,” Jeremiah 2:11, 13 and 36.

The author of such change and restlessness is the devil. He is a restless spirit. He is discontent with his lot. “And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it,” Job 1:7. Such restlessness should not mark the Church of Christ. While others zig-zag and tack from side to side to catch every new breeze of change the true believers hold to a steady course. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 15:58. “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive,” Ephesians 4:14.“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content,” Philippians 4:11.  “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness,” 1 Timothy 6:6-11. “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Hebrews 13:5.

The believer imbibes this steadfastness from his Saviour. Christ is the Unchanging One. “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” Hebrews 13:8.

All who have come to Him find rest. They are delivered from restlessness.

The old hymn puts it well: I’ve ceased from my wanderings and going astray, Since Jesus came into my heart.

The child of God is under an injunction not to deviate from the path revealed in God’s word. From generation to generation it is the same.
“Ye shall observe to do therefore as the LORD your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess,” Deuteronomy 5:32-33. “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest,” “Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside therefrom to the right hand or to the left; That ye come not among these nations, these that remain among you; neither make mention of the name of their gods, nor cause to swear by them, neither serve them, nor bow yourselves unto them,” Joshua 1:6; 23:6-7. “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil,” Proverbs 4:23-27. “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God,” Luke 9:62.

As the Lord changes not so there ought not to be any change in the faith and practice of His people. “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed,” Malachi 3:6.
Consider, then why the Church of Christ is unchanging.

I. THE UNCHANGING CHRIST IS THE OWNER OF THE CHURCH 

‘My church’. As His property it will reflect His desires and principles. He is owner by:

1. Inheritance. The Church is the inheritance of the Lord. Christ is heir of all things. “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds,” Hebrews 1:2. Part of His inheritance is the Church. It has been given to Him. “I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word,” John 17:6.

2. Purchase. The Church was mortgaged because of sin. A great debt lay upon every member. Christ at Calvary paid that debt. We are doubly His. “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood,” Acts 20:28.  “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19.

3. Conquest. Every member of the Church was under the thraldom of Satan. We were his slaves and bondsmen. Christ conquered Satan and set us free. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage,” Galatians 5:1. “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil,” 1 John 3:8. “And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; and having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it,” Colossians 2:13-15.
This threefold right of ownership of the Church surely means that it will reflect His wishes and image. It is His to fashion as He desires.

II. THE UNCHANGING CHRIST IS THE BUILDER OF THE CHURCH 

“I will build my church,” Matthew 16:18. “For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house,” Hebrews 3:3.

Is not His likeness to be seen in His handiwork? “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world,” Psalm 19:1-4.

1. He quarries the material. “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged,” Isaiah 51:1. The word hewn means to quarry.

2. He fashions the material. That truth is illustrated for us in the building of both the Tabernacle and the Temple. “And thou shalt rear up the tabernacle according to the fashion thereof which was shewed thee in the mount,” Exodus 26:30. “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. Take heed now; for the LORD hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it. Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, and the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the LORD, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the LORD,” 1 Chronicles 28:9-13.
As it was with these two wonderful edifices so it is with the saints. “Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself,” Philippians 3:21. “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him,” Colossians 3:10. “As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy,” 1 Peter 1:14-16.
So it is that the Lord sanctifies His people so that they bear His image.

3. He positions the material. As the furnishings in the tabernacle and the temple were arranged at the Lord’s bidding so He builds the living stones of His church to suit His purpose. “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ,” 1 Peter 2:5. As stones in a building serve different purposes and are shaped accordingly, so it is with His people. They have different roles to perform in the will of God. Thus we have the Lord appointing men to serve in various offices in the Church. “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ,” Ephesians 4:11-15.

III. THE UNCHANGING CHRIST GUARDS THE CHURCH 

“The gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”  He protects it. He makes her invincible. What was promised to Israel is likewise promised to the Church generally. “And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them,” Deuteronomy 7:24. “There shall no man be able to stand before you: forthe LORD your God shall lay the fear of you and the dread of you upon all the land that ye shall tread upon, as he hath said unto you.” Deuteronomy 7:24,11:25. “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee,” Joshua 1:5.

Here is why the Church has never been destroyed when its destruction appeared certain and why it will ultimately triumph over all its enemies.

1. He guards the church from every attempt to mar or destroy her. His eye is ever open upon the Church. “That thine eyes may be open upon this house day and night, upon the place whereof thou hast said that thou wouldest put thy name there; to hearken unto the prayer which thy servant prayeth toward this place,” 2 Chronicles 6:20. “Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep,” Psalm 121:4. “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil,” 1 Peter 3:12. “Then the king of Syria warred against Israel, and took counsel with his servants, saying, In such and such a place shall be my camp. And the man of God sent unto the king of Israel, saying, Beware that thou pass not such a place; for thither the Syrians are come down. And the king of Israel sent to the place which the man of God told him and warned him of, and saved himself there, not once nor twice. Therefore the heart of the king of Syria was sore troubled for this thing; and he called his servants, and said unto them, Will ye not shew me which of us is for the king of Israel? And one of his servants said, None, my lord, O king: but Elisha, the prophet that is in Israel, telleth the king of Israel the words that thou speakest in thy bedchamber,” 2 Kings 6:8-12.

2. He guards the church by a number of means:

Intercession. “And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are,” John 17:11. Constantly, the Lord Jesus speaks to His Father about each one of us. “Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them,” Hebrews 7:25.

Exhortation. The preaching of the Word of God is the ‘rod of God’ by which he shepherds and guides us. “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you,” John 15:3. “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth,” John 17:17. “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently,” 1 Peter 1:22.

Effusion.“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. . . . . And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all,” Acts 4:31, 33.

Intervention. “And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from hishands. And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. . . . . . And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost. But the word of God grew and multiplied,” Acts 12:7-9, 23-24. All such interventions in the experience of the Church have been but foretastes of that grand and glorious and final intervention: the return of our Saviour. Therein will be a delivering of us from all our enemies and a translating of us into the joy of our Lord.
“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin isthe law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ,” 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.

3. His guarding of the church will prove to be gloriously successful. “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen,” Jude 1:24-25. “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed arethey which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God,” Revelation 19:7-9.

Thus the church throughout the ages is preserved in the image of Him who purchased her by His own blood. The saints of all the ages partake of a common blessing and bear a common image. As it was with Moses:  — “And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him,” Exodus 34:29, so it was with Stephen. “And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel,” Acts 6:15..
The glory of God has been seen in the lives and on the countenances of His people throughout the ages as He works His grace in them. “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there isliberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord,” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.

May more of His grace and glory be evident in our lives to His honour and praise.

Amen.