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.
Ivan has written 470 articles so far, you can find them below.

Some further thoughts on Gideon, Pt1

Scripture: Judges 6-7

Last Lord’s Day morning we were treated to a wonderfully instructive message, preached by Rev Gordon Ferguson and based upon the story of Gideon in the book of Judges.

I personally was much blessed by the message, so much so that I would like to return to those chapters in Judges.

There is an inexhaustible depth to God’s Word and no preacher could ever bring out all the blessings that are in any passage, never mind one so rich as that which deals with the history of Israel in Gideon’s day.

By returning to this passage I am in no way implying any deficiency in Mr Ferguson’s message or preaching but rather seeking to explore a little the wonderful scenes he brought before us here last week.

The wonderful deliverance wrought by God in the days of Gideon began with a little noticed event.


“And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, that the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel,” Judges 6:7-8.
He is not named, for his name is unimportant, but his message is recorded.

1. There is always a return to the Bible before there is a move of God amongst His people. The Word of God is the “seed” from which all spiritual life springs. “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. As it was us individually, so it is with us collectively. “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life,” John 6:63. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth,” James 1:18. “Quicken thou me according to thy word,” Psalm 119:25.
Revival blessing will always be ‘according’ to His word. The Bible holds the key, not man’s notions of religious success and inventions to supposedly stir up interest in the things of God.

2. The message of the prophet is timeless. A reminding of past mercies, of past instructions, present disobedience! It will thus be ever so! It is the old message calling us to the ‘old paths’! “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein,” Jer 6:16.

3. That message is what generated the attitude and actions of Gideon. He treasured the fruit of Israel, hiding it from the enemy. He had listened to the prophet, vv 8, 13. He is echoing the prophet. He was looking for a further display of the great power which had delivered Israel in the past. Here is where the expectation of revival comes from.

Click to stream or download, Some further thoughts on Gideon, Pt 1

Bible pictures of Christ, Pt124

Isaiah’s wonderful Picture – Isaiah 52:13-53:12.

Despite the dreadful truth that, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not,” Isaiah 53:3, we read in the next verse: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted,” Isaiah 53:4.

To “esteem” means ‘to form an estimation of’. Christ was counted of no value. “And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate,” Luke 23:11.

1. The people for whom Christ suffered are the people who despised Him.

Not one of the millions who will get to heaven through the redeeming work of the Lord Jesus will ever be able to say: “I never despised Him, rejected Him. I never hid my face from Him or did not esteem Him.” Paul’s testimony is really the testimony of all believers. “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.

2. The chief sufferings of Christ were at the hands of God.

“Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted,” Isaiah 53:4. The view formed by the people of the Saviour in His sufferings was that He was rejected by God. He was rejected on the cross by His Father but the people were wrong in their thinking of why this happened!

They deemed him a sinful man, unrighteous and therefore rejected by God. But the Saviour’s rejection was because the Father “Made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him,” 2 Cor 5:21.

On the cross the Father dealt with Christ as He would deal with us sinners. He forsook Christ, He judged Christ, He punished Christ. But was God acting in mercy to us and judging His So rather than us! “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us,” Romans 5:8.

Click to stream or download, Bible pictures of Christ, Pt124

Bible pictures of Christ, Pt123

Isaiah’s wonderful Picture – Isaiah 52:13-53:12.

Read John 12:32-38

Please note here :-

1. It is in the Bible that the Lord Jesus is set forth.
It is God’s picture gallery where He hangs portraits of Christ.

  • The message of God is here called a report. It is a report of God’s wondrous plan of mercy to redeem sinners by the sacrifice of His Son in their room and stead.
  • It is a report which centres upon Christ. He is called here ‘The arm of the Lord’. The Gospel of Christ is “the power of God unto salvation,” Romans 1:16.
    As our arm accomplishes our will so the ‘arm of God’ accomplishes His will amongst men. “Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God,” Hebrews 10:9.
  • It was a report that was not believed. “But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?” John 12:37-38.

2. What a contrast there is between God’s view of His Son and sinful man’s view.

  • God saw Him. “For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground,” verse 2. Tender – a small offshoot. God’s eye was tenderly upon Him but men observed nothing of His coming. “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?” Luke 4:22. He was no one special to them.
  • What man saw he despised. “He hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” No form, no comeliness, no beauty. Just nothing about Christ appeals to men. No name is more despised in the world than that of Jesus. Allah is honoured as is Buddha, the pope. But not the name of JESUS!
  • How different man’s view of Christ is from that of God’s! “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not,” Verse 3.
    This is man’s universal, age-old view of Christ.

Click to stream or download, KICS, Pt123

Bible pictures of Christ, Pt122

Isaiah’s wonderful Picture – Isaiah 52:13-53:12.

Now that we have divine authority to say that the wonderful person spoken of here is the Lord Jesus Christ, let us take note of what is said about Him.

1. Notice how Isaiah starts and ends his picture of Christ with a setting forth of His exaltation!

“Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high” Isaiah 52:13.
“He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors,” 53:11-12.

This is very important for us to notice. There is more emphasis on His humiliation and sufferings but the passage begins and ends with His glory!

His sufferings came first in time: “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” Luke 24:26, but here His glory is referred to first.

2. This something God often does. Rev 4:1-11, 6:1-2 & 17.
Why is that?

a. I believe that before going into the detail of Christ’s sufferings, God refers to His ultimate glory in order that we might have hope! This is seen also at the beginning of Isaiah. 2:1-4, 10-12. Glory and triumph before there is a dealing with the sinful and desolate state of Israel.

b. It has ever been so. Right from the beginning there has been a emphasis upon the glorious victory of the Saviour, Jude 1:14-15. These words were preached back in the days of Adam.

c. The Lord wants us ever to bear in mind the eternal triumph of His Son. It is what sustained the Saviour amidst His sufferings. “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God,” Hebrews 12:2.

Click to stream or download, KICS, Pt122

Some thoughts on the end times

Speaker: Rev Ivan Foster in Bethel FPC,

Sabbath evening 4th June, 2017.

As I was preparing to come here this evening, it was my purpose to preach a simple gospel message. Indeed, I can quote the words of Jude where he says he turned from his original subject matter to another. “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints,” verse 3.

My topic is not the one Jude turned to but rather, in the light of recent events in Manchester and in London last evening, I wish to speak about the times in which we live and the significance of such horrific events.

God says that the preacher is to be a watchman, one who stands on the walls of the city and watches for the approach of the enemy and then shouts out a warning to the people of the city.

There is a need for such a ministry today.

Click to listen or download, Some Thoughts on The End Times.