“Encounters with Christ”, by Ann Foster, is a Bible-based record of some notable miracles of healing wrought by the Saviour during His earthly ministry. He healed multitudes, giving sight to the blind, casting out devils, cleansing the lepers, causing the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the maimed to be whole, the palsied to recover and imparting life to the dead. These miracles were always accompanied by earnest prayer, a consciousness of need and faith on the part of the one who sought healing. They also illustrate vital gospel truth. Sinners are spiritually blind, controlled by Satan, unclean, lame, maimed, paralysed and dead as a result of sin and they desperately need the spiritual healing and deliverance which Christ alone can give. They too must come with a deep consciousness of their sin, earnestly seeking salvation and believing that Christ alone can save.
The book also details some notable conversations with individuals. Again gospel truth is illustrated. In the Lord’s conversation with the woman of Samaria, He revealed to her the depth of her iniquity and His identity as the Messiah. The sinner must realise and acknowledge his sin in the eyes of a holy God and recognise Christ as God’s only anointed Saviour. In His conversation with Nicodemus, He stressed the necessity of the new birth even for a self- righteous sinner, spoke of His death on the cross, using the symbol of the uplifted serpent in the wilderness, to secure eternal life for His people.
However, not all who were healed were saved. Some, like Malchus, accepted healing for his severed ear, but rejected Christ’s message. Not all who talked with Christ, like the rich, young ruler, heeded His instruction to leave all and follow Him if he wished to obtain eternal life. Mercifully, Nicodemus was born again, despite all appearances to the contrary, for we find him at the cross with Joseph of Arimathea, carefully removing Christ’s body, wrapping it in spices and fine linen, laying it in the tomb and rolling the stone to the door.
“When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him,” Isaiah 59:19. (Read 1-21)
This statement is set in a prophetic context. It will undoubtedly find its final fulfillment in the day referred to in verse 20, the day of the Redeemer coming to Zion.
Revelation 11:1-15 is a record of the Holy Spirit raising up a standard in the very face of Antichrist’s flood of persecution against Jerusalem and its elect people in the last 42 months of this age.
But this statement embodies a general principle of truth which is clear to all. What is said of the Spirit of God acting against the enemy in the latter times is true of all occasions when the enemy attacks.
There is nothing new about the devil’s attacks nor is there anything new about God’s reaction. There never was a day in which the devil did not seek to come in like a flood. It is not a question of if but when.
In our day it is clear he is doing just that. Our text contains instruction and hope. Here is a foresight of his plans.
The Fire at Windsor Castle — was it the Finger of God?
“For in my jealousy and in the fire of my wrath have I spoken,” Ezekiel 38/19 (Read Amos 4/6-13)
(A message preached by Rev Ivan Foster some quarter of a century ago and worth remembering as the Royal house and the nation rejoices at the Queen’s 90th birthday)
Fire is both the symbol and the substance of God’s wrath and judgment. The first and the final references in the Bible indicates this to be so.
“Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the out of heaven;” Genesis 19:24, and
“But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death,” Revelation 21:8.
The recent fire in Windsor Castle should be seen as a testimony of divine displeasure against the sin of the Royal family in particular and the nation’s in general.
The Royal family took the name Windsor from the Castle’s name at the time of the first World War to conceal their links with German royalty. Their family name is Saxe-Coburg Gotha. The castle is the favourite abode of the Queen. The fire started in the Queen’s private chapel.
The religious and spiritual affairs of the Royal family are undoubtedly subjects of divine disapproval.
Listen to the complete message using the player below.
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.
It was with great joy that the Presbytery of Ulster ordained Mr. Foster and installed him in Lisbellaw, The two ministers who, along with him spent three months in prison at the hands of a politico-ecumenical plot, took a major part in the ordination service. Dr. Paisley preached the main message and Rev. John Wylie (Coleraine) preached the charge to the newly ordained minister. Read more…
The Message The Methodist Conference Would Not Allow Me To Preach
by Rev Ivan Foster
This sermon was printed in the “Revivalist”, July-August 1967. The message had been preached in an ‘After Church Rally’ in Mossley Orange Hall, 18th June 1967.
I must confess that I have never been asked to preach at the annual Methodist Conference in Belfast. Nevertheless, when I read some of the statements contained in sermons preached at this conference it was abundantly clear that any men with a message of truth would not be welcomed at this affair. I quote for example a guest speaker at the conference, Dr. Alfred Martin. In Tuesday, 13th June’s issue of the “Newsletter” we read the following words concerning the obedience of Methodists to the spirit of false ecumenism – “Already you have made it clear that if loyalty to Christ and obedience to his EXPRESSED COMMAND AND SPIRIT are called Romeward trends by knaves seeking a trap for fools then you are willing to be misunderstood.” Read more…
Christian Institute in cooperation with Humanists and The Peter Tatchell Foundation, a pro-sodomite anti-Christian organisation
There is one particularly unalterable law laid down by the Lord as to how His TRUTH is to be defended and His CAUSE maintained.
It is expounded for us by Zerubbabel and Jeshua, the Jewish leaders in charge of the rebuilding of the temple, in response to the suggestion by “the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin” that they would join in and help in the labour of rebuilding God’s house. Read more…
On 5th April 1964, Ivan Foster was converted to Christ. As a twenty-year-old, his feet were already set firmly on the downward road to hell when God broke in upon his soul most unexpectedly. Within one week he was under the ministry of Dr Ian Paisley who was then in the zenith of his pulpit power. What blessed days they were for the young convert!
On 5th January 1965, he began studies for the gospel ministry in the Free Presbyterian Theological Hall. He will always be thankful that one of his lecturers was Pastor James Kyle Paisley, father of Ian Paisley. He was ordained to the ministry and installed as minister of Lisbellaw Free Presbyterian Church on April 20th, 1968.
There followed wonderful times of mercy and blessing which saw four new congregations formed within a short time, including one in Co. Monaghan in the Republic of Ireland and a part played in the formation of Newtown Square Free Presbyterian church in USA, now Malvern FPC, Pennsylvania.
But while the last fifty-two years hold many blessed memories for Ivan Foster, including that happy day he married Ann Beattie on March 8th 1968, no day can feature more clearly in his heart than that of the day when he became, by God’s everlasting mercy, a child of God!
Just after his retirement in 2008, he was invited to give a word of testimony in Mullaglass Free Presbyterian Church on November 11th. He had to return on March 8th to complete that testimony.
Below are the two messages entitled: “Once I was blind!”
May the Lord be pleased to bless it to your heart and to His glory.
(Errata in Part 2: 1979 should be 1978 @ 45 mins 48 secs. Cecil Menary should be Cecil Harvey @ 53 mins 23 secs.)
I was told of a young Christian being invited to a youth testimony meeting by a fellow Christian some twelve months ago. Being a little anxious regarding the church in which the meeting was taking place, the person felt that because of the nature of the meeting, a testimony meeting, little harm would come of accompanying a friend.
However, one of those testifying spoke of herself as being a sodomite but nevertheless a Christian! Read more…
Editor’s correspondence with ‘Father’ Patrick McCafferty
Back in 2002, I entered into a correspondence in the pages of “The Burning Bush” with a Roman Catholic priest from Belfast. The correspondence arose after I wrote a letter in reply to an article by the priest in “The Belfast Telegraph” of August 24th, 2002.
I was grieved at such a platform being given to the errors and deceptions of Rome and commented on the priest’s article in a letter to “The Belfast Telegraph.”
It will be noted how our two replies to the priest were edited by the ‘Letters Editor’ of “The Belfast Telegraph” before they quickly closed the exchange after two exchanges.
The Word of God was not liked by that ecumenical newspaper back then and it is still the case. Every effort was made to shield and protect the priest of Rome from the rebuke of God’s Word.
We are republishing the correspondence, which continued for eight exchanges, and appeared in “The Burning Bush” from October 2002 until May 2003, because of the publicity given to the ‘warm relationship’ that was manifested between this priest and Pastor James McConnell during the recent trial occasioned by Pastor McConnell’s pulpit statements about Islam. Pastor McConnell asked ‘Father’ Patrick McCafferty to speak on his behalf during the trial.
All this “ecumenical camaraderie” between the pastor and the priest may appear to some to give endorsement of the teachings of Rome and it is for this reason we highlight again the errors this priest, like all Roman Catholic clerics, propagates.
Needless to say, it also highlights the folly of James McConnell!
Rev. Foster is engaged in an ongoing series of studies in Kilskeery Independent Christian School morning assemblies in which he deals with the theme, “Pictures of Christ in the Bible”, i.e. the descriptions and types of Christ given in the Scriptures.
Each new study will be added as it becomes available and you can listen to new studies using the player below.
Previously published studies in this series can be heard here.