Who is on the Lord’s side? A question for us all today!

This message, preached on August 15th, 2021, the day that marked the 47th anniversary of the opening of the Free Presbyterian Hall in Kilskeery back in 1974, was brought to my attention and I feel that is something that needs to be heard again.

I am therefore sending it out by email to those readers on our email list.

Christian, when you receive it I ask you circulate it wisely amongst your acquaintances and pray that the Lord might be pleased to bless the message to the hearts of God’s faithful souls.

Here is the recording and the text that accompanied it on ’The Burning Bush’ website.

Sincerely in Christ’s name,

Ivan Foster


A question for us all today!

“Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said, Who [is] on the LORD’S side? [let him come] unto me. And all the sons of Levi gathered themselves together unto him. And he said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Put every man his sword by his side, [and] go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour,” Ex 32:26-27.

Today we mark the 47th anniversary of the opening of the hall on this site for the preaching of the gospel.

I would want to honour those who laboured and financed the venture amidst much opposition. I recall the generosity of Mr & Mrs Robert Edwards, who donated part of their garden as a site for the hall and the men who laboured, mostly in the evenings, after their day’s work and on Saturdays, to erect the building. They laboured out of a zeal for the honour and glory of the Lord.

Just over three years after its opening, the small handful of souls here in Kilskeery banded together and were constituted as a congregation of the Free Presbyterian Church. I was called to be the minister and installed as such in February 1978. Some eighteen months later, Kilskeery Independent Christian School commenced.

By the mercy of the Lord, both congregation and school continue to this day.

There are very few of the original founders left, having gone on to glory. But I trust that the spirit that energised the founders is still amongst the remnant here!

* This is not the text that I had hoped to preach upon at this meeting. I may get a chance to preach my original message on another occasion.

The news reports of the DUP mayor of Londonderry officially launching the abominable ‘full programme of events’ to celebrate and extol that greatest of all sins amongst mankind, sodomy, so vexed me that I wrote to the Moderator of our Presbytery, the Clerk and the Chairman of the Morals Committee, expressing my horror and demanding that action be taken to separate the FPC from the sodomite-honouring DUP.

Here is the text of that email:


It is with sorrow of heart I have sent out the following email to our email readers a few minutes ago.

Dear Friends,

This shameful support of a celebration of sodomy by the DUP mayor of Londonderry, Alderman Graham Warke, MUST require every Christian member and supporter of the DUP to condemn the action and withdraw all support from this political party governed by utter hypocrisy!

No equivocation or excuse-making can cover for this defiance of God’s truth and the testimony of the Reformed Faith.

The Free Presbyterian Church must surely look seriously at the continuing membership of any who maintain their membership of the DUP.

Failure to do so brings into question the allegiance of the Free Presbyterian Church to the Lord and raises the question as to the future membership of the God-fearing within its ranks!

Surely we have reached the place where Free Presbyterians who are in membership of a party which so openly and hypocritically supports that which they once declared to be a great wickedness against the Lord, have to be challenged and if they refuse to disassociate themselves from the DUP, must be put out of membership of the FPC.

I call upon you in the name of the Lord as those office-bearers who are in positions of leadership and responsibility to act as such and seek to preserve the honour and glory of our Saviour and the stand and testimony of the FPC.

Failure to by the FPC to openly repudiate the downward slide of the DUP can only offend the Lord and bring upon it His judgment.

Respectfully in Christ,Ivan Foster.”

* The news of the DUP mayor’s sin came to light on the day that it was revealed in the news that a man in Plymouth had shot and killed 5 people including a little girl aged three. Of the two reports, it may surprise some to learn that the matter of the DUP mayor is the most serious! Not in the world’s eyes of course, but in the Lord’s eyes it is. The report of the DUP’s mayor entails the slaying of a gospel witness here in Ulster by those who support this party and put their political allegiances and loyalties before the cause and truth of God. This is done in the spirit of those who slew the prophets, those who trampled underfoot the Son of God and His testimony amongst men!

* Let all in the Free Presbyterian Church remember the words of the Saviour to the church at Ephesus. “Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent,” Revelation 2:4-5.

Such a removal would entailed the ending of the gospel light in that city!

* In the light of this all, I felt that I should change my subject for today and preach on the text before us.

Before I do that, I believe it necessary to say that the FPC is approaching a point like that reached by our forefathers in Crossgar in March 1951. They felt before God that they had come to the place where they had to separate from the apostasy of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland and stand outside the camp for God.

They reached that point because of the continued refusal of those who professed themselves to be ‘Bible believers’ within the PCI, to repudiate the apostasy within the PCI by the ONLY means pleasing to God — SEPARATION from that church.

* For too long some members of the Presbytery of the FPC have hedged and prevaricated and hindered any attempt to bring this matter before it for a proper and Biblical consideration of the issue of members of the FPC supporting the DUP as it continued to slide downward in its ever more blatant support for sodomy and its shilly-shallying over abortion.

Attempts to debate the matter or publicly challenge men for their sin have been hindered by the erroneous use of Matthew 18:15. “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.” Some have sought to make out that it is contrary to Scripture to challenge the sins of men before privately speaking to them. This is of course nonsense in the case of a public, ongoing controversy such as that which faces us with the sins of the DUP. Presbytery in the past (not so much in recent years, sadly) issued many a condemnation of individuals in church and state without feeling it necessary to approach them privately first of all.

No, this is just a ‘red herring’, introduced to distract and hinder from a proper pursuit of a most serious issue that needs addressing.

No such restrictions were imposed upon those elders and ministers taking part in the debate in Acts 15, convened to thrash out the matter of the Judaising doctrines some wished to introduce. Nor has there been any such curtailing of free speech in the past within the Presbytery. I believe that such can only be seen as an attempt by a few to hinder any proper discussion of the sins of the DUP and the wrong-doing of a Free Presbyterian supporting its policies.

* If such a situation continues and the matter that seriously troubles many Free Presbyterians is persistently refused a proper hearing, then it leaves those who love the Lord with little option!

Where there is a stubborn refusing to face up to the sin within our ranks that is a signal that the refusers have sided with that sin and placed themselves amongst the ranks of the erring.

That being so, the faithful can only withdraw from the Church that has come to such a position.

That is the teaching of our text!


Doubtless there were many who would have desired to have raised many issues related to the events of that day! But Moses, directed by the Lord, came straight to the core of the matter. You are either for the Lord or against Him!

1. It is so today. The issue was not whether Aaron had been given a proper hearing or whether he really meant any serious offence. No! The Lord ruled that the issue was about HIM and siding with Him against error and idolatry.

It should be noted that Aaron had said: “And he received [them] at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These [be] thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And when Aaron saw [it], he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow [is] a feast to the LORD,” Exodus 32:4-5. There was no mention of Baal or Ashtaroth or any other idol. No, the golden calf was called the ‘Lord’. But that did not decrease the wickedness of his actions or the offence caused to the Lord.

2. The Lord will take issue with His people who become involved in error, no matter how inadvertently it has happened. Exodus 32:10 tells us how angry the Lord was with His people. “Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may wax hot against them, and that I may consume them: and I will make of thee a great nation.” This was a very serious matter indeed!

There has been a slipping and sliding downward within Christian ranks, almost unnoticed. Christians have felt themselves safe and free from fault because others around them have drifted, perhaps to a greater degree. But that is not what decides the issue. It is what the Lord feels about the drift that matters.

Back on 28th February, 1988, the FPC swore a solemn oath before God to “stand with Christ in this evil day ‘for all that He is for, and against all that He is against.’

He is against sodomy and all its allied perversions. Therefore we have sworn to be against it too. We cannot be faithful to that oath and be in the DUP for it has come out on a number of occasions and shown itself ‘for’ sodomy and sodomites. It faces a further test when Westminster enforces unrestricted abortion on Ulster sometime in the very near future. What then for the DUP?? Compromise has been their standard response as they seek, at all costs, to preserve their ‘money bank’ – the Stormont Assembly! Will it be ‘Money before Morals’ once again?

3. Please note that the man of God gave a lead in this matter. ‘Then Moses stood in the gate of the camp, and said . . .’ Where are the men of his stature and courage and faith today? What awful hypocrisy to say one honours Moses as a man of God but refuse to act as did he!


Whoever was on the Lord’s side had to break ranks with those who were not!

1. So it has ever been. Heed these verses.

“And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that [were] on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD,” Joshua 24:15.

“And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if [ye be come] to betray me to mine enemies, seeing [there is] no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look [thereon], and rebuke [it]. Then the spirit came upon Amasai, [who was] chief of the captains, [and he said], Thine [are we], David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace [be] unto thee, and peace [be] to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band,”

1 Chronicles 12:17-18.

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon,” Matthew 6:24.

“He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad,” Matthew 12:30.

This is an ancient and presently operative rule for the Christian.

2. Identification was by an act. “[Let him come] unto me.” Many Christians are content to mutter quietly their allegiance to Christ while maintaining their place in the ranks of the ungodly. That will not suffice for God! He demands you step out clearly on His side.

3. It entailed a joining of Moses outside the camp. No line of demarcation is more clearly drawn than that which the Lord would have us draw between ourselves and the world. “Abstain from all appearance of evil,” 1 Thess 5:22. The word ‘appearance’ means ’shape or fashion’. This means putting real distance between us and sin. The law required that we distance ourselves from sin. “Keep thee far from a false matter,” Exodus 23:7.

Remember the words of Psalm 1:1-2. “Blessed [is] the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night!”


1. It was with this mind that when the ordination oaths of both ministers and elders of the FPC were drawn up this requirement was made.Will you maintain with all the strength God shall give you the truly Scriptural separation position of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster and vigorously withstand the apostasy of Irish Presbyterianism exhorting God’s people to obey the teaching and commandment of 1 Timothy 6: 3 – 5?”

That oath still binds every member of Presbytery though I have no doubt that there are those who would desire it abolished and the shifting of the stand of the Free Presbyterian Church from one of militancy to that of a ‘run-of-the-mill’, evangelical church that ‘preaches’ only the gospel!

To ‘preach only the gospel’ is a totally inaccurate designation for a true and faithful witness when it is meant to convey that there will never be an entering into contention with the apostasy about us and challenging those churches which reject the Bible and embrace error!

Did not the Saviour ‘preach only the gospel’ and yet utter such war-like words as those found in Matthew 23, of which these verses are but an example? “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in [yourselves], neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves,” verses 13-15.

2. There can be no true stand for the Lord without war! The Lord directed those faithful to Him to “Put every man his sword by his side, [and] go in and out from gate to gate throughout the camp, and slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour,” verse 27.

Now, we are not called upon to physically kill anyone in the cause of the gospel. But we are to apply against all the “sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” Ephesians 6:17. Paul indicates his ‘unsparing’ application of the Word of God. “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God,” Acts 20:27.

3. There were to be none spared. “Slay every man his brother, and every man his companion, and every man his neighbour.” The Lord Jesus imposes upon us all the demand that we put no one before Him and His cause.

I will close with these words, which appear to have been forgotten by many today.

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes [shall be] they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me,” Matthew 10:32-38.

Today, let us avow ourselves afresh to the Lord and seek to take up again the position into which the FPC was led of God in former times.