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All Articles For Cloud of Witnesses

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. God not only calls men to particular tasks in His kingdom; He also suits the man He calls with the personality, gifts, and strength to do the work. So it was with John Knox, the Reformer of Scotland. Born and raised in a harsh land, he emerged from his years of preparation a harsh and unbending defender of the faith. With roots deeply sunk into the soil of his motherland, he was fed with the sturdiness of Scotland’s gloomy heaths. Heir of the dour, unbending...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction Frederick III, better known as The Pious, has gone down in history as the father of the Heidelberg Catechism. This alone is sufficient to secure for him a cherished place in the memory of God’s people. But from a certain point of view this was not the spiritually high point of Frederick’s life. After all, although he ordered the Catechism to be written, he did not compose it himself. Probably the clearest touch of his finger on the Catechism is Question & Answer 80,...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Reformation in England God works in mysterious ways, and the wonders of His providence sometimes leave us gasping in surprise. The Reformation in England is illustrative of this truth. While in Germany and Geneva God brought about the Reformation through the work of mighty men of God such as Luther and Calvin, in England the Reformation turned on the lust and fornication of a king – Henry VIII, known throughout history as the man of many wives, some of whom he murdered. About the lust...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction Without question the Heidelberg Catechism is one of the most beloved Confessions of all time, if not indeed the most beloved. Those who cherish the heritage of the truth, and who turn to the Confessions of the church to learn it, will rejoice in the Heidelberger as a precious gift of God through the Spirit of Truth whom Christ promised the church. Not only those who belong to churches which have made the Catechism their theological basis, but God’s people from any tradition and...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. There are times in the history of the church of Christ when God has such an important work in the defense and development of the faith for a man that in a special way God determines his life, almost from infancy, to prepare him for that calling. This was the case with Martin Luther, whose deep struggle with the assurance of his salvation was used by God to lead him to the great truth of justification by faith alone. This was also true of Augustine,...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Our Lord gave commandment to the whole church when, just before His ascension into heaven, He said to His disciples, “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” (Acts 1:8). The early history of the church of Christ is an exciting and moving history of her missionary enterprise. Scripture itself records for us how...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction We all have many Bibles in our homes: our own Bibles and our children’s Bibles, as well as family Bibles used for family devotions. Most of us have the King James Version of the Bible, sometimes called the Authorized Version, prepared under the aegis of James I in 1611. It is a sad fact that our Bibles often lie unused, taken for granted, a somewhat peripheral part of our life. Yet behind our Bibles stands a story of great heroism, towering faith in God,...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Noah, after awaking from his drunken stupor, had blessed his two sons, Shem and Japheth. Japheth’s blessing was that the day would come when he would dwell in the tents of Shem. With the work of the apostle Paul, and in subsequent centuries, God brought Japheth into the tents of Shem as the church was established first in Antioch, then in Syria, Greece, and Italy, and finally in the whole of Europe. Gradually Europe, where during the time of the apostle Paul and for many...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction God uses many different kinds of men in the work of the church. The differences are not only those of cultural background, abilities and gifts, personality and character; they are also differences in spiritual strength and weakness. Some of God’s servants are of such noble moral character that one stands amazed at the power of grace in their lives. Some are very weak, to the point that they seem wholly unfitted for the work of the church. Some are Samuels and Gideons; others are...

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Prof. Hanko is professor of Church History and New Testament in the Protestant Reformed Seminary. Introduction Some of the men whom God used to bring reformation to the church in the 16th century are widely known, and even our children are acquainted with them and the work they did. Other Reformers are not so well known. They stand, as it were, in the shadow of Luther, Calvin, Know, and Zwingli. If one knows them at all, they are vague figures in the darker corners of the stage of church history when the great drama of the Reformation was taking place....

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