Dear Brethren,

Thank God for the church bible seminar on 5 May 2012 to enable us to learn from Dr. Tow Siang Hwa on the history of the B-P Churches and the B-P Churches today. History is very important for us to learn from our past and to see the sovereign power of God working in our midst. Many of our young people may not know why we are Bible-Presbyterians (B-P) and what it means to be a true B-P member. If the Lord Jesus tarries in His coming, our next generation has a grave responsibility to transmit the truth of God’s Word to another generation and to earnestly contend for the faith that the B-P Church has started with from the beginning.

I like to share my testimony as a B-P Church member since 1976. I would like to share three lessons I have learned from the history, people and doctrines of the B-P Church and conclude with her present condition.

Bible-Presbyterian Church History

After I believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, I attended Life B-P Church in 1976. This was the first Church I attended and I thank God for enabling me to learn many biblical truths from the then Pastor, Rev. Timothy Tow. In Rev. Tow’s preaching, we would often hear his narration of the B-P Church history and the lessons learned from it. To hear from the man himself whom God used to start the B-P Church was a great blessing and much wisdom was gained from Rev. Tow’s sharing. One of the lessons learned is the seven roots of the B-P Church which truly opened my eyes to see that God is sovereign and He is really the One who has planned and willed for the formation and growth of the B-P Churches in Singapore.

The B-P Church is like a small mustard seed, and today she has blossomed to more than a hundred B-P Churches not just in Singapore but all over the world. This can only happen because it is the work of God. Men can never plan and craft the B-P Churches to what we can see today. In the history of the B-P Church, we must learn from it and not to repeat the mistakes that were made which was the failure to take the biblical separatist stand.

It is important that the history of the B-P Church be taught and repeated often to the new generation of believers in the B-P Churches today. They must know the B-P Church is the sovereign work of God and each generation must be faithful to God to earnestly contend for the faith as the B-P Church was established by the Lord for this very purpose in this age of great apostasy.

People in the Bible-Presbyterian Churches

God uses people to do His work and the B-P Church is no exception. The man that God used to found the B-P Church is none other than the Rev Timothy Tow. He is the man that God had called for the great responsibility to start the B-P Church. Reading his life’s testimony, one is very sure God had called and equipped Rev Tow for this task. Like all of us, Rev. Tow also tried to run away from God’s calling to be a pastor, but God’s higher hand was there to lead him back to His calling. Rev. Tow was faithful to the end till the day God called him home. The legacy of Rev. Tow ought not to be forgotten by all true B-Pers. I am one who has been taught by Rev. Tow and has received great blessings from the Lord through the life of Rev. Tow. The humility and faithfulness of Rev. Tow and his courage to defend the Word of God are lessons I am still learning and will learn all my life.

Thank God that there are other faithful ministers of God in the B-P churches that stand with Rev. Tow and fight the battle together. It is a marvel to see how God used each of them to establish churches and missions. I am also thankful to God for Dr. Tow Siang Hwa whose preaching of God’s Word especially in the area of biblical separation has enabled me to imbibe this truth even when I was a young believer.

One thing that touched my heart is the commitment and zeal demonstrated by every Christian in the early days of the B-P Church. I would read of them willing to sacrifice their time and energy to extend the Kingdom of God. There were those who were so willing to open their homes for Sunday School classes which eventually became churches. The spirit of giving to build the B-P churches was also very encouraging. Only God knows each one of these pioneers by name who had laid such a godly foundation for all of us today.  How I wish that today we can match to the same zeal and passion for souls!

Doctrines of the Bible-Presbyterian Church

The BP Church doctrines include the Verbal Plenary Inspiration (VPI) and Verbal Plenary Preservation (VPP) of the Holy Scriptures, Separation, Covenant and Premillennial Theology etc. The B-P Church was founded on these doctrines but sadly many B-P churches have departed from them in various degrees. It is important to know that each of these B-P doctrines is not based on tradition or the teaching of men. They are all from the Word of God. The Bible is the standard of the B-P Church’s doctrines and thank God the pastors who taught them all make reference to God’s Word to support the doctrines of the B-P Church.

FEBC is an important institution that God raised in the B-P Church to enable pastors to be trained and lay people to learn God’s Word in depth. God is so good to give us a faithful Bible College and faithful teachers of God’s Word in the College. I have learned much from the College through the evening classes. I have learned to treasure God’s Word and hold it highly in my life. The doctrines of the B-P Church will always bring glory to God and hold His Word to the highest degree above the words of men.

Present Condition of the Bible-Presbyterian Church

When I read the book by Rev. Timothy Tow written in 1999 on The Story of My Bible-Presbyterian Faith, I was very grieved reading page 3 in which Rev. Tow wrote these words “To the Session of Life Bible-Presbyterian Church who have stood with me through thick and thin of the Faith of the Gospel this book is affectionately dedicated. SOLA DEO GLORIA.” Alas, how men have changed so quickly and how they have rejected Rev. Tow their pastor. It was all because he took the biblical stand of VPP.  It is with sadness in my heart to know that today so many B-P Churches attack the doctrine of VPP and even go to the extent of wanting to remove the Bible College from its rightful premises at Gilstead Road. VPP glorifies God for He has the power and wisdom to preserve all His words in the Bible and there is no mistake in God’s Word.

By the grace of God, may the Word of God be always faithfully taught in Tabernacle BP Church and every member strive to live for the Lord and to earnestly contend for the faith in this apostate age as we witness the falling away of so many churches. May our younger members rise to meet the challenge of the time to stand firm in the old path of God’s Word.

Jeremiah 6:16a, ‘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.’

Elder John Leong

Testimony of Sister Jing Ye

Read sister Jing Ye’s testimony to find out how God used a VBS invitation handbill to lead her and her two children to Tabernacle BP Church. They accepted the Lord as their personal Saviour after coming to Tabernacle BP Church. “Every work for Jesus will be blessed, but He asks from everyone his best.”

“Six years ago, sister Limei handed me a VBS handbill at Bedok MRT Station. We chatted for a while and I asked her where the church was. She then invited me to attend the holiday programme with my two children. I told her I would consider. A few steps later we encountered brother Nick who also handed us a handbill. We told him that we had already received one.

When I got home, I looked at the handbill more carefully. It stated that the programme was free. “Is it true?” I wondered. The details were in English which was a language I was not familiar with. Moreover, I had to contact the co-ordinator. I felt hesitant about it. So I talked to sister Ai Boon, a Christian friend.

I met sister Ai Boon when she was handing out invitation handbills to her children’s Bible Study in 2005. She ran the Bible Study with a few sisters from her church to reach out to the children in the neighbourhood with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Matthew and James also attended the Bible Study.

Sister Ai Boon encouraged me to take the children to VBS to know the Lord Jesus more. The children were keen to go since it was the holiday although they were rather shy when they interacted with strangers. My first impression of Tabernacle BP Church was that it was like a big family. I was also amazed at how patient the teachers were when they taught the children God’s Word. On the second day of VBS, sister Mee Mee shared the Gospel with me and a few mothers who had accompanied their children to church. She also encouraged us to continue to come to church.

We liked Tabernacle BP Church so we joined the outing and children’s camp which were held after the VBS. At that time, I decided to attend church but there were three to choose from. I spoke to sister Ai Boon about it. She said she would pray for me. Matthew liked Tabernacle BP Church and pestered me to come here. Sister Ai Boon also encouraged me to attend Tabernacle BP Church, since God had led me here.

All glory be to God!”

Sister Dorcas Ang

If you would train your children rightly, train them in the way they should go, and not in the way they would.

Remember children are born with a decided bias towards evil, and therefore if you let them choose for themselves, they are certain to choose wrong.

The mother cannot tell what her tender infant may grow up to be – tall or short, weak or strong, wise or foolish : he may be any of these things or not; it is all uncertain. But one thing the mother can say with certainty : he will have a corrupt and sinful heart. It is natural to us to do wrong. “Foolishness,” says Solomon, “is bound up in the heart of a child” (Prov. 22:15). “A child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Prov. 29:15). Our hearts are like the earth on which we tread; let it alone, and it is sure to bear weeds.

If, then, you would deal wisely with your child, you must not leave him to the guidance of his own will. Think for him, judge for him, act for him, just as you would for one weak and blind; but for pity’s sake, give him not up to his own wayward tastes and inclinations. It must not be his likings and wishes that are consulted. He knows not yet what is good for his mind and soul, any more than what is good for his body. You do not let him decide what he shall eat, and what he shall drink, and how he shall be clothed. Be consistent, and deal with his mind in the like manner. Train him in the way that is scriptural and right, and not in the way that he fancies.

(Adapted from The Duties of Parents by J.C. Ryle, 2002, p3)