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The original words for face, both in the Hebrew and in the Greek, show the same derivation: first, to turn towards, to face; then, the part that turns, the face or appearance; then, one’s presence; and, finally, one’s person itself. The word countenance is closely related to the idea of face, presence, and person.

The face reveals what is in the heart of a man (and of God); it shows the attitude of someone, the stance he has toward another. The face can show humility. Abram fell on his face before God when God spoke covenant promises to him (Gen. 17:3), and Joshua fell on his face before the Captain of the Lord’s hosts (Josh. 5:14). But Jesus warns us that there is a false disfiguring of the face, a wearing of a sad countenance, that God sees and detests (Matt. 6:16). The face can show resolution. When it was time for Jesus to be received up, “He stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:15). God reveals His anger and displeasure by hiding His face (Ps. 13:1), and by setting His face against a man (Ps. 34:16). Man’s face can show opposition to God’s word, for the prophet Jeremiah was told by God repeatedly not to be “afraid of their faces, for I am with thee” (Jer. 1:8).

Reformed Church Order: Law of Christ

The life and labor of the Protestant Reformed Churches are regulated by a church order. This is the church order adopted for Reformed churches by the Synod of Dordt, 1618-19.

The church order is law for the churches. It is the authoritative standard to which both consistories and church members must conform. There are sanctions for the unruly and disobedient. The member who handles sin in the congregation by broadcasting it from the housetop, or over the telephone, rather than following the way prescribed in Articles 71-74 of the church order, will himself be disciplined. The minister who publicly agitates against the decision of his consistory will be censured for schism. The elder who is “captious and . . . vehement in speaking” at classis will be silenced and, if need require, disciplined by the president of the assembly. The consistory that refuses to submit to a decision of synod will be set outside the union of the churches of Christ.

Watchman on the Walls of Zion: The Life and Influenece of Simon van Velzen

Simon van Velzen was a powerful preacher of the gospel. He was a reformer of the church of Christ in the Netherlands in the Secession of 1834, a seminary    professor who influenced hundreds of future Reformed ministers, as well as a faithful husband and devoted father.

Sadly, many Reformed Christians in the twenty-first century have little, if any, idea as to who he is. Where he is remembered, he is often branded as being “unyielding, obstinate, and domineering,” and he is dismissed as being of little significance in the history of the church.

Here’s the biography that corrects the ignorance and misconceptions by setting forth the fascinating life of an influential figure in the history of Christ’s church.

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