B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #245
B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #245
I Cor.. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
July 31, 2013
News from the CLCI – Pastor V.S. Benjamin has come through his recent surgery successfully. May God grant recovery.
Pastor Barnabas at the age of 32 went to be with the Lord. May God sustain his widow and children.
Pastor Ude with Pastor Ohlmann visited our brothers in Nigeria, Ghana and Togo in May and June. Pastor Ude reported
There was a lot of talk about moving the NCLC school from its current location to the site where the students and teachers currently live. Four students are in the Bible Institute.
We want to move forward also on the idea of a computer lab. But we probably want to set this up at the site if we are going to move the school out there, so we can put a pin in this till we have moved forward on the idea of moving the school to the new site.
Unfortunately we were unable to attend Patrick Udo’s funeral. There was some miscommunication with the family and the funeral was moved at the last minute to a different date. In the end we met with the family and had a devotion and gave them our condolences and expressed our thanks for everything that Patrick has done with us in Nigeria.
Port Harcourt was able to buy some land and make some progress building a church. Since they had already built the foundation and walls we used part of the $1500 for West Africa buildings to help them. Part was used for Edwyn’s new motorcycle and the third part was given to Kossi to help with one of his new congregations.
Ghana Gideon brought us to an area outside of town, here his friend Maurice has a small congregation and school that he has started. Maurice is from Togo and speaks mainly French. Gideon says that he is interested in learning about Lutherans. Todd gave Gideon a copy of “Statement of faith and purpose” and a copy of lessons based on the Apostolic Creed to go over with Maurice.
Togo The congregations that Kossi is working at: Valpariso – ( main congregation ) 100+ Adults, 40 Children, 26 baptisms this year, some children most adults. Weekly Worship, Sunday School , Wednesday Bible Class, Friday Prayer Service. Kossi says he is teaching them the catechism Hahotoe – 30 Adults. Twice a month Kossi visits. A man from Ghana is here leading worship, first he stayed with Kossi for three months. Kossi observed to make sure he was following Lutheran Doctrine. Now he leads in Hahotoe when Kossi is not there and comes twice a month for classes in Lome. Hahotoe is growing and needs a new place to worship, the house they meet now is too small. Zanguera – 15 Adults. No other church near by. Land donated for church, members are making bricks. Asked 300 for church roof Segby – 30 Adults Amendeta – 16 Adults
As we consider the work for Him throughout the world it is good to stand back and review how God rules over all in the interest of His church.
God rules part 1
When Elijah contended with the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel, he mocked them and their god. No answer came from their god perhaps because “he is musing, or he has gone aside, or he is on a journey, or perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened.” While we would not say any of that about our God, sometimes Christians in their weakness may wonder ‘why this is happening to me?!’ Though we know our God is all-knowing and all powerful, the thought may cross the mind ‘how long must I endure before He acts?’ At times both God’s and the devil’s work proceeds at the same time, but it is to vastly different ends and purposes. Think of the case of Job.
In this study we consider how God rules over all and nothing escapes His view. His eyes roam to and fro throughout all the earth. And He acts according to His will, the whole of which we do not know. But we know our God who is love. Our Lord rules this world in the interest of His church. “I will build My church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Mt. 16:18 We are not considering how He uses His angels to accomplish His will in ruling over all, though they may well be involved unseen to us. We also are not considering how He uses His followers to advance His kingdom of grace. In this overview of His rule in time we draw comfort and encouragement to see how He is involved not just over the world, but in the world.
Our God is not a disaffected, distant God. He did not just create and start everything and then go off somewhere and not be involved in upholding all things and operating throughout His creation. He is not a God of only the mountains and not the valleys, but His rule is everywhere. He is not a God far off and not near. He knows the very hairs of our head and the falling of a sparrow. From heaven He has a vastly different perspective than we have from our little place upon this earth.
The Old Testament hymnbook proclaims vibrantly just who He is and His perspective. He sits in rule in the heavens and laughs at the foolish antics of the kings and nations who cannot stand against His will. From heaven He thunders and judgments fall accordingly. His glory from heaven is over all the earth. The kingdoms and rulers of this earth aught to praise Him who rules from the heavens. From His throne in heaven He is high above all nations and sees, and knows and acts. From the heavens He does whatever he pleases. What a Lord we have enthroned in the heavens, knowing all, forgetting nothing and acting in your best interest, as His child and heir of eternal life! (Ps. 2:4, 18:13, 57:5, 68:33, 103:19, 113:4, 115:3, 123:1)
The longest of the recorded prophets has a lot to say about His rule. He gives us a historical perspective of how God rules among the nations going over ten of them. Isaiah has been called the ‘Gospel’ of Isaiah because there is so much Good News of salvation in the King and His gracious rule among His people. It is profound and plentiful in the book. And this is against a backdrop of how God rules the nations who would thwart His will. God’s people would be preserved that the Messiah could be brought forth from them in the fullness of the time.
• Babylon – Is. 13:1-14:23 – There would be destruction like that of Sodom and Gomorrah. The wonder of the world would become a haunt of jackals.
• Assyria – 14:24-27 – No matter how fierce or aggressive they could be, God’s purpose would stand against them. At the time of Jonah the capital, mighty Nineveh repented, but later at the time of Nahum they were back to their old ways and faced destruction.
• Philistia – 14:29-32 – This ancient foe of God’s people so well known in the time of the Judges and the United Kingdom would be helpless before Him as He sends them defeat.
• Moab – 15-16 – The gods of Moab would fail the people and devastation, ruin and mourning would overtake them.
• Damascus(Syria) – 17:1-3 – They would be cut off and become a heap of ruins.
• Ethiopia – 18:1-7 – They will be subject to the Lord. He raises up and He brings low.
• Egypt – 19-20 – We think back to Joseph’s time and remember God’s rule as well as the four hundred years later with Moses. This mighty empire is doomed and faces economic decline and military defeat. As God uses one nation to conquer another, so He sends Assyria against Egypt. He is in charge.
• Edom – 21:11-12 While Esau would forgive his brother Jacob, the nation spawned by Esau would be an enemy of God’s people and face devastation.
• Arabia – 21:13-17 – Its glory would end as does that of all nations who oppose the one true God.
• Tyre – 23 – No matter how great in trade and power a nation becomes without the Lord it faces conquest and destruction.
Our God does not grow old and weary with His ruling. Isaiah prophecies of a certain Cyrus, 44:28.45:1. This was around one hundred years before he arrived on the scene at the end of Daniel’s day. This unbeliever, Cyrus, God used to send His people back from exile. God rules.
If there is one book that goes into the most detail of God ruling unbelieving earthly rulers, it is Daniel. In 2:31-35 there is Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and in 7:1-7 the four beasts. In each the empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome are represented. These came into existence as God allowed and used them for His purposes. In 2:35 then there is the “great mountain, filled the whole earth.” This is God’s kingdom that succeeds the earthly kingdoms and overrules them.
Listen to the earthly and unbelieving ruler acknowledge THE Ruler, 4:34-35 “At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most high, and praised and honored him who lives for ever; for his dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing; and he does according to his will in the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, ‘What doest thou?'” Being turned from a proud king to a beast of the field and restored again brought forth such words.
Yet another testimony from the unbelieving yet knowing, 6:25-27 “Then King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations, and languages that dwell in all the earth: ‘Peace be multiplied to you. I make a decree, that in all my royal dominion men tremble and fear before the God of Daniel, for he is the living God, enduring for ever; his kingdom shall never be destroyed, and his dominion shall be to the end. He delivers and rescues, he works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, he who has saved Daniel from the power of the lions.'”
For another earthly ruler of Daniel’s day the handwriting was on the wall and his doom could not be averted. The very night he was notified the time was up he was slain. Chapter 5/ Belshazzar How visibly God intervenes in the affairs of men and carries out His divine will no matter the opposition.
Pastor David Koenig