Aug. 15 2010
What a blessing to dwell together in the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace!
The CLC has its pastors and laymen out among our brothers and sisters overseas as follows:
- In August Pastors Todd Ohlmann and Nathanael Mayhew will be visiting the ELCC and CCLC in Congo.
- In August Russ Schmitt and Stephen Mayhew will be working in East Africa(Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) joined by Pastors Mayhew and Ohlmann coming from Congo.
- On August 24th Pastor Mike Gurath will go to Moi’s Bridge area of Kenya working there under the auspices of Holy Cross Lutheran congregation of Phoenix, Ariz. He will also be assisting at the teaching points established elsewhere in Kenya.
- In November Larry Hansen will be going to East Africa again to work with the brothers there.
- Pastor Ude has left for West Africa, especially to be at the Christian burial services for the late Pastor E.E. Essien. He will work with the brethren in Nigeria, Ghana and Togo, returning then to India.
- In November Pastor Bohde and his son Carlton would like to go to work in Myanmar with Pastor Koenig but it is not for sure yet.
- In August Pastor Koenig goes to Johannesburg and then returns to India, going to Myanmar Nov. 10th
All of this is a sure indication that we love our brothers and sisters in Christ and delight to work together for Him, our gracious Lord and King.
THE WILL OF GOD
THE SECRET AND THE REVEALED WILL OF GOD
For our better understanding we should differentiate as the Bible does between the secret will of God and the revealed will of God. Deut. 29:29 differentiates,”The secret things belong to the Lord our God; but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” Sometimes the secret will of God is called His hidden will, unknown to us, yet fully known to God. When we consider what God knows compared to what we know, it is a complete and unabridged dictionary compared with one word. And even then we do not really do justice to the immensity of God’s knowledge. Rom. 11:33-36, “O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways! ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor?’ ‘Or who has given a gift to Him that he might be repaid?’ For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things…”
The revealed will of God is given us in His Word, Deut. 30:11-14 “For this commandment which I command you this day is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up for us to heaven, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will go over the sea for us, and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?’ But the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it.” One wonderful thing about the Word of God is that the Spirit who accompanies it explains it to us according to our understanding. It is like a river that an elephant can swim in and like a stream that a child can wade in. This is so because the Spirit brings into our hearts whoever we are. Paul also reminds the Romans that the Word is near them just as Moses reminded his people, “…The word is near you, on your lips and in your heart (that is, the word of faith which we preach)” Rom. 10:8
The Lord has given us His Word that we may know the revealed will of God, “I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in chaos.’ I the Lord speak the truth, I declare what is right.” Is. 45:19 To know His will means to be instructed by the Word. Rom. 2:18, 12:2 The problem lies with man who does not open the Scriptures. And even when he does open the Book it may not be with a readiness of mind to search to know.
To better understand how to view the will of God as secret and revealed is to think about a man you know standing before you. You know the man, as he is a beloved friend of yours. With him having two hands we think about the secret and revealed will of God. One hand of the man is outstretched to you with something in it for you. This thing in his hand is good naturally because it comes from your beloved friend. This in his outstretched hand you can see clearly. Behind his back he has his other hand with something in it for you. You cannot see what is in the hand, though you know your friend and what he has will not be poison, or a knife to stab you, or a gun to shoot you. It will be good for you because you know him. So it is with the secret will of God. Since we know our God is love, therefore what He has for us will be good as is that in His outstretched hand. Think about the end of the Apostle’s Creed where we look in His outstretched hand and see: the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, life everlasting. His other hand will have things for us no less good, because of who He is.
We do not know what is around the corner, down the road, or over the hill as we go through life. But we know Him. We do not know what tomorrow holds, but we know God and His superabundant love, so we trust His will for us. “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and get gain’; whereas you do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.’” James 4:13-15
Think about a couple examples to differentiate between His secret and His revealed will.
- Death – Revealed Will – You will die. And you know that when you die you will go to be with Christ. Phil. 1:21-23
– Secret Will – You do not know the day and hour of your death.
- Christ’s Second Coming – Revealed Will – Jesus will come visibly just as He
ascended visibly. Acts 1:11
-Secret Will – You do not know the day when He will come. Mk. 13:32
Part of what was hidden, the mystery for long ages, has been revealed. This coming of salvation in Jesus is disclosed in the unfolding revelation of Scripture. Believers always knew that salvation was in our God from Gen. 3:15 by the seed of woman. Scripture as unfolding revelation in the fullness of the time reveals to us more details of this salvation. Gal. 4:4-5 Believers have known that the Messiah would be God Himself saving man. In the Old Testament over and over in the Angel of the Lord the Christ was seen. Is. 7:14 was added to give us the exact method by which He would come into the world. In Lk. 131-32, 35 it was disclosed that His conception would be by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Our wonderful Lord gave believers what they needed to know of His will as He saw fit.
I leave all things to God’s direction, He loveth me in weal and woe;
His will is good, true His affection, With tender love His heart doth glow.
My fortress and my Rock is He: What pleaseth God, that pleaseth me.
My God hath all things in His keeping, He is the ever faithful Friend;
He grants me laughter after weeping, And all His ways in blessings end.
His love endures eternally: What pleaseth God, that pleaseth me.
TLH 529 st. 1-2
Apples of Gold in a Setting of Silver(4)
“It is not in our choice to spread the gospel or not. It is our death if we do not.” — Peter Taylor Forsyth
“If God’s love is for anybody anywhere, it’s for everybody everywhere.” — Edward Lawlor, Nazarene General Superintendent
“Never pity missionaries; envy them. They are where the real action is — where life and death, sin and grace, Heaven and Hell converge.” — Robert C. Shannon
“People who don’t believe in missions have not read the New Testament. Right from the beginning Jesus said the field is the world. The early church took Him at His word and went East, West, North and South.” — J. Howard Edington
“It is possible for the most obscure person in a church, with a heart right toward God, to exercise as much power for the evangelization of the world, as it is for those who stand in the most prominent positions.” — John R. Mott
“In no other way can the believer become as fully involved with God’s work, especially the work of world evangelism, as in intercessory prayer.” — Dick Eastman, president of Every Home for Christ (formerly World Literature Crusade)
“What’s your dream and to what corner of the missions world will it take you?” — Eleanor Roat, missions mobilizer
“We can reach our world, if we will. The greatest lack today is not people or funds. The greatest need is prayer.” — Wesley Duewel, head of OMS International
“Love is the root of missions; sacrifice is the fruit of missions” — Roderick Davis
“Missionary zeal does not grow out of intellectual beliefs, nor out of theological arguments, but out of love” — Roland Allen
“I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone. The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.” — Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf
“If the Church is ‘in Christ,’ she is involved in mission. Her whole existence then has a missionary character. Her conduct as well as her words will convince the unbelievers and put their ignorance and stupidity to silence.” — David Bosch
“Missions is not the ‘ministry of choice’ for a few hyperactive Christians in the church. Missions is the purpose of the church.” — Unknown
“The concern for world evangelization is not something tacked on to a man’s personal Christianity, which he may take or leave as he chooses. It is rooted in the character of the God who has come to us in Christ Jesus. Thus, it can never be the province of a few enthusiasts, a sideline or a specialty of those who happen to have a bent that way. It is the distinctive mark of being a Christian.” — James S. Stewart