B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #243
B.A.S.I.C. NEWSLETTER #243
I Cor.. 16:9 ‘For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.
June 30, 2013
We ask our Lord to grant a successful surgery and recovery to Pastor V.S. Benjamin of the CLCI in India, as he undergoes surgery on July 15th for water on the brain.
The CLC Mission Board has some organization changes in Africa as reported below.
Dear Brothers and fellow servants of our Savior Jesus of the Kenya-CLC and Tanzania-CLC,
We are thankful that for the past several years Pastor Mayhew has faithfully served as our visiting missionary to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. He has had our full support and will continue to have our full support in the work he has been called to do to the glory of our Savior. Because of his responsibilities to the congregation he serves here in the U.S. along with his responsibilities to his wife and family his time in East Africa is limited. As you all know, there is much work to be done. Each time he visits East Africa he consistently reports that there just is not enough time to get everything done. The long distances between districts in Kenya and Tanzania also make his trips a challenge. With prayers and a desire to serve the Lord to the best of our abilities with the time and resources that the Lord has given to the CLC, the CLC Board of Missions has recently decided to call a 2nd part-time visiting missionary to East Africa and to divide the duties that Pastor Mayhew has been responsible for. Pastor Mike Gurath has been led to accept a call to serve as a part-time visiting missionary to Kenya. Pastor Mayhew will now serve as the part-time visiting missionary to Tanzania. Both will spend 3-4 weeks visiting each year. Having two visiting missionaries visiting at different times of the year and different locations will necessitate a few changes.
Our missionaries will now focus more of their time and effort in providing on-going training of pastors. Both men will also be asked to teach for one week in the seminary in Himo, Tanzania as soon as the seminary is re-opened. Instead of conducting an East Africa pastoral conference each year the missionaries will conduct regional pastoral training seminars. Effective immediately:
- Pastor Mayhew (ndmayhew [at] gmail [dot] com) will now be responsible for all visiting, training, planning, and correspondence with the pastors, congregations, schools, and districts in Tanzania.
- Pastor Gurath (mgurath [at] hotmail [dot] com) will be responsible for all visiting, training, planning, and correspondence with the pastors, congregations, schools, and districts in Kenya and Uganda.
Pastor Mayhew and Pastor Gurath will be contacting you in the near future to determine the best way to proceed with correspondence, planning the work, training seminars, and visitations in the coming years. Thank you for your service to the Lord and His Kingdom. And thank you for your patience and support as we move forward with this new visiting missionary arrangement. On behalf of the CLC Board of Missions, Your brother and fellow servant of our Savior Jesus,
Pastor Todd Ohlmann, Chairman
CLCI India Graduation Service, June 2013.
“The Graduation Service began with prayer by CLCI Chairman Rev. V.S. Benjamin. The commencement address from Rev. V.S.Benjamin encouraged all the graduates. Youth and Seminary students presented some melodious Hymns and Christian songs. Principal of the seminary congratulated the graduated students and conveyed the best wishes and blessings on behalf of the CLC-USA.
Chairman of the CLCI Rev. V.S. Benjamin; issued certificates to 10 graduates of Bible correspondence course… Many of the CLCI Pastors members attended the graduation ceremony and congratulated the graduates.
Some of the Graduates have said in their testimony that they learned more than they expected in the CLCI seminary and that was a unique chance for them to learn more about the Gospel truth and to proclaim the Word of God. Graduated students expressed their special thanks to the seminary for its valuable training and they took the opportunity to thank the honorable sponsors of the CLC for their kind support. James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
Graduates have more than a diploma they can hang with pride on a wall. They have something more than that; they have the opportunity to literally change the course of history by bringing the Word of God to bear on all the people. That is truly what it means to be a minister of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. They have run well and they have finished their course very successfully with God’s grace. Many members, visitors and pastors walked to the front to shake hands with the graduated students. A wonderful feast was held to honor the graduates following the commencement exercises. Special lunch was served to everyone who attended. For the Graduation feast, the CLCI campus totally filled to capacity as graduates and their families shared a fine meal with all the students, children, members, pastors, visitors, workers, guests, Orphan boys and girls after the graduation service. God may reward each one of them richly.
The CLCI Seminary has sought to position to nurture future pastors who will assist the CLCI in the revitalization of faithfulness of the Lutheran doctrines in CLCI. In all aspects of its ministry, the seminary is grateful for the prayers and support of the members and congregations of the CLCI and CLC.
Dear brothers, This Graduation ceremony proved once again that it is a great success to the CLCI ministry. Once again I thank you all for your kind labor of love and work towards this CLCI seminary. We pray and hope that our Lord will give us the same success in the coming years also. We once again thank and praise God for the wonderful assistance we have been receiving from the respected CLC Mission Board, Kinship Committee, Missionaries, CLC visitors and volunteers. You all have been contributing so much to the life and growth of the Seminary.”
This report comes from Pastor Jyothi on the June 15th graduation of 12 men from the three year seminary course. May God be praised.
Sacrifice part 1
Throughout the World and Throughout Time
Man has always had a problem in any age and everywhere. He is not right with God. He seeks to get right through means and schemes of his own making. And if that is not bad enough he makes his attempts with things that are not the true God. Flowers and fruits are set before trees or images created by man’s hands as if these are gods. Sometimes things are burned in sacrifice. At other times animals and even humans have been sacrificed to the gods. The divine anger is evident to man and so he tries to placate it with his puny efforts. And he tries to bribe the gods to do him favors. What a dismal scene among men this is.
God has been good to man in putting into him a conscience that accuses or else excuses. Everyone has this still small voice within him. The conscience relates to the law written on his heart. Rom. 2:14-15 Sadly, man’s sinful flesh tries to obscure the law and so needs it outside of himself in stark letters that cannot be obliterated or smudged. God also has given man judgments that have fallen to indicate that he should seek after Him and not settle for unreasonable facsimiles. What Aaron did at the foot of Sinai with a golden calf is duplicated before and after, as man tries to set up a god who he can control and satisfy. But the judgments keep falling.
It is not at all the case that God has left Himself without witness. “And He made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitations, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him.” Acts. 17:26-27 Is it really reasonable to think that an image of a monkey represents the God who made man and gave him this bountiful earth?
“In past generations He allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways; yet He did not leave Himself without witness, for He did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” Acts. 14:16-17 But it was just here at Lystra where Paul said this that the people tried to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods in place of the “living God who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them.” How reasonable is it that these two men could be doing anything like the “living God”?
Little wonder then that “…the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened.” Rom. 1:18-21 In their futile efforts they lay the fruit before the statue and burn the animal to appease their man-made god. Their offerings and sacrifices can do nothing toward placating the anger of God, except to satisfy for a while the inner man who knows he is not right with the divine. It is a short-lived satisfaction for soon the conscience plagues man again and a judgment falls and so it goes. How can the wrath of God be averted? How can He be pleased? Even among God’s chosen people the imitations were preferred over the living and real God. At times the land was dotted with idol worship as people picked up false gods from the nations round about them. King Manasseh even burned his sons in the Valley of Hinom to a false god. 2 Chron. 33:6. They knew that the wrath of God had to be appeased, yet they chose their own way of doing it, which only brought them even more of God’s wrath.
Predating the Law of Moses
The whole idea of sacrifice and offerings to God was well in vogue before the Law of Moses was in effect. God worked with His people to show them in sacrifices what Christ would eventually do in sacrificing Himself to appease the wrath of God. The believers gave sacrifices and offerings in worship of God knowing He is the living Lord who has done all for them. The unbelievers have different purposes, placate their god’s anger and bribe him to do good. As we look at the references below, we have to remember that there is a lot in Genesis not told us. The book covers a vast period of time from creation to the time of Joseph and touches only on what God decided to have put down in writing by Moses. For instance the command for the origination of sacrifices and offerings is not recorded, but simply that God’s people did it.
Cain and Abel – Gen. 4:3-5 “In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard…” If one does not have his heart in worship of God, it is a meaningless thing to give offerings, merely going through the motions. While Cain brought an offering, it was Abel who put the Lord first with the “firstlings…”
Noah – Gen. 8:20-21 “Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And when the Lord smelled the pleasing odor, the Lord said in his heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth…” Noah did not sacrifice to get something, but to thank God for the safe deliverance after the flood. The seven pairs of clean animals and seven pairs of birds were brought into the ark for the purpose of worship when the flood was over.
Abraham – Gen. 22:1-2 “After these things God tested Abraham, and said to him, ‘Abraham:’ And he said, ‘Here am I.’ He said, ‘Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering upon one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.'”
That Abraham went to do as God commanded is not an indication of human sacrifice among God’s people, but of implicit faith in God that He knew what He was doing. Here we have burnt offerings as later in the Law of Moses. We give to God our best and dearest in many ways.
Jacob – Gen. 31:54 “…and Jacob offered a sacrifice on the mountain and called his kinsmen to eat bread; and they ate bread and tarried all the night on the mountain.” In the agreement between Jacob and Laban a worship of God sealed the agreement. Who else should we look to to aid us in having fulfillment of promises made and witnessing an agreement?
Gen. 46:1 “So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.” A worship of God is made for success so far and asking God for future success, as He has been so He will be.
Pastor David Koenig