I Cor. 16:9  “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”

Oct. 13, 2007    

New Missionary!
We are happy to announce to our brethren that the CLC has called a new missionary, Matthew Ude. He will arrive in India to begin work in February. He will also be making visits to Africa. Exactly where he will visit in Africa is yet to be determined. Let us thank God for this servant to work together with all of us for His kingdom’s upbuilding.

Dear brothers,
During this last year there have been some situations that were unclear in our working back and forth with the CLC-USA and you our brothers in our sister churches. The orderly way we work is that you should be going through me as the called missionary. It is not proper to send financial requests directly to the Mission Board. We consult together and I make recommendations to the Board. If there is a second missionary who visits or one pastor from the CLC is assigned to work with your church body in place of me,  then you go through that person. As a missionary with the Mission Board we are considering the big picture of all the fields, while you will likely have the view of where you are working. When I am not with you, I am available through email. If need be we can communicate by phone. I have finished auditing the accounts of our sister churches in India and will be doing the same soon in Africa.
We certainly encourage you to be in contact with your brothers and sisters in the CLC-USA as well as with those in our fellowship in India and Africa. But when it comes to funding of the work and  making decisions that involve the Mission Board, we have a definite procedure. If you have any questions about this, by all means ask when I am with you. In Him, Pastor Koenig   CLCI Seminary Report
The following excerpts are taken from a report given at the September India Pastoral Conference. This is given so that all of you may share in the joy of this work and pray to God your thanks for His work.
“…The Lord has been very gracious to us in all aspects…The CLCI Seminary celebrated its 9th commencement on June 15th at Nidubrolu. The whole service was full of ceremony, lasting a little over three hours…This graduating class was the largest…12 students…Their dedication to their goals and their enthusiasm for life was inspiring…Phil. chapter four: ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.’ The CLCI women fellowship members were at the head of the food service, busy all day, preparing meals for more than 850 members…We thank and praise God for the wonderful assistance we have been receiving from the CLC Mission Board and Kinship Committee.”
In the midst of these past nine years…43 fully trained pastors came out of this CLCI seminary and all of them have been rendering valuable services in various congregations. Now the Seminary students are enjoying their new educational year 2007. At present there are 32 students in the seminary…14 students are in their final year, six students are in the second year and 12 students are in the first year. Please remember them in your prayers.

One thing to note also is that nine of the men now in the seminary have come in from pastorates in the CLCI to gain this three year seminary training which they had not had previously. While in the past others outside our fellowship have enrolled, at this time all students are CLCI members.     BIBLE QUESTIONS  -part 8    These following four questions are among 101 that are dealt with at the site: www.ovrlnd.com/Apologetics/101contradictions.html . This is all in answer to the supposed contradictions in the Bible that some Muslims put forth. Go there for some more good reading and to see how our Bible has no contradictions. There are some copyist errors, but that is all.

Does God incite David to conduct the census of his people (2 Samuel 24:1), or does Satan (1 Chronicles 21:1)? (Category: misunderstood how God works in history) This seems an apparent discrepancy unless of course both statements are true. It was towards the end of David’s reign, and David was looking back over his brilliant conquests, which had brought the Canaanite, Syrian, and Phoenician kingdoms into a state of vassalage and dependency on Israel. He had an attitude of pride and self-admiration for his achievements, and was thinking more in terms of armaments and troops than in terms of the mercies of God. The Lord therefore decided that it was time that David be brought to his knees, where he would once again be cast back onto the mercy of God. So he let him go ahead with his census, in order to find out just how much good it would do him, as the only thing this census would accomplish would be to inflate the national ego (intimated in Joab’s warning against carrying out the census in 1 Chronicles 21:3). As soon as the numbering was completed, God intended to chasten the nation with a disastrous plague which would bring about an enormous loss of life (in fact the lives of 70,000 Israelites according to 2 Samuel 24:15). What about Satan? Why would he get himself involved in this affair (according to 1 Chronicles 21:1) if God had already prompted David to commit the folly he had in mind? It seems his reasons were entirely malicious, knowing that a census would displease the Lord (1 Chronicles 21:7-8), and so he also incited David to carry it through. Yet this is nothing new, for there are a number of other occurrences in the Bible where both the Lord and Satan were involved in soul-searching testings and trials:

  1. In the book of Job, chapters one and two we find a challenge to Satan from God allowing Satan to bring upon Job his calamities. God’s purpose was to purify Job’s faith, and to strengthen his character by means of discipline through adversity, whereas Satan’s purpose was purely malicious, wishing Job as much harm as possible so that he would recant his faith in his God.
  2. Similarly both God and Satan are involved in the sufferings of persecuted Christians according to 1 Peter 4:19 and 5:8. God’s purpose is to strengthen their faith and to enable them to share in the sufferings of Christ in this life, that they may rejoice with Him in the glories of heaven to come (1 Peter 4:13-14), whereas Satan’s purpose is to ‘devour’ them (1 Peter 5:8), or rather to draw them into self-pity and bitterness, and down to his level.
  3. Both God and Satan allowed Jesus the three temptations during his ministry on earth. God’s purpose for these temptations was for him to triumph completely over the very tempter who had lured the first Adam to his fall, whereas Satan’s purpose was to deflect the saviour from his messianic mission.
  4. In the case of Peter’s three denials of Jesus in the court of the high priest, it was Jesus himself who points out the purposes of both parties involvement when he says in Luke 22:31-32, “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.
  5. And finally the crucifixion itself bears out yet another example where both God and Satan are involved. Satan exposed his purpose when he had the heart of Judas filled with treachery and hate (John 13:27), causing him to betray Jesus. The Lord’s reasoning behind the crucifixion, however, was that Jesus, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world should give his life as a ransom for many, so that once again sinful man could relish in the relationship lost at the very beginning, in the garden of Eden, and thereby enter into a relationship which is now eternal.

Thus we have five other examples where both the Lord and Satan were involved together though with entirely different motives. Satan’s motive in all these examples, including the census by David was driven by malicious intent, while the Lord in all these cases showed an entirely different motive. His was a benevolent motive with a view to eventual victory, while simultaneously increasing the usefulness of the person tested. In every case Satan’s success was limited and transient; while in the end God’s purpose was well served furthering His cause substantially. (Archer 1982:186-188)

Homiletics  part  8 The Story of the Praying Hands For years people have admired the art masterpiece known as “The Praying Hands.”  Behind this work of art is a fascinating story of love and sacrifice.    In the late fifteenth century two struggling young art students, Albrech Durer and Franz Knigstein, worked as laborers to earn money for their art studies.  But the work was long and hard and it left them little time to study art.    Finally they agreed to draw lots and let the loser support them both while the winner continued to study.  Albrech won, but he agreed to support Franz after achieving success so his friend could finish his studies.    After becoming successful, Albrech sought out Franz to keep his bargain.  But he soon discovered the enormous sacrifice his friend had made.  As Franz had worked at hard labor, his fingers had become twisted and stiff.  His long, slender fingers and sensitive hands had been ruined for life.  He could no longer manage the delicate brush strokes so necessary for executing fine paintings.  But in spite of the price he had paid, Franz was not bitter.  He was happy that his friend Albrech had attained success.    One day Albrecht saw his loyal friend kneeling, his rough hands entwined in silent prayer.  Albrech quickly sketched the hands, later using the rough sketch to create his masterpiece known as “The Praying Hands.”

Pastor Koenig