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CSI Good News
(Church of South India Good News)



 

Vol. 1 / Issue 3 / February 25 1999

Contents of this issue

Editorial
In the will of God
How to Become a member in God's Family
Does God hide His face?

News Items (Common to all issues) :
Through the Valley of Death & other Books
Download Articles in Handheld Computers
Kids Page - Free Tutorials
Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online
Your Spam Folder
Your Feedback

Editorial

Ephesians 5:23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. The Bible also says in Ephesians 4:15-16 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ; from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

If you cut the head from a body it will be lifeless, and without head, there is no use of that body. Likewise if Christ is not your head, your body is lifeless. You may be born in a Christian family, you may be living in Christian family from many years. You may be going Church every Sunday, you may be doing all the rituals correctly, you may be giving tithe very regularly, you may be living a pious life before others, BUT if Christ is not your head....if you have not yet invited Christ in your life, if you have not made Christ as your Lord and master of your life, then there is no use of all these things, you are doing all these things in vain.

And you have nothing to do with Christ and Christianity. You are a dead person and you need Christ in your life.

The Bible says in Romans 10:9, "That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved."

And Jesus said in John 5:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

Bro. Kenneth Haggin was very sick from his childhood. He was born and brought up in a Christian family but never knew Christ in his life. When he was a teenager boy, he fell very sick and finally Doctors declared him dead. Soon he reached to a place which was full of fire...when he saw, he could realize that he is at the hellís gate. At that moment he cried out to God and said, "Lord I am a sinner, please save my soul." After some time he came back to life. And his life changed totally, he started living for Christ. He was the founder of world famous "Rema Bible Institute.

Yes, My friend, it is high time to become a member of the body of Christ. It is high time to forget our differences, forget our dignity and submit ourselves to Christ and to say we are nothing, we have sinned against you...Please forgive our sins and He will gladly do this.

In this Issue read Bro. Bassamís life story. He is from Muslim family but found Christ in his life.

In the will of God

By Bassam

I live in the Middle East. I was born as a Muslim, and at the age of 18 I became a member of one of the Islamic groups, as I had a relative who was one of the leaders of this group. I thought I was doing everything I could for God as I knew him at this point.

After a short time I started to get some training in using guns and making explosives. I wasn't very comfortable with what I was doing - hurting people for God's sake. I thought that either I or the group had misunderstood the teachings of God. I started to study the Qur'an and the Hadith all over again, (with the help of one of the leaders of the group, without telling him my real reasons for studying) to see what I had missed. After a couple of years I was astonished at what I found. I found that Islam is not the peaceful path to God, as I used to believe; on the contrary, it's so violent. If *I* have to establish God's will by any means possible, even by killing people, I said it can't be the way to God.

I never considered myself leaving Islam for anything else, yet at this point I was sure that it wasn't leading me to God. I had a kind of breakdown for some time when I found that every thing I had believed in wasn't right; I started doing drugs, and not talking about God at all.

Then I met a Christian who didn't know much of the Christian theology but who was full of love to others, whatever and whoever they are. One of his friends (who was a member of the same group that I had been involved in) said about him that he must be killed because he was Christian and didn't pay "Jiziah" (tax levied on Christians and Jews in an Islamic state, according to the Qur'an), yet this didn't stop him loving this man or dealing with him professionally. Initially I didn't know he was Christian, and when I found out I was surprised; everything I had learnt all my life about Christians from my reading of Islamic writings and Muhammad's opinion about them put them down very much. I asked this friend if I could have a copy of the Bible.

After starting to read the Bible I found a very big difference between what is actually written in the Bible and what I had heard people (Muslims and even nominal Christians) say about it.

I was really struck by one thing in the Bible, namely the teaching that no one is righteous but Jesus; even those who were called God's people like David, Jacob and Abraham, the twelve apostles - everyone has done something wrong. The Bible is full of the sins and wrongdoing of all people, except Jesus. He himself said to his enemies "Which of you convicts me of sin?" (John 8:46a), and no-one responded. Even Judas Iscariot, who delivered him up to the authorities to be killed, said "I have sinned in betraying innocent blood." (Matthew 27:4) In addition, Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor who eventually did sentence him to death, said "Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no crime deserving death." And then a centurion who witnessed Jesus' death said, "Certainly this man was innocent!" He struck me as the highest example of a human being, one who really deserved to be followed. It took me some time till I finished the whole Bible. After about one year of hard struggle with myself, I decided that I wanted to follow God as He shows himself in Christ, not as anyone else says He is.

I prayed to Him and He was here; for the first time in my life I felt that God was here, and to say it was a very strange feeling for me would be an understatement. I was so happy, so sad. Happy to know he is here and sad for what I had missed. It felt very peaceful and I wanted this feeling to last for good. I still remember this very first time I prayed; I ran out of the room because for the first time in my life I felt the Presence of God. I have been following Him since then. He changed all my life. I went off drugs; I became a whole new person to every one that I know, but as I said before I live in the Middle East where every one thinks that he IS RIGHT and every one else is wrong, so I had some trouble with my family and they kicked me out of the house. As Jesus says "Brother will deliver up brother to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death" (Matthew 10:21) and that is what happened with me.

My father delivered me to the Security Forces and they arrested me and put me in prison for converting out of Islam. I had a very bad time there, as they tortured me to force me to return to Islam. They used electric shocks, beatings, and hanging me from my wrists all night. After few week of this I was put in solitary confinement for almost a year.

But I couldn't deny the one that gave me life. Now I am out of jail and I have left my home country as I am still wanted there for apostasy from Islam. I am still walking with Jesus, and I love Him because He loved me first and put Himself on the cross for me. I knew from the very beginning that I was going to have some trouble; didn't He say about Paul "for I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name." (Acts 9:16)

Now I am free from everything. I have a lovely wife whom I met after getting out of prison, and who is supporting me in everything I do for God, but the most important thing for me is I have my eternal assurance that I am going to be with Him for ever, whatever might happen. And as a result I decided to spend my life telling people about his great love to us. As he ordered me "Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you, and no man shall attack you to harm you; for I have many people in this city." (Acts 18:9, 10)

How to Become a member in God's Family

By Sheela Isaac

If we read in John chapter 3: There we see about a person called Nicodemus. Bible says about him that he was a ruler of the Jews, a Pharisee, (John 3:1), a Teacher of Israel (3: 10)

What does it means by Pharisee: "A member of a strict Jewish sect, holding the Mosaic law & their own tradition as binding.

So here we can understand that, what kind of a man he was. A man who was knowing all Mosaic laws ( Laws of Moses ), who was strictly following those laws, not only that he was teaching the laws to others. A man who was highly spiritual according to Jewish customs.

But when one night he came to see Lord Jesus. What the Lord said to him? (John 3:3) Jesus answered and said to him, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." Then Nicodemus asked the Lord " how can it be? Can a person take second birth , how can these things be "? What Lord said to him ( John 3 : 10) Jesus answered and said to him, "Are you the teacher of Israel, and do not know these things? And the Lord said to him in ( John 3: 7) "Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.'

Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus ( who was a spiritual leader of Israel ) " You must be born again" ( 3: 7) & in verse (3:3) "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."

From this we understand that entering into the kingdom of God or heaven is another thing, but far from it what the Lord said to him was that he can not even see it if he is not born again.

Yes my friends, it is the first step of Christian life. Several times we forget it. Don't we ? Several times I see people ignore the basic thing of Christianity on which Bible is based. People can talk on every topic of the Bible, but when the basic things like " Born again" "Saved or Salvation" " Forgiveness of sin" " Repentance" come they ignore it. They feel bad to talk about it. What a sad thing. Lord Jesus said to Nicodemus the same thing " Unless & until you are born again, you will not see the kingdom of God."

Have you ever thought of it ? Have you ever come to that experience ? Has your life been changed? Have you been born in God's family ? If not, you need this experience to get a place in heaven.

I was born & brought up in a Christian family. As a child I never knew how to miss Sunday School & Church though I did not like it very much. Because it was a very strict rule in our home. I learned lot of Bible stories, heard lot of messages, but nothing happened till 1981. One side I was thinking I am so good, because I have made my own boundaries of self righteousness. I was doing things that looked good in the sight of my Parents & neighbors. I got lot of appreciation because there was nothing wrong in my life. So I thought I am very good & holy, but not in the sight of God. One day I read some Testimonies of people, they wrote about how they come to know the Lord as their personal Lord & Savior & how their life was changed.

A thought came into my heart, though I am a born Christian, but I do not have such experience, my life was never changed, I do not know what it is to have personal relationship with God. That day I prayed, "Lord I do not understand what it is to get saved & how to ? But I really want this experience. I want to reach heaven in any case. Lord heard that simple prayer. And it was on 3rd Nov 1981, I received a letter from my cousin Suganthi Johnson. That brought me to the saving knowledge of Christ. Reading that letter I cried for more than 2 hours & repented from my sins & past life. And something happened that day, a great peace & joy filled my heart. And my life started changing. Now 17 years have passed, but I never forget the day which brought me to saving knowledge of Christ. The joy of salvation which I received that day is still bubbling in my soul. What a great joy when a person gets a place in God's family. What a joy when a person gets birth in God's kingdom.

Do you have that experience. If not, you need this experience. Remember Christianity is not a religion, but a personal experience with Lord Jesus Christ, Where you can say, "He is my Lord, my father."

Let us see what we have to do to get this experience.

We have to receive Him as Lord & savior. (John 1:12) But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name

Now the question is, how to receive Him?

1) To Believing that He is Lord & Savior:

For receiving Him we have to believe that He is Lord. He came to save sinners. His precious blood shed on Calvary's Cross can cleanse me (1 John 1:7) and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

2) To accepting that I am a sinner:

Second step for receiving Him, we have to accept that I am a sinner. And God is Holy, so to reach holy God we need to get rid of sin. Bible says in (Romans 3:23) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. & again in (Ezekiel 18:20) "The soul who sins shall die."

Bible says, no one is holy, nobody can say I am holy, or I have never sinned. (Romans 3:10) As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; (Romans 3:11 ) There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. (Romans 3:12 ) They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."

Several times I heard people saying I've never sinned. I never did anything wrong. This is the thought that keeps a person away from God & they never want to come to the saving knowledge of Christ.

3) Repentance from sin:

When a person accepts that he or she is sinner, then only repentance comes. Repentance means "To feel regret or to change ones mind about, to feel really sorry. When a person wants to leave his or her evil ways & wants to walk in the ways of the Lord is Repentance.

When these three things come in the life of a person, when a person believes in the Lord Jesus that He can save him/her from eternal death. And accepts that he/she is a sinner needing salvation & eternal life. And if he truly & really repents, then the process of forgiveness starts.

It is free from God, any body can get this experience by doing the above three things. My dear friends if you are not born in God's family till today, if you are not sure whether you will reach heaven or not, you can have this great experience by praying a simple prayer with your whole heart. Jesus is always ready to accept you in His family.

Let us pray: Loving heavenly father I believe in you Lord. I believe that you have sent your one & only begotten son Jesus to this earth to save me. I believe that Lord Jesus died for me & for my sins, just to save me from eternal destruction. I believe that you have shed your precious blood to save me from eternal hell. Forgive my sins O Lord, wash me with your precious blood. Save my soul. Receive me as your child. Today onwards I will follow you. I will do the things which is pleasing to you. In Jesus name I pray Amen.

Does God hide His face?

By Vinod Isaac

If we read in Jeremiah 33:4-5

Jeremiah 33:4 For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword; Jeremiah 33:5 They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city.

We find a peculiar condition of Israel. When we are talking about Israel we find that Israel is a nation chosen by God for a purpose. God has tried time and again to make them understand the way of the Lord but every time Israel departed from the way of the Lord they suffered. And we see the same situation here. Desolation of Israel.

Why?

Answer is, Because of the wickedness of Israel, God is hiding His face from them. Does God hide His face from us because of sins?. Letís look in some scripture passages from Bible.

Isaiah 59:2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. Isaiah 64:7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
Ezekiel 39:23 And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. Ezekiel 39:24 According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them.


After Cain killed Abel and when God Passed His judgment, Cain says that his punishment is greater than he can bear and he goes on saying that he will be hidden from Godís face, i.e Without protection from God.

Genesis 4:13 and 14, And Cain said unto the LORD, My punishment is greater than I can bear. Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth; and from thy face shall I be hid; and I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Romans 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves:


If you compare Romans Chapter 1 and todayís generation you can find it very clearly that the increase of sin day by day today is the replication of the picture in Romans Chapter 1.

But Our God is a God of Mercy and Grace. If we turn to Him, He will have Mercy on us. Isaiah 54:8 Bible says, "In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer."
Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.


Yes my friend you need to realize that sin brings destruction and you and me are born in sin and live in sin so there is a need to call upon the Lord and Lord will show great and mighty things and he will pardon.

Romans 1:17 Bible says "The Just shall live by Faith"

Jeremiah 33:6 Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. Jeremiah 33:7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. Jeremiah 33:8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.


Has sin brought destruction in your life? Is Godís face hidden from you? Call upon the Lord and turn to Him and he will cleanse you from all sins according to 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

May God Bless you.

Through the Valley of Death & other Books

As many of you know that in the year 2005, our dad was very sick even unto death. God miraculously healed him. We have compiled it in a book form. I sure believe that it will inspire you and encourage you greatly.

This book is available for purchase at JasmineCorp Store

Also read these two books by Sherly Isaac "Allah and Elohim - Are they the same God" Available at JasmineCorp Store, and "Is Jesus God?" Available at JasmineCorp Store,

Both books compares the Bible and the Quran and read eye opening facts about Jesus, God of the Bible, Allah and Islamic faith. I am sure that you want to read this.

Download Articles in Handheld Computers

You can now download articles in Palm Doc format for your palm handheld computer. It will work with any devise that has Palm OS and Palm Doc Reader installed. To download click on the link named "Palm Doc Format" i.e. at the top of this page by the side of each articles.

Kids Page - Free Tutorials

Now you can learn Graphics and web designing online at Kid's page. These tutorials are free for kids who subscribe for CSI Kids Newsletter. Currently tutorials for Paint Shop Pro, HTML and Dreamweaver are available.

So please enroll your kids by going to http://kids.csinewsletter.org/member/join.asp

And visit CSI Kid's page at http://kids.csinewsletter.org

Hindi / Malayalam/Tamil Bible Online

Now you can read Bible in Hindi online at http://www.hindibible.org
in Malayalam online at http://www.malayalambible.org
in Tamil online at http://www.hindibible.org?ver=tamil

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Your Feedback

Your feedback and comments are Welcome. Please send your Parish news & articles to Editor (Sherly N. Isaac) at this address News@csinewsletter.comThe messages submitted will be checked whether they are correct according to the word of God. Editor reserves the right to accept, reject or edit the messages. The writers are responsible for the contents of their writings.



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