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CSI Good News
(Church of South India Good News)



 

Vol. 3 / Issue 13 / May 3 2001

Contents of this issue

Editorial
Let the mind of Christ be in you
Allah and Elohim - Are they same God Part 9
Few Responses
Letter from Rev. Vinod Victor
Good bye and welcome
15th CSI family and youth Conference
North American Annual Regional Conference

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

By Sherly Isaac

Nehemiah 9:17, "They refused to obey, And they were not mindful of Your wonders That You did among them. But they hardened their necks, And in their rebellion They appointed a leader To return to their bondage. But You are God, Ready to pardon, Gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, Abundant in kindness, And did not forsake them."

Israelites were in the bondage and they were living like slaves in the land of Egypt. But God sent Moses to go and deliver His people from that land. Moses went and said to Pharaoh, God wants His people to go and worship on the mountain but Pharaoh simply rejected this idea and did not allow them to go. God sent nine plagues in that land and showed mighty deeds but it could not change the mind of Pharaoh and he did not allow them to go. God said to Moses, I will send tenth and last plague in this land after that Pharaoh will allow you to go. Again God sent the plague and it did strike every firstborn of Egyptian but spared the lives of Israelites first born. Of course Pharaoh allowed them to go from that land.

Moses said in Deuteronomy 18:15, "The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,"

And according to this promise Jesus came to deliver His people from the bondage of their sins. He came to save us from hell fire and that was the reason He shed His precious blood on the cruel cross so that we may come out from our sins and live a holy life and finally when we end our life in this world we may eternally live with Him in peace and joy. If you have not yet found this life then today is the day of salvation. Accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and He will deliver you from your bondages.

When Israelites came out from that land and were on the way to the mountain they saw Egyptian armies were following them and it was total frustration for them. They lifted their voices and wept, they murmured against God and said to Moses, "Because there were no graves in Egypt, have you taken us away to die in the wilderness?" Still God ignored their murmuring and did mighty and wondrous things. God led them as pillar of fire to show the way at night and led them by day with a cloudy pillar. He divided the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; And their persecutors He threw into the deep, as a stone into the mighty waters.

After seeing these much miracles and mighty deeds Israelites turned from God and murmured again and again. Once they were ready to return to their bondage as we read in Nehemiah 9:17, "and in their rebellion they appointed a leader to return to their bondage."

Many a times when a person get saved and come to Christ but when they face problems or temptations they feel as their old life was better than this and many return to their old life of slavery and bondage. Why think about past life and why go back to slavery and bondage from which God graciously saved and gave a new life. Look forward and walk in His ways because promised land and all goodness and blessings are waiting for you. Going back will bring nothing but destruction. But there is a blessed tomorrow for those who walk in His holy ways. Yes, a blessed tomorrow is waiting for you so don't look back but go ahead to gain His goodness and blessings in your life and finally eternal life - a life that will not fade, a life that is full of peace and joy

Let the mind of Christ be in you

By Sheela Isaac

Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,

Bible says, 'let the mind of Jesus be in you' which means as He was holy and incorruptible in all His ways so should your life be like Christ's.

In 1 Pet 1:15 we read, "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct," 1 Pet 1:16, "because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy." These verses say that God is holy. Jesus is holy. That is why Bible says that "let your mind be like Lord Jesus Christ." He wants holiness in our lives. Bible says that without holiness no one can see God. Read the verse- Heb 12:14, "Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:"

Now the question is how to achieve holiness? How can one get holiness in his/her life?

1. Through Lord Jesus Christ:
Only Lord Jesus can give it to you. there is only one-way to obtain holiness and that is by following Lord Jesus Christ. Bible and history asserts that only one person was holy on the face of this earth that is Lord Jesus Christ. None other could lead a holy life. Many great people came and are gone but we do not find anybody who could claim that they lived a perfect life, or who never did sin. Look at the life of Lord Jesus Christ, He lived a perfect life. He was without sin. He never knew sin. Heb 4:15, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin." 1 Pet 2:22, "Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth"; 1 Pet 2:23, "who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, .........."

Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life. Why? Because He is God himself.

2. By following Lord Jesus Christ:
Holiness comes through Lord Jesus Christ, but there are certain conditions to be fulfilled to receive it. When a person fulfills certain conditions then only holiness comes. It does not come because one is born in a Christian family or have a Christian name or because their parents have a Christian name. No.

If you have to follow somebody, you should first of all know about that person. No one can follow a stranger or an unknown person. It requires discipleship. Bible says clearly that disciples who followed Jesus were called Christians not others. Acts 11:26, "......... And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.

Now who is a Christian? The person who is following Christ or who is a disciple of Lord Jesus Christ. Now how to become a disciple or follower of Lord Jesus Christ?

3. By knowing Him:
If you want to become a disciple or follower of Jesus Christ there is only one-way. You must know Him personally. You cannot stay away from Him and still say "I am a follower of Lord Jesus Christ." No way!!!

Many are there who try to pretend that they are Christians, but they are not. When you talk to some people and ask the question "how do you know that you have a place in heaven." They would reply, "it is a process keep reading Bible and keep praying keep doing good and one day you will reach heaven." No sir, I am sorry you cannot reach heaven that way. When you go to some conference or meeting you first register your name. In the same way you must register your name in heaven's book or the "book of the lamb" to enter heaven. It is very easy. How? By knowing the Lord Jesus Christ personally. Knowing Him means by getting saved, by accepting Him as your personal Lord and 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:" John 1:13, "who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." This verse says clearly, "as many as received Him". Those who received Him only, those people got the right to become children of God.

You might have heard about my testimony several times but I want to share it one more time. I was born and brought up in a very good Christian family. My parents were very religious. Please note religious not spiritual. They used to take us to church every Sunday and used to send us to Sunday school too. My dad was an engineer. We had a big government home, money, car, servants to look after all the household work and so on. Life was very easy. I lacked nothing in my life; I was very good in studies too. I had every thing in life but minus Lord Jesus Christ.

As days passed by I had a haunting question in my mind, "how do I know that I have a place in heaven?" I asked the question to my dad. He said, "do you believe in Jesus, do you believe that He is God." I replied "yes." He said "that's it, it means you have a place in heaven." I knew that, that is not the right answer. He could not reply my question why? He himself was not saved at that time. I was thinking that all the time I am leading the same kind of life as all the other people around me. I am practicing the same kind of sin which my other friends are doing. They believe in their god and I believe in my God Jesus. They are speaking lies so do I too? They are backbiting regarding others so do I too? They are watching filthy movies so do I too? They are reading novels so do I too? So where is the difference between them and me? So how can I say that I have a place in heaven when I do not find any difference between them and me?

The haunting question still remained in my mind, "how do I know that I have a place in heaven." Mean while my school closed for 2 months summer vacation. Now I did not have any work, I did not know what to do? How to spend my time? Some body said "empty mind is a workshop of devil." So I started reading novels at my home. The more I read the more I got depressed. I felt very restless and deeply depressed. Every day I thought, "I do not want to read filthy novels anymore", but now I was addicted to novels. I was so depressed to the point that when I sat alone, I used to feel as if some body is saying in my ears "go and die, life is very dull. There is nothing in this life."

Yes my friend I realized why people commit suicide because of depression. It is devil's weapon. He brings you to the place where you feel badly depressed. If you have the practice of reading all kinds of filthy magazines, novels, may be true stories (satya katha) but with full of murder and witchcraft, get rid of it, otherwise it will kill you. If you are watching filthy movies, occult movies or general movies get rid of it; it will never do any good to you. It will drive you to depression and later suicide.

Now still the haunting question remained in my mind, "do I have a place in heaven, will I reach heaven?" I could not find answers till then. Nor my dad could reply my question, nor my pastor of the Church could ever reply through his messages, nor my Sunday school teachers could reply my question. But I was desperately searching for the answers.

As I was addicted to the novels one morning I was searching for a new novel in my storeroom. I found a two-page flier called "I found Jesus". I read it and found it very interesting. It had two-three testimonies of the people who got saved. The story, which attracted me most, was the story of a Bengali Brahmin (Hindu) lady. She was a doctor by profession and she was a non-Christian lady. Her testimony was that she watched the "Jesus" movie. It was the life story of Lord Jesus that made her to get saved. It was written that in such and such a date she accepted Lord Jesus as her personal savior. And her life was totally transformed. That was it, finally I got my answer. I knew that though I was born in a Christian family I do not have the experience of this Hindu lady. I heard about Jesus all through my life, I attended Church week after week and heard many messages till then but still I never knew Him personally.

I did not know what to do then, but I stood there in my storeroom with that flier in my hand and prayed "Lord I do not know what it is, I even do not know how to get this experience. But I really want this experience. I really want this joy, which this Hindu lady received." That was the very simple prayer I could do. After that nothing happened. But Lord heard that simple prayer. Without my knowledge Lord started His work in my life. After a few months since this incidence I got saved.

One day I got a letter from my cousin Suganthi Johnson. She was very dear to me from my childhood. In that letter she wrote how she got saved and how her life was changed. She again wrote, "If you do not accept Lord Jesus as your savior, you will be lost forever. You will never reach heaven." When I read that without my knowledge I started crying. I cried for nearly two hours. I did not know what was going on. I read that letter 3-4 times and cried. Something happened that day. A great joy and peace filled my soul as never before. Within a week I saw a great change in my life. I stopped reading those filthy novels. Once I was very fond of Hindi movie songs. But now I found that I do not enjoy movie songs any longer. When I tried to listen to those songs I felt very restless and finally I stopped hearing. Stopped watching movies. Not only that I found that my nature was also changing.

Bible says in 2 Cor 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."

Salvation is that easy. You do not have to work for it. You do not have to pay for it. You do not have to perform lot of rituals. No, but good news is the Lord Jesus has already done it. He died on Calvary's Cross and paid the price for you and me. He shed His precious blood on Calvary's Cross and the work of redemption is already fulfilled. Now what? You have to do your part. You have to just accept that great sacrifice. You have to just ask for it and it will be yours. King has prepared every thing for you. He has prepared a mansion for you. He is ready to give you the keys of that mansion.

Question is, do you want to stretch your hand to take those keys? Are you willing to do it? If you stretch forth your hand you can have the keys. Are you willing to accept that great sacrifice? Do you want the keys of heaven? If yes, come on pray this prayer with me.

Lord Jesus I am a sinner. Till this time I walked in my own ways. I did whatever was wrong in your sight. Please come into my heart. Wash away all my sins through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Cleanse me and make me whole. Forgive my sins. Receive me today as your child. Thank you Lord for coming into my heart. Thank you for forgiving my sins. In Jesus name I pray Amen.

Allah and Elohim - Are they same God Part 9

By Sherly Isaac

Almost one and half years back When I stumbled in some Muslim forums I had no idea that we Christians are Polytheists according to Allah and when we say about trinity means associating partners or other gods with God. I had no idea that I am worshipping three gods according to Allah and Quran. Some said, does God have three parts? It was too annoying to hear that we Christians worship three gods but later I find out that in Quran, Allah has repeatedly said that associating partners with God is greatest sin as we read in:

An-Nisa (Women)

4:48 Allah forgiveth not that partners should be set up with Him; but He forgiveth anything else, to whom He pleaseth; to set up partners with Allah is to devise a sin Most heinous indeed.

Of course it is the greatest sin according to the Bible itself. When God gave the Law to Moses, the very first commandment He gave was, "You shall have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20:3). Not only we read in Old Testament but in New Testament that there is only one God. Let us look in few verses from the Bible which says about ONE God. We read in Deuteronomy 6:4, "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!

And in New Testament Jesus Himself quoted Deuteronomy 6:4 in Mark 12:29, "Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one."
Mark 12:32, So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He."


While going further in New Testament we read the same ONE God in Paul's letters and other epistles as we read in Romans 3:30, "since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith."

Ephesians 4:6, "one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all."


But the question comes in mind what about trinity? Aren't we associate partners with God saying Jesus is God and Holy Spirit is God? Come let us see that whether Christians worship three gods or associate partners with God or not."

Let us look from the Bible what is trinity. We read in Genesis 1:1-3 about all the three personalities of God. Gen 1:1-3, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light."

1. God Himself:
2. His Word (Jesus who is the very Word of God or Wisdom of God)
3. His Spirit (Holy Spirit)

And we read in Psalms 33:6, "By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth." So again we see the three personalities of God in this verse, God, His Word and His breath (Holy Spirit).

Again we read in Proverbs 8:26-30, "While as yet He had not made the earth or the fields, Or the primeval dust of the world. When He prepared the heavens, I was there, When He drew a circle on the face of the deep, When He established the clouds above, When He strengthened the fountains of the deep, When He assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters would not transgress His command, When He marked out the foundations of the earth, Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him."

So we can see that Wisdom of God or Word of God was with Him from the beginning who is none other than Jesus. And we also read about Holy Spirit who was also from the beginning. The same Word who was from the beginning came down as flesh in this world as we read in John 1:1-3 and John 1:14, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made." John 1:14, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

So Jesus and Holy Spirit are not partners of God but Jesus and Holy Spirit are the same Yahweh God. We are not associating other gods with Yahweh but it is the quality of Yahweh God. All three are inseparable though in the same time same ONE God. We can distinguish them as three different personalities but the same time they are same ONE God. Let me give you one example. Take ONE coin. Coin has TWO sides. When you look from one side you will see a total different look but as soon as you turn the same ONE coin you can see a total different look of this coin. Why? Can we say that there are two coins? No, there is only ONE coin but has TWO sides and both are different. We can distinguish both sides differently but we can not say that both sides are making two different coins. In the same way when we talk about Trinity, we can see three different personalities and three functions of God but the same time there is only ONE God.

Many times Muslims say that there is no word "Trinity" in the Bible and if you want to see the history of Trinity you must go to the Nicene Creed which was written in 381 AD. So many think that Trinity or God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit came only in 381 AD. But no, it is not true. If you want to see the history of Trinity you must go to the very first verse of the very first chapter of the very first book of the Bible where we see all the personalities of God. So trinity is from the beginning, it was not a brain of Nicene Council.

Some say that how it is possible that God the Father and God the Son can be one? Let us read from Old Testament Isaiah 9:6, "For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

In this verse we read that, "Unto us a Son is given" and His name will be called "Everlasting Father". Again we see that God the Father and God the Son both are same ONE God.

So as Allah predicted that we Christians worship three gods or associate partners with God is totally false statement. There is no part or division in God but there is only ONE TRUE God, Yahweh and the same God came down in the form of a man. The same God comes and dwells in the hearts of believer as Holy Spirit. Again it proves that Allah does not know who Yahweh/Elohim God is. And it makes it clear that Allah is a new god who came only 1400 years back and no one knew him before 1400 years

Few Responses

I thank the Lord Jesus for the wisdom that He gave to you.Friend i been enjoying your research between Elohim and Allah. Friend can you email back this research from the beginnig.Till then Jesus is Lord!
D. Hinn

Letter from Rev. Vinod Victor

To All our dear Ones

Sub: Its time to say Bye Bye and Of course Thank You !!!!!

Dear Friends,

Warm greetings from the Synod Youth Department. It all looks like a fantastic dream now. We are finally woken up to reality by the Moderators letter to our Bishop stating that our services are much appreciated but then since the appointment is non-renewable it is imperative that we return to the diocese.

It is with a great sense of joy and accomplishment Molly and I return on the 1st of May to take up Pastoral Ministry in the South Kerala Diocese. Working among the young people of the twenty-one dioceses of the CSI and our partner churches and agencies was an exhilarating experience. We thoroughly enjoyed the same.

What moved us the most was the great commitment of each one of you, your passion towards Youth Ministry and the tremendous support you provided to both of us. You were wonderful supporters whenever we sought your help and when we invited young people from the dioceses for programmes. Despite our being too young to be part of the big world of the Synod, by accepting us so graciously you proved to the world the exalted place you have for young people in your hearts. More than all these you loved us so very much. For all these and much more from the very depth of our being Molly and I express our heart felt thanks and appreciation to you.
Thank you very much.

We are taking leave for now to take up pastoral work which we were longing for. Even as we bid adieu I am sure we can be assured of your prayers and good will.

Youth work I believe is on track now. All the 21 dioceses had Youth Conferences (Synod even being able to support it) , the Regional Programmes are going well and Kasam was a great example of how organised we are at the Synod level. I am sure that whoever the officers appoint to succeed me would be a better person and Youth work would attain greater heights. Much more has to be done and the new person has to toil hard. Perhaps you could tremendously continue to support organising the Youth programmes even as you were of great help to us.

Kindly be assured of ours prayers and please do keep in touch if time allows.

Our new address would be NNRA 96, Nanthancode, Trivandrum. 695 003. We shall surely keep in touch at least about milestones in our life.

With a heart full of thanks,
Youthfully Yours
Rev.Vinod Victor
Synod Youth Secretary
April 26, 2001

Good bye and welcome

Rev. M.P. Joseph Achen will be leaving after his 3 years of service in CSI Christ Church of Chicago. Please continue to pray for Rev. M.P. Joseph Achen as he continues his studies in Lutheran Seminary.

Rev. Oomman George Achen from Mavelikkara will be new vicar of CSI Christ Church of Chicago. Achen and family have a very good Christian heritage and reputation in Christian Ministry. His father was a full time Evangelist in the Central Kerala Diocese for many years. Revd. Jacob George, Vice president of the North American Council is his brother. Two of his uncles(Very Revd. P.O. Varghese & Very Revd. P.O. Ninan) are retired priests of the Madhya Kerala Diocese. Moreover, Bishop T.C. Cherian of the Evangelical Church is his brother-in-law.

Achen and his family are going to arrive in Chicago Saturday on 5th May. Please keep Rev. Oomman George Achen and his family in your prayers while they are traveling.

15th CSI family and youth Conference

The 15th Annual C.S.I. Family and Youth Conference of North America will be held from August 9 - 12, 2001 at camp Allen Retreat and Conference Center Houston TX. For more info click here

North American Annual Regional Conference

North American Annual Regional Conference will be held at Hammond, Indiana from May
4th Friday to 6th Sunday.

Guest Speaker - Rev. Jacob Chacko

Conference Center
-----------------
Spiritual life Center
1441 Hoffman Street
Hammond, Indiana

Hosed by: CSI Christ Church of Chicago

For more information please

visit this website

or call:
Mr. Thomas Koshy
Phone: 847-675-5144
Cell Phone: 847-269-1600

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

Your Spam Folder

If you are getting this newsletter in your bulk/junk/Spam folder please hit the "not junk" or "not spam" button so that you could receive it in your mailbox. Also adding news@csinewsletter.com email address into your contact list can avoid this email from ending up in your bulk folder.

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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