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CSI Good News
(Church of South India Good News)



 

Vol. 6 / Issue 9 / April 8 2004

Contents of this issue

Editorial
Good Friday
Crucifixion of Jesus and Quran
Prayer Requests
Reader's Mail
OFFICIAL 18th Annual CSI Family & Youth Conference in New Jersey

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

It was my first day in America's office. My supervisor was a beautiful lady who was giving me training for my work. At 10am she told me, "it is break time, if you want to have your lunch or if you want to take a break you can go for it because you have fifteen minutes. I thought, "lunch at 10am, it is my breakfast time?" I was pretty nervous and so I did not really ask much questions to her. When she saw me thinking, she said, "if you want to go later at 11am you can do that. I said, OK, that would be fine. So she left and I continued my work. It was hard for me to swallow that, 'eating lunch at 10am'.

At 11am I took my lunchbox and went to the cafeteria and ate lunch and came back to my seat. At 1 O'clock in the afternoon she told me again, "now you have half an hour break time". Then she went on explaining that I will get three break times in a day. Two would be of fifteen minutes and one would be of half an hour. Now I had the new problem as I had already taken my lunch at 11am break time. So I went to the cafeteria and thought of calling home from cafeteria pay phone. I took out all my coins from my handbag and started finding the right coin but to my surprise I was unable to recognize any of the coins. They had inscription on them as Penny, Pence, Dime and Quarter etc. I had no idea of what it meant though I was living in USA from more than one year. Quarter seemed familiar to me but the size of Penny coin was big so I became very confused.

Then I got another idea to purchase a coffee giving one dollar bill. I thought that whatever coin she will return by that I may find out which coin was which one. But she gave me four different coins in change. So again I was in the same position. I was ashamed to ask anybody and so I did not ask anybody. I just turned all the coins again and again to find a clue to what was the value of it but I had no clue. Then I just grabbed all my coins, put them in my handbag and sat there without having anything else to do. Sitting there I wondered why I never tried earlier to know which coin is of which value?


Messiah Jesus came in this world but this world could not recognize Him. Many are still unable to recognize Him. You might have been born in a Christian home, may be going to Church every Sunday but still it is possible that you may not be knowing Him personally. You might have celebrated Good Friday and Easter year after year but might have never recognized the significance of His coming on this earth and dying for your sins. If this is the case, your celebrating Good Friday and Easter is meaningless. You may be having Bible in your home and it is possible that you might have read it several times but if you have not known the God of the Bible as your Lord and Savior, Bible is of no value for you.

Bible tells us in John 1:11-12, "He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God."

But if you come to Jesus and receive Him in your life, He will give you a new life. Come to Jesus and know Him personally. Know Him and understand the significance of His coming to this earth and dying for us in this Good Friday and Easter.

We wish you all a very happy and blessed Easter. May our risen Lord Jesus Christ bless you all.

Good Friday

By Sheela Isaac

We are going to celebrate one more Good Friday and Easter. Let’s see what Good Friday and Easter really means?

I still remember a few years back when I was in India. Once my neighborhood lady asked me a question, “what is the meaning of Easter Eggs, do you make Easter eggs?” You may be surprised to know that till then I never heard anything about Easter eggs or Easter bunny. I stared at her face and said, “I do not know what it is, we don’t make Easter eggs and never heard about it.” She smiled with much surprise and disbelief. Well Easter has nothing to do with Easter eggs or Easter bunnies. I later found out that this tradition came from some pagan culture. In US if you visit shopping complexes at this Easter week everywhere you’ll see Easter eggs and Easter bunnies with big decorations. Today many do not know what the real significance of Good Friday or Easter is. Many even do not know why we celebrate it.

What is Good Friday?
Is it a day of fasting and prayer? Is it a day of mourning with black/white cloths? No I don’t think so. The name “Good Friday” itself suggests that it is not a day of crying, mourning or making sad face with black or white clothes. Before Salvation I too thought in the same way. But now I know that it is a good day. Day of rejoicing and celebration Why? Because God Himself came down and died for me, if Jesus had not died I would have been lost without hope. I would have ended in hell fire for eternity. I would have ended up in eternal pain and hopelessness. But Jesus came and died for me to give me hope of eternal life. Yes Good Friday is the day when Jesus died for you and me He died for the whole humanity. He took the form of a man. He became a human being like you and me to know the pain and suffering of human life. Not only that, He faced the cruel death on the Cross, without which redemption was not possible. He took our sin and wickedness upon Himself.

Bible says, “He was wounded for our transgressions He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him..“ Isa 53:4, “Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.” Isa 53:5, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.”

During the reign of the Romans death on the Cross was considered as most cruel and painful punishment. Jesus was scourged before crucifixion. Let’s see what Scourging really means.

The Scourging, practiced by the Romans was a cruel punishment that usually preceded crucifixion. The instrument used for scourging is a short whip called a flagrum or flagellum to which was attached several braided leather thongs of variable lengths. Knots were tied in the ends of each thong, and sheep bone or iron balls were inserted into the knots at the end of each thong. The person to be scourged is stripped of his clothing and his hands are tied to a post. Roman soldiers repeatedly strike the victim's back, buttocks and legs with their full force causing deep contusions. Lacerations from repeated blows cut into the underlying muscles and rip the overlaying skin of the back to a point where it hangs in ribbons of bleeding flesh. The capillaries and veins were often torn causing intense bleeding and at times leaving the entrails exposed. The object of the scourging was to weaken the victim to a state of collapse and bring them as near to death as possible without killing them. Many did not survive this punishment and it was given the name "half death." The extent of blood loss may well have determined how long the victim would survive on the cross.

Jesus was scourged in a similar way. After the scourging He had to carry His heavy cross. Bible says that He stumbled and fell several times to the ground because He was not able to carry the heavy cross. Can you imagine how he suffered for you and me? The punishment of sin, which we’ve committed, He took it upon His own body. Not only that, but they nailed Him to the cross. Jesus the son of God bled and died for you and me so that we may not perish in hell fire. That is the love of God. God loved us so much that He did not hesitate to send His only begotten son to die on our behalf. That is the meaning of Good Friday. Yes, Jesus died on our behalf so that we can receive forgiveness of sin. God came down and died for your and for my sins so that we may receive pardon for our wicked and sinful deeds.

Have you ever thought about this great sacrifice? You might have celebrated several Good Fridays and Easters but have you ever accepted this great Sacrifice on the cross? Have you ever said, “Lord please forgive my sins, I want to escape from eternal pain and damnation, I want to reach heaven at any cost?”

Yes my friend, Salvation is a free gift from God because Jesus paid for our redemption in full. He shed His last drop of blood on the cross to save us from sin. You and I cannot redeem ourselves from sin with our good works or efforts. It is impossible for human beings to reach heaven by our own deeds. That’s why God sent His only Son Jesus to die on behalf of us. If you are not yet saved till today you need this redemption, you need salvation. Jesus paid the full price. He prepared everything for you but you need to accept it.

Suppose if food is kept on the table fully prepared and ready, yet you need to eat it right? If you do not take effort and take it by your mouth nothing will happen. You have to eat it. Nobody else can eat on you behalf. If you decide that you don’t want to eat that food it will sit there on the table forever. In the same way if you want to reach heaven, if you want to escape from eternal hell and pain, you need to take an effort. You need to get to the cross with repentance and tears. You need to ask for forgiveness of your sins and wicked deeds. Nobody else can help you out. Nor your parents nor your husband/wife even nor your pastor, it is totally up to you whether you want to escape from hell or not.

Come to the cross with tears and repentance. Let not this Good Friday also slip away from you without Christ. Please pray this prayer from the bottom of your heart. Let this Good Friday become a memorable day forever. Let it become the greatest day of your life. Invite Jesus the life giver into your soul and make heaven your home forever.

Lord Jesus, I repent from all my sins and wickedness. I come to the Calvary’s Cross. Please forgive my sins. Wash away all my sins and unrighteousness. Cleanse me Lord with your precious blood, which was shed on behalf of me. Forgive me and forget all my past sins. Make me a new creation. I accept you today itself as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus precious name I pray Amen.

Crucifixion of Jesus and Quran

By Sherly Isaac

From the last two weeks we were looking on the topic whether Quran is Word of God or not. We meditated on the verse where Paul and Peter says that Bible was inspired by God or given by the Spirit of God or Holy Spirit. We also looked that Holy Spirit cannot give unholy command and we studied the example of David's marriage to Bathsheba and Mohammed's marriage to Zainab. Both David and Mohammed married almost in the same way yet David received severe punishment and consequences of his sin but Mohammed's sinful marriage was appreciated by Allah. David's several pleading and repentance to the Lord could only exempt him from being punished and still he had to face the consequence. But the opposite was of Mohammed's case.

Today we are going to see what Quran says about the crucifixion of Christ.

Quran says in Surah 4:157-158, That they said (in boast), "We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah., but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not. Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise."

Now if Allah's words are correct and Jesus was really not crucified then of course the whole Bible is a fake book or man-made doctrine and not given by God himself. The above statement of Allah nullifies the whole Bible and the messages spoken by all the prophets including Jesus who claimed His sufferings, death and resurrection.

Someone has explained that Jesus is mentioned in every book of Bible. Here are a few of that explanation:

In the book of Genesis, Jesus is The Seed of the Woman

We read in Gen 3:15 about the curse which came on the serpent, "And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel."

Genesis chapter 3 tells us the distortion of the creation whom God created. When Adam and Eve sinned against God, God promised to give a solution for this problem. The above verse says that the seed of the woman will crush the head of the evil one. Jesus came by virgin Mary and suffered and died on the cruel cross for the redemption of our souls. By doing this He crushed the head of devil. By doing this Jesus gave a great defeat to devil by overcoming death. But Allah says in Quran that it never happened.

In the book of Exodus, Jesus is The Passover Lamb

God who spoke through Moses gave the Law of Passover. God commanded Moses to bring a sacrificial lamb and to eat it. God redeemed Israel by the blood of the lamb which was applied on the door posts. The same God not only redeemed Israel from the mighty hands of his enemy but also brought them to the promised land. The same God who sent His Son to die for us is a liar according to the Quran and according to Allah. Because Quran says that Jesus never died on the cross.

In the book of Leviticus, Jesus is The High Priest

What was the duty of High Priest? Bible tells us that once a year High priest entered in the holies of holy with the blood of lamb or goat and pleaded for the sins of the people. Jesus did the same thing on the cruel cross by shedding His own blood on the cross. Bible says in Heb 2:17-18, "Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted."

Bible also says in Lev 17:11, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul."

But according to the Quran it never happened.


In the book of Zechariah, Jesus is The Pierced Son


God said in Zec 12:10 "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

The above verse is very clear that God Himself came to die for us and gave His life for us. He was pierced for our salvation. The wounds which we had to be in our body, He took Himself. But Quran denies all these things.

Jesus the Messiah

In the New Testament we read about Jesus' birth, sufferings, death and resurrection. Jesus Himself told the purpose of His coming in this world. Jesus spoke about His sufferings in Mat 17:12 "But I say to you that Elijah has come already, and they did not know him but did to him whatever they wished. Likewise the Son of Man is also about to suffer at their hands."

Jesus spoke about His suffering, death and resurrection in Luke 24:46, "Then He said to them, "Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day."

Jesus declared His death in John 2:19-22, "Jesus answered and said to them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." Then the Jews said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?" But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said."

So if Jesus did not die on the cross then all Old Testament and New Testament books are having no meaning and those millions of people who believed in the Son of God generation after generation are doomed in their own sin without having any hope for the future.

But not only the Bible tells us that these events happened as spoken by Jesus but History is witness of these events. The Writings of Flavius Josephus the Historian and other documents prove that Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection took place and Bible account is accurate.

So it is not possible that Quran was really given by the Spirit of God or Holy Spirit? God cannot contradict Himself nor His word. God cannot speak lies. All these things prove that Allah is not the all knowing god and it was a deliberate attempt to shake the whole foundation of Bible, that is, salvation of mankind, forgiveness of sin, redemption of soul through shed blood of Christ and Eternal life.

Today you can choose either to live in sin and die in your sins without having hope for eternal life or get forgiveness of your sins and enter into eternal life. Choice is yours.

Prayer Requests

This is a request for prayer from a family at Niranam, Thiruvalla, Kerala State, India. My name is Santhosh Varkey. My brother in-law Shibu Cherian is 33 years old and has diagnosed few months ago with lymphoma a sort of cancer and now his health condition is to bad. Medicines are not accepting by his body. As per his doctor, Only God can help him. Please pray and ask everyone you know to pray for the HEALING of SHIBU, removal of all cancer in his body so he may enjoy all that life has to offer, and to continue to be the wonderful father to his 5 months old son, Kristy. The power of Prayer is unsurpassed. I want the whole world to have him in their prayers the next few weeks. God will hear our cry.
Shibu's Brother In-law,
Santhosh

Reader's Mail

Thank you for your newletter. It is great.
Arti

OFFICIAL 18th Annual CSI Family & Youth Conference in New Jersey

Official 18th Annual CSI Family & Youth Conference of North America will be conducted from July 1 to 4, 2004 in New Jersey under the direction of the Council of CSI Congregations in North America.

From: July 1-4, 2004
Theme: "That they all may be one" John 17:22
Place: Dolce Hamilton Park Executive Conference Center
Morristown, New Jersey
Leaders: Moderator, Church of South India
The Rev. Dr. Martin Alphonse
The Rev. Dr. Valson Thampu
The Rev. Eric Bryant
Mr. Prabhu Singh

For more information please visit:
http://csinewsletter.com/18th-conference.htm

Conference Convener:
Rev. Dr. Jacob David
(201) 935-2011 - JacobDavid@juno.com

And to register online

visit: http://www.csiconference.com
Email inquires to: info@csiconference.com

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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