--Report on the 24th CLC Convention--

Forty years ago, by God's grace and blessing, the Church of the Lutheran Confession (CLC) had it's beginning. It was out of faithfulness to God's Word that our founding fathers left their former fellowships and formed the CLC. Therefore it was fitting that the theme of the first CLC Convention was "God's Word Is Our Great Heritage."

As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the CLC, we praise God for His grace that we can say: "God's Word Is STILL Our Great Heritage." God has preserved in our midst a genuine desire to remain faithful to Him and His Holy Word.

God's Word was the highlight and focus of the entire week. Pastor Michael Sprengeler began each day with an inspiring devotional sermon. The assembled delegates enjoyed the blessing of a communion service on Wednesday evening with a sermon by Pastor Gordon Radtke and a memorial sermon at the beginning of the Wednesday session by Prof. emeritus John Lau.


Three generations of Schierenbecks presented essays showing the need and blessing of continuing in the Word of God. Retired pastor and professor L. W. Schierenbeck, one of our founding fathers, presented an essay which reminded us of God's grace and blessing in our past. He gave recollections and observations of the events leading up to the formation of the CLC and its early years. He stated: "One word defines the entire history of the CLC: Grace. Everything is the fulfillment of Christ's thrilling and comforting promise, 'I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it' (Mt. 16:18). That ought not to cause us to relax our efforts. Rather, the wonder and power of that grace should move everyone of us to strive strenuously while it is day to use our gifts to the fullest to serve our God. Then may we be assured that we will continue to receive and enjoy His beautiful blessings."

Pastor John Schierenbeck delivered an essay on "the present." He reminded us that an anniversary celebration should not be "a trumpeting of 'church accomplishments,'" but rather a time of rigorous examination and repentance. The essayist led us in a careful self-critique, and pointed out the many dangers that we face and into which we can fall. We need true repentance and God's grace in order to be able to continue as a synod in which God's Word is our Great Heritage.

Pastor Michael Schierenbeck, son and grandson, helped us look to the future. He pointed out that there is no way that we can know the specifics of what the future will be for any individual or for a church body. But there are two paths that can be taken--either with or without God's hand as the lamp to our feet and the light to our path. The essayist showed us the blessing that we are assured of when we pass God's Word on from generation to generation, and the difficulties and dilemmas that will occur when it is not. Therefore it should be the goal of parents and teachers to teach God's Word to the next generation diligently and effectively. We pray with the essayist in his conclusion: "May [God] use the CLC for His glory and keep us steadfast in His Word through which we have come to know Him as our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier. His Word is indeed our great heritage."

With God's Word as our guide, the Convention set out to decide on our joint work in the CLC.


Jesus teaches us to pray to the Lord of harvest that He would send forth laborers into His vineyard. We continue to do so while we thank Him for those laborers that He has sent. At this Convention we especially thank Him that six new pastors were accepted into our fellowship--Pastor John Cobb presently serving in Calgary, and five graduates of ILC Seminary over the past two years: Mark Gurath, Matthew Gurath, David Povolny, David Schaller, and Stephen Sydow. Gordon Radtke was received back into the pastoral ministry from retirement. We are happy to announce that Pastor Steven Karp from Edmonton, Alberta has passed the first stage of colloquy.

We also rejoice to receive six new congregations into the fellowship of the CLC. They are Divine Word of Preston, Minn., Morning Star of Fairchild, Wis., Mount Zion of Detroit, Mich., Peace with God of Onalaska, Wis., Rock of Ages of Jenison, Mich., and Shepherd of the Valley of Weslaco, Texas.


We were privileged to have Mr. Martin Essien, the son of Pastor E. E. Essien, as a visitor to our convention from Nigeria. Mr. Essien addressed the Convention on the many opportunities for mission work in Africa. He urged the CLC to provide a second missionary to help in the tremendous work there. Later that day the Convention did approve the calling of a second missionary to Nigeria. Wednesday evening the Board of Missions met and extended the call to Pastor Todd Ohlmann of St. Louis, Mo.

Board of Missions chairman Pastor Bruce Naumann shared a letter of greeting from Jyothi Benjamin in India. The VBS program in India has reached 670 children, many of them with Hindu backgrounds. The field is truly ripe for harvest.

As the CLC celebrates its 40th anniversary as a church body, we are reminded of all the grace and blessings that God has poured upon us. The convention was moved to initiate an Anniversary Thankoffering which is to be designated for special outreach efforts in our foreign fields--efforts which would not be possible under the regular budget. Our brethren in India and Nigeria have many opportunities to reach thousands of heathen but they do not have the resources to do so. Let us rejoice in the opportunity to help in this glorious work with our Anniversary Thankoffering (more information will be coming).


We are thankful for steady increase in ILC enrollment. The projected enrollment for next year is 170. This adds even more to the long-felt need for a thirteenth professor. Twelve years ago the synod first approved such a call, but it was impossible to follow through because of budgetary constraints. Now with convention approval the Board of Regents has finally extended the call (teacher Mark Kranz received the call--ed.).

An increased student body contributes to an increased need for classroom space. Therefore the ILC Project Planning Committee was given approval to develop a design plan for 1) removal of some of the older buildings on campus and 2) construction of a multipurpose academic center that will contain all the classrooms and other meeting rooms. Any comments about the proposed building project should be directed to the committee.

The Student Aid Fund (SAF) has been a great blessing for students attending ILC as well as for the operation of the school. In keeping with operational costs, the room and board fee was raised $100/year, tuition $50/year and the activities fee $50/year. We pray that the Lord will bless our people with the means and move hearts to meet the needs of the SAF. A few adjustments were made to the rules for payback of student loans.


Since God's Word is still our great heritage, questions of doctrine and application of it are taken seriously. The majority of discussion on the convention floor during Thursday and Friday sessions dealt with the matter of membership in organizations of this world. The Floor Committee on Doctrine attempted to help the delegates take a step back and focus on eight principles from which applications could be made. Time restraints prevented a complete resolution of the matter. However, a course of study and action was laid out to bring this to a final conclusion at the 2002 Convention.


The publishing committee has been very active in the past four years. The convention established a permanent committee of six to be appointed by the President and to be under the auspices of the Board of Education.

The Publishing Division will oversee the publishing of the new Sunday School materials and an official CLC web page as well as any other material that will be of benefit to synod members.


The following General Fund budget was adopted: Board of Trustees $146,731; Board of Missions $236,570; Board of Regents $234,000; Total: $617,301.

This budget--which includes a thirteenth professor and a second foreign missionary--is $4,471 above the Cooperative Budget Estimates from congregations. We pray that the Lord will enable us to carry out these plans.


A 40th Anniversary Committee had several special touches for the observance at this convention. One was the "Voices from the Past"--soundbites played intermittently during the sessions. Not only did these audios serve to stir up fond memories of departed brethren, but more importantly reminded us of the enduring Word of our God who has promised that His Word shall not pass away.

Other special visual features were a) an historical timeline of the CLC which stretched out in the corridor between the gymnasium and the dining hall; and b) the photo tour of CLC congregations displayed in the C. M. Gullerud Memorial House (the old Sem House).

We truly have a GREAT heritage. May we all treasure that heritage of God's Word and pray that the Lord will grant us His grace to keep it. As President Fleischer commented in his President's Report: " . . . More and more it falls upon the next generation to carry the banner of God's holy Word into the future." May we prepare each generation by teaching our descendants diligently to know and love the saving Word of our gracious God.

(We acknowledge with thanks this convention report by Pastor David Reim -- Ed.)


*Elected or re-elected at this Convention


President:      The Rev. Daniel Fleischer*
Vice President: The Rev. John Schierenbeck*
Secretary:      The Rev. James Albrecht*
Moderator:      Professor Ronald Roehl*

Board of Missions

    The Rev. Bruce Naumann
    Mr. Peter Krafft
    The Rev. Michael Eichstadt*
    Mr. Jack Mayhew*

Board of Regents

    The Rev. Vance Fossum
    Mr. James Gullerud
    The Rev. Theodore Barthels*
    Mr. Tom Beekman*
    Professor John Pfeiffer, Advisory

Board of Trustees

    The Rev. James Sandeen
    Mr. Phil Radichel
    The Rev. John Ude*
    Mr. Dennis Oster*

Conference Visitors (as ratified)

    Minnesota--The Rev. Stephen Kurtzahn
    South Eastern--The Rev. John Klatt
    Great Lakes--The Rev. Paul Tiefel
    Pacific Coast--The Rev. Robert List
    West Central--The Rev. Michael Roehl


Board of Education Dr. Gayle Stelter The Rev. David Naumann Teacher David Bernthal Professor Ross Roehl Board of Doctrine Professor em. John Lau The Rev. Mark Bernthal The Rev. David Schierenbeck The Rev. Stephen Kurtzahn The Rev. Thomas Schuetze Mr. Melvin Eichstadt Mr. Frank Paull, Jr. Kinship Committee Mr. Jack Mayhew Mr. David Klatt The Rev. Paul Naumann The Rev. Thomas Schuetze Mr. Jonathan Wiechman The Rev. David Fuerstenau Salary Compensation Committee Teacher Douglas Libby Mr. Tom Lentz Teacher Daniel Barthels CLC Foundation Board Mr. Duane Riggert Mr. Tim Noeldner The Rev. Elton Hallauer Constitution Committee The Rev. Peter Reim Mr. Paul Hein Mr. Ivan Zarling Certification Committee Mr. Burdette Wheaton Mr. Angelo Rentas The Rev. Theodore Barthels Teacher Seth Schaller Professor Ross Roehl CLC Auditor Mr. Stephen Lentz CLC Archivist Professor David Lau CLC Statistician Dr. James Sydow Foundation Study Committee Mr. Ivan Zarling Mr. Duane Riggert Mr. Dennis Oster CLC Directory The Rev. Michael Sprengeler Ministry By Mail: The Rev. Paul Naumann, Editor The Rev. Michael Wilke, Asst. Editor Lutheran Spokesman (See staff listing, p. 2) Journal of Theology Prof. Paul Schaller, Editor The Rev. Elton Hallauer, Asst. Editor Mr. Benno Sydow, Circulation Manager The Rev. Michael Eichstadt The Rev. Delwyn Maas The Rev. Stephen Kurtzahn The Rev. Paul Naumann Prof. David Lau The Rev. Thomas Schuetze Next Regular CLC Convention: Monday-Friday, June 17-21, 2002

"To whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." -- Luke 7:47

Christian Love Reflects A Debt Forgiven

The evangelist Luke calls her "a certain woman in that town who was a sinner."

But as she stepped into the room that day her reputation preceded her. She was possibly a prostitute who had sold her body and bargained away her soul. She was the talk of her town, the butt of local jokes, the subject of neighborhood gossip. She was the kind of person mothers warn their children about--a sinner living with one foot in hell. Even her money was tainted. Her soul seemed beyond redemption.

And that is why she wept at Jesus' feet--because she knew that here was One who actually cared about her. Not One who condoned her lifestyle, but One who was willing to forgive it. Though she came with a blackened past and a hopeless future, she found in Jesus what she needed the most: the freedom of forgiveness. -- And so she cried. She cried because when you have a debt like hers, how can you not love the One who forgives it?

Your sins may not be well-known like hers were. They may not be published in the daily paper or included in the daily gossip. But they are just as real and just as damning. They may not see the light of day, but they are seen clearly by Him who judges the thoughts and intents of the heart. The lack of love, the secret grudge, the bitter envy or personal greed, the careless slander, the deceitful lies and broken promises, the daily ingratitude and shameless complaining--you name it, each of us has done it. If not out in the open, then deep in our hearts where God has clearly seen it.

Astounding Forgiveness

When we come before Him, there's no question about it. Our debt is huge. But also, God's forgiveness is most astounding. As Jesus told the woman, so He tells you: "Go in peace. Your faith has saved you."

It's not the number of tears we shed that brings forgiveness. It isn't even our promise to do better next time. But it is God's amazing love for us in Christ that sets us free. It's because long, long ago the One who ate at Simon the Pharisee's table came to carry the burden of every sinner to Calvary's cross. On Easter morning His empty tomb proclaimed: "Your debt is paid in full!"

No matter how we feel inside or what others may think, each of us can say with the woman: "I have been forgiven already in heaven. My debt of sin was great, but my Savior's forgiveness is even greater!"

According to Jesus Christian love always reflects the debt of sins forgiven. "To whom little is forgiven, the same loves little."

If you would have your love be the kind of love God wants it to be, then use the tools God gives you in His Word. Pause each day to size up the situation of your sin. Picture yourself before the Judgment throne of heaven where each sin is enormous and each is damning. Then see Jesus stepping to your side and lifting that burden from you . . . and saying: "Your faith has saved you. . . Go in peace."

The more aware you become of the true debt of your sin--from which you have been fully redeemed by your Savior--the more naturally God's love will flow in your life.

--Pastor James Albrecht

An ILC Chapel Talk--

"For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more" -- Luke 12:48


The captain of the supertaker Exxon Valdez was responsible to get his cargo of millions of gallons of crude safely from Valdez, Alaska, to the refinery in California. But he went aground, with some awful results. He was supposed to be able to handle the responsibility--"to whom much is given, from him much will be required."

The captain of a supersonic jetliner has an awesome responsibility to safeguard the lives of hundreds of passengers. Woe to him if he botches his approach at O'Hare Field. "To whom much has been committed, of him will they ask the more."

The president of the United States holds a powerful position of great responsibility in this globe's crazy career through history. Woe to all of us if he and his staff mismanage their high calling. "To whom much is given, from him much will be required."

The Challenge

Each man in his pivotal position has been given a high responsibility job, and we must assume each has been prepared for that commitment. After all, the captain is no longer a novice seaman; the pilot no longer a kid in grammar school; the president no longer a freshman college student.

This is also a truth for God's kingdom work and workers. This is God's standard for you in high school, you in college, you in seminary, and for me in retirement. It's really quite simple.

For example, the ninth grader is not responsible for doing the homework for College Math 101. But it is fair and right for Naomi and Kelly and Adam and Amy to be responsible for ninth grade work. That's the principle. Collegiates have been prepared to handle heavier materials and are held responsible to do so; seminarians have reached another level of preparation up the ladder of responsibilities. But for each new or increased responsibility there has been suitable preparation. We each receive input before we have to produce output. Nobody would expect Tim or John or Mark to function as a pastor without first becoming prepared for it. And of course, the Lord of the Church Himself will support each of us for whatever responsibilities He gives us.

So we get the point that God expects us to be responsible. He expects us to produce output, to carry out our assignments in life as best we can. That's our job in life for our God and Lord: a life of sanctification as student, as teacher, as pastor, as housewife, as wage-earner.

Now that may be interpreted as the Law part of this word of Jesus: He asserts the rights of God upon your life. You and I are made aware that God has a job for us to do. You and I have responsibilities, duties, assignments.

The Encouragement

And there is the encouraging half to this Word of God too. It's in the first half of each statement: "For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more."

This tells us that there is nothing God will ask of you that He hasn't already equipped you for. Does God ask for your devotion? Not unless He has already won your heart to look to Him as your dear heavenly Father. Has your heart not already been touched by the warmth of His love, so you know it in your bones that God will never turn His back on you? Do you not comprehend this amazing grace that by God's mercies you have been reclaimed from hellfire and have been brought to His side and into His arms? Are you not amazed that, because God's heart is so devoted to love such miserable creatures as we are, you and I have been salvaged from the gutter of this world's degenerate self-serving suicidal slide to destruction?

So when God asks us to serve Him, it is so only because He has prepared us to do so. He has given us the heart for it, the motivation from our soul to His. He has also given us the means: our brain, good enough to acquire knowledge of ourselves and of Him, the Almighty; He has given enough Bible knowledge to do entry-level witnessing. He has given us enough people-skills to know how to build bridges into another heart. So when our God asks us to be good stewards of our talents and resources, even of the money we have to spend week by week, we know we can do so. He wouldn't ask us to do something we weren't already empowered for doing. "To whom much has been given, of him shall much be required."

Now I'm going to admit that I have been tempted to look for the loophole, for a passage that would say: "To whom little has been given, of him shall little be required." But I can't find it.

God from His view does not consider anyone in His family to be shortchanged on blessings. It is only a sinful human view that God has not given much to me, and so that's why I don't have a lot of that good stuff to administer in service to Him. Like I don't have a body and soul, house and home, money and goods, my brain and all my members.

Shame on me, and on anyone who sits back to let others do the service God asks of me, and for which He has endowed me with every good gift of body and soul. Come, you blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom--and the kingdom work--prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

--Prof. em. Paul Koch

Appreciating Our Lutheran Hymns

Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty

A Hymn for the Opening of the Service

#1 in The Lutheran Hymnal

Above this first of the hymns in our hymnal stands the heading "Adoration," a category that includes hymns on the subject of worship itself.

Such hymns are useful, especially for opening a worship service, for they teach the importance of worship in the life of the believer. "Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty" expresses the joy of the believer who comes to the house of God to take part in a service of worship of the one true and living God.

There ought to be joy and excitement at coming to church to worship, for there we come into the presence of God. And though we know that we are in God's presence at all times and in every place, we have the specific promise of His presence as we come together to worship Him. Jesus promises to be present wherever believers gather in His name, to receive their worship and answer their prayers, though they be as few in number as two or three.

We are redeemed children of God through Jesus Christ who have the privilege of coming before God because we have been cleansed of our sins. To be conscious of being in His presence--enjoying fellowship with Him--is to have a foretaste of eternal life where we will see God face to face.

So we can say even now: "Where we find Thee and adore Thee, There a heav'n on earth must be."

The center of our worship is the Gospel in Word and sacrament. When we come together for worship we come saying: "Speak, O God, and I will hear Thee." He does speak to us in His Word--which is preached in the liturgy, the Scripture lessons, and the sermon.

Also as we receive the bread and wine in Holy Communion, we hear the words of Jesus which tell us that we are receiving His own body and blood, given and shed for the remission of our sins.

The Gospel that we hear in church is life-giving bread and water, giving us forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The Word in the service also strengthens us against temptations and gives us comfort for the trials of life.

"Here of life the fountain flows, Here is balm for all our woes."

--Pastor John Klatt

Studies In Ephesians

Proclaiming the Unsearchable Riches of Christ (See 3:8)

Chapter 4:1-16

True "Unity In Diversity"

"Unity in Diversity" is the rallying cry in most of today's churches. What is meant by this ecumenical motto is that it is not important what people believe and teach about the "details" of their faith. As long as people acknowledge that there is a God and that people should strive to better themselves--well, that's all that any religion is about at heart, anyway, isn't it? While some would say that it is important to confess that Jesus is Lord, many would not even press that point too strongly.

The truth of the matter is that God does, in fact, teach us about "unity in diversity" in Ephesians chapter four. Please take a few minutes to read the chapter, and you will see that the Lord calls us to be unified in our doctrine, while accepting diversity in the roles to which He calls us in His service.


It is a common misconception that, because many well-intentioned people teach different things about God, the church, the way to heaven, baptism, and other things, that God has left these matters open to varying "interpretations." Quite the opposite, says the apostle Paul! There is ONE Body, ONE Spirit, ONE Hope of your calling, ONE Lord, ONE Faith, ONE Baptism, ONE God and Father of all--and these things are not defined by majority vote, but by the Lord Himself in the Scriptures.

In verses 13 and 14 we are urged to come to "unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God . . . that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine." True and God-pleasing unity, then, comes about because we stand together under the doctrines of the Word of God. It is an immature and vulnerable Christian who supposes that differences in teaching don't matter. True Christian maturity means 1) being fully committed to the principle that God's Word is always right no matter what anybody else may say; and 2) giving careful study to that Word so that you know what it says for yourself.


While the Lord wants us to be united in doctrine when it comes to our Christian fellowship, we all know that a church is a diverse group of people, and in any such group there are going to be differences. One of these is the wide variety of talents and responsibilities that is found in a particular congregation or synod. This is something that the Lord Jesus gives to us as a blessing. It is the risen and ascended Christ who "gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." Pastor or member, man or woman, young or old--all have a God-given role to play for service to Christ and His people.

Sadly, because of the sinful nature that still clings to us, we will many times have trouble dealing with the wide variety of human foibles, weaknesses, and failings that are also found in every Christian family of faith. Here is where tolerance and Christ-like love must come to the fore. That is why Paul pleads with Christians "to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

Dr. Martin Luther commented along these same lines: "Accept it that we are not the same in life and walk, and one who has a different way is amazing to the other: one must let that go and happen. For one cannot make everything as straight as an arrow and all along the same lines when it comes to morals and life. As long as we are united in the correct, pure doctrine--there not even the least bit may be impure and false; rather everything must be pure and choice, as from a dove. There no tolerance nor overlooking nor love avails; for a little leaven leavens the whole lump, as St. Paul says in 1 Cor. 5:6." (Luther's Works, Vol. XXII, p. 820f).

Unity under the Word of God, diversity in calling, with Christian love governing all--that is the Lord's own plan for growth and blessing in a Christian congregation. As God defines it, "unity in diversity" is a good thing, after all!

--Pastor Bruce Naumann

Biblical Perspectives On The End Times

Seventh in a Series--



Smalcald Articles

"This teaching shows forcefully that the Pope is the very Antichrist, who has exalted himself above, and opposed himself against Christ, because he will not permit Christians to be saved without his power, which, nevertheless, is nothing, and is neither ordained nor commanded by God. This is properly speaking, 'to exalt himself above all that is called God,' as Paul says, 2 Thess. 2:4. Even the Turks or the Tartars, great enemies of Christians as they are, do not do this, but they allow whoever wishes to believe in Christ, and take bodily tribute and obedience from Christians."

The Smalcald Articles are one of the Particular Symbols of the Lutheran Church. Article III of the Constitution of the CLC states: "We confess the Apostolic, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds and the Particular Symbols of the Lutheran Church as published in the Book of Concord of 1580, BECAUSE (not insofar as) they are a true exposition of the Word of God." The constitutions of all member churches of the CLC make this same confession. When our pastors are ordained, they are also required to make this confession. So also our Christian day school teachers. Whenever a congregation calls a pastor or teacher, the congregation is demanding that the called pastor or teacher believe, confess, and teach that the Pope is the very Antichrist.

Identification of the Antichrist

How can we identify the Pope as the Antichrist? The Bible nowhere says in so many words that the Pope is the Antichrist. Neither did prophets of old explicitly state that Jesus of Nazareth would be the promised Messiah. What the prophets did was paint a picture of the Messiah to come--that He would be born of a virgin in the city of Bethlehem, that He would be despised and rejected, that He would suffer, die, and rise again. The New Testament believers identified Jesus as the fulfillment of those pictures. So also with the Antichrist! The Apostle Paul describes the Antichrist as a man within the church who would exalt himself above God, 2 Thess. 2:4. The Pope and only the Pope fits that picture.

The Horns in the Visions in the Book of Daniel

1. The Great Colossus, Daniel 2. This vision came to King Nebuchadnezzar in a dream. Daniel interpreted the various parts of the colossus as being succeeding anti-Kingdom-of-God kingdoms of this world, as follows:

    head of gold--the neo-Babylonian empire
    breast and arms of silver--Medo-Persian empire
    belly and thighs of brass--Grecian empire
    legs and feet of iron and clay--Roman empire

As Daniel watched, he saw a stone cut without hands strike the iron and clay feet of the colossus which became as chaff that the wind blew away. The stone became a great mountain and filled the earth. Daniel is assured that while one empire follows another, "the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed" (2:44). The STONE, the King of the everlasting Kingdom (Is. 28:16 and Ps. 118:22), shall establish His Kingdom. Both the destruction of the anti-Kingdom-of-God kingdoms of this world and the establishing of our Lord's Kingdom are pictured as occurring during the time of the Roman Empire. The New Testament era is passed over in silence. No HORN in this vision!

2. The Four Beasts, Daniel 7. In Daniel's vision the four parts of the Great Colossus appear as wild beasts, as follows:

    lion with eagle wings--Neo-Babylonian empire
    bear raised on one side--Medo-Persian empire
    leopard with four wings and four heads--Grecian empire
    nondescript beast with iron teeth, brass claws, and ten horns--
        Roman empire

The four anti-Kingdom-of-God kingdoms of this world would follow each other. But just as the Stone would become a mountain filling the earth, so the four empires could not prevent the saints of the Most High from receiving and possessing the eternal Kingdom, 7:18. But unlike the vision of the Great Colossus, which pictures no historical development after the fourth empire, Daniel saw ten horns on the head of the fourth beast, the Roman empire. The effort to identify each of these horns historically is an exercise in futility. For this writer the ten horns symbolize all anti-Kingdom-of-God kingdoms from the dissolution of the Roman empire to the last day. The USA is symbolized by those horns. We are currently the most powerful empire on earth. But from the Lord's point of view, the USA is but another earthly kingdom already doomed to destruction.

The nondescript beast had ten horns. Daniel's attention was glued to those ten horns. As he was considering them, "there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before him three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words," 7:8. Daniel's attention was focused on the little horn "because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking," 7:11.

Daniel asked for more information about the fourth beast, the ten horns, and "about the other horn which came up, before whom three fell, namely, the horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. I was watching, and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them," 7:20-21. Daniel was told that "the horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High. And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time," 7:24-25.

So what does this vision of Daniel mean for us who live some twenty-five centuries after Daniel saw the vision in a dream? The fourth beast that was dreadful and terrible, had huge iron teeth, and was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling everything that remained was the Roman Empire. The ten horns in the head of that fourth beast represent all subsequent anti-Kingdom-of-God kings of this world from the Roman Empire till the coming of our Lord and King. But what about the little horn that came up among the ten horns and established itself by uprooting three of the ten horns? That little horn symbolizes the kingdom of the Antichrist. The Antichrist established his kingdom by force, uprooting three kingdoms. He used kingdoms of this world to establish his spiritual kingdom. But all attempts to identify the three uprooted kingdoms are futile. The kingdom of the Little Horn is human. It has human eyes and a mouth that speaks pompous words. It is a kingdom that persecutes the saints, but cannot prevent them from possessing the everlasting Kingdom. That kingdom is the Papacy! It established itself by filling a political void. The Pope never ceases speaking pompous words--claiming to be God on earth with the sole power of opening and closing the gates of Paradise.

3. The Ram and Male Goat, Daniel 8. Daniel had seen the Medo-Persian empire as a bear. In this vision it appears as a ram; in this vision the Grecian empire that had appeared as a leopard appears as a male goat with a notable horn between his eyes. The goat broke the ram's horns and trampled him. The goat grew very great, but its large horn (Alexander the Great) was broken. Four horns came up and from one of them (the Seleucid empire) came a little horn. The little horn is described as having "exalted himself as high as the Prince of the host; and by him the daily sacrifices were taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down," 8:11.

4. The Vision of the Flow of History, Daniel 11. This is an amazing vision. It reveals the flow of history from the Persian empire to the destruction of the nation of the Jews, the chosen people of God. The little horn that came from the Seleucid empire is described as "a vile person, to whom they will not give the honor of royalty; but he shall come in peaceably, and seize the kingdom by intrigue," 11:21. The description of this little horn from a horn continues: "And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation," 11:31.

Bible students are almost unanimously agreed that the identity of this little horn from a horn is Antiochus Epiphanes. He placed in the temple the abomination of desolation in the form of a statue of Zeus and then washed the walls of the sanctuary with the broth of a cooked swine. He forbade circumcision, observance of the Sabbath, and other mandated Jewish rites. He was opposed by the Maccabees. Antiochus was the antichrist of the Old Testament. He failed as the Great Antichrist is failing and shall fail.


Dispensationalists and futurists in general find the Antichrist in the Vision of the Seventy Sevens, Daniel 9. The vision pictures the covenant-fulfilling work of Messiah the Prince, who shall be cut off, but yet destroy Jerusalem after He has confirmed (not made) the covenant by bringing sacrifice and offering to an end. The vision describes the work of the Christ, not the Antichrist. So also the king in Daniel 11:36 is not the Antichrist but Herod the Great. Those that find the Antichrist in the king insert an artificial gap of some 2000 years between verses 35 and 36.


--Pastor Paul F. Nolting

Fortieth Anniversary Historical Vignettes

vignette (vin-yet'), n. 1. short literary essay; sketch

vignettist (vin-yet'ist), n. a maker of vignettes, painter, photographer, or writer

Dateline: Sleepy Eye, Minnesota


A short anecdote:

A year after the CLC was organized, the Minnesota Valley congregations had a joint Reformation service in a rented hall in Sleepy Eye. A fine spirit prevailed. After it was over I heard two men--Rombergs, I believe--reviewing the event.

One of them commented, "I think these pastors are preaching better than they used to."

"Maybe our circumstances have made us better listeners," replied the other, after a moment of thought.

Then they looked at each other in a silence that was weighted with significance.

Historical Markings

Where Have We Been?

Where Are We Going?

On Tuesday morning, September 8, 1959, the high school opened its doors for registration. The enrollment numbered twenty-four--twelve freshmen, three sophomores, four juniors, and five seniors. Professor Dommer conducted the opening service on Wednesday morning, using Psalm 1 as his text, emphasizing that the school would be blessed only if it were founded solely on the rock of God's Word. He called Immanuel High School "a prayer which God had graciously brought to reality."

The Service of Dedication and Installation was held at Immanuel Church on Sunday, September 13, 1959. The school was dedicated to the glory of God and to the Scripture-based instruction of His children. The three instructors were installed. Pastor Ralph Schaller preached the sermon on Joshua 14:14, and emphasized: LORD, THIS DAY, BLESS TO US THIS CITADEL OF HEBRON.

The college and seminary departments began with a service conducted by Professor E. Reim on Wednesday evening, September 16. He chose John 17:6-9a for his text and spoke of THE PRECIOUS PRAYER OF CHRIST FOR HIS CHRISTIANS. The college opened with an enrollment of eleven--four freshmen, one sophomore, two juniors, and four seniors. Two men were enrolled in the seminary.

When Immanuel Congregation held its annual meeting on January 11, 1960 Professor Reim reported: "Our bold plan is working. Our school is functioning, and, we believe, with a reasonable degree of success." He acknowledged the cooperation of men who were serving as part-time instructors--Pastor Gordon Radtke, Pastor C. M. Gullerud, Professor Martin Galstad, Student-teacher Clifford Kuehne, and Pastor Egbert Schaller.

. . . The first year of operation of Immanuel Lutheran College came to an end on June 3, 1960. Professor Martin Galstad preached the sermon on 2 Peter 3:18 and chose as his theme GROW IN GRACE. . . .

The graduating class of 1960 published a yearbook entitled THE LANCE. Its dedicatory inscription said: "It is with great esteem that our graduates and students of 1960 dedicate this first anniversary memento of Immanuel Lutheran College--High School, College, and Seminary departments--to those who have had the God-given courage, faith and foresight to establish our school."

--From 'OUR ANNIVERSARY MEMORIAL TO THE LORD' (Pastor Egbert Albrecht, 1984)

The 'Black Hills Camping Trip'--

The Other Camp

You've heard of Camp Roughrider north of Jamestown, North Dakota. You know about the youth camp on the ILC campus in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. You probably have even heard of the CLC Youth Conference being held in Colorado this summer.

But there's a good chance you've never heard of 'the other camp.'

This other camp is the roughest, toughest camp in the whole CLC. Those who attend it don't sleep in soft, cozy cabins or dorm rooms. They don't eat their meals cafeteria style in a comfortable dining hall. They don't have flush toilets or the chance to shower and shave every day. This is real camping!

These campers sleep on the ground in cold, leaky tents with coyotes and mountain lions roaming the nearby woods. These campers cook their meals over open fires, scrub their dishes in ice cold water, and chop their own firewood. These campers go on eight-mile hikes up rugged peaks where rattlesnakes and poison ivy lie in wait.

This other camp is only for those who have the spirit of the pioneers beating fervently in their breasts.

Okay, so I'm being a little melodramatic. While leaky tents and rigorous hikes are definitely part of the experience, in all the years I've helped direct this camp, I've never seen one rattlesnake, and the few mountain lions there are in this place don't like to go anywhere near people.

Welcome to the annual Black Hills Camping Trip of South Dakota! This camp had its origin in the Porcupine Mountains of the Upper Pennisula of Michigan, where Pastor Walter Schaller, a great lover of real camping, used to take the young people of the Marquette congregation on backpacking trips. When Pastor Schaller accepted a pastorate in Lemmon, South Dakota, he brought his love of camping along. Thus, in the summer of 1987 the annual Black Hills Camping Trip was begin.

In 1992 Good Shepherd of Rapid City began participating in the event. Over the years young people and adult chaperons from CLC churches in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Colorado have participated. The number of campers has ranged from as few as five to as many as fifty-five. Typically the number is about thirty campers ranging from sixth through twelfth grades. The camp is usually held at a different site in the Black Hills each year.

While the wonders of God's creation are enjoyed by all, the chief purpose of the camp is to draw each camper closer to God's Word and the Savior revealed in that Word. Truly, Jesus camps and hikes with these young people as they listen to Bible devotions from pastors, study topics of special importance to young Christians, learn new table prayers, and sing hymns of praise to their Savior.

Years ago prospectors rushed to the Black Hills in search of gold. At this other camp the gold of Christ's saving Word is mined, and the campers are reminded that they truly are pioneers, hiking onward to possess the new heavens and the new earth.

(Submitted by Pastor Michael Wilke, who reported that this year's outing occurred July 31-August 1.)


"Holy Scripture On Christian Marriage"

A helpful series of articles under this title appeared in the Lutheran Spokesman between November 1998 and September 1999. The six articles written by Pastor David Schierenbeck, Berea Lutheran Church, Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota, have been drawn together into pamphlet form. The pamphlet, suitable as a master for copy purposes, is available from the Spokesman editor upon request (see masthead for mailing address). Send a SASE with .55 postage.

Great Lakes Pastoral Conference

Dates: September 25-27, 2000
Place: Messiah Lutheran Church, Hales Corners, Wis.
  1. Old Testament Exegesis: Ecclesiastes 10:11ff--Pastor David Baker
  2. New Testament Exegesis: 2 Corinthians 13:1:ff--Pastor Kevin McKenney
  3. Church history: 1066 AD to (?)--Pastor Mark Gurath
  4. Ephesians 5:21--Scriptural Understanding of 'Submit'--Pastor Bruce 
  5. 1 Corinthians 13:8-13: Can this section of Scripture properly be 
     interpreted as having to do with the cessation of miraculous gifts 
     of the Spirit?--Pastor Michael Eichstadt
  6. Isagogical Study (Essayist's choice)--Pastor David Schaller
  7. Evangelism Tract (to hand to J. W.'s or one for Mormons)--Pastor 
     Mark Gullerud
  8. Essayist's Choice--ILC Professor who attends
Conference Chaplain--Pastor Arthur Schulz
Communion Service Speaker--Pastor Mark Bernthal

  --Pastor Mark Gurath, Secretary

Thankful Acknowledgement

The Spokesman thanks Pastor Thomas Schuetze for once again being its on-site photographer at the 2000 Convention.