The Lutheran Spokesman (August 1997)

    "Lord, teach us to pray"

    "Let him ask in faith, nothing
      wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave
        of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

    For let not that man think that
      he shall receive anything of the Lord"

                 James 1:6,7.

    "Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of,
       before ye ask Him"

                 Matthew 6:8

    "Let us therefore come boldly unto
       the Throne of Grace, that
         we may obtain mercy and
           find grace to help in time of need"

                Hebrews 4:16

In this issue:

Remember The Sabbath Day TAKE A BREAK! When Catastropes Occur Through The Gospel We Have Victory Over The Devil SMORGASBORD Excerpt From "What's Good About The Public Ministry?" Looking Back in the Lutheran Spokesman What Do The Fossils Say? Meet: Gene Schreyer CLC Exploratory Services Announcements For Circulation and Subscription Information, click here.


Remember The Sabbath Day

How would you feel about having one day each week when you had absolutely no work to do at all? No mowing the lawn or washing the car, no repair projects or doing the laundry. With each week came a 24 hour reprieve when no labor was demanded of you; in fact, none was permitted. Before you think, "That SOUNDS great, but with my schedule it could never happen," let's go back to a time when there was a day off in everyone's life. It was a day when all physical labor stopped. Regular work was prohibited by God. He said: "Observe the Sabbath day to keep it holy. . . . Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh is a Sabbath of the Lord your God. . . . Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt and that the Lord your God brought you from there with a mighty hand and by an outstretched arm" (Deut. 5:12ff). The world of ancient Israel seems a far cry from our age of cellular phones and ATM machines and it certainly is. Not only have we been liberated from the ceremonial laws they were under, our lives are probably a lot busier than theirs ever were. Ironically, despite a multitude of time-saving devices, Americans find themselves so far behind in the frantic pace of life that the prospect of a day off each week sounds absurd. It is for that reason precisely that we need to pay careful attention to what God is saying in this passage. In His infinite wisdom God did not simply suggest a day off for rest and worship. He commanded it. From dusk on Friday to dusk on Saturday all labor was forbidden. Why? Because God had set His people free from bondage in Egypt; He did not want them to become enslaved again. First Things First There was little danger that the Jews, once settled in Canaan, would dream of returning to the sweatshops of Pharaoh. But there was every danger that they would become enslaved right where they lived. Like us, they were probably tempted to work around the clock, seven days a week, trying to carve out a better life for themselves and their children. Like us, they ran the risk of losing their perspective by overestimating the value of material things. What better way to correct one's perspective than a day off with God's Word? Each Sabbath reminded them of their amazing deliverance from Egypt. Today, the Gospel reminds us of our deliverance from an oppressor more ruthless than Pharaoh and from a bondage far worse than making bricks. God sent His own Son to liberate us from death, sin, and the devil's power. Otherwise held in bondage, God has set us free for all eternity. Those who are eternally free should not allow themselves to be enslaved by the temporal things of this life. What if you can't afford time off with God's Word? Well, the Sabbath taught them that it wasn't their power or ability that brought them freedom. It was the mighty hand and outstretched arm of God. Today God's Word reminds us that it isn't our ingenuity or effort that brings happiness in life, but God's grace. We like to think that it all depends on us, but it doesn't. We may worry about losing time or money by putting God first, but we never do. Our Savior's promise, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you," whether believed or doubted, is still true. --Pastor James Albrecht


Have you been to the lake this summer? Did you pack up the car and visit the ocean or camp at the Grand Canyon? Did you travel to see far-flung friends or family, and spend time just sitting on the deck talking? It's all part of the vacation experience that we look forward to at this time of year. A vacation can do wonders. Sitting in a gently rocking boat with a fishing pole in hand can ease away stress. Seeing new sights and catching up on the news from loved ones can help mend frayed nerves. A good vacation refreshes both the body and mind and gives us a new perspective on life. There are all kinds of vacation destinations from which to choose: Disneyland, a national park, a special city you have always wanted to see, and so forth. But the best spot of all unfortunately usually goes unnoticed and unappreciated. This one has none of the logistical problems such as getting two weeks off work, saving money, fighting crowds, and spending endless hours on the road. This place is accessible to all and yet it is never overcrowded, and nothing is more refreshing for the whole family regardless of age. What is this ideal vacation get-away? God says: "Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters. . . . Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live" (Is. 55:1, 3). Jesus extends the same open invitation to all: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest" (Mt. 11:28). A spiritual "vacation" is as close as the Word of Christ. Listen to those quiet waters gently lapping as they calm stressed-out hearts with the unspoiled peace of God. The Word assures you that in spite of everything that is wrong with work, the neighbors, yourself, and the world, all is well between you and God, for Jesus took all the wrong on Himself and paid the penalty for it on the cross. Unload all your fears, failures, and troubles on Jesus. There is no better person with whom to spend relaxing quality time. He is never too busy to listen and care, and He promises His divine strength to see you through whatever the future might hold. So this summer, whether you're off to the lake or just the backyard Weber, take a break from the wear-and-tear of daily life. Take a real vacation! Find that special spot and time each day when you can "get away from it all" by reading a chapter of Scripture. Take a break and talk to the Lord in prayer. Really talk to Him! Let the words come from your heart. Share with Him your deepest hurts as well as your fondest dreams. Between the end of one hectic week and the start of another, take a break. Join your spiritual brothers and sisters in the Lord's house to praise Him for mercies fresh and new every morning. Take a break and look forward to coming back rested, refreshed, and ready for continued service in the Lord's kingdom! --Pastor Michael Eichstadt


We have all watched with amazement and disbelief as the waters of the Red River have inundated the northwestern part of our state and Grand Forks, North Dakota. Our hearts go out to those who have lost everything and whose immediate future is bleak and unknown. Unless one has suffered it, it is difficult to imagine such destruction and loss. Yet can we learn anything? Indeed, if we don't the disaster will have been even more devastating. So then what do we learn? The Lord is in the wind and the flood. In the 28th chapter of Isaiah we read: "Behold, the Lord has a mighty and strong one, like a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, like a flood of mighty waters overflowing, Who will bring them down to the earth with His hand." This is a word of judgment against Ephraim. Now shall we suggest that the people of the northwest were sinners beyond the rest, for which reason God is judging? Be careful of drawing false conclusions! In the 13th chapter of Luke Jesus said: "Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower of Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem. I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." Many catastrophes have befallen this nation and areas of our nation, from earthquakes to floods to drought. What is God doing? Each of these devastations carries with it not an excuse for pharisaical finger pointing, but a call to repentance to a nation who has forgotten the Lord God, a nation that gives lip service to Him, but denies the substance of Truth. We live in a nation where sin is no longer sin, where right is wrong and wrong is right. We are people who carry our love of independence from authority to the extreme of rejecting the authority of God. God's call to repentance is part of His loving concern to recall us lest a worse fate befall, eternal judgment. "The Lord is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance." If we will not respond to a gentle nudge, the Lord must awaken with a thud. Another thing we learn is that which is material passes away. It is a most helpless feeling to see one's material wealth, and hopes tied to it, washed down a murky river whose tentacles spread across the landscape, or to see a wind blow a lifetime of work away in a minute. We know that ultimately all these things will pass away. They will not accompany us past our death bed. We know that. But yet we live and act as if we don't in the mad rush to accumulate. Our Lord encourages us rather to lay up treasures in heaven. In the Sermon on the Mount, He said: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is there will your heart be also" (Mt. 6). If we will not learn to turn to the Lord in repentance and faith, if we continue neglectful of Word and Sacrament, we will not have heard the call of the present devastation. God will have to do it again, not because He hates, but because He is desirous of our salvation. The Lord said to Solomon: "I have heard your prayer, and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land" (2 Chr. 7). When catastrophes occur, we can do a number of things. We can blame God. To what end, but more judgment? Or we can see the hand of God, listen to the voice of God (His Word), and believe His promises. Yes, we can enjoy the blessings we have here -- they too are from God for our good -- and turn our heart's attention to the cross of Christ where is the answer to the sin problem, and to the empty tomb through which life is restored and hope rekindled day by day. The love of Christ is the seal that "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us" (Rom. 8:18). Though the faithful also must suffer, there IS a rest that remains unto the people of God, eternal in the heavens. May the Lord awaken us all to His call, and at the same time heal the wounds and strengthen the hearts of all who after a long winter have had to suffer yet another devastation. We pray that the Lord's message will go unheeded by no one. --From the weekly church bulletin of Grace Lutheran Church, Fridley, Minn. Daniel Fleischer is pastor.

As Revealed By Scripture-- The Devil #6

Through The Gospel We Have Victory Over The Devil

It is not a well-kept secret among Christians that Satan is outmatched by the Son of God, Jesus the Savior. Though Satan can outmaneuver a weak child of God, and does so to our constant dismay, he never caught Jesus off-guard. Every contest between them ends in a repetition of Satan's ancient experience -- he's the primordial loser. We have data on this -- some recorded by Matthew and some by Luke (both in chapter 4). It is commonly referred to as "the Temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness." A more accurate and better P.R. for Jesus might report: "Jesus' attitude of self-sacrifice bested Satan in the wilderness temptations." In these three confrontations Satan was playing a single tune with the recurring theme: "Why do you persist in being so self-sacrificing when, after all, as Son of God you are entitled to some modicum of bodily comforts, some adulation, some reward. You deserve it." The simple (and horrible) point was to subvert Jesus' attitude of submissive self-sacrifice. The Spirit summarizes this for us in Philippians 2:4-12, when Jesus' humility is pointed out as His forte in all His life-experiences. Thus Satan's target was the essential center, the nucleus of Jesus' Saviorhood. If His heart could become infected with self-interest, His Messiahship would vanish in a puff of hellish smoke, and sinners would be left with a self-serving impostor. If we study each temptation-episode in that light, we see that the first (Mt. 4:3) was an appeal to Jesus to serve Himself physically; the second (Mt. 4:5-6) a decoy to serve Himself by gaining some adulation from a temple crowd that would applaud Him as He levitated above the rocks. The third (Mt. 4:8-10) is a bit more tricky. (It is puzzling that Luther thought the Devil here had reached a new low of stupidity when otherwise he considered the Devil to be the "wily foe.") The Devil was offering Jesus something the Devil had never owned in the first place, "all the kingdoms of the world . . . and their glory." To which he hoped Jesus would selfishly respond, "Yeah; right; it all belongs to ME, for my Father has not surrendered it to you." What a neat psychological setup for a knee-jerk selfish reaction! If only Jesus had been less nobly dedicated to the interest of sinners, He could have felt miffed over Satan's condescending tone. We are thrilled that Jesus kept US at the top of His priorities and avoided all desire for claiming His "rights." Thus we are led to deduce that He needed the wilderness-temptation experience to equip Him for His ministry of Saviorhood. It was of primary importance that He become strengthened in that self-sacrificing mode with which He had begun lest He crumble when faced with the crux of Good Friday. And by what method did He strengthen His resolve to succeed as our Savior? By hearkening back to His Father's work with those other children of His in similar circumstances. The marvelous suitability of those Deuteronomy passages surged up in His holy heart to "bear Him up" on those angel wings. Deuteronomy chapter 8, starting at v. 1, reveals the parallel between the biography of the Israelites in the wilderness (forty years) with Jesus' experience (forty days) ". . . to humble you and to test you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not." Chapter 6 likewise. Jesus used those words of His Father to strengthen His resolve to serve rather than be served, so as to be armed and equipped to best Satan in that final onslaught, to "give his life a ransom for many" (Mk. 10:45). John Milton in Paradise Regained makes the error of treating the Wilderness-temptation episode as the center of Christology: that is, that Jesus accomplished His Saviorhood via the temptations resisted. This overstates the case, of course, for saving sinful humanity required Jesus' entire output of willing submissiveness and humble obedience even unto the death of the cross--thus a winning combination of attitude plus performance--to chase Satan back to hell&gone, where he belongs. Beyond the function of the event in Jesus' life's mission, we ask what purpose is served by the Spirit in recording it for us. First, our hearts are refreshed in appreciation of our Savior's heart-felt dedication to the job of redeeming us, who are otherwise lost sinners. Secondly, we are reminded that the issue of attitude is paramount in all moral/spiritual activity, for a sinful attitude of heart can produce no good works -- as Luther also reminds us that we should revere and love God so that our deeds will be God-pleasing. In concert with such a God-revering attitude, the Christ-like heart searches Scripture for sustenance in our times of temptation, and the Spirit honors our claim on Him by bearing us up on the angel wings of God's words. All praise to Jesus for His successes Against the wily foe's devices; His love for us has foiled the schemer. Hallelujah to Jesus, our great Redeemer! --Paul R. Koch Editor's note: This concludes the series on the devil. Next we have asked the writers to tell what Scripture teaches about the good angels.



We would like to inform our readers of a helpful resource bearing on the relationship of the CLC with other Lutheran church bodies. We refer to a pastoral conference essay entitled "A Critique of the WELS/CLC Meetings and Other Communications Since 1960." This essay is the careful work of Pastor Arthur E. Schulz in response to an assignment given him for the Great Lakes Pastoral Conference meeting at St. Peter's of Stambaugh, Mich. in April of this year. The essayist begins his work (13 typed pages) with this comment: "I have taken the liberty of broadening my assignment to begin with the year 1958, and to include references to other Lutheran church bodies in addition to WELS. This paper is basically an Index of the Lutheran Spokesman and Journal Of Theology on this subject." It becomes obvious that, for anyone interested in delving into intersynodical dealings the CLC in its short history has had with other Lutheran church bodies, this writing will be extremely helpful. Inasmuch as the Spokesman and Journal are the official organs of the CLC, the information they pass along should prove historically -- and, we trust, scripturally -- reliable. Pastor Schulz, who is serving at Trinity, Millston, Wis., has voluntarily assumed the happy (?) chore of keeping a running index of the two official periodicals of our synod. He took up this task when his now deceased father-in-law, Pastor Clarence Hanson, passed the torch to him. What Schulz offers in his afore-mentioned essay, however, is more than would be found in a bare Index. He attaches brief comment (a line or two) to each reference, explaining the content and direction of the articles which appear in synod periodicals from 1958 to 1997. The full value of the Schulz paper will, of course, be realized only by those who have access to past issues of the Spokesman and Journal Of Theology. While most CLC pastors have many back issues, the library at Immanuel Lutheran College & Seminary in Eau Claire is perhaps the best place to look. Or one could write to the editors of the respective magazines for respective issues. The April 1997 Great Lakes Pastoral Conference agenda was not submitted to the Spokesman and did not appear in our Announcements section. For that reason, and those suggested above, we make mention here of the Schulz paper. Those desirous of a copy may write to the author at P. O. Box 538, Millston, WI 54643.


During the 1984-85 school year at Immanuel Lutheran College, Eau Claire, Wis. Prof. Clifford Kuehne used his turn as speaker at chapel exercises to address the students on the subject of the public ministry. In a series of 14 messages the professor talked about the teaching and preaching ministry and, in particular, what is "good" about such a ministry. According to the pamphlet's "Foreward" page, written by Prof. John Lau (recently retired as ILC President), these soundly scriptural addresses "have been collected and presented in printed form by grateful seminary students to commemorate Prof. Kuehne's 25 years of service to our Lord at ILC." In commending the booklet Prof. Lau calls attention to the author's "reliance upon and knowledge of the Scriptures, from which alone comes eternal truth"; he concludes: "May the collection be of great benefit to all who read it." Prof. Kuehne remarks that the idea for the booklet and its production did not involve him in any way. With his assent, however, we are giving you a flavor of the devotions with a reprint in this issue. Copies of the complete 48-page booklet -- excellent as family devotions and youth group discussion material -- are available for a modest $1.00 each, plus postage and handling, from the ILC bookstore.


Last month, and again this, the perceptive articles about 'theologians' in our 'Looking Back . . .' feature were authored by sainted Prof. Edmund Reim. We have reprinted them because, as the careful reader will discover, they are as timely for our day as they were in 1967, the year they were written and first appeared. The reprint in this issue is especially timely, we think, because as the world comes closer to the year 2000 we will be and are already hearing what Prof. Reim would call "fanciful interpretations" of what the end of the second and beginning of the third New Testament millennium will bring. Let the author's sober and solid scripturalism shed light on how Christians ought to view the events of these days in general, and the endtime in particular. This writer was one who was privileged to sit at Reim's feet for three years of seminary training, as well as at a few pastoral conferences and conventions. From experience I can say that with these reprinted articles the reader is given an excellent taste of what this man of God regularly offered in his writings which appeared in various periodicals of the Wisconsin Synod and later the CLC, and in his teachings on the conference floor or in the classrooms of the seminaries of the two synods mentioned. The reprints run the last two months appeared in 1967. The professor died August 22, 1969 in Eau Claire with funeral services at Immanuel, Mankato, Minnesota. Here, in part, is how W. Schaller, the Spokesman editor at the time, wrote of his passing: "In Professor Reim, the Lord gave much to the CLC, and much has now been taken away. Professor Reim was our theologian, and thanks be to the Spirit of God, he was a biblical theologian of the first rank. Before he spoke, he always listened with a carefully trained ear to what His Lord was saying in the Scripture. . . ." More could be said, and perhaps we will on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of his passing. Our highly respected teacher/theologian would not want us to do so. But the Lord does when He says: "Remember those who . . . have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. . . ." (Heb. 13:7-9). Lord, in these latter days and in your grace and mercy, grant your Church more true theologians like Prof. Edmund Reim.

Excerpt from "What's Good About The Public Ministry?"

Fellow redeemed in Christ, What's good about the public ministry? In our continuing study of that question, we today will consider how the Lord leads a person to prepare himself (or herself) for the pastoral or teaching ministry. There are some people in our day who think that whenever the Lord wants individuals to enter the work of the Church, He will call them to this work in some direct, mystical way. Perhaps you've heard someone say: "I feel that the Lord has called me to prepare myself for the ministry," and by this he does not mean a call extended by a Christian congregation or church body, but rather some inner communication which he thinks has come to him directly from God. From Scripture, however, we learn that also in this matter of deciding to prepare for the public ministry God prefers to work through means rather than directly. A Christian should not expect that God will reach down from heaven, tap him on the shoulder, and whisper in his ear: "I want you to be a pastor," or "I want you to be a teacher." He should expect God to work rather through those means or agencies which He Himself has established. With this in mind, let us consider our text. It consists of these portions of 1 Timothy 3:1-2: "This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop [a spiritual overseer], he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be . . . apt to teach." We learn here that there are two factors which a Christian rightly considers when he is seeking an answer to the question: Might the Lord want me to prepare for full-time work in His Church? These two factors are desire and ability. Surely the Lord makes use of means when He creates in the mind and heart of an individual a desire for the public ministry. Through His Word He convinces that person that the greatest problem of mankind is--not poverty, not racial discrimination, not the threat of nuclear war--but rather sin against God by which all men have brought upon themselves the wrath and eternal punishment of God. Through His Word He opens the eyes of that person to see that the greatest need of mankind is--not a cure for cancer, not three square meals a day, not a high standard of living--but rather the grace and forgiveness of God in Christ Jesus. Through His Word He instills in that person a recognition of the importance of the Gospel ministry for time and eternity, and a willingness to devote his life to that ministry. So the desire to be a pastor or teacher is one that God creates through the means of grace, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. But what about the matter of aptness to each, the ability to shepherd and instruct other sin the teachings of Holy Scripture? Here too God works through agencies which He has established. He works through His representatives here on earth, through Christian parents and pastors, through Christian teachers and counselors. These representatives have the God-given responsibility to give advice and counsel to those whom He has placed under them. Do not pass if off lightly, then, if a parent or a pastor or a prof here at ILC encourages you to give some thought to entering the pastoral or teaching ministry. A seemingly small thing like a note from a teacher at the bottom of a religion essay, "You have presented these truths in a clear, Scriptural manner," can help you evaluate your God-given ability. A comment from a guidance counselor or a department head, "you show potential for the public ministry," should be weighed carefully as an indication of a God-given aptness to teach. Sometimes all of this happens in a very quiet way. The door of educational opportunity at a school like ILC keeps opening from year to year, the Lord continues to bless your scholarship, and finally--almost before you know it--you find a call in your hand from a Christian congregation to be its pastor or teacher. Of course, not all Christians can become pastors and teachers, even as the Apostle Paul says in his letter to the Corinthians: "Not all are apostles, are they? Not all are prophets, are they? Not all are teachers, are they?" (1 Cor. 12:29, literal translation). But your choice of a career--whatever it is--by which you will be glorifying God and serving your neighbor, is something so important that you will surely want to bring it before your God in fervent prayer. Ask Him to use those means which He has established, His Word and His representatives here on earth, to guide you in making decisions for a career. You are a child of God, and you therefore have surely made your own that prayer which we have sung: Thy way, not mine, O Lord, However dark it be. Lead me by Thine own hand; Choose Thou the path for me. Not mine, not mine, the choice In things or great or small; Be Thou my Guide, my Strength, My Wisdom, and my All. Amen.

Looking Back in the Lutheran Spokesman

From August 1967 --

* THEOLOGIANS -- ANOTHER KIND. It was to be expected. The turmoil of the six-day Arab-Israeli War had hardly ceased and its echoes were still being heard in the halls of the United Nations when prominent churchmen began to refer to this youngest war as ARMAGEDDON. Nor did all of these voices come from such writers and scholars as we spoke of in a previous issue, theologians who bear the name but are barren of its import because they either question the authority of the Word of God or empty its terms of their simple meaning. At least some of these we have in mind at this time are men of an entirely different stripe, men for whom the Bible is indeed God's inspired and inerrant Word. But these are writers, teachers, and preachers who nevertheless have in one form or another embraced the teachings of Millennialism. They accept without question what the Bible says about Christ's coming to judge all the world at the Last Day. But at the same time they inject the idea of a previous return of the Lord, prior to the Day of Judgment, a special coming which would have the purpose of establishing His visible Kingdom over all the earth, to endure for a thousand years, or which would at least usher in a period of great prosperity for the Church. ARMAGEDDON would then be the field of battle between the forces of good and evil, the victory which would usher in the period of perfect peace and plenty. The reference is to the only passage in Scripture where this particular word is found, Revelation 16:16. "He gathered them together in a placed called in the Hebrew tongue ARMAGEDDON." Considering the dramatic nature of this recent war and adding the fact that it was fought at least in part in a land that Christians call Holy because it was the scene of the Savior's work, it is not surprising that men who are given to millennialistic views like to interpret these events as a fulfillment of the prophecy from Revelation. On the basis of this verse and in connection with other similar passages they make what seems to be a strong case for their teaching -- until one considers a few hard facts. It is simply a fact that both parties in this conflict, Arabs and Israelites, agree in their rejection of the Savior-ship of Christ. Both refer to Him as a great prophet. But neither will grant what Scripture so clearly attributes to Him, namely that He is the One in whom all Messianic prophecy is fulfilled, whose sacrificial death on the Cross constitutes the great atoning sacrifice for the sins of the world, that He is in truth the very Son of God. It seems strange, therefore, that Christian teachers should hail this particular conflict between non-Christian nations as ARMAGEDDON, the final battle between the forces of good and evil, the event which is to usher in the Millennium. They had a better case when in World War I the British under Lord Allenby drove the Turks out of Palestine, yet that hope also failed. But history has a more striking example than either of these. Toward the end of the Eleventh Century the Christian nations of Europe were stirred with a mighty ambition, to rescue the Holy Land from the hands of its Mohammedan rulers. When after untold hardships Jerusalem was finally taken in the last year of that century, it must have seemed as though ARMAGEDDON had indeed taken place, that the Kingdom of Christ had now been established on earth, to stand until His final return. Yet, as one disillusionment followed another until Western power failed utterly in maintaining itself in that far Eastern land, one thing had been made abundantly clear by God Himself, namely that while the Kingdom of Christ will be built and will stand, it will not be built and will not stand by way of military action, by force of arms and armies. That is the lesson that modern Millennialists have failed to learn. One asks how this can happen to men who are so sincere in their loyalty to the Word of God, who acknowledge its absolute authority without question. The answer lies in their failure to observe two important principles in the interpretation of Scripture. One is the fact that much prophecy, particularly in the Book of Revelation, is in the form of figurative speech. Take that verse which speaks of ARMAGEDDON in its context, beginning at verse twelve. This is the passage that describes the work of the sixth angel of that chapter, pouring out his vial of wrath upon the great river Euphrates. In this part of the apocalyptic vision John saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the Dragon, the Beast, and the False Prophet. The picture language is obvious. Even the Lord's own words in verse 15, "Behold, I come as a thief," use what is clearly recognizable as a figure of speech. Should one then not consider at least the possibility that the ARMAGEDDON verse refers to spiritual rather than military warfare? Certainly there is no lack of evidence to support this legitimate interpretation. The other principle that has been ignored is this. When interpretation becomes difficult because figurative speech is involved, should not one then turn to those passages of Scripture which treat the same subject, but do so in clear and simple terms, particularly when it is Jesus Himself who is doing the teaching? The entire question of Millennialism with its romantic notion of a double return of Christ would never have come up if men had given proper attention to what our Lord Himself has said so clearly and so comprehensively on this particular subject. Take Matthew 24 and 25, those two great chapters that speak in such detail concerning the last things. Jesus had just foretold the destruction of Jerusalem when His disciples asked Him, "Tell us, when shall these things be," and had added the second question, "and what shall be the sign of Thy coming and of the end of the world?" Jesus answers both questions, speaking sometimes of Jerusalem and the Temple, sometimes of the end of the world, sometimes using the former as background for the latter. But nowhere is there a word about a double return. There is only one coming, and that is for judgment. Nowhere is there room for a Millennium. Note that after describing the great tribulation which foreshadows the end, chapter 24:29-36 tells what shall follow immediately thereafter -- the Judgment! The various parables, particularly the one of the Ten Virgins in the opening verses of chapter 25, call for constant readiness. There will be warfare indeed, but it will be of a spiritual kind. There will be persecution (ch. 24:9), false prophets will come (v. 11), even false Christs will arise (v. 24). Yet in spite of all these obstacles "This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (v. 14). This is the sober prospect presented by our Lord to His disciples, indeed to all His followers for all time. It is a prospect of a Church that will be faced with persecution, trials, controversy, and dangers of all kinds, increasingly so as the end draws ever nearer. The picture leaves no room for the extravagant dreams and expectations of Millennialism. But it does offer a wonderful comfort. "When these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh" (Lk. 21:28). And this picture is signed with a promise that is clear and emphatic: "But he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved" (Mt. 24:13). Is this not enough? Should men want to add anything further to this? The teachings of Millennialism may be wishful thinking, but theology they are not! (Prof. E. Reim)

What Do The Fossils Say?

Most evolutionists insist that the occurrence of evolution is an indisputable fact, even if its exact mechanism must remain speculative. Since evolution is believed to occur far too slowly to be discernible in the time frame of human observers, we must examine prehistoric evidence in the fossil record if we are to observe the "fact" of evolution. In his book Historical Geology, evolutionist C. O. Dunbar said: "Fossils provide the only historical documentary evidence that life has evolved from simpler to more and more complex forms." But what does the fossil evidence say, and does it really support the evolutionary view of origins -- or is it perhaps more consistent with Creation? Fossilization typically occurs when organisms (either living or dead) are deposited from water into sediment. In some instances, the sediment solidifies making a cast of the entombed organism; in others, the organic material of the organism itself is replaced by mineral to form a stony replica. Conditions must be perfect for fossilization to occur, which perhaps explains why there is so little evidence of fossils being formed today. Both the burial of the organism and the hardening of the sediment must occur very quickly or the inevitable decay process will destroy the organism before it can become fossilized. Evolutionists believe that fossilized organisms were gradually deposited in layers of sediment over hundreds of millions of years, giving us a visual record of at least some of the stages of evolution from the first simple organisms to the most complex. Most creationists, on the other hand, believe that nearly all fossils were formed over a relatively short period of time during and after a world-wide Flood. Thus creationists believe the fossil record reveals organisms that were mostly contemporary -- not an evolutionary sequence extending over millions of years. As these beliefs are sufficiently different, it should be quite easy to determine which is more consistent with the fossil record as it actually exists today. To be consistent with evolution, the fossil record should show how organisms slowly transformed one into another through countless intermediate or transitional stages. Evolutionists, for example, claim that over one hundred million years were required for the gradual transformation of invertebrates into vertebrates; thus we would expect that the fossil record should show at least some of the progressive stages of this large-scale transformation. To be consistent with creation, on the other hand, the fossil record should show no obvious transitional stages between distinctly different kinds of organisms, but rather each kind of organism should appear all at once and fully formed. It is now a generally recognized fact that the fossil record shows few if any unambiguous intermediate stages in the evolution of an organism into a distinctly different kind of organism. David B. Kitts, an evolutionist and paleontologist, says: "Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of 'seeing' evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists, the most notorious of which is the presence of 'gaps' in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them." {Evolution 28:467} Evolutionists have been aware of these missing intermediate or transitional forms since the time of Darwin, and have tried to dismiss the whole problem by appealing to the "incompleteness" of the fossil record. Evolutionists cling to the hope that the "missing links" which they believe formed a continuous chain of evolution may yet be found. But this seems unlikely, since more paleontologists believe that the majority of all existing fossilized species of plants and animals have already been found and identified. Even most currently living kinds of plants and animals have been found in essentially their present form in the fossil record! David Raup, a paleontologist at the Field Museum of Natural History, reported that the growth in our knowledge of the fossil record since Darwin's time provides even less support for evolutionary transformations. Raup writes: "We are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much -- ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information." {Field Museum of Natural History Bulletin 50:22-29} Some evolutionists have argued that the absence of transitional forms is simply an "artifact" of classification. Others insist that the gaps occur only among the higher taxonomic groups, while still others insist that the gaps occur only among the lower taxonomic groups. The evolutionist George Gaylord Simpson conceded, however, that the gaps are a universal phenomenon: "Every paleontologist knows that most new species, genera, and families, and that nearly all categories above the level of families appear in the record suddenly and are not led up to by known, gradual, completely continuous transitional sequences." {Major Features of Evolution, 1953, p. 360} Speaking of the highest level of animal classification, evolutionist Philip Handler claimed that: "Some 25 major phyla are recognized for all the animals, and in virtually not a single case is there fossil evidence to demonstrate what the common ancestry of any two phyla looked like." {Biology and the Future of Man, 1970, p. 506} As for the lowest level of taxonomic classification, the popular evolutionist Stephen J. Gould said: "In any local area, a species does not arise gradually by the steady transformation of its ancestors; it appears all at once and fully formed." {Natural History 86:12-16} This, of course, is exactly what creationists would expect to find. While most evolutionists still insist that there are at least a few examples of transitional forms in the fossil record, a growing number question whether the fossil record provides any real evidence of the transformation of one organism into another. Evolutionist Steven M. Stanley concluded that: "The known fossil record fails to document a single example of phyletic evolution accomplishing a major morphologic transition." {Macroevolution: Pattern and Process, 1979 p. 39} Stephen J. Gould tells us that "the extreme rarity of transitional forms in the fossil record persists as the trade secret of paleontology." {Natural History 86:12-16} It would go a long way toward correcting the evolutionary bias in our public schools if even this one "trade secret" were revealed to students. Despite the "missing links" in the fossil record, few evolutionists have abandoned their faith in the so-called "fact" of evolution. In an article defiantly titled "Who Doubts Evolution," Oxford zoologist Mark Ridley declared: "If the creationists want to impress the Darwinian establishment, it will be no use prating on about what the fossils say. No good Darwinians belief in evolution stands on the fossil evidence for gradual evolution, so nor will his belief fall by it." {New Scientist 90:830-832} We may conclude that the beliefs of "good Darwinians" are not supported by the fossil record while the beliefs of "good creationists" are. --Dr. David N. Menton

In Our CLC Classrooms:

Meet: Gene Schreyer

Gene Schreyer is a teacher at Immanuel Lutheran High School in Mankato, Minn. He began his teaching career there in 1963. Mr. Schreyer attended Bethany Lutheran High School in Mankato and received an AA degree from Bethany Lutheran Junior College. He went on to earn both his elementary education degree and his theological degree from Immanuel Lutheran College and Seminary in Mankato. He also received a B.S. degree in ecucation from Mankato State University. He chose to pursue the teaching ministry because he enjoyed the education field and working with young people. In 1976 he had the privilege of participating in the CLC Lutheran Heritage Tour of Europe and the Middle East, visiting seven countries in 21 days. He was able to use this trip to enhance his teaching of German and various history classes. His favorite classroom saying is, "Those who will not learn from history may be doomed to repeat it." Outside the classroom Gene enjoys spending time with his wife Grace (nee Meyer) and their three children Juliana, Brent, and Christiana. Favorite Family activities include traveling, camping, and hiking. One of the most rewarding aspects of his teaching is seeing students grow in their faith and having the opportunity to teach the children of former students. We thank Gene for his 34 years of faithful service in God's Kingdom work. may the Lord continue to bless his teaching ministry. Paul Fleischer, Pastor/Editor 1 Cor. 1:30-31 "Let him that glories, glory in the Lord"


---------------------------------------------------------------------- LOCATION PASTOR IN CHARGE LAY PERSON TO CONTACT ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Arizona, Gold Canyon Michael Eichstadt Gerald Gehling 602-983-9052 602-866-2341 California, Stockton Michael Sprengeler 510-886-3252 Colorado, Colorado Springs Delwyn Maas Chuck Seelye 303-278-7216 or 719-685-5848 800-777-4316 (statewide, Peter Reim) Colorado, Southeast Denver Delwyn Maas Edwin Trapp 303-278-7216 or 303-805-0300 800-777-4316 (statewide, Peter Reim) Florida, North Port Wayne Eichstadt Bob Peters 941-423-1822 941-474-4385 Florida, Orlando John Schierenbeck Paul Kuehne 941-299-4084 407-277-2183 Florida, Coral Springs Wayne Eichstadt Bob Doriot (North Ft. Lauderdale) 941-423-1822 305-429-0063 Georgia, Atlanta area Warren Fanning 803-796-0005 (home) 803-791-0770 (office) Michigan, Cadillac, Reed Walter Schaller Bob Remus City, Traverse Miss. At Large 616-832-2687 Michigan, Grand Rapids Walter Schaller Harald Schillinger Miss. At Large 616-453-6609 Minnesota, Kimball Daniel Fleischer Reuben Streich (St. Cloud area) 612-784-8784 320-453-7562 New Mexico, Albuquerque Norbert Reim Robin Vogsland 602-974-8911 505-892-6934 North Dakota, Fargo Theodore Barthels Gary Pansch 218-847-2080 701-277-1727 Texas, Amarillo James Naumann Local Contact 719-336-5773 806-358-3717 Texas, Killeen Thomas Schuetze Richard Ehret 972-733-4535 817-526-7697 Virginia, Fairfax Timothy Holland David Loop (Washington DC area) 704-692-7731 703-250-2020 Washington, Withrow Terrel Kesterson 509-327-4203 Wisconsin, Fairchild Gordon Radtke 715-834-6280 Canada, Calgary, Alberta Horst Gutsche 403-569-9239 Canada, Vernon, David Reim British Columbia 250-549-5250


Change Of Address David Reim 1503 Pottery Rd. Vernon, BC. V1T 3W6 Canada 50th Anniversary Our Savior's Christian Day School in Jamestown, North Dakota is celebrating its 50th anniversary on August 31, 1997. We are inviting alumni and former pastors and teachers to join us for this special observance. We would appreciate an RSVP by August 15th to: Lee Murch, 1001 5th Ave. SW, Jamestown, ND 58401; Phone (701) 251-2455. Installations In accord with our usage and order, ILC Seminary graduate James J. Naumann, who was called by Mt. Olive Lutheran congregation of Lamar, Colo. to be its pastor, was ordained and installed by his father, the undersigned, on June 29, 1997. Assisting where Pastors Vance Fossum, Norman Greve, Peter Reim, and Delwyn Maas, who preached the sermon. --Pastor Bertram J. Naumann In accord with our usage and order, Timothy B. Wheaton was installed (ordained) as the called pastor of St. Luke's congregation, Lemmon, S. Dak. The Rigt of Installation was conducted by the undersigned on July 6, 1997. Pastors Michael Roehl, Michael Schierenbeck, and Michael Wilke were present to lay their hand of fraternal blessing upon Pastor Wheaton. --Pastor Gordon Radtke In accord with our usage and order, Jay Hartmann, who was called by Grace Lutheran congregation of Live Oak, Fla. to be its pastor was installed on June 29, 1997. --Karl Stewart Upcoming Installation Of Missionary At Large The following information has been submitted by Harald Schillinger, Chairman of Rock of Ages Ev. Lutheran congregation. Pastor Walter V. Schaller, who recently accepted the call as Missionary At Large for Western Michigan, is to be installed at Rock of Ages Ev. Lutheran Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. on August 17th at 4:00 p.m. The location is Cooks Fellowship Hall at 1905 Baldwin St., Jenison, Mich. There will be a meal served after the installation and everyone is invited. Beginning on August 24th Pastor Schaller will also be serving Our Savior's Ev. Lutheran Church in Cadillac, Mich. Worship services are scheduled for Jenison at 9:00 a.m. and Bible Class for 10:10 a.m., after which Pastor Schaller will be traveling to hold worship services at 1:30 p.m. in Cadillac for all of our Northern and Western Lower Michigan members. Pastor Schaller, his wife and son, will be residing in the greater Grand Rapids area during his commission here. To Our Readers: The third sentence in the article "The Transition Of Power" (p. 3, July 1997 issue) was unintentionally shortened when the printer inserted the "compass directions" artwork in the article. The sentence should read: ". . . The mainland continues to cast its eyes at the so-called "break away province" of Taiwan. -- Editor