Lutheran Worship and Resources

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Eighth Sunday after Trinity

The Eighth Sunday after Trinity,  2011

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The Hymn # 39                    Praise to the Lord                              3:1  
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual       
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #260                O Lord Look Down                3:41  

Begin with the Word of God

The Communion Hymn # 307            Draw Nigh                3:72
The Preface p. 24
The Sanctus p. 26
The Lord's Prayer p. 27
The Words of Institution
The Agnus Dei p. 28
The Nunc Dimittis p. 29
The Benediction p. 31
The Hymn # 309     O Jesus Blessed Lord             3:70  

KJV Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

KJV Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Eighth Sunday After Trinity

Lord God, heavenly Father, we most heartily thank Thee that Thou hast caused us to come to the knowledge of Thy word. We pray Thee: graciously keep us steadfast in this knowledge unto death, that we may obtain eternal life; send us now and ever pious pastors, who faithfully preach Thy word, without offense or false doctrine, and grant them long life. Defend us from all false teachings, and frustrate Thou the counsels of all such as pervert Thy word, who come to us in sheep's clothing, but are inwardly ravening wolves, that Thy true Church may evermore be established among us, and be defended and preserved from such false teachers, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Begin with the Word of God

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

Luther’s sermons on this text are reminders of how far the Lutheran Church has fallen into apostasy in this generation. The world-wide banking swindle seems to alarm people the most, but they should be asking themselves this question, “When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith?”

This lesson is found at the end of the Sermon on the Mount, serving as a warning about false teachers and encouragement about the efficacy of the Word.

These words conclude the Sermon on the Mount:

KJV Matthew 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: 25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. 26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. 28 And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: 29 For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

The end times are marked by apostasy, falling away from the Christian faith. A man who is born an atheist and remains an atheist is not an apostate. However, the best example of apostasy can be found in those who begin as conservative Protestants and remain in church vocations while turning against the Christian faith. Rob Bell, a graduate of Fuller Seminary, is the easy and obvious poster boy for such apostasy. Pointing the finger at a distant figure is easy. The best examples are home-grown, not in big, bad ELCA, but in the Synodical Conference and its fragments.

KJV 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away  (Apostasia – Apostasy) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.

The Word of Jesus is important in every detail. The wolves are not dresses as wolves but as sheep. Lutherans have enjoyed this little game of identifying the liberals among the conservatives and crying about trivial matters involving those straying beasts. A man who attacks the basic doctrines of the Christian Faith is wearing his lupine hide on the outside. He is not a wolf in sheep’s clothing at all.

The wolves are disguised as “confessional” Lutherans. They love that delightfully vague term. Seldom do people hear “orthodox Lutheran,” far more precise, too precise for the lot of them.

The “confessional Lutherans” keep themselves busy, praising themselves, angling for better calls, and attacking the efficacy of the Word. They attack it in two ways – first by ignoring it, second by substitution.

Not long ago I received John Brug’s The Ministry of the Word, a huge book, from Northwestern Publishing House (WELS). He is the Old Testament professor at their seminary and actually has a doctorate in that field. Perhaps my eyes are worn from too much reading, but I can find nothing in that volume about the efficacy of the Word – except for one passing reference.

Efficacy of the Word.
The efficacy of the Word is taught throughout the Bible, starting with Creation. In fact, one can easily find in the yammerings of all the liberals a deliberate contempt for the efficacy of the Word. Rationalism tells them that God cannot create the universe in six, 24-hour days. Nor can He invoke a global flood or stop it from continuing – they claim. God is still handy for raising funds and endowing schools, so they still use His Name, which is now changing to suit the feminazi cause.

Luther always taught the efficacy of the Word. No one can teach Old Testament studies faithfully without that foundational knowledge. The Jews believed in it, and attributed that efficacy to rabbis. I can find rabbinical stories that support the efficacy of the Word far better than all the modern Lutheran books out there today. That includes Brug.

Put another way – Ignoring the efficacy of the Word is a direct attack upon the Holy Spirit’s power. The Bible is the Book of the Holy Spirit, as Luther wrote, and teaches us its power, efficacy, and clarity (perspicuity). Ignoring the efficacy of the Word is blasphemy, an attack against God the Holy Spirit.

When I looked up the topic of efficacy in various large academic libraries, I found almost nothing printed in all the scholarly books and journals of this era. But Luther and the Book of Concord treat the topic frequently, as the foundation for all Biblical teaching.

For various reasons many of my early courses were in Old Testament and in Judaism. I was fortunate to have a real archeologist as an Old Testament professor and a former truck driver turned Hebraist as my first teacher in Hebrew. The first loved digging up sites. The second fell into Hebrew by accident and loved teaching the language. At Yale I had an excellent teacher in Genesis, a conservative scholar, and a New Testament professor famous for his knowledge of the Old Testament. Because of independent studies, I spent a lot of time reading books about OT history and rabbinic lore. Then I had a rabbinic scholar at Notre Dame, who took us through about five rabbinic books per week for a semester.

A constant in all honest Old Testament and rabbinic books is the power of God’s Word. When God speaks, His will is carried out. This is best expressed in the Genesis Creation, in many Psalms, and in Isaiah 55. The central message of Isaiah 55:8-11 is the inevitable result of God’s Word.

We have had a drought lately in Arkansas. Our friend joked with us that his grass stopped growing and turned white. Ours was due to be cut a month ago, and it stopped too. Now the rain is rolling through, hour after hour of steady rain, not just a sprinkle. The rain greened up the grass immediately, and started it growing again. It is not because rain is water. Any farmer will agree – watering keeps plants alive but does not make them grow very much. Rain has dissolved nitrogen in each drop, so one steady rain will green up all of Creation, spike the insect population, and make the birds sing happily as they look over their new meals of bugs and seeds.

The Word of God has that inevitable effect, but it belongs to God alone. Man cannot adopt, change, or merge it with human opinions. Because the Word of God belongs to Him alone, the timing and style of its effect is up to Him. Sometimes it converts and enlightens. At other times it hardens and blinds. Pharaoh hardened his heart against the Word, even though he was privileged to have Moses speak to him. Saul lost his faith in God and became blinded by jealousy and madness.

Paul spoke and riots started. The religious leaders wanted him killed, and the civil authorities obliged. Look at all the trouble he caused! He needed killing, as they say in the South.

Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount that this was a necessary part of teaching the Word, bearing the cross.

KJV Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. 12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

That is why Luther spent the Augsburg Diet in another city, because the Holy Roman Empire wanted to kill him for teaching the truth. The same Emperor who hated Lutherans (and Germans) was a fine military leader against the Muslim invaders and also served as one cause for the Book of Concord being written. As Luther said, God is quite good at managing things, so we should leave the big and small issues up to Him.

Removing Efficacy by Substitution
The other way to get rid of the efficacy of the Word (in the minds of Christians) is to substitute a base metal for the treasure of the Gospel.

Henry VIII was a big spender. To pay his bills, he substituted copper for the silver in the shilling. The copper came through on his nose, in the image on the coins, so he was known for his shiny nose and corrupted coinage.

Dentists call fillings “silver” when they are a combination of silver and mercury. The mercury binds to the silver and makes it easier to fill cavities. No dentist will say, “I am using mercury in your mouth, the stuff that closes down schools when it is spilled.” He says “silver” or “amalgam.”

That is a great way to deliver false doctrine, by amalgamation. Those who teach Universal Objective Justification are the “confessional Lutherans.” All the mainline groups teach it too, especially ELCA.

Substitution works this way. The “confessional Lutherans” do not reject justification by faith in an obvious way. No, they tack it on the end of their little rants. The real message is clear – the entire world has been absolved, forgiven of its sin, without the Word. Every single baby—whether Hindu, Muslim, or cannibal—is born forgiven. That is backed up by a Eduard Preuss quotation, without mentioning that he turned and became a Roman Catholic theologian, after seeing a brilliant sunset – a sign from God! No, God’s message was in the Word, but Preuss saw the divine will in the clouds: “Turn papist!” That is their UOJ hero.

But what do these UOJ fanatics really teach? That is given away in their statements of rejection. There is such a long list of them. Recently retired blogger Paul T. McCain published this:

“Never look to your subjective feeling that there is faith in your heart. Always, always, always, look to Christ and what He has done for you and the whole world. Do not confuse faith in faith, with trust in Christ. There is a key difference.
We are Christians, not Faith-ians.”

McCain, like all his “confessional Lutheran” friends, identifies justification by faith with Calvinism.

These “confessional Lutherans” do not attack the efficacy of the Word directly. Instead, they nibble along the edges, where they feel safe. They say,

“You are already forgiven and saved, so do not even mention faith. That is Calvinism. That is having faith in faith. That is a work of man.”
Seventh Day Adventists Agree with McCain

“According to the 1888 Message Study Committee ("1888 MSC"), the 1888 message reveals many "fresh, beautiful truths . . . that are not usually understood today."[1] One such "truth" is the concept that Christ's death at the cross accomplished a legal or objective justification which is universally and unconditionally applied to all men.[2] This doctrine is said to derive from the observations that Christ has borne the sins of "all men" and has died the second death for "every man."

Known by Their Fruits
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16 Ye shall know them by their fruits.

Remember, this warning is not about obvious atheists who clearly oppose anything religious. Moving the focus of this lesson is clever, lending itself to attacks against the organized Humanists (a clever name for atheists) and other sects that are engaged in the same kind of Pietistic rants, as in “Thank God we are so pure, unlike…”.

False prophets always want to do good things. They say so all the time. They cover themselves with the holiness of their works. They are “passionate about sharing Jesus with others.” They will do “anything short of sin to reach people who have never been reached before.” (Groeschel, Ski, Glende)

But teaching against God’s Word is the greatest sin of all. The claim contradicts itself, because they really mean, “We can make God’s Word effective when others have not.”

Pietism is known for two fruits – doctrinal indifference and cell groups. What God teaches clearly in His Word is dismissed as polarizing and not worth an argument. But the necessity of being in a cell group and obeying all the cell group rules is essential. Disobeying the cell is damning by itself. It leads to all kinds of cult behavior, manipulation, and disorder.

False prophets are rude, obnoxious liars. The UOJ fanatics cannot produce Gospel fruit because they reject the Gospel. Their dishonesty reveals itself when they claim the Gospel but warn people away from faith.

KJV John 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him [GJ – utterly trust in] whom He hath sent.

Jesus never taught UOJ, but always taught justification by faith. However, generations since Gausewitz are so brain-washed that they reject this passage and hundreds of others in favor of statements from ignorant essayists and synod politicians, who amalgamate the message, replacing precious metal with base metal.

Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
The answer to this is clear enough for anyone. Gardeners know that many plants look like they will bear fruit, but they are really just weeds. Every good plant has a weed that looks just like it. The initial growth is pleasing, but the best way to tell what the plant is comes from the result of the flower bearing the fruit.
Nevertheless, “confessional Lutherans” claim they can go dumpster diving at Fuller, Granger, Mars Hill, and Willow Creek, and come up with the fruit of the Gospel.

One way to test the false teachers is to hold them accountable for their teaching. When challenged, they flatter at first, then turn upon their victims with rage when the flattery fails to work. Bribes come out too. A challenged leader will pull a call out of his back pocket. Two men silenced themselves to get the calls they wanted, promotions out of the labor of parish work.

Although various tactics are designed to intimidate, they should also be seen as evidence of the thorns and thistles. I had 9 foot tall thistles in one place. When I got done tearing them out, no one ear of corn appeared. No grapes. No strawberries. No edible pod peas. Just thistle pods and stickers all over me. When the wolves show their fangs and claws, that is a blessing, according to Jesus in Matthew 5:11-12, not a reason for backing down.

Matthew 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Faith in the Gospel of Christ can only bring about good things. All things work together for the good for those who love God.

We may suffer many indignities and slights, and real harm from those who hate God’s Word and work from within the fold to bite, devour, and slaughter the lambs. The false teachers rage, but the Holy Spirit turns their evil into good.

Many people saw the 2009 ELCA convention as a great disaster, to be followed by the 2011 ELCiC convention (in Canada, eh?). But this alleged disaster finally opened some eyes and allowed thousands to leave their Babylonian Captivity. Although I have grave doubts about the current Biblical understanding of LCMC and NALC, the new formations allow them to study issues anew without the baggage of all the officials who were placed in their positions because of their advocacy of radicalism. (One was my classmate at Yale, who lost two positions from cutbacks, ending up as head of a bankrupt seminary. The evil tree does indeed bear evil fruit. His pastor-wife bragged that their daughter is living with a female partner now, so he probably does not notice or mind.)

The Holy Roman Emperor’s rage against the Lutherans created the climate needed for the Book of Concord. The Lutherans had to unite based on doctrine and employed their greatest theologians after Luther to accomplish that miracle. The miracle came about because they sincerely studied the Word of God to create that concord, that harmony.

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

Forget ELCA. The trees being cut down now are the LCMS, the ELS, the WELS, and the fragments of the Synodical Conference. The first three have had up to 160 years to establish and maintain the Word of God and the Confessions. Instead, they have turned away (apostasy) from both to devour the false teachings of Fuller Seminary, the Church of Rome, and various factions and sects.

Over 24 years ago, a graduating senior of Mequon said, “Greg. You have a Lutheran library. Mine is full of Reformed books, which the seminary told me to buy.” The tree is being cut down and cast into the fire.

WELS DP John Seifert told the Michigan pastors, “In a few years you will not recognize the synod.” He should know, because he and his brother Don were instrumental in destroying Lutheran doctrine.

Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. 21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Invoking the Name of Jesus is not going to cover up for attacking the Word of God, whether obvious or subtle. Look at the way in which the “confessional Lutherans” rail against the English version of Luther’s Bible – the King James.
WELS leaders have lined up to support the New NIV because it offers feminazi language, Adam as a myth, and universal salvation. The old nickname for WLC has returned – Moo U.
Missouri is behind the ESV. McCain loves it and hates justification by faith.
Christian News sells the Beck Bible. Why not fragment the Lutheran readers completely, with everyone showing up with a different translation, a different set of words to translate?

No one asks these questions –
Who enrolled at Wittenberg to study under Luther and Melanchthon?
Who printed his first English Bible in Germany?
Who was betrayed, strangled, and burned at the stake to give us an English Bible?

Was William Beck?
Was Doug Moo, the Murdoch lick-spittle for the NNIV?
Was J. I. Packer, the Calvinist, who simply revised the RSV owned by the gay Communist National Council of Churches?

Packer holds to Reformed theology, also known as Calvinism.[6]

No, one man alone fits that description – William Tyndale, whose persecuted translation became the King James Version.

Matthew 7: 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Look at all the buildings we put up in Your Name. Add up all our good works. We have been writing about them for 50 years, leaving out a few unfortunate episodes that would only damage the faith of the innocent. Altogether, though, haven’t we done well? Aren’t you proud of us?

God commands that we teach His Word alone, without compromise or excuse. That may result in little communities. At least we are united across the world through the Internet. I recall the hymn as

“Do not fear little flock,” not  - Lead some cheers, mega-flock.”

Knowing God and being known by God – both come from the Word of God, which conveys Jesus and His forgiveness to us. Trusting in Him for our salvation gives us His righteousness through faith.

The fallacy of emphasis, a logical fallacy, is one where the wrong word is used to turn truth into falsehood, falsehood into truth. The anti-Gospel UOJ clan is offended by justification by faith, picking on faith. The Gospel causes and sustains faith, through the power of the Holy Spirit. God declares us forgiven, so justification by faith emphasizes trust in God’s forgiveness in Christ. Therefore, believe is forgiveness, and forgiveness is salvation.

No one knows exactly how to follow the twisty path of UOJ, which doubles back on itself so many times.

But Luther teaches clearly in his sermon on this text. Unbelief is the foundational sin, which leads to all other sin. The Son of God took on our flesh to teach us.

KJV John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you. 8 And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: 9 Of sin, because they believe not on Me.

Not believing in Christ is a sin, and that foundational sin does not justify, even if the Synodical Conference now agrees with the Seventh Day Adventists and ELCA. Jack Kilcrease, an ELCA-trained servant of Rome, also teaches against justification by faith, a fact touted by one Paul T. McCain. But all the blogs in all the world do not trump a single phrase from the Word of God.

Of sin, because they believe not on Me.

If you even fall into despair and depression, your conscience accusing you (with the help of Old Scratch), there is but one remedy. Do you believe Christ died to pay for your sins? If so, then your sins are all forgiven, forgotten, and absolved.

KJV Psalm 103:
1 {A Psalm of David.} Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.
7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.
8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.
9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.
14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.
15 As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. 16 For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.
17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;
18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.
19 The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.
20 Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.
21 Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. 22 Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

Trinity Eight
Matthew 7:15-23

"Just as true doctrine is the greatest gift we can enjoy, so false doctrine is the most baneful evil that can beset us. False doctrine is sin, it is the invention of Satan, and it imperils and destroys salvation. False doctrine is every teaching contrary to the Word of God. Scripture enjoins upon us to proclaim only the truth."
            W. A. Baepler, "Doctrine, True and False," The Abiding Word, ed., Theodore Laetsch, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1946, II, p. 501.          

"No false dogma has ever been spread in the church which was not put forth with some plausible show, for sheep's clothing is the show of false religion (says Chrysostom). Indeed, the weaker and more ruinous the cause is, the more arguments it needs, sought everywhere and in every way possible, as though to cover it over with paint or to swathe it with medicine. For Pindar [famous Greek lyric poet, 518-438 B.C.] says, 'For a just cause three words are sufficient.' Therefore the papalists have gathered very many and varied arguements in order to establish purgatory."
            Martin Chemnitz, Examination of the Council of Trent, trans., Fred Kramer, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1986, III, p. 325.       

"Paul calls all false spirits bold and proud. Yes, in their filth with their protectors they are proud and impudent, otherwise they are the most cowardly villains that can be found. When they are to appear and answer for their conduct, they produce a single answer. Among themselves they are bold, and venture to catch God in His own Word; but when it comes to the test, they simply despair."
             Sermons of Martin Luther, 1983, V, p. 204.       
"For every sect has always had one or more particular hobbies and articles which are manifestly wrong and can easily be discerned to be of the devil, who publicly teach, urge and defend them as right certain and necessary to believe or to keep For the spirit of lies cannot so conceal himself, but that he must at last put forth his claws, by which you can discern and observe the ravenous wolf."
               Sermons of Martin Luther,  IV, p. 282f.         

"For this reason one should not be too credulous when a preacher comes softly like an angel of God, recommends himself very highly, and swears that his sole aim is to save souls, and says: 'Pax vobis!' For those are the very fellows the devil employs to honey people's mouths. Through them he gains an entrance to preach and to teach, in order that he may afterward inflict his injuries, and that though he accomplish nothing more for the present, he may, at least, confound the people's consciences and finally lead them into misery and despair."
             Sermons of Martin Luther,  II, p. 322.  

"It is not enough that we preach correctly, which the hireling can also do; but we must watch over the sheep, that the wolves, false teachers, may not break in, and we must contend for the sheep against the wolves, with the Word of God, even to the sacrifice of our lives. Such are good shepherds, of whom few are found."
              Sermons of Martin Luthe,r  III, p. 34.  

"There are other wolves, however, who come to us in sheep's clothing. They are the false prophets, who under the form of pious and religious instruction feed pure poison to the sheep of Christ. Against these Christ warns us, that we may be constantly on our guard, lest with sugar-coated words and flattering religious expressions they mislead us, deceive us, by their cunning, and draw us to themselves, as He says in Matthew 7:15: 'Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.'"  
            Sermons of Martin Luther,  III, p. 35.

"The world desires such wolf preaching, and is not worthy of anything better since it will not hear nor respect Christ. Hence it is that there are so few true Christians and faithful preachers, always outnumbered by the members of the false church."           
Sermons of Martin Luther, III, p. 385.  

"For nothing can feed or give life to the soul, which is not the doctrine of Christ. Although the hireling does not himself slay and destroy he does not restrain the wolf. Therefore, because you neither point out nor teach this shepherd, you shall not and ought not to be heard, but you shall be shunned as a wolf."                     
Sermons of Martin Luther, III, p. 58f.          

"Thus too, if our confidence is to begin, and we become strengthened and comforted, we must well learn the voice of our Shepherd, and let all other voices go, who only lead us astray, and chase and drive us hither and thither. We must hear and grasp only that article which presents Christ to us in the most friendly and comforting manner possible. So that we can say with all confidence: My Lord Jesus Christ is truly the only Shepherd, and I, alas, the lost sheep, which has strayed into the wilderness, and I am anxious and fearful, and would gladly be good, and have a gracious God and peace of conscience, but here I am told that He is as anxious for me as I am for Him."
Sermons of Martin Luther,   IV, p. 86.  
"No work is so evil that it can damn a man, and no work is so good that it can save a man; but faith alone saves us, and unbelief damns us. The fact that someone falls into adultery does not damn him. Rather the adultery indicates that he has fallen from faith. This damns him; otherwise adultery would be impossible for him. So, then, nothing makes a good tree except faith."   
What Luther Says, An Anthology, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 475. Matthew 7:15-23.         

"They [the false teachers] fared like a man who looks through a colored glass. Put before such a man whatever color you please, he sees no other color than that of the glass. The fault is not that the right color is not put before him but that his glass is colored differently, as the word of Is. 6:9 puts it: You will see, he says, and yet you will not see it."
Martin Luther, What Luther Says, 1959, II, p. 644.           

"You cannot of a truth be for true doctrine without being unalterably opposed to false doctrine. There can be no 'positive theology' where the God-given negatives have been eliminated from the Decalog."
Norman A. Madson, Preaching to Preachers, Mankato: Lutheran Synod Book Company, 1952 Preface.   

"Every departure from God's Word, every error, is dangerous to the soul. There is a fearful, diabolical power in error; for every error is the devil's work, and through fellowship with error a person puts himself under the influence of the devil. Here human reason is helpless."
Francis Pieper, The Difference between Orthodox and Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 42.

"Even the history of the world shows how great is the power of the devil's kingdom. The world is full of blasphemies against God and of wicked opinions, and the devil keeps entangled in these bands those who are wise and righteous [many hypocrites who appear holy] in the sight of the world. In other persons grosser vices manifest themselves. But since Christ was given to us to remove both these sins and these punishments, and to destroy the kingdom of the devil, sin and death,it will not be possible to recognize the benefits of Christ unless we understand our evils. For this reason our preachers have diligently taught concerning these subjects, and have delivered nothing that is new, but have set forth Holy Scriptures and the judgments of the holy Fathers."
Apology Augsburg Confession, Article II: Of Original Sin, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 119.     

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