Wednesday, December 6, 2023

First Midweek Advent, December 6, 2023


Mid-Week Advent Service, 
December 6, 2023, 7 PM Central

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson




The Hymn # 240             Father Most Holy  
   
The Order of Vespers                                         p. 41
The Psalmody            Psalm   14                     p. 124
The Lection   
         

Sermon Hymn # 410             Jesus Lead Thou On

The Prayers and Lord’s Prayer                         p.  44
The Collect for Peace                                        p. 45
The Benediction                                                   p. 45

  • Reformation Seminary, as a name, can be included in the Bethany Lutheran Church bank account. Tomorrow - Zoom and cell phone. 
  • In treatment - Kermit Way; Randy Anderson; ; Pastor Jim Shrader (surgery) and Chris; Sarah Buck; Lori Howell; Dr. Lito Cruz and his father. 
  • Callie and her parents; little Aaron with the heart problem;
  • Those suffering from emotional and metabolic stress.

Isaiah 7:10 Moreover the Lord spake again unto Ahaz, saying, 11 Ask thee a sign of the Lord thy God; ask it either in the depth, or in the height above. 12 But Ahaz said, I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord. 13 And he said, Hear ye now, O house of David; Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will ye weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.


Announcements and Prayers

  • Reformation Seminary can be named in the Bethany Lutheran Church bank account. Tomorrow - Zoom and new cell phone plus Magic Jack.
  • In treatment - Kermit Way; Randy Anderson; ; Pastor Jim Shrader (surgery) and Chris; Sarah Buck; Lori Howell; Dr. Lito Cruz and his father. 
  • Callie and her parents; little Aaron with the heart problem;
  • Those suffering from emotional and metabolic stress.





 Gospel Preaching - Old Testament

    I always gain startling new insights from going over Luther's Sermons (Lenker edition). I have a new focus now, bolding the statements that people might want to quote or memorize. In looking for statements for laity and pastors, I find myself struck by their harmony with the entire Bible (unknown among most clergy and laity today). 
    My latest shocking and pleasant surprise was Luther's statement about the Old Testament being the real Scriptures and the New Testament serving as sermons about the Old Testament. Nothing builds wonder and awe more than reflecting on those key passages and phrases. Some thoughts -
  1. Adam and Eve receiving the Gospel when being kicked out of Paradise.
  2. The difference between Abel and Cain - faith and works.
  3. The Son of God (The Word of the Lord) speaking to Abraham about faith (Genesis 15) and in John 8 saying, "Abraham saw Me and he was glad." and "Before Abraham was, I AM."'
  4. The many appearances of the Son in Exodus, especially during the Exodus.
We should spend time in wonder and awe, considering just these four examples, but there are many more. If people can say, "How did that civilization construct such enormous pyramids, mines, temples, and waterworks?" and omit what happened in the ancient days of the Bible.
    When people look at Isaiah to find fault, they carry their wounded feelings around. Things do not look smooth and consistent like a dime novel. They object. They go around telling people what is wrong with Isaiah. They get so upset that they invent two Isaiahs, first Isaiah 1-39, 2 Isaiah 40-66. Is the ironic lost on them? That is the same number of books in the Bible, 39 and 27, for 66 books. Isaiah 40-66 is one long Halleluiah chorus, also offensive, too joyful in contrast to the early chapters. 
     They invent what was never there - two Isaiahs - but miss the two great predictions of the Virgin Birth of Jesus in Isaiah 7 and His divinity in 9. They are so dense about Isaiah 7 that they leave "virgin" alone in 7 and footnote it as "or a young woman." The RSV has gone back and forth on that wording alone, several times. A young woman having a baby - that is not a miracle. Needless to say, the RSV was the new Bible that got this going, unveiling their actual faith - Unitarianism or worse. Now they have "worse" too.
    The density comes out for them in John 1, because they criticize John for "omitting" the Virgin Birth when he is revealing in detail Jesus as the Creating Word. The Four Gospels have the Virgin Birth twice, which should be enough, and greater glory in John 1. "But John was written 300 years later!" That is false and a foolish attack against the Bible itself.
    That is the ultimate pratfall of the clever ones who teach the Bible and Church Growth. They leach away their own faith by clinging to false teachers of various styles. Once they begin mouthing like braying jackasses, they are stuck in enforcing their own greatness. I ran into one Harvard PhD who was startled by what he did not know. He lost his professor job (LCA) and became a parish pastor. 
    The most famous Harvard guy came to Yale to say "Paul did not teach the Gospel to the Jews." The great Malherbe told his classes that this was absolutely phony. Can a highly polished Harvard Dean be wrong? Definitely. He went back to Sweden as a bishop and was fired! That took some doing!
    We are not lacking Biblical wisdom in America. The books are out there, and no one can absorb the depth of the King James Version. 
    
     
  

Sunday, December 3, 2023

Advent 1 2023

  



Bethany Lutheran Church 

10 AM Central Time

The First Sunday in Advent, 2023

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson


The Hymn #67           The Bridegroom Now Will Call Us - Loy translation
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16

Introit
Unto Thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul: 
O my God, I trust in Thee.
Let me not be ashamed: 
let not mine enemies triumph over me.
Yea, let none that wait on Thee: be ashamed.
Psalm. Show me Thy ways, O Lord: 
teach me Thy paths.

The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19 

Collect
Stir up, we beseech Thee, Thy power, O Lord, and come, 
that by Thy protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by Thy mighty deliverance; who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end.

The Epistle and Gradual 

Gradual
All they that wait on Thee shall not be ashamed, O Lord.
V. Show me Thy ways, O Lord: 
teach me Thy paths. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. Show us Thy mercy, O Lord: 
and grant us Thy salvation. Hallelujah!

The Gospel 
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22

The Sermon Hymn # 290      We Have A Sure Prophetic  

Faith in Our Gracious Good Shepherd

The Hymn #306              Lord Jesus Christ
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 #68            The Advent of Our King 




Prayers and Announcements
  • Our Biblical doctrine series has a name - Reformation Seminary. Zoom has another step in W-9.
  • December 4th, 2002. Walter Boeckler, husband of Norma, died.
  • In treatment - Kermit Way; Randy Anderson; ; Pastor Jim Shrader (surgery) and Chris; Sarah Buck; Lori Howell; Dr. Lito Cruz and his father. 
  • Callie and her parents; little Aaron with the heart problem;
  • Those suffering from emotional and metabolic stress.



KJV Romans 13:11 And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

KJV Matthew 21:1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. 3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. 4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. 6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. 9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.


 Norma A. Boeckler


First Sunday in Advent - Viet Dietrich
Lord God, heavenly Father, we thank Thee, we bless and praise Thee forever, that Thou didst send Thy Son to rule over us poor sinners, who for our transgressions did justly deserve to remain in the bondage of sin and Satan, and didst give us in Him a meek and righteous King, who by His death became our Savior from sin and eternal death: We beseech Thee so to enlighten, govern and direct us by Thy Holy Spirit, that we may ever remain faithful to this righteous King and Savior, and not, after the manner of the world, be offended with His humble form and despised word, but, firmly believing in Him, obtain eternal salvation; through the same, Thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.


Faith in Our Gracious Good Shepherd

KJV Matthew 21:1 And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, 2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me.

The setting is often missed today, because the clergy were beguiled into ignoring the Gospel of John. Jesus came from Bethany, John 11, the site of Lazarus' death and coming to life again. This was electrifying news for Jerusalem, because Bethany was a short distance from the village and people knew Lazarus for his wealth, as shone his stone tomb. Moreover, Lazarus came with Jesus!

 John 12:2There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
John 12:9Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
John 12:10But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
John 12:17The people therefore that was with him when he called Lazarus out of his grave, and raised him from the dead, bare record.
Jesus, by bringing His friend Lazarus along, was showing the crowd, the Romans, and the religious leaders that He was and is the Lord of Life, God Himself. The jubilant crowd was able to prove the resurrection to the hip Jerusalemites because they were at the funeral and stayed days after the burial of Lazarus in the tomb.

Jesus Himself called Lazarus from the tomb, against the wishes of the mourners. He called Lazarus by name to come out, showing that He was indeed the Son of God, Messiah. The daring trip into Jerusalem was the divine announcement that the Messiah (Christ in Greek) was claiming His throne as the Son of David. This explains why the crowds were wild with excitement since the miracle took place 
1) Nearby at Bethany
2) Involving someone well known
3) The miracle being supported by those who were there.

One 90+ old church member said in Columbus - "I never heard this in my life. Never, not from anyone."

The Mount of Olives - Luther

Luther emphasized this as the Mountain of Grace.

"It is also full of meaning that he comes from the Mount of Olives. We shall notice that this grace on account of its greatness might be called a mountain of grace, a grace which is not only a drop or handful, but grace abundant and heaped up like a mountain."

The entry into Jerusalem declares the open and dangerous threat which Jesus presented to the religious and government leaders. This opposition always takes place when faith in Jesus is the priority. Today people tolerate Jesus as long as He is simply a good person, kindly and unassuming. That fueled a series of Life of Jesus books, which used their topic to declare Jesus was an ordinary man.

3 And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, The Lord hath need of them; and straightway he will send them. 4 All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, 5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.

Some will say with dismay that the Old Testament quotations are not verbatim the same as the New Testament citation.

"It seems to me that the Holy Ghost led the apostles and evangelists to abbreviate passages of the Scriptures for the purpose that we might be kept close to the holy Scriptures, and not set a bad example to future exegetes, who make many words outside the Scriptures and thereby draw us secretly from the Scriptures to human doctrines."

We should always look at the Old Testament as the bedrock, from which everything about Christ is expressed. Instead, the not-so-learned clergy run away from studying Hebrew, Judaism, and the ancient history going back to Creation. The very dense do not see the Son in the Creation, but that is clear to the simplest of minds. When I go into a room with covered windows, I do not say "Let there be light." I just open the shades or turn on the light. If someone is also there, I might say, "Open the curtains" or formally "Let there be sunshine."

Likewise, the Holy Spirit hovers (or soars) over Creation. The Spirit is not absent and waiting for the New Testament to take action. The Spirit is teaching the work of the Father and the Son. The Holy Spirit is not "the shy member of the Trinity," something only a WELS writer could publish without smirking. The most powerful statements of the Trinity often come directly from the Spirit. One is central to the entire Bible:

KJV John 16:6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.

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;

10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
Verse 9 declares the intent or work of the entire Bible - to teach faith in Jesus Christ. That is the central and abiding work of the Spirit - not social agitation, not a justice that suits the Left, not turning the Bible into a self-help book. Verse 9 should make all the Objective Faithless Justification people choke on their devouring of Halle Pietism and Walther fanaticism. CFW, in his clumsy dogma, taught that the whole world was absolved, but that was only for those who "make a decision" for Jesus. That has two blundering errors.
  1. Universal forgiveness is false doctrine from rationalists, Universalists.
  2. "Making a decision for" replaces faith in the Savior.



6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, 7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon. 8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.

Israel, in rejecting God repeatedly, became a vassal state. They broke into freedom for a brief time in 165 BC and Judah Maccabee rode in on a donkey. The desecrated Temple was rededicated to God, taken away from the pagans. The crowds may have been similar between the two centuries of turmoil, but Jesus was the true Messiah, the Son of David, and the crowds cheered him as their Savior from slavery to Rome.

9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.

Because the crowds, even the smallest children, cried out in faith "Hosanna to the Son of David, the anointed King" - not because He reminded them of Juda Maccabee, but because Jesus was the real Savior who raised the dead by His Word.

Our gracious Good Shepherd deliberated headed toward Jerusalem, first to raise Lazarus from death... by His Word, and second to offer Himself as the Lamb sacrificed for the sins of the world. The symbolism of the innocent lamb goes back to Moses and the Exodus. All the pieces of the puzzle are found in the Old Testament, if only we dwell on them. They confirm and support our faith in Him who was named when Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise.

KJV Genesis 3:14 And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:

15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise His heel.

The end. 

Reformation Seminary - The Son of God

 

Duerer's famous painting of the Holy Trinity.

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson PhD


I will try the Vimeo set up later today.



Genesis 1 establishes the Trinity:

  • The Father commands.
  • The Son executes the commands.
  • The Spirit teaches us from the Father and Son.

KJV Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.


The Son is manifested throughout the Old Testament.

Exodus 3 shows us that the Angel of the Lord is the Son of God, not simply an angel.

KJV Exodus 3:6 Moreover he said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.

12 And he said, Certainly I will be with thee; and this shall be a token unto thee, that I have sent thee: When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain.

13 And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?

14 And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.



 

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Trinity 25 - 2023

 The Twenty-Fifth Sunday after Trinity, 2023

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson
 

 


The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
Introit
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies and from them that persecute me.
Let me not be ashamed, O Lord: 
for I have called upon Thee.
Psalm. In Thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: 
let me never be ashamed.

The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
Collect
Almighty God, we beseech Thee, show Thy mercy unto Thy humble servants, that we who put no trust in our own merits may not be dealt with after the severity of Thy judgment, but according to Thy mercy; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, who liveth, etc.

The Epistle and Gradual  

Gradual
Thine enemies roar in the midst of Thy congregations: they set up their ensigns for signs.
V. Remember Thy congregation which Thou hast purchased of old: the rod of Thine inheritance, which Thou hast redeemed. Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
V. There is a river the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God: 
God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved. Hallelujah!
    
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed             p. 22

We Walk by Faith

The Communion Hymn #316                O Living Bread  Winkworth translation

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 #649           Jesus Savior Pilot Me  
           

Prayers and Announcements
  • Our Biblical doctrine series has a name - Reformation Seminary. Zoom has another step in W-9.
  • In treatment - Kermit Way; Randy Anderson; ; Pastor Jim Shrader (surgery) and Chris; Sarah Buck; Lori Howell; Dr. Lito Cruz and his father. 
  • Callie and her parents; little Aaron with the heart problem;
  • Those suffering from emotional and metabolic stress.
 Norma A. Boeckler 


KJV 1 Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


 Norma A. Boeckler 

KJV Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.


We Walk by Faith

KJV Matthew 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.


These passages leave us with two parallel thoughts. One is that the end will come at any time, appointed only by God the Father. Jesus warned the disciples strictly, and this is recorded more than once. No one knows the time.

On the other hand, the warning is clearly stated so that no one takes for granted what will come, how quickly time will come to an end. So what did the early church fathers do? This is very important, because it became the core of institutional thinking. The answer teaches us all about the decline of the Christian Faith, even though the institution grew across the world. The era of the pope was already established by Augustine's time (the 400s). When there was a dispute about justification, Augustine wrote famously - "Rome has spoken - the case is closed." Gone was the meeting of Biblical teachers in keeping the truth of the Scriptures. Following the rigid structure of the failing Roman Empire, the Christian Church set up one supreme ruler, the Bishop of Rome, who called himself the First Among Equals, not just a bishop (shepherd) but superior to the rest.

Nothing teaches us in the Scriptures about holy people going out and living alone or in groups of believers far away from society. Nothing forbids marriage. In fact, the Scriptures show us that marriage and family are blessings from God, not burdens of sin. Nevertheless, already by Augustine's time, priests did not marry. Communes of women and men gathered to follow religious orders and to keep each other working to support themselves, sometimes by begging as well. 

This set up a toxin which remains to this day, not only the Antichrist sitting on his throne, but also people seeking holiness by craving a higher order of the Faith with robes, incense, special clothing, retreats away from society, and all kinds of drama in worship. Chemnitz said about the Roman Mass (Holy Communion) that the priest carried on so much that it was difficult to laugh or cry during the performance.

What do we have today? Supposed Lutheran pastors (Latin for shepherd) crave special, expensive clothing, clouds of incense, bowing, kneeling, long on requirements but short on Biblical knowledge, often opposed to the Gospel itself, especially Luther, Melanchthon, and Chemnitz.

As Luther wrote in this sermon, what is essential? Going out into the wilderness to form a secluded hideaway, free from sin? My relatives in Michigan were Millerites, named because they began by selling all their goods and going up on a mountain to wait for the End of the World - twice! They became the Seventh Day Adventists and set up all kinds of special rules. One Noel/Jackson family` decided to move from their Ohio farm to Iowa, where they began raising pigs (not allowed!) and became Evangelicals. 

One Adventist family in Midland, Michigan told us they could not use any animal products at all. They told us about many of their other rules as well. Their son could not dance but he showed us how to do the Moon Walk. I said, "I thought you were not allowed to dance." He said, "Of all the dances I am not allowed to do, that one is my favorite." I thought that summed up legalism quite well - ignoring the Gospel and making up rules for sanctification (holiness, perfection, purity).

In spite of the dire warnings from Jesus about the end of time, various Christian leaders have ordered and emphasized the opposite of what He taught and still teaches today. The answer is not to run into the wilderness to be away from society. This not only goes on today in the Church of Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy but also in various world religions, such as in India and the rest of Asia. The response of so many kinds of religions, expressions, and worship suggests there might be one answer, not 10,000 opinions.

22. Now it is high time for him to run and flee, who is able to flee; let everything he has behind and depart; the sooner the better; not with his feet but with his heart, in such a way that he will be rid of the abomination and enter the kingdom of Christ through faith. 

False religions search for actions and works, but Luther wisely taught that the answer is faith - and the answer can only be faith in Jesus Christ, because all the actions are the work of man. The substance of the entire Bible is Jesus Christ the Savior, Who died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead to show His victory over sin, death, and the devil. 

That is true from beginning to end. The more we see this, the greater the impact. When graduate students deal with Genesis, they have many ideas to follow from one book. One group wanted especially to emphasize Abraham believing and being counted righteous. I added this because I previously did not catch wording.

KJV Genesis 15

And, behold, the Word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir. And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

The Word of the Lord is the Son of God, so He is predicting to Abraham the Kingdom of Christ, not just an enormous family but millions of people who will believe in the Good Shepherd and follow Him.

KJV John 8

56 Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.

57 Then said the Jews unto him, Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?

58 Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I AM. (See Exodus 3, the Burning Bush)

The present and future tenses are dazzling because the Son of God establishes Justification by Faith in Him in Genesis and then - in the Roman Empire - states that Abraham rejoiced to see Him, Who was - and is - God Himself.

These two passages teach us the unity and the harmony of the Scriptures, including Exodus 3 and many more examples, because the Bible is One Book of the Holy Spirit, not a combination of ancient sayings. That is what gives us peace and hope, knowing that the Scriptures exist to teach us and turn away from error.

19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.


Faith in Jesus Christ means that God will take care of us, even in the great tribulation. All things are in God's hands. Those who glory in their shame will have a great awakening but it will not be a pleasant one. They draw people together as followers, as Luther wrote, because people like wolf-preachers. One of my funny moments was listening to the announcements at Willow Creek Community Church (no crosses, lest they offend). After the service was an expensive food court to sell food to those who came for the meaningless service. And like many other fake churches, it fell apart all at once, and the founder was expelled...for cause.

22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 


Ordinary people are so easily overlooked when people are looking for excitement, for something new, for a "breakthrough unlike anything ever experienced before." Many overlook the Christ within their neighbor, even within their own families. The time is fleeting, so we should spend our time wisely, since that is the only commodity we have, each and every one of us.  

25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.


The Apostle Paul's letters to the Thessalonians were his earliest ones (so we think). 1 Thessalonians 4 is one of the two lessons today. 2 Thessalonians 2 is all about the Antichrist, which is clearer than ever. Neither one is being fulfilled at this moment, but they prophesies are clear. That should make us wary of being to bold in our predictions, hopes, and accomplishments.