Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mid-Week Lenten Service

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 7 PM Central on Wednesdays.

The Hymn #158 Wem in Leidenstagen 4.70
The Order of Vespers p. 41
The Psalmody Psalm 8 p. 124
The Lection Passion Harmony, TLH

The Sermon Hymn #267 War Gott nich mit uns 4.61

The Sermon – Declared Righteous Through Faith

The Prayers
The Lord’s Prayer
The Collect for Grace p. 45

The Hymn #562 Seelenbraeutigam 4.27

KJV Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

There are clear divisions in the Bible. One is between believers in Christ and unbelievers.

Another is between Law and Gospel.

A third is between the righteousness of works and the righteousness of faith.

Clearly, these clear divisions belong together. They are closely related and not independent, the way systematic theologians write paragraphs on this topic and paragraphs on that topic.

An unbeliever trusts in the righteousness of the Law. If you do not believe that, listen to a non-Christ speak about merit, virtue, or righteousness. Atheists are especially clear. They are righteous because of their works and they condemn Christians for their failings, sins, hypocrisy, and lack of works.

A believer trusts in the Gospel, which is conveyed to us in the Word of God by the Holy Spirit. The Gospel teaches the righteousness of faith, that trusting in the work of Jesus gives us a declaration of innocence. That declaration (justification) is not related to our merit but to the merit and works of Christ, chiefly dying on the cross for our sins.

Whenever justification by faith is denied, justification by works (also called works-righteousness) is substituted for it. This passage (Romans 4 and 5, too) is so dangerous and threatening to works righteousness that all false teachers use the term “justification by faith” while denying it and doing everything possible to destroy.

I still have a WELS devotional page titled “Justification by Faith” where this was attempted once again.

So there is no use in paying attention to the words used vainly when the content is denied so forcibly.

What does Paul say here, inspired by the Holy Spirit?

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

The Law can only elevate the sense of sin and make us feel the wrath of God. Therefore, whatever works we do to placate God will only make us feel the guilt more strongly. Even going back to the Sunday School teacher (1st grade) and apologizing to her will not justify the sinner.

All efforts at self-atonement are really works-righteousness, so they will be unfulfilling.

Remember too that condemning people for not trusting the Gospel is the work of the Holy Spirit (John 16). “He will convict the world of sin, because it does not completely trust in Me.”

21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

The Law and the Prophets led up to the crucifixion and witnessed to it, centuries before it happened. Christ crucified is the revelation of the righteousness of God without the Law.
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

As the Formula of Concord teaches, the righteousness of God is by faith in Jesus Christ for all of those who believe.
2. Accordingly, we believe, teach, and confess that our righteousness before God is (this very thing], that God forgives us our sins out of pure grace, without any work, merit, or worthiness of ours preceding, present, or following, that He presents and imputes to us the righteousness of Christ's obedience, on account of which righteousness we are received into grace by God, and regarded as righteous.
5] 3. We believe, teach, and confess that faith alone is the means and instrument whereby we lay hold of Christ, and thus in Christ of that righteousness which avails before God, for whose sake this faith is imputed to us for righteousness, Rom. 4:5.
6] 4. We believe, teach, and confess that this faith is not a bare knowledge of the history of Christ, but such a gift of God by which we come to the right knowledge of Christ as our Redeemer in the Word of the Gospel, and trust in Him that for the sake of His obedience alone we have, by grace, the forgiveness of sins, are regarded as holy and righteous before God the Father, and eternally saved.
7] 5. We believe, teach, and confess that according to the usage of Holy Scripture the word justify means in this article, to absolve, that is, to declare free from sins. Prov. 17:15: He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the righteous, even they both are abomination to the Lord. Also Rom. 8:33: Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
8] And when, in place of this, the words regeneratio and vivificatio, that is, regeneration and vivification, are employed, as in the Apology, this is done in the same sense. By these terms, in other places, the renewal of man is understood, and distinguished from justification by faith.
9] 6. We believe, teach, and confess also that notwithstanding the fact that many weaknesses and defects cling to the true believers and truly regenerate, even to the grave, still they must not on that account doubt either their righteousness which has been imputed to them by faith, or the salvation of their souls, but must regard it as certain that for Christ's sake, according to the promise and [immovable] Word of the holy Gospel, they have a gracious God.
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

These six verses, which are used for justification WITHOUT faith, are clearly given to teach justification BY faith.

The Gospel, in the narrowest sense, is the crucifixion of Christ for the sins of the world. That is what the Christian Church teaches. That is the treasure, conveyed by Holy Spirit through the Word.

Faith is that trust in the Gospel that the Holy Spirit stirs up in our hearts. Justification by faith has been used to say this comes from man’s merit or will or intelligence. The Word of God says just the opposite. The Gospel is God’s work and the proclamation is also God’s work. Creating and sustaining faith is the work of the Gospel in the Word.

KJV Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

The answer to the father is this – God does that through the Gospel, because we are all weak, fallible creatures, easily doubting and backsliding. All are equal that way. But the Gospel declares to us that God is gracious and merciful to sinners.

Bruce Church's Posts May Be Finding Their Mark

Bruce Church has left a new comment on your post "Re-Gentrifying Our Lady of Sorrows (Concordia, St....":

More on the first-class food pantry the sem students need to keep from going hungry:
excerpt: relocation of the Seminary’s Food Bank out of the basement in Loeber Hall and into renovated space within the Wartburg-Koburg Student Commons. The Seminary’s Food Bank supplies students and their families with free food and personal items in quantities based on the size of the family. The replacement walk-in freezer will be large enough to accommodate frozen foods used by the dining hall kitchen staff as well as donations of frozen meats and vegetables made available to families through the Food Bank. Display cases will initially be installed in the existing Food Bank, then relocated to the Wartburg-Koburg Student Commons when renovation work is complete. An additional benefit of replacing the existing equipment is that the new unit will be more energy-efficient, and reduce annual maintenance costs over the obsolete unit it replaces.

Bruce Church has left a new comment on your post "Walther Did Not Teach Justification by Faith from ...":

The day after this graphic posted, President Harrison blogs about being vigilant against the enemies of unity. I perceive that as a response to this graphic and what Ichabod has been revealing lately about the LCMS seminaries ripping off the federal govt in order to prop up Walther's Babylon.

Just think. Walther calls the greatest Lutheran theologians Arminians, and all Harrison can think about is how this might hurt unity. It reminds me of Professor Sauer's frustration that when he brings up merging the two seminaries (like the Canadian synod just did with their two seminaries), the LCMS bigwigs sign a statement saying such discussion must end because it is hurting fundraising and recruiting for the seminaries. That's exactly mirrors the response of Pope Leo X who wanted to quash discussion about Tetzel and indulgences because it was hurting fundraising for St. Peter's cathedral.
From Pr. Harrison's blog:
F.C.D. Wyneken on Preserving Unity

excerpt: All this should firmly and constantly move our hearts to pay close attention to the powerful enemies of this unity, external as much as internal.
Talking about the Seminaries
by Paul Sauer — January 14, 2010

excerpt: Failing to fully explore whether the current structure of two residential seminaries is the best way of providing residential seminary education simply because of the potential damage it might cause to the status quo is mad-hatterish in its logic.


GJ - SP Matt Harrison is a very nice guy, from what I have observed from a distance. He is also savvy about using the social media. He is the most studious SP since Jack Preus. I know Ralph Bohlmann had a Yale doctorate, but there was not much evidence of it in his work.

Harrison is good at throwing meat to the neo-Bronzies, who start purring as soon as someone mentions visiting the sacred relics at the Concordia Historical Institute. The LCMS pastors react to Harrison's mention of the Missouri saints the way tween cutters respond to Justin Bieber, fainting and bawling their eyes out. Touching.

Missouri is just as fraudulent in the use of its funds as WELS is. I know the Wisconsin felons better, so I highlight them. A pie chart showing income sources would be edifying. So would another pie chart showing how much goes to salaries, benefits, hotels, mini-bars, room movies, car rentals, and lawsuit expenses.

Congregations do that and pass the information up the line, Districts and synods should do the same.

Lito Cruz, Our PhD Math Expert, Logician, and Ex-Calvinist

I finally got a Lito Cruz' photo, after using his metaphor-photo from his blog.

Here is his latest comment.

LI got involved in math during his computer science training. He was lucky to have great professors, taking trig, calculus 1 and 2.

Dr. Cruz is also involved in computer science. Coming from Calvinism, he is much better at discussing the topic than those who chortle over their talking points memorized at seminary and never tested outside their little circle.

Just Say No To the New NIV.
Madness on All Fronts

WELS church lady has left a new comment on your post "Ben Wink on the KJV and TLH":

"Say NO to the New NIV!" Monday evening, I was unable to attend Ladies Bible Study.(which is led by my pastor) I emailed Pastor concerning my disgust of the 2011 NIV. The translation is filthy!(made love) This language is not a proper translation and it belongs in the Romance Novel section of the book store. This "so-called" Bible defends homosexuality.(only practicing homosexuality is a sin) The name "Jesus" appears less than the reduced appearance in the regular NIV. The translators are not above reproach. Gender-neutral language is an attempt to make differences in men and women(as designed and defined by God)nonexistent. So God is not our Heavenly Father? Look at those Her Churches and Gay churches; it seems that they need a Bible that accommodates such audiences. What really puzzles me is the fact that as Confessional Lutherans, we are trusting a translation of God's Word by Freemasons and at least one openly fay female. This is madness on all fronts. WELS leaders and laity need to stand up and say "No" the the acceptance of the 2011 NIV. Tell your friends, relatives, congregation, and pastors. Perhaps the Intrepids would like to start another petition.

In Christ,
from WELS church lady


GJ - The translation, if it can be called that, is singularly inept, adding more problems to the leaden language of the earlier botch.

Twin Babies Conversation

Katy Perry's Mother, An Ordained Minister,
Is Concerned about Her Daughter's Shameless Displays

When Katy Perry's mother complained about her daughter's shameless displays,
I thought of these photos published on Facebook.
Some jokes write themselves, but I am mute.



Anonymous said...
Spoken by a man with ten followers? Scott E. Jungen
Tim Glende said...
Mr. Jungen, does it matter how many followers our blog has? I invite you to search back into our blog and check out for yourself why we're on the Internet. We don't plan on responding to Greg Jackson everytime he posts something. We are here on the Internet as an alternative voice to his poison and to let readers know that most of what he writes are half-truths and untruths. One other thing. Don't fall for the thought that since Greg Jackson has a lot of followers he must be highly regarded. Most of the people I know who read his blog do it for their daily laugh. It's better than the funny papers.


GJ - Tim, your blog is a window into the puss-filled abscess called Fox Valley. Keep posting.

How many pastors would bully an attorney who has legitimate concerns?

When are you and Ski going to answer the letters and emails sent to you?

How many pastors fire the circuit pastor, as you did, for correctly identifying your plagiarism of Groeschel?

Why do you and Ski phone people long distance to intimidate them about their justified criticism of your crypto-Babtist congregation?

Your assistant minister quit because of of "deception." When will you come clean about it?

Did you criticize Katy Perry's Hindu wedding?

Did you post anything against your uncle John Brug for attending Yale? Parlow for Denver Seminary? Witte for Gordon Conwell? Kelm for St. Louis? Ski for Drive? (Oh wait, you went there too, so it's ok.) Olson, Valleskey and Huebner for Fuller? Bishop Katie for Dirt? Katie and Ski for Granger? Ski and Katie for Driscoll? (Oh wait, you went there too, so it's ok.)

PS - Tim, you criticized me for using photos from the Net, but you steal my graphics, which are all copyrighted because of the Photoshop work I put into them. I put hours into them and you steal them without attribution. Are you afraid people will find my blog if you provide a link? I think they can find it already, since there are 50,000 page-views per month. Yes, they are all Fox Valley. But the faithful Lutherans in your circuit are crying. They really are.

Tim, you were known as a bully in college, and you still are. But now your bullying is no longer a secret. It is easy to see from the photos with Katy that you and Ski have never grown up. You are still teens playing football and goofing around. Time to grow up and man up.

Thoughts of Faith - Where Did All the Money Go?

"We help that money to spend.
Reach out with the Gospel.
Take a lot of money. Russia very bad place."

News from Ukraine
Rev. John Vogt reports: “After many years of worshiping in the auditorium of a mathematics institute in Kyiv, our largest ULC congregation was informed that ‘outsiders’ were no longer allowed ‘for security reasons.’ So it could not worship there any longer… The congregation has temporarily been permitted to worship in a different school across the street from the mathematics institute. Meanwhile, it is frantically searching for a permanent home, perhaps by purchasing space in an existing building outside the center of Kyiv.” We ask all to keep our ULC brothers and sisters in Christ in our prayers.


GJ - The ELS is admitting that more than $15 million disappeared in the Ukraine and they do not have a building for their "largest ULC" congregation. How large?

Hitler made more progress in the Ukraine than TOF. Of course, he did not have Jay Webber, Roger Kovaciny, and Floyd Luther Stolzenburg helping out.
And salmonella poisoning.

Don't Cross Pope John the Unready

Pastoral Candidates & Vacancies
Currently the synod has only one vacancy (Lakewood, WA). We are anticipating a seminary graduating class of  three candidates available this year; also, one candidate from last year’s class is still awaiting placement, and another candidate should be ready in the middle of the school year. Please keep these men in your prayers as they patiently await God’s timing in providing avenues for full-time service in his kingdom.


GJ - They have four more graduates than they need in the Little Sect on the Prairie. Pray that four pastors will die, join the LCMS, or raise an eyebrow in Pope John's direction when he speaks ex cathedra.

The ELS is so confessional that they have their own Emergent Church parish. They have such a surplus of doctrinal wisdom that they can afford to loan out Jay Webber to the Intrepids. They do a lot of planning, which is a poor substitute for trusting the Word of God.

They have already planned to fade away in the next 20 years. That is God's response to the Church Growth Movement, which they have never acknowledged, except to endorse every decrepitation from WELS.

Something for Everyone

Marvin Built Himself a Chapel Here, Too
While Students Racked Up Huge Loans

James has left a new comment on your post "Re-Gentrifying Our Lady of Sorrows (Concordia, St....":

"...the synod offerings give almost nothing to the seminaries."

I would wager that 98% of LCMS laymen are not aware of that fact, nor of the fact that seminary graduates have at least $20,000 in student loans (or more if they begin seminary with tens of thousands of dollars in undergraduate student loans).

You would think that seminary support would count as obligatory missions support. Wouldn't it be wonderful if LCMS seminary grads with no calls, but also with no debt, could be used to plant new churches.

Where does the offering plate money go? Does it go to support half-baked, ineffective Church Growth programs? Where is the "Growth" in knowledge of the Lutheran confessions among the laity. I don't get it.

Are the goals outlined in "It's Time!" and in the Koinonia Project mere wishful thinking? Are the people at the highest levels of the LCMS paying attention to insightful reflections such as yours?

The Church of the Augsburg Confession

Joseph Schmidt

"O Little Flock, Fear Not the Foe"

1. O little flock, fear not the Foe
Who madly seeks your overthrow;
Dread not his rage and power.
What though your courage sometimes faints,
His seeming triumph o'er God's saints
Lasts but a little hour.

2. Be of good cheer; your cause belongs
To Him who can avenge your wrongs;
Leave it to Him, our Lord.
Though hidden yet from mortal eyes,
His Gideon shall for you arise,
Uphold you and His Word.

3. As true as God's own Word is true.
Not earth nor hell with all their crew
Against us shall prevail.
A jest and byword are they grown;
God is with us, we are His own;
Our victory cannot fail.

4. Amen, Lord Jesus, grant our prayer;
Great Captain, now Thine arm make bare,
Fight for us once again!
So shall Thy saints and martyrs raise
A mighty chorus to Thy praise,
World without end. Amen.

Hymn #263 The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: Luke 12:32
Author: Johann M. Altenburg, 1632, asc., ab.
Translated by: Catherine Winkworth, 1855, alt.
Titled: "Verzage nicht, du Haeuflein klein"
Tune: "Kommt her zu mir"
Melody: German, c. 1400

Stops Used for Prelude
Clarinet 8'
Geigen Principal 8'
Salicet 4'

Verse 1
Fifteenth 2'
Open Diapason Small 8'
Open Diapason Large 8'
Principal 4'

Echo Bass 16'
Sub-Bass 16'
Principal 8'
Bass Flute 8'
Open Diapason 16'

Stops Used for Verse 2
Clarinet 8'
Geigen Principal 8'
Salicet 4'

Echo Bass 16'
Sub-Bass 16'
Principal 8'
Bass Flute 8'
Open Diapason 16'
Swell to Pedal

Stops Used for Verse 3
Fifteenth 2'
Open Diapason Small 8'
Open Diapason Large 8'
Principal 4'

Stops Used for Verse 4
Fifteenth 2'
Open Diapason Small 8'
Open Diapason Large 8'
Principal 4'
Trumpet 8'

Echo Bass 16'
Sub-Bass 16'
Principal 8'
Bass Flute 8'
Open Diapason 16'
Swell to Pedal

Synod Leaders Care Deeply about Their Own Relatives and Pals...And Money

bertramr ( has left a new comment on your post "Re-Gentrifying Our Lady of Sorrows (Concordia, St....":

Autocrats run the various synods to take care of themselves, their families, and their friends. If you doubt it, follow their doctrine or lack of doctrine over time. Time is the key. Most people do not connect the points over gaps in time. They tend to forget or fail to see the patterns.


GJ - If the agenda is to keep things running smoothly, at least to keep up that appearance, doctrine will decline to the point of pure atheism, as it does in all official ELCA actions. This does not keep WELS and Missouri from working closely with them, because all the synods have the same agenda. ELCA is just a bit more obvious.

If the agenda is to be faithful to the Word, there will be turmoil, conferences, debates, pamphlet (or blog) wars, splits, brother against brother. Paul and Jesus said so, but the church bureaucrats see that as it is, a threat to their comfort, security, and bimbos.

The Supreme Court - And I Do Not Mean
Conference of Doctrinal Pussycats

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court will decide whether a teacher at a church-run school is a religious or secular worker when it comes to the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The high court on Monday agreed to hear an appeal from Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School of Redford, Mich.

Cheryl Perich, a teacher and commissioned minister, got sick in 2004 but tried to return to work from disability leave despite being diagnosed with narcolepsy. She taught third and fourth graders

The school said she couldn't return because they had hired a substitute for that year. They fired her after she showed up anyway and threatened to sue to get her job back.

Perich complained to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which sued the church.

The church wanted the case thrown out. Courts have recognized a "ministerial exception" to the ADA which prevents government involvement in the employee-employer relationship between churches and ministerial employees.

But the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said Perich's job as a teacher was secular, not religious, so the exception blocking the lawsuit didn't count. The church wants that decision overturned.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments later this year.

The case is Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 10-553.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Re-Gentrifying Our Lady of Sorrows (Concordia, St. Louis)

bruce-church ( has left a new comment on your post "Bloated Hours, Bloated Costs at Lutheran Seminarie...":

At Concordia St. Louis they now have a food services infrastructure upgrade that started on 18 March. They are also turning the lower floor of a dormitory into a food bank and resell it shop.

Let me translate that for you. The seminary is admitting that they have so few residential 4-year M Div students left that they now convert dormitory space for other purposes. They are also saying that their students are so poor due to high tuition costs that they need a first class food pantry and Good Will-type donation center/resell it shop. Another point is that their M Div program is so bloated that many take 5 years to complete it, and in order to wile away that amount of time and pay for it all, most students are now married, and dormitories are not suitable for couples and families.


GJ - The students fund the seminary costs with their student loans and high tuition because the synod offerings give almost nothing to the seminaries.

St. Louis and Mequon both spent millions on their campus facilities to make them more attractive to the people studying there. Both schools have declined in enrollment since then.


LPC has left a new comment on your post "Re-Gentrifying Our Lady of Sorrows (Concordia, St....":


Don't these Sin-nods have money? Why do not they just fund these students specially the deserving ones? Why does it always have to be that you pay up or else, no education?


Another Hilarious Post from Paul McCain's Theological Guru

Jack Kilcrease could not admit to reading Ichabod, but he found out about Michelle Bachmann no longer being WELS.

I love the way he unburdens himself about the Antichrist, as a Missouri Synod layman who teaches for the Antichrist:

About Me

My Photo
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States
I am a layperson in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and an adjunct professor of Theology and Humanities at Aquinas College in Grand Rapids. I grew up in Oregon and attended Luther College in Iowa (B.A. History and Religion) and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN (M.A. Doctrine and Theology). I graduated in 2009 from Marquette University with a Ph.D in Systematic Theology.
He is another fan of UOJ.

Ben Wink on the KJV and TLH

Ben Wink

Ben Wink has left a new comment on your post "WELS Playing Hamlet on Their Next Bible Blunder":

You'd think that a translation that has proved itself over the course of 400 years would be a clear winner, but apparently not.

Or a hymnal (TLH) that has been around for 70 years (another anniversary this year!)

There's got to be someone getting a piece of the action in switching translations like this right? I mean going from the NIV to the NIV2: The Sequel or the ESV is just adding more water to weak tea already isn't it?

I remember a shut-in that I had on my internship that refused to listen to any Scripture that I had in my devotions unless it came from the KJV. She was from Italy and when she came over to the US after WWII, she learned how to speak and read English from the KJV and it always remained a crucial part of her faith.

So I picked up a KJV for doing those devotions. Got a nice red-letter one from a local Christian bookstore and it was the original KJV translation. I am certainly glad that the Lord used this shut-in believer as the reason why I now have my KJV.

There is something to be said about being connected to other believers who have read these same words for centuries. I feel the same way whenever I get a chance to use TLH or a TLH version of a traditional hymn or even just saying the traditional version of The Lord's Prayer or Nicene Creed.

Fixing something that isn't broken just for the sake of fixing it is pointless and redundant. Sure it will increase book sales, like a new not-needed hymnal would, but that's about it.


GJ - A steady seller is a flow of money in book publishing. The NIV publisher (Murdoch) will not allow the old NIV to be used in the present and future WELS/LCMS textbooks. Poor them - they are forced to print everything new again. No recycling allowed.

For WELS and Missouri, it is like having a big taxation passed, without any votes.

Page Views on Ichabod - The Data

For Lord of the Rings fans only.

Recently there were 5,000 page views over a space of 48 hours.

The normal day's viewing is counted new at 6 PM. By morning, about 900 page-views have been logged. By supper time, another 900 page views are the typical amount. I usually see 1800 page-views a day now.

If someone has a good story to share, the page-views go up and stay above normal for a time. The increase of the average page-views has been steady. When I began, 200 per day was typical, and that software showed about 100 returning readers for 200 page-views. I am not sure how many individual readers there are now. Installing software slows down the blog, so I avoid that.

Almost 6,000 posts have been published. The total page-views in year seems to be 500,000 at this time.

Lutherans Will Recognize 2017 and 2030,
But Not Themselves

Martin Chemnitz, senior editor of the Book of Concord

The Past
I objected to the ELCA merger and outlined the future actions of the synod. I left the LCA before the merger took place and published my research in Christian News. That embarrassed WELS no end, because they were busy working with ELCA and have been ever since. I was 25 years ahead of my time, but no one listened. Now ELCA is shattering faster than a bar-room mirror in a cheap Western movie.

The Present
Missouri, WELS, and the Little Sect like to look down their snouts at ELCA, but they also like working with them and grabbing all the Thrivent loot they can.

The Future, 2017
ELCA will apologize to the Church of Rome for being so nasty during the Reformation.

By 2017, WELS will have no parochial school system left. The last two preps will be gone. MLC will be owned by a for-profit corporation, doing well. Mequon will be working on plans to sell the property.

Missouri tongue-clucking will be loud, but the flopsweat will be flowing as Ft. Wayne is consolidated with St. Louis. The catastrophic decline of St. Louis will make the location of the merged seminary a hot topic.

Pope John the Unmerciful will still be in charge of the Little Sect on the Prairie, but everyone will realize the end is near.

The NALC will re-unite with ELCA and apologize for being so nasty during the 2010 split.

A few will remember the Little Sect on the Prairie, but a wiseacre blogger will predict that the ELS will soon be as forgotten as the Olive Branch Synod.

WELS will work out legal arrangements for consolidation with Missouri, which will remind everyone of the KMart-Sears merger: two dying entities embracing each other.

Katy Perry, the new Synod President of WELS, will renounce her husband and out herself. Her cover of "Girls Just Want To Have Fun" will keep the synod solvent another year, so no one will object.

Missouri will work on a lengthy apology, to allow them to exist as a non-geographical synod of ELCA-Episcopal. Remaining clergy, men and women alike, will proudly point to the Missouri circuit as the "Confessional Lutherans."

How Badly is WELS Collapsing in Milwaukee?

A few years ago, DP Seifert told the pastors that they would soon no longer recognized their synod. He failed to say he was one of the architects of the surrender to Church and Change.

Reality is hitting hard now. One source told me last night that most of the WELS parochial schools are closing or merging. There will be just a handful of schools left, all of them dependent on the Milwaukee taxpayer choice program, the deceptive charter school concept. Following Jeske's example, WELS will run a few schools, but they will be fueled by taxpayer checks. They are not private schools and are definitely not church schools. They are employment opportunities.

In the good old days, WELS refused government support and avoided being entangled in government regulation. Now WELS is just another cog in the public school system. For the clergy with their trotters in the trough, life is good for the moment. This set-up strikes me like junk food, appealing for a short time but disappointing soon after.

James Huebner, a fan of Rob Bell, is such an expert in evangelism that he once loaned himself out to other congregations (for a fat fee)  - to share  the wisdom he gleaned from Fuller Seminary. Now he moonlights as the First Veep of WELS. His parish gets a $10,000 kickback for this!

Check out his Grace Place Coffee Shoppe, formerly the Soul Cafe.

He claims Grace in downtown Milwaukee has tripled since his gracious visitation, but where is the school? The Milwaukee insider says that Grace has no school and must export the kiddies to another location.

Lutheran elementary schools in Milwaukee - wave goodbye. Going, going, gone.

The same trend is also obvious in Appleton, Wisconsin, where WELS members are just as dense as they are in Milwaukee. WELS congregations are closing/merging the schools there too, in spite of three decades of Church Growth in Fox Valley.

Following Jeske's lead, the Fox Valley churches are also going non-Lutheran. Naturally, they are intimately connected with his Church and Change operation, which still has its websty up and running.

Mary Lou College no longer has a role. The school was once a prep, college, and seminary for the Minnesota Lutherans. MLC became the teachers' college for WELS and later jettisoned the prep because it needed the space. They do not need a teachers' college when schools are rapidly closing and merging.

Nor does MLC need to remain open for dozen guys to get prepped for seminary. WLC could handle that, or they could lease a portable classroom at Watertown.

Monday, March 28, 2011


"Sign your irrevocable gift trust right here.

rlschultz has left a new comment on your post "Different from WELS, Missouri, And the Little Sect...":

Taken to its logical conclusion, the 007 certification has produced some mind boggling double standards at the congregational level. I have noticed that it is anything goes in the name of evangelism and the stewardship. Waldo Werning material, Fireproof series from a Georgia Babtist church, and a commission to Cornerstone for capital appeals are three recent examples from my former WELS congregation. When members are asked to be served in some rather simple matters, they are wrung through the washer and must jump through all kinds of hoops. Even the lay leadership gets afflicted with the 007 certification.


GJ - WELS dictatorial pastors demand robotic lay leaders who obey their orders to take out the dissenters "with prejudice."

The laity should explore how WELS leaders use the synod to skim vast sums of money from the congregations. Cornerstone is just one example. Fighting them is like fighting the Mafia - except the Mob will sit down and discuss a deal.

WELS also has "consultants" who flit into congregations, make grand statements, and demand huge fees. In 13 years in the LCA, anyone who helped only received the basic salary and expenses. The only difference was Lutheran Layman's League, which had fee-based laity who were helpers in stewardship campaigns. The fees were reasonable.

St Mark's Lutheran Church Watertown, WI
2011 Capital Fund Appeal

Someone sent me the "devotions" from the appeal for St. Mark's. I will copy some of the weird statements below:

"For the sake of the gospel, why is our school building important?"

"Jesus, holy sacrifice for my rebellion: thank you for suffering hell in my place and dying to bring about my pardon. Cause that good news to ring out from Saint Mark's School. And energize me cheerfully to support that endeavor with my offerings. Amen." [GJ - Jesus should cheerfully energize me?]

"Why is it important for our church and school to have special space for music?"

"When a funeral or rainstorm takes place during recess, students are in the gym. Regularly scheduled gym classes occur there, as well." [GJ - I have no idea what it means to have a funeral during recess. I am glad they have gym classes in the gym ", as well."]

"In a similar way, our present day students are going to need good health to serve their Savior as they desire through their lifetime. Having a fine gymnasium promotes that endeavor considerably. Combine it with the daily proclamation of Christ's resurrection, and our student learn along with us to look forward to our rising from the dead on the final day."

"How necessary is it that a school have...a gymnasium? ...a good gymnasium?"

"Are there restaurant bills, or others, you can trim: for contribution to the Lord?"

"What would my life look like without eternity?"

"Jesus tells us, Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.
How does treasuring Christ direct my life today?
How does treasuring Christ direct my use of earthly treasure?
For your regular offerings?
For your capital fund offerings?"

Day 11 - Very Roman Catholic
Very manipulative, based on Mark 10:13ff.
"As parents cry, Jesus, bless my child, grown men growl Be quiet! He doesn't have time for your child. What was wrong with the disciples? Were they perhaps tired of the crowds and the unending requests? Remember Jesus' reaction: it's not one we'd want to be on the receiving end of."

"As troubling as the incident with the disciples was, such a scene is still possible. It may not be people blocking doors, but doors might still be shut when there's a lack of funds."

"How might a more rapid paying down of the debt assist our present and future proclamation?" [GJ - I thought growling members were slamming the door shut on little children.]

"What did our renovation/addition project mean to family...our congregation...our community?"

"What has the water of God's Word and Sacraments meant to me?"


Scott E. Jungen has left a new comment on your post "007":

Well, it's good to know that St. Mark's didn't let the Gospel get in the way of their capital appeal. What happened to "pray the Lord of the harvest" and get out your bushel baskets as He rains down His generous blessings? No, wait, then you couldn't use your cute little Law statements to try to "guilt" money out of people.

The principal at St. Mark's was my principal for fifteen years. This is surprising, since he did a nice job of staying out of the church expansion at our former congregation. I stayed out of it too, but it still ran me over. Ooops, there I am being all "bitter" again!

Scott E. Jungen


GJ - Here is an explanation for outsiders and other untouchables: Scott's joke about being bitter is a reflection upon the automatic WELS response when anyone questions anything in WELS. That person is "angry, bitter, brain-damaged, senile, crazy, sick, jealous, lazy" and worse.

That is why Prairie was a stroke of genius, but sold/given away to become prison.

That is also why 2929, which was such a smart move, is being sold at the bottom of the real estate market.

That explains Christian Worship, the envy of every low-church feminist cult, or would be if another one got organized.

Walther Did Not Teach Justification by Faith from Luther,
But Justification without Faith from Halle University

Seminary Education - Not Exactly What Tim Glende Pretends

"Git yer MDivs here, or try our alternative programs, which help keep our salaries funded."

Green, Lowell C. (2010) The Erlangen School of Theology: Its History, Teaching, and Practice, (pp .21-22). Lutheran Legacy: Fort Wayne, Indiana.

“In the system that once prevailed in the Lutheran churches of the United States and Canada, a theological seminary was a graduate school which culminated in the historical Bachelor of Divinity degree.1 A thorough college education with a solid preparation for starting seminary work, including a knowledge of the four theological tongues–Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and German–was required before enrolling in a Lutheran seminary. Under the changed conditions today, students of theology are coming into theological seminaries without a working knowledge of the German language and therefore can only read materials written in English. Unfortunately, this generally means that they have access more to materials written by Reformed, Arminian, Eastern Orthodox, or Roman Catholic writers than the works of great Lutheran writers. These theologians from other denominations–however capable–cannot be expected to reflect the nuances of thought expressed in the Lutheran Confessions. This suggests the grave danger that Lutheran students in America will be nourished by theological systems which will gradually wean them away from Lutheran ways of thinking. This means first and foremost a neglect of the distinction of Law and Gospel, as well as a Lutheran understanding of Christology–two doctrines which pervade not only dogmatics but all the other subjects of the theological curriculum. This is the case whether one is speaking of systematic theology, liturgics, Biblical theology, or even historical theology.”


1 The conversion of this degree to the so-called Master of Divinity was well-intended but ill-conceived since a master’s degree is the culmination of a graduate liberal arts program; the Bachelor of Divinity however was already a post-graduate degree and therefore ranked above any master’s degree. Thus Philipp Melanchthon, who already had a Master’s Degree in philosophy, took out the more advanced Bachelor of Bible degree in September 1519. In wake of the conversion in America the standards of pre-theological education were actually lowered, so that many seminary students today do not have a reading knowledge of German.


GJ - Oh no, the emphasis must be on turning out ministers in the mold demanded by the synod. That is just as true of ELCA as it is for Missouri, WELS, and the ELS. People must turn off their brains to accept this level of conformity. The ideal candidate is someone who reads the political tea-leaves and follows the latest fad, whether it is gay ordination in ELCA or Emergent Church in the Olde Syn Conference.

The B.D. was changed to MDiv to give more prestige to seminary students. I have seen WELS resumes where pastors list their unaccredited Sausage Factory as "graduate school." Tim Glende and other claim they are always right because of "eight years of uncontrolled drinking theological education." In fact, the Mequonites laugh about how easy seminary is.

The relative new DMin degree was invented because the lazy pastors did not want to go back to seminary for more education. Once they called a one-year course a "Doctor of Ministry," the lazy-bones flocked to attend. These DMins (like Larry Olson and Rich Krause) call themselves "Dr," which is inexpressibly funny. They call their little DMin papers "dissertations." Deep breath. Bag breathe. OK, I am better now.

The worst heretics in Missouri and WELS have DMins from Fuller Seminary, Gorden Conwell, Denver, plus many hours of conference time at Fuller, Willow Creek, Trinity Divinity, Catalyst, Drive, Dirt, Granger, Exponential, and Mars Hill (Seattle).

Jeske's recently boastful remarks suggest that he has also skipped pastoral conferences in his own synod for the ones listed above, the ones he sent Ski and Glende to attend, the ones favored by District VP Kudu Don Patterson.

Book of Concord Lutheran doctrine is dead in America, and the Olde Syn conference leaders of today killed it.

Message from Our Sponsor: Martin Luther

arkos has left a new comment on your post "Someone Fired For False Doctrine?Relax, It's Not t...":

This article made me think of something I read from Luther recently:

"In short, without this article of faith, that we are justified and saved only through Christ and that apart from Him everything is damned, there is no defense or restraint, no boundary or limit for every heresy and error, every sect and faction, with everyone thinking up and broadcasting some peculiar idea of his own. This was the situation under the pope. No monk could have a dream without dragging it into the pulpit and making it into a special act of worship. No lie was too shameful to be accepted so long as someone had the audacity to take it into the pulpit...As we have said, there is no bacchanal or jackass too coarse to gain a great following of believers if he can just think up something new."

Luther's Works, vol. 21: The Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:13) pg. 59ff

There are several other people and circumstance that I thought of when reading this article as well.

WELS Playing Hamlet on Their Next Bible Blunder

The face palm is the only way to respond to WELS apostasy.

Here is the link to a bunch of their articles.

Reading WELS on any serious subject is just like grading freshman English papers, except WELS has enormous problems in theology, the grammar of faith.

I read enough to see WELS trying to go for the New NIV, which is even worse than their old NIV. They offer only two alternatives:NNIV or ESV. Would you like your flogging before or after dinner? Not much of a choice.

They never mention the KJV, which is a slight modernization of the original from 1611. Anniversary anyone? That would be...this year.

There are many choices in the KJV family, from the older KJV itself to the New KJV, KJV II, and KJV 21. I think there is a Modern KJV too.

FICL--pronounced "fickle," to remind members that the sect changes doctrine more often than Hillary changes her mind--is laying the groundwork for a decision already made. Soon everyone will be parroting the same arguments verbatim, as they did with the feminist creeds. It will be the NNIV. Anyone questioning that will be pushed out for "breaking fellowship." Do not laugh, innocents. They did that with their own pastors and the NIV, after promoting the KJV as the only one.

WELS works with the United Nations and the Salvation Army. Learn to be flexible. Open your minds up.

L. P. Cruz on Luther versus the UOJ Pietists:
Justification by Faith

Lito Cruz, PhD, knows Calvinism from the inside,
but this is Godel, as all of you knew anyway.
I was not a math major!

In this book, Dr. Jackson provides a sober critique of UOJ showing how it is wrong exegetically and spurious historically. UOJ gets its cue from a rational handling of Scripture, a Calvinistic theological method. As an ex-Calvinist myself, I find it amusing how UOJ defenders label its critics Calvinists. In truth, UOJ is Calvinistic for in the same way that Calvinism equates the Atonement with Justification, UOJ proponents do the same. Calvinists seeing the Atonement and Justification the same and seeing that Justification does not happen for all, concludes the Atonement has not happened for all. UOJ does the same but in the reverse, seeing that the Atonement happened for all, it concludes that Justification has already happened for all, hence, without faith, prior to faith and before faith without the Means of Grace. This book will help the reader understand the Scriptural teaching and Lutheran belief that justification never happens to anyone with out the Means of Grace. 

L. P. Cruz PhD, Computer Science Lecturer/Researcher

Someone Fired For False Doctrine?
Relax, It's Not the Syn Conference

What is hell? Book stirs debate about afterlife

In this photo taken March 17, 2011, Rev. Chad Holtz poses for a photo in Durham, N.C.  Holtz was fired from his position as pastor from a church in He AP – In this photo taken March 17, 2011, Rev. Chad Holtz poses for a photo in Durham, N.C. Holtz was fired …
RALEIGH, N.C. – What does hell mean to you? Is it an endless nightmare for sinners and unsaved souls, as mainstream Christianity has taught for centuries? Or is hell here on Earth, in the distractions, addictions and emptiness of daily life?

Those ideas are receiving fresh scrutiny from some believers after a prominent evangelical pastor questioned the traditional idea of hell in his new book, "Love Wins."

Even before Rob Bell's book was published this month, religious leaders and their followers were branding it heresy, hailing it as a breakthrough or landing somewhere in the middle. Thousands have weighed in on Twitter, Facebook, blogs or outside their places of worship.

Bell "better go back and read his Bible again! He's all messed up!" wrote Ruth Ward of New Albany, Ind., on Facebook. "Satan is having a field day."

James Turner, a 49-year-old Chicago laborer, says his concept of hell hasn't changed much since he attended church as a boy. For him, hell "is a place where if you don't accept Jesus, or you reject Jesus, it is a place of torment."

Hell is also for those "who are ruthless and brutally hurt people," he said.

"I hope that smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee ain't going to get me down there," he said, puffing on a cigarette Sunday outside the Chicagoland Community Church on the city's North Side, where he's attended services for about 10 years.

For some readers, the book has been a breath of fresh air and a chance to discuss ideas that have long been taboo in evangelical circles.

When Chad Holtz posted a Facebook message supporting Bell's position, he was dismissed from his job as pastor at a United Methodist church in Henderson, N.C. Holtz's posts about the experience on his website drew a flood of responses, including from people who said they were afraid to tell relatives that they did not believe in the notion that God punishes sinners forever in hell.

Carol Buikema, who attends Chicago's Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, said she recently read a fellow congregant's Facebook post about Bell's book, and it prompted her to question her own beliefs about hell.

"It does pose more questions than answers for me," Buikema, 64, said Sunday.
Believing in Jesus is a basic tenet of Christianity and "if you don't believe in Jesus, you won't go to heaven," she said. "The more I live life, I don't know if I totally believe that. I've always believed that God is not a God of vengeance. He is a loving God. How would you equate the idea of a loving God with going to hell?"

Bell's message is reaching a wide audience: On Friday, "Love Wins" was the fourth-best-selling book overall on, and the best-selling book in the religion category.

The Rev. Erik DiVietro, pastor of Bedford Road Baptist Church in Merrimack, N.H., said he felt the need to respond to Bell's book after being repeatedly asked about it by friends, former students and church members. He disagrees with Bell on several points, but said Christians miss out if they don't try to engage the ideas.

"Christianity is a conversation," he said. "So as we're journeying with these ancient writings, we need to be asking questions. These are good questions, and they need to be part of the dialogue."

Brandy Fenderson, a 34-year-old teacher and member of St. Ann's Episcopal Church in Nashville, Tenn., said Bell's book reminded her of the importance of thinking critically about one's faith.
"I remember thinking I do believe there's a balance between intellect and faith. ... I've argued (with friends) that intellect is divine, given to us by God, and we're not supposed to shut it down."
She believes the idea of a hell where sinners are punished is more of a human construction.

"I don't think there's a burning place with pitchforks," she said. "I guess my idea is basically that there's right and wrong, and hell was invented to keep people from doing wrong. ... It was created more by the church, to guide people in the right way."

Still, she added, "actions have consequences, and you suffer when you do wrong. That can end up being what, quote, unquote, is hell."

At the heart of Bell's position is that God's love can triumph over every obstacle, including sins that Christians have long believed would consign them to anguish in the afterlife. But that notion is appalling to many people, Bell argues, and is minimized even by those who uphold its truth.

"The book is saying we need to take hell more seriously," Bell told The Associated Press, "Because the people who warn about hell when you die don't seem to talk about it very much."
The debate is not entirely new. There's no broad agreement within Christianity about what happens to people after they die.

Some mainline Protestant churches started moving away from the familiar concept of hell as long ago as the 19th century. The Unitarian Universalist Association, which is not a formally Christian denomination but has roots in Christian churches, contains in its very name the concept that Bell's critics accuse him of endorsing: universalism, the notion that every soul will eventually be united with God in paradise.
Some important denominations and theologians moved quickly to criticize Bell's book. A forum was held last week at the Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville in which Christian writers and thinkers laid out their problems with Bell's thinking.

Some Protestant luminaries have also joined the criticism. Ben Witherington, one of the most influential evangelical theologians, is using his blog to take on Bell's book chapter by chapter.
That's partly a sign of how influential Bell is in evangelical circles. His 10,000-member Mars Hill Bible Church in Grand Rapids, Mich., has grown significantly under his leadership, and Bell's artfully made online videos and breezily written books have been popular among younger evangelicals.

"Atheists are not going to be impressed by this book. Skeptics are not going to be impressed by this book," said Christian blogger Justin Taylor at the Southern Baptist forum. "The people who are going to be impressed by this book are disaffected evangelicals."

Cameron Dawn, who described herself as a "good and faithful Roman Catholic," said she has never thought of hell as a specific place.

Instead, the 52-year-old New York City woman believes hell is the personal problems people endure until they accept God and Christ into their lives, such as addiction, gluttony or taking advantage of others.

"You need inner strength to overcome these things and to see all the beauty life has to offer, and that's what God gives you," Dawn said Sunday at the Church of St. Veronica in Howell, N.J.
"Without that inner strength, you will miss out on the wonderful things God has created and that life has to offer you. That is hell on earth, but it's a prison to which you hold the key, and you can use it any time you want."

John Taylor, 45, who was attending services Sunday at the Church of Grace and Peace in Toms River, N.J., said he has no doubt there is some version of hell awaiting evildoers.

"I do believe that if you lead a sinful life on earth, you will pay for it in your next life. And that applies to anyone, whether you're Catholic, Jew, Hindu, whatever. People who disrespect God, disrespect their fellow man — they go to hell."

Different from WELS, Missouri,
And the Little Sect on the Prairie?
I Think Not

ALPB Online

I was a Lutheran pastor, but that wasn't the point. I wasn't in a group that was in a fellowship agreement with the entire ELCA. So the bishop said the congregation had to either vote to disassociate with the parish or they would be disciplined.

There was one member of that congregation who asked the bishop publically (sic) what kind of pastor they could recieve (sic) if I wasn't (sic) their pastor. They were told that there was a Methodist, a UCC, and a Presbyterian minister who could serve them. The lady told the bishop she thought it odd that a Lutheran could not serve them, but a UCC minister who was a universalists (sic) could.


GJ - The spelling matches the average WELS pastor's, and synodical management style does too. WELS, Missouri, and the Little Sect are even more finicky. A pastor must belong to the sect and to the accepted group within the sect. Then he can commit any crime he wants, abuse any member he chooses, and teach any doctrine that tickles his fancy.

WELS workers have a 007 certification. They can murder their spouses and have the sect cover for them, proclaim their innocence, and smear anyone who dissents from the official line.

WELS actually told the judge in the Zerbe case (vicar abuse of a minor girl in Fred Adrian's parish) that the synod knew of no other similar cases in their gigantic world-wide organization. When the girl's attorney proved that was a lie, the judge ordered WELS to come up with some facts.

Lying to the court is a felony, but Antinomians are born justified, guilt-free saints.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Church and Changers Should Listen to Luther

w-strom ( has left a new comment on your post "Oculi - The Third Sunday in Lent":

"All the others also say that they are teaching the Word of God. No devil, heretic, or sectarian spirit arises who says: I, the devil, or a heretic, am preaching my own views. On the contrary, all know how to say: This is not my doctrine; it is God's Word." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 640.

Church and Change would do well to read and remember the above quote.

LCMS. So clever!

Oculi - The Third Sunday in Lent

The Last Supper, sepia, by Norma Boeckler

Oculi, The Third Sunday in Lent

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

Bethany Lutheran Worship, 10 AM Central Time

Mid-Week Lenten Services are Wednesdays at 7 PM.

The Hymn #175 Hamburg 2.43
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 Ephesians 5:1-9
The Gospel Luke 11:14-28
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #172:1-5 Herzlich tut mir 2.55

The Stronger Man

The Hymn #172:6-10 Herzlich tut mir 2.55
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 #457 Friend 2.24

KJV Ephesians 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. 7 Be not ye therefore partakers with them. 8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

KJV Luke 11:14 And he was casting out a devil, and it was dumb. And it came to pass, when the devil was gone out, the dumb spake; and the people wondered. 15 But some of them said, He casteth out devils through Beelzebub the chief of the devils. 16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven. 17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. 18 If Satan also be divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand? because ye say that I cast out devils through Beelzebub. 19 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your sons cast them out? therefore shall they be your judges. 20 But if I with the finger of God cast out devils, no doubt the kingdom of God is come upon you.

21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

23 He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth. 24 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest; and finding none, he saith, I will return unto my house whence I came out. 25 And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. 26 Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits more wicked than himself; and they enter in, and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first.

27 And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

Third Sunday In Lent
Lord God, heavenly Father, who hast sent Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, to take upon Himself our flesh, that He might overcome the devil, and defend us poor sinners against the adversary: We give thanks unto Thee for Thy merciful help, and we beseech Thee to attend us with Thy grace in all temptations, to preserve us from carnal security, and by Thy Holy Spirit to keep us in Thy word and Thy fear, that unto the end we may be delivered from the enemy, and 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.

The Stronger Man Is Jesus
Luke 11: 21 When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: 22 But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.


The illustration is so transparent as to need no elucidation. The two “whenever” generalize the illustration: this always occurs as here stated, which no one will deny. The tertium in the illustration is the fact that complete defeat must precede the act of plundering—God’s kingdom must have come before demoniacs could be liberated as Jesus was liberating them. A syllogism underlies the illustration and its obvious application to Jesus and Satan. Major premise: Only complete victory allows plundering at will; minor: Jesus plunders Satan at will; conclusion: Jesus achieved compete victory over Satan. It is this inexorable logic that lends such force to the illustration.
Satan is this powerful brigand or bandit. “Completely armed” with his hopla (the equipment of a hoplite) pictures this bandit as having been and thus still being armed (perfect participle) with all his mighty weapons, which represent his power.
Lenski, R. C. H.: The Interpretation of St. Luke's Gospel. Minneapolis, MN : Augsburg Publishing House, 1961, S. 638.

Lenski thought this illustration from the entire Gospel lesson needed no extra explanation. Today that would not be so true.

Lenski taught from the perspective of the Old Lutherans, who relied upon Luther and the theologians after him. Luther, the Concordists, and the Lutherans of that era were all Christo-centric in how they explained the Bible.

As Luther said, “The entire Bible is a sermon about one man, Jesus Christ.”

When people lose sight of that, they start seeing the Bible through clouded eyes, even through blinded eyes. The Bible is a not a poetry book, not a history book, not a book of moral tales, not a personal success book, not a lawbook. The Bible is a sermon about Jesus Christ, the Savior.

Every passage points to Christ, from Genesis 1 to the end of Revelation. Sometimes the historical setting is provided, such as the story of King David. We need to know about King David to understand the Son of David and the birth in Bethlehem, the town of David. Take away Christ and David is just another local monarch and poet.

This story is about Jesus, but the strong man is Satan. As people can see, the stories in this selection all concern Satan’s power and Jesus greater power.

Ever since the Fall of Man, Satan has been the prince of this world. His power is superhuman, displayed in a thousand ways.
One example is Luther’s explanation that the world runs on greed and deception. The deception is used to make the greed look saintly and good. For instance, I was reading about Warren Buffet accumulating vast amounts of money and neglecting his own town (Omaha) in charitable giving. He had all kinds of advice for others, in taking care of needs, but he did not apply those lessons to himself. And he was an early, early pioneer in advocating abortion and promoting Planned Parenthood. The wealthy address the problems of poverty with genocide, and call it charity.

Clergy use all kinds of deception to feather their nests. Luther observed how they like to skim for themselves and party with the wealthy, so they can pretend to be wealthy themselves. For example, the Episcopalian bishops liked to travel to their conferences on J. P. Morgan’s private train. He was one of the richest men in the world at the time. He always brought his mistress, too. Thus the bishops offered him cover and absolution for his deception. Doubtless he was preached into heaven at each religious gathering.

Therefore, many showy things take place where someone like J. P. Morgan surrounds himself with religious absolvers, and they get to drink French wine instead of fermented California apple juice. Satan rules this earth.

Satan is heavily armored and difficult to defeat. He rules with wealth at times. He seduces with wealth. He wears people down with illness and troubles. Job was his most noteworthy victim in the Old Testament. Lack of money is another temptation, and that lack will move people to violate all the Commandments to get some.

Although the Bible could be a great tool against Satan, it is also used as his tool. Anti-Christian cult members use the Bible to trick people away from the faith. I said to two Mormons, “You call the Christian Church the whore of Babylon because it is divided.” One said, “It is divided.” I said, “The Mormons divided a long time ago. Apply that to yourselves.” One said, “No it isn’t.” I said “Look across the road from your church. The Reformed LDS is right there. Take your lies elsewhere, and tell the next person about that sacred underwear you have to wear all the time.”

But these verses have a great message about a Stronger Man. That is Christ. By His birth, ministry, death and resurrection, He defeated Satan and took away his armor and palace.
Although Satan still prowls the earth, like a lion, looking for someone to devour, his status has changed forever. His time is drawing near when he can no longer gather into his kingdom. Thus his power is displayed more openly and so is his rage.

Look at the rule of the false teachers. They dominate the “conservative” Lutherans and frighten the timid clergy.

Rob Bell is so horrible that his own congregation had a special meeting to hold his feet to the fire about his anti-Christian doctrine. But he is a hero in WELS, because he has followers. Bell’s meeting was with members, and only those members allowed to go into the meeting. A real man of the people! All the apostate Shrinkers are Stalinists in wrinkled bluejeans.
Although Satan looks horrible and powerful in his might, the Word of God is far more powerful than Satan.

An ordinary person, with all his faults and sins, weaknesses and temptations, is more than a match for Satan, because Christ is in him and before Him. Satan cannot reach through Christ to get at a believer.

But each Christian has to stand on his own and battle Satan with the Word. The Word is primarily the Gospel itself. Satan wants to beat down the believer and make him a servant of works, so that the believer trusts in Moses rather than Jesus.

The law-salesmen say, “Your life must be transformed!” or they say “You must follow these rules.”

The Gospel Promises defeat Satan because Old Nick attacks through our emotions, our weakest area of all. Our emotions can knock us off our feet at any time. Luther pointed out many times that panics and fears and depression come from Satanic attacks.

To enjoy the power of Christ in the Word, one only needs to take advantage of the Means of Grace, plus all the many ways in which the Means are supported and taught.

Regular worship is primary, and Holy Communion is the Gospel individually given to us in visible form.

The liturgy, readings, and sermon are all in harmony with Holy Communion. Hymns can either be sound, doctrinal witnesses to the Word of God, or sappy emotional songs aimed at manipulating the emotions.

Those who want to lead a personality cult always move away from the Christ-centered liturgy, the hymns, and the sermon itself. The end can be found in people like Rob Bell.

The books we read have everything to do with how we think and what we believe. There are relatively few books that we can read over and over, always gaining from them. They are the Book of Concord, Luther’s Sermons, and the works of Chemnitz. My estimate is that very few “conservative” Lutheran pastors are familiar with all three categories. Yet I know of congregations where the study is full of notebooks from Fuller Seminary. The results are obvious.

Luther lived in the Word, studying and explaining the Scriptures all day long. Others like him did the same. They are the ones we should follow, study, and emulate.

There are two Kingdoms. The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan. They will be at war until the end of time. We belong to one as believers or to the other as unbelievers. Justification by faith plants us in the Kingdom of God (Christ) and keeps us there through the Means of Grace.

Quotations on Satan

"Hence the Pope is the true Antichrist, and his high schools are the devil's own taverns and brothels. What does Christ signify if by effort of my own human nature I can obtain God's grace? Or, having grace, what more will I desire?" Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 284. New Year's Day, Galatians 3:23-29.

"So when we see a bishop assuming more than this text gives him warrant for, we may safely regard him as a wolf, and an apostle of the devil, and avoid him as such. Unquestionably he must be Antichrist who in ecclesiastical government exceeds the authority here prescribed." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 65 Third Sunday in Advent, 1 Corinthians 4:1-5.

"Observe, however, what the devil has accomplished through the Papists. It was not enough for them to throw the Bible under the table, to make it so rare that few doctors of the holy Scriptures possessed a copy, much less read it; but lest it be brought to public notice they have branded it with infamy. For they blasphemously say it is obscure; we must follow the interpretations of men and not the pure Scriptures. What else is their proceeding but giving Paul the lie here where he says the Bible is our manual of instruction? They say it is obscure and calculated to mislead." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 41 Second Sunday in Advent Romans 15:4-13.

"THE DEVIL'S DIRTY DOZEN: TWELVE WAYS (AND MORE) TO KEEP YOUR CHURCH FROM GROWING..."Limit worship experience only to pages 5 and 15...Bulletin should be 'worship service' oriented rather than 'announcement oriented'...Expect unchurched to accept traditions as though they were doctrine." School of Outreach IV, Notebook, WELS Evangelism Commission p. O-1.

"Several of our brothers have been warning us to be careful about the leaven of The Church Growth Movement and the insidious Reformed doctrine contained within. Not a few of us have heard their warning and have thought to counter the danger by saying we will weed out the erroneous material and use only that which is proper and beneficial to the Lord's work in our congregations. Fellow-shepherds, there is some evidence to show that that is exactly what the devils wants us to think. That seems to be used to lull us and our members into sleep, and without our intending it, the soul-harming false doctrines creep in undetected, under the guise of religious printed materials and programs." Michigan District President Robert Mueller, (WELS), "President's Report to the Conferences, Spring, 1991, p. 2.

"Let us, then, prepare ourselves to be patient and lern to bear the furious attacks and the blows of Satan, who is trying to tear the church of Christ to pieces and to establish his own church. We are not any better than the fathers. At the cost of much sweat and labor they, too, scarecely succeeded in their effort to preserve the Word and to snatch a few souls from the jaws of Satan." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, I, p. 280. W 42, 425. Genesis 11:10ff.

"Therefore nothing but a satanic, seductive, and sinister strategy is involved when we are called upon to yield a bit and to connive at an error for the sake of unity. In this way the devil is trying cunningly to lead us away from the Word. For if we adopt this course and get together in this matter he has already gained ground; and if we were to yield him a fingerbreadth, he would soon have an ell." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1411f. Ephesians 6:10-17.

"The devil has the advantage of being able to find pupils for a doctrine or a dream no matter how absurd the doctrine or the dream may be. The more absurd it is the sooner he finds pupils." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 632. WLS #1940 Mark 7:31-37.

"If the devil were to identify himself and show himself as black as he is, who would want to follow him? But now he peddles his poison and false doctrine under the cover of God's name and does so with an impressiveness greater than that with which the true doctrine is presented." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 633. 2 Corinthians 11:14.

"If the devil were to identify himself and show himself as black as he is, who would want to follow him? But now he peddles his poison and false doctrine under the cover of God's name and does so with an impressiveness greater than that with which the true doctrine is presented." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 633. 2 Corinthians 11:14.

"All the others also say that they are teaching the Word of God. No devil, heretic, or sectarian spirit arises who says: I, the devil, or a heretic, am preaching my own views. On the contrary, all know how to say: This is not my doctrine; it is God's Word." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 640.

"As Luther says: You 'cannot remain in the same stall with others who propagate false doctrine or are attached to it or always speak good words to the devil and his crowd.'" [XVII, 1477; probably St. Louis edition] Francis Pieper, The Difference Between Orthodox And Heterodox Churches, and Supplement, Coos Bay, Oregon: St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 1981, p. 49.

"When you preach or confess the Word, you will experience both without, among enemies, and also within, in yourself (where the devil himself will speak to you and prove how hostile he is to you), that he brings you into sadness, impatience, and depression, and that he torments you in all sorts of ways. Who does all this? Certainly not Christ or any good spirit, but the miserable, loathsome enemy...The devil will not bear to have you called a Christian and to cling to Christ or to speak or think a good word about Him. Rather he would gladly poison and permeate your heart with venom and gall, so that you would blaspheme: Why did He make me a Christian? Why do I not let Him go? Then I would at last have peace." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, II, p. 928.

"All this is the old devil and old serpent, who also converted Adam and Eve into enthusiasts, and led them from the outward Word of God to spiritualizing and self-conceit, and nevertheless he accomplished this through other outward words. Just as also our enthusiasts [at the present day] condemn the outward Word, and nevertheless they themselves are not silent, but they fill the world with their pratings and writings, as though, indeed, the Spirit could not come through the writings and spoken word of the apostles, but [first] through their writings and words he must come. Why [then] do not they also omit their own sermons and writings, until the Spirit Himself come to men, without their writings and before them, as they boast that He has come into them without the preaching of the Scriptures?" Smalcald Articles, VIII., Confession, 3-5, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 495. Tappert, p. 312f.

"In a word, enthusiasm inheres in Adam and his children from the beginning [from the first fall] to the end of the world, [its poison] having been implanted and infused into them by the old dragon, and is the origin, power [life], and strength of all heresy, especially of that of the Papacy and Mahomet. Therefore we ought and must constantly maintain this point, that God does not wish to deal with us otherwise than through the spoken Word and the Sacraments. It is the devil himself whatsoever is extolled as Spirit without the Word and Sacraments. For God wished to appear even to Moses through the burning bush and spoken Word; and no prophet, neither Elijah nor Elisha, received the Spirit without the Ten Commandments [or spoken Word]. Neither was John the Baptist conceived without the preceding word of Gabriel, nor did he leap in his mother's womb without the voice of Mary." Smalcald Articles, VIII. Confession, 9-10 Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 497. Tappert, p. 313. 2 Peter 1:21.

"The nice, envious person who is sad when another prospers, and would gladly have one eye less if thereby his neighbor had none, is the product of Satan." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 102. Third Sunday after Easter John 16:16-23.

"Faith is a tender, subtle thing, and we so easily make a mistake and are liable to stumble; but the devil is watchful, and unless men exercise watchfulness, he quickly gains his point." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 265. Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity, John 4:46-54; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:12.

"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." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, II, p. 322. Easter Tuesday Luke 24:36-47.

"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.

"The deeper a person is sunk in sadness and emotional upheavals, the better he serves as an instrument of Satan. For our emotions are instruments through which he gets into us and works in us if we do not watch our step. It is easy to water where it is wet. Where the fence is dilapidated, it is easy to get across. So Satan has easy access where there is sadness. Therefore one must pray and associate with godly people." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1243. 1532.

"It is not the devil's aim to plague us physically; he is a spirit who is always thirsting for the tears and the drops of blood that come from our hearts. He wants us to despair and to perish from sadness. This would be his joy and delight. But he will not succeed." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1244. John 15:19.

"One day I overheard my stepmother say to my father: 'The only real devil that exists in this or any other world is the man whose business is that of making devils.' I accepted this statement instantly and never have departed from it." Napoleon Hill, Grow Rich With Peace of Mind, New York: Fawcett Crest, 1967, p. 212.

"Having ascended Mount Carmel and having met the monks there, Saint Louis [Louis IX of France] is astounded by the account of a most unusual tradition. The saintly monks say that they are the descendants of the Prophet Elias and call themselves 'Hermits of Saint Mary of Mount Carmel' because the fiery prophet, whom they imitate, had beheld, in a foot-shaped cloud that had divinely soared from the sea below them, a prophetic image of the Immaculate Virgin Mary who was to bring forth man's Salvation and to conquer the pride of Satan with Her heel of humility." John Mathias Haffert, Mary in Her Scapular Promise, Sea Isle City, NJ: The Scapular Press, 1942, p. 5. Genesis 3:15.

"Therefore we should not be afraid of powers. But we should fear our prosperity and good days which cause us more harm than our anguish and persecution; and we should not be afraid in the face of the wisdom and the shrewdness of the world, for they can do us no harm. Yes, the more the wisdom of the world opposes the truth, the purer and clearer does the truth become, consequently the Gospel can experience nothing better than that the world rise up against it with all its force and wisdom; yea, the more my conscience, sin and Satan attack me, the stronger does my righteousness become." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 299. Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity, Matthew 22:15-22.

"Lastly, it is nothing else than the devil himself, because above and against God he urges [and disseminates] his [papal] falsehoods concerning masses, purgatory, the monastic life, one's own works and [fictitious] divine worship (for this is the very Papacy [upon each of which the Papacy is altogether founded and is standing]), and condemns, murders, and tortures all Christians who do not exalt and honor these abominations [of the Pope] above all things. Therefore, just as little as we can worship the devil himself as Lord and God, we can endure this apostle, the Pope, or Antichrist, in his rule as head or lord. For to lie and to kill, and to destroy body and soul eternally, that is wherein his papal government really consists, as I have very clearly shown in many books." Smalcald Articles, Part II, Article IV, The Papacy, Concordia Triglotta, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1921, p. 475. Tappert, p. 301. 2 Thessalonians 2:4. [Marks of the Antichrist: the falling away, apostasia, verse 3; seat in the temple of God, verse 4; acts godlike, verse 4; works have the power of Satan (also see John 8:44); will remain until Judgment Day, verse 8.] Francis Pieper, Christian Dogmatics, 3 vols., trans., Walter W. F. Albrecht, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1953, III, p. 463f. 2 Thessalonians 2:3ff.

"Satan torments you until you conclude that you are lost and ruined, that heaven and earth, God and all the angels, are your enemies." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 247. Exaudi Psalm 6:7-8.

"For that rogue, the devil, has a sharp vision and easily becomes conscious of the presence of a true Christian. Therefore he exerts himself to entrap him, and surrounds and attacks him on all sides; for he cannot bear that anyone should desert his kingdom." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 264. Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity, John 4:46-54; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:12.

"Neither is he [Satan] truthful; he is the spirit of lies, who, by means of false fear and false comfort having the appearance of truth, both deceives and destroys. He possesses the art of filling his own victims with sweet comfort ; that is, he gives them unbelieving, arrogant, secure, impious hearts...He can even make them joyful; furthermore, he renders them haughty and proud in their opions, in their wisdom and self-made personal holiness; then no threat nor terror of God's wrather and of eternal damnation moves them, but their hearts grow harder than steel or adamant." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholas Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, III, p. 302. Pentecost, Third Sermon John 14:23-31.

"Thus also the devil is angry because God wants to trample him under foot by means of flesh and blood. If a mighty spirit were opposed to him, he would not be so sorely vexed; but it greatly angers him that a poor worm of the dust, a fragile earthen vessel defies him, a weak vessel against a mighty prince. God has placed his treasure, says St. Paul, in a poor, weak vessel; for man is weak, easily aroused to anger, avaricious, arrogant, and weighed down with other imperfections, through which Satan easily shatters the earthen vessel; for if God would permit him, he would soon have utterly destroyed the whole vessel." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 268. Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity, John 4:46-54; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:12.

"The devil does not sleep, he will do many more such things, he looks around and exerts himself to exterminate the pure doctrine in the Church and will finally, it is feared, bring it to this, that should one pass through all Germany he would find no pure pulpit, where the Word of God is preached as in former days. He tries with all his might to prevent the pure doctrine from being taught, for he cannot endure it." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 266. Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity, John 4:46-54; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:12.

"The devil also is able to present to the factious spirits the idea that they regard themselves as right, like the Arians who thought their cause was right." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 266. Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity, John 4:46-54; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:12.

"The reference [the Votum] is simply to a disposition to trust and love God sincerely, and a willingness of heart and mind to serve God and man to the utmost. The devil seeks to prevent this state by terror, by revealing death and by every sort of misfortune; and by setting up human devices to induce the heart to seek comfort and help in its own counsels and in man. Thus led astray, the heart falls from trust in God to a dependence upon itself." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, VI, p. 111. Fourth Sunday in Advent, Philippians 4:7.

"If Satan were only prudent enough to keep quiet and let the Gospel be preached, he would receive less injury from it; for if the Gospel is not attacked it completely rusts and has no occasion or reason to make its power and influence manifest." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 300. Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity, Matthew 22:15-22.

"When one heresy dies, another presently springs up; for the devil neither slumbers nor sleeps. I myself--though I am nothing--who have now been in the ministry of Christ for twenty years, can truthfully testify that I have been attacked by more than twenty sects. Some of these have entirely perished; others still twitch with life like pieces of dismembered insects. But Satan, that god of factious men, raises up new sects." Martin Luther, What Luther Says, An Anthology, 3 vols., ed., Ewald Plass, St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1959, III, p. 1270. Preface, Galatians Commentary Galatians.

"Indeed, more factious spirits shall arise and it shall come to pass that they will not regard Christ as God, nor as the son of a virgin. For the devil is so cunning and skilful that, if one thing is taken from him, he makes use of another. Thus it has been from the beginning, and it will continue to be so in the future." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 269. Twenty-first Sunday after Trinity, John 4:46-54; 1 Peter 5:8; Ephesians 6:12.

"In like manner must all come to shame and be overthrown who rise up against this divine wisdom and the Word of God. Consequently no one should fear even if all the wisdom and power of the world oppose the Gospel, yea, even if they plan to suppress it by the shedding of blood; for the more blood is shed, the more Christians there will be. The blood of the Christians, as Tertulian says, is the seed from which Christians grow. Satan must be drowned in the blood of Christians, consequently there is no art that can suppress the Gospel by force." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 299. Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity, Matthew 22:15-22.

"We have now sowed a little of the Word, and this the devil cannot stand, for he never sleeps; the worms and the beetles will come and infect it. Yet so it must be, Christ will prove His Word, and examine who have received it and who not. Therefore let us remain on the right road to the kingdom of Christ, and not go about with works and urge and force the works of the law, but only with the words of the Gospel which comfort the conscience: Be happy, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven." Martin Luther, Sermons of Martin Luther, 8 vols., ed., John Nicholaus Lenker, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983, V, p. 201. Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity, Matthew 9:1-8.