The Glory Has Departed

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I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Exaudi, The Sunday after the Ascension. John 15:26-16:4. 2015

Exaudi, The Sunday after the Ascension, 2015

The melodies are linked in the hymn name. 
The lyrics are linked in the hymn number.

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson

The Hymn # 9            O Day of Rest                       
The Confession of Sins
The Absolution
The Introit p. 16
The Gloria Patri
The Kyrie p. 17
The Gloria in Excelsis
The Salutation and Collect p. 19
The Epistle and Gradual       
The Gospel              
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #195            Christ Jesus Lay 

The Holy Spirit at Work

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 #261                                  Lord Keep Us Steadfast                   

KJV 1 Peter 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. 9 Use hospi```tality one to another without grudging. 10 As every man hath received the gift, even sominister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 11 If any man speak,let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:  27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.  2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.  3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.  4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

Lord God, heavenly Father, we give thanks unto Thee, that through Thy Holy Spirit Thou hast appointed us to bear witness of Thy dear Son, our Lord Jesus Christ: We beseech Thee, inasmuch as the world cannot endure such testimony, and persecutes us in every way, grant us courage and comfort, that we may not be offended because of the cross, but continue steadfastly in Thy testimony, and be found always among those who know Thee and Thy Son, until we obtain eternal salvation through the same, Thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

The Holy Spirit at Work
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 

The final sermons of Jesus are especially important in John's Gospel because they are supplements to Matthew, Mark, and Luke. And they are significant because they come from "the disciple Jesus loved," the one who was given the care of the Savior's mother.

The value can be determined by the efforts of the rationalists to exclude them from the canon, saying they really belong to an age 300 years later. However, many internal clues show just the opposite. They show a first-hand knowledge of the land, language from that era, and of course the Rylands Fragment, which is dated at about 100 AD, putting the authorship in the Apostolic Age. One would have to assume some kind of Back to the Future moment for a late Gospel to have physical evidence 200 years earlier. And authorship could have been earlier than the dating of the fragment.

I do not have a high regard for modern Biblical scholarship, but this shows that the best attempts of academics come to naught. But as long as they can put a wedge between the plain Word of God and the believer, they have accomplished something. Simply transferring authority is enough. "This is true because I am a bishop." or "This is true because I have a Harvard PhD." or "This is true because people before me said so." or "This is true because a tiny Midwestern sect voted on it and our group won the vote." Doubtless the Holy Spirit waited anxiously for the outcome of that vote, assuming it was reported truthfully - a big leap of faith.

The Holy Spirit is sent from the Father and the Son. This has been debated endlessly, but this verse makes it clear - from the Father and the Son. I know there are few readers who worry about this, which is an argument between Rome and Eastern Orthodoxy, but it shows the results of ignoring the perspicuity of the Scriptures - that is, their clarity.

A magician would call it misdirection of the eyes. If the magician can get the audience to look at one hand, no one notices what his other hand is doing. He may have scarves stuffed in a false thumb on one finger. Or he may have an assistant come back and do a fast switch. If our eyes are on the wrong object, it does indeed look like magic. 

The Holy Spirit will testify about Christ. This is always connected with the Word of God. At first much of it came from the apostolic preaching. At the proper time, they wrote down what the Spirit inspired them to compose, in harmony with the Old Testament.

The Spirit conveys Christ to us as the Instrument of His grace.

2. But the Lord Jesus Christ speaks these words, and all of the discourse of these three chapters, before his departure and ascension, in order to comfort his beloved disciples, and not only the disciples but all Christians to the end of time, concerning all that shall happen to them in the world after he shall have left the world and gone to the Father; to comfort them when he is no longer visibly present with them, and when he rules, not temporally but spiritually. He says these things that we may be strengthened and comforted through faith in his Word, to withstand the great and serious trials which confront Christians on earth, as we shall further hear.

27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. 

The apostles will bear witness because they were taught by Christ Himself, given intensive training with their eyewitness experiences. This was necessary to build their faith, because no mortals had even seen what would happen at the end. If their fears seem appalling to us, it is good to remember that the entire city of Jerusalem, the same ones who hailed Jesus as the Son of David, turned against Him and mocked Him at His death.

The apostles, including Paul a bit later, were taken by God into the very depths so they could grace and not be shattered by being servants of His will. Their faith wavered, no different from us, and that faith grasped and heard and dined with the risen Lord. All that is crucial for understanding the rest of the lesson.

One of the problems of gardening is planting new seedlings, which may come from a nursery, a distant company, or even from a potting shed on the property. The new plants are tiny, fragile, and subject to all the attacks of birds, insects, and soil creatures. I opened the metal supports of a special hose head and found it completely full of creatures that looked like spiders but may have been something else. Every moving thing is hungry and they all look for shelter. So these seedlings are always attacked with great success when they are young, yet they must be out in the garden to accomplish anything. If they can be strengthened in any way, they have a better chance.

We have crumbling Christians today because they are not properly prepared. They do not hear the entire Gospel but only appealing parts, often presented as a way to be successful, which is really a complete corruption. That reminds me of people bathing their bare root roses in inorganic fertilizer or filling the hole with greenish fertilized water, all the better to burn off the fragile root hairs and kill the soil creatures. The Christian Church today is a miracle because there are some believers left, and the corrupters want to add more of their corruption "to make it better."

16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. 

Offended does not really satisfy the meaning of this verse. The verb is based upon the trigger of a trap - the scandalon. Once person or animal tripped the scandalon, it was over.  Persecution is the prospective death trigger.

"I have spoken these things to you so you do not fall into the death trap." [Jackson Newest International Version, the Lutheran Edition]

If the apostles left the locked room, received the Holy Spirit, and experienced persecution without this warning, they would be far more vulnerable to the death trap. "We followed Jesus. We obeyed. We failed and were forgiven, but we never expected this persecution, torture, and death."

Early on, followers (the larger group) said in John 6, "This is a hard saying," and many left Jesus.

5. Be it so, he says, even though they hate and persecute you for my name’s sake, and though the devil, who is responsible for such hatred, aims thereby to prevent you from speaking; nevertheless they shall not be able to stifle and nullify your preaching, for after my departure, when they think that I am forever dead, another shall come whose mouth they shall not be able to shut. He will publicly testify of me and will speak before all the world, whether the world smile or be angry. This one, he says, shall be the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and is sent by me. If I now go to the Father, through suffering and death, and begin to reign in divine power and majesty, then I shall speak through him; not, as now, personally and with my weak human will, in this small corner of the world, but publicly and before all the world. For I will send him in such form that he shall be in you, and he shall be your Comforter, since you will obtain no comfort from the world. He shall give you courage and strength to withstand the enmity of the world and the fear of the devil, enabling you to confidently and publicly testify of me. This testimony of yours shall be called and be the testimony of the Holy Spirit, given by you in your official capacity. He shall be sent to you by the Father and by me, and you may know, and the world will be compelled to see, that what the Holy Spirit shall say through you is by my power and authority, and according to the will and command of the Father.

2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.  3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
This verse is especially important for our era, as it was for many epochs before.

There are two churches and they should not be confused. The true Church is made up of sincere believers. They trust in God's grace through death and resurrection of Christ. Believing is forgiveness and this grace motivates all that they do. These people are scorned and often treated as ignorant, backward, or possessed. They are a problem to the other church and need to be chased away or silenced.

The other church is visible, acknowledged and honored by the world, and influential in secular politics. Everyone is sentimental about this church, no matter what it does, even when crimes are committed in the open. The Church of Rome has a good slogan for this. It will still exist, no matter how many evil things are done, because it is the only true church. That is quite a contrast between Matthew 7 (the evil tree and corrupt fruit, the tree of faith and good fruit.)

24. This is the first part of this Gospel and prophecy of Christ. The second part now follows, explaining how it is that such worthy people, the best, the wisest and most holy among God’s children, who earnestly seek to serve and honor God, should so bitterly and mercilessly persecute Christ and his people. “These things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father nor me.”

25. There you have the reason. Christ tells what moves them to such hatred and persecution of Christians. It is, he says, because you preach concerning me, whom they do not know; for they jealously regard their own office of teaching and preaching in the capacity of chief-priest and scribe (and in this day of pope, bishop, etc.) repudiating all doctrine that differs from that of Moses and the Law. They rigidly follow the command of Moses in Deuteronomy 13:6ff. How, then, shall the apostles be permitted to promulgate this utterly new doctrine concerning an unknown Messiah, one, too, whom they reject as a false prophet, yea, whom they have crucified as a deceiver and blasphemer? Who, in opposition to all recognized authority and intelligence, would acknowledge as Christ this executed victim? These so-called people of God boast to the apostles of their authority, saying, in Acts 5:28: “Did we not straitly charge you not to teach in this name?”

Here is the scandalon, the death trigger, identified. If someone keeps saying, "How could the church do this to me and my family? How could my friends desert me and mock me? How can I ever trust the Gospel again?" - the trigger has worked.

Luther said in another place that Satan does not want a single drop of our blood. He wants to attack us in our emotions where we are weakest. He wants us to despair and keep our minds on those afflictions. That can cause a deep-seated anguish and depression, because we hear the pesecutors praised, exalted, and rewarded.

4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.

Yes, He told the apostles it would be very difficult and bitter, so the upheavals did not cause them to shatter but to witness to the truth, as Stephan did. The more the Roman Empire made martyrs of the Christians, the faster the true Christian Church grew. Later, the more the Church of Rome persecuted the Protestants, the faster the Reformation spread. Additional attempts pushed the Faith into America, certainly a new place of refuge for the Gospel.

Stolen by WELS, given to ELCA.

The idiots who promoted this
are promoted, well funded, and secure in their errors.