The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist-in-Residence

Bethany Lutheran Worship on
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NT Greek Lessons - Thursdays, 7 PM.

Saved worship files and Greek lessons are at the live worship link.

email: greg.jackson.edlp@gmail.com,
which works as gregjacksonedlp@gmail.com too.

Luther's Sermons, Lenker Series
Book of Concord Selections
Bente's Historical Introductions,
and Martin Chemnitz Press Books

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Mid-Week Lenten Service, 8 PM Tonight, Central Daylight Savings Time



Mid-Week Lenten Vespers, 2017

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



The Hymn #145 -          Jesus Refuge of the Weary           
The Order of Vespers                                             p. 41
The Psalmody                   Psalm 23                  p. 128
The Lections                            The Passion History
                                                 2 Thessalonians 2
                                             
The Sermon Hymn #149           Come to Calvary's Holy Mountain

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

The Hymn #660 - Heaven Is My Home   


The Power of the Word - And of False Doctrine

2 Thessalonians 2 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
Even him, whose coming is after the working [efficacy] of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion [efficacy of error], that they should believe a lie:
12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:
14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,
17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

This letter was written early in the ministry of Paul. As with all his letters, he dealt with congregational problems, which were universal themes. As an Apostle chosen by the Risen Lord and taught by Him, Paul had as much authority as the rest and a special relationship to the Law and Gospel. He lived his life as the best of all Pharisees, meaning he truly believed in perfecting himself according to the Law. To reverse his persecution of the Gospel and understand the true place of the Law was quite a powerful effect of the Holy Spirit in the Word. This is how he dealt with such matters in relation to the end times.
One disturbance there was "Why work. The end is coming." They had to live in the paradox, as we do, that the end could come at any moment but also in hundreds of years. God only knows, as Jesus said in Mark 13.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostasy] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition [Antichrist];
The falling away is quite different from unbelief. The apostasy means that vast numbers of Christian believers no longer believe but reject and ridicule the Gospel. I could name many "confessional Lutherans" who fit into this category, and the numbers grow with each denomination.
Pope Francis is a perfect example, who seems determined to control and wreck his own denomination, but the previous "conservative" popes fit into that category too - they were just a lot less obvious - JP II and Benedict XVI, at the very least.
However, this does show that the first indicator is already glowing red. 
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
These are the attributes of the Antichrist. Luther and the Concordists had no trouble calling the papacy the Antichrist, because each pope is devoted to subverting and persecuting the Gospel. Although the Reformation popes were far more violent, the current popes are more effective in their smooth management of Protestant leaders, who practically throw themselves on the shoulder of the pope, bawling with great tears, begging that the terms of reconciliation be lenient.
I looked over a recent list of Lutheran apostates, and they were clergy leaders I met or knew about. One wrote that he joined Rome to "undo some of the damage done by Martin Luther." How thoughtful of him.
The Christian Gospel is Justification by Faith, which takes the burden of self-justification by works away from the tortured believer. Those who attack Justification by Faith are in league with the Antichrist, whether they comprehend it or not.
  1. opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God - The pople and his ilk have their own divine message, against the Scriptures.
  2. or that is worshipped - the pope and other false teachers demand honors, luxuries, and the appearance of divinity.
  3. so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God - the pope invents dogma (as others do) and tells people the Holy Spirit has revealed this to his heart.
  4. shewing himself that he is God - the pope and the little Antichrists are infallible, like God.

Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
Paul often referred to what he taught in person. Remember those things.
And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
God the Father withholds the final consummation until the time He alone has determined. The work of the Antichrist (iniquity) began in apostolic times, when false teachers blocked entrance to joining the church and denied key articles of faith.
The power of the Antichrist has begun and also is helped along by the little Antichrists, but they are restrained until God's time has arrived. In that time many more millions are born and converted by the Gospel.
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth [the Word], and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
No one will doubt the End. It will not be a rumor but a revealed final act of global revelation.
Even him [the Antichrist], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
If you doubt this, watch one of the Roman Catholic miracle movies (The Song of Bernadette) and look up their websites. Lourdes is difficult to believe in its scope. There are many other major religious metroplexes as well.
11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
This needs to be understood, because the power of the false word is also powerful and efficacious. The more people listen to falsehood, the more they love it and blind themselves to the truth. They are like the people who break into power stations and dare to cut away large power cables. True, the cables destroy them with their power, but the thieves bring this on themselves by their false motives and greed.
13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth: 14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle. 16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
Paul closes by reminding them of God's grace in calling them with the Gospel and establishing them in truth. Like every passage where Paul thunders with the reality of sinfulness, he offers comfort with Gospel comfort and forgiveness -- accomplished by God's Holy Spirit in the powerful Word.