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Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Ephesians 6:11-12

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Friday, May 31, 2019

A New Heresy - Funnier than Tim Glende's Inuit Fidei.
Joe Krohn's "In Few of Faith"
LutherQueasies Can Run, But They Cannot Hide

 For better, informed reading, check out this newly published, free book -
The Error of Modern Missouri.


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Joe Krohn (Jester)
Advanced Member
Username: Jekster

Post Number: 685
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 29, 2019 - 10:58 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post Print Post


"But don't claim that they do not express the fullness of justification by grace through faith."

Right.

Not justification by faith through grace. I think that's where the deniers are. That's where "in few of faith" ends up. Grace first, not faith. If there is not grace first there is nothing for faith to grasp.


***
GJ - Tim Glende coined a new term when he tried to fashion Intuitu Fidei from the booze-soaked memories of his undergraduate education.

Glende charged me, anonymously, with the scandal of Inuitu Fidei - The Faith of the Inuits, or Eskimo. Edward Preuss, of blessed memory, forerunner of those leaving Missouri for Rome, wrote "eskimeaux," my favorite antique term. The Eskimeaux are born forgiven - like the Hottentots, according to Preuss. Can you imagine trekking to their land and explaining how they were already forgiven and saved? And you are starting a mission to convince them of this before joining their ice fishing or being used as a target in the poisoned arrow contest!

His rebuttal was something like, "Just becuz I cant spell..."

Now comes Joe Krohn (that's how lawsuits are worded) to prosecute his case against "In Few of Faith," the funniest quip from  the Objective Justification salesmen this week. I waited for an edit, in case the LQ beehive noticed. They did not correct Joe's hilarious error.

LQ likes to attack and then hide. That is fine with me but a sad note for them, who want the world to admire their Biblical knowledge. If they dealt with the classic Justification by Faith passages in the Bible, they would defeat themselves.

Tim Glende studied the Faith of Inuits at Mordor.
Uncredited cameo - Katy Perry in her onesie.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Ascension - Holy Communion Service - 2019. Mark 16:14-20



Ascension 2019. Holy Communion

7 PM Central Daylight Time, May 30th, 2019

Pastor Gregory L. Jackson



Bethany Lutheran Worship, 7 PM, Central Daylight Time

The melody is linked under the name of the hymn.
The lyrics are linked under the number of the hymn.
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    Acts 1:1-11
The Gospel                        Mark 16:14-20
Glory be to Thee, O Lord!
Praise be to Thee, O Christ!
The Nicene Creed p. 22
The Sermon Hymn #199 Jesus Christ Is Risen Today 

The Foundational Sin - Not Trusting in God

The Hymn #341 Crown Him with Many Crowns       
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 #294            O Word of God 

In Our Prayers
  • Baby Andrea will have eye surgery in June.
  • Glen Kotten is in the hospital.
  • Those seeking work to support their families.            
  • Those being treated for cancer and continuing therapy.
  • Our national leaders, the justice system
  • Those suffering from the floods and tornadoes

KJV Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. 50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. 51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: 53 And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.

[The ending of Luke fits with the opening of Acts, which Luke also wrote.]

KJV Acts 1:1 The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: 3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. 10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; 11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

KJV Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Ascension

O Jesus Christ, Thou almighty Son of God, who art no longer in humiliation here on earth, but sittest at the right hand of Thy Father, Lord over all things: We beseech Thee, send us Thy Holy Spirit; give Thy Church pious pastors, preserve Thy word, control and restrain the devil and all who would oppress us: mightily uphold Thy kingdom, until all Thine enemies shall have been put under Thy feet, that we may hold the victory over sin, death, and the devil, through Thee, who livest and reignest with God the Father and the Holy Ghost, one true God, world without end. Amen.

Background for the Gospel

In the 1950s, the new improved RSV made its appearance, backed by the National Council of Churches and the liberal scholars. It has been revising and going downhill ever since. One "improvement" was turning Isaiah 7:10 from the Virgin Birth to a young married woman having a little boy. The other "improvement" was ending Mark's Gospel at verse 8 and consigning the rest of Mark's Gospel to a footnote which denied in a subtle way its authenticity.

Liberal scholars did not like the ending's agreement with the other Gospels. They made their careers on inventing disharmony, so this was their chance, and they took it. Objections were few and the latest "improvements" are far more radical than most could have imagined.

The foundational sin was - not believing that 
  1. God could preserve His Word,
  2. The Gospels agreed,
  3. Miracles happen.


The Foundational Sin - Not Trusting in God

KJV Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen

This is extremely important, for many reasons. 
First of all, there is harmony in expressing the lack of belief in Jesus rising from death. Jesus predicted it many times, and they could not grasp the truth of the resurrection until many appearances and the climactic appearance here.

Secondly, Jesus attacked the foundational sin - lack of belief and hardness of heart. These two go together, and hardness is often combined with or parallel to spiritual blindness. In those cases, it goes beyond unbelief, when God provides all the evidence and the individual refuses to believe it even when it is seen.

In the example of the crowds who saw the miracles - they said immediately after - Now show us a miracle (a sign). 

This hardness of heart - or blindness - is a persistent problem for all Christians. As Luther says, this is a comfort for Christians who despair over their own lack of faith. They can see the disciples had the same problem, and we all have that problem. One way to treat this lack of faith is to look at it directly and provide the right kind of treatment.

For example, something important and good can happen but there is no immediate reward or even an acknowledgement of how significant it is. This happens all the time when Christian believers help, finish a project, do something for others, and so forth. Parents can also feel unappreciated or alienated. 

Someone asked me why so many pastors garden. I said, "It is because they see direct results from what they do, which never happens in a congregation, where it is impossible to measure results." Of course, the success merchants emptied many church budgets say, "We will show you how," but the ended up destroying more congregations than the Chicago Fire.

When people keep themselves from the miraculous in God's Word, which includes the Gospel and Sacraments, they begin to see everything in an evil light. 

The Promises and blessings of God keep faith and hope alive, and the Means of Grace are His instruments in accomplishing this. 

2. First, Christ upbraids his disciples with their unbelief and hardness of heart, and reproves them for it, and shows them their faults. He does not reject them, nor deal too severely with them, but reproves them; just as we would say to a person: Are you not ashamed that you dared to do such a thing? Meaning thereby to bring him to a knowledge of himself and make him blush with shame, that he may desist from his wicked intent or deed, though we do not reject him, nor turn our love from him.

3. However, it is not an insignificant matter here that the Lord rebuked the disciples; for unbelief is the greatest sin that can be named. Christ tells them the cause of their unbelief when he says that their hearts are hardened, yet he deals mildly and gently with them.

4. This is given to us all for our comfort, lest we despair when, lacking in faith, we doubt, stumble and fall; it is to help us to rise again, to strengthen our faith and lift up our hearts to God, that we may grasp and hold fast the confidence of God, who does not deal with us severely, but can indeed bear with us and overlook much. And whoever believes him to be thus, shall find him so; if we hold him to be a merciful God, he allows himself to be found merciful, and shows himself thus to us; but a bad conscience and an unbelieving heart have no such trust in God, but flee from him, and deem him a harsh judge, which he, therefore, is found to be.

15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

This by itself is a wonderful summary of Christ's mission for the disciples - to preach the Gospel to the world, to everyone everywhere, so that those who believe will be saved.

What better medicine is available than to teach people their purpose in life, their blessed relationship with God? This is based upon faith in the Savior, first of all, but that has been sidelined to an option in many cases. Or primary faith in something else, whether it is a tradition, a denomination, a school, or some human authorities.

Practical reason is useful in many areas, but nothing that we can accomplish is equal to what God can do in an instant. 

Since Lenski said something good about Monergism in his commentary (Mark 4), it is always good to recall that we have immediate contact with the miraculous through God's Word. God alone does the work, because His divine power is always at work in His Word. Monergism means - One alone works. The unique parable there the person who sows seed and goes to bed, rises, goes to bed, rises. Then the blade of the wheat rises through the soil, then more growth, the head of grain starts to form, then the wheat is formed. And all these developments begin with the seed. In the same way, the Word grows and increases in the complexity of its influence until people can hardly believe later that the results began with the Word alone.

but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Nor should it be forgotten that Jesus clearly condemned the notion that unbelievers are forgiven and saved because that is the definition of God's grace. That is the dogma of mainstream apostates, especially at the leadership level. 


17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 

The great and wise consider themselves in control of miracles. They declare what can and cannot be done, when and where it might have happened, how certain rules (which they made up) must be obeyed.

These two verses teach us about the continuing miraculous power enjoyed by Christ that was continued where necessary by the early Christians. Jesus said to the earliest crowds, "If you do not believe Me, believe the miracles." The miracles enhanced the crowd's initial thought that Jesus came from God. The apostles also had that power where needed. However, the emphasis was always upon the Word of God. 

The great miracle is the one most rejected - forgiveness through faith alone and the power of the visible Word (the sacraments) to confer forgiveness.

The three individuals raised from the dead - the widow's son, the young girl, and Lazarus - died later. What Christ had to offer was the peace of forgiveness and eternal life.



19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.


Rather than focus on categorizing miracles, we should look back, as if new at this, and see how Jesus first established believers in many communities and trained the disciples. Then He demonstrated God's love in His death on the cross, His resurrection from the grave, and His Ascension. 

The combination of resurrection, resurrection appearances, and Ascension left a body of believers, at least 500, who knew and experienced the divine power of God in His Son. They were witnesses, a group smaller than many established congregations today, yet they were the bedrock of the Apostolic Church.



It is not what most people would say about their charter members. 
The witnesses were the bedrock only because in teaching the Word of God, they conveyed Christ to their audiences.  Jesus said to Peter, On this Rock I will build My Church.

The Rock was not Peter, the first alleged Pope.

The Rock was not the confession of Peter, which certainly wavered during the trial of Jesus. 

The Rock was and is Christ the Rock. Those who witness to Him are using the Instruments of Grace, the Word bringing the Savior to people, to babies, to children, to adults, to those who have never heard the Name of Jesus.

When Jesus ascended to govern the Christian Church from His throne, He sent the Spirit and spiritual gifts to make this Faith a world-wide statement of forgiveness and salvation through faith alone.



Luther's Sermon for Ascension Day




DAY OF CHRIST’S ASCENSION INTO HEAVEN.


SECOND SERMON.


KJV Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their  unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. 19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Christ Upbraids his Disciples with their Unbelief, and his Missionary Commission

1. In today’s Gospel there is again presented to us the essence of a Christian life, namely faith and love; just what you constantly hear in all the Gospel lessons. Since the Gospel ever holds up before you this theme, we must continually preach and discuss it; for Jesus says to his disciples: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” We will consider the thoughts of this Gospel text in order.

I. CHRIST UPBRAIDS HIS DISCIPLES WITH THEIR UNBELIEF.

2. First, Christ upbraids his disciples with their unbelief and hardness of heart, and reproves them for it, and shows them their faults. He does not reject them, nor deal too severely with them, but reproves them; just as we would say to a person: Are you not ashamed that you dared to do such a thing? Meaning thereby to bring him to a knowledge of himself and make him blush with shame, that he may desist from his wicked intent or deed, though we do not reject him, nor turn our love from him.

3. However, it is not an insignificant matter here that the Lord rebuked the disciples; for unbelief is the greatest sin that can be named. Christ tells them the cause of their unbelief when he says that their hearts are hardened, yet he deals mildly and gently with them.

4. This is given to us all for our comfort, lest we despair when, lacking in faith, we doubt, stumble and fall; it is to help us to rise again, to strengthen our faith and lift up our hearts to God, that we may grasp and hold fast the confidence of God, who does not deal with us severely, but can indeed bear with us and overlook much. And whoever believes him to be thus, shall find him so; if we hold him to be a merciful God, he allows himself to be found merciful, and shows himself thus to us; but a bad conscience and an unbelieving heart have no such trust in God, but flee from him, and deem him a harsh judge, which he, therefore, is found to be.

5. So should we also deal with our neighbor. If we see him fall from the faith, or err and sin, we should not strengthen him in his wickedness, nor justify his cause, but admonish him, and in meekness reprove his faults, yet neither hold enmity, nor turn our love from him. Thus St. Paul speaks to the Galatians: Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Galatians 6:1.

But our lord pope, the bishops, priests, monks and nuns allow no one to reprove them when they do evil; they are never willing to acknowledge that any fault is theirs, but always that of their subjects, and their policy toward subjects is one of strictness and severity.

6. To sum up all: We should expose and reprove what is wrong, and exercise truth and love toward everybody; we should be plain-spoken, not letting ourselves be silenced, for none of us, since we are flesh and blood, will so live as to be found without blame in all things. I in this, you in that.

We all see, that even the apostles were lacking in the chief things yet they were corner stones, the foundations and the very best part of Christendom.

7. But let no one think that the apostles were altogether unbelieving; they believed what was written in the Law and the prophets, although their faith was not yet perfect. There was a faith there and yet no faith; they did not yet believe all things, although they believed that God created heaven and earth, and was the Maker of every creature. So the apostles were not altogether without faith, for they had faith in part. Faith is a thing that always grows. It is with faith as with a man who is ill and begins to get well — is increasing in strength. Therefore the Lord shows where they did not believe, and what they lacked; it was that they did not believe the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Although they believed the other things, they were still lacking in this. I hold that they believed that they had a gracious God. Yet this was not enough; they must believe also the resurrection of Christ. The Lord upbraided them with their unbelief, reproved them and said that in spite of all they had seen, they were not believing, they still lacked in a certain article of faith, namely the article on the resurrection. Hence Christ’s words to them at the Last Supper: “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” John 14:1.

8. What does it mean, then, to believe the resurrection of Christ, this thing which is so important, and concerning which the disciples were called unbelieving and faithless, and without which nothing else that they believed would help them? To believe the resurrection of Christ, is nothing else than to believe that we have a Mediator before God. Who is Christ, who makes us holy and acceptable to God the Father. For man’s possesions, by birth and nature, are but sin and corruption, by which he brings down upon himself the wrath of God. But God is eternal righteousness and purity, and therefore, from his very nature, hates sin. Hence there is always enmity between God and the natural man, and they cannot be friends and in harmony with one another.

9. For this cause, Christ became man and took upon himself our sins and also the wrath of the Father, and drowned them both in himself, thus reconciling us to God the Father. Without this faith, we are children of wrath, able to do no good work that is pleasing to God, nor can our prayers be acceptable before him. For thus it is written in Psalm 18:41: “They cried, but there was none to save; even unto Jehovah, but he answered them not.” Yea, even our noblest deeds, by which we had thought to obtain from God mercy, help and comfort, are counted to us for sin; as the prophet says, <19A907>Psalm 109:7: “Let his prayer be turned into sin”; seeing God could not be reconciled by all our strength, for there is truly no strength in us.

10. Therefore Christ must come, that he might go before the Father’s face, reconcile us to him, and obtain for us everything we lacked. Through this same Christ we must ask of God all we need. You have heard in last Sunday’s Gospel that the Lord says: “If ye shall ask anything of the Farther, he will give it to you in. my name.” Whatever we obtain from God, we must receive through this Christ, who has gained for us a merciful Father. For Christ is our support and refuge, where we may hide ourselves, like the young chickens hide under the wings of the mother hen. Through him alone is our prayer acceptable before God and through him is it answered, and we obtain the favor and mercy of the Father; for Christ has made atonement for our sins, and an angry judge he has changed into a gracious and merciful God. To believe in the resurrection of Christ means, then, to believe, as I said, that Christ has taken upon his head our sins and the sins of the whole world, also the wrath of the Father, and thus drowned them both in himself, whereby we are become reconciled with God and altogether righteous.

11. Now, observe for yourselves how few Christians there are who have this faith, by which alone man is freed from his sins and becomes entirely holy; for they believe not in the resurrection of Christ, that their sins are taken away through Christ, since they attempt to become holy through their own works. This one runs to a cloister, that one becomes a nun, one does this, another that, in order to be free from sin; and yet they always say they believe in the resurrection of Christ from the dead, notwithstanding that their works prove the contrary.

12. The apostles have insisted upon and preached this article more than any other; thus St. Paul speaks to the Corinthians: “If Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:14. And shortly, after in verse 17 he says: “If Christ hath not been raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” What sort of a conclusion is this? What is its logical analysis? This: If Christ be not risen from the dead, then sin and death have devoured and slain him, and we cannot get rid of our sins ourselves. Jesus Christ took them upon himself, so that he might tread under foot sin, death and hell, and become their master. But if he be not risen, then he has not overcome sin, but has been overcome by sin. Also, if he has been overcome by sin, then he is not risen: if he be not risen, then he has not redeemed you; then you are yet in your sins.

Likewise Paul speaks to the Romans: “If thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised him from the dead, thou shalt he saved.” Romans 10:9. There to all the Scriptures of the Old and the New Testaments agree.

13. Now, it is not enough that we believe the historic fact of the resurrection of Christ; for this all the wicked believe, yea, even the devil believes that Christ has suffered and is risen. But we must believe also the meaning — the spiritual significance of Christ’s resurrection, realizing its fruit and benefits, that which we have received through it, namely, forgiveness and redemption from all sins; we must believe that Christ has suffered death, and thereby has overcome and trodden under foot sin and death, yea, everything that can harm us, and is seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven as Almighty Lord over sin and devil, death and hell, and all that harms us, and that all this took place for our good. This the wicked do not believe.

14. You see how much depends upon this article of faith on the resurrection. We can better dispense with all the other articles than with this one. What would it avail if we believed all the other articles, as that Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, died and was buried, if we did not believe that he arose again? It is to this subject that God has reference in Habakkuk 1:5, when he says: “I am working a work in your days, which ye will not believe though it be told you.”

15. The importance of this subject is also the reason that Paul has urged and preached it, and in all his epistles has treated of no work or miracle of Christ so frequently as of his resurrection. He is silent concerning the many works and wonders of Christ, and preaches and teaches emphatically the benefit and the import of the resurrection of Christ — what we have received from it. No other apostle has portrayed Christ to us in the light that Paul has. Christ did not without meaning say of him to Ananias: “He is a chosen vessel unto me to bear my name before the gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel; for I will show him how many things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” Acts 9:15-16.

16. Now, no good work will help those who do not have this faith in the resurrection, let them play the hypocrite as they will. To virgins, their virginity or purity is no help; nor to monks, their long prayers. Here it avails nothing to preach of works, they are not even named; but everything must be obtained of God through Christ, as you have heard. So David prayed in Psalm 84:9: “Behold, O God, our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.” This is enough on the first part of this Gospel.

Now follows in the text the words: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to the whole creation.”

II. THE MISSIONARY COMMISSION CHRIST GIVES TO HIS DISCIPLES.

A. THE CONTENTS OF THIS COMMISSION.

17. What shall they preach? Nothing else, he says, than just that I am risen from the dead and have overcome and taken away sin and all misery. He that believes this, shall be saved; faith alone is sufficient for his salvation.

Therefore, the Gospel is nothing else than preaching the resurrection of Christ: “He that believeth shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned.” Here all works are abolished. Here you see, also, the nature and character of faith. Faith will compel no one to accept the Gospel, but leaves its acceptance free to everyone and makes it a personal matter. He that believes, believes; he that comes, comes; he that stays out, stays out.

18. Thus you see that the pope errs and does the people injustice in that he ventures to drive them to faith by force; for the Lord commanded the disciples to do nothing more than to preach the Gospel. So the disciples also did; they preached the Gospel, and left its acceptance to those who would take it, and they did not say: Believe, or I will put you to death.

19. A question arises about this passage, “Go ye into all the world,” as to how it is to be understood, since the apostles certainly did not visit all the world. No apostle came hither to us; and many a heathen island has since been discovered, where the Gospel has never been preached. Yet the Scriptures say: “Their sound went out into all the earth.” Romans 10:18. Answer: Their preaching went out into all the world, although it has not yet come into all the world. This going out has been begun and continues, although it is not yet completed; the Gospel, however, will be preached ever farther and wider, until the judgment day. When this preaching shall have reached all parts of the world, and shall have been everywhere heard, then will the message be complete and its mission accomplished; then will the last day also be at hand.

20. The preaching of this message may be likened to a stone thrown into the water, producing ripples which circle outward from it, the waves rolling always on and on, one driving the other, till they come to the shore.

Although the center becomes quiet, the waves do not rest, but move forward. So it is with the preaching of the Word. It was begun by the apostles, and it constantly goes forward, is pushed on farther and farther by the preachers, driven hither and thither into the world, yet always being made known to those who never heard it before, although it be arrested in the midst of its course and is condemned as heresy. As we say, when one sends a message, the message has gone forth, although it has not yet arrived at its destination, but is still on its way; or as we say that the emperor’s message is sent to Nurenburg, or to the Turk, although it has not yet arrived so we are to understand the preaching of the apostles.

B. THE PROMISE ATTACHED TO THIS COMMISSION.

21. But there arises here another question from this passage of today’s Gospel, “He that believeth, shall be saved:” whether faith is sufficient for salvation, and alone saves; or whether we must also do good works in order to be saved. Here our highly learned doctors have desired to control the Holy Spirit, to sharpen his tongue, and to place a little stick under his tongue, as if he could not speak plainly, and have forced and strained this passage, and so worn it out and rent it that no marrow nor vitality remains in it. They have said that good works are necessary to faith, and that faith is not sufficient for salvation. This is not true. Faith alone, of itself, without any works, as the Word of God here clearly says, brings us salvation, and works help nothing at all toward righteousness or salvation. We must let this passage stand pure and unadulterated, and without any addition. If the Holy Spirit had so desired, he could easily have said different words thus: “He that believeth and doeth works, shall be saved.” But he did not do this, therefore we should and will leave it as it is.

22. This I say to the end that you may fortify yourselves with such passages, holding to the true meaning of the words. Though there are many passages in Scripture teaching that faith alone saves, yet they have been so covered over and obscured, so shaken to pieces and stretched, by the sophists and scholars, that their right meaning has suffered. St. Paul says to the Galatians: “If righteousness is through the Law, then Christ died for naught.” Galatians 2:21. That is to say: If we can be saved in any other way or work out our salvation, then Christ has died in vain; for to presume to be justified by the Law means to think that man can become righteous through his works.

23. Therefore to conclude: The chief righteousness is faith; the chief wickedness is unbelief. There is also no sin so great that it is able to condemn man; unbelief alone condemns all who are condemned. And again, only faith saves every one; for faith alone deals with God, no works can appear before him. For works have to do only with man, and man lets his works be made use of as he has made use of Christ’s. They make no one holy; they are only the distinguishing marks of a man that has already become righteous through faith, which alone makes the heart pure.

24. I can easily assent to the saying: Works do not make you pious, but show that you are pious; or when I hear it said: He that believes, serves his neighbor, I admit that it is so. But that the explanation of this text should be, Faith is not sufficient for salvation, we must also do good — this is a liberty which the text can stand just as little as this church could stand that I should pull down its pillars. There follows further in the text: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.”

25. God has always accompanied his Word with an outward sign to make it the more effective to us, that we might be strengthened in heart and never doubt his Word, nor waver. Thus he gave Noah the rainbow in the heavens as a sure sign that he would keep his promise and not destroy the world by another flood. The rainbow is, so to speak, a seal or sign to Noah and to us all, just as a seal upon a letter certifies the document. And just as a nobleman has his own coat-of-arms of a particular device or color, by which he is known, so has God evidenced his words for us with signs, as with a seal, that we should never doubt. To Abraham he gave the rite of circumcision, to show that Christ should come and bless the world. Thus has he done here, adding to this promise of his — “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” — an outward sign, namely baptism, and also the sacrament of the bread and the wine, which was especially instituted for use in times of temptation, and when death draws near, that by it we might strengthen our faith, and remind God of his promise, and hold him to it.

26. A man can believe even though he be not baptized; for baptism is nothing more than an outward sign that is to remind us of the divine promise. If we can have it, it is well; let us receive it, for no one should despise it. If, however, we can not receive it, or it is denied us, we will not be condemned if we only believe the Gospel. For where the Gospel is, there is also baptism and all that a Christian needs. Condemnation follows no sin except the sin of unbelief. Therefore, the Lord says: “He that disbelieveth shall be condemned”; he says not: He that is not baptized. He is silent concerning baptism; for baptism is worth nothing without faith, but is like seals affixed to a letter in which nothing is written. He that: has the signs that we call sacraments, and has no faith, has only seals upon a letter of blank paper.

27. Here you see also what is the office of the apostles, to which all the bishops, and those that call themselves ministers, should conform, inasmuch as they boast that they are the successors of the apostles in preaching the Gospel. For the Lord says here, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel.” Therefore, we should not listen to those who do not preach the Gospel. Now our papists come along and quote the passage in Luke 10:16: “He that heareth you, heareth me.” This verse has hitherto been the pope’s sword, by which he has swayed the whole world, and none has rightly understood this passage, which means that teachers are to be obeyed only when they preach the Gospel. So the Lord here inspires the apostles to speak the Gospel, which is his Word. Christ alone is to be heard, and the apostles are but messengers and instruments for this word of Christ. Therefore, here again are condemned pope, bishops, monks and priests, and all who preach something else than the Gospel.

28. But what is meant when the Lord says: “Preach the Gospel to the whole creation”? Shall I preach also to trees and stones, mountains and waters? What would that profit? St. Gregory preached on this text and said that “all creation” means man; that man is one with all creatures — with the angels in understanding, with the animals in sensibilities, and with the trees in growth. We must, therefore, not misuse the text nor make its meaning too literal, for so we shall misconstrue it. The meaning is that the Gospel should be publicly and universally preached, given to all; it should hide in no corner, but be preached freely in all places, as is written in Psalm 19:3-4: “There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world,” The beginning and going forth has been fulfilled by the apostles, but the work is not yet finished; the Gospel has not yet reached its limit, for I know not whether Germany has ever heard the Word of God.

The pope’s word we have surely heard.

29. The Lord here says to the apostles: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to the whole creation,” for the reason that this Gospel may be published to everyone, so that even trees and stones might hear if they had ears, and might bear witness that we have heard the Gospel; and that pillar there might say, I have heard the Gospel preached to you. Thus generally and publicly shall it be proclaimed, and preached in all the world, being withheld from no one, till it reaches the ends of the world, as the Psalm records. So it has now come to us, who are dwelling at the end of the world, for we live close to the sea. This Paul has in mind when he says to the Ephesians: “And he gave some to be apostles, and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, unto the work of ministering, unto the building up of the body of Christ: till we all attain unto the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God.” Ephesians 44:11-13. Next, the text speaks of the signs that shall follow faith, and names five signs, one after the other, thus: “And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons;THEY shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any! deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall recover.”

30. How shall we proceed here that we may preserve the truth of the passage: he that believeth shall have power also, and be able to show these signs? For the Lord says all these signs shall accompany them. Now we know that the apostles did not present all the signs, for we read of no other that drank poison than John the Evangelist, and there are no other individual instances. If the passage shall stand literally, then few believers will be cleared and few saints be entitled to heaven; for these signs, one and all, have not accompanied them, though they have had power to work signs, and have exhibited some of them.

31. Some rush on here and explain these signs as spiritual, so as to preserve the honor of the saints; but it will not do to strain the words. They do not carry such meaning, therefore they will not bear such an explanation. It puts upon the Scriptures uncertain construction for us.

32. Others, with equal heedlessness, say that though not every individual has the power and does the wonders mentioned, yet the church as a whole, the multitude of Christendom, has; one may drive out devils, another heal the sick, and so on. Therefore, they say, such signs are a manifestation of the Spirit; where the signs are, there is also the Christian Church, and so on.

33. But these words do not refer to the Church as a whole, but to each person separately. The meaning is: If there is a Christian who has faith, he shall have power to do these accompanying miracles, and they shall follow him, as Christ says, in John 14:12: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do, shall he do a1so; and greater works than these shall he do,” for a Christian has equal power with Christ, is a congregation, and sits with him in joint tenure. The Lord has given Christians power, as is written in Matthew 10:8, also against the unclean spirits, that they might cast them out and heal every disease. Thus it is written in Psalm 91:13: “Thou shalt tread upon the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent shalt thou trample under foot.”

34. We read also that this has been fulfilled. There was once a patriarch in the wilderness, who, when he met a serpent, took it in both hands and tore it in two, and thought no more about it, but said’ O what a fine thing it is to have a clear and guiltless conscience! So, where there is a Christian, there is still the power to work these signs if it is necessary. But no one should attempt to exercise this power if it is not necessary or if need does not compel. The apostles did not always exercise it, but only made use of it to prove the Word of God, to confirm it by the miracles; as is written here in the text’ “And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word by the signs that followed.”

35. But since the Gospel has now been spread abroad, and made known to all the world, there is no need of working miracles as in the apostles’ times.

If need should arise, and men were to denounce and antagonize the Gospel, then we verily should have to employ wonder-working rather than permit the Gospel to be derided and suppressed. But I hope such a course will not be necessary, and that such a contingency will never arise. For another example: That I should here speak in new languages is not at all necessary, since you all can well hear and understand me; but if God should send me where the people could not understand me, he could easily grant me their speech or language, that I might be understood.

36. Then, let no one, without pressing need, undertake to work wonders, For we read of the patriarchs’ children that they once brought a large number of serpents in their cloaks, and shook them out at their parents’ feet; whereupon their parents reproved them for tempting God unnecessarily. In like manner, we read of many signs that believers have done. It happened once upon a time that one of the fathers by chance got hold of a basilisk. He looked at it, and thereupon exclaimed: O Lord, I must die, or this reptile must! for the basilisk kills by its looks. At once it bursted and flew into pieces.

37. I know not what I shall say about those who venture to do signs where they are not necessary. For example, some drive out demons. But I know that it is a dangerous undertaking. The devil, indeed, lets himself be driven out, but he does not intend to suffer for it; he allows it only that he may strengthen the sign-worker in such error. I would not like to trust him. We have many such instances in our times. I know also of many that happened not long ago.

38. There was a sexton who wished to learn alchemy from the devil, that is, the art of separating gold from sand, and of making gold from other metals. The devil agreed to come to him at the hour of eleven, but the sexton should have on a gown and chasuble. See with what fool’s work the devil goes about! As though he cared much about the chasuble. The sexton went and reversed the hour-glass and noted the hour. At eleven he put on the chasuble. The devil came and knocked. The sexton was afraid and asked who was there. The devil said that the sexton should come at once to the parson and attend the Sacrament. The sexton threw off the chasuble and ran out in haste, but found no one. Then the devil the second time demanded of the sexton to come out. The third time the devil came and said that the parson was awaiting him impatiently; he should come without delay. The sexton then went out, but by this time the hour was past, and the sexton had not on the chasuble. Then the sexton saw for the first time that it was the devil, and wished to hurry back to the house and get the chasuble. The devil, however, would not allow this, but said: No, my dear fellow, the time is past. He seized the sexton, broke his neck and threw him to the ground. Such occasions the devil seeks, and acts. So much for this Gospel.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Hypocrisy Fuels the Abusive Synods - Hardened Blabbermouths Cheer Them On

 Cowardly clowns gloat over language they cannot understand, running away from the Biblical challenge I graciously offered to them.

The Gadarene theologians continue to hide behind their terminology. They are happy to associate with Luther, but not with his Biblical doctrine.

The latest belch from the LutherQueasies claims that the early catechism editions produced by the Missouri Synod were UOJ. Then why did they treat LCMS Pastor Vernon Harley like dirt when he pointed that out?

Rolf Preus claimed on LutherQuest (sic) that Harley "befouled" himself. When I stated how evil that was, to speak that way of a fellow pastor who taught the truth, Rolf repeated himself. What threw Rolf into such a fit? His agreement with early Missouri?

One must distinguish between Walther's mob and the Missouri Synod itself. He could not sell UOJ to everyone, and he was easily threatened by anyone who politely disagreed with him. He concocted his Election without Faith
  1. to back up his Objective Justification and
  2. to drive his dissenters away.
Walther destroyed the unity of the Synodical Conference because of his Napoleonic complex, the short-shirt tyrant. Walther rigged the process, changing the rules, to make sure his disciple F. Pieper got the job of parroting following him at St. Louis.

If modern Missouri and WELS agreed with early Missouri, they would not need to teach Objective Justification in their new materials so blatantly, would they? Try to find an original Gausewitz - WELS will not allow reprinting it.

The Real Issue - They Are Running Like Frightened Children from the Scriptures

I challenged the education-challenged LQ denizens to deal with three short Scriptural selections, to explain them in plain simple language, without leaning on their Calvinistic philosophical terms.

They are reproduced below, in case they have forgotten, in hopes they stop gloating over their ignorance and selling their dogmas. They need to explain three words - believed, counted, righteousness.

Genesis 15:6 KJV

Genesis 15 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

Romans 4 - 5:2 KJV

Romans 4 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah's womb:
20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Galatians 3:6-7 KJV
Galatians 3 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

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