#9-The Firmness of the Spiritual Kingdom of the Church

4. Listen to Me, My people. He prescribes the method and form whereby the church will be made fruitful, namely, through the law and judgment of God, which cannot, however, be understood by means of the law of Moses, which the Jews possess. Nevertheless, God will cause a law to go forth from Him, that is, the sending forth of the Gospel after the old law has been abolished.

And My justice for a light to the peoples, that is, a new light, a new law, the abolition of the old law and the succession of the new, which is implanted not by human weapons and resources but by faith and righteousness. Salvation, victory, and triumph in faith will follow this spiritual kingdom, to which Moses with his ceremonies will give way.

5. The coastlands wait for Me. This is the promise of the coming Paradise proceeding out of the old broken and forsaken church. Look at heaven and earth, which appear to be eternal. Yet if either one should fail, God’s salvation will remain, and the heaven will perish, however firm it may be. Thus the gospel says (Matt. 24:35): “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”

6. Lift up your eyes to the heavens. This requires an immeasurable faith, since there is nothing feebler than voice or sound, and yet it must become so great that heaven and earth must be held as nothing. Therefore this righteousness is so fixed and eternal that even heaven and earth will more quickly be dispersed like smoke. The Word of God will continue in its effect when princes and tyrants will be completely blotted out. This requires a faith that must not be despised and that is not feeble” (Luther’s Works, vol. 17, p.198).

#8- The Joy of Godly Children Keeping the 4th Commandment

You should rejoice heartily and thank God that he has chosen and fitted you to perform a task so precious and pleasing to him. {The task of honoring parents} Even though it seems very trivial and contemptible, make sure that you regard it as great and precious, not on account of your worthiness but because it has its place within that jewel and holy treasure, the Word and commandment of God. 118 O how great a price all the Carthusian monks and nuns would pay if in the exercise of their religion they could bring before God a single work done in accordance with his commandment and could say with a joyful heart in his presence, Now I know that this work is well pleasing to Thee! What will become of these poor wretched people when, standing before God and the whole world, they shall blush with shame before a little child that has lived according to this commandment and confess that with the merits of their whole lives they are not worthy to offer him a cup of water? 119 It serves them right for their devilish perversity in trampling God’s commandment under foot that they must torture themselves in vain with their self-devised works and meanwhile have only scorn and trouble for their reward.

120 Should not the heart leap and melt with joy when it can go to work and do what is commanded, saying, “Lo, this is better than the holiness of all the Carthusians, even though they kill themselves with fasting and pray on their knees without ceasing”? Hence you have a sure text and a divine testimony that God has commanded this; concerning the other things he has commanded not a word. This is the plight and the miserable blindness of the world that no one believes this; so thoroughly has the devil bewitched us with the false holiness and glamor of our own works. (Large Catechism -Tappert, p. 381).

#7-Christ is the Servant In His Kingdom

Isaiah 9:6. For to us a Child is born. Here you see the prophet speaking about the kingdom of peace, because he boasts about a Child born and a Son given, who will be the Head and King of this kingdom. And therefore it will be a kingdom of peace, not of strife. All these words are strong and intense. Above he spoke of the greatest affliction, of darkness and the shadow of death. Likewise of the Law, of sin, and of death, the most oppressive tyrants. Against them he now places the King born and given to us, who is to set us free from them and implant us into His peaceful and happy reign. He now proceeds to explain what kind of reign that is.

And the government was made. Verbs of the past tense are to be interpreted in the present tense. Instead of “was made” we shall have “is.” Some explain this as meaning that Christ has conquered the world through the cross. Others set this passage over against those above by way of antithesis: On this Child no yoke and rod will be imposed, because He is without sin, but government and freedom will be His.5 We explain it in this way: The government of Christ are we, whom He carries on His shoulders. Other kings are carried like rods by their subjects. All kingdoms of the world are carried and are burdens on our neck, and they reduce bodies and possessions to slavery. Therefore in the manner of ruling in the kingdom of the world and in that of Christ there is a difference. In the kingdom of the world the prince or king alone is free, all others are servants. But in Christ’s kingdom Christ alone is a servant, and we are free. Moses says in Deut. 32:11: “Like an eagle, etc.,” and it bore them “on its pinions.” So to the present day it is with Christ, once for all, however, in His cross and death. He commanded His ministers and all His members to bear one another. He Himself is the Cornerstone and the Foundation. Thus in the kingdom of Christ those who serve rule, and those who rule serve” (Luther’s Works, vol. 16, p.99).

#4A Creation: The Statistics

“In research conducted in 2015, we found that 22% of people in their sixties who used to go to church have stopped attending.  But with the Millennial generation, that number was over half (53%). Answers in Genesis also contracted with America’s Research Group to conduct focused research on these American Millennials who have now left the Church. Statistics revealed that two-thirds of young people are leaving the Church in America by the time they reach college age, and very few are returning” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.27-28).

“There’s no doubt there is a widening chasm between the older generation and the Millennials in American.  The older generation, even those aren’t Christian, have more a Christianized worldview because of the significant past influence of Christianity. Today’s younger generations do not have such a worldview because their thinking has been secularized through education and culture” (p.18-19).

The Picture:  “In the fossil record, there are also examples of brain tumors, cancer and arthritis in various skeletons. If these things existed before Adam sinned, then there’s an insurmountable problem because after God made Adam and Eve, He said everything was ‘very good’ (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.73).

#6-The Light of the Gospel

Isaiah 9:2. The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.

Matthew (4:16) cites this text with reference to Christs specific sojourn in Capernaum and Galilee not for the purpose of establishing and strengthening faith but only for the purpose of encouragement. The apostles and evangelists are much accustomed to doing this.

People. So then the people of the whole world, Jews as well as Gentiles, were in darkness, that is, in error, unrighteousness, notions, a false understanding of the Law, etc. Light is the Gospel, the gift of the Holy Spirit. It is common for Scriptures to repeat and double the same thing, as is done here, for the purpose of emphasis.

v. 3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, Thou hast not increased its joy. Here is pictured the fruit and power of this light which is propagated from day to day, not satisfied with the corner where the Jews live but spread abroad among the nations throughout the world, a thing that irks the Jews. In Deut. 32:21 we read: “I will provoke them with a foolish nation.” The Jews, who think that they alone should be God’s people, interpret this passage in a distorted way, as if the Gentiles, however numerous, would not come to enjoy God nor rejoice in Him.3 But this is the true meaning: Many nations are received into the kingdom of God; this makes the Jews sick, by this they are provoked to anger, envy, zeal, and a spirit of stupor (cf. Rom. 11:8). This is what it means to lessen their joy” (Luther’s Works, vol. 16, p.97).

#5-The Sign For Strengthening Those Who Believe

Isaiah 7:14. Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign, …. But since he{Ahaz} now resists the Word of God and refuses a sign, how can his faith be strengthened? Therefore the prophet speaks of a sign to come, against which they will dash, just as the sign of Jonah was given to the Jews (cf. Matt. 12:39), and those who refuse to believe will perish. Nevertheless, it is a sign of lifting up and building up and strengthening for those who believe (Matt. 12:39; 16:4). And this is the summary of this chapter until the end, because he says that this prediction is already in the process of fulfillment in these unbelievers. עַלְמָה, a young woman capable of giving birth, for an old woman can be a virgin too, but she is not called עַלְמָה.

She shalt conceive. In Hebrew it is “has conceived,” and that is the indication of a miracle; it is as if the prophet were already seeing it. Again, since he says that it is God’s sign, it is necessary that that conception and birth be in a different manner than is commonly and naturally the ease, for it would not be a sign if one Who today is a virgin would become pregnant after a half year. Therefore she has to be both a virgin and with child. Matthew 1:21 f. clearly explains this.

Immanuel. This describes what kind of person it will be. This is not a proper name. He is indeed the Son of a virgin, and yet He is “God with us,” therefore God and man.

  1. He shall eat curds and honey. This is a description of His childhood and humanity. As He is said to be born as a true human being, so He will be reared in a true human fashion” (Luther’s Works, vol. 16, p.84).

#4- Christianity To Penetrate Deeply Into the Mind and Fixed in Memory

24 Thus we have, in all, five parts {Ten Commandments, Apostles’ Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Baptism and Lord’s Supper} covering the whole of Christian doctrine, which we should constantly teach and require young people to recite word for word. Do not assume that they will learn and retain this teaching from sermons alone. 25 When these parts have been well learned, you may assign them also some Psalms and some hymns, based on these subjects, to supplement and confirm their knowledge. Thus our youth will be led into the Scriptures so they make progress daily.

26 However, it is not enough for them simply to learn and repeat these parts verbatim. The young people should also attend preaching, especially at the time designated for the Catechism, so that they may hear it explained and may learn the meaning of every part. Then they will also be able to repeat what they have heard and give a good, correct answer when they are questioned, and thus the preaching will not be without benefit and fruit. 27 The reason we take such care to preach on the Catechism frequently is to impress it upon our youth, not in a lofty and learned manner but briefly and very simply, so that it may penetrate deeply into their minds and remain fixed in their memories. 28 Now we shall take up the above-mentioned parts one by one and in the plainest possible manner say about them as much as is necessary” (Shorter Preface of Large Catechism -Tappert, p. 364-5).

Theology Summary Bible Class, Pt. 30: Israel’s Request for a King

When the Priest and Judge Samuel had grown old , the nation Israel requested a king to rule over them (1 Samuel 8:4-22). The Scriptures tell us that God Himself had been functioning as their king(Num 23:21, Dt 33:5) by His gracious ruling(Judges 8:23) and protection. After Israel entered into the Promised Land of Canaan, God would raise up judges(Judges 6:14) to rescue God’s people.  Samuel was disappointed in their request. He knew that the people wanted a king like the other nations in order that they wouldn’t have to trust in God to provide for them. Nevertheless, God granted their request and provided them with a king. In his foreknowledge, God foretold their request(Deut. 17:14-20). He even planned on sending them a Messianic King(Gen 49:10). This study walks through 1 Samuel 7:2 through 12:15.

Handout: The-Third-Genus-King-p11.pdf

#3A Creation: Ambivalence

“At Answers in Genesis, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter, we specialize in teaching apologetics by equipping people for how to answer today’s skeptical questions that cause many to doubt the Bible. Sadly, most of our churches, pastors, Sunday School teachers, seminary professors, Bible college professors, and Christian college professors are instructing coming generations that they don’t need to believe in a literal Genesis.  Instead, they’re propagating the lie that a Christian can believe in evolution and its millions of years.  By and large, most of these young people have been told that it doesn’t really matter how they view Genesis, and that it’s not important anyway.  But it is. How you view Genesis dictates how you see and interpret the rest of the Bible. If Genesis cannot be trusted to be an accurate account of mankind’s beginnings and the origin of sin and God’s provision of salvation, then how can we trust it or any other books of the Bible when they make truth claims?” (Gospel Reset by Ken Ham, p.34-35).

Picture: The visitor to the Creation Museum walks through the “Garden of Eden” in order to get to the museum, just as the account of Creation prepares us for the message of the Cross.

#3- Teach Children The Habit of Daily Reciting the Catechism

15 These {Ten Commandments, Apostles’ Creed and Lord’s Prayer} are the most necessary arts of Christian instruction. We should learn to repeat them word for word. 16 Our children should be taught the habit of reciting them daily when they rise in the morning, when they go to their meals, and they go to bed at night; until they repeat them they should not be given anything to eat or drink. 17 Every father has the same duty to his household; he should dismiss man-servants and maid-servants if they do not know these things and are unwilling to learn them. 18 Under no circumstances should a person be tolerated if he is so rude and unruly that he refuses to learn these three parts in which everything contained in Scripture is comprehended in short, plain, and simple terms, 19 for the dear fathers or apostles, whoever they were, have thus summed up the doctrine, life, wisdom, and learning which constitute the Christian’s conversation, conduct and concern.

20 When these three parts are understood, we ought also to know what to say about the sacraments which Christ himself instituted. Baptism and the holy Body and Blood of Christ, according to the texts of Matthew and Mark at the end of their Gospels where they describe how Christ said farewell to his disciples and sent them forth. (Shorter Preface of Large Catechism -Tappert, p. 363-364).