Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart;
wait, I say, on the LORD.
- Psalm 27:14
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Tje Temple 3.8.2015
Dear friend,

Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you all now and forever, Amen.

On this 3rd Sunday in Lent, we take the Gospel lesson for today from John's Gospel. It is the account of Jesus' cleansing the Temple, the reaction of the Jews to His actions and Jesus' message to them and His disciples.

The main teaching of the cleansing of the temple was to show that the temple was only given as a shadow for that which was to come. It was never meant to be made into some kind of a shrine by which people would lose sight of who God was for them. Let us remember that God has always been for us, He came to be with us and He now lives in us by His Spirit. Today's text points to God coming in the flesh to make atonement for our sin.

13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.

17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. (explanatory) Psalm 69:9 The disciples evidently knew this scripture from that Messianic Psalm. Christ longs for all to worship His Father in spirit and in truth.

18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? Rather than hear the concern of Jesus, for His Father's house, the Jews reacted as they have been taught to, for they in their mind were standing for their God's honor. They could have been leaning on the below scripture. They asked that He show a sign which would prove that He was from heaven.

KJV Deuteronomy 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.

19 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
Jesus pointed to His body as the Temple, telling them to kill Him and in three days He would raise it up.

20 Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? They did not understand at all as to what Jesus was referring to, and they used this occasion against Him in His mock trial. Matthew 26:59-68 Even the disciples did not understand what Jesus was referring to as is indicated in verse 22.

21 But he spake of the temple of his body. (explanatory)
22 When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said.(explanatory)

23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did.
24 But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men,
25 And needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.

What was the temple? (Tabernacle was movable, later was built in Jerusalem)

After God gave Moses the Law on Mt. Sinai, He gave instructions concerning the building of a meeting place where He would "dwell, tabernacle" with His people.

KJV Exodus 25:1 And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
2 Speak unto the children of Israel, that they bring me an offering: of every man that giveth it willingly with his heart ye shall take my offering.
3 And this is the offering which ye shall take of them; gold, and silver, and brass,
4 And blue, and purple, and scarlet, and fine linen, and goats' hair,
5 And rams' skins dyed red, and badgers' skins, and shittim wood,
6 Oil for the light, spices for anointing oil, and for sweet incense,
7 Onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod, and in the breastplate.
8 And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

The physical Temple only a shadow until the True Temple comes.
In the book of Hebrews explanation is given as to how this physical structure would one day be replaced by God Himself coming to dwell with us, first through His coming in human form to this earth. That is what our text is about today, as Jesus prophesied of His death at their hands but that He would rise again. Let us look at some verses in the 9th chapter,

KJV Hebrews 9:8-14
8 The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
9 Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
13 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh:
14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
We note that the progression of God's plan of drawing near to us goes from His "dwelling" in a physical place in the tabernacle (Exodus 25) to His incarnation to this earth to make atonement for sin once and for all.
1. Christ had great zeal for worship in His Father's house, the Temple. He was jealous for the honor of His Father.
2. He moved worship from a place, the Temple, to a person, Himself as the Temple Christ's time had arrived....He is now near.
Well, these are things to think about, are they not? We are blessed that we have a God who does not change, and He decided for us from before the foundation of the world. He so longs for us to know who He is that He sent His Son to show us who He is, to the extent that He became sin for us, He who knew no sin, that we might be made righteous through His act of sacrifice. We have been brought to life through Him because He does not want us to die. Perhaps meditating upon, and praying in the Spirit that which the Apostle Paul prayed for the Colossians will be of benefit to us as we ask the Lord to apply this message to our hearts today..May the joy of forgiveness fill our hearts today.

Colossians 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
11 Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:
17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty who always was, is, and who is to come!!
Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 08 Mar 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
"Whom do you say that I am?" 3.1.2015
Sermon Text: Mark 8:27-38
Sermon Title: Jesus: "Whom do you say that I am?"

Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you all now and forever, Amen.

Today we are faced with a question asked by Jesus of all people of all time? "Who do you say that I am?" Is our knowledge of Jesus by revelation from God or is it a combination of other people's opinons? By God's grace we will consider a short portion of the revelation of God from the Gospel of Mark, in the 8th chapter.

Mark 8:27 And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples, saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?
28 And they answered, John the Baptist: but some say, Elias; and others, One of the prophets.
29 And he saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Peter answereth and saith unto him, Thou art the Christ.
30 And he charged them that they should tell no man of him.

31 And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.
32 And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.
33 But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying, Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men.

34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel's, the same shall save it.
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

The followers of Jesus had to come to know who Jesus was and this they did by being with Him for over 3 years, but they did not really understand the heart of God as shown by Jesus until after His resurrection and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The following excerpt from Luke's gospel gives insight as to how they were still understanding things according to the OT and were in need of Jesus' teaching through His attitudes, words and actions. As we read this account, may the Spirit search our minds and hearts and not only show us where we are in relation to looking at the lost in the world, but may He also convict us to repentance so that we may have the mind and heart of God towards them.

Luke 9:51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

At another time in John's Gospel we see that even though they did not understand many of Jesus' teachings, they yet recognized that there was no one else to go to, for at the very least they knew that He had the words of eternal life.

John 6: 66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

May we be encouraged and grounded in this fallen world today by sticking with Jesus as the way, the truth and the life, and in so doing reject the pluralism and relativism that abounds today. Apostle Paul found his peace only in the cross and what it accomplished for him, for he came to live in the dual effect of the power of the cross: The world lost its hold over him and the world lost is love for him.

May we understand what is being said here in the light of our text today, which speak of disowning ourselves, taking up our instrument of death which means that union with Christ will cause us to be persecuted by our own flesh, by the world, and ultimately by the devil.

KJV Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

KJV 1 Corinthians 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Mark 8:38 Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus asks us today? "Do you know who I am?" The Apostle Paul thought he knew who God was, but when he met Jesus He found out who God really was. Next week, if the Lord so wills, we will illustrate what it means to deny oneself, take up one's cross and to follow Jesus through the life of Apostle Paul in chapter three of the letter that we have been studying, the letter to the Philippians. Here is a portion of that third chapter.

Philippians 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

May the Spirit give us revelation into the heart and mind of God through Christ through His Word.

In Christ,

Pastor Orval Wirkkala

Posted on 01 Mar 2015 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Tje Temple 3.8.2015
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Carol Fischer and her family as they grieve the loss of Bob