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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Pastor's Blog

When the angels sang and when they sing again.
(Our intern Ryan Kandoll will be bringing the messsage today, so I am writing concerning the title which I have placed above. May we quiet ourselves and think deeply upon these scriptures).


They sang for joy at the creation of the world.

ESV Job 38:1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:
2 "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
3 Dress for action1 like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.
4 "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding.
5 Who determined its measurements- surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it?
6 On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone,
7 when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

One announced the coming of all things new, then they praised their Creator!!!!!

ESV Luke 2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
2 This was the first registration when1 Quirinius was governor of Syria.
3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,
5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,1 who was with child.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.
10 And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger."
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!"1

ESV Luke 15:1 Now the tax collectors and sinners were all drawing near to hear him.
2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."
3 So he told them this parable:
4 "What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?
5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.'
7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.
8 "Or what woman, having ten silver coins,1 if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?
9 And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, 'Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.'
10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

They sing with unbridled joy when one comes to the awareness and knowledge that they have been created by God, redeemed by Christ and renewed by the Holy Spirit.

May we reflect on the meaning of the words of the following hymn written by James Montgomery. May we who who have much more to reason for joy than the angels be moved to praise often while we await His glorious return when we will sing in the eternal choir in heaven above...........


Songs of praise the angels sang,
Heav’n with alleluias rang,
When creation was begun,
When God spoke and it was done.

Songs of praise awoke the morn
When the Prince of Peace was born;
Songs of praise arose when He
Captive led Captivity.

Heav’n and earth must pass away!
Songs of praise shall crown that day!
God will make new heav’ns and earth;
Songs of praise shall hail their birth.

And can man alone be dumb,
Till that glorious kingdom come?
No: the church delights to raise
Psalms, and hymns, and songs of praise.

Saints below, with heart and voice,
Still in songs of praise rejoice,
Learning here, by faith and love,
Songs of praise to sing above.

Borne upon their latest breath,
Songs of praise shall conquer death;
Then amidst eternal joy,
Songs of praise their powers employ.

Hymns of glory, songs of praise,
Father, unto Thee we raise;
Jesus, glory unto Thee,
With the Spirit, ever be.





Author: James Montgomery
Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire.
Posted on 22 Dec 2013 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
The gospel is preached to the poor 12/15/2013
Grace, Mercy and Peace from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ unto you today and always. Amen.


Jesus had spend the night in prayer with His Father, (Luke 6:12) and then the next day had appointed His twelve apostles, the account of which is recorded beginning in Matthew 10. Upon completing his initials words of instruction to them, He again returned to teach and preach in their cities. It was during this time that John the Baptizer, from prison, sent two of his disciples to ask Jesus the question: "Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?"

Let us read the verses upon which we will base this meditation today.

Outline

I. Introduction/Context
II, Question by John
III. Answer by Jesus
IV. Application



I. Introduction/Context

Matthew 11:1 And it came to pass, when Jesus had made an end of commanding his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.
2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples,
3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?
4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

.John the Baptized had been born six months before Jesus, lived a life of solitude and at age 30, he came out of the wilderness and begin to prepare people to meet Jesus as he baptized them in the Jordan River by preaching to them: "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." He had baptized Jesus at the river Jordan, had seen the Holy Spirit descend upon Him, had been there when he heard a Voice from heaven say, "This is my Son, in whom I am well pleased," and had announced to some of his disciples that Jesus was the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. He had experienced much, but now here he was in prison....

Why was John in prison? Matthew gives us the reason later on in Gospel, in Chapter 14:

KJV Matthew 14:1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard of the fame of Jesus,
2 And said unto his servants, This is John the Baptist; he is risen from the dead; and therefore mighty works do shew forth themselves in him.
3 For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife.
4 For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
5 And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
6 But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.
7 Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.
8 And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger.
9 And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.
10 And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
11 And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
12 And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus.




II. Question by John: 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?

John went to Jesus...

We do not know why John asked the question as there are various interpretions of why he sent his disciples to Jesus. Some say it was due to John being like any other human being in that even in the life of faith there are periods in which a person goes through times of depression and disappointment which then causes one to be reminded and refreshed in the knowledge of Christ. Others say that it was for the benefit of his disciples that he sent them with the question. We remember that after John spoke of Jesus as being the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world, that two of his disciples began to follow Him after hearing that message. John 1:35-36

Whether John was asking for himself or for his disciples is not the issue, as we remember how Elijah in the Old Testament went away into the wilderness as he was despondent after the showdown with Baal worshippers. After demonstrating the power of the God of Israel through the fire coming down from heaven, after killing the prophets of Baal, and after the rain returned in a downpour, we find Elijah in a bad state of mind....We pick up the story here...

KJV 1 Kings 19:1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
3 And when he saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
4 But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers. {for himself: Heb. for his life}
5 And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat.
6 And he looked, and, behold, there was a cake baken on the coals, and a cruse of water at his head. And he did eat and drink, and laid him down again.
7 And the angel of the LORD came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.

The angel came to minister to this servant, and to give provision for the journey. Our God knows our weariness and comes from heaven to help us in our need. For He came to give............he gives himself to us in our time of need.






III. Answer by Jesus

Matthew 11:4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see.
5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.


Many had been brought to Jesus, and were cast at His feet and were healed. This had been going on since the beginning of Jesus' public ministry, which began after John announced His arrival after Jesus had attained 30 years of age.

In our Scripture reading for today, we heard that Isaiah had written in chapter 35 in his book of this 700 years before, as he "saw" into the future of the effects of the Messianic kingdom which John the Baptizer came to announce by calling upon people to prepare for the coming of the Lord. Isaiah described precisely that which Jesus told His disciples to go show John of the things that they had seen and heard. John: "I am the one who Isaiah spoke about,,you need to understand that...


Jesus wanted John the Baptizer to see that the prophesies were being fulfilled that were spoken of by Isaiah years before. For the signs and miracles that were being done in a physical manner by Jesus were designed to point the people to the greatest miracle/sign of healing: The Gospel... The suffering, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Matthew 11:4 Jesus answered and said unto them, Go and shew John again those things which ye do hear and see:
5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.

"the poor have the gospel preached to them."

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus describes as to what is meant poor and the Gospel is described by Apostle Paul in his first letter to the Corinthians.

KJV Matthew 5:1 And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:
2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

KJV 1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

Jesus tells the multitudes in the sermon on the Mt that the humble in spirit possess the kingdom of God and Paul writes that the Gospel is that which Christ accomplished through his death, burial and resurrection.

2 Cor 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.



And now the last verse..What is meant by this?


Matthew 11:6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

The word offend means to stumble over, reject, not believe, despise...

Simeon in Luke's Gospel had spoken of this eventuality, of Jesus being One Whom people would either rise or fall upon, and Who would be spoken against..., Jesus addressed later in Matthew's Gospel those who were asking Him for a sign, and Apostle Paul writes of those who seek a sign..

Luke 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;


Matthew 12:38 Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
40 For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

The testimony of Apostle Paul speaks about this "sign."

1 Cor 1: 17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
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.


John 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.


What if we went to the doctor having a terminal illness and he sent us home with all is well? What if the doctor told us that we were terminally ill and we went home thinking all is well? Either of those do not make sense at all..
God has come to visit us to tell us of our terminal sin sickness, has given His Son to take away our sin, and then through His Holy Spirit has come to lift us up to Himself. He has not come to beat us down by convincing us of sin, but to lift us up. He has not come to punish us for our sin, but to deliver us from our sin.
John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: {reprove: or, convince}
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.

This is what Jesus meant when He wanted John to know and understand that" Blessed is he that is not offended in me."
A year or so ago, a brother shared with me of a happening years ago that has helped him to see the truth of what we are speaking about. He said that when he was young he used to gather the eggs out of the chicken house. Often times it was dark when he went in there and during that darkness rats would come into the chicken house to try to get the eggs for themselves. When he would come to gather the eggs, he would turn the light on and the rats would run for the darkness. And as he left each time, and put the light out, the rats would soon return to the chicken's nests. He told me that it has always reminded me of how Jesus has come into the world to speak to us about our sin, as the "Light" of the world. It makes all the difference in the world as to how a person reacts when the "Light" is turned on into our hearts and lives. Have we come to the Light? And are we walking in the light?
God sent Jesus on a search and rescue mission, we have been rescued even as those who were rescued from their physical infirmities. God has rescued us from the guilt and condemnation of sin through the blood sacrifice of His Son on the cross. This is the sign that Simeon said would be spoken against, it is the sign that is being spoken against today and it is the sign that will be always spoken against by those who refuse to believe the Gospel.
Please let us remember that God has acted in the Gospel for us, and He wants us to receive this through repentance (agreeing with God, turning away from self) and towards Him and faith in Christ.
Why would anyone not receive this covering for sin and in so doing, be offended in Christ?
That, it seems, is what Jesus wanted John to understand. Our Lord pointed John back to the Scriptures so that He would be refreshed and encouraged in the knowledge of the forgiveness of his sins through the power of the Gospel. In so many words, Jesus preached the forgiveness of sins to His beloved forerunner who at this time so much needed have his head lifted up again to His Redeemer.
5 The blind receive their sight, and the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the gospel preached to them.
6 And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.

God is for us and came to be with us.
As he came to Elijah, he came to John, he comes to you today by giving his body and blood for your encouragement, namely the forgiveness of your sins.

Come and dine with Him.....

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 15 Dec 2013 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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When the angels sang and when they sing again.
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala


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