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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Come and See John 1.29.51
Good morning, dear friend!

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you now and always, Amen!
May the we hear the Word this day as is brought to us through the Word of God, who spoke all things into being (John 1:3) and who is God and has always been God and will always be God, the person of Jesus Christ. (Rev 1:8) We read from the first chapter, verses 29-51, in Jesus name.

From the Gospel of John we will hear of the beginning of the church, which is through the calling of some of the disciples of Jesus. In this account is demonstrated of the different manner in which people are brought to the knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Saviour, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Preaching of Christ
John 1:36 And (John) looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37 And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
38 Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
39 He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.

Andrew and an unnamed man, after hearing the very short and succinct sermon of John the Baptist followed Jesus. Jesus took notice of them following him, which meant that they left off following John the Baptist. He invited them to come and see where He lived and stayed there with Him as it was getting later in the day. (10th hour in Jewish time is 4 pm.

Personal Invitation
40 One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother.
41 He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
42 And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.

Andrew found his brother, Simon Peter, telling him that we have found the Christ, not just telling him about Jesus, but brought him to Jesus. At which time, Jesus spoke into the future life of Peter and of his role in the church.

Andrew and his unnamed partner heard the proclamation of John the Baptist and followed Jesus.

Andrew then brought his brother Simon Peter to Jesus, telling him that they had found the Christ.

43 The day following Jesus would go forth into Galilee, and findeth Philip, and saith unto him, Follow me.
44 Now Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.
45 Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.

Jesus continued in His seeking worshippers of God (John 4:23) and found Philip, who after being invited to follow Jesus went and found Nathanael. How did Nathanael respond to the message of Philip?

46 And Nathanael said unto him, Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see.

Encounter with Jesus
47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!
48 Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.
49 Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
50 Jesus answered and said unto him, Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? thou shalt see greater things than these.
51 And he saith unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Preaching of Christ
Personal Invitation to see Christ
Divine revelation by Christ

In my preparations to share this passage this week, I thought of my own experience and of how I have come to follow Jesus. As I look at the three illustrations in this text, I would say that it has been a combination of the three, with the short message of John being the foundation of all of them: Behold, the Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world! It is good to think of these encounters, which are not so much as a one time happening, but in reality are continual occurrences the occur in our lives as we journey through life.

What has been your experience? I would love to hear of not only how Christ has revealed Himself to you, but of how He is continually showing Himself to you‚€¦‚€¦

This week I listened to the Voice of the Martyrs radio show in which one of the VOM personnel related the following story which relates to how Jesus ministered to Nathanael. I was visiting a man in Iran in a remote village who when we came there said that he had a story and wanted to know if the VOM worker could help him understand what it was all about.

A man with long hair in white clothes whose face was so bright I could not look at it came into my house every night for around 30 days and asked me to write the things down that he spoke. I write as he told me, so much that I got tired as he told me so much that I would fall asleep and the man would be gone when I awoke.

The VOM asked to see the notebook that was being written in. As he opened it he read, In the beginning was the Word, the Word was God and the Word was with God. The notebook contained the entire book of John, but the man did not understand what it was about. The VOM worker had photos of the notebook to verify. Wow, wow, wow!

Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

Come and See!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 14 Jan 2018 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Baptism of Jesus 1.7.2018
The Gospel of Mark to the Gentiles

May the grace mercy and peace from God our Father and from His Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ be with you now and forever, Amen.
As we continue in the New Year, we have before us His Word which is like a treasure chest waiting to be opened so that the riches of God might pour into our lives through Jesus the Christ. What a blessing to have the foundation of His Word by which all that is in existence is given meaning and purpose. The voice of the Lord has brought all things into being so that nothing that was made happened randomly. John 1:1-5.

Prayerfully today we are beginning to study and meditate upon the Gospel of Mark, which is the 2nd Gospel and which is the shortest. It is our prayerful plan to follow Jesus through this Gospel with occasional messages coming from the Gospel of John. It is understood that Peter the Apostle provided the substance for this Gospel and Mark did the writing.

In this Gospel, more of the works of Jesus are highlighted than are His teachings. Mark is one who writes to the point and loves to use the word immediately, using it 17 times in the KJV of his Gospel. There are two divisions in this Gospel, from 1.1 to 8.30 Jesus is revealing His authority as the Son of God and from 8.31 on is recorded His journey toward His cross and to His death as the God Man.

Today we will cover the first 11 verses of this Gospel, concentrating mostly on verses 9-11 which speak of the baptism of Jesus.

KJV Mark 1:1 The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;
2 As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
3 The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
5 And there went out unto him all the land of Judaea, and they of Jerusalem, and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.
6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Why did Jesus need to be baptized if He had no sin?

Matthew 3:13 Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.
14 But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?
15 And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. (Justice) Then he suffered him.
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

How did John know that Jesus was the Son of God?

John 1:29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.
31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.
32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Is there a reason for this to have happened publicly in front of many witnesses?

Yes, for the Trinity was present, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jesus is one in and with the Holy Spirit and therefore His Father is openly displaying His approval and affirmation of His Son who has taken away the sin of the world. The Spirit was not given to Jesus here as if it was it would deny the reality that He was both God and human at His birth.

Today Drake was baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Drake was not able to come here to present himself for Baptism, as his parents brought him and asked some others to be god parents for their child.

Why did they bring him?

Mark 10:13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.
14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.
16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.

Who is to be baptized?

Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Jesus in His baptism fulfilled all justice by being joining Himself to the human race and with His entire work of redemption He reconciled the entire world to God. 2 Corinthians 5.17-6.1 If God has received us back through Jesus, why would we not bring our children to Him, knowing that God has already received them? Baptism is the gracious action of God whereby He receives those that have been redeemed by Christ, which includes the entire world. 1 John 2.1-2.

Today is a great day of celebration in the public acknowledgement another beautiful child has been brought into the body of Jesus Christ!

Praise ye the Lord!

Pastor Orval Wirkkala
Posted on 07 Jan 2018 by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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Come and See John 1.29.51
- Posted by Pastor Orval Wirkkala

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The Lawry Kilpela family as they grieve but yet rejoice in Lawry's being called home.