Church Newsletter 2019-8-23

Saints,

This newsletter is a little late, I apologize and hope your week as been fruitful. I have been enjoying a wonderful staycation with my family; celebrating the end of Summer and enjoying some rest for the coming of school and the busy fall schedule. Taking time to reflect on what has been given to us, drawing strength from it, prepares our hearts and hands for the new struggles and difficulties of life that inevitably come. This is a process that God has built into us – Sabbath rest. New revelations. Transfigurations. These are the means of preparation for the way of the cross. Faith is the substance of things not seen. Our faith gives the objects of faith substance. And what God has done, as recorded in His word and in our lives, is the food for that faith.

Blessings.

Filling up the edges

Mark 9:7And a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came out of the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.”

Cloud, or light, had been the sign of God’s presence in the wilderness; and, in true Old Testament style, on this occasion too, there came a voice from the cloud.

The cloud just like the bright, white clothes (v. 3) suggests the shekinah glory and calls to mind the tent of meeting. In the Old Testament clouds are symbols of God’s presence, protection, and authority.

Exodus 13:21And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. Exodus 19:16 On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled.  

The Holy Spirit is glory the cloud that filled the tabernacle and temple according to Nehemiah and Haggai.

The cloud is the third person of the Trinity. The cloud that led Israel was the Spirit, the Spirit that as descended on us and leads us in, makes known to us the will of God in His word, vivifies our new hearts and guides are steps.

Peter wants to make tents not realizing he is the tent.

This is the power that the disciples are going to see fully in their own works, wisdom, preaching and obeying. This is the power of Christ’s Kingdom in the world: the Spirit.

Once again, like His baptism, God the Father bears witness from heaven to his Son (cf. 1:11). The Greek word translatedbeloved, has the connotation of ‘only’ Son – recalling Isaac, the beloved son of Abraham (Gen 22:2). 

“Listen to him” in v. 7 echoes Jesus Baptism but is also the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18:15“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen—

Moses is a prototype of the eschatological prophet of whom Jesus is the antitype. The tabernacle is the prototype of the body of Christ, the church. The Triune God is revealed in the person and work of Jesus.

Peter sees but it just looks like trees. The trees the high priest wore on His robe. The trees sewn into the flaps of the tabernacle. The triune God is painting the glory of Christ in the palate of the OT.

Jesus is the greater prophet, not only speaking the word of God, He is the very word of God incarnate and where He is, the Spirit and the Father are too.

Hebrews 1:1–3 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Peter’s impulsive response is in keeping with his character and the mystical nature of the incident. He recognizes two of the most eminent figures in the history of revelation and feels that it is good that he and the sons of Zebedee are present, so they can serve Jesus as heavenly attendants. A new house of Levi.

His proposal to build three tabernacles evidently rests upon a misunderstanding of the significance of the situation.

The desire to erect new tents of meeting where God can again communicate with men implies that Peter regards the time of the second exodus as fulfilled and the goal of the sabbath rest achieved. He is anxious to find the fulfilment of the promised glory now, prior to the sufferings Jesus had announced as necessary.

Mark’s explanatory comment indicates that the three disciples were quite unable to grasp the messianic significance of what they had witnessed. The way through the wilderness has not been superseded by the disclosure of Jesus’ unique glory, it’s not so much a transfiguration, as a revelation.

Mark 9:8-13And suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone with them but Jesus only. And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. [10] So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.” 

When the cloud lifted, Moses and Elijah had vanished. Jesus alone remained as the sole bearer of God’s new revelation to be disclosed in the cross and resurrection.

Jesus is the only one there. But Peter has eyes only for prophets. Having seen Moses and Elijah, the disciples think of the end of the Greek translation of the OT, which ends with Malachi. 

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

This is the end. The glory on the mountain. But all that vanished.

Jesus alone remains because He Alone reveals the triune God and alone is the way up the to the top of Mount Zion where the crown of permanent glory awaits God’s sons and daughters.

But peter and the disciples are confused by where they go from this mysterious episode.

The transfiguration has disclosed a new aspect of God’s truth: Jesus is himself the new Tabernacle of divine glory. His word and deed transcend all past revelation. This was the truth with which the disciples had a difficult time seeing, when they realized they were once again alone in the presence of Jesus.

But there is more to the end of Malachi.

Malachi 4“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.  

But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall.  

And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.  

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

Remember the words of Moses. Elijah is coming before the day of the Lord, the day the Lord will burn the false kingdoms of men to the ground, even Israel, if it remains a harlot.

But the faithful will be transformed by the fire of heaven to become a consuming blaze in this world.  A mighty light of refining fire.

Remember, the law of Moses that shows us how far we fall from the glory God.

Romans 7:7 Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sinRomans 3:23. The law reveals thatall have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” –  

We open the Torah and read what? The Law. The Law shows us that no one attains to the glory of God. Everyone falls short of this standard of Holiness. This holiness that led Israel out of Egypt.

This holiness that spoke from amidst a cloud causing Israel too tremble.

But the Jews were justifying themselves as righteous because they were keeping their manmade traditions that they had exchanged for the law. What they thought was the holiness code they thought was the holiness of God itself.

But they had a counterfeit righteousness, a counterfeit glory, a counterfeit God.

And all the prophet’s warnings couldn’t get them to see it. They were blind. And so, the very Word of God came to open their eyes. The OT – Moses and Elijah and all of it – is just a taste

The law was supposed to fill their mouths with cries for mercy. The constant shedding of animal blood was supposed to show them that no blood on earth could save them.

The Law was supposed to show them how badly they needed a sacrifice sufficient to their wickedness.

The day of the Lord was prophesied to Israel. A day of reckoning. A day of purifying fire.

And So, God graciously sent John in the Spirit of Elijah to make a way, to declare the coming of the one who would baptize them in the spirit and in fire.

And they chopped off His head to please a pole dancer. They played the whore for the sake of a whore.

And what comes next? The word of Judgment from atop a mountain. A blaze comes next. We draw near the holy mountain every week. Right in the service.

Do we tremble? Do we Fear? Do we ponder what it takes to draw near to a perfect and holy God? We either don’t think about it or don’t understand it.

But we attend a transfiguration every week. Do we receive it like Christ – as strength for the way of the cross? OR do we receive in a jumble of fear and unbelief, like the disciples?

Around the web

As Democratic Socialism rises in popularity and angry young entitled americans look for a scapegoat – socialism and communism become increasingly attractive. But the best cure for bad ideology is the fruit of its failure in history. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s monumental work, The Gulag Archipelago, shows the fruit of Marxism. It is a book I am currently reading that is very helpful for understanding our current political climate. Here is an article about the influence of that book on bringing down the wall.

https://newcriterion.com/issues/2019/9/how-the-great-truth-dawned

Devotional

O Lord, give us
wise, self-controlled,
patient, understanding,
devout, faithful,
and courageous hearts.
Fill our souls with
devotion to your service,
and strength against all temptations;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen

 

Church Calendar

Confession – Keith

Prayer – Doug

SUMMER POTLUCK PICNIC

Sunday, August 25 after church at the Kloss’. Please bring enough food for your family and some to share. Grill provided.

 

CHILDCARE WORKERS NEEDED FOR LYNWOOD CC GROUP

Mondays (morning and afternoon positions available) from Sept – April; contact Rachel Estabaya at 425-876-4651 and see the email from Kael with more details.

 

 

Author: Michael Kloss

There is a Sunday conscience, as well as a Sunday coat; and those who make religion a secondary concern put the coat and conscience carefully by to put on only once a week. - Charles Dickens

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