Divine Service: Sun-8:00AM & 9:00AM, Mon-7:00PM

Bible Study & Sunday School: Sun-10:45AM

TEXT: LUKE 10:17-20/REV 12:7-12
GOSPEL PREACHING/SATAN’S FALL/ANGEL’S JOY
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven spirits who are before His throne (that is the Holy Spirit)… and from Jesus Christ…the firstborn of the dead. Dear children of our Father in heaven;

This morning think with me about what we pray each day in the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer – Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Did you know that in the Greek, the extension – on earth as it is in heaven – could well apply to all of the first three petitions? That is, Hallowed be Thy Name – on earth as it is in heaven. Thy kingdom come – on earth as it is in heaven. Thy will be done – on earth as it is in heaven.

Contemplate the phrase on earth as it is in heaven. The words “on earth” teach us that our heavenly Father’s concerns are earth-wide. They go beyond our limited line of sight in Wisconsin and the circle of connections in our family and friends. The one who gave His only begotten Son out of love for the world cares for the whole wide earth and teaches us so to pray – Thy will be done on earth – that is on all the earth.
TEXT: LUKE 10:17-20/REV 12:7-12
GOSPEL PREACHING/SATAN’S FALL/ANGEL’S JOY
Preached by Rev. Kenneth W. Wieting

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come and from the seven spirits who are before His throne (that is the Holy Spirit)… and from Jesus Christ…the firstborn of the dead. Dear children of our Father in heaven;

This morning think with me about what we pray each day in the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer – Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Did you know that in the Greek, the extension – on earth as it is in heaven – could well apply to all of the first three petitions? That is, Hallowed be Thy Name – on earth as it is in heaven. Thy kingdom come – on earth as it is in heaven. Thy will be done – on earth as it is in heaven.

Contemplate the phrase on earth as it is in heaven. The words “on earth” teach us that our heavenly Father’s concerns are earth-wide. They go beyond our limited line of sight in Wisconsin and the circle of connections in our family and friends. The one who gave His only begotten Son out of love for the world cares for the whole wide earth and teaches us so to pray – Thy will be done on earth – that is on all the earth.

But today as we observe the feast of St. Michael and all Angels, our focus is most pointedly directed to the next words, as it is in heaven. This phrase, which Jesus teaches you to include in your prayers every day, clearly reveals there is more to life than this transitory earth. Every day God wants you to pray with knowledge that there is an exciting invisible world at work. Everyday He wants you to consider the angels and all the company of heaven whose worship joins with ours as Christ comes into our midst.

This is not to speculate or dream up angel stories or spiritual voodoo. This is not to pull you away from the duties of your daily vocation. It is to give you bedrock certainty that there is so much more to life than you can see. By God’s design we cannot thoughtfully pray the third petition of the Lord’s Prayer without being reminded of the angels. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

In heaven, God’s Name and God’s kingdom and God’s will are treated with the respect they deserve. In heaven there is perfect obedience to God and perfect love for God and perfect worship of God. It is not out of touch with reality when you pray on earth as it is in heaven. Rather, your life and my life at college, at work, at home are out of touch with reality when we forget or ignore the eternal, invisible, realm in which God’s holy angels do the holy will of Our Father in heaven.

Dear friends, so often we get worried and worn out because we fight the wrong battle as the main battle. There are battles aplenty that we can see – people battles, classroom battles, political battles, money battles, health battles. But underneath it all - Our fight is not against flesh and blood…but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph. 6:12). That’s what’s behind our culture of coveting and consuming. That’s what’s behind our culture of death. That’s what’s behind our cultural decay. There is an ancient and ever-present enemy of the human race – Satan - and the war is deadly serious. The war is for the possession of your body and soul for eternity and for that of every living human being. The war is so that your name will be found written in the book of everlasting life, not everlasting contempt. Today the church year calls our attention to this eternal warfare and to the work of God’s holy angels in it.

Much is made of imagined angels in our time. From fluffy toys to decorative pillows to little figurines to greeting cards to television shows - contemporary angels are pictured as meek and mild - all eager to help us mortals out of the tight spots of life. Sweet, round-faced little cherubs, they are seen rather like “tinker-bell” – flitting about – sprinkling good cheer and niceness wherever their little wings carry them. Or if more rugged and rough – their concern is not Jesus Christ.

The picture of angels in Scripture is a bit different than that. There is a certain wildness to them! They are anything but tame! St. Michael as we heard from Revelation is a warrior angel waging holy war with Satan and his hosts. The nineteenth century engraving that Kathryn used for our bulletin cover much more accurately reflects the biblical witness concerning angels than anything you are apt to see at the local bookstore or on a television program or on greeting cards today.

The weapons that God’s holy warrior angels use are words – God’s words. Satan and his legions speak false words. God’s messengers speak true words – and the battle is on! Everyday, words are flying all over the place piercing hearts, molding minds and affecting lives for eternity.

Satan deceives with half-truths. He launches word after word to mislead and misinform. He is an eloquent speaker, a master of words and the father of lies. Like a roaring lion he seeks to devour you with sweet words, soothing words, seductive words, scholastic words, even spiritual words. His favorite disguise is as an angel of light (II Cor. 11:14)

God’s angels, God’s messengers on the other hand proclaim the Word made flesh and His doctrine. Think of the words the angels have spoken and sung on this earth! Think also of their actions as related to Jesus. At the birth of Christ they sang what we now sing in the Divine Service, "Glory to God in the Highest and peace to His people on earth.” When King Herod sought to kill Christ as an infant in Bethlehem, the angel’s words in a dream sped Him to safety in Egypt (Mt. 2:13, 19). As Jesus agonized in bloody sweat in Gethsemane 12 legions of angels stood at the ready but at God’s bidding, they let the Word made flesh go forth to fight and die alone on Good Friday. Visible once again at His open tomb they announced His glorious resurrection. On the day of His mighty ascension, they announced His return on the Last Day.

The last book of the Bible is filled with the angels of God who do not fit the description of angels in today’s culture. The angels of Revelation swing sickles for the wine press of the wrath of God (Rev. 14:19). The angels of Revelation continually cry out with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain” (Rev. 5:11). In the life of the Church as recorded in the book of Acts, their work is the same. When angels let Jesus’ hand-picked Apostles out of jail in Jerusalem, they let them out to continue to preach the whole message of the life that comes in Christ (Acts 5:19) – the whole message of Christ. That means that God’s angels are also at work when you are freed and strengthened to speak the whole message that comes in Christ - about Creation, about worship, about marriage, about God’s gift of life, about forgiveness, about Christ’s return.

The angels’ activity in Acts continues when an angel appears to Phillip to direct him to preach the Gospel to the Ethiopian Eunuch (Acts 8:26). When Cornelius is directed by an angel to send for Peter, it is in order to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ from him (Acts 10:22). You see, in Scripture, God’s untamed warrior angels are always at work for the Gospel and to help earthly messengers proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The weapons of God’s angels are words from the Word made flesh (Gal. 1:8; I Peter 1:12; Rev. 14:6). For that is how Satan is cast out!

Do you see the interest God’s angels had in your Baptism? More than in politics, more than in the financial markets, more than in any sports scenario! Do you see the interest God’s angels have in your weekly worship and in the confession of Christ made by our new members in our midst? More than in any sports scenario, more than in any scientific discovery or a host of other earthly pursuits! That doesn’t mean that these matters are unimportant or not worthy of interest – some are very serious and weighty. But God’s holy angels always take chief interest in the salvation of sinners.

Dear Christians, the Nicene Creed led us once again this morning to confess, I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. That is something we receive by faith, not by sight. God would have you live with bedrock certainty that there is so much more to life than you can see.

Jesus will also lead us again in the days of this week to pray, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Consider how perfectly they attend to His will right now. You see, there is no place in heaven for the dragon and his angels. He was cast down by the true man, Jesus Christ. Rejoice O heavens, and all who dwell in them!

Rejoice also O Christians that are still on earth, for your names are written in heaven. You see, Satan is still overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of His testimony. It is that Word and that blood that Jesus comes to serve us today. Get behind us Satan! In the Name of Jesus. Amen.