Sinopse

An in-depth study of the books of the Bible with guest pastors from across the country. Hosted by Rev. William Weedon. Thy Strong Word is graciously underwritten by the Lutheran Heritage Foundation and produced by the LCMS Office of National Mission.

Episódios

  • Revelation 19: ☧ on the White Horse Defeats Beast  False Prophet

    Revelation 19: ☧ on the White Horse Defeats Beast & False Prophet

    30/04/2020

    Rev. Chris Matthis, pastor of Epiphany Lutheran Church in Castle Rock, Colorado, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 19. “Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war.” In Revelation 19, the Lord Jesus descends upon the earth, defeats the beast and the false prophet, and slays His enemies with the sword of His mouth. But how does this logically follow the mixture of lamentation and celebration over the destruction of Jerusalem? In the Old Testament, God used Cyrus of Persia to defeat Babylon and vindicate His people. Isaiah even called Cyrus “Christ.” Likewise here in Revelation, Christ used Vespasian and Titus to defeat the Beast and “Babylon,” vindicating the church from the corrupt high priesthood responsible for the deaths of Christians like James the Just and even the death of Christ Himself. Christ is our true high priest, who intercedes in the true heavenly temple of the true heavenly J

  • Revelation 18 : Leave  Fall with ☧, Profitable Jerusalem Thrown Down

    Revelation 18 : Leave & Fall with ☧, Profitable Jerusalem Thrown Down

    29/04/2020

    Rev. Peter Bender, pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Sussex, Wisconsin, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 18. “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins.” Revelation 18 takes a pastoral and catechetical focus on the idolatry of Babylon. “Babylon” does not refer to geography per se, but to the apostate element of Israel, particularly concentrated in Jerusalem. Even when things seem blessed and spiritual, they may be spiritually unclean and idolatrously aligned against God. The church literally relocated, leaving behind the wealth and influence of Jerusalem to be spared from its destruction. Like Daniel or the Christians who were martyred in Jerusalem, it is better to fall with Christ than to stand with the powers of darkness, which will fall “in a single hour.” Ultimately worldly acceptance is a sham, based only on how profitable we might be. God’s love in Christ however is truly unconditional: He loves us no matter the cost.

  • Revelation 17: Powerful  Apostate Jerusalem Falls, ☧ Alone is King

    Revelation 17: Powerful & Apostate Jerusalem Falls, ☧ Alone is King

    28/04/2020

    Rev. John Lukomski, retired LCMS pastor and co-host of Wrestling with the Basics on KFUO Radio, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 17. “The woman that you saw is the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth.” In Revelation 18, John sees a rich and powerful woman. We might quickly think of Rome, but she is said to commit sexual immorality with the “peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.” She is apostate Jerusalem, called to be faithful to God alone, but in league with Rome as she exerts dominion over the authorities in “the land” of Israel. John’s message is clear: only Jesus is Lord of lords and King of kings, and apostate Jerusalem will never prevail. The seven churches of Asia Minor were tempted to go along with the worship of the Roman emperor, but Christ tells them to stand firm and resist. Christ saw us through Nero, and He would see us through Domitian, the papacy, and every oppression until every knee bows at the name of Jesus.

  • Revelation 16: 7 Bowls of Wrath, ☧ Saves, Not Kings, Wealth, or Force

    Revelation 16: 7 Bowls of Wrath, ☧ Saves, Not Kings, Wealth, or Force

    27/04/2020

    Rev. David Boisclair, pastor of Faith and Bethesda Lutheran Churches in North St. Louis County, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 16. “God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath.” In Revelation 16 seven “bowls” of wrath are poured out in quick succession, reminiscent both of Old Testament drink offerings as well as the figurative cup of wrath which the Lord Jesus drank for us. In terms of history, the first two bowls might symbolize losses on both sides of the First Jewish–Roman War, and the second two might point to judgment meted out on the people of Jerusalem, nobles and common people alike. The last three align with the death of Emperor Nero, the crowning of Vespasian, and the destruction of Jerusalem at the hands of Titus. All things are under God’s control, and no amount of earthly power can save from God’s wrath. Only Christ’s blood saves the church. Even in the face of stubborn impenitence, God faithfully cares for His peo

  • Psalm 118: Disciplined  Rejected, Raised Up as Temple of Christ

    Psalm 118: Disciplined & Rejected, Raised Up as Temple of Christ

    25/04/2020

    Rev. David Andrus, pastor of Abiding Savior Lutheran Church in St. Louis and Not-Alone.net Ministries, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 118. “Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good.” “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.” “This is the day that the LORD has made.” Psalm 118 feels like a Bible verse hall of fame! These verses are so well known because they were memorized as the finale of Psalms 113 through 118 sung during Passover. Israel escaped Egypt, David won countless victories, Israel returned from Babylon, and the church survived when Rome destroyed Jerusalem. God faithfully saves His people amidst chaos, most clearly seen in Jesus Christ on Easter, who fulfilled “I shall not die, but I shall live.” Christ is our Passover and our Temple, resisted and rejected by man, but vindicated by God. In baptism, we are always connected as living stones, shining in the light of the eternal eighth day.

  • Psalm 117: Israel’s One Christ Raised, All Nations Sing Alleluia

    Psalm 117: Israel’s One Christ Raised, All Nations Sing Alleluia

    23/04/2020

    Rev. Michael Morehouse, pastor of Catalina Lutheran Church in Tucson, Arizona, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 117. The shortest chapter in the entire Bible, the two verses of Psalm 117 are easy to overlook. This psalm however is totally unique and profound. It occurs in the exact middle of our modern 1,189 chapters, with a theme that is right at the heart of Scripture: “all nations” should praise the God of Abraham because of His “steadfast love” for Israel. But why? Whenever God saves His chosen people, He shows that He is the Creator of all peoples. Prefigured in the Exodus through the Red Sea and in the return from the Babylonian Exile, this happened most profoundly in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus on Easter morning, when salvation for One brought salvation for all. “Praise the LORD” or “Alleluia” occurs on both sides of this psalm, serving both as a conclusion as well as an introduction unlike any other. Psalm 117 is best sung, just as our Lord Himself sung Psalm 117 with the disciples

  • Revelation 15: Blood Floods from Outside Jerusalem, Judging  Saving

    Revelation 15: Blood Floods from Outside Jerusalem, Judging & Saving

    22/04/2020

    Rev. Kevin Martin, pastor of Our Savior Lutheran Church in Raleigh, North Carolina, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 15. “Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and amazing, seven angels with seven plagues.” Revelation 15 hits the reset button, restarting the seven-part sequence. Yet, we also find some overlap with and even the conclusion to the previous chapters. The bloodshed that poured out from Jerusalem reached the furthest borders of Israel. Just outside the city, the Roman general Titus meted out God’s wrath. For the church however it was a saving flood. God’s condemnation in the flood of Noah and in the Exodus through the Red Sea are like our baptism into Christ. The sacramental blood and water that flowed from Christ’s side at His crucifixion save us from God’s judgement, and so we too sing “the song of Moses” with all God’s people.

  • Revelation 14: Revelation 14: Drunken Jerusalem Falls, Purified Zion Rests in Christ

    Revelation 14: Revelation 14: Drunken Jerusalem Falls, Purified Zion Rests in Christ

    21/04/2020

    Rev. Nate Ruback, pastor of Grace Chapel in Bellefontaine Neighbors, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 14. “I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder[, ...] like the sound of harpists playing on their harps.” The army of 144,000 saints returns in chapter 14, singing a heavenly song that no one else can learn. This celebration represents rest, Christ’s perpetual Sabbath. Christ the Lamb gives rest from Mount Zion, unlike the false rest of “Babylon the great.” In apostate Jerusalem, the long-haired zealots promised rest through violence, and the two-faced collaborators through compromise. In faith, the church finds rest and purification in Christ’s blood shed for us, even in the face of persecution. We neither seek conflict nor do we avoid it, but we trust even amidst death and bloodshed that Christ has conquered and won for us the heavenly Jerusalem.

  • Revelation 13: Revelation 13: Coins Marked by Caesar, the Church by Christ’s Blood

    Revelation 13: Revelation 13: Coins Marked by Caesar, the Church by Christ’s Blood

    20/04/2020

    Rev. Nathan Meador, pastor of St. John Lutheran Church in Plymouth, Wisconsin, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 13. “Let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.” Does this beast and its mark foretell a dystopian future? History never fails to repeat itself, but the two beasts of Revelation 13 likely refer to the local and global authorities aligned with Satan, persecutors of Christians in the time around AD 70. The number 666 is derived from the Hebrew alphabet, in which letters represented numbers. Here the numbers add up to the same person whose image was minted or “marked” on the coins: Caesar. The corrupt leaders of Judea were puppets of the Roman emperors, who were literally worshiped as divine. Although the world still at times seems aligned against us, the church endures knowing that Christ defeated the ancient persecutors of the church, even as He defeated Satan in His death, resurrection, and ascension.

  • Revelation 12: Christ Ascends Victorious, Edom’s Red Dragon Falls

    Revelation 12: Christ Ascends Victorious, Edom’s Red Dragon Falls

    17/04/2020

    Rev. Mark Jasa, pastor of Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Pasadena, California, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 12. “Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon.” Chapter 12 introduces a ferocious dragon. Like the Seleucid beast of Daniel, it has ten horns, symbolizing earthly authority and force of power. Unlike any other beast though, it has seven crowned heads, symbolizing the heavenly authority of God. The dragon is “red,” the color symbolizing Edom, the perennial enemy of God’s people. The Idumean King Herod tried and failed to kill the Lord Jesus as an infant. The army of 20,000 Idumean soldiers brought violence upon Jerusalem, but the church escaped to Pella. Whether in the form of Edom, Rome, or even Jerusalem in its apostasy, the spiritual power of Satan always accuses God’s people—but the accuser has been defeated in the ascension of our Lord Jesus Christ. All who are baptized in the Ascended Messiah’s name “have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb

  • Revelation 11: True Heavenly Temple, James  Jesus ben Ananias

    Revelation 11: True Heavenly Temple, James & Jesus ben Ananias

    16/04/2020

    Rev. Steven Theiss, retired LCMS pastor, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 11. “I will grant authority to my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” Before the seventh trumpet blast, chapter 11 describes two witnesses who sound a lot like other biblical figures: like Moses & Elijah, they turn rivers to blood and summon drought. Like Joshua and Zerubbabel, they fuel the lamps of God’s people to rebuild the Temple (Zechariah 4). Who are they? In the end, they are compared to the Lord Jesus, who died, rose, and ascended in Jerusalem. Historically, these two witnesses may correspond to Jesus ben Ananias and James the brother of the Lord Jesus, who died as martyrs (“witnesses”) in Jerusalem right before the city was destroyed. The seventh trumpet sounds, and the true temple of God in heaven is opened, where Jesus Christ rules the church in Sabbath rest all over the world.

  • Revelation 10: Church Flees Jerusalem, Sweet Escape, Bitter Exile

    Revelation 10: Church Flees Jerusalem, Sweet Escape, Bitter Exile

    15/04/2020

    Rev. Mark Birkholz, pastor of Faith Lutheran Church in Oak Lawn, Illinois, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 10. “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” In chapter 10, John is commanded not to write down this mysterious message for us. Why mention it at all? He is then given “a little scroll” which he is commanded to eat. It tastes “sweet as honey,” but it becomes nauseating in the end. The only other edible scroll in Scripture is described in Ezekiel 3. The prophet Ezekiel also ate a sweet scroll, only to become nauseous when he was taken away from Jerusalem and left with the exiles in Babylon. Like exiles, the early Christians had to leave Jerusalem for a place called Pella, “Christ having told them to abandon Jerusalem” as one early church historian wrote. Within the next few years, Jerusalem was besieged and then destroyed, along with the Temple. Over a million people died. The Christians thanked God for mercifully sparing them, but they mourned bitterly. Eve

  • Revelation 9: The Seven Trumpets

    Revelation 9: The Seven Trumpets

    14/04/2020

    Rev. John Lukomski, retired LCMS pastor, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 9. “They have as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit.” Chapter 9 might seem to take a darker turn to describe Satan and the demons, but this fifth angel is a servant of God! He is sent to earth by the trumpet and “given the key” to open the abyss. He does not war against people with “the seal of God on their foreheads,” nor is he king of the underworld. He rather rules over the army of locusts to restrain them, tormenting only God’s enemies. Like the angel of death, he heralds new creation. The eagle, the abyss, and the lions remind us of God’s fifth and sixth days of creation: the Lamb on the throne makes a new heaven and a new earth, reigning over all things.

  • Psalm 100: Baptized into the Temple, Easter Praise with All Creation

    Psalm 100: Baptized into the Temple, Easter Praise with All Creation

    14/04/2020

    Rev. Kevin Parviz, pastor of Congregation Chai v’Shalom in St. Louis, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 100. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!” Psalm 100 isn’t a short summary psalm, but a profound insight into a very specific situation: walking through the temple gates into the courtyards. Such holy places can only have so many people there at once. Yet even when the numbers seem small, there are more who praise God—and more things to praise God for—than appearances suggest. Even when Israel was sheltering in place during the Passover, even when the disciples were hiding in secret after Good Friday, God was at work with creation and resurrection. We are never cut off from the Temple, nor from each other, because through baptism we are all part of Jesus Christ the true temple.

  • Psalm 22: Besieged  Crucified for Months, Faith Cries for Dawn

    Psalm 22: Besieged & Crucified for Months, Faith Cries for Dawn

    10/04/2020

    Rev. Jaime Nava, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Maplewood, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 22. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” No other psalm is more tightly connected to the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus than Psalm 22. Yet, for all the allusions and fulfillments, this psalm is first of all about David. He went from popular warrior to despised “worm.” He found himself besieged and betrayed for weeks or maybe even months, reminiscent of our own times. Yet even his cry of abandonment is a cry of faith; our faith is brightest when we feel the darkness most acutely. The title mentions “the dawn,” as this psalm of hope in the midst of pain anticipates the Lord’s resurrection and ascension.

  • Psalm 116: Death’s Exile to Temple’s Passover, Lift the Cup as One

    Psalm 116: Death’s Exile to Temple’s Passover, Lift the Cup as One

    09/04/2020

    Rev. Thomas Eckstein, pastor of Concordia Lutheran Church in Jamestown, North Dakota, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 116. “I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD.” Psalm 116 is used in so many ways in church tradition: during Easter, before communion, at funerals, and on Maundy Thursday. What ties it all together? God’s people speak as one voice, as God’s servant raised from the death of exile. At the newly restored temple, God’s people finally could celebrate Passover together again. And our Lord Jesus sang this psalm with His disciples at their Passover celebration in the upper room. “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” So precious was Jesus, that God brought Him back from death itself, and us with Him. We long to gather as His body, the true temple.

  • Psalm 43: Light  Truth Guide to the Temple, Word  Integrity

    Psalm 43: Light & Truth Guide to the Temple, Word & Integrity

    08/04/2020

    Rev. Stewart Crown, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Palo Alto, California, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 43. “Send out your light and your truth.” This pair of themes occurs all over the Bible, but how is it supposed to rescue this son of Korah here in Psalm 43? The Hebrew word for “truth” doesn’t focus on facts and figures, but rather God’s truth-telling integrity. On the one hand, we all rely on God’s integrity and faithfulness to reassure us even when life is full of doubts, even when we feel forgotten and rejected by God. On the other hand, perhaps this Korahite needed God to restore integrity to a broken legal situation, to rescue him from lies and false accusations that were preventing him from going south to the Temple. In the end, we all need God to not only vindicate us in particular situations, but to justify us by forgiving us our sins before Him. Light and truth are ultimately found in our Savior, who in the Gospel of John calls Himself both “the truth” and “the light of the wo

  • Psalm 42: My Saving Stream Ever Before Me

    Psalm 42: My Saving Stream Ever Before Me

    07/04/2020

    Rev. Kevin Parviz, pastor of Congregation Chai v’Shalom in St. Louis, Missouri, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 42. “As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.” This psalm’s beautiful opening line is well known and has found its way into contemporary music. What does it really mean though? What was the psalmist going through when he sang these words? This psalm is about God’s presence in the Temple. Even though the psalmist longed to go up to the Temple, adversaries would prevent him every time a major festival came around. The imagery of panting thirst, sorrowful tears, and overwhelming waters recalls our Lord’s words when He was teaching in the Temple at the Feast of Booths: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.” The God of creation is never far from His faithful, and the purest streams flow from His Messiah, the true Temple.

  • Psalm 34: When David Pretended to Be Crazy

    Psalm 34: When David Pretended to Be Crazy

    06/04/2020

    Rev. Tim Droegemueller, pastor of Living Faith Lutheran Church in Cumming, Georgia, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Psalm 34. Psalm 34 paints a beautiful image: “Those who look [to the LORD] are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” And yet, this psalm is from when David “pretended to be insane in [the Gathites’] hands and made marks on the doors of the gate and let his spittle run down his beard” (1 Sam 21). Not exactly proud and radiant, right? David was desperate and “crushed in spirit,” and yet God saved him from an impossible situation. David praises God for it, saying that God is constantly present and ready to rescue His faithful. To highlight this constancy, David begins each of these 22 verses with a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet, all 22 letters in order. Along the way, we see our Lord Jesus, both prefigured as the “angel of the LORD” who saved David and also prophesied as “the righteous one” who was rescued from death in the resurrection on the third day.

  • Revelation 8: Trumpet Days 1–4 of the Easter Era, Israel Vindicated

    Revelation 8: Trumpet Days 1–4 of the Easter Era, Israel Vindicated

    03/04/2020

    Rev. Lucas Witt, pastor of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Baltimore, Maryland, joins host Rev. AJ Espinosa to study Revelation 8. “Then the angel took the censer and filled it with fire from the altar and threw it on the earth.” As fiery and devastating as chapter 8 may be, the seventh seal with its seven trumpets are an answered prayer. God has prepared us for battle like Israel’s twelve tribes, but it is God who comes to fight and defeat our enemies. The long silence, the hailstorm, the chaos at sea, the wormwood meteorite, and the plague on the stars symbolize vindication and creation. They recall the silence before the trumpet blast at Jericho, the plagues against Egypt, and creation itself. God hovered over the silent abyss, and then brought order to the stormy waters by His strong Word. God spares His people while He creates a new era, starting with the resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

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