Beware of False Prophets – “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves” (Matt 7:15). Deceit has its strength in masquerading as the truth. False prophets speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord (Jer. 23:16–29) They deny the judgment of the Lord, speaking peace to the unrepentant, when in truth there is condemnation and wrath. “You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matt. 7:20). The “fruits” of a true prophet are not outward righteousness or success but faithfulness in proclaiming the Word of the Lord. This is the will of the Father in heaven, that pastors take heed to the flock, the Father’s adopted ones (Rom. 8:12–17), warning them against the wolves and their lies, and shepherding the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:27–38). For indeed, the cross is that good tree bearing good fruit–namely, the body and blood of Christ, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.
Within the liturgy for each Lord’s day, we receive the Word of God through uniquely appointed readings, psalms, hymns, and prayers. This week we will pray the Divine Service Setting Four (audio of this liturgy). The following guide will help you to prepare to hear and sing the Propers, i.e. the varied texts and hymns for this week.
Collect of the Day: Grant to us, Lord, the Spirit to think and do always such things as are right, that we, who cannot do anything that is good without You, may be enabled by You to live according to Your will; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
Introit: Ps. 48:1, 3, 11, 14; antiphon: Ps. 48:9-10
Old Testament: Jer. 23:16-29
Psalm 26 (antiphon: v. 12)
NT: Acts 20:27-38
Proper Verse: Ps. 78:1
Gospel: Matt. 7:15-23