The mysteriously missing message:
This series originally contained 17 messages. Sometime after 1989 however, the Trinity Pulpit catalogs no longer offered sermon “eight,” and it became a 16-part series. The sermon that was originally designated as number “nine” was renumbered to become “eight,” and all of the subsequent messages were reduced in number by one.
A couple of cassette lending libraries used to distribute all 17 sermons however, and in God's providence we possess two sets of tapes from these sources. All files on the site are from original Trinity Pulpit cassettes — except for (the original) message eight — which was created from one of the library tapes.
This deleted message delt with two very important texts: John 6:37-40 and John 6:60-65, which were two additional “Key Passages” that clearly declare God's sovereignty in grace. There does not appear to be anything in the content of this sermon that warranted its removal. It seems rather that in the process of recording that day, they were experimenting with “automatic gain control” — which caused some problems.
“Automatic gain control” is basically an auto-volume control, used to help flatten out audio levels when there are significant differences between the softest and loudest sections of a recording. Low signals get automatically amplified and high signals get automatically lowered. This can be quite effective at times — but apparently it caused some problems on this particular recording. Namely, when pastor Martin paused for a moment (to turn to a passage for example), the gain control kept ramping the volume up higher and higher, causing the background room noise to get progressively louder and louder. Then, when he would resume speaking, his voice sounded too loud (because the volume was set too high), which caused some temporary distortion until the volume level reduced itself down.
We have gone through this message with an audio editor program and reduced the ambient noise between words and phrases as best we could. It was also run through a multi-band equalizer to help the tone sound better, and the speed (which was too fast) was reduced to help the voice sound more normal. The audio quality — though still quite mediocre — is fairly listenable now ,,, that is ,,, for the most part: there yet remains approximately one full minute where the automatic gain went totally out of control (at around the 36-minute mark), and the words cannot be made out at all in this section. This is the condition of both tapes that we possess, and (apparently) was the reason why the message was removed from distribution.
Since however this is only one minute of a total playing time of 54-minutes 35-seconds, and since this is a particularly important series, and since the missing message was providentially available to us (and since some of us like tinkering with things like this :-) we are glad to present this series once again in its original & more complete 17-message format.
As the years have unfolded some of the original opening and/or closing sections have been removed from the tapes that were issued by the Trinity Pulpit. One of the old library tapes for example even included a closing hymn (which may be of interest to those who would like to hear pastor Martin's singing voice - since he was standing quite near the microphone). We have gone through our three sets of tapes and lifted these deleted sections, & pasted them back onto the messages. A discernable change in quality will thus be noticed at the beginning & ending of the sermons where this has occurred.
Finally, some of the original Trinity Pulpit tapes sounded a bit 'thin' (number 2 for example), and while they have been equalized to help compensate for this, they still leave a little to be desired. We trust however that those whose main interest is in the content of this excellent series will find any technical imperfections they may hear to be of little or no spiritual consequence.