“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles,” by Louis A. Dole

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“But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” – Revelation 11:2

Readings

Jeremiah 31:31-40 · Revelation 11 · Psalm 52

Sermon

The Tabernacle was built according to the pattern showed to Moses on the mount. It was the center of Jewish worship. All the tribes had their position in relation to it. Covered by the pillar of cloud by day and by the pillar of fire by night, it was the visible sign of the presence and protection of the Almighty.

The Tabernacle, made from the costliest offerings of all the people and built by hands inspired by God to do the delicate work, had a beauty and glory beyond anything man himself could conceive. Whether it is realized or not, man is ever a worshiper and from earliest times has found delight in adorning his temples and making them works of beauty. But the Tabernacle, as well as the Temple and modern churches whose basic structure is that of the Tabernacle, has a beauty beyond that of mere outward form.

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Eulogy for Arthur N. Lawrence, August 17, 1963, by Louis A. Dole

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Arthur N. Lawrence
Lisbon Falls, Aug. 17, 1963

“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” – Revelation 2:10

It is hard to conceive of a theme which comes closer to our hearts or makes us think more deeply than that which is concerned with the end of our career in this world and our entrance into the eternal world, in which all who are prepared become eternally happy.

Without a knowledge of the Lord and of His Divine providence over us, as revealed in the Sacred Scriptures, life here cannot be understood.

The first thing that the Bible tells us is that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and finally man in the image and likeness of his Creator. Then man was commanded to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.

It is a beautiful world that has been created for us, a world that is able to satisfy our every physical need and desire if we but seek to understand and master it. In symbolic language God tells us, “And the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it,” and “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” These words beautifully describe the real situation. We are God’s tenants and caretakers here. We are to subdue the earth, to dress it and to keep it. We are to study it, to enjoy it, and to make the best use we can of it. It is a wonderful task and God has endowed mankind with the capacities which will enable him to carry out His commands.

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“The wall of the city had twelve foundations,” by Louis A. Dole

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“The wall of the city had twelve foundations.” – Revelation 21:14

Readings

Isaiah 54 · Revelation 21 · Psalm 122

Sermon

The Bible is a book of prophecy. Men have turned to it to find out what the future holds in respect to the spiritual state of the world. For the Word itself shows that during all the time of its formation one of the chief things held before the people was the state of the church about to follow.

Some think that those times have gone by. There have always been some who would not believe. There were those among the Israelites who did not believe that Moses could lead them out of Egypt. There were those who did not believe that the Promised Land could ever be secured. And when Jerusalem was in its glory, powerful in wisdom and wealth, there were some that did not believe that sin could undermine her massive walls and fell her towers. When her gates had given way to the triumphant armies of Babylon and the captive train looked back to the plundered city and smoking embers, they believed that its glory had gone out forever.

When again Jerusalem was rebuilt, its people were deaf to the warnings of the prophets and again would not believe that its walls would crumble before the Roman battering rams, that their sons would make glad a Roman holiday in the arena, and the glory of the sacred city come to an end. This they did not believe because they did not receive the prophecies of the Word.

But at the time when our text was given, the old Jerusalem as a dwelling place of Jehovah, where God was known in her palaces and His voice heard in her sanctuary, had passed away forever. The old Jerusalem had served its purpose as a representative character. John’s eyes were opened in vision and he “saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” And in place of the old there was revealed that which the old Jerusalem represented. “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven.”

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“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne,” by Louis A. Dole

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“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne.” – Revelation 3:21

Readings

Genesis 1:26-2:3 · Revelation 3:14-22 · Psalm 145

Sermon

In His first mandate upon the morn of man’s creation the Lord said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth.”

The Lord came into the world to gain dominion over the forces that stood in the way of man’s regeneration; so He came to conquer, and it is written of Him, “Who is this that cometh from Edom… travelling in the greatness of his strength?”

We are born for dominion. We live to gain it. We die to enter upon it. Ever since man was created he has been striving to gain dominion.

There is a striking contrast between man – in his own person so weak and defenceless – upon the one hand, and upon the other the earth with its giant forests, its swamps, its rivers with their floods, its lakes and seas with their mighty waves, its mountains and deep canyons, and its savage life of both sea and land. Unaided, man could neither follow the birds in their flight nor the fish in the sea, nor cope with the beasts of the earth; yet in the beginning he was bidden, in regard to the earth and the life upon it, to subdue it and to have dominion. Great forces were to be subdued. But equal ones would be called into action – not the forces of the beasts, of the earth, or of the sea, or of nature in general, but the power of mind over matter.

The immensity of the dominion to be gained is a token of the possibilities of the mind, the vastness of the undeveloped faculties of the human being.

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“For there shall be no night there,” by Louis A. Dole

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Maine Association Sermon
October 14, 1962

“For there shall be no night there.” – Revelation 21:25

Readings

Isaiah 62 · Revelation 21:1-3, 10-12, 22-27 · Psalm 122

Sermon

There is a state of unrest in the religious world today. It is not a state of conflict, in which the lines are definitely and distinctly formed, but rather it is a state of dissatisfaction with old views, a relaxing of old denominational ties, a lack of interest in religious dogmas, and increased interest in what are called practical good works. People of different religions never regarded each other with so charitable a spirit as they do today.

This is somewhat as it was when the Lord came on earth. At that time the Roman empire was dominant. It was supreme in government and in influence in Europe and in a considerable part of western Asia. It, too, was tolerant of opinion, provided the opinion did not interfere with the essentials of government. The Jews were tolerated, and enjoyed freedom of worship. The temple at Jerusalem was even rebuilt for them under a Roman governor. But the central government would not allow any authority to be set up that might be opposed to the governing body, and the Christians were persecuted because it was thought that in the worship of Christ they were setting up a kind of monarchy within the state.

A new era, however, had dawned upon the world, and Rome was unable to turn it back. Truth has the power to overcome difficulties and to prevail over error. The Apostles went forth to proclaim the truth by voice and by pen. Neither principalities nor powers could stop the advance of the new revelation, and in 325 A.D. the Roman emperor himself, Constantine, presided over the celebrated assembly of Christians at Nicea. The work of the early Christians was to make the Word of the Old and New Testaments the common possession of men.

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“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” – Revelation 21:3

Readings

Jeremiah 31:31-40 · Revelation 21:1-14 · Psalm 46

Sermon

I suppose that all of us have at some time imagined a city attractively laid out, with noble buildings, broad streets, spacious parks, and beautiful homes. In it there would be no slums, no unsightly manufacturing districts with unsanitary dwellings for the working people. And indeed today there is going on much city planning and a remodeling of cities, the removal of unsightly buildings and the placing of manufacturing districts outside of the city limits. Such a city Plato dreamed of, and since his time others have tried to envision the perfect city. It would be an ideal place in which to live. It would have the peace and quiet of the forest and the beauty of nature’s gardens.

This concept, however, is concerned wholly with material things. Its visions and hopes are of material attainments.

The Word of God also has its dream city. The apostle John, his spiritual eyes opened in vision, saw the Holy City, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And the Christian Church has accepted with gladness this vision. But it has regarded it as a prophecy of the splendor of heaven, and looks forward to it as something that the righteous will inherit when they pass beyond the veil.

Yet the Word of God speaks of this city as something to be realized on earth – something “coming down from God out of heaven.”

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“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” – Revelation 13:2

Readings

Daniel 7:9-28 · Revelation 13 · Psalm 44:8-26

Sermon

The book of Revelation is both prophetic and enigmatic. It cannot be understood except in the light of the Second Coming. It does not treat of external events but of a conflict which goes on in the minds and hearts of men between love of the Lord and the neighbor and the love of self and the world. The beast is the love of self which fights against the love and wisdom of the Lord. Thus the book of Revelation treats of the end of the first Christian dispensation and the beginning of the new.

In the thirteenth chapter of Revelation the beast – the love of self – appears in two mystic forms, one of which rose out of the sea, and the other out of the earth. They have and exercise the power of the dragon, and represent particular and open manifestations of his power. The beast that rose out of the sea represents the principle of self-love received and applied more externally and superficially, and the beast that rose out of the earth pictures those more interiorly in the love of self.

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“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And there appeared a great wonder in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.” – Revelation 12:1

Readings

Daniel 7:15-28 · Revelation 12 · Psalm 96

Sermon

The Book of Revelation is the record of a vision given to the Apostle John. Visions play an important role in the Old Testament story. We are, perhaps, most familiar with the visions granted to Abraham, Balaam, Elisha, and Daniel. Visions were the means by which the Lord revealed many important truths to mankind.

The natural world exists and lives from the spiritual world, just as the body has form and lives from the soul which is within. Vision is sight into this spiritual world. The ability to see into that world is an important and holy gift, granted at times for the welfare of the human race. Thus it is said in the days of Eli: “And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.” And in Proverbs we read: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” To assure us of the existence of the spiritual world and thus sustain our knowledge of heaven, to give us an insight into that inner world of causes whence come the influences which change and renew this outer world of human society – these are some of the objectives of vision, and where these are not maintained, the people perish.

The visions which were given to John in Patmos were given to show him, and everyone through him, the state of the church as it would be in the later days, a state which we have seen in part realized. So he was commanded, “Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”

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“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.” – Revelation 21:1

Readings

Isaiah 66:10-24 · Revelation 21 · Psalm 81

Sermon

June 19 is known to us as New Church Day, for on that day in the year 1770 it is recorded that the Lord sent His twelve Apostles, whom He had chosen and who had followed Him in the world, throughout the spiritual world to preach the Gospel that the Lord Jesus Christ reigns, whose dominion shall be for ever and ever, and that they are blessed who come unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

This event took place not on earth, but in the spiritual world; so our thoughts concerning this day are lifted up from the things of the earth to the things of heaven. We should remember, however, that the laws of spiritual life and of heaven are the laws of human life in this world also, and that it is not by political, social, and economic planning, but by recognition of and obedience to the heavenly laws that this world will become more like heaven, as men and women approach the angelic state for which they were created.

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“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son,” by Louis A. Dole

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“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” – Revelation 21:7

Readings

Zechariah 8:1-17 · Revelation 21:1-14 · Psalms 8; 9

Sermon

We have entered upon that period of the church year called Lent, which marks the Lord’s final struggles and victory.

Two sharply contrasted ideas of man’s nature have prevailed throughout the Christian world. Man is said to be created in the image and likeness of God, a little lower than God, and to have been given dominion over all things. And again he is pictured as conceived in iniquity and born in sin, accounted of as nothing before God, and of himself nothing but evil.

Both sides of this picture are true, for there is a dual nature in everyone, which must be recognized. We recall that to each of the seven churches in Asia the promise was made that to “him that overcometh” some particular blessing would be given; and we are all familiar with the Lord’s words to Nicodemus: “except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

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