“Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh’s house in Tahpanes,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah in Tahpanes, saying,
“Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh’s house in Tahpanes, in the sight of the men of Judah;
“And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them.
“And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt, and deliver such as are for death to death; and such as are for captivity to captivity; and such as are for the sword to the sword.” – Jeremiah 43:8-11

Readings

Jeremiah 43 · Matthew 16:21-28 · Psalm 80

Sermon

When the king of Babylon took Jerusalem, he appointed Gedaliah governor over the poorer class of people who were left in the land when Judah was carried away to captivity in Babylon. Ishmael, a Jew, stealthily slew Gedaliah, and fled, taking some of the people with him, intending to join the Ammonites. Then Johanan, one of the leaders of the remaining Jews pursued Ishmael and brought back the Jews whom Ishmael had taken with him. But Johanan feared to return to Jerusalem, lest the king of Babylon should visit punishment upon Jerusalem for the killing of Gedaliah, and planned to flee to Egypt. First, however, he asked Jeremiah the prophet to consult the Lord as to where they should go. Jeremiah brought him the Lord’s answer, telling him to go to Jerusalem, where he would be protected by the Lord. But Johanan accused Jeremiah of being a false prophet plotting for his destruction. So Johanan went to Egypt, to Tahpanes the house of Pharaoh, taking with him all the remnant of Judah, including Jeremiah.

In the narrative of the text is presented a graphic picture of the destructive consequences of knowing the truth but reasoning against it and following fallacious appearances. The spiritual lesson lies near the surface. Jeremiah, because he spoke the words of Jehovah, stands for the Word of the Lord, the Divine truth, which counsels and unerringly guides. Jeremiah counseled Johanan and his company to go to Jerusalem, to dwell there, and not to fear the king of Babylon. But Johanan and those with him were afraid to do as the prophet advised, and reasoned that his counsel was false. They chose rather to go into Egypt, to the ruling city there.

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Loyalty to the Truth, by Louis A. Dole

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“(Israel) defiled the lands and committed adultery with stones and with stocks” – Jeremiah 3:9

Readings

Jeremiah 3:1-14 · Matthew 13:1-12, 18-23 · Psalm 78:1-28

Sermon

There are many passages in the Scriptures, particularly in the Old Testament, in which adultery is mentioned, but ministers usually shun reading them from the pulpit and some people wish they were not in the Word.

There is, of course, the necessity for the prohibition of the literal sin, but there is a deeper meaning in these passages. In its inmost sense the Word does not treat of the relation of men with each other but of the relation of men with the Lord. We are guilty of the sin of adultery whenever we adulterate, corrupt, mingle with our own natural and rational considerations, or in any way turn aside from the plain precepts of life which the Lord has laid down in the Word for our guidance. This is the sin that is everywhere meant by adultery in the spiritual sense of the Word. It is the only kind of adultery that can be committed with “idols” or “with stocks and with stones,” or by the church in any composite sense.

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“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water,” by Louis A. Dole

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“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” – Jeremiah 2:13

Readings

Jeremiah 2:1-13 · Revelation 22 · Psalm 81

Sermon

The second chapter of Jeremiah tells how men departed from their primitive state in which they trusted in the Lord and were defended from falsities and evils. The decline began when they rejected the Lord’s guidance, making up rules of life for themselves, substituting for the Divine Laws laws hatched from the natural reason.

The Sacred Scriptures teach everywhere that human life and all life depends upon God. Every created thing is a recipient of life from God, who is Life Itself. People have tried to explain man and the universe apart from God, but this irrational attempt introduces a fundamental error into the science and art of living. Or it is sometimes assumed that, although there is a God who works in His universe, He cannot be known, and consequently men can have no conscious part in the carrying out of His purposes. This idea leads to determinism and a belief in predestination, which means that every act of man is impelled by some internal necessity, and that knowledge of God and His purposes is not required of him because to think and feel and behave other than he does is impossible.

But we live in no such world as that. The Divine plan does not contemplate mere puppets in human form, but instead conscious and intelligent cooperation with our Creator in establishing the kingdom of God among men.

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Sleeping the Perpetual Sleep, by Louis A. Dole

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“They shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the King, whose name is the Lord of hosts.” – Jeremiah 51:57

Readings

Jeremiah 51:47-58 · Matthew 25:1-13 · Psalm 90

Sermon

The fifty-first chapter of Jeremiah treats of judgment. There is a way to intelligence and wisdom. This way is through the Word. But the people had falsified the Word, destroying the means whereby they might be enlightened and the higher faculties in their souls awakened. Therefore the Lord said of them, “They shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake.”

As used in Scripture the word sleep has two meanings. It may mean the rest which comes when selfish desires and lusts cease to burn. As the Psalmist writes, “So he giveth his beloved sleep,” and in Daniel “His spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake from him.” In its opposite meaning it refers to the state in which one is unconscious of spiritual realities. The “deep sleep” into which Adam fell was ignorance of the happiness of the time when he trusted fully in the Lord. The whole plane of natural life, regarded in itself, is nothing else than sleep. Zechariah writes, “And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.” And when Daniel says, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt,” he is telling us in the language of correspondence that those who in this life have been faithful to the Lord will be received into His kingdom, and the others cast out. This same lesson is taught in the parable of the ten virgins when it is said of them, “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.” Here slumbering refers to the will and sleeping to the understanding.

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“The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens,” by Louis A. Dole

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“The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.” – Jeremiah 10:11

Readings

Jeremiah 10:1-16 · Mark 7:1-13 · Psalm 135

Sermon

Our text is literally true. In the opening verses of the chapter from which the text is taken we are told of those who made idols, the work of their own hands, and worshiped them. Spiritually this is the setting up of human intelligence, attributing power to man, whereas the Lord alone has power. All history – the history of nations and of individuals – is but the fulfillment of the Word. The blessings of the Word are bestowed upon those who learn and keep its precepts, for the Lord’s power is in these. And its curses fall upon those who turn to themselves for guidance.

We read, “Hear, O Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength,” and again, “Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.”

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