“Now the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses flesh, and not spirit,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Now the Egyptians are men, and not God, and their horses flesh, and not spirit.” – Isaiah 31:3

Readings

Isaiah 31 · Luke 6:27-49 · Psalm 80

Sermon

Our recent history has been a history of wars. After each it has been hoped that peace would follow, that the world would see the folly of war, its inability to bring security, and that mankind would begin to seek that concord and peace without which there can be neither happiness, friendship, nor any reward of toil or of thought in the world. Instead there have been years of tension, dissatisfaction, and increasing armaments, and now there are small conflicts in one part of the world or another, which may spread to the larger nations. Fires spread and sometimes get out of control. It is likewise with war, if it is not checked and put out.

It is easy to blame one nation, and perhaps still easier to blame one person, and as futile as it is easy. There are indeed the external aspects of war, the overt acts leading to armed conflict. But it is the inner causes that we most need to discover and to deal with. There is a great conflict going on in the world – a spiritual conflict – and the physical conflicts are but the surface disturbance which point to causes within.

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The Lord’s Ministry in Galilee, by Louis A. Dole

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“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” – Matthew 4:23

Readings

Isaiah 55 · Matthew 3 · Psalm 34

Sermon

The Gospels are the record of the Lord’s life among men. That life was the Divine Life itself seeking men. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” And it is written, “As many as received him, to them gave the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

The beloved disciple John begins his first Epistle with the words, “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life… declare we unto you.” John had been one of the Lord’s most faithful disciples. He had been with the Lord on the sea, had heard Him teaching on the mountain, had been with Him when He blessed the little children, healed the sick, fed the multitude, stilled the storm, and liberated the poor demoniac, had seen the Lord transfigured. He remembered also those last days in Jerusalem, the awful tragedy of the crucifixion, and the jeers of the people. And after the Lord had risen from the dead and was present with new and greater power, and His Gospel was being carried by the disciples to all parts of the world, the same John was granted in vision to see Him as one “like unto the Son of man” with every attribute of Divine power and glory, and multitudes filling the heavens and saying, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.”

Let us make sure that our souls honor and grasp this essential fact that the Lord Jesus Christ is God seeking us. It is Divine Love and Wisdom clothed with our nature, veiling their infinite splendors, accommodating themselves to our human conditions, meeting us, appealing to us face to face. There is no story so wonderful as this coming of God to men – the Perfect Life giving itself for the life of the world, the Word made flesh and dwelling among us.

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“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee.” – Zechariah 9:9

Readings

Zechariah 9 · Matthew 21:1-14 · Psalm 146

Sermon

These words of the prophet Zechariah were literally fulfilled when the Lord entered Jerusalem at the beginning of His last week upon earth. Palm Sunday was first celebrated in the early history of the Christian Church, and became increasingly popular, being celebrated by processions intended to dramatize the triumphal entry of the Lord into Jerusalem.

Because of the part that children played in praising the Lord with songs at His entry and in the temple, as recorded in the Gospels, Palm Sunday has come to be regarded as a specially fitting time for the introduction of children into the Church.

Certainly it is one of the duties of the Church to see that its children and young people are instructed in the teachings of the Church. For these teachings were revealed by the Lord that men and women might know them and direct their thoughts and their life according to them. The teachings of the Church of the New Jerusalem are the fundamental principles of human thought and life, without which it is impossible for anyone to live a truly sane and rational life. The first essential of all sound thought is a true idea of God. It may be a very simple idea, but it must be true; otherwise the basic falsity will infect all the lower ideas and planes of thought. Likewise there should be a true idea of the Word of God, a recognition of the fact that it is holy, and that it is the Divine wisdom for angels and men. And children should be taught the necessity of obedience to their Heavenly Father, and that all people should obey Him throughout eternity.

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“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6

Readings

Isaiah 30:1-17 · John 14:1-17 · Psalm 43

Sermon

The fourteenth chapter of John contains some of the most striking statements concerning the Lord to be found in the Scriptures, and in it the Lord revealed Himself more freely to His disciples than He had done in any of His previous conversations with them.

One of these statements is, “Ye believe in God, believe also in me.” Jesus here places Himself on an equality with God, and demands the same belief in Him as that which men should direct to God. But although He is God and God alone, He here makes a distinction between God and Jesus, or between the Father and the Son. This distinction is a most important one, as our Lord plainly teaches. He said to His disciples, “Ye believe in God.” Why ask them to do more? It was because though they believed in God, yet they were in darkness and not in light. They were in doubt, obscurity, and fear. He told them that if they would believe in Him, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth, would come, who would lead them in the paths of peace. If they would believe in Jesus as they believed in God, they would be brought out of bondage and dwell in the Promised Land.

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“Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” – Luke 2:11

Readings

Isaiah 43:1-13 · Luke 2:1-14 · Psalm 86

Sermon

Today we celebrate the Advent. The story is a familiar one and always inspiring. Each returning Christmas should bring a deeper appreciation and rejoicing. That Jesus Christ took upon Himself our nature and came upon earth to be our Redeemer and Savior is the vital doctrine of Christianity. The more we examine it the more wonderful it appears, and the more it reveals the love, wisdom, and mercy of our Heavenly Father and His special care for the happiness of every human being. Our text is a part of the angel’s message at the time of the Lord’s birth. It was the most important news that an angel could bring to men. It was tidings of great joy which should be to all people. It was the fulfillment of a prophecy made many centuries before.

The light which shone on the shepherds at Bethlehem and which guided the wise men on their way has increased during the years as the meaning of the Advent became more clearly known.

The birth of the Lord at Bethlehem was the first step toward the restoration of order in the spiritual world, and the first step, too, in the renewal of hope and progress in this world. History records no darker days than those that immediately preceded the birth of the Savior. Tradition has it that the whole world was at peace at the time of the Incarnation. But it was a peace that came not of virtue but of exhaustion.

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“Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” – Matthew 21:9

Readings

Zechariah 9:9-17 · Matthew 21:1-16 · Psalm 119:114-128

Sermon

It was at the beginning of the last week of the Lord’s life on earth that He entered Jerusalem in triumph, multitudes going before Him, spreading palm branches and their garments in His way, and proclaiming Him the Messiah in the words, “Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.”

So great was the enthusiasm with which He was received and so great was His following that His enemies, the Pharisees, said among themselves, “Perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after him.” This remark is among other things prophetic of the fact that the Church of Christ would become established in the world, and that its enemies would be powerless to overthrow it, for the Lord is with those who follow Him.

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“What think ye of Christ?” by Louis A. Dole

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“What think ye of Christ?” – Matthew 22:42

Readings

Isaiah 25 · Matthew 22:34-46 · Psalm 33

Sermon

This text follows the Lord’s answer to the Pharisees who, seeking to tempt Him, asked, “Which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus answered,

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment,
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

Love to God and love to man are the sum of all revelation and the essence of all religion. As are the heart and lungs to the body, these two commandments are the vital principles on which the life of all the other parts depends. All other precepts spring from them and return to them again.

But why did the Lord follow this statement with the question, “What think ye of Christ?” and then point out that David called Him Lord? Who is this God who should be the primary object of our love? This is not an academic question, something to be debated by theologians in their ivory towers. If we do not know our God and His nature and purposes, how are we to know what we should love? On the church’s concept of God depends its very existence.

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“For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him,” by Louis A. Dole

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“For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.” – Matthew 6:8

Readings

Amos 9:11-15 · Matthew 6:1-13 · Psalm 97

Sermon

We are brought into this world and gifted with life. We did not ask for it. We cannot refuse it. We cannot give it away or do away with it. We must live forever, whether we will or no.

We do not live from ourselves, God created us and from moment to moment gives us life, and He has given His Word to tell us things which we could not find out for ourselves and to reveal to us the purpose and the way of life. For without a knowledge of the Lord and of His providence over us life here cannot be understood.

We know that we are born in helpless ignorance, knowing neither what we need nor how to obtain it. Through our parents we are provided for. As we grow into childhood and youth, we do not know what we need. If our own desires were granted fulfillment, we should soon come to irreparable harm. And as we grow into manhood and womanhood and become independent, we still must look outside of ourselves for the light to guide us. There is only One who really knows our needs. To give us light upon the path of life He gave the Scriptures, that we may know Him and His purposes for us, for without a knowledge of our Creator and of the purpose of our creation life here cannot be understood.

All religion is based on three essential principles: first, the acknowledgment of God as the object of worship; second, the sense of obligation to Him as manifested by a life according to His precepts; and third, as an intermediate between the other two, the acceptance of Divine revelation, which makes known who and what God is and what His precepts are. These three principles are of necessity involved in every religious system. Religion cannot exist even in name if any one of them is wanting.

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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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“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas,” by Louis A. Dole

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“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas.” – Matthew 12:39

Readings

Jonah 2, 3 · Matthew 12:31-42 · Psalm 139

Sermon

The story of Jonah is well known because of the vivid nature of the narrative and because of its evident lesson that what truth we know should be used in service to others and not kept selfishly to ourselves. Yet because of the miracle involved the story has been the basis of criticism of the Bible as the Word of God.

When He was on earth the Lord prophesied that the time would come when He would no more speak in proverbs but would tell us plainly of the Father. That time is now come. It is now possible to enter intellectually into the mysteries of faith, for the Word has been opened to meet the needs of the human mind today.

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