“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,” by Louis A. Dole

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“If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:31-32

Readings

Deuteronomy 32:1-14 · John 8:12-32 · Psalm 85

Sermon

In many places in the writings the importance of knowing the truth is emphasized, for it is by a life in conformity with truth that man is born again; and unless he is born again, he does not attain the end for which he was created, namely, heaven. The knowledge of the truth of which Jesus speaks in the words of our text is practical knowledge: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Also the Divine truth is eternal and unchangeable. “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” “The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.” No human understanding of the Lord’s Word nor any human attainment is final, but the Lord’s truth is eternally the same.

Of himself man is unable to acquire knowledge of spiritual truths; his faculties are not suited to such attainment. In the final analysis knowledge of spiritual truth is imparted to him by revelation. Likewise he cannot become regenerate by any intellectual activity of his own. Regeneration is effected by the Lord alone in such as learn and accept the truths He has revealed, and live according to them. All men are born unregenerate. The Lord saves all who will allow themselves to be saved, and those allow themselves to be saved who accept the truths of the Word and live a life of love to the Lord and the neighbor. There is no other way.

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The Light of the World, by Louis A. Dole

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“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” – John 8:12

Readings

Isaiah 61 · John 8:12-32 · Psalm 27

Sermon

From the very beginning the Lord’s Advent was associated with light. It was prophesied of His coming, “The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.” When the Lord was born, the shepherds saw a great light, and it was a star that led the wise men from the east to the place where the young child lay.

It is clear that the Lord is meant in the words, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee… The sun shall no more be thy light by day… but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” And of the Holy City it is written, “There shall be no night there; for the Lord God giveth them light.” Throughout the Scriptures the Lord is spoken of as the source of light. In the opening verses of the first chapter of John the Lord as the Word is six times spoken of as the light of the world, and in the eighth chapter He declares positively, “I am the light of the world.”

Why is so much said in the Word regarding light, and why is the Lord so often associated with it?

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“Thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass,” 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: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” – Zechariah 9:9

Readings

Zechariah 9:9-17 · Matthew 21:1-14 · Psalm 48

Sermon

Today, Palm Sunday, is one of the traditional festivals of the church. The first record of its celebration appears to have come from Jerusalem, where it was observed with a procession and special liturgy in the fourth century, A.D., but it probably was of long establishment even then.

The Lord entered Jerusalem as its King, took possession of the temple, cast out the money changers and venders of doves, and healed the lame and the blind.

The Lord came into the world to bear witness to the truth. His truth is the King that should rule in our lives. When Pilate asked Him “Art thou a king then?” Jesus answered, “Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” Previously He had told them, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” There is no freedom but in the truth; yet there is much that lies behind this simple statement. Some truth may be a simple intellectual concept; other truth may involve moral obligation. Some truth comes easily and gladly to the mind; for other truth one must labor and sacrifice not only ease but also many deeply ingrained prejudices. The truth is not always what we should like it to be.

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How Truth Is Preserved, by Louis A. Dole

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“And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, and put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river’s brink.” – Exodus 2:3

Readings

Exodus 2:1-10 · Matthew 7:15-29 · Psalm 99

Sermon

Our age prides itself on its tolerance, particularly on its religious tolerance. We hear it said, “It does not matter what you believe; one religion is as good as another.” But truth is sacred. It does matter vitally what one believes. For if men believe falsity, they will do evil. The need of the world is for truth in every aspect of its life, for truth in its concepts of God, for truth in its international relationships, in its ideas of government, in its trade and commerce, for truth in its ideas of marriage and family life, for truth in education. Only the thoughtless can say that truth does not matter, or that it does not matter what men believe as long as they are sincere.

This is a very popular attitude, but we all remember that it did matter that thousands were educated in the principles of Naziism from their childhood and so believed that they were a superior and chosen people and should rule the world by brute force. And people can be brought up to despise all religion and to deny all ideas of God. They can even be brought up to believe in emperor worship, of which there is a very modern witness.

Our text tells of the preservation of truth. The saving of the infant Moses by Pharaoh’s daughter has an appeal to all readers of the Bible. Even when there is no knowledge of the spiritual lesson contained therein, there is a sense of dramatic fitness in the saving by Pharaoh’s daughter of the one who was afterward to free Israel from the Egyptian yoke.

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Aaron’s Rod, by Louis A. Dole

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“And, behold, the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” – Numbers 17:8

Readings

Numbers 17 · John 5:30-47 · Psalm 115

Sermon

In the chapter preceding that of our text is the account of the rebellion of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram and the general murmuring of the people against Moses and Aaron. To quell this discontent, Moses was commanded to take a rod from each tribe – twelve in all – and to write the name of the head of the tribe upon the rod of each, writing the name of Aaron for the tribe of Levi. These rods were then all placed in the Tabernacle before the Ark, which contained the two tables of the Law. There the Lord promised to meet Moses, and said, “And it shall come to pass, that the man’s rod, whom I shall choose, shall blossom: and I will make to cease from me the murmurings of the children of Israel.” All this was done according to the Divine command, and on the morrow, when Moses went into the Tabernacle, “the rod of Aaron for the house of Levi was budded, and brought forth buds, and bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds.” This was done to establish the tribe of Levi in the service of the Tabernacle and to confirm the authority of Aaron and his posterity in the priesthood.

There are two qualities that proceed from the Lord, Divine love and Divine wisdom, or Divine good and Divine truth. It is the function of truth to rule by its laws, as a king does; it is the function of good to save by mercy or love. Originally in Israel the priesthood and royalty were conjoined in one person, because good and truth as they proceed from the Lord are united. Later these were divided, as the people declined into self-dependence and idolatry – doing what was right in their own eyes – and it was permitted that the two should be quite separated, and that the Lord should be represented as to Divine truth by kings and as to Divine good by priests.

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“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
“For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” – John 6:54, 55

Readings

Exodus 29:1-21 · John 6:47-66 · Psalm 105:17-36

Sermon

These words are very familiar to us, as they occur in our Communion service. When the Lord spoke them, it is recorded, “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?” They apprehended all the Lord’s sayings naturally, and in this case objected to the Lord’s terms because they were natural. And it is recorded further, “From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.”

Today, while no one believes that it is literally intended that one be washed in the blood of the Lord to be cleansed from sin, many still turn away from the churches because they are repelled by the emphasis put on such natural phrases. And many in the churches, by interpreting them to mean that the Lord by shedding His blood on the cross paid the penalty due to man for all his sins, continue in their sins with the assurance that if they “confess Christ” they are saved.

What does it really mean to be “saved by the blood of the Lamb?”

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“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
“And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth.” – Genesis 1:21-22

Readings

Genesis 1:21-22 · Ezekiel 47:1-10 · John 8:12-32 · Psalm 104:24-36

Sermon

The natural world exists from the spiritual world and everything in it corresponds to something in the spiritual as its source; so throughout the Word the mind is described in terms of nature.

Water, as we all know, is the natural representative of truth, and the sea is the general memory in which are stored all the knowledges of the mind, whether true or false. Fishes are those knowledges vivified and made alive by the purified affections. We recall Ezekiel’s vision of the healing waters issuing from the sanctuary. “And it shall come to pass, that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and everything shall live whither the river cometh.” This river, which could not be crossed over, is the Divine wisdom, which can never be fully fathomed by finite minds. The sanctuary from under whose threshold the waters issued is the Lord’s Word and the waters issuing forth are its truths.

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“Not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And behold, this day I am going the way of all the earth: and ye know in all your hearts and in all your souls, that not one thing hath failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spake concerning you; all are come to pass unto you, and not one thing hath failed thereof.” – Joshua 23:14

Readings

Joshua 23 · John 12:20-36 · Psalm 107

Sermon

These words Joshua spoke to the people of Israel with their elders and heads, their judges and officers. Joshua was old and he knew that he was about to die. So he assembled the people at Shechem. It was an impressive occasion. Joshua had led them to victory. He had made of Israel a nation, and had seen them settled in the land promised to them of old, to which they had looked forward with hope for many years. So Joshua wished to give them his counsel and his blessing. He was the same man in dying that he had been in living – calm, brave, and unwavering.

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