“I have even called thee by name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me,” by Louis A. Dole

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“I have even called thee by name: I have surnamed thee, though thou hast not known me.
“I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me.” – Isaiah 45:4-5

Readings

Isaiah 45:1-13 · John 18:28-37 · Psalm 30

Sermon

Cyrus the Persian is mentioned twice in Isaiah and three times in Daniel. He was not an Israelite, not one of the “chosen” people. He was of the heathen world, but he was one of the great and good men of the ages. Isaiah prophesied of him even before he was born that he was chosen to be a special son of God.

Every individual, whatever his origin, may be such a son of God. God has a definite life plan for each individual, girding him visibly or invisibly for some exact use which it will be the true significance and glory of his life to have accomplished. Man is born for heaven. But the Lord alone is God, and from him alone is salvation. He said of himself, “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” All who are in good will look to the Lord for truth and will receive him.

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“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.” – Matthew 5:17

Readings

Jeremiah 31:27-40 · Matthew 5:13-26 · Psalm 33:1-11

Sermon

The “Law” is summed up in the Commandments, which were given from Sinai and were called the “covenant” with the children of Israel.

In Leviticus we read: “If ye walk in my statutes, and keep my commandments, and do them… I will set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.”

There are passages in both the Old and New Testaments which have been interpreted to imply that the commandments will sometime be suspended or outgrown and other laws will take their place. Those who take this view call attention to the fact that Jeremiah tells of a time when the Lord will make a new covenant with His people: “Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord,” and that the Lord says, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time… But I say unto you…”

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“And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,
“And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.
“And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.” – Matthew 17:1-3

Readings

Isaiah 6 · Matthew 17:1-13 · Psalm 97

Sermon

The Transfiguration is a picture of the Lord as He is in His glorified Humanity. The Lord took Peter, James, and John up into a high mountain apart from the others, and He was transfigured before them. His face shone as the sun, His raiment was white as the light, Moses and Elijah were with Him, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice was heard from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.” And when they had come down from the mountain, the Lord said to them, “Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.”

In order that they might witness His Transfiguration the Lord raised His three closest disciples out of their ordinary states into the high mountain of spiritual perception. He drew aside the veil of the senses, and gave them a glimpse of His glory as they would see Him in the after life, that they and men of all time might have some true idea of His real nature.

Many years later the Lord appeared to John in vision as described in the opening chapter of the Book of Revelation.

The Transfiguration has a lesson for us. It is the example and pattern of the change which takes place in us by our regeneration. It shows what we may remotely, finitely become compared with our state at present, for by regeneration we become formed into His image and likeness.

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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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“And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good will of him that dwelt in the bush.” – Deuteronomy 33:16

Readings

Deuteronomy 33:1-16 · Revelation 5 · Psalm 145

Sermon

Moses was nearing the time of his passing into the spiritual world, and after the eastern custom, having called the tribes together, he pronounced a blessing upon each of them. The words of our text form a part of the blessing pronounced upon Joseph as represented by the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.

The blessing of the text must have brought back wonderful memories, for the story of Israel as a nation began with the appearance of the Lord in the burning bush. The Israelites had lived as a subject race in Egypt for over two centuries, and yet had been kept quite distinct from the Egyptians. It is remarkable that the peoples had not wholly mingled, for the very name of Jehovah had been lost during the stay in Egypt. But to Moses in his eightieth year was given the experience at the burning bush. It was then that he heard the command to lead the people to the land promised to their fathers. He at first shrank from the great task, and only when he was convinced by miracles that the Lord would be with him did he undertake it. But he who dwelt in the bush took the people across the sea, fed them in the wilderness, protected them from their enemies, and finally brought them to the borders of the promised land. How difficult had been the way! How often had the people rebelled, and wished that they might go back to Egypt! Even Moses was at times discouraged. But now the journey’s end was being reached, and he had the satisfaction of knowing that his leadership had not been in vain. As he is about to resign his authority to Joshua, he thinks of how the Lord had been with them and had led them all the way, and commends the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh to the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush.

To the Jews Jehovah was invisible; of Him they were not to attempt to make any likeness. Yet, although invisible, they felt that He was God of gods and Lord of lords, and knew that it was He that dwelt in the bush, the bramble. To have appeared in the olive, the vine, or the fig would have seemed more appropriate, but He had been heard from the bush.

In this we have revealed a fundamental truth of religion, that the Lord dwells in the commonest experiences of human life, and happy is he who sees Him there. For as the days and years pass, and as a man passes the threescore years and ten, he will remember the good will of Him that dwelt in the bush.

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“These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt,” by Louis A. Dole

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“These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 32:4

Readings

Exodus 32:1-14 · Luke 12:13-36 · Psalm 52

Sermon

While Moses was in the mount receiving the commandments from the Lord, the people took their golden earrings and made of them a molten calf, and they said, “These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.”

This is a story of folly that sounds little less than insanity. The Lord, through Moses, by mighty miracles had delivered them from bondage in Egypt and brought them to Sinai. Yet because Moses was some time in the mountain the people turned against him. They could not have been more foolish.

Yet many today repeat this insanity in another form. Moses stands for the Divine Law which came through him. There is the Divine Law. It is given in the Word. Yet there are many who are too ready to put it out of mind. “As for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” It is because minds and hearts are absorbed in things of self and the world and closed against heaven. When men are absorbed in things of the body and self, and in getting on in the world, closing the interior planes of the soul which otherwise would be opened to heaven, they turn from heaven and the Lord to the world and to themselves, loving self with all the heart and life. This is what is represented by the absence of Moses and by their contemptuous cry, “As for this Moses… we wot not what is become of him.”

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“The name of the one was Gershom… And the name of the other was Eliezer,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And her two sons; of which the name of the one was Gershom; for he said, I have been an alien in a strange land:
“And the name of the other was Eliezer; for the God of my father, said he, was mine help, and delivered me from the sword of Pharaoh.” – Exodus 18:3, 4

Readings

Exodus 18:1-12 · Matthew 12:1-21 · Psalm 39

Sermon

Moses had spent the second forty years of his life in the land of Midian, and there had married Zipporah, the daughter of Jethro, a priest or prince of Midian, who bore him two sons, Gershom and Eliezer. The names of these two sons of Moses are themselves suggestive of events in their father’s history. Forced to flee from the pomp and regal splendor of Egypt, he had found refuge in the land of Midian, where he was to all intents and purposes an alien. And so he called his first son Gershom, which means “a stranger there” or an exile.

But through all this experience he did not lose his trust in the Lord. Through his call at the burning bush he was shown that he was being prepared for a great and momentous work. It is often the fact that in cases of this kind there are hints and inward indications and premonitions of coming distinction and use. Thus, we may believe, it was with Moses; and to mark his faith he called his second son Eliezer, a word which means “God is my help.”

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“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me,” by Louis A. Dole

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“For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me.
“But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” – John 5:46, 47

Readings

Deuteronomy 32:1-14 · John 5:24-47 · Psalm 73

Sermon

The second Sunday in December is widely celebrated throughout the Christian world as “Bible Sunday.”

The Gospel of John opens with the words, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God,” and it is further declared that “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.” The Lord who is the Word, whose very life is the life of the Word came to manifest Himself to us. So He declares, “Had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” Thus the Old and the New Testaments are made interdependent.

The burden of the Old Testament is the teaching that God the Lord would come into the world as its Redeemer and Savior. If men do not believe the prophecy, how can they believe the fulfillment?

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“And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And the Lord said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail.” – Exodus 4:4

 Readings

Exodus 4:1-17 · Mark 16 · Psalm 140

Sermon

Moses had been called to deliver his people from bondage in Egypt. It was the Lord, of course, who delivered them, but this deliverance had to be effected through human instrumentality, for that is always the method of Divine operation.

We are familiar with the story of the birth of Moses. Hidden because of the fear of the Pharaoh he was put in a little ark of bulrushes and placed among the reeds of the Nile, and left to the care of Him who feeds the ravens and clothes the lilies. The Divine providence watched over him and destined him to become greater than the Pharaoh who ruled the greatest kingdom in the world, and to play a part in history which would immortalize his name, while the powerful dynasty of the Pharaohs was doomed to disappearance and oblivion.

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