“Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” – Luke 24:49

Readings

1 Kings 2:36-46 · Luke 24:33-53 · Psalm 65

Sermon

These words were spoken to the disciples after the Lord’s resurrection, and just before His ascension. They had a definite meaning for them, for obediently they remained in Jerusalem until the day of Pentecost, when, like a mighty rushing wind came the power of the Holy Spirit for which they waited.

We recall that in David’s time a man named Shimei cursed David, and David left a command to Solomon to take vengeance on Shimei. Shimei was not to be put to death but was to build a house in Jerusalem and not go outside of the city. For three years he kept this engagement. At the end of that time, for the purpose of recovering two of his slaves who had escaped, he went out and brought them back. On his return Solomon had him put to death.

Jerusalem is called a “city of truth.” To dwell in Jerusalem is to live according to the truths of the Word that we know. So will we be safe.

These narratives are not of mere historical interest. Every act described in the Word is dramatic, a representative picture of eternal truth. This fact makes Scripture the Word of God, thus distinguishing it from all other writings.

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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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“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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“We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks,” by Louis A. Dole

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“In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah; We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls and bulwarks.” – Isaiah 26:1

Readings

Isaiah 26:1-11 · Revelation 21:10-27 · Psalm 48

Sermon

We are living in the day prophesied by our text. As we read this prophecy of Isaiah, we are impressed with his fearlessness, his confidence, and his hopefulness. He felt assured that God, though working secretly, could not be thwarted, and that, however clouded the present skies, the future was full of promise and of joy.

The Book of Revelation closes with the vision of the Holy City New Jerusalem descending from God out of heaven, in which men would dwell in light, safety, and peace. It is the picture of the establishment of the Lord’s kingdom on the earth, and the doing here of His will as it is done in heaven. It is needless to say that this state has not yet been reached. But we believe that the truths and instrumentalities and spiritual forces adequate to the task of effecting this vast revolution in human thought and life have been revealed to men and are now operating in human society. If we could know the future as we know the past, it would bring us confidence.

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The Water of Life, by Louis A. Dole

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“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.” – John 4:14

Readings

Deuteronomy 11:1-17 · John 4:1-14 · Psalm 104:1-23

Sermon

The second Sunday in December is set aside in the church calendar as Bible Sunday. This is good, especially in this day. The Bible is found in the home of almost every Christian and unless he has more than one Bible, he is very loath to lend it, even though he may seldom read it. It is God’s Word to us and the means of His presence. Isaiah writes, “O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit.” To the woman at Jacob’s well, which represents the Word, the Lord spoke of it as living water.

Much of the earth is water. Vegetation – the forests and grass and flowers that clothe the fields and hills – depends upon the rain and streams. Take away the streams and the land would become a desert and human life would also disappear. A river went forth to water the Garden of Eden, and in the Holy City there is a river. The Psalmist writes, “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God.”

We know that the physical world without is a reflection of the mental world within, and when we look out and see how much of the life and beauty of the world depends upon water, our interest is awakened to look within and discover the corresponding element in spiritual life. We are not mere physical beings. There are other demands than those of the body. Even if we have an abundance of natural things, life may be barren. It may be unproductive. Life may seem to be at a standstill and unsatisfying. New life is needed, new inspiration, new knowledge of the possibilities which are before us and how to realize them. And this encouragement, this instruction in what it is possible and right to do, we draw directly or indirectly from the Bible.

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