“The Life of a Minister’s Son” is a sermon from Dr. Gordon H. Clark’s papers.
**Items from the unpublished papers of Dr. Gordon H. Clark should not be considered his definitive statement on the particular topic addressed. These papers are being provided for educational value. For Dr. Clark’s official positions consult his published writings.**
Notes: A note on the original document reads: “Early Sermons, c. 1925-1927.
THE LIFE OF A MINISTER’S SON. (Jeremiah)
It was advertised that this evening I would preach on the life of a minister’s son. Ministers’ sons are usually objects of some observation, at least as long as they are young and their fathers live. Later on we may forget that they were the sons of ministers. And that is what happened to the minister’s son whom we will consider to-night. His father is forgotten, while he occupies a noticeable place in the annals of history.
There may have been other minister’s sons, the story of whose lives take up many pages in history. But the man for today is particularly interesting above all others. He himself is interesting. He lived an eventful life, surrounded by dangers, opposed by enemies, imprisoned, condemned to die, pardoned, and at last, exiled, a hero. His personal reaction to these adventures is interesting, for he was a tender-hearted, romantic soul who would rather have sat by the fireside of his home to dream. And this is the man who was called and compelled to lead a nation.
And that nation at that time is especially interesting to us today. For it was confronted with the very same problems that face the United States now, more acute then than now perhaps, but essentially the same problems. International obligations and relationships were a care to the statesmen of that day. And ever since the last great war has not this nation been very much troubled by just that thing. League of Nations, World Court, or selfish isolation, refusing protectorates over down-trodden nations, making treaties with massacring hordes. Imperialism threatened the world’s peace and war clouds were on every horizon. The situation is complicated today. Dictators have arisen in some countries, preparations for war are going on, even in this land of ours, by the U.S. government. Internal corruption was then rampant. And what shall we say about the recent scandals that make us lose confidence in those in office. And worst of all, both then and now, the majority of people neither knew nor cared how grave the situation was. Pleasure seeking, ostentation and immorality was the chief end of man. And the leaders of society couldn’t get it thru their thick skulls that personal morals and religious standards form the one essential foundation of a people.
How did the minister’s son meet those questions? His line of action will develop before our eyes as we trace his life. And tho I may not often draw parallels, we must always remember that the same causes bring the same effects, and what was the remedy in one situation is worth trying in a similar one. And as we come to his middle life and declining years, (which will be next Sunday) the parallels between his times and ours are simply too numerous to mention. Every move of his can be imitated to-day.
Now who is the man of whom I speak? He was a prophet in Israel. One of the greatest, in fact if it were not for Isaiah’s wonderful prophecies concerning the Messiah, JEREMIAH would be the greatest prophet of all. His life is far more engrossing than that of Isaiah, perhaps because we know more about him. And the times in which he lived were far more stirring.
So let us commence the life of Jeremiah, beginning with his boyhood, the situation he had to face, and next week continuing with his great work.
Part I Youth and Call.
Every school boy knows the story of George Washington and the cherry tree. The same boy may know about Valley Forge, he may know about crossing the Delaware, he may know about Cornwallis and Yorktown; but he is sure to know about George Washington and the cherry tree.
This fact testifies to the desire of mankind to know something about the youth of its heroes. We will search the early years of our great men to find some possible influence on or foreshadowing of their future greatness. Many times unfortunately there is little recorded of their boyhood. Such is the case with Jesus. We see him as a baby and again as a boy of twelve; and we must make the most of what we know. This is also the case with Jeremiah.
About all we know is that he was born in a town called Anathoth, about three miles north of Jerusalem; and that his father was a priest. But this latter fact is interesting in itself. For it shows that whatever public opinion may be, not all ministers sons are scapegoats. In fact if public opinion says that they are for the more part, blacksheep, public opinion is mistaken. Dr. Clarence Edward McCartney, moderator of the last General Assembly, who was raised under this same handicap, has written a little book on this subject. He runs over the names of the great men of this country and notes that a large proportion are minister’s sons. And altho not every minister’s son is destined to become great, very few become conspicuously bad. Jeremiah, therefore, chose his father well – and so did I – even tho he didn’t perhaps exactly appreciate it when a boy. For somehow all the other boys make pointed remarks about the fact.
The time was not so very long ago that the name to which I answered was neither Gordon, which never was much used, not yet Clark as I am called today. For failing to find a suitable nickname in my first name, the boys on the street called me Clerg. Quite a distinction I assure you. That was all right. But sometimes, certain boys who didn’t know much about church, or Christianity, or ministers would make fun of the minister’s son. When I was in the third or fourth grade, some fellow took it in his head to cast aspersions on the ministry. But he never did it again. For I replied with some definite contrasting evaluations of the social standing of a minister and bar-tender. So the boy who lived on the south west corner of twentieth and Susquehanna never bothered me after that. And I guess Jeremiah found a few who made fun of the name of Cohen and tried to pester him.
But really the story of Jeremiah begins before he was born. For the Lord knew him before he was formed in the belly, and before he came forth out of the womb God sanctified him and God ordained him a prophet unto the nations. Someone was asked when was the best time to begin training a child. And the answer he gave was, A hundred years before he is born. Would that every child had that privilege.
Now when Jeremiah was still a young chap – for that is just about what the Hebrew word means, young chap, about 17 or 19, God sent him a definite call to service. God tells him that he had ordained him before birth and that now he must prophesy to the nations.
It is somewhat interesting to compare the call of Jeremiah with those of others. Moses, eighty years old, as he was tending sheep in the dessert, saw what seemed to be a bush on fire. He stopped to investigate why the bush did not burn up, and God spoke.
Samuel was a little child, only seven or eight, asleep in the temple, when he heard his name called. He runs to Eli. Here am I. Eli sent him back to bed. This happens again. The third time Eli tells him that if the voice calls again to say, Speak Lord for thy servant heareth. And then God revealed himself to Samuel the child.
Saul of Tarsus was an energetic man in his prime, out to persecute the church. He saw the risen Lord and said, Lord what wilt thou have me to do?
So Jeremiah, more than twice the age of Samuel, less than a quarter the age of Moses, younger than Paul by ten years maybe, is informed that he is chosen of God. And isn’t that what happens to-day? Some are called at one age, some at another. Some are called in one way and others in an entirely different manner. Billy Sunday heard the call as he was sitting on a curbstone with a bunch of ball players who had just come out of a saloon. They were listening to some open air preaching and Billy Sunday said good-bye to the old life. Alexander Mackay, who by the way was a minister’s son too, had always been interested in mechanics and engineering. When a boy, he walked eight miles to see a locomotive for two and a half minutes. Then, a brilliant young engineer in Germany, drawing plans for mighty engines, he read the life of Livingstone and heard the call. From his engineering, at the age of twenty-five he was called to fight the slave trade of Africa, to fight against Kings, to see his converts martyred, actually roasted alive, and to win over all thru the power of Christ. Yes, some are called at eight and some at eighty. Heed God’s call to you. Never say you are too young, remember Samuel, never say that you are too old, Moses led a nation after he was eighty; and if you are the age of Jeremiah, do not hesitate, but do the Lord’s bidding.
Now Jeremiah, like Moses, began to make excuses. He was modest. But modesty is no virtue when it interferes with God’s plans. Jeremiah hesitated to accept such an important office. He says he is just a young chap and cannot speak. Why, that is about what Moses said. Moses
was slow of speech. He evidently had some physical difficulty in talking. So God gave Moses Aaron, a mouthpiece to deliver his speeches. Jeremiah didn’t need the mouthpiece, he needed the speech. There was nothing wrong with his vocal apparatus, but he had nothing to say. So as God gave Moses a mouthpiece he gave Jeremiah a message. He touched the mouth of J and put words into his mouth. And if we will surrender ourselves to God and Christ today, he will touch us and give us what we need.
Other great men have been modest and bashful at the beginning of their ministry. Yet they were used as you will be used if you are willing. John Knox, for example, when called upon to deliver his first sermon, said a few words, broke down, cried and fled from the pulpit. Yet on his grave is written: Here lies one who never feared the face of any man. And John Knox could have been excused for being afraid sometimes.
So did J have reason to fear. But as God touched his lips and gave his mind a message for the nations, so also he gives courage for the task. And this is God’s charge to J: say not I am a child, for thou shalt go to all that I send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. Significant! Because J didn’t want to proclaim the message God had given him. Its harshness was not in keeping with his retiring disposition. Further the Lord charge J – be not afraid of their faces, for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
He needed a strong promise of strength and protection for he was to encounter great difficulties. Moses had to face great difficulties and he received the same promise (Ex. 8:12) certainly I will be with three. Joshua was to have no easy time of it and the Lord told him (Jos. 1:5) There shall not any man be able to stand before three – – – as I am with Moses so will I be with thee, I will not leave thee nor forsake thee. And if in your Christian Life, good friends, troubles assail, take refuge in Christ’s promise to you. Lo I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
Well J needed all the promises and encouragement he could get. Heresy and idolatry were rampant. Enemies would arise everywhere against him. His message against their sin would make them bitter. But when men with itching ears incubate heresy, others must be fearless and speak out at all risks. Luther and Calvin at the beginning of our great Protestant Reformation were fearless. With boldness they proclaimed the gospel. We praise God that today when our faith is again assailed, we find bold men, the leaders of the church, and even in the stronghold of the enemy, fearlessly proclaiming the saving power of Christ and trying to uphold a pure and undefiled Christianity.
There are others you say who are not fearless. Ministers come in for a lot of unpondered generalities just as do ministers sons. The world calls them hypocrite and so on. So you hear it charged that if some few are bold, others are afraid, afraid of being called narrow perhaps, accused of catering to money. Maybe some of the charge is true. But how many laymen who make this criticism, or how many layman who do not make it, how many I ask, bother themselves to pray that the ministers may preach with boldness? How many are willing to stand by him who preaches the gospel and hold up his hands like Aaron and Hur held up the hands of Moses? Pray for the ministers of the gospel, they need it as much as anyone else and more. Pray for them I say. And then, be fearless in your own stand for Christianity.
Part II The Situation
Now before we can appreciate J and understand his difficulties and hardships, we must know something about the conditions under which he had to work. Manasseh the King had died not such a long while before. Now, Manassah was famous for two things, first for reigning a long time, 55 years, and second he is famous or infamous for crowding those 55 years of his reign with all sorts of evil. Any people is bad enough. No nation, no person needs to be encouraged to do wrong. We are all bad enough as is. But here is Manasseh hurrying the people down the downward road; and they went. Idols were erected, Jehovah was forgotten, abominations were introduced. Then after Manassah came Amon who reigned for two years and he was as bad as his father. So we have 57 years of rotten rule, paganism, vice, crime and lawlessness before Josiah came on the throne. But Josiah, the good King, was only eight years old. What could a boy of eight do? Nothing of course. He was then more interested in playing marbles or spinning tops, or studying Hebrew. He probably didn’t take any active part in the government until the time that J was called, thirteen years later. So we find J the prophet and Josiah the King, both rather young
men, Josiah 21 years old and J a bit younger, these two we find starting out to clean up a kingdom sunk in depravity for at least seventy years. They go to their task in a way that reminds us of St. Paul’s counsel to Timothy – Let no man despise thy youth. Young men – pardon me – can do great things if they make up their [minds] to. Alexander the Great had conquered the world and died by the time he was 32. John Calvin wrote his Institutes when he was 28, and that is the work that shattered the Catholic Church at that time. Professor Godwin wrote a book on Greek Moods and Tenses when he was 26 and that book remains the best on that subject yet. In other words it is best to be famous before you are 26. So we must respect these young men who tackled a situation that General Butler could never have handled. For about five years they made little impression. Then something happened. The law book is discovered in the temple. Well, conditions must have been pretty bad if the law had been lost, and in temple at that. We may complain and we should complain about the bad conditions in Philadelphia, even when under Butler police lieutenants are removed for doing their duty. Down in the southwestern part of the city, where Sunday laws do not exist, complaint was made against commercialized ball, against the conduct of the players to church goers, especially the young ladies. One lieutenant tried to clean the place up. Evidently he was doing well, for the Roman Catholics, who were getting part of the proceeds and selling tickets for the games, had the officer removed. Woe unto us if we don’t complain and protest when Roman money has more say in police stations than American law. But even at that, perhaps the world is better now than then. The progress is slow and we get discouraged but at least the Bible isn’t entirely lost in the churches, even tho it is rather well mutilated at times.
So they find the law and reforms begin. Josiah tries to aid J in reestablishing the true religion. He abolishes the altars that Solomon had set up for his wives 350 [years] before. He breaks the images, puts down the groves and burns the altars. So zealous was he that it is said of him (23:25) that no king before him had been so heart and soul for the Lord, and alas we must add no king after him was so good. The nation was too far gone. Eighteen years of up-hill work doesn’t make up for 70 years down grade, not to mention the 350 years of idolatry since Solomon. Josiah died, and the next king Jehoahaz was as bad as he could be. There were two good points about him however. First, he didn’t harm J, and second he died in three months.
Now with this introduction, glancing into the youth and call of J, and into his first work with Josiah, seeing the condition of the country, we are enabled to understand his battles with the succeeding kings, and his efforts to direct a nation to God and to safety. This we will take up next week. In the meantime a cursory perusal of the book of J is recommended and should be found delightfully interesting.
Part III The Man and his Message.
As a man J was tender-hearted, sensitive and sympathetic. Yet he was courageous and bold. He was the kind of a man whom men admire and women love. So because the office of a prophet was a respected office and had some glamour and halo about it, I have no doubt that many a charming Jewess in the bloom of girlhood looked upon the young prophet with longing eyes. Moreover it is so in keeping with his character that we must also suppose J certainly saw some young lady who attracted him. And what a lover he would have made, with the sweet melancholy of a true romantic spirit. Unfortunately for J perhaps, but very fortunately for the girl, God forbade him to marry. Perilous times were near. Wives and children were about to suffer. J had other business to attend to. He was the prophet to the nations. To accomplish the will of God therefore, he must put away personal pleasures, he must forego the privileges of a home. J’s sole duty was to proclaim God’s message and he must do it alone.
Not only was his private life ordered against his liking, but even the message he had to give distressed him. He loved his people. He was loyal to his nation. On this account it hurt him to sound his note of harshness. In God’s name he must rebuke. “How shall I pardon them” cries J as he delivers God’s decree to Judah, (5:7) “thy children have forsaken me; when I had fed them to the full, then they committed adultery, they were as fed horses in the morning, everyone neighed after his neighbors wife. Shall I not visit for these things, saith the Lord, and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this.” Page after page we find J testifying against evil. (8:8) “Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his
neighbor with his mouth but in the heart he lieth his wait.” Yes it was J who said, as he looked upon the sins of Israel and found no righteousness even in the temple itself, as he saw the results of years of idolatry and heresy, it was J who said (17:8) “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.” We might imagine Luther glorying in such denunciation, but J could not. He would rather have given hope and encouragement. He would rather have been pleasant. This constant malediction wears upon him and he cries out (20:14) “Cursed be the day wherein I was born. Wherefore came I forth out of the womb to see labour and sorrow, that my days should be consumed with shame.”
He had reason to curse the day of his birth, for trouble was not long in coming. His first trouble he had already encountered. It was in his home town, Anathoth. They robbed him and cut him out. People don’t like to have their sins exposed, much less by a youth who has grown up among them. Jesus himself, you will recall, wasn’t well received in Nazareth and testified that a prophet is not without honour save in his own country. J had little honor in his home town. His relatives, his brothers, (12:60 dealt treacherously with him. And J’s ministrations in Anathoth were over. Now he became engaged in the affairs of his nation at Jerusalem.
Four years after Josiah the good king died, J was preaching along with Baruch, his colleague or assistant, preaching to the people, telling them to mend their ways or the nation would be overthrown. War, destruction, he cried. They derided him. Peace, peace, they replied, there is no cause for alarm. But J claims were coming true. The Chaldeans had won the battle of Carchemish, and Jehoiakim the king was made a vassal of Nebuchadnezzar. Yet the people would not heed his call. For people were then much as they are now. They get the doctor after they are sick, insurance after the fire, they lock the door after the house has been robbed.
So, the next year, J appeals to the King. In the fifth year of Hehoiakim, J sends Baruch do him with a book. Baruch begins to read it to King Jehoiakim, but before three pages are read, the King slashes it with a knife and throws it into the fire. Whereupon J writes a second edition, revised and enlarged. For truth cannot be cut with a penknife. But what made the King cut and burn the book? What was it that enraged him? What was J’s message? It was the same he had preached to the people. One message for king and people alike. It was the destruction of that great city Jerusalem. On account of its wickedness Jerusalem was to be captured and razed to the ground. It was the message for which j was almost killed a short time before. Nevertheless J continues to prophesy destruction and goes so far as to say that even the temple would be broken down. This caused a tumult and J is arrested. The idolatrous priests and false prophets hate his war cry. They cry peace peace when there is no peace, for J prophecies are already coming true. The idolaters of J times worshipped Baal the sun god. Idolaters today do about the same thing. Look in a modernist hymn book. See the praise of nature, sea, sky, forest sun; but little of Christ and his saving blood. What difference between false prophets then and false prophets now? Will the people be spared now if they were not then? Is idolatry, heresy, any less evil and sinful now? Away with those who cry peace, peace when there is no peace.
Well, there was no peace then. Jehoiakin revolted and lost his life as well as his throne. Would not the people listen to J now? Would they not turn from their sins and return to God? For three months J preached without persecution, for the new king while wicked enough, let J alone. But in three months, this new king, Jehoiacim was carried away captive. Peace? It was the midst of war.
Then reigned Zedekiah. But (37:2) “neither he nor his servants nor the people did hearken unto the words of the Lord which he spake by the prophet J.” For four years J warned the people of impending disaster, hampered all the while by the king’s attitude. Then in the fourth year of Zedekiah’s reign, there arose a prophet Hananiah, who encourage the people against Babylon. He told the people what they wanted to hear. Babylon would be overthrown and Judah become a great nation. The captives who were taken away under Jehoiakim and Jehoiacin would return and see the glory of Israel would dazzle the world. Of course folks like to hear good news. They would rather believe pleasant things than listen to warnings. So they welcomed Hananiah as he contradicted J. Then in the presence of the people and before Hananiah, J delivers a tremendous speech. Now try to image J situation. He is loyal to his nation, he wants Bab defeated, he wants the prisoners returned, he wants the vessels of the temple recovered. And before the nation he says he wishes what Hanaiah says were true. Nevertheless he turns on Hananiah and condemns him. He has claimed to be a prophet of the Most High God. He is not, he makes the people trust in a lie (28:15). He has sinned a great sin. Judah will not conquer Babylon; Babylon will conquer Judah. More captives will be taken, not brought back, the vessels of the temple will not be recovered, but the temple will be destroyed. The Lord has not sent Hananiah, therefore “thus saith the Lord, thou shalt die because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord. So Hananiah died in the same year.”
What must we say to similar prophets today. They claim to speak God-revealed truth, they claim the Holy Spirit has led them into all truth. Yet they dishonor the person of Christ, they belittle the Atonement they sneer at his birth and they deny his resurrection. What must we say to them. Shall we not repeat J own word (28:1) “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture. I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.” And (v.40) “I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you and a perpetual shame.” Are these words not applicable today? Do I need to point out the similarity between Hananiah and certain modern ministers. I suppose they called the religion of Jehovah old fashioned in those day as well as now. I suppose they claimed they had new knowledge and truer ideas and better philosophy. They gave heed to pagan religions and pagan fables then, and they are doing the same thing today. What will be our answer? Shall we not be like J and stand against paganism, stand for Christ, and if need be stand alone? It is easy to follow the crowd, dare we stand alone for the right?
Well, Hananiah was disposed of, and other troubles thronged about J. National problems were acute. What do you think a strongly nationalist people would do when held subject to an outside power? What did Ireland do? What did France do when half subjugated by England, what did Greece do when ruled by Turkey? That is what the people of Judah wanted to do. But J opposed. You can imagine how popular he was. We remember our feeling against pro-Germans during the war. That is the light in which J stood. He seemed to be siding with Babylon. He was discouraging the people, standing in the way of their nationalistic projects. We can appreciate the people’s feelings. We should also be able to appreciate J position. A lull in the battle had come. The armies that were encamped against Jerusalem – you remember the last king was captured and some people carried captive – had departed for a while. J wished at this time, to take advantage of the absence of the army and to visit his home once more. But as he was leaving Jerusalem, the son of Hananiah (37:11) arrested him as a traitor on the charge that he was deserting to the Chaldeans. Pleas were of no avail. Thus J was cast into a dungeon where he remained many days. It was while J was in the dungeon that Zedekiah the king, does the only good thing recorded of him. He consults J. Zedekiah of course was anxious to throw off Babylonian rule. The people were clamoring to be free. So Zedekiah plots against Nebuchadnezzar. Desiring to accomplish his task well, he consults J. Now J was in a tight place. If he sided with the king’s projects, aided the conspiracy and urged revolt, war, pestilence and famine would be the heritage of the nation. Disease and death would ravage the country, and independence would not be gained. On the other hand, if he condemned the conspiracy, if he should remonstrate with the King, then he will be treated as a traitor and as a friend of Nebuchadnezzar, and be killed. What was he to do? He was on the Lord’s side. Had not Jehovah promised, Be not afraid of their faces, I am with thee to deliver thee. It took courage to point out the mistakes of the king, true heroism to oppose his plans, valor and virtue to stand in his way. Yet J the prisoner who had been beaten and thrown into the dungeon, courteously but firmly tells the king that he, Zedekiah, will be delivered into the hands of Neb. Then he pleads for his life. He will die if left in the foul dungeon. And, mirabile dicta, Zedekiah treats him well. Altho he keeps him a guarded prisoner, he rescues him from the dungeon, and provides him food. This was no small favor, since food was getting scarce in the besieged city. Thus instead of losing his life by speaking the truth, he really preserved it. Therefore, when we get into a tight place and are tempted to betray our trust and sin against God to save our life, our money, our reputation or what not, let us remember J and do right tho the heavens fall: perhaps heaven’s blessings will fall instead.
Well, the end soon came. J dire prophecies all came true. The city was captured, Zedekiah was made captive, the temple was destroyed. But strange to say, J found favor in the eyes of Nebuchadnezzar. He was given the choice of going to Babylon, or of remaining in the Holy Land with the few poor people who were not worth carrying captive. He chose to remain. Then with a certain Gedaliah, with the permission and under the supervision of Neb. J set about to fix things up as best he could. No words of discouragement now, no more awful maledictions, they had been fulfilled. He tried to comfort the people and to repair the ravages of war. The two of them made what little progress they could until Gedaliah was assassinated. The people, fearing Neb. would hold them responsible for this stupid murder, fled, against the advice of J. to Egypt. Not only did they flee against his advice, but carried him along with them against his will. Altho they had hooted and jeered him for many years, altho they disregard his wishes now, still they sort of recognize that he was their good genius and guardian angel. Strange, isn’t it, after attempting to kill him, now in fear they cling to him as their only hope of life.
For more than forty years now, J had been prophesying. For forty years he had been giving warnings, uttering maledictions, pronouncing curses, weeping lamentations. His own words had now come true, but it broke his heart. Less than any other did he desire to see the destruction completed. More than any other he disliked his message, and above all he was hurt. Now as his life was drawing to a close, was he going to indulge in the cattish – I told you so. Was he going to sneer and rebuff those who had persecuted him. No not he, for I have said before and it is true, J was a great-hearted individual, sensitive and sympathetic. He was loyal to his nation and he loved the chosen race. Now, exiled in Egypt, he gives words of consolation to his fellow exiles. Even in the latter days of Zedekiah and in the days of Gedaliah had he begun his ministry of comfort.
The Lamentations of J over Jerusalem were written, and as his vision of the old Jerusalem fades and recedes into the past. There bursts on his view, the New Jerusalem. Now he preaches peace. God will recall his erring children and a remnant shall be saved. Song and rejoicing will someday be heard again. The Lord thru J now says, (31:3) “Yes I have loved thee with an everlasting love, for there shall be a day that the watchmen upon mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion.” He foretells the coming of the messiah. (31:22) “The Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man.” Then come wonderful words of promise. The dark days are forgotten, the lonesomeness of exile is turned into communion with God; destruction is changed to glory. “Behold the days come (31:31) saith the Lord, that I will make a New Covenant.” Listen! Do we not hear Xt saying, this is the New Covenant in my blood. “And (31:34) they shall teach no more everyman his neighbor saying, Know the Lord, for they shall all know me from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord, for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more.”
That prophecy, spoken 2500 years ago is not fulfilled yet but do we despair? Time is no factor in God’s plans. A 1000 years is as a day. We must not be impatient when good is temporarily vanquished, when evil temporarily conquers. The burden of the evil world seems heavy but we do not need a lighter burden, we need a stronger heart. We need the eye of faith so that we can see the New Jerusalem.
J also prophesied the destruction of Babylon. Who would have thought that the mighty, victorious Babylon would fall, Bab. the great, evil Bab used as a scourge to chastise the backsliding Israel, who could dream it would fall? Where is Bab. Today? Where are its armies, its multitudinous inhabitants? Where is Bablyon? Just as the literal Bab. of Asia was destroyed, so too will the figurative Bab of Revelation be devastated, annihilated and forgotten.
And with Satan destroyed, Christ triumphant, we, the people of God, will see the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of the heaven. And there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, for the former things are passed away. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it and the Lamb is the light thereof.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.