“These things I have spoken to you in parables, but the hour is coming when I will no more speak to you in proverbs, but will announce to you plainly concerning the Father.” - John 16:25
Kempton New Church

Week 3
Day 1


The Vastation of the Church

Contrasting hypocrisy with the Lord’s “clean sayings”

Psalm 12


To the victor, upon the sheminith1; a psalm of David.

Save, O Jehovah, for the merciful one has come to an end;

For the faithful fail from the sons of man.


They speak vanity, a man with his companion;

With a flattering lip, with one heart and a second heart they speak.


Jehovah will cut off all flattering lips,

The tongue that speaks great things;


Those who say, As to our tongue we will prevail;

Our lips are with us; who is lord to us?


From the devastation of the afflicted,

From the groaning of the needy,

Now will I arise, says Jehovah;

I will set him in safety from him who puffs2 at him.


The sayings of Jehovah are clean sayings,

Silver refined in a crucible of earth, refined sevenfold.


Thou, O Jehovah, wilt keep them;

Thou wilt preserve him from this generation to eternity.


The wicked walk all around,

As worthlessness is exalted for the sons of man.

versestopicSummary of the Spiritual Sense
3There are no longer any good people, but only hypocrites.
5-811The Lord will to eternity deliver the good as against the evil.

“Flattering lips”; “our lips are with us.”

AC 1286:4. Here “lips” are falsities.

The Lord exposes the hypocrisy of church leaders.

AC 3812:10. As hypocrisy is evil appearing outwardly as good, but is inwardly defiled with things false and profane, therefore the Lord says in Matthew:

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites; for you make yourselves like whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but are within full of dead men’s bones and of all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear just to men, but within you are full of hypocrisy and iniquity (Matt. 23:27-28).

Hypocrisy vastating the church

AE 1029. “Babylon” or “Babel” means the church consisting of those who by means of the holy things of the church strive to gain dominion over the whole world, and this by dominion over the souls of men, claiming to themselves authority to save whomever they will; and these finally seek dominion over heaven and hell and make it their own. And to this end they draw and transfer to themselves all the Lord’s authority, as if it had been given to them by Him.

The church consisting of such [people] is very different in the beginning from what it becomes in process of time. In the beginning they are as it were in zeal for the Lord, for the Word, for love and faith, and especially for the salvation of men. But in that zeal the fire of domineering lies hidden, and in process of time, as dominion increases, it breaks out. And so far as it comes into act, the holy things of the church become the means, and dominion itself the end. And when dominion becomes the end, the holy things of the church are applied to that end, and thus to themselves. And then they not only ascribe the salvation of souls to their own authority, but they also appropriate to themselves all the Lord’s Divine power. And when they do this, they pervert every good and every truth of the church, and thus profane the holy things of the church.

The antidote: silver refined in a crucible of earth, refined sevenfold

AC 720. The Lord’s coming into the world, and in glory, and every coming of the Lord, is described... by the “seventh” ... day.... And it appears in Psalm 12:6 that silver was most pure when purified seven times.... From all of these passages it is plain that... “seven” does not signify seven, but things that are holy.

AE 257:5. “Silver” signifies truth from the Divine; “purified seven times” means wholly and fully pure.

1a musical instrument (see AC 8337:5) with eight strings

2“puffs,” i.e., “scoffs”

Questions and Comments
  1. The psalm speaks of the evil gaining power through flattering lips and prevailing by the tongue, and of the good being “puffed” or scoffed at. Is this something you have seen?
  2. The beginning of the psalm is about the church being destroyed by hypocrites. In Matthew 23, Jesus criticizes the hypocrisy of the scribes and Pharisees at length. Have you heard of or seen modern examples of this?
  3. Jesus raised up a new church by His “clean sayings,” like silver refined sevenfold. What are some of your favorite “clean sayings” in the Word, on which you base your life?
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