The Potter and the Clay

This sermon had been taken from Your Heritage, and prepared into a PDF file by Clifton A. Emahiser’s Watchman Teaching Ministries with added critical notes.

by Bertrand L. Comparet

When Yahweh’s people Israel entered [what is called today] Palestine, they were one nation of 12 tribes, like the United States of 50 states. They continued so until the death of King Solomon in 975 B.C. The ten northern tribes formed a separate kingdom, keeping the ancient name Israel. Meanwhile the two southern tribes formed the nation of Judah, keeping the old capital city of Jerusalem. In each of these kingdoms, even at their worst, there were always some people who were loyal to Yahweh. The southern kingdom of Judah kept its official national loyalty to Yahweh, at least in name and form, almost to its end. However, the number of its people who really lived up to the national religion became fewer and fewer through the years.

Almost immediately after it broke away from Judah, Israel rebelled against Yahweh. Israel’s first king Jeroboam, feared that if his people returned to the temple at Jerusalem, they might also renew their political loyalty to Jerusalem, so he led them into idolatry, I Kings 2:26-33. Though they rebelled in religion, they still retained Yahweh’s laws for their civil government until their sixth king, Omri. After that, they abandoned the laws of Yahweh for the statutes of Omri. Despite all this, Yahweh allowed Israel two centuries more for repentance before their Assyrian captivity and exile. This was a long time in the lives of men, but a short time in the life of a nation. Though Israel was then rebellious, Yahweh knew that it would eventually do His will.

Judah still officially proclaimed the old religion and gave lip service to Yahweh’s laws. Yet, the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel give eloquent testimony to the hypocrisy of their pretense. It was a religion of form only without the understanding of its truths. Oppression, usury, robbery, adultery and murder were commonly practiced, even by the ruling classes of priests and nobles whose duty it was to enforce the law.

Yahshua illustrated the condition of the two nations in one of His parables. In Matthew 21:28-31 He said, “A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first and said Son, go work today in my vineyard. He answered and said I will not; but afterward he repented and went. He came to the second son and said likewise. And he answered and said I go sir, and went not. Which of the two did the work of his father? They say unto Him, The first. Yahshua saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, that the tax collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of Yahweh before you.” Israel at first refused, but finally obeyed the will of Yahweh, Judah professed to obey, but really did not.

But Yahweh does not wait until after the thing has happened before He speaks of it. While Israel was still rebellious and Judah was making empty promises, the prophet Jeremiah was told to explain this. The time was 601 B.C., over a century after Israel had been conquered by Assyria and deported from Palestine, never to return. It also was the beginning of Judah’s 70 years captivity in Babylon. In Jeremiah 18:2-6 Yahweh said, “Arise and go down to the potter’s house and there will I cause thee to hear My words. Then I went down to the potter’s house and behold, he wrought a work on the wheel. And the vessel he made of clay was marred in the hands of the potter, so he made it again another vessel as seemed good to the potter to make it. The word of Yahweh came to me saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith Yahweh. Behold as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in Mine hand, O house of Israel.” Israel’s captivity and deportation from their land was not their destruction, it was only Yahweh’s remolding them into a vessel fit for His use in the future.

However Judah had a different destiny, its hypocrisy could not go on forever. Jeremiah 19:1-11 gives another parable, this time for Judah. “Thus saith Yahweh, Go and get a potter’s earthen bottle and take of the ancients of the people and the ancients of the priests ... And say, Hear ye the word of Yahweh, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; Thus saith Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold I will bring calamity upon this place. ... Because they have forsaken Me and have estranged this place and have burned incense in it to other gods. ... and have filled this place with the blood of innocents. ... I will make void the council of Judah and Jerusalem in this place; and I will cause them to fall by the sword before their enemies and by the hands of them that seek their lives: and their carcasses will I give to be meat for the fowls of heaven and the beasts of the earth. And I will make this city desolate and an hissing; everyone that passeth thereby shall be astonished and hiss because of all the plagues thereof. And I will cause them to eat the flesh of their sons and the flesh of their daughters, ... in the siege and straightness, wherewith their enemies, and they that seek their lives shall straighten them. Then shalt thou break the bottle in the sight of the men that go with thee, And shalt say unto them, thus saith Yahweh of hosts: Even so will I break this people and this city, as one breaketh a potter’s vessel that cannot be made whole again.”

The Anglo Saxon, Scandinavian and Germanic nations, who are really the Israel of the Bible, have often been stubborn and rebellious. Often Yahweh has called them a stiff necked people. Yet Yahweh is their God and they are His people and in the end they will do His will. If the rebellious clay twists in His hand and is marred, He still molds it again into the vessel of His choice and over the centuries it serves His purpose.

The people of Judah, that were still in Palestine, had become integrated with the scribes and Pharisees. It was difficult to tell them apart as they had intermarried and taken on the beliefs and actions of the people they were living among. This is what happens when you integrate, mongrelization inevitably follows. The few pure Israelites and their mongrelized brothers all had to partake of the judgment that was to come upon this area. They gave lip service only, but no honest performance could come from them. As Isaiah 29:13 says, “This people draw near Me with their mouth and with their lips do honoreth Me, but have removed their hearts far from Me; and their reverence toward Me is taught by the precept of men.” Remember how often Yahshua denounced the Jews. “Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!

Accordingly, both of Jeremiah’s parables were fulfilled. The nation of Judah, those still remaining in Palestine, was irreparably broken at its siege by the Romans in the years 69 and 70 A.D., when they were actually reduced to cannibalism and the city was destroyed, as Jeremiah had prophesied. Israel, on the other hand, was remolded by Yahweh to serve His purpose. What was this purpose? Isaiah chapters 43 & 44 tell us, “Ye are My witnesses, saith Yahweh and My servant whom I hath chosen: ... I, even I, am Yahweh and beside Me there is no savior. ... therefore ye are My witnesses, saith Yahweh, that I am God. ... This people have I formed for Myself: they shall show forth My praise. ... I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake and will not remember thy sins. ... Thus saith Yahweh, the King of Israel of hosts; I am the first and I am the last and beside Me there is no other god. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time and have declared it? Ye are even My witnesses. ... thou art My servant O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of Me. I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions. ... for Yahweh hath redeemed Jacob and glorified Himself in Israel.”

The Anglo Saxon, Scandinavian and Germanic nations have served this purpose. They have been the great missionary nations proclaiming to all the world the identity of the one true God Yahweh. They have translated the Bible into all languages in the world. They have shown the world the high standard of justice and prosperity which can come to a nation which is governed by Yahweh’s laws. True, there have always been some persons among them who have fallen below this high standard. This is only the failure of those individuals, not the failure of the whole nation. These nations are not totally perfect, you say? Just show me one among the other nations which reaches just half as high up on the scales! As to our critics, Yahweh has said in Isaiah 54:17, “Every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of Yahweh and their righteousness is of Me, saith Yahweh.”

Like the son in Yahshua’s parable, they first refused, then repented and did their father’s will. Like the marred clay in Jeremiah’s parable, they were remolded by Yahweh, into the pattern He had determined. Let no man tell you that Yahweh’s word has failed, for we the Anglo Saxon, Scandinavian and Germanic people, are the Israel of today.

Critical note by Clifton A. Emahiser: Again an honorable job by Comparet illustrating the parables of the potter and the clay and the broken-bottle nation. Yet further explanation is needed for the reader to completely comprehend the importance of these passages. Comparet neglected here, although he was already aware of it, to point out that the bulk of Judah was also taken into the Assyrian captivity never to return, and after Assyria left off with Judah, all that was left was the city of Jerusalem. It was some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem that had to some extent mingled their blood with the Canaanites. Later, when the nation of Judah was taken captive into Babylon, more of pureblooded Judah would never return again, but follow in the footsteps of the ten northern tribes. After a remnant of the nation of Judah returned to Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity, even more admixture of the Canaanites was added to Judah, nevertheless many stayed racially pure. This race-mixing process continued more and more until, at the time of Christ, there only remained a remnant in the nation of Judah with the pure blood of Judah, Benjamin and a smattering of Levites.

In reality, the parables of the potter and the clay and the broken-bottle nation are not so much a dissimilarity between the twelve tribes of Israel, but a contrast between the nations they portray, especially the nation of Judah which, during the last 500 years of its existence had many inhabitants with little-to-no true blood of Judah remaining among them. Once we comprehend this, the parable of the potter and the clay and the broken-bottle nation become more evident. Today, judeo-churchianity in general ignore the prophecy of Jeremiah that the nation of Judah, once broken, would never be put back together again. It all boils down to this: all those who claim the bad-fig-Canaanite-Edomite-jews squatting in Palestine today is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy declare Jeremiah’s prophecy of the broken-bottle nation to be null and void. They also refute the red-letter words of Yahshua Christ Himself at Matthew 21:19, “Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever.” Incredible are the claims of the modern-day false prophets.