Losing Our Faith

Polluted Privileges

Book of Malachi Chapters 1-3

Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament

We have seen in our study of the Old Testament, where Israel would sin, and the Lord would chastise them over and over again.

Jehovah would scatter them across foreign soil, and He would allow them to return back to the Promised Land. These things happened over and over again, until God will chastise them one more time and then go away for 400 or more years and let the world see what happens.

All these things are still the plan of God from the beginning, but these things are beginning to sink in.

What was happening?

They doubted God’s love.
They doubted God’s Word.
They doubted God’s great promises.
They doubted God’s justice.
They doubted God’s willingness to do anything for them.
They doubted God’s willingness to do anything against them.

All these things happened because they had lost their faith.

They had forgotten the “mercy” of God, written in all the Old Testament!

All these things then led to rebellion against the Lord and they were blaspheming His Holy Name.

Whenever sin and doubt become our religion, corruption becomes evident in our lives!

Before we start there is a passage we need to look at:

There is a verse in the Book of Malachi that is not in our lesson today.

Mal 1:5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel.

We can look at this Scripture both ways.

It could mean that the Lord’s name will be magnified from all the border of Israel inward, and this will take place in our future.

It could also mean that the Lord’s name will be magnified from the borders of Israel outward to all other nations, and we know that this will also take place.

Add this next Scripture:

Psa 83:17 Let them be confounded and troubled for ever; yea, let them be put to shame, and perish:
Psa 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

It is the Lord God Jehovah who is the Most-High over all this Earth who is getting no respect!

We can see this in America, and we see this in the modern day church.

The Book of Malachi was written by the Prophet Malachi and “Malachi” means “the messenger of the Lord”.

The Book of Malachi was probably written around 433 BC just over 400 years before the time of Jesus Christ.

During these 400 years, Persia would fall to Greece and then Greece would fall to Rome, who ruled the known world when the Lord Jesus was born in Bethlehem.

I guess you have all heard the latest news from the Muslim, “that Palestine ruled Bethlehem at the time of Christ, so Jesus is a Palestinian Muslim”.

It was Rome who first called the area around and near Israel, Palestinia, and the Jews were on the land at that time even though they again were a conquered nation.

Malachi was alive during the time Persia ruled the majority of the known world.

Malachi remained true to the Word of God, as did Ezra and Nehemiah.

The Book of Malachi remains as a Book of the Bible that calls God’s people back to faithfulness.

We know that many in Israel were returning again to their old sinful ways by the words given to Malachi by the Holy Spirit.

Malachi also described the coming of God’s Judgment.

Again as most of the other Prophets, the Book of Malachi gives us a glimpse into the Character of God!

It truly breaks God’s heart for His children to return to sin!!!!!!!!

We see that we are deeply loved by God!

If we want to know what God is doing right at this very moment? God has His eyes on us!!!!!!!

So let’s begin

*****Mal 1:6 A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?
Mal 1:7 Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, The table of the LORD is contemptible.

I believe God is asking this same question of us here today!!

What is the most common sin of God’s people?

It is written right here in this passage. “We do not always show reverence to our Father in Heaven”.

We do not always give God our very best, and the Lord will not accept our second best!

Remember, the Lord is sanctified, it is we who need to be sanctified.

We owe our allegiance to our Savior, we owe our life to our Savior.

In fact, we owe everything we have, physically and Spiritually, to our Savior.

Yes this includes our tithes, the very first part of any income.

Even in the Christian world, we have lost our fear of our Awesome God!

Yes, He is the God of love.
Yes, He is the God of creation.

He is also the God of all Power!

I believe when we first see Him, we may be hunting some place to hide from our terrible God, until He says, “peace be with you”.

Deu_7:21 Thou shalt not be affrighted at them: for the LORD thy God is among you, a mighty God and terrible.

If we fear anything in this world, then we do not know how powerful is our God!

Anytime we go against God the Father, or His dear Son or go against the Holy Spirit, we have dishonored our Savior, who gave it all just so we would have the opportunity to spend eternity with Him!

If we make up our own laws to live by, we have said the table of the Lord is contemptible!

Where have we despised the name of God?

Here is what God said to these Jews.

*****Mal 1:8 And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? and if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the LORD of hosts.

If we have not given our very best, we have offered the blind to God for a sacrifice!

If the things we offer God are tarnished in any way, we have offered the lame and the sick!

If we try in any way to hold onto our hidden sin, God will not be pleased with us!

These are facts!

If we do not worship God in Spirit and Truth, we have not reverenced God.
If we do not adhere to all the Word of God, we have not reverenced God.
If we give in to our temptations, we have not reverenced God.
If we do not pick up our cross and follow the Lord daily, we have not reverenced God!
If we have not sacrificed our heart to the will of God, we have not reverenced our God!
If we have taken the name of the Lord in vain, we have shown the Lord we do not love Him as we say we do!

If the Lord does not live in our heart, we are not even God’s child!

We should ask ourselves this same question! Will He be pleased with us?

What is God’s answer?

*****Mal 1:14 But cursed be the deceiver, which hath in his flock a male, and voweth, and sacrificeth unto the Lord a corrupt thing: for I am a great King, saith the LORD of hosts, and my name is dreadful among the heathen.

What is the actual truth? To worship the Lord in a way that goes against what He teaches us, is worse than not worshiping the Lord at all!

We need to take a moment and let that sink in!

What did God say to the Jews?

Isa 1:13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.

When we just worship to be worshiping, we are deceiving ourselves!

If we forget God’s “mercy”, we have forgotten why we worship!

If we forget we are saved by “faith” we have forgotten why we worship!

If we have forgotten God’s “judgment”, we have forgotten it is the Lord that washed us in His blood!

What is going on in the modern-day church? We see the offerings to God without repentance!

It will just not work that way! We should think on “Faith” and “Repentence” as the first steps in the right direction!

We cannot just offer things to the Lord, thinking we can appease Him!

We must understand that we are full of sin as long as we are in these bodies of flesh, but we still cannot abuse God’s “Grace”!

Repent, is a word we do not hear much of other than here at Gethsemane!

We need Pastors and Preachers to teach the truth!

*****Mal 2:7 For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.

What is a true man of God?

1) He is divinely called: There is no such thing as choosing to be a preacher, it is a special calling of God!
2) He must be a man of profound reverence: This is a respectful, submissive, attitude toward the Lord God, built upon affection and esteem for the truth.
3) He must be a man of truthfulness: Because the Word of God is true and it must be taught as the truth, with no higher authority.
4) He must be a man devoted to his calling, unwavering.
5) He must be devoted to the Lord and this devotion passed down to his flock.
6) He must be a man of intelligence, not worldly book learning, but the wisdom of God through knowledge of the Word of God.

God only has “one standard” for those He has called to preach the “Gospel”!

That one standard is “for” every Preacher, to guard the truth of the Scriptures!

What happens if they fail? They will face the “judgment” of God.

This also holds true for every teacher!

We have the law that came from God’s mouth, it is the Bible, the preserved Word of God, from the original Greek and Hebrew text.

If not, we will fall into the curse of God!

God’s blessing will turn into the curse of God!

That good Pastor will turn away from all iniquity.

A good Pastor will never depart from the truth of God!

*****Mal 2:8 But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant of Levi, saith the LORD of hosts.
Mal 2:9 Therefore have I also made you contemptible and base before all the people, according as ye have not kept my ways, but have been partial in the law.

What had these priests done? They had perverted the Word of God to please great men!

They had twisted the Word of God to serve what God had forbidden!

They had only given the Law of God, that suited their own benefit!

Sounds just like the many who pervert the Word of God today and people say the Old Testament is not good enough for the modern-day Church.

Shame on all those who call themselves “called of God” yet they serve their own calling.

Jer 28:15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
Jer 28:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.
Jer 28:17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

How can a man preach about sin, when they are deliberately withholding their own sin to suit themselves?

The job of the Christian Minister, must bring all the Word of God, fearlessly, faithfully, firmly, and impartially!!!!!!!

They are never sent of God to tickle ears.
They are never to modify the Word of God to hinder its application to anyone just because of their social status.
They must present the Word of God as the perfect Word of God that it is!

They must never confirm men in their sins!

Even today we have gay pastors in certain denominations. This goes against the Scriptures!

We have multitudes claiming that God created them “to sinful lives” and therefore they need not repent to Biblical truth.

Each one of these who pervert the Word of God, will be destroyed and they will be accountable for their destruction of others, who believed them!

They will be rejected of God and condemned by the people they had misled!

Rom 6:13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Rom 6:14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
Rom 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Rom 6:17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

Gal_2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

What is the truth of these men?

*****Mal 2:17 Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?

When fake ministers and fake Christians call evil good and good evil.

When we ask where is the God of Judgment?

We must understand that these people will be held accountable for their foolish life!!!!!

Every minister is called of God to instruct us in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ who adhered to every law in the Word of God and did everything He set out to do for the glory of God!!!!!!!

That word “wearied” means these men are trying God’s patience!!

Those who think along these lines today, really think that God does not care about His creation!

What is the truth of our God?

2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
2Pe 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
2Pe 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
2Pe 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

We have to believe God knows what He is doing, and His patience will run out one day!

What did God say?

God said He would send John the Baptist to prepare for the Messiah.

*****Mal 3:1 Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the LORD of hosts.

God said He would send a real messenger because they were not His messengers!

These men knew about the Messiah, because they knew of the true prophets that they had rejected.

We should understand these people had seen the work of God take place in their own life time.

Malachi was a prophet sent of God in the days of Nehemiah.

They had seen the words of Jeremiah, Daniel, and Ezekiel come true in their lifetime.

Who can really say, what were they thinking, but it should be obvious, they were only thinking of themselves and they were not worried about the coming of the Messiah?

Malachi was the last prophet they would see for more than 400 years but they did not care at this time.

What do we know? The Temple had been rebuilt, the city of Jerusalem had been restored and maybe some places still showed signs of the destruction of Nebuchadnezzar.

The walls of Jerusalem had been rebuilt, which gave them that sense of security and all these things had been dedicated to the Lord.

A Jew, Queen Esther of Persia was in a place to help the Jews for her life time and again thru her son who would also be the next king.

Some would think the Jews had everything going for them so why would the Levites act in such a way?

There are corrupt priest in every age and every life time just as there are, today! Even today no one is really concerned with the coming of the Messiah for the second and final time.

The prophet Malachi offered up the truth of God and the truth of the Scriptures!

*****Mal 3:2 But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap:
Mal 3:3 And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.

All our hope rest in the Word of God which we have seen over and over again, God has proven to these people that He loves them, but he will not tolerate those who abuse the truth of God, nor those that teach them it is OK to do so!

In actuality Malachi 3:2 tells us of the First and the Second Coming of the Lord.

What was the world like when the Lord first came?

The world was under world-wide domination. First the Babylonians, then the Persians, then the Greeks and at the time of Christ, the Romans. (The Heathen)

For the most part the Jewish leadership had strayed away from the Word of God even though God will always have a certain group of people, a remnant, who will stay faithful.

What will the world be like when the Lord returns? Guess what, it will not be much different. All the Superpowers are flexing their muscles to see who will come out on top, and many Christians have left their 1st love and most of the rest can only be said to be “lukewarm” Christians.

What did Jesus say?

Luk_18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Add to this:

Luk_17:28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

Add to this:

Luk_17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

Anyone in their right mind can see that we are in those last days of the Church Age, and then these other things will take affect and the Lord Jesus will return just as He says!

No one will be able to abide at His coming accept a few Jewish people, a remnant of what it could have been!

“And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.”

John the Baptist did pave the way for the coming of the Lord, but the coming of the Lord will be in two stages. At His first coming the Lord established the Church which was certainly pleasant unto the Lord, but it is at the Second Coming of the Lord when Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasant to the Lord!

****Mal 3:4 Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.

Every age has its peculiar features. It is our duty to study the past. A knowledge of the past is often the basis of safety in the present, and stability in the future.

We should not be fooled, it is the days of old that created these present days and one reason is, we seem to never remember the mistakes of our past. No Age can begin for itself, since the time of Adam and yes Adam looked just like humans do today!

We cannot understand the present without acknowledgment of the past!

Today in America, there is a goal to erase the past, and this one thing will be the most foolish thing that could ever happen.

I should repeat myself there is a goal to erase only the portions of the past that does not fit in with the direction a certain group of people would have us to go!

It is History that teaches us, so we do not make the same mistakes!

Jewish history should have been the answer to the mistakes the Jews made at the time of Jesus Christ!

The days of old were full of Divine revelations.

What we should ask ourselves, just how many times should God ask us to “repent” until He moves on, and He will move on!

Eph_4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

What do we see in the past of the Jews?

The Bible is God’s record of the “days of old.” We may learn what He will be to us in our days, by what He was to men then. His faithfulness, mercy, and truth are written unmistakably on those wondrous days.

*****Mal 3:7 Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?

God still says “REPENT”!

We must understand that as soon as a nation is prosperous in worldly things, it is at this point when they will begin to slip.

We have seen this over and over again in the Old Testament!

What is melancholy?

Full of misery; distressful; wretched; afflictive; that may or does produce great evil and grief; as a melancholy event.

Today we see a great falling away from the ordinances of God and the results is the nation we see today only a glimmer of what it could still be!

Malachi describes what happened to Israel when they continually had a similar falling away, even over and over again.

To repent is to return to the path of the Lord and never stray again!

It is not here a few days and then there a few days and then start all over again.

In the end we all have robbed God!

*****Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Mal 3:9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

We should understand that all we have actually belongs to God because He gave it to us!

By the Laws of Moses given to these of Israel, a tenth of all produce, a tenth of all the flocks and of cattle, belonged to God and “MUST” be offered to Him.

It is this tenth that was assigned to the Levites for their services at the Temple, and to the people for teaching them the Scriptures and their meaning.

In order for them to do this thing, they had to constantly learn the Scripture themselves.

Num 18:20 And the LORD spake unto Aaron, Thou shalt have no inheritance in their land, neither shalt thou have any part among them: I am thy part and thine inheritance among the children of Israel.
Num 18:21 And, behold, I have given the children of Levi all the tenth in Israel for an inheritance, for their service which they serve, even the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

Num 18:24 But the tithes of the children of Israel, which they offer as an heave offering unto the LORD, I have given to the Levites to inherit: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

You see, it was not about giving to the Church as it was sustaining those who God had appointed the care of the Church on a fulltime basis.

Nehemiah dealt with this when he was Governor of Israel, and none of this tenth was for Persia because the king had stated that Israel would not be taxed.

Nehemiah had to return to Persia for a time that, some say was 3 years, but when he returned to Israel, he had to deal with this same things again.

You see we do not understand this process!

If we give God a tenth of what he has given to us, He will bless us by giving us more.

This is not a prosperity thing, like the more we give the more God gives, this is a blessing for being obedient!

Now this law was for the Jews, but it is also a guideline for giving to the Church for the same reasons!

In reality this is the first step in departing from God!

You see this in an outward sign of our inward heart for God!

When we do not support the work of God, how can we say we love the Lord with all our heart.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.

This seems like such a little thing our tithes, but in reality, it reflects our love for our Savior.

This was the same meaning given in the Laws of Moses!

God is serious about this thing!

That curse meant they would have even less to give which meant they would have even less for themselves and their families.

Is this cruel? No it is just fact!

Rev_2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

Our first love is the Lord Jesus Christ, if we cannot show an outward love for Him, how can we say we love Him with all our heart?

*****Mal 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

What was happening at this time in Israel?

The people were robbing God of tithes and offerings. (see how these are two separate things)

The priests were polluting God’s altar.

They gave things to God that they would not give to their neighbor.

Yet they could not realize the evil they were doing!

You see sin brings its own punishment!

This tenth came about before the laws of Moses, all the way back to Abraham before Israel was even a nation, so how can we say that it does not apply to the Church.

Besides the tithe (a tenth) there is the freewill offering for specific needs of others.

We must understand that God as our Creator owns all His creation, and should not our owner reap part of the rewards that He gives us!

Here is another place in the Scriptures where God promises a blessing.

How can we turn down the blessings of God?

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Israel Would Return From Captivity

The Return from Captivity

Book of Jeremiah Chapter 29

The Christian life is not always an easy life, but we are still to be at peace in our heart and soul, because we know we are on the winning side.

In our own nation we know that it is divided even more than it has ever been.

Down through the centuries the greatest crimes have been in the name of race, and unfounded beliefs, and cultural wars, social status, and we cannot leave out religion.

We live knowing that those in power create these things, so they can continue in the path they have chosen which is not always the best way for the people.

We know that lawlessness is running rampant in most all places and no one seems to care but actually take advantage of these things for political purposes.

These same type things were happening in Judah in the time of Jeremiah, but he was God’s chosen man to spread the Word of God to these people.

The people of Judah were being misled by a group of men who said themselves that they were called of God, but this was not true.

These things have continued, and the Church is taking heavy damage because of false teachers and preachers today.

God has already said what He is going to do, and we had better decide what we are going to do!

Jeremiah wrote a letter according to the Word of God intending to cause encouragement among those that already had been taken to Babylon.

Chapters 29-31 are so full of truth and prophecy that it is a shame we can only cover such a small portion of them.

Let’s read what God had to say.

*****Jer 29:1 Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon;
Jer 29:2 (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;)

The Holy Spirit has caused things to happen so that we can read the same letter Jeremiah wrote to those who were already captive in Babylon.

Daniel, and those three Jewish boys renamed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego among many others had been taken to Babylon when King Jehoiakim was removed by Nebuchadnezzar. Some say there were 10,000 of the best of Judah taken at that time.

Dan 1:1 In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
Dan 1:2 And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God: which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
Dan 1:3 And the king spake unto Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring certain of the children of Israel, and of the king’s seed, and of the princes;
Dan 1:4 Children in whom was no blemish, but well favoured, and skilful in all wisdom, and cunning in knowledge, and understanding science, and such as had ability in them to stand in the king’s palace, and whom they might teach the learning and the tongue of the Chaldeans.

Now these others would join them.

We should understand today that no matter where we travel it is encouraging to see a copy of God’s Word. We should understand that the Lord never forgets those He has washed in His own personal blood!

This is the first letter of many that Jeremiah wrote to these captives.

*****Jer 29:3 By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon) saying,

Elasah was the son of Shaphan and the brother of Ahikam who a supporter of Jeremiah was, when he faced the false charge of treason for preaching the Word of God. This was in a section we did not cover.

This Gemariah was probably the son of Hilkiah, the High Priest who was the one who had found the Books of Moses in the Temple that were read to King Josiah.

It appears that these two were good men and could be trusted by both sides and they carried with them the letter of Jeremiah written to those in captivity.

We already know that Nebuchadnezzar had a lot of respect for the Prophet Jeremiah.

Many of these in captivity would now listen to the words of Jeremiah because they were witness to the fact that what Jeremiah had said had come to be true.

The encouragement that Jeremiah gave to them were the actual Words of God!

*****Jer 29:4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon;

Have you noticed that God does not hide the things He does, even when we may not like what He says. He will always tell us the truth!

We must understand that no matter where we are and no matter what the circumstances, God wants us to make an impact on those we are near.

The false prophets were teaching that they would soon be back home, which was not true. The words of God to Jeremiah was that their captivity would be 70 years.

They in turn were to make homes for themselves and settle into the communities where they were located.

They had lost everything they had in Judah but there never comes a time that God’s people should not be content and do the very best they can.

Nebuchadnezzar had taken the best of Judah to be an influence on his empire because he knew the will of God’s people are strong

He knew that God would take care of His people.

He, Nebuchadnezzar knew he could still profit because of these reasons!

Evil men are sometimes wiser in the ways of God than the true believer!

God had caused His people to go into exile and Nebuchadnezzar was only the agent God used to do this thing. Nebuchadnezzar understood this to be true.

Our world is so messed up today and foolish to cause harm to God’s people.

If the world would just allow God’s people to live in peace, the world would reap many benefits just because God’s takes care of His children.

This letter was also going to the political power of Babylon and the Lord made sure they knew that this letter was from the Lord of all the Angelic Host, the God of all power and not only that but the God of Israel, the Almighty God!

Jer 24:5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.
Jer 24:6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.

God’s message does not ever change!

What was God’s message on this day?

*****Jer 29:5 Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;

Nebuchadnezzar had taken some of the best of God’s people. They knew how to build houses. Their land was destroyed but the land of Babylon was fertile, and they could grow their food according to food laws of Moses and not depend on trying to find such food in Babylon.

God’s people were more vegetarian than they were big meat eaters as we should be today.

They knew how to sustain themselves in the things that the Lord would provide, the Sun and the Rain and the necessities of life along with the Bread of Life, the Word of God, not much else is really needed.

1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Jer 31:10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.
Jer 31:11 For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.
Jer 31:14 And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the LORD.
Jer 31:22 How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the LORD hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man.
Jer 31:35 Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
Jer 31:36 If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
Jer 31:37 Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.

We need to understand that wherever God has placed us, is our mission field.

We need to settle in and get to work. If the LORD opens another door, He will make us aware of it!

God celebrates the return from captivity of every one of His children!

Luk_15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Those who need no repentance are those who have made themselves righteous in their own eyes.

When we know that the Lord is keeping His eyes upon us for our good then we need to be a peace and do the work God has called us to do!

*****Jer 29:6 Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.

This did not mean for these Jews to take husbands and wives from the people of this foreign land but from the Jews that were among them. We already know that there were more than 10,000 of them taken to Babylon and others would be brought later.

Gen 24:3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
Gen 24:4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

Today each Christian is to be a fisher-of-men, so our numbers are never to decrease as they are today in many locations but only God can save, and these are the decisions that He makes.

Our job never changes. We are to do the best we can to tell all others about the Lord Jesus Christ.

It was important for these captives to increase for they were indeed the good figs!

They were to settle down. For those who listened it would be near 70 years before the Lord would send them back home.

They would not have to worry about what the government of Babylon would do to them. They were in the hand of God while they were surrounded by their enemy. In fact they would find that many from other nations had also been taken from their homes and they would not have Jehovah to protect them.

They would see many more who worshipped idols and their god could not save them.

Jehovah had saved these Jews by placing them in captivity! They had been saved from themselves!

Eze 28:26 And they shall dwell safely therein, and shall build houses, and plant vineyards; yea, they shall dwell with confidence, when I have executed judgments upon all those that despise them round about them; and they shall know that I am the LORD their God.

What was God’s law for us all?

Gen 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

They had to understand that there is a reason for everything that the Lord does, and it is always for the betterment of His people. If we do not understand this then we need to understand one most important thing.

The Lord is God and He does what He wants to do, whenever He wants to do it!

We are never to question the ways of our Creator and our Master?

What else were they to do?

*****Jer 29:7 And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.

The truth is, the Lord expects those who are Christian to be the best citizens in any place we are located! Remember the Lord relocated the “Good Figs” of Judah for their safety

The true honor of a nation is dependent on the character of its people and as Christians we are to be like Christ with the character of God Himself or as close as we can get to it here on this earth!

This is where we fail the most. We forget the sinless, loving character of our Savior!

They needed to accept that this letter from Jeremiah was the actual Word of God because it was, and they needed to study it and completely obey these words!

We sometimes forget that the Lord is the answer to every question that we have!

It is the Lord alone who can change who we are and what other people see in us!

How powerful is our prayer for each other? We must stand in the breach for each other!

Psa 106:23 Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.

Our sermon from our Pastor a few weeks ago, was about how great a sin it is to not stand in the gap for each other.

1Sa 12:23 Moreover as for me, “God forbid that I should sin against the LORD in ceasing to pray for you”: but I will teach you the good and the right way:
1Sa 12:24 Only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

It should be obvious that according to the truth of God, we sin against the Lord when we do not pray for one another and this does not mean we pray once and be done!

When we have the peace of God in our hearts, we can have peace where ever we are located.

None of these commandments change when we get to the New Testament!

1Ti 2:1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
1Ti 2:2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

We must understand that when we become Christians and even though our home is then in Heaven and we are just visitors passing through this earth, we are also still a member of the civil society.

We are to come out from them and be separate, but we will have to deal with those who reject the Word of God most every day and the Lord says we are to act like Christians and have the peace of God which will be a welcome sight in many places of unrest.

We are to spread this peace of God to as many as we can, and the very best way is to be like Jesus Christ.

This is what the title Christian means, to be Christlike!

We are always to show an interest in the peace of our nation and be a part of that peace. This does not ever mean we will not take a stand of the truth of God because we are to do this no matter what!

We must realize there will even be those in our own group who will stir up trouble anywhere they are located, and we should never listen to anyone who goes against the Word of God.

*****Jer 29:8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed.

We must remember these people, many of them from the royal family had lost everything they had.

They had been removed from their homes with just the clothes upon their back.

There were many more people from the many different nations Babylon had conquered.

If God’s people joined in the grumbling for being in such a position it would not help matters at all.

If they listened to the false prophets of their own nation instead of the Word of God given to Jeremiah, which had already proven to be true, they would be miserable in their new surroundings.

If they showed that they had settled into their surroundings, it would make their lives at least passable until they would go home again to their homeland.

It is always easy to dream about the good old times when we are going through bad times, but the God of the mountain is still God in the valley!

As Christians we have nothing to fear in this world no matter our circumstances. The worst thing that could happen, which is our death, is really the best thing that can happen.

Jesus would not be allowed in many Churches today because He always told the truth. The truth based on the Word of God.

Mat 24:4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
Mat 24:5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Jesus said these words when He was asked about His return.

We know that according to the words of Jesus the very first sign of His return is the rise in false prophets and false teaching!

Anyone that says this is not true today need to read and study the Word of God, so they will not get confused.

We should also understand that one purpose of the 70 years was for most of these false teachers to die off.

*****Jer 29:9 For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD.

We should never mistake the intentions of the Lord. He does not desire that any human being die before they have had a chance to repent. God does not think of evil for anyone of His creations.

There will be many who will repent but there will also be many who will cross God’s “Red Line” the first one being Lucifer, Satan, and the angels who followed him.

We must think of the Lord more as the “father of the prodigal son” than any other thing.

To those who repent, the Lord will rush to them with the best robe and He will kill the fatted cafe and sup with them.

God’s every intention is to give all His children ever lasting peace!

We must also know that God will not call a stranger to teach you the truth of God.

The very first test for the man of God is “does he believe that Jesus Christ is truly the Messiah, God in the flesh”!

Without this faith we will not ever please our God!

The test in this day of captivity was the 70 years.

If not for the Word of God given to Jeremiah, the children of Israel would have only gotten bad news from home!

It is easy to draw a crowd when your words are as butter and honey, but we will never get anything but the truth from the Almighty God!

We would be fools to desire anything but the truth.

In America today so many lies have been told, so many words have been twisted and slanted because of hatred, that we seldom ever hear the truth.

We have people like Soros and others willing to buy lies and liars to swing things the way that they would have the world be, but unless we stand up for the truth, we will lose the freedoms we have because of socialism and communism.

God will certainly test our “faith” and He should, when we are so easily swayed from the truth!

God does not need us to be witness of lies, when we are to be witnesses of the truth!

*****Jer 29:10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.
Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

God will never abandon Israel.

Over and over we see this in the Scriptures and we would fools to believe otherwise! We already know that the Lord will chastise those He loves.

God’s “judgment” will only fall on those who hate the Lord!

When a prisoner knows the exact date of his release then everything he does is in preparation for that day.

These Jews needed to adapt to their surroundings and be useful and these 70 years would go quickly.
If they could be a benefit to Babylon, then they could live in peace while these 70 years passed.

This is what the Lord ask us all to do. Seventy years have been determined by the Lord to be the average life span of humans and the Lord only ask us to be busy about the Lord’s work and watch patiently as these years pass by, until He takes us home.

In typology, this is the lesson we can learn from the Jewish captivity!

These were nation builders who Nebuchadnezzar had taken to Babylon and these parents were to pass these skills to their children so that they could rebuild Israel when these 70 years were over.

We must also remember this one thing. These Jews would not return to Israel because they were very good in Babylon.

They would only return to Judah because of God’s “mercy” and God’s “grace”!

They certainly did not deserve to return to the promised land of God because of their own merits.

These things should be really familiar to us all. We will never be good enough to go the God’s Heaven, it will be only because of God’s “mercy” and God’s “grace”!

God always has kind thoughts of all His children and all His creation.

Over and over again we see that God has no intention for the nation of Israel to cease to exist! It would be wise for the world to see this too!

God will fulfill the promises He made to Abraham and to David and we can expect it!

God does not ever forget the things He says!

God promises all His children the greatest of futures. Things this world can never provide!

We know that the Messiah, Jesus came first to save, and the Messiah will return to sit on the throne of David in Jerusalem the capital of Israel because this is the place He has chosen.

The Lord will lead us to an expected end that He has chosen and on to a life of wonderful blessings, which He has made new!

All these things are centered one object: the “good” for all those who love the LORD!

Zec 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
Zec 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

We must understand, God does not need a nation that depends on its own power, God needs a nation that depends on the power of the Holy God who cannot be defeated!

Zec 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

Nations may hate Israel today and some gather against her but when they become a Christian nation all the world will gather against her!

When we look upon the One who was pierced to shed His blood for our salvation, we will see the Almighty God who saves and who destroys!

What is the nation of Israel lacking today?

*****Jer 29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

They will fulfill the only thing they are lacking.

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

The ears of God are always open to hearing this prayer from any of us but especially the children of Israel!

Even King Solomon understood what the Word of God was saying;

1Ki 8:47 Yet if they shall bethink themselves in the land whither they were carried captives, and repent, and make supplication unto thee in the land of them that carried them captives, saying, We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;
1Ki 8:48 And so return unto thee with all their heart, and with all their soul, in the land of their enemies, which led them away captive, and pray unto thee toward their land, which thou gavest unto their fathers, the city which thou hast chosen, and the house which I have built for thy name:
1Ki 8:49 Then hear thou their prayer and their supplication in heaven thy dwelling place, and maintain their cause,
1Ki 8:50 And forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed against thee, and give them compassion before them who carried them captive, that they may have compassion on them:

Where did Daniel pray? From a window facing Jerusalem.

In fact this was to the location of their prayers no matter where they were. It would not hurt if we also prayed toward Jerusalem with all our heart, all our soul in the land of our enemies.

The enemies of the Church continue to gather against her but the “Bride of Christ” must never be afraid of what this world can do to her!

This world has hated the Church from the day the Lord Jesus began His Church!

What always been the truth of God?

*****Jer 29:13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Jer 29:14 And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive.

What is the key? When we pray with a heart that has been given over to the truth of God!

We must humble ourselves in an act of submission to the Lord and allow Him to do as He pleases with us!

Let the Lord do what seems to Him to be good for us!

We must then have hope, “faith” in the promises of God.

Our relationship to the Lord must be on a personal nature just as His disciples.

It is a great feeling knowing that the Lord is thinking of us with His every thought!

In all His majestic creation God thinks about those who love Him the most!

How can God have good thoughts of a sinner such as I am?

God knows, who we are and what we are, and He gives the same instructions to us as He did to these captives in Babylon.

We are to make the most out of our circumstances and be patient, and prayerful, watching for the return of the Lord.

God does not ask much out of us when we think about all the benefits of giving ourselves to Him!

Listen to this Psalm of David

Psa 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Psa 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Psa 103:3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Psa 103:4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Psa 103:5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psa 103:6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

How can we not love Him?

Amen

Let’s Pray

Submitting to the Will of God

Submission to God’s Will

Book of Jeremiah Chapter 27

What is a lie? Many things are said to one another through ignorance of the subject end up being untruths, but a lie is an intentional violation of the truth.

The father of all lies is Satan the Devil.

Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

There were many so-called prophets in the day of Jeremiah, but Jeremiah was called of God and He spoke the words God had given to him.

Today there are also many false prophets from the family of Satan who are roaming the earth to confuse the children of God.

Job 1:7 And the LORD said unto Satan, Whence comest thou? Then Satan answered the LORD, and said, from going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

Satan roams to and fro through this earth and he and his demon family to can temporarily change into the children of light again to cause the confusion of God’s children.

2Co_11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

Today we have the complete Word of God, that God gave to His prophets and a few other men by the Holy Spirit and all the Word of God is the undisputed truth for the Church!

2Pe_1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

We must clearly understand that everyone who call themselves a man of God, or Pastor, or Preacher, or the one most abused Reverend are men who were not called of God as Jeremiah and the true prophets and the other writers of the Holy Scriptures and those who have asked the Lord Jesus Christ to come in their heart today.

What did Jesus say?

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; “but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Today as we witness for the Lord, we will find that there are many who may dispute the Word of God.

There are many who intentionally twist the Word of God into a lie and they are in the family of their father Satan!

God has warned us and all this world that there is only one way “to be close to Him and that is by His Son Jesus Christ”!

Let’s begin Chapter 27 at verse 1

*****Jer 27:1 In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jer 27:2 Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck,

The writings of Jeremiah may not be in chronological order, but he does provide many time lines that can be proven by history.

Jehoiakim was the second son of King Josiah who we already know was a king who knew the truth of God and followed it, but at a young age, he died in a war that did not concern Judah.

The first son of Josiah, Jehoahaz had been deposed by Pharaoh-Necho of Egypt.

These were very turbulent years for God’s people, but they were the cause of their own demise.

Many visitors representing the kings from the surrounding nations came to Jehoiakim to try to convince him to join them in a rebellion against Nebuchadnezzar.

Many false prophets from all those nations, including those from Judah tried to convince their kings to link up so they could destroy the King of Babylon but The Lord God Jehovah, by Jeremiah, said to surrender to this king so that they could live, and this would stop the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple and the things of the Temple but also the desctruction of those nations.

Nebiuchadnezzar would have been just as happy to make them all vasals of Babylonia and serve him.

The result of these things is that these deceitful leaders rose up in opposition to Jeremiah, the Lord’s true prophet.

A bond is a physical means of restraint and metaphorically signifies oppression and captivity

A yoke is an instrument normally made of wood to make powerful animals useful in man’s labor.

A yoke is then a symbol of servitude and slavery.

These two things are terrible, but they are not death and to go against the Word of God brings death!

What did God say to Adam?

Gen 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, “thou shalt not eat of it”: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.

Jeremiah was to wear these things as he spoke the Word of God to the king and his officers and the elders of Judah.

Jeremiah was to also make enough of these things to send to the kings of the surrounding nations who were already in bondage to the King of Babylon. It was these kings who were trying to get Jehoiakim to join in a rebellion against the King of Babylon when they should have remained under his control but living in their own nation.

*****Jer 27:3 And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah;

These nations who were neighbors to Judah had sent representatives to the King of Judah and it would be these representatives that Jeremiah would present these yokes of bondage to take back to those kings with the Word of God.

Jeremiah warned them that they were all wrong to defy the King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar.

We should believe it was nothing unusual for a Jewish Prophet to be listened to with respect, when addressing a foreign nation

Jehoiakim had been taken by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon and Jeremiah insisted that King Zedekiah give this same message to the King of Egypt instead of words of rebellion.

All these things may sound foreign to our way of thinking, but it was the King of Babylon who was used to “judge” Judah and no power on earth could overcome him until God allowed it to happen.

Eze 17:11 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 17:12 Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;
Eze 17:13 And hath taken of the king’s seed, and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him: he hath also taken the mighty of the land:
Eze 17:14 That the kingdom might be base, that it might not lift itself up, but that by keeping of his covenant it might stand.
Eze 17:15 But he rebelled against him in sending his ambassadors into Egypt, that they might give him horses and much people. Shall he prosper? shall he escape that doeth such things? or shall he break the covenant, and be delivered?
Eze 17:16 As I live, saith the Lord GOD, surely in the place where the king dwelleth that made him king, whose oath he despised, and whose covenant he brake, even with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die.
Eze 17:17 Neither shall Pharaoh with his mighty army and great company make for him in the war, by casting up mounts, and building forts, to cut off many persons:
Eze 17:18 Seeing he despised the oath by breaking the covenant, when, lo, he had given his hand, and hath done all these things, he shall not escape.

What was God’s message for all these kings? With their own eyes they could see Jeremiah approach wearing the yoke he had prepared for himself by the Word of God.

*****Jer 27:4 And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters;
Jer 27:5 I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.

Jehovah God is the Creator of man and beast and He will do as He pleases.

The greatest truth of Creation is the fact that all things age until they have died, including this earth that we live upon.

This goes against everything that evolution stands for!

Rom 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
Rom 8:20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
Rom 8:21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
Rom 8:22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
Rom 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
Rom 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
Rom 8:25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

This earth we live upon is not eternal and it could not have happened by chance. It is not the work of many gods because it has only one Maker!

When we are thinking right, we know that we could not survive alone because we depend on too many things that we cannot provide for ourselves!

We suffer depression when we stop short of recognizing we have a Creator!

We are foolish when we reject the truth of the Lord!

Rev_1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

We must understand God gives us many gifts but we do not ever actully have the right of ownership.

“The Lord gives and the Lord takes away”

We are temporary tenants on this land but we are not owners.

God does what He pleases with His Own Creation!

*****Jer 27:6 And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him.
Jer 27:7 And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him.

At this time in history, Nebuchadnezzar was used of God.

Dan 2:37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
Dan 2:38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.

God is in control of His Created World!

Deu 32:6 Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?
Deu 32:7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations: ask thy father, and he will shew thee; thy elders, and they will tell thee.
Deu 32:8 When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel.
Deu 32:9 For the LORD’S portion is his people; Jacob is the lot of his inheritance.

We seem to always forget these things today. We readily admit that our Lord never changes but we soon forget what He has already said and done!

Dan 2:39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
Dan 2:40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.

Nebuchadnezzar was told that his empire would belong to another and it was Jeremiah who said Judah would only be in his hands for 70 years and it was Isaiah that said it would be Cyrus would cause this to happen, all according to the Word of God.

God is very serious about His plan to come about just as He has spoken!

*****Jer 27:8 And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.

Have you ever noticed that God puts a plan into action where the most human beings can live? Even during the time of wars and rumors of wars if we would just listen to what God has to say we can live peaceable and meaningful lives.

When we go against the Word of God we will see death by the sword or wars, death by famine or death by disease.

Pro 8:14 Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom: I am understanding; I have strength.
Pro 8:15 By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
Pro 8:16 By me princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth.
Pro 8:17 I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
Pro 8:18 Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness.
Pro 8:19 My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver.
Pro 8:20 I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment:
Pro 8:21 That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.

We must understand that God will give us what we ask for even if it is the wrong thing, as long as it does not interfere with His plan for all the ages!

God will certainly use one nation to punish another nation, if they will not serve the Lord who preserved them!

We should also understand that as the father of the prodigal son, the Lord will certainly rush out to meet His people who are on the way back to Him!

We must cling to the Word of God which is always the truth in every age!

*****Jer 27:9 Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:
Jer 27:10 For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.

When will we ever learn that we live in a world of “deceivers”!

Satan is the invisible agent of evil in our world!

In the end, God will remove him. There has never been but one way to overcome him and his evilness.

Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
Rev 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Satan is the power behind false prophecy.
Satan is the power behind every false preacher and every false teacher.
Satan is the power behind diviners and soothsayers, and enchanters and all sorcery.

Satan is the power behind every lie that has ever been told!

Eph_6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

These things were no different in the days of Jeremiah, so he preached the infallible Word of God, which is “always” the truth!

It is this same evil that has a goal to remove everything that God has placed in our hands by His Dear Son Jesus, including our testimony.

He cannot remove us from being in the family of God.

These Jews will always be the “apple in God’s eye” but who is truly a Jew?

Rom_2:28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
Rom_2:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

God knows who His children are!

Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
Joh 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Joh 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

When the Lord tells us something then we need to listen to what He has to say and not only to listen, but we need to obey His every Word and His every thought, which He has written down for us, so we do not get confused!

*****Jer 27:11 But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD; and they shall till it, and dwell therein.

Notice God was not talking to just these Jews of Judah but to all the surrounding nations who could all for the most part stayed at home even if they had to pay taxes to Babylon for 70 years.

Much worse things than these would happen if they went to war with a nation that the Lord had guided to this position in order to keep the greatest majority of His people safe, just by keeping them informed about what was happening.

We can never alter the plan of God, we can only make our lives miserable when we reject the truth of God!

What these people did not understand is, if they would be subject to the King of Babylon they would still be safe and secure from an invasion from any other power.

In fact God would have caused the land to produce plenty enough to pay the tribute to Babylon and then have enough for their personal means.

The politicians and elders of the Jews were just too full of the Devil to listen to what God had to say.

They were too greedy to give up any power they thought that they had!

This same thing is happening in every nation around us today. They refuse to listen to what “thus sayeth the Lord”!!!!!

Since they rejected the words of Jeremiah, then God said for them to surrender and those that were carried away would still live!

The study of the Book of Esther, Nehemiah, and Ezra are the proof along with the Prophets Daniel, Ezekiel and others.

Jer 42:9 And said unto them, Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, unto whom ye sent me to present your supplication before him;
Jer 42:10 If ye will still abide in this land, then will I build you, and not pull you down, and I will plant you, and not pluck you up: for I repent me of the evil that I have done unto you.
Jer 42:11 Be not afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom ye are afraid; be not afraid of him, saith the LORD: for I am with you to save you, and to deliver you from his hand.

God made sure the King of Judah and the rulers of Judah clearly understood these things.

*****Jer 27:12 I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live.

God’s people understand what going through a little hardship means but those who live by riches and power do not understand the meaning of hardship!

2Ch 36:11 Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
2Ch 36:12 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD his God, and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet speaking from the mouth of the LORD.
2Ch 36:13 And he also rebelled against king Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear by God: but he stiffened his neck, and hardened his heart from turning unto the LORD God of Israel.

It was the King of Babylon who had placed Zedekiah upon the throne of Judah, but he was an evil man who then sought his own place in a power vacuum in Judah.

Why do politicians never understand that hardship is much better than disaster!

God has only one question for all those who reject His message of salvation!

*****Jer 27:13 Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon?

Rejecting the Word of God is accepting eternal damnation. Therefore false preachers and teachers teach that there is no Hell or that Hell is a place that you can escape from, both terrible lies and deceit.

This is the same question all the prophets of God asked and we as the witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ are to ask today!

God has no pleasure in the death of any human being!

Eze 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
Eze 18:32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Everyone that dies without Jesus Christ has lost something that they formally had in their possession which is “Life”!

There are not many who will not give up all they have just to have a good life and God offers eternal life in a place that the beauty of cannot be described by words and so many reject this life and choose death instead! Not just death but damnation!

They who die because of sin that God ask them to repent of, and because the Lord has already paid for that sin, are no more than just being foolish!

Eze 18:23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?

The function of every true prophet of God, with respect to the government of the world and of the people’s walk, is always a testimony to the judgment which hangs over all unfaithfulness.

Wnen we reject the Word of God we are calling God a liar!

Eph 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
Eph 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
Eph 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

God just ask us to believe!

*****Jer 27:14 Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.

We started this lesson by asking what a lie is. A lie is not something said out of ignorance of the subject.

A lie is anything spoken intentionally which deviates from the truth in any manner!

This person is a deceiver! A deceiver is an imposter who attempts to lead others in some wrong manner!

These are the preachers and teachers who intentionally spew out false messages because they reject the truth of God.
These are the false so-called prophets of this world who deny the existence of a Supernatural Deity.
These are those who spit out evolution as a science when it to is a bunch of lies from those who reject the truth of God.

Peter said:

2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; “by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of”.
2Pe 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

John said:

1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Jn 4:2 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: “Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God”:
1Jn 4:3 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.

The spirit of the anti-christ has been with this world since the time of Adam!

What did the Lord say will happen in the end?

Eze 13:22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:
Eze 13:23 Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

We have the truth of God.

We are fools not to believe Him!

Amen

Let’s Pray

Two Groups of People

Judah Deported

Book of Jeremiah Chapter 24

To understand this lesson, we need to understand the sacrifice of the “first fruits”.

These first fruits were to be the choicest of the first harvest of the crops.

The nation of Israel was known as God’s “first fruits”.

Jer 2:3 Israel was holiness unto the LORD, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the LORD.

Here “holiness” means a people dedicated to God.

All those of Israel who were offended by the ways of God would be punished. It is the same today!

Today “first fruits can be used as all those who are first saved in a new area and led to the Lord.

Rom 16:5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my wellbeloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.

So, we see that Israel were to be the first fruits of In God’s increase!

Let’s see as the Lord shows Jeremiah a new vision so he also could understand what God was doing.

*****Jer 24:1 The LORD shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.
Jer 24:2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

We know that figs are small sweet pear-shaped fruits and they grow on small trees.

We should remember that Adam and Eve made the very first camouflage clothing line from the leaves of the fig tree when they knew they had sinned and were trying to hide from God.

Gen 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

So, we know there were many fig trees around from day 1 and not some cross bred tree like so many are today.

This lesson was intended for Jeremiah, but it is also intended for us here today!

There are only two groups of people in the world. Those who follow in the will of God and those who are not in the will of God!

One of the biggest problems we face in this world today is that people do not want to hear the truth, especially when it affects their lifestyle!

1Ti 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
***1Ti 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
1Ti 2:5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
1Ti 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

In our lesson today, the good figs will represent the Jews who were carried away into captivity, the bad figs were those left behind who would reject the Word of God given to the prophet Jeremiah.

This is the great hope of all those who have come to know the Lord in a personal relationship and one day soon the Lord will carry us away to be with Him while those who reject the Word of God will be left behind!

The bad figs represent all those who are left behind in Judah at this time and all those who have rejected the Lord when He returns.

Just so we know for more than 200 years God had sent His prophets to warn Israel of sin.

During the time of Jeremiah, God had intensified His warnings.

During the time of Jeremiah, God had reached a point where He would no longer forgive His people of their sin. Not because God became unforgiving but because He knew that this generation of Jews simply would not repent.

We know that God never changes so it is very true that the Holy Spirit will not always strive with individuals even in our time.

It is also in the time of Jeremiah that God would deal with the wrongs of His people and execute justice upon them!

Today we have been given the truth by the Apostles of Jesus Christ:

Eph 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, “as unto Christ”;
Eph 6:6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, “doing the will of God from the heart”;
Eph 6:7 With good will “doing service, as to the Lord”, and not to men:
Eph 6:8 “Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord”, whether he be bond or free.

If we cannot understand these things, then we need to take the time to get it right.

God can see into the heart, and He knows if we are the real thing or not!

God knew these same things about Judah!

You want to begin to destroy a nation, remove all the people of knowledge and skills who can build a nation but most important remove all those who love the Lord.

It is this time when Daniel and his three friends, and Ezekiel and many others such as Mordecai and Esther would be in this group, with Nehemiah and Ezra.

We can see that these were certainly the good figs who would keep the Word of God on trac to reach the day of Jesus Christ!

Those that were left behind who had rejected the law of God were indeed the bad figs.

Certainly, there were also some others left behind that knew the Lord because God always has His remnant. These would probably be those who were the poorest in the nation who all the politicians had forgotten from both sides and considered useless.

Remember this is a vision that only Jeremiah sees at this time.

*****Jer 24:3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

The very good figs represented the true believers among the Jews that were carried off into captivity.

We will see that no one can out think the Lord. It would be captivity that would protect the true believers while those who worship idols would die off leaving a people of believers.

God would use captivity to save His children.

We should know by now that the Lord has many ways to deal with nations, but He does this by dealing with the individuals in any nation.

Many times, the true villains will remain unknown until it is time for God to expose them.

Immorality will ruin any nation but crimes against those who do live a moral life will also ruin a nation.

The Lord is the giver of life and when He departs, a body soon decays into nothingness and vanity!

Jeremiah would not only see many of these things with his own eyes, the Lord would also show him in visions things that would become the truth.

In fact the greatest Prophet of them all is Jehovah God, The Lord of all the Ages!

We may not see the visions that Jeremiah saw but we can certainly see our own nation fall into the trap of immorality.

Even history proves these things will cripple any nation that partakes in such things.

Who are God’s heroes? Those that know the Word of God and take a stand on its truths!

The kingdom of Satan is just as active as the Kingdom of Christ if not more so today, to the shame of those who profess to be Christians.

The differences in the good figs and the bad figs are the differences between Heaven and Hell!

What did Jesus say?

Mat 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:
Mat 25:32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:
Mat 25:33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Mat 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

*****Jer 24:4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Jer 24:5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.

When we see how the Lord deals with His children, it should teach us that the actions of love in our own heart cannot come close to the action of love from the Lord.

We must understand that sometimes that hard and distressing position, is the best for us.

God will humble us sometimes just, so He can make us to be stronger and more useful.

How could we have the wonderful words of the Holy Spirit through Daniel and Ezekiel if the Jews had remained in Judah?

Their removal to Babylon saved them from the awful things that faced those who were left behind!

It is no wonder that Jeremiah was treated so badly when he preached these things to the people of Judah.

We may not always understand the ways of God but then, this is why we must have “faith”!

God’s plan goes far beyond our own imaginations!

2Ti 2:19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

The truth is when are made to see how the enemy lives, most everyone of us will agree that the truth of God is where we need to be!

God had told these people that in order to be saved they must surrender to the enemy.

It may have been to Nebuchadnezzar this time, but this is the main theme of our salvation.

To be saved we must surrender to the truth of God!

There is another principle of salvation that plays out in our next Scripture.

*****Jer 24:6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.

Paul wrote: Rom_11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

This is the same thing God told Jeremiah and we know that this time is still in the future.

The Church will already be the Lord when this takes place!

The Lord has already said He will set His eyes upon them for good and this is part of the good God was talking about!

Job 34:21 For his eyes are upon the ways of man, and he seeth all his goings.

2Ch 16:9 For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him. Herein thou hast done foolishly: therefore from henceforth thou shalt have wars.

Isa 54:8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

Jehovah God, The Lord Jesus Christ just loves to save but He also requires obedience!

Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.

All these things require a “new heart”!

*****Jer 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

The truth of this new heart is that we will all know our Savior!
All those with a heart to know our Savior will know Him because the Holy Spirit moves in to illuminate our minds to know our Savior.

1Co_2:16 For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

We must not just know the Lord.
We must have that personal knowledge within ourselves, our entire being.
We must speak to Him while He reads the intent of our new heart!

To know the Lord is to love the Lord!

Some say Jerusalem is the center of the universe.
Some same the Sun is the center of the universe.
Some say our galaxy is the center of the universe.
Some say other things are the center of the universe.

The truth is, it is the Lord Jesus Christ who is the center of our universe, spiritually and in reality!

When we truly love the Lord then we cannot stand idols or false gods!

When we truly love the Lord then our “Faith” will be set in the right place!

Psa 9:10 And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.

What would God do for the exiles? God would build them up and make them secure!

The truth is the Lord will always sustain His children and give us His assurance that things are much better when our “faith” is real and our love for Him is true!

Pro 3:24 When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet.

Sometimes things just look so bad around us that we do not know what to believe!

When we remember that things are just like the Lord told us, we will realize that our Lord always tells us the truth!

Our relationship with the Lord will be at its best when we commit to the Word of God and apply it to our lives!

Act 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

And the rotten figs:

*****Jer 24:8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:
Jer 24:9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.

Judgment is real!

Zedekiah was left behind as a puppet king for Babylon along with those in charge of the government whose main goal was to gather taxes to pay to Babylon, yet they clung to their pride and refused to repent.

Zedekiah was named Mattaniah by his father King Josiah, but it was the king of Babylon who had changed his name to Zedekiah.

2Ki 24:17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
2Ki 24:18 Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he began to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah.
2Ki 24:19 And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done.

Zedekiah had no intention of being a puppet king to anyone but thought that as king he could do something himself.

God had already pronounced His judgment and unless there was repentance His judgment would stand.

Jeremiah was his councilor, but the Word of God was ignored, and he entered into an alliance with Hophra king of Egypt.

God had already informed him that even those who fled to Egypt would not miss out on His judgment!

The armies of Nebuchadnezzar would return and this time they would destroy Jerusalem.

What had been God’s promise by the words of Moses?

Deu 28:37 And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations whither the LORD shall lead thee.

If we do not learn anything else, we need to learn that it is simply foolish to go against the Word of God anytime!

Even today in many nations the Jews are still an object of scorn and they will remain this way until they repent and return to the Lord!

In Jeremiah’s time it was the Babylonian exile of 586 BC and after the Lord had returned to Heaven it was the Roman exile of 70 AD.

Israel was conquered and remained that way until May 14, 1948.

God used war as a means to execute judgment on these people and certain nations of today believe God is still against this people.

*****Jer 24:10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.

The result of sin is still judgment, and this will not ever change!

As long as those who are represented by the evil figs still dwell in the land of Israel, there will be Jews living in disgrace in foreign lands.

2Ch_7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

We are fools to believe that the Lord ever forgets the things He says!

The difference between “Good Figs” and “Bad Figs” are morals.

Both of these tend to grow to the extreme.

The Good Figs were very good! The Bad Figs were very bad!

Those who are moral obey the Word of God.

Those who are immoral reject the Word of God.

It is the morals of every nation that stick out and show what that nation is made of!

The example in our lesson today is that the “Good Figs” seemed to have suffered to most and were taken from their homes.

The “Bad Figs” remained in their homes and seemed to escape the Judgment of God but that was not the end of the story for them!

Heb_12:6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

These words will also always be true!

We must also remember God’s promise to the true Jews.

Zec 8:13 And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.

Amen

Let’s Pray

God Will Regather True Israel

The Regathering of Israel

Book of Jeremiah Chapter 23

Before we get started in our lesson we should see to whom the Lord is directing these words. We only have to back up one chapter to chapter 22 verse 29.

Jer 22:29 O earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the LORD.

We should know that all these things that went on in the time of Jeremiah took place during his lifetime, but these things have a great meaning for the nation of Israel today and further still in the future and we as Gentiles and the Body of Christ need to listen and learn from all these things.

If we had read these things we would realize that King Coniah or Jeconiah, both are the same. Coniah was of King David’s line through King Solomon and the rights to this throne was cut off by the Lord. Joseph the husband of Mary would be of this same line and God said the Messiah could come from the line of David which the Lord had just ended.

Had Jesus been born the natural way instead of the Super natural way, He would have no claim to the throne in the line of King David.

Had Joseph chosen someone besides Mary to be His wife, it would have broken the chain to the Messiah.

Since the plan of God cannot be altered, Mary was also of the line of David thorough his son Nathan who was the first born of David and Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, being conceived by the Holy Spirit holds the royal title to the throne of David, which He will possess when He returns.

Since the Lord cannot die then His throne is eternal!

Chapter 23 verse 1

*****Jer 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, saith the LORD.

Things had gotten so bad that Jeremiah had decided to quit on God, but he found that he could not.

Jer 20:9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name but his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.

God had rejected this generation and He would be their enemy!

Jer 21:5 And I myself will fight against you with an outstretched hand and with a strong arm, even in anger, and in fury, and in great wrath.

Jer 21:10 For I have set my face against this city for evil, and not for good, saith the LORD: it shall be given into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall burn it with fire.

Jer 22:6 For thus saith the LORD unto the king’s house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.

Jer 22:9 Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.

It will never be good for those who have rejected the Lord God Jehovah!

*****Jer 23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

These shepherds included the spiritual leaders of this nation but also the political leaders of this nation!

We see right off that it is the job of the Pastor to feed his flock and that food was to be the Word of God!

The job of the Pastor has not changed today, they are to be shepherds to the flock that the Lord has given to them.

These had caused the people of God to be scattered rather than to be gathered together as one people.

**Do we not see this thing today as many so-called Christians have joined with the evils of our nation and the Church is scattered in its beliefs.

We are to gather in one accord with the truth of God!

We simply do not see righteousness and true justice in our society of today.

What had God promised? Peace, security, and prosperity if, God’s people would obey Him.

Joh_8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

When those behind the pulpits of today fail to do their duty, the children of God will be confused. This confusion would go away if they would study the Word of God themselves and remove all those who teach lies rather than the truth of God!

What do we know? Those who scatter God’s people are the same ones who increase their personal wealth, their positions, and sometimes even power, while they condemn God’s people!

God says it is He who will repay them for the evil that they have done!

Psa 62:9 Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity.
Psa 62:10 Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.
Psa 62:11 God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.
Psa 62:12 Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.

We should clearly understand God will eventually punish everyone who oppress God’s people.

It is necessary at this time for these things to take place, so all humans can have an opportunity to repent.

How many will remain true to the Lord?

*****Jer 23:3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.

Some say this is what is going on now and it is but most of these today are not Christian. When the Lord gathers after or even during the Tribulation Period they will truly be His people.

God expects every government to take care of its people. In fact if the people at home are not cared for then our government should not provide our resources to other governments, especially to those that mistreat their people!

Jer 25:32 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.
Jer 25:33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.
Jer 25:34 Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.

Those that believe that there is a power greater than the Lord are trusting in vanity!

And for all the naysayers, Israel will one day occupy all the land that was given to Abraham!

Even today with the leaders Israel has, the people of Israel are not very afraid of all those larger enemies that surround them, but must never let pride enter into their politics ever again!

What has God promised?

*****Jer 23:4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD.
Jer 23:5 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.

What is the sign of the true Pastor? They are called of God!

God gives us all a job to do but God calls His Pastor in another way, so they can know they have been called. All others who claim to be a Pastor but are not called of God, are imposters!

The true Pastor will not fear what the government can do to him and he will instill this into the flock of God.

As Christians we must never fear what this world can do to us because at death we go to the glory land!

And a greater promise of them all, the Lord Jesus Christ will return and this time He will claim the throne of David!

There are many lessons and many prophesies of the Second coming of the Messiah and this is just one of them.

Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Jeremiah and Isaiah both knew these things were to be in the future then and still are today, but the time draws very near that the Lord will soon return.

Rev 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Rev 19:12 His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.
Rev 19:13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.
Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

He will have a name much grander than them all:

*****Jer 23:6 In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.

To the Jews His name would be “Jehovah-Tsidkenu”.

To each Christian, since we have no righteousness of our own, He is called The Lord Our Righteousness.

It is because Our Lord spent a sinless life upon this earth that He could take our place on the Cross on Mount Calvary!

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

When we place our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, God applies the Righteousness of His Dear Son to us and it is because of this that we can become acceptable to Him.

So who is the Messiah? The Messiah is none other than the righteous Son of God, The Lord Jesus Christ!

The truth is we did not have the ability to become “righteous” on our own.

Isa_64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

In fact there has never lived one person upon the face of this earth that has lived a righteous life beside the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rom_3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

The days we live in now are the days of the Church but the soon coming Age will be the days of the restored nation of Israel.

*****Jer 23:7 Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that they shall no more say, The LORD liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
Jer 23:8 But, The LORD liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.

This prophesy will not see it’s fulfillment while the Church is still upon the face of this earth! The Church will already be in Heaven and then return with the Lord when He returns!

When the Lord sits upon the throne of David, then He will gather His people from all the countries of the world and lead them back to the Promised Land.

Mat 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Mat 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Mat 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

The Promised land of the Jews is not heaven, but it is a symbol of Heaven.

What we see going on in Israel today is just a partial filling of this prophesy of Jeremiah!

There is a big difference between the Prophet Jeremiah and the false prophets of his days.

*****Jer 23:9 Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.

What is the truth of those false prophets?

Jer 14:14 Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.

This same thing is true of those false preachers of today in the Church.

Jeremiah had thoughts like many today. Just how could a loving God allow the destruction of His people.

First, we need to describe God’s people.

Mat 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Mat 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Mat 22:40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

If cannot fit yourself into these words of the Lord, then you are not God’s people. It is just that simple!

These false prophets will cause many to go astray but only if they reject the truth of God!

It breaks the heart of God for these things to take place, but He can never go against His Word in any case!

What is one of our greatest problems? We cannot always realize the truth of today until it becomes our past.

It seems we always want more truth when we have the greatest of all truths in the Scriptures preserved for us in the Word of God!

We must know God well enough to know that He never does things because of anger. He does things because these are the things that He said he would do.

The Lord never does things because of a lack of love, He does these things because this is what He said he would do and He will never go against His Word.

It is because of the Holiness of His Words.

Holy words are those words that lead us to obey the will of God!

The Word of God is Holy! The Word of God is set apart as the complete truth in a world full of lies and deceit!

*****Jer 23:10 For the land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleasant places of the wilderness are dried up, and their course is evil, and their force is not right.
Jer 23:11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.

We should know that most false worship in the adjacent nations involved sexual sin. Adultery here refers to sexual adultery and more important “Spiritual Adultery” which is idolatry.

The false prophets and the false ministers can commit no greater sin than immorality, sexual or Spiritual.

The Prophets of God are held to a higher standard just as those who preach the Word of God today are!

When a so-called prophet of God turns away from the Lord they have committed apostasy!

It is the same as running away from the Lord as did Jonah. Jonah returned but these had rejected the Lord and the Word of God refusing to repent.

These men had broken the heart of God and God was already bringing drought and famine.

The land was mourning and refused to provide for these people.

The land of Israel never regained the power to provide for Israel, until the children of Israel began to return as Israel was “Born Again” on May 14, 1948. Israel has since blossomed into a truly pleasant land.

This was a sign to them all, that they would certainly face the judgment of God!

The prophets and the priests had chosen wickedness for their model of right and wrong.

Sounds more and more like the America we live in today!

Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

How many today have forgotten this simple verse of Scripture?

This is just the opposite of what God has called us all to do!

Rom 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Rom 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

It is for this reason their life would be made miserable.

*****Jer 23:12 Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.

We know that the persecution of Christians has increased many times over, but we can also be sure that those who preach a false message will be persecuted by God Himself, when the time is right.

It is a terrible thing to walk into a place we do not know when it is too dark to see. When we find that the walkway is also slippery it just adds to our fright.

These priests in the day of Jeremiah would walk in the daylight as if it was total darkness and stumble about until they fell for good.

They would be banished from ever serving God again!

Psa 35:1 Plead my cause, O LORD, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me.
Psa 35:2 Take hold of shield and buckler, and stand up for mine help.
Psa 35:3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.
Psa 35:4 Let them be confounded and put to shame that seek after my soul: let them be turned back and brought to confusion that devise my hurt.
Psa 35:5 Let them be as chaff before the wind: and let the angel of the LORD chase them.
Psa 35:6 Let their way be dark and slippery: and let the angel of the LORD persecute them.
Psa 35:7 For without cause have they hid for me their net in a pit, which without cause they have digged for my soul.
Psa 35:8 Let destruction come upon him at unawares; and let his net that he hath hid catch himself: into that very destruction let him fall.

We sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that God will continue to allow these things to take place, but the Scriptures prove to us the God will cause these things to end and those that do these things to come to a wicked end themselves!

They had Blasphemed themselves as they had committed blasphemy in the Temple of Solomon!

As we live day by day as Christians we have the responsibility of keeping ourselves clean without even having the appearance of evil.

The message of the false prophets has not changed much from the time of Jeremiah till the day we live in!

In fact the world keeps telling us that things are better than they ever have been, which is just one of the lies of today!

Spiritual leaders are saying as long as you do things in moderation God will forgive, which is another lie. God may forgive but that forgiveness will not come without repentance. God does not change His ways!

When we reject the truth, we are believing a lie, it’s just that simple!

There is not one nation upon this earth that is immune to the truth of God!

God will gather all the Jews one day and I believe He has started now but most of that fulfillment comes after the Church is taken out of this world.

God always does what He says He will do!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Understanding the Judgement of God

God’s Judgment on Judah

Book of Jeremiah Chapter 16

We can say that “judgment” is the power of determining anything to be true or false. In fact, in every instance of memory or perception there is involved some judgment!

We do this even without realizing what we have done. Every act of the conscious mind involves judgment!

We should understand that in most cases “Judgment” simply means God removes His hand of blessing from us and allows Satan a little bit of control over our lives.

God must judge all things that are unholy, and this “Judgment” is a necessary expression of God’s character!

However, God’s “Judgment” will always be fair and according to His truth!

Rom 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Rom 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
Rom 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

We must clearly understand this one thing!

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

We must also understand that even this is not the final “Judgment” which comes later!

Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Heb 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Those that love the Lord will meet Him at the “Judgment Seat of Christ”.

Those that reject the Lord will meet Him at the White Throne Judgment.

*****Jer 16:1 The word of the LORD came also unto me, saying,
Jer 16:2 Thou shalt not take thee a wife, neither shalt thou have sons or daughters in this place.

Jeremiah was to live his entire life separated unto the Lord.

Jeremiah was to be a sign to the people of Judah, a warning to the families of this nation and not just them but, a warning to all nations including those who are alive today!

The Holy Spirit did not include the Book of Jeremiah just, so we could ignore what God says here!

Jeremiah was a young man still but, unlike what the commentaries teach, a life dedicated to the Lord is a life of peace, but knowing that everyone experiences trials and tribulations and Jeremiah would have many of those days until the Lord gave him rest.

Jeremiah would certainly see the hardships of his nation, but he would not have to worry about his own family if he did not have one!

Sometimes when we think trouble is coming we will think of our family before we think of God and Jeremiah would not have these concerns because, he knew that serious trouble was in the near future for Judah and all her people.

Sometime later we will see that the Lord tells Jeremiah to buy a piece of land because those who had repented of idol worship would return in the 70 years allowed by the Lord and this land would always belong to Israel!

What did the Apostle Paul say to those who would dedicate themselves to the Lord?

1Co_7:1 Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

Even when Paul said these things by the Holy Spirit it was during a time when Rome was trying to stamp out Christianity and those times were very hard on the family.

1Co 7:26 I suppose therefore that this is good for the present distress, I say, that it is good for a man so to be.
1Co 7:27 Art thou bound unto a wife? seek not to be loosed. Art thou loosed from a wife? seek not a wife.

It would be the same for Jeremiah!

*****Jer 16:3 For thus saith the LORD concerning the sons and concerning the daughters that are born in this place, and concerning their mothers that bare them, and concerning their fathers that begat them in this land;
Jer 16:4 They shall die of grievous deaths; they shall not be lamented; neither shall they be buried; but they shall be as dung upon the face of the earth: and they shall be consumed by the sword, and by famine; and their carcases shall be meat for the fowls of heaven, and for the beasts of the earth.

Certainly, in the times of war it is just real hard to keep your family safe. When I was in Vietnam, we tried our very best to keep the families of South Vietnam safe. I cannot say this was the same for all units, but it was for my unit.

The Vietcong were made up of some volunteers but most of that rebel army was made up of men and children they kidnapped and by threats to other family members cause them to fight many of them no more than ten or twelve years old.

North Vietnam had an army of children also. Even the US was an army of young people because it is young people who fight wars! I turned 21 while I was preparing an ambush for the Vietcong.

When the army of Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to the cities of Judah and the city of Jerusalem, many would die for lack of food and water.
These were grievous deaths as friends and family looked on them with no way to make things better except to surrender to the enemy which the Lord told them to do.

There was no one to cry for them and there was no one to bury them and when the army of Babylon left for home with all the spoils of Jerusalem and the Temple, the bodies of the Jews would just lie in the fields to rot away or be eaten by animals.

Many would die in the battle.
Many would die by famine.
Many would die because of sickness from being near dead bodies.

War is just a nasty thing that needs to be avoided!

One of the most terrible things of war is that human beings are no longer seen as human beings but, no better than animals in need of destruction.

Amo 6:14 But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the LORD the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness.

These people brought this upon themselves because they rejected Jehovah who could have kept them safe from any army!

These things happen when God removes His hand of blessings!

Times worse than these came when Titus destroyed Jerusalem and times even worse than this will happen when the Lord returns to deal with the Jews and set up His kingdom.

All for the same reason for all those who reject the Lord Jesus Christ.

When the God of peace removes His peace, this world will crumble under the rule of sin!

*****Jer 16:5 For thus saith the LORD, Enter not into the house of mourning, neither go to lament nor bemoan them: for I have taken away my peace from this people, saith the LORD, even lovingkindness and mercies.

Jeremiah was commanded not to comfort anyone who had lost a member of their family even before war came.

God said these people should be happy because they had received exactly what they asked for.

Sometimes what we ask for will be the beginning of our miseries!

They had pushed God out of their lives and out of their nation and worshipped false gods.

God would deprive these Jews of all His mercy and all His loving kindness.

God said, surely people must be happy when they receive exactly what they ask for!

We wonder why Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet, it is easy to see why!

Some would even begin to wonder even before these things came upon them because they would remember what Jehovah had said to their forefathers!

Deu 31:17 Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us?

The Lord knows the ending and the beginning, and He repeatedly told these Jews what he would do because He knew what they would do.

Those that do not know the Lord will not understand that Jehovah had to do these things to remove the sin of Israel and he will do much to remove the sin in our world.

Isa 27:9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he maketh all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in sunder, the groves and images shall not stand up.
Isa 27:10 Yet the defenced city shall be desolate, and the habitation forsaken, and left like a wilderness: there shall the calf feed, and there shall he lie down, and consume the branches thereof.
Isa 27:11 When the boughs thereof are withered, they shall be broken off: the women come, and set them on fire: for it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them will shew them no favour.

We wonder what will happen to America, maybe we should just look at Israel during the time they had left their first love! Our God never changes!

What else is very true? God is no respecter of persons!

*****Jer 16:6 Both the great and the small shall die in this land: they shall not be buried, neither shall men lament for them, nor cut themselves, nor make themselves bald for them:
Jer 16:7 Neither shall men tear themselves for them in mourning, to comfort them for the dead; neither shall men give them the cup of consolation to drink for their father or for their mother.

We must clearly understand that sometimes it may seem very hard to be a Christian, but the Lord said we are to take our stand on the Word of God, even if we are the only one standing!

We can just imagine as some of these who would die were most certainly part of Jeremiah’s own family.

If we remember the time Elijah had defended the Lord against pagan priests, cutting themselves and removing their hair was a part of pagan rituals when attempting to get the attention of false gods.

Those that know the Lord need only to obey the Lord and pray and the Lord will hear every word of that prayer!

The rich would die with the poor because in the end, we are all poor without Jesus Christ! When we stand on the Word of God we are building treasures in Heaven.

We can be sure that none of these false priests would dare to show up to celebrate the death of any believer because all of them were dying also, their gods of no use to them.

Amo 8:10 And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.
Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

Jeremiah was forbidden to attend funerals, mourn for the dead or show sympathy to any of those who would die, even his own family.

All those of the nation of Judah had to realize that God had moved His hand of protection.
God had withdrawn His Mercy.
God had withdrawn His Love.
God had withdrawn His peace.
God had withdrawn His comfort because He had been rejected.

It was a custom among the Jews, when they had any friend, that had lost his relations, to send them some meat (for among the Hebrews all things they ate were called bread) and then to go and sup with them and speak comfortably to them. They would also send wine, so they could drink away their sorrows; this is called, The cup of consolation.

Jeremiah was not only forbidden to go into the houses of mourning, he was also forbidden to the times of feasting!

*****Jer 16:8 Thou shalt not also go into the house of feasting, to sit with them to eat and to drink.
Jer 16:9 For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will cause to cease out of this place in your eyes, and in your days, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride.

Jeremiah could not participate in festive occasions!

The Lord has said that there may be pleasure in sin for a short period of time, but that time of joy would turn to a time of sorrow.

Jeremiah was in his person to reflect the “Judgment of God”!

We can see that God used Jeremiah to represent a complete loss of fellowship with our Creator.

These people desperately needed to repent, or they had better prepare to meet the God they had rejected.

The Lord does not ask us to live righteously, He demands that we live righteously!

As Christians we are never to mix and mingle with this lost world.

We are never to attend worldly events where sin has become a lifestyle!

Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.
Eph 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Eph 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

We must remember God had been talking to Jeremiah while he was still in the womb of his mother.

Jeremiah had to not only speak the words God had given to him but, he was also to live as a picture of God’s coming judgment!

The truth is, when the Lord is not the central part of our lives, then we will see the things around us change for the worse.

When we become self-righteous we will ask, why has the Lord pronounced all this evil toward us?
We will ask, what evil have we done?
We will ask what is our sin or what is our iniquity?

We will ask these things because we have become fools who have rejected our only means of righteousness!

We will never reach a point in our lives where we are righteous enough to get into Heaven.

Our Father in Heaven can only see the righteousness of His Dear Son.

1Co 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
1Co 1:31 That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.

Jesus said it very plainly:

Joh_15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: “for without me ye can do nothing”.

We are nothing without the Lord Jesus Christ and we cannot be nothing without the Lord Jesus Christ!

It was the same with these Jews, they could be nothing without Jehovah!

We live in a nation today that is rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ, and many will be asking these same questions soon because God never changes His ways and until the end of the Church Age finally comes, “Repentance” will still be the key to stopping the judgment of God!

What is the truth?

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

So how will the Lord answer all these questions?

*****Jer 16:11 Then shalt thou say unto them, Because your fathers have forsaken me, saith the LORD, and have walked after other gods, and have served them, and have worshipped them, and have forsaken me, and have not kept my law;
Jer 16:12 And ye have done worse than your fathers; for, behold, ye walk every one after the imagination of his evil heart, that they may not hearken unto me:

This is not only the way of the world today but, is the way of our own nation today. Not many are listening to what God is saying.

Many because they are fooled by that word “God”.

Many reject God but many who believe in an ultimate Creator, just do not know who He is!

The absolute truth is because our world exists then there must be a Creator.

Without any argument our Creator explains who He is in the Scriptures.

Because our world, some say cosmos exist in order and in a useful arrangement then, we know we have a Creator of order and arrangement.

Without a doubt we can see that our Creator is loaded with intelligence and purpose and His vast creation is in harmony with itself.

Psa 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
Psa 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Psa 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Psa 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
Psa 8:7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
Psa 8:8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
Psa 8:9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

All talk of accident and evolution are just a foolish denial of the truth.

Our creation had its beginning because Elohim, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, has a purpose for His creation!

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

One day after the Church, all the Born-Again Christians have been removed from this world and reside in the Glory World, this world will ask these same questions, why has God abandoned them when the truth is they have rejected the truth of Jehovah God, The Lord Jesus Christ!

My prayer is, that when I am gone and the many more of my age, I hope that there will still be many who follow in the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What was Jeremiah’s message?

These people of Judah had not only rejected Jehovah, they had done even more evil than their forefathers!

Anything or any object or any way of life we put in place of our Heavenly Father becomes an idol of worship, Apostasy!

Those who teach “to follow your own heart” are foolish teachers.

The heart that has not been given to the Lord Jesus Christ is an evil heart that is following its own path which is evil!

What was God’s judgment on this day?

*****Jer 16:13 Therefore will I cast you out of this land into a land that ye know not, neither ye nor your fathers; and there shall ye serve other gods day and night; where I will not shew you favour.

We should remember Pharaoh of Egypt how he had hardened his heart against Jehovah well these people were doing the same thing, hardening their heart against the one who had brought them out of Pharaoh’s bondage.

The days of our life are good or bad depending on the choices we make!

We should clearly understand God will honor the decisions we make right or wrong.

God will never force Himself on anyone!

God has given us His Word delivered to us by the Holy Ghost (Spirit) and it is our choice to believe or not to believe.

All the good things in the Word of God are true!

All the things God has judged as evil, then He will do as He says, and all these words are also true!

God never changes. God is the same God today as the God that created our world just over 6000 years ago!

The Jews of Judah would be cast out of the land they had lived on since the time of Joshua.

Remember “Joshua” in the Greek is “Jesus”!

To be in a favorable relationship with our Lord is to repent and obey all the Word of God! It’s just that simple!

Job 4:6 Is not this thy fear, thy confidence, thy hope, and the uprightness of thy ways?
Job 4:7 Remember, I pray thee, who ever perished, being innocent? or where were the righteous cut off?
Job 4:8 Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same.
Job 4:9 By the blast of God they perish, and by the breath of his nostrils are they consumed.

God is a God of promises and God never breaks a promise!

Amen

Let’s Pray!

Sin Enslaves Us

The Sin That Brought Destruction

Jeremiah 13: 1-15

What is pride? Pride is said to be inordinate and unreasonable self-esteem, attended with insolence and rude treatment of others.

Pride then is sin because we are to love others as we love ourselves and pride is looking down on others making yourself to be better and greater than them.

Pride is the first sin that occurred because it was Lucifer who committed the first sin and not Adam! Adam committed the second recorded sin

Eze 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.

Another thing we should consider in this lesson is , what is the Jewish girdle in the day of Jeremiah?

In the days of Jeremiah, the people of Judah wore loose fitting robes and much like we use a belt, the girdle would keep the robe close to the body.

It is our own “faith” that serves as our girdle to keep us close to God!

Verse 1

*****Jer 13:1 Thus saith the LORD unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water.
Jer 13:2 So I got a girdle according to the word of the LORD, and put it on my loins.

The linen girdle would be those that were appointed for the priests to wear.

Most others would wear a girdle of wool with the military wearing a girdle of leather.

We know that John the Baptist wore a girdle of leather because he symbolized a soldier in God’s Army!

Jeremiah was first instructed to get a new linen girdle and wear it for some time without washing it. In fact, Jeremiah was to wear this linen girdle long enough for the people to notice that he had not washed it and it became filthy.

God used all His prophets to teach His people in many ways.

Heb 1:1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,

It will be obvious before we finish this passage that this girdle will symbolize the character of the people of Judah during this age of Jeremiah.

We must know by now that God offers us the “free will” to choose based on the information that we have. By choosing idols instead of the truth of God they had buried themselves in the ways of a foreign land, so the Lord would soon place them under the control an evil nation.

They had become so corrupted that they were good for nothing!

It is these lessons that we must understand, these are great examples of the way God deals with the sin of a nation that claims to obey the Lord, such as we say we do here in America.

*****Jer 13:3 And the word of the LORD came unto me the second time, saying,
Jer 13:4 Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock.

First, God has made all those who call upon His name to be very near to Him.

Many debate the mention of the River Euphrates here but we know that it was Babylon who captured Judah, so we have no need to question the Word of God, even though this river was at least 2500 miles from Judah!

Jeremiah was used of God and Nebuchadnezzar was used of God and this King of Babylon understood these things.

Jer 39:11 Now Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying,
Jer 39:12 Take him, and look well to him, and do him no harm; but do unto him even as he shall say unto thee.

The Euphrates River represented the power of the nations North of the land God gave to Israel, just as the River Nile represented the power of Egypt.

We could say that the Prophet Isaiah also prophesied of this time of Judah.

Isa 8:7 Now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and many, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory: and he shall come up over all his channels, and go over all his banks:
Isa 8:8 And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over, he shall reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.

The one thing we should understand is, it did not matter what Judah was doing, Jeremiah was to trust and obey the Lord!

We must understand, no matter what is happening in our world, we are to obey the Word of God at all times. Jehovah was not suggesting for Jeremiah to do these things. Jeremiah understood these words to be the commands of God!

The Word of God is not a book of suggestions as many believe. It is a Book of the Commands of God!

*****Jer 13:5 So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the LORD commanded me.
Jer 13:6 And it came to pass after many days, that the LORD said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there.

We should understand that the Jews took great pride in their religious heritage but at this point in history, they had become useless to Jehovah!

The downfall of Judah had not happened over night because this is not the way Satan works. Satan will draw you away from the Lord one little step at a time until he has you within his grasp.

Even today we know that Satan cannot take us out of the hands of the Lord, but he can sure ruin a good testimony!

The nation of Judah had become worthless to the Lord. The Lord expects us all to be witnesses of the Gospel and Judah was also to be a witness for the truth of God, but they had rejected that truth again at this time.

Without this nation repenting of their wrong, they had bound the hands of God to come to their defense because the Lord cannot defend evil nor cause a blemish to His Sinless Name!

We cannot live in any manner we want to and expect the Lord to come to our defense, it simply will not happen!

When we bind the hands of God to do good, then we must realize that God must chastise us to get us back on track!

We must never stray from the truth of God, to become of no more use than a rotten belt which can no longer do what it was intended to do!

What lesson did Jeremiah learn, and Judah would soon learn?

*****Jer 13:7 Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing.

We must understand that when we invite the Lord Jesus Christ into our heart and He then fills us with His Holy Spirit, so we can worship Him in Spirit and in truth but then He gives us all a job to do.

Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

When we can no longer do that job because of our sin, we have become marred and useless in this work God has given us to do!

It had to be humiliating to Judah when Jeremiah preached this lesson comparing Judah to a rotten girdle!

*****Jer 13:8 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Jer 13:9 Thus saith the LORD, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem.

1) When we accept the Lord Jesus into our heart then we have mended that broken relationship caused by the sin of Adam.
We must realize that the sin of Eve came from a lack of knowledge, but Adam’s sin was intentional, and he had broken his relationship with the Lord God Jehovah. God will wear His children as a girdle but also as a badge to show the world how proud He is of His children.

2) Jeremiah wore a linen girdle which meant that he was a priest who was bound to God. As Christians we are also to be priests.

1Pe_2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

3) Just as those in the day of Jeremiah would gird up their loins so they could work, then we are to gird up the loins of our mind to be of use to our Master.

1Pe_1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

4) Again, the girdle of a priest was worn as an ornament or a badge and we are to wear the badge of Christ, unashamedly!

Rom_13:14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

Gal_3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

We must never be ashamed of the Lord and we must never claim the Lord and then intentionally sin!

*****Jer 13:10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.

These Jews of Judah had now become firmly attached to man-made idols and they stubbornly refused to admit that they were wrong.

To the Lord they had become worthless in the work of the Lord and the Lord said that they were an evil people.

The Scriptures teach us that there is a sin unto death and I believe that this sin can become real when we destroy our fellowship with the Living God, Jehovah, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Heb 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:
Heb 12:26 Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven.

When we have refused to have fellowship with the True God of all Creation, we have placed ourselves on treacherous ground from which we will never recover!

Eph 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
Eph 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Eph 4:19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Eph 4:20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
Eph 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

These Jews had begun to walk as the Gentiles walked, in the vanity of their mind.

The Lord explains these things very well in verse 11.

*****Jer 13:11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the LORD; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.

When we reject the Lord Jesus Christ, as these Jews have rejected Jehovah(both are one and the same) they had destroyed their only reason for living.

God had preserved this nation of Israel to preserve and bring the Word of God into the future and this would certainly happen, but these people were not a part of this very important job!

Nothing we do can hinder the work of God! When we reject Him we either lose rewards that we could have had, or we will spend eternity in a Burning Hell. Yes, Hell does exist!

Only a righteous life can bring triumph over the trials and temptations of this world! Just so we know the truth, we have no righteousness ourselves we live or die by having the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ!

Isa 11:4 But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.
Isa 11:5 And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Next, we see that word therefore.

*****Jer 13:12 Therefore thou shalt speak unto them this word; Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Every bottle shall be filled with wine: and they shall say unto thee, Do we not certainly know that every bottle shall be filled with wine?
Jer 13:13 Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness.

To understand this passage, we must understand from verses 1-11 that the people of Judah had become worthless to the Lord.

Now a wineskin has only one purpose and can be used only one time. Their purpose was to be filled with wine (or grape juice)!

God had forbidden drunkenness for the children of Israel and they knew this thing.

Isa 5:11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!
Isa 5:12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the LORD, neither consider the operation of his hands.
Isa 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
Isa 5:14 Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it.

These children of Judah were not only represented by that worthless linen girdle, but they were also represented by these wineskins which were to be filled with the abominations of this world that were forbidden for the Jews and for the Christians.

We are to be filled with the righteousness of the Lord and nothing from this world!

1Jn_2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

These are the things that had filled the children of Judah. These are the things that fill every sinner!

Jas_1:15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

This is the formula for becoming worthless in the army of God, in fact, a traitor and deserter!

How did Christ Jesus put it?

Luk 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
Luk 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.

These things will always be true in this world!

What is the truth of what the Lord is saying?

*****Jer 13:14 And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the LORD: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them.
Jer 13:15 Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the LORD hath spoken.

The most important thing we can do as Christians is to pay attention to what the Lord is saying and then obey Him!

We already understand that the Lord does not ever change. The Lord will be just as true in His wrath as He is in His Mercy!

It is the will of God that everyone be saved but He promises His wrath to those who reject His love!

We live in a world where it seems that love and natural affection have disappeared, but the Lord has and endless supply of Love, mercy, and Grace and these are the things that we better hear.

The Word of God is very clear, we are to be filled with the God the Holy Spirit who will lead us to God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ!

Sin enslaves the flesh just as all alcoholic beverages do, along with all drugs. Those who are slaves to these abominations of this world, will never know just how wonderful it is to be in the family of God!

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

Come to Jesus Christ who has paid the price of our freedom!

Without Jesus Christ we are just stumbling around in this dark world!

Amen