More Woes for the Prophet

More Woes for the Prophet

Scripture: Jeremiah 20:7, Jeremiah 23:14-15, Acts 2:37
Date: 10/31/2015  Lesson: 5
"God loves humanity and wants it saved, but He does not force our choice. If we want to do wrong, even despite His pleas to us, we are free to do so. We just have to remember not only the consequences but that we were warned about them beforehand."
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usic [music] debbie thompson kippel: welcome to "Sabbath School Study Hour." We're so glad that you are joining us and tuning in from across the country and around the world. We have a wonderful program ready for you today. Pastor jean ross, our associate pastor, admin pastor here at Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church is bringing us the lesson. And before he does that, we're gonna start with favorite songs and a book offer. So join with us.

Pull out your hymnals it you have them with you and sing with us 616, "soldiers of Christ arise." And we will be doing all three stanzas, "soldiers of Christ arise." Join with us. [Music] ♪ soldiers of Christ, arise, ♪ ♪ and put your armor on, ♪ ♪ strong in the strength which God supplies ♪ ♪ through his eternal son. ♪ ♪ Strong in the Lord of hosts, ♪ ♪ and in his mighty power, ♪ ♪ who in the strength of Jesus trusts ♪ ♪ is more than conqueror. ♪ ♪ Stand then in his great might, ♪ ♪ with all his strength endued, ♪ ♪ but take, to arm you for the fight, ♪ ♪ the panoply of God; ♪ ♪ that, having all things done, ♪ ♪ and all your conflicts passed, ♪ ♪ you may o'ercome through Christ alone, ♪ ♪ and stand entire at last. ♪ ♪ From strength to strength go on, ♪ ♪ wrestle and fight and pray, ♪ ♪ tread all the powers of darkness down ♪ ♪ and win the well-fought day.

♪ ♪ Still let the Spirit cry in all his soldiers, ♪ ♪ "come!" ♪ ♪ Till Christ the Lord who reigns on high shall ♪ ♪ take the conquerors home. ♪♪ Debbie: before we have our lesson study, number five, "more woes for the prophet, we have a book offer that we would like to tell you about. It goes along with our lesson today, and we encourage you, if you are in North America, to call our number... That is "study more"... "Can a saved man choose to be lost?" And this is by Joe Crews.

So we encourage you to contact us and ask for this free book. You will be definitely blessed by it. This time our lesson study will be brought to us by our associate administrative pastor here at Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church, pastor jean ross. Pastor jean ross: good morning, everyone. Audience: good morning.

Jean: and Happy Sabbath. Again, I'd like to welcome our church members here, and our visitors joining us at our church here in Sacramento, California. And also our friends watching across the country and around the world, a very warm welcome to you. As was mentioned in the introduction, we've been studying through our lesson currently dealing with the book of Jeremiah. Today we find ourselves on lesson number five.

Today's lesson is interesting. It's called "more woes for the prophet." Now, let me ask you, did Jeremiah face some trials and tribulations in his life? Absolutely. Not only did he face trials from his own countrymen, from the jews, but he also went through the captivity of Jerusalem. Now, God protected him during that time, when the Babylonians came and conquered Jerusalem. So he knew something about trials and tribulations.

Our memory text is Jeremiah chapter 20, verse 7. And I'm gonna read it to you here. Jeremiah chapter 20, beginning in verse 7: "o Lord, thou hast deceived me, and I was deceived; thou art stronger than i, and hast prevailed: I am in derision daily," now the word, "derision" there literally means "to be an object of ridicule and scorn." So Jeremiah the prophet was an object of ridicule and scorn to his countrymen. "Every one mocks me." Now, this is an interesting verse. Here you have the prophet given a message from God to give to the people.

And Jeremiah faithfully preached that message. He proclaimed that warning, but he didn't get the response from the people that he had anticipated. Maybe Jeremiah was thinking that the message would be received and there'd be a revival and a reformation taking place in Jerusalem. But instead of the people turning to God, the people turned against the prophet. And all kinds of trials and difficulties came to Jeremiah.

In our introduction for our lesson, we have the following: "one thing anyone who has followed the Lord for any length of time will learn that is being a believer in Jesus and seeking to do his will does not guarantee an easy passage through life. After all, as we have been told, yes, all who desire to live Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." That's true in the case of Jeremiah. This truth Jeremiah was surely learning for himself. Now, there are a couple of important points that I want to bring up right at the beginning of our study this morning. Number one: believers are never left alone to endure trials, but Jesus is with them.

And Jesus said, "I will never leave you or," what? "Forsake you." So whatever the trial, whatever the difficulty, whatever the pressure that comes upon the believer, we know that Jesus is with us. He can sustain us. He can give us power. Point number two: trials and tribulations remind the believer of the reality of the Great Controversy. Ephesians chapter 6, verse 12 tells us: "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.

" So we find ourselves in the midst of the Great Controversy. Now, in the Great Controversy between the forces of good and the forces of evil, there are certain things that God will not allow the devil to do. And we're very grateful for that. I mean, if the devil had his way, I'm sure we would all be dead. And God won't allow the devil to do that, amen? If satan had his way, he would try and possess every person on the planet.

But God won't allow that. Now, if somebody opens up the door, that's a different story. But there are certain bounds that God has placed upon satan. Likewise, God being a God of justice, he has also limited what he does to influence a person. There are these certain rules, you might say.

But when a believer prays and intercedes for somebody else, or prays and asks God for special help, that enables God to do more to reach that person, to minister to that person, than he would do if we didn't pray. And when satan says, "unfair, you can't do that because you're breaking the rules of engagement, God says, "no, I have a right to do that because one of my children is earnestly seeking for my aid." And God can do that. So in the midst of trials and difficulties, when we sense the Great Controversy between the forces of good and the forces of evil, don't get discouraged. Rather, increase your prayer, asking God for his strength, for his help. And then the third point that I want to emphasize about facing trials is this: the greater the pressure, the greater the power.

The greater the pressure, the greater the power. I'm gonna talk about that here in just a minute. But can you think of some Bible characters who have faced tremendous trials and difficulties? Jeremiah was one, but there were many. If you go to the new testament time, one of the greatest heroes of the new testament era, Paul, he faced a number of trials. In 2 Corinthians chapter 11, verse 24 through 27 he tells us some of the things that he went through.

Paul writes: "from the jews five times I received forty stripes minus one." So 5 times, he received 39 lashes. What is that? A total of about 195 lashes. Now, that's some trials and tribulation. But he goes on: "three times I was beaten with rods," he doesn't tell us how many individual strikes he had, but three times he was beaten with rods, "once was I stoned," and he was left for dead. You'd think right there it's a good indication that it's time for Paul to change his career, do something else other than preach.

But he didn't. He kept preaching. "Three times," Paul says, "I was shipwrecked," and then he says, "a night and a day I have been in the deep," more than 24 hours Paul was holding onto a piece of wood in the ocean, waiting for rescue. Incredible. "In journeys often, in perils of water, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils amongst false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and in nakedness.

" Yes, Paul knew something about trials and tribulations. But what is the lesson that Paul highlights as a result of these trials? So this is an incredible verse, 2 Corinthians chapter 9. He's just been talking about all of the things that he's gone through, and then he brings this to a conclusion. Corinthians chapter 9, verse--chapter 12, verse 9 and 10, Paul says: "therefore most gladly I will rather boast in infirmities, that the power of Christ might rest upon me." So Paul saw the connection, that when we go through trials and difficulties, that enables the power of Christ to rest upon us. And we'll explain how that works in just a minute.

"Therefore," he says, "I will take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in need, in persecutions, in distress, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong, amen? So trials enable us to receive more of God's power. How does that work? You know, this past week I was teaching my sons how to drive a manual, how to use the stick shift, and how to use the clutch. And you know, it takes a little bit of practice. So we were actually here in the church parking lot earlier this week.

And I was sitting in the passenger's seat. They were sitting in the driver's seat. And I was trying to explain to them how the clutch, and the accelerator, and the gears, and the brakes, and how all of that works together. So I was trying to come up with an illustration, at least to explain to them how this works. So I told them that the engine is where the power is.

And the engines is attached to a disk that is called the flywheel. Now, bear with me. There's a point to this. I then said, "there is another disk that is called the clutch plate that is just a small distance away from the flywheel when you're pressing the clutch." The flywheel is attached--not the flywheel, but rather the clutch plate is attached to the gear box. The gear box is attached to the wheels.

So the power is in the engine. And I said that when you release the clutch, it puts pressure on the clutch plate, and it pushes up against the flywheel. And the more pressure that you release and push that clutch plate up against the flywheel, the more power from the engine flows through the gearbox to the wheels. So the greater the pressure that you release, the more it pushes up against the flywheel, the more power will go to the wheels. Now, I don't know if that helped the boys.

We still struggled to get going. But they were finally getting it. But I thought, "you know, there's a spiritual lesson in that for us." The greater the pressure that comes to us in our lives, the more we are to lean up against Jesus, amen? And the more we lean up against Jesus, the more power he is able to give to us. So there is a purpose behind trials. Trials cause us to go to our knees and to pray with a purpose and an intensity that otherwise we wouldn't have if we weren't going through those trials.

So trials enable us to lean heavily upon Jesus. Jesus then is able to give us strength and power. Now, on Sunday's lesson, it is entitled "Godless priests and prophets." The question that was asked in our lesson: what are some of the evils that the Lord was dealing with in judah at the time of Jeremiah? And if you have your Bibles, you can turn to Jeremiah chapter 23, and we're gonna begin reading here in verse 14. Jeremiah chapter 23, and we'll start reading in verse 14. Jeremiah writes: "and also I have seen a horrible thing in the prophets of Jerusalem: they commit adultery and they walk in lies.

" Now, in Bible symbolism, the church is likened unto a woman. But when the church leaves her allegiance to Jesus and forms an alliance with a political power, she is guilty of committing spiritual fornication, or spiritual adultery. So what was happening in Jerusalem at the time, the religious leaders were looking to the state to try and enforce their doctrines, their traditions. That's spiritual fornication. It goes on: "they have also strengthened the hands of evildoers, so that nobody turns back from his wickedness.

All of them are like sodom to me, and her inhabitants like gomorrah." Moral corruption. "Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets: 'behold, I will feed them with wormwood.'" Notice that word, we're gonna come back to it. "'And make them drink water of gall; for from the prophets of Jerusalem profaneness has gone out into all of the lands.'" So here you have these false prophets, these false teachers, likened unto wormwood. Wormwood is a bitter herb. That same imagery of wormwood being associated with false prophets or lies is picked up in Revelation chapter 8.

Revelation chapter 8, verse 10 and 11 says: "then the third angel sounded: and a great star fell from heaven, who's that great star falling from heaven? What do stars sometimes represent in the Bible? Angels. And here you have an angel falling from heaven. Well, that represents satan. "Burning like a torch," the Word of God is likened unto a torch, but this is a corruption of the Word of God, "and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of waters." Rivers and springs were used for drinking and irrigation. It represents truth.

Revelation 8, verse 11 says: "the name of the star is wormwood. And a third of the waters became wormwood, and many men died from the water, because it was made bitter." So when it talks about wormwood, it's talking about a corruption of the truth. And that was prevalent in Jeremiah's time. The prophets, the teachers, instead of teaching the truths of God's Word, they were corrupting the truth with tradition. And so God sent a message through Jeremiah.

Is there a need for us today to have a message calling people back to the truths of God's Word? Is there a corruption of truth even today amongst the religious leaders in the world? Absolutely. Now, what were some of the evils that Jeremiah was specifically prophesying against that was so prevalent in Jerusalem? Jeremiah chapter 5, verse 26 and 27 is the next passage we're going to. Jeremiah chapter 5, 26, 27, very interesting verse here. Jeremiah 5, 26, 27: "'for among my people are found wicked men; they lie in wait as one who sets snares; they set a trap; they catch men.'" Notice verse 27: "'as a cage is full of birds, so are their houses are full of deceit. Therefore they have become great and grown rich.

'" So there were religious leaders that are likened here as those that catch birds, as their houses are full of--their houses, or their churches, are full of deceit. Now, this is a theme that is picked up by John in the book of Revelation. If you have your Bibles, go to Revelation chapter 18. Revelation chapter 18, and you'll see the connection between Jeremiah and Revelation. Revelation chapter 18 here, and I'm gonna start reading in verse 1.

And remember the phrase, "as a cage is full of birds." You'll see that referred to here. Revelation chapter 18, beginning in verse 1: "after these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory." So here this angel represents God's people proclaiming God's last warning message to the world. Verse 2: "and he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, 'Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen.'" In Revelation chapter 17, Babylon is the name given to a woman. A woman in Bible prophecy represents a church. So Babylon is the church, or the churches, that have fallen from the truths of God's Word.

"'Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, has become the dwelling place of demons, the prison of every foul spirit,'" and notice this part, "'the cage for every unclean and hated bird!'" So the same thing that Jeremiah was facing in his day, where there is a corruption of the truth, where the preachers and the teachers, instead of preaching truth are preaching doctrine that is contrary to the Bible. And as a result, they are becoming great and growing very rich. Is that a description of some churches today? Where the preachers and the teachers are becoming great and very, very rich? And those are the sins prevalent in Israel. And that's what the prophet specifically was talking about. You know, Jesus said that this would happen before the end, that there would be a corruption of the truth, that churches would fall away from the commandments.

Turn in your Bibles to Matthew chapter 24. Now, Matthew chapter 24, you have Jesus talking about events associated with the second coming, and also the destruction of Jerusalem. But he finishes up this discussion about the signs of the end by telling a parable. And you pick up the parable here in verse 45. It's really describing our time.

Matthew 24, in verse 45: "'who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his master has made ruler over his household, to give them food in due season?'" Now, in the parable, who do you suppose the owner of the household is? That would be Jesus. What do you think the house is? The church. And who do you suppose the servants are? The leaders of the church, the preachers, the teachers. And what are they to be doing in verse 45? They are to be giving food in due season. Meaning, they are to give a present truth message, a message that is relevant to the time in which we are living and the situation that the members are facing in the church.

Verse 46: "'blessed is that servant whom his master, when he comes, will find them so doing.'" But verse 47: "'assuredly, I say unto you that he will make him ruler over all of his goods. But if that evil servant says in his heart, 'my master is delaying his coming,'" so these are adventists. Adventists are looking forward to the soon coming of Jesus. And the message was preached, "Jesus is coming soon." But here is an unfaithful servant who says in his heart, "my Lord is delaying his coming. Jesus isn't coming as soon as we've been saying.

" After all, we've been preaching this message for over 100 years, and Jesus hasn't come yet. Now, he might not preaching that from the front. It says, "he says is it in his heart, 'my Lord delays his coming.'" And what follows? Verse 49: "'and begins to beat his fellow servants," there is criticism that comes, "'and to eat and drink with the drunkards.'" It's interesting to note in Revelation chapter 17, the woman with the name of Babylon, representing these false churches, it says, "she is drunk with her false doctrine and with her persecution." So to eat and drink with the drunkard is to leave the truths of God's Word and go look for truths outside of God's Word. Are you with me? To eat and drink with the drunkard. Verse 50: "'the master of that servant will come in a day when he is not looking for him and in an hour that he is not aware," verse 51, "'and will cut him in two and appoint his portion with the hypocrites.

There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'" So Jesus said that before he comes, there will be a falling away from the truth. We need to be aware of this. We need to be faithful to God's Word. That's the message of Jeremiah. He's calling the people in Jerusalem to return to the Lord, to be faithful to the teachings of Scripture.

So a couple of points to mention here. The Bible predicts that in the last days there would be a turning away from the truths of Scripture. We can see that happening in our world today. The Bible also tells us, "to the law and to the testimony. If they speak not according to this, there is," how much light in them? "There is no light in them.

" So everything that we hear that's being taught and that's being preached needs to be tested with the Bible, amen? The great cry of the protestant reformation was, "sola scriptura," "the Bible and the Bible only." We need to get back to that, the Bible and the Bible only. That needs to be our focus. Point number two: false teaching and preaching often leads to persecution. False teaching and preaching leads to persecution. Because of the false teachers and preachers in Jeremiah's time, Jeremiah faced persecution.

And when there is false teaching and preaching in the church, God's true followers will face persecution. You see some examples of this during the 1260 years of papal supremacy. From 538 till 1798, those individuals who refused to acknowledge papal supremacy faced all kinds of persecution. They refused to set aside God's commandments in order to keep the manmade traditions that were advocated by the church. This especially happens when the church looks to the state to enforce her doctrines and decrees.

Now, will persecution come against God's people in the last days? Yes, the Bible says it's gonna happen. In Revelation chapter 13, you have a description of two beasts. The first beast comes up from the sea. Now, in Bible prophecy, a beast represents a ruling power. The sea represents multitudes, and nations, and kindreds, and tongues, Revelation chapter 17, verse 15.

So here you have a ruling power that arises in a densely populated area and rules over nations, and kingdoms, and peoples. This beast has seven heads and ten horns. But one of its heads receives a deadly wound. The deadly wound is eventually healed. "And all the world wonders after the beast.

" Now, the protestant reformers identified this first beast as representing the papal power. For 1260 years the roman church persecuted groups like the waldenses and the reformers, those who refused to acknowledge papal supremacy. Now, that power received a deadly wound in 1798 when berthier, napoleon's general, Marched into rome and proclaimed the political rule of the papacy at an end. That wound began to be healed when the papacy once again received political status, not just religious status. As I think we all know, the vatican is the smallest independent country in the world.

So it's not just a church. It is a political institution. It is a political power. Now, there is a second beast that's described in Revelation chapter 13. The second beast is described as, "coming up from the earth.

It has two horns like a lamb," but it ends, "speaking like a dragon." Now, again, reformers and Bible scholars have identified that second beast of Revelation chapter 13 as the United States. The United States was coming to power when the first beast received its deadly wound. Right around 1798 is when the United States was being recognized around the world as a nation, as an independent power separated from england. Right around that same time period. And of course, the two lamblike principles that the United States was founded upon was freedom of religion, where we could worship God according to the dictates of our conscience, and freedom of speech.

You know, God never forces worship. When Jesus was on the earth, he invited people to come, and receive him, and worship him. But he never forced worship. The devil, on the other hand, he will get worship any way that he can, even if it means forcing somebody to worship him. But that's not the way God works.

So the United States has been the beacon of religious freedom around the world, for the most part. It is legislated in favor of religious freedom. But according to this passage, there is a change that takes place in the United States. Revelation chapter 13, in verse 12: "and he, that's the second beast, or the United States, "exercises all the authority of the first beast, the papal power, "in his presence, meaning the deadly wound is healed, "and causes the earth and those who dwell therein it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed." So there is a change that happens. The United States begins to enforce the teachings and the doctrines of the roman power.

Now, several years ago this might have sounded like, "wow, that sounds really farfetched." But after the recent visit of the pope, and the incredible response received by the United States government and the citizens, it doesn't sound that farfetched anymore. You can see prophecy being fulfilled. Something else of interest, somebody sent me an article. It's an official decree, or an official statement from the papacy. And it is a called a "bull of indiction of an extraordinary jubilee of mercy.

" And by the way, this is all on the vatican website. You can actually read this bull of indiction, this official announcement or statement. And I want to just read a few lines out of this. This is pope francis declaring next year as a special year of jubilee, and he's calling it, "a special year of mercy." And I quote: "I have chosen the date of 8 December, the beginning of this jubilee, "because of its rich meaning in the recent history of the church. In fact, I will open the holy door on the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the second vatican ecumenical council.

" So there is December the 8th an opening of a holy door, symbolizing the beginning of this 1 year of special mercy. Now, what exactly is involved with this 1 year of special mercy? I read on: "recall the poignant words of saint John xxiii when, opening the council," talking about the second vatican council, "he indicated the path to follow." So this is the path that the church is to follow. "Now the bride of Christ," which the church claims to be, "wishes to use the medicine of mercy rather than taking up arms of severity." In other words, there is a special opportunity of mercy, according to the church, that is opening up December the 8th. And it's gonna last a year. We're not gonna use severity at this point, but we are gonna open up mercy, and we're gonna invite people to come.

And I read on: "the catholic church, as she holds high the torch of catholic truth at this ecumenical council, wants to show herself a loving mother to all; patient, kind, moved by compassion and goodness towards her separated children." Who do you suppose the separated children would be? Those protestant churches, right? Then it goes on: "the jubilee year will close...on the 20th November 2016." So if this year of mercy is gonna close on the 20th of November, what's gonna follow? What's the next step? It goes on: "we shall be filled," talking about the close of this mercy, "we shall be filled above all, with a sense of gratitude and thanksgiving to the most holy trinity for having granted us an extraordinary time of grace." So next year has been set aside as an extraordinary time of grace, where the church is gonna extend mercy, not severity. But at the end of that time period, what's gonna follow? Well, we know what the Bible tells us will follow, right? All right, so God's people throughout history who have stood up for the truth have faced opposition. They have faced trials and tribulations, and even persecution. Now, Monday's lesson is entitled "Jeremiah in stocks." And I want to begin by just reading a paragraph from the lesson itself. It says: "the job of the prophet has always been to convey God's message, not to count how many people accept it or reject it.

" It's not the prophet's job to figure out, "well, will this be successful or not?" His work is to preach the message and leave the results with God. Generally, the number of those who accept what the prophet preach at their time of preaching it is low. For example, though we don't know how many people were alive at the time of Noah, we can reasonably assume that the majority was not very receptive to the message, given the small number of people that actually entered into the ark. All through sacred history, this seems to be the pattern. So when the message of truth is preached, when the warning is given, it is not typically received.

There is, of course, one stark contrast to this, and that is the preaching of Jonah, the reluctant prophet, to nineveh. Not even God's people, and yet they came to repentance. Well, that sort of stands alone with reference to a message of warning being received. Now, what kind of reception did Jeremiah's message get when he preached to the inhabitants of Jerusalem? Jeremiah chapter 20, and we're gonna be looking here at verse 1 through to verse 6. Jeremiah chapter 20, beginning in verse 1, you can follow along with us: "now pashhur The Son of immer, the priest who was also the chief governor of the house of the Lord, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.

" So here you have the religious leader who is hearing the message that the Lord is sending through Jeremiah. You might be wondering, "well, what was the message that Jeremiah had prophesied?" You can see that in Jeremiah 19, verse 15. I'm just gonna read it. Here's the message: "thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: 'behold, I will bring on this city,'" Jerusalem, "'and on her towns all the doom that I have pronounced against it, because they have stiffened their necks that they might not hear my words.'" So that's the message that Jeremiah brings. The religious leaders don't receive the message.

They don't like the message. Verse 2, it says: "pashhur struck Jeremiah the prophet, he didn't like the message, so he slapped the messenger. Now, of course, Jeremiah's not the only one who got slapped for standing up for truth. Jesus himself was struck in the face. And of course, he is the truth.

More than that, they took Jeremiah, "and they put him in the stocks." Now, the stocks there, the word in the Hebrew literally means "forced in a crooked position for the purpose of pain." So he was put in the stocks, but in a very difficult position that would bring terrible pain to his back, and to his legs, and to his arms. He was there for the whole night. Verse 3 says: "and it happened on the next day that pashhur brought Jeremiah out of the stocks. Then Jeremiah said unto him, 'the Lord has not called your name pashhur, but magor-missabib.'" Now, what does magor-missabib mean? "Terror on every side." By the way, you know how you can remember that word, "missabib"? I think of a toddler eating and he misses the bib, missabib. Magor-missabib, meaning "terror on every side.

" Then verse 4 says: "for thus saith the Lord: 'behold, I will make a terror to yourself and to all of your friends; and they shall fall by the sword of their enemies, and your eyes shall see it. And I will give all of judah into the hands of the King of Babylon,'" of course, that would be Nebuchadnezzar, "'and he shall carry them captive to Babylon and slay them with the sword.'" Who are some of the jews that were taken captive back to Babylon? Daniel and his three friends, along with others. "'Moreover I will deliver the wealth of this city, and all of its produce, and all of its precious things; and all of the treasures of the Kings of judah I will give into the hand of their enemies, who will plunder them, seize them, and carry them to Babylon. And you, pashhur, and all who dwell in your house, shall go into captivity. You shall go to Babylon, and there you shall die, and be buried, you and all of your friends, to whom you have prophesied lies.

'" And of course, what Jeremiah said to pashhur perfectly was fulfilled. Around 600 years before Christ, about 605 bc, the Babylonian armies did surround Jerusalem. Their massive battering rams pounded on the huge city gates until finally they gave in. Thousands of jews were killed. The rest were taken captive back to Babylon.

The word of the Lord was fulfilled. So three points I want to emphasize in this warning that's given to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and I think it applies for us today. Number one: God will bring judgment. God will bring judgment. Will God bring judgment on the world? Yes.

Jeremiah said that the city, Jerusalem, would be besieged and starvation would follow. Will there be literal starvation in the earth before Jesus comes? Yes. One of the plagues is intense heat. That's gonna lead to starvation. But more than that, is there going to be spiritual starvation in the world before Jesus comes? Yes.

Matter of fact, it seems like we see a little bit of that even happening now. And the third part of the warning message, that people will fall by the sword and be taken into captivity. And that was fulfilled around 600 bc. The next question we need to consider then is, just like Jeremiah had a special message of warning for Jerusalem, does God have a special message of warning for the world today? And the answer is, "yes." In the book of Amos, Amos chapter 3, verse 7 we read: "surely the Lord God will do nothing, unless he reveals his secrets to his servants the prophets." So God, before he Judges the earth, will send a message of warning. Just like he did for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, God sends a special message of warning to the world.

Now, where do you suppose we are able to find God's last warning message for the world? What book in the Bible should I turn to? I should go to Revelation. And what chapter in particular? Revelation chapter 14, ah. What do we find in Revelation chapter 14? We call it "the three angels' messages." This is God's last warning message that he has given us to share with the world. Now, how do we know this is God's last warning message? Well, immediately following the proclamation of the three angels' messages in verse 14, you have a picture of the second coming of Christ. Revelation 14, beginning in verse 14, it says: "then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud one like unto The Son of man," who's that? That's Jesus.

"Having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle." Well, let me just say something about that golden crown. There are three phases to Christ's ministry. When he was on the earth, he was our sacrifice and our sin-bearer. He died for us. Now, Jesus is ministering in heaven in the heavenly sanctuary as our high priest.

But when his priestly ministry finishes, the close of probation, then Jesus removes his priestly robes and he puts on his kingly robes. And he comes back the second time, not as a priest, not as a sin-bearer, but he comes back as king of Kings and Lord of Lords to deliver his faithful people. So here in Revelation 14, Jesus is described as coming back as king, king of Kings, and Lord of Lords. It says he has a sharp sickle in his hand. Do you all know what a sickle is? That instrument, that knife that is bent on the side, typically used for harvesting wheat.

Of course, we don't use that here in North America very much. But growing up in africa, the people will still use the sickle. And it's very important, very important for harvest. So here, Jesus is coming with the sickle in his hand, symbolizing that he's coming to reap the harvest of the earth. And you read on in the passage, there are two different kinds of harvest.

There is the harvest of the wheat, which represents the righteous. And there is the harvest of the grapes, which represents the wicked. So what's described here is the second coming of Christ. Now, the harvest is specifically identified in Matthew chapter 13 as the end of the age and the second coming of Jesus. So before the harvest of the earth, before Jesus comes, there is a special message of warning that has to go to the world.

Where is that message? Revelation chapter 14, and verse : "then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach to them that dwell upon the earth--to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people." You know, the message that Jeremiah brought to the inhabitants of Jerusalem was a message of warning, but it was also a message of hope and redemption. His message was, "return to God, and God will deliver you." Likewise, at the end there is a message of redemption. There is a message of hope. It's the everlasting Gospel. Yes, the three angels' messages is a message of warning, but it is also a message of salvation.

It is a message of hope. Then you go on in verse 7: "saying with a loud voice, 'fear God and give him glory,'" the world needs to the message, "'for the hour of his judgment has come," Jesus is soon to come to execute judgment upon the wicked, "'and worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the fountains of water.'" A call to worship God as the creator. Of course, we remember God's creative work in the commandments. Jesus says, "remember the Sabbath, to keep it holy," so God says. And when we keep the Sabbath, we are reminded that God is our creator.

It is looking back at what he has done. It is also looking forward by faith to that glorious Sabbath rest when Jesus comes. The second angel's message, Revelation chapter 14, verse 8: "another angel followed, saying, 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city,'" very similar to the message that you read in Revelation 18. And then the third angel, verse : "a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'if anyone worships the beast and his image, or receives his Mark in his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath poured out.'" Now, the wrath of God, the most fearful warning that you can find anywhere in the Scripture is that third angel's message, "don't worship the beast. Don't worship his image.

Don't receive his Mark." You see, the issue at the end of time revolves around worship. Who are you gonna worship? Are we gonna be faithful to God? Are we gonna worship Jesus in spirit and in truth? Or are we gonna give in to the pressure that is gonna mount against God's commandment keepers in the last days and compromise our faith in order for us to be able to buy and sell? Matter of fact, that's what happens. Revelation chapter 13 says there is a decree that if you don't worship the beast, you're not gonna be able to buy and sell. God's people will remain faithful to him. They will trust in him.

Now, friends, you're only gonna be able to stand faithful to God if you know God in your heart and in your life. It has to be more than just an intellectual understanding of truth. It has to be a personal connection with Christ. That experience of knowing him, of surrendering to him. That experience of leaning up on Jesus and trusting in Jesus.

That's the experience that God's people need at the end of time. All right, moving right along. Tuesday's lesson is called "fire in his bones." Jeremiah chapter , verse 7: "o Lord, you induced me, and I was persuaded; you are stronger than i, and you have prevailed. I am in derision daily; everyone mocks me." Again, Jeremiah didn't anticipate the reception of the message being as negative as it actually was. He thought maybe this would bring about some kind of revival.

But the people rejected him. They rejected the message. That surprised Jeremiah. Verse 8 says: "for I spoke and cried out; I shouted, 'violence and plunder!' Because the word of the Lord was made to me a reproach and a derision daily. Then I said, 'I will not make mention of him, nor speak anymore in his name.

'" Well, because the prophet faced persecution. He said, "it's not a good idea for me to keep preaching these things." But he goes on: "but His Word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, I could not." So even though Jeremiah thought, "you know, it's probably not a good idea for me to keep preaching the message God gives me to preach because it's not popular and I'm facing tribulation and persecution. Maybe I'll keep quiet." But he couldn't keep quiet. He says, "it's fire in my bones." Oh, friends, we have a message that must go to the world. Yes, sometimes it's challenging.

And to stand up for the truth in our own lives, we might face tribulation. But we have to stand for the truth, amen? Just like Jeremiah. The message needs to be fire in our bones. We need to preach the message. We need to warn the world.

That's what Christ is asking us to do. If you jump down to verse 11, he goes on, he says: "but the Lord is with me, he is mighty, he is the awesome one. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail. They will be greatly ashamed, for they will not prosper. Their everlasting confusion will never be forgotten.

" So, yes, even though he was facing persecutions from his enemies, he recognized that deliverance would come. He needs to be faithful to God. Deliverance would come. Now, Revelation chapter 6, 16 and 17 tells us that at the end, those who persecuted God's people will face final judgment. Matter of fact, the wicked turn to the rocks and the mountains and they say, "fall on us and hide us from the face of him that sits upon the throne and from the wrath of the lamb! For the great day of his wrath has come, and what's the question? "Who shall be able to stand?" Now, the answer to the question, "who's gonna be able to stand?" Is found in Revelation chapter 7, it's those who have the seal of God in their foreheads.

They are the ones who are able to stand when Jesus comes again. Now, if you look in verse 14, even though Jeremiah recognizes that his message is from God, he's still keenly aware of the pain and the sufferings that he's going through for preaching that message. And yes, even if we stand up for the truth and face persecution, it doesn't mean that we don't feel the pain. Yeah, sometimes we do feel the pain. It's difficult.

And of course, when we face trials, what are we to do? We are to lean on Jesus, and we are to trust in him. But here, Jeremiah expresses the turmoil that he's going through. And he says in verse 14: "cursed be the day that I was born!" He gets so discouraged. "Let the day not be blessed in which my mother bore me!" Now, can you think of another Bible character who also faced tremendous trials, and difficulties, and he also cursed the day in which he was born? Job. Did job have some trials to deal with? Absolutely.

You know, that's an incredible story. Accusations are made by satan against job that job only worships God because of all of the blessings that God has bestowed upon him. God knows the heart of job, and allows satan to remove all of these blessings. And finally, everything job has is gone. His wife says, "why don't you just curse God and die?" He has his friends show up, and instead of encouraging job, they criticize him and say, "man, you must be guilty of some terrible sin that all these things have happened.

" And job goes through a terrible time of trouble. Even to the point where he begins to question and say, "you know, I wish I had a chance where I could stand before God. I don't understand why this is happening. I want to be able to ask God." Have you ever felt that way, where you've been praying about something and it seems as though your prayers are not being answered? And you think to yourself, "you know, Lord, I sure would just, you know, like to know why. Why is this happening? Where are you when I need you?" That's kind of the experience Jeremiah had.

That's kind of the experience that job had. Matter of fact, that's the experience of all of God's people who have faced trials. Their faith has been tried. That's job's experience. And then finally, God answers.

Job says, "you know, Lord, I wish I could stand before you. And I don't understand why this is happening." And finally, God responds to job. Now, God's response is incredible. You'll find it in job chapter 38. God does not say, "well, you know.

" And God says--it's not--he doesn't explain the situation. He doesn't say, "job, the reason you're going through these terrible things is because satan made these accusations. And I'm really standing up for you. I'm staking my reputation on you." God doesn't say that. Instead, God says to job, "who is this that darkens counsel, speaking words without wisdom? Gird yourself up like a man, and I will demand of you and you answer me if you can.

" God's talking to job. Then God says, "where were you when I laid the foundations of the world? Tell me now if you can." And then God goes on to talk about his power in creating all things, and how he created the stars and the universe, and how The Sons of God sang for joy at creation. And God talks about these incredible creatures that he has made and how he sustains and provides for all of his creation. And that job can trust him. And finally, when God gets through talking about his power, and his goodness, and his glory, job responds and says, "I've always heard about you with my hearing, but now my eyes have seen you.

Therefore I repent in dust and ashes." You see, friends, when we face trials and tribulations, we need to remember that God is still on the throne of the universe. He is still in charge. He has plenty of power. He loves us. He cares about us.

He knows the end from the beginning, and he's encouraging us to trust him. Even when we can't see through the trials, we can trust in Jesus, amen? We can lean on Christ because he loves us. Of course, God has demonstrated his great love for us in giving us Jesus, who bore our sins and died in our place. Now, of course, there are a few other examples in the Bible of prophets who have faced trials and tribulations. And they also went through a time of discouragement.

You have Elijah, who on Mount Carmel had the prayer answered that he prayed, and fire came and consumed the ultimate sacrifice. And he prayed for rain, and the rain came. There was a wonderful revival that took place there on Mount Carmel. So much so that he led the chariot of ahab the King back to samaria. And he lay down to sleep at the gate.

And ahab the King went and told jezebel all the things that happened. And jezebel sent a message to the prophet, saying, "this time tomorrow, you will be as those prophets that you put to death." Suddenly, Elijah's heart is filled with fear. And he gets up and he runs out into the wilderness. And he gets so discouraged, his faith is tried and tested. Finally, you read in Kings chapter 19, verse 4: "Elijah prays and he says, 'it is enough! Now, Lord, just take my life, for I am no better than my fathers!'" Have you ever felt that way? Felt, "Lord, it's enough.

I can't take anymore." Well, the good news is God did not answer that prayer of Elijah. Instead, God sent an angel to sustain him, and strengthen him. And he was sustained, and he was strengthened. And God still had a work for Elijah to do. And how did Elijah die? He didn't die.

He was taken up to heaven in a fiery chariot. God sustained him and saw him through. What about John the baptist? Did John the baptist face trials? Here is the one who announced Jesus as the Messiah at the baptism of Christ and said, "behold, the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world." But then for preaching the truth, he is taken and thrown in prison. And while he's in prison, he's waiting. And it seems though his prayers are not being answered, Jesus doesn't come to his defense.

Jesus does not perform a miracle to deliver him. He's there in this dungeon, and he begins to wonder, "is Jesus the Christ, or did I make a mistake?" This is John the baptist. So finally he sends two of his disciples to Jesus and they ask the question, "are you the one, or should we look for another?" And Jesus doesn't immediately answer. Rather, he says, "just watch." And they watch as he opens the eyes of the blind, and preached the Gospel to the poor, and healed the sick. And after they witnessed everything that Jesus had done, then he says, "go back and report everything back to John, and tell him, 'blessed is he who is not offended of me.

'" Of course, as the disciples leave, then Jesus turns to the crowd and he says, "what did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A man dressed in fine apparel?" Jesus said, "those wearing fine apparel belong in palaces. But what did you go into the wilderness to see? A prophet? Yea, and more than a prophet. For of all of them born unto a woman, there is not arisen one greater than John the baptist." You can just imagine those disciples hurrying back to tell John all the things that they had seen. And they said, "you know, Jesus says not to be offended." And then, "oh, by the way, while we were going, you should have heard what Jesus said about you." And John was encouraged. He was sustained.

He was strengthened to face that final trial. Even to the point of laying down his life. Will God's people have their faith tested at the end of time? Will we go through a time of trouble, just like John the baptist, like Elijah, like Jeremiah, like the prophets, like the apostles? Yes. Matter of fact, the Bible tells us in Daniel chapter 12, verse 1, it says: "at that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over The Sons of thy people; and there will be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. But at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one found written in the book, amen? There will be a time of trouble, where our faith will be tested and tried.

And we'll need to lean up upon Jesus with all of our might. But the promise is, "we shall be delivered." We will trust in him, and he will see us through. Well, what a wonderful promise. You know, I like the quote here from the book, "education," page 56, 57. You've heard it before.

It's one of my favorites. It's talking about the need in these last days of men and women willing to stand up for the truth. And this is what it says: "the greatest wonder of the world is the wonderful men. Men who will not be bought or sold. Men who, in their innermost souls, are true and honest.

Men who do not fear to call sin by its right name. Men whose conscience is true to duty as the needle to the pole. Men who will stand for the right, though the heavens fall," amen? Do we want to be those kind of individuals that stand for the right, though the heavens fall? All right, some key lessons that we learned from this week, our study of the book of Jeremiah. Number one: believers are never left alone to face trials. Jesus says, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you.

" Point number two: the greater the pressure that comes against us, the greater the power as we learn to trust in Jesus, as we depend upon him. Point number three: in the last days, the Bible tells us there would be false teachers and false preachers, and we are to test all things by the word, "to the law, to the testimony. If they speak not according to this, there is no light in them." Point number four: false teaching and preaching often leads to persecution. The Bible actually tells us that before Jesus comes, yes, there will be persecution against those who stand true to God. But God'll sustain them as they trust in him.

Point number five: the unconverted heart does not receive the message of warning. Did the people receive the message of warning that Jeremiah gave them? So don't get discouraged if you're witnessing and sharing your faith and it's not received the way that you would expect. Don't get discouraged. Just be faithful in doing the things God is doing. You know, I believe there will be many in the last days that we have shared our faith with who, when they begin to see prophecy fulfilled, they'll be reminded of the things that they have heard, and they will make a stand for truth.

So don't get discouraged. You know, if you're praying for a loved one, family member, maybe you're praying for a son or a daughter, don't give up praying. Keep praying. Keep trusting. Keep leaning on Jesus.

And then, of course, we have the promise that God gives us of deliverance, the promise of a new heart. I like this verse, Ezekiel 36:26, a good verse to close on. God says: "'I will give you a new heart. I will put a new spirit within you; I will take out the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.'" Yes, the warning message conveys a message of hope, a message of deliverance. And that message is for everyone.

Well, I hope that you've been blessed in your study of the book of Jeremiah. There's so many practical lessons, I think, that we can apply to our everyday experience. And I want to encourage you. If you're not in a regular habit of studying the lesson currently, take advantage of it. Great opportunity to study together.

Let's close with a word of prayer. Dear Father, we thank you so much for the opportunity that we have to study Your Word. And we thank you for the lessons that we learn, written so many years ago, but so relevant for the time in which we are living. Most of all, Lord, we pray that we might have faith even as Jeremiah, who preached the word despite discouraging circumstances. Help us to be faithful.

Thank you, Lord, for your promise to never leave us or forsake us. Teach us to lean up against you for power. For we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Male announcer: did you know that Noah was present at the birth of Abraham? Okay, maybe he wasn't in the room. But he was alive, and probably telling stories about his floating zoo.

From the creation of the world to the last day events of Revelation, Biblehistory.com is a free resource where you can explore major Bible events and characters. Enhance your knowledge of the Bible, and draw closer to God's Word. Go deeper. Visit the amazing Bible timeline at Biblehistory.com. Announcer: in 6 days, God created the heavens and the earth.

For thousands of years, man has worshiped God on the seventh day of the week. Now, each week millions of people worship on the first day. What happened? Why did God create a day of rest? Does it really matter what day we worship? Who was behind this great shift? Discover the truth behind God's law and how it was changed. Visit Sabbathtruth.com announcer: for life-changing Christian resources, visit afbookstore.com, or call... [Music]

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