The Crisis Continues

The Crisis Continues

Scripture: Jeremiah 9:24, Jeremiah 10:1-15, Romans 1:25
Date: 11/14/2015  Lesson: 7
"No matter what we have done, we can repent of our sin and be forgiven. This is the great provision of the gospel."

Lessons From Solomon DVD Set by Doug Batchelor

Lessons From Solomon DVD Set by Doug Batchelor
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Welcome to "Sabbath School Study Hour," coming to you from the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church in the Sacramento, California area. I want to welcome those of you who are joining us like you do every single week, whether you're listening on radio, watching--joining us live on our website or on the various television networks. However you are joining us, you are part of our extended family around the world and we're so glad that you're tuning in for another program. Behind me, you see some lovely gentleman and they are blessing us with special music today so I know that you are going to want to stay tuned for that. But before we sing our favorite songs, I'm gonna tell you about our book offer that we have.

Today, it is, is it possible to live without sinning? That is the title of the little book written by Joe Crews and it is our free offer. So, we encourage you, if you have never called in for a--one of our free offers, today is a great day to do that. Is it possible to live without sinning? At this time, let's pull out our hymnals and sing with us like you do everything week. We're going to sing one song this morning, "mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord," 647 in your hymnals. Join with us.

[Music] mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord; he is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored; he hath loosed the fateful lightning of his terrible swift sword; his truth is Marching on. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is Marching on. He has sounded forth the trumpet that shall never call retreat; he is sifting out the hearts of men before his judgment seat; o be swift, my soul, to answer him; be jubilant, my feet! Our God is Marching on. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is Marching on. In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea, with a glory in his bosom that transfigures you and me; as he died to make men holy, let us live to make men free, while God is Marching on.

Debbie: all together. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah! His truth is Marching on. §Debbie: that is one of those songs that I never like it to end. I just wish there was ten verses to this song and you can just keep going. It is such a wonderful song.

Before Pastor Doug brings us our lesson study, I'm going to let art garbutt, who is the leader of the carMichael men's chorus bring us our special piece. He is conducting them and they are singing for us a beautiful song that is entitled, "let it be us." Is that correct, art? "Let it be said of us." The carMichael men's chorus. [Music] let it be said of us that the Lord was our passion that with gladness we bore, every cross we were given, that we fought the good fight, that we finished our course, knowing within us the power of the risen Lord. Let the cross be our glory, and the Lord be our song, by mercy made holy, by the Spirit made strong. Let the cross be our glory, and the Lord be our song, 'til the likeness of Jesus be through us made known.

Let the cross be our glory, and the Lord be our song. [Music] let it be said of us, we were Marked by forgiveness. We were known by our love and delighted in meekness. We were ruled by his peace, heeding unity's call, joined as one body that Christ would be seen by all. Let the cross be our glory, and the Lord be our song, by mercy made holy, by the Spirit made strong.

Let the cross be our glory, and the Lord be our song 'til the likeness of Jesus be through us made known. Let the cross be our glory, and the Lord be our song, our song. Let the cross be our glory, and the Lord be our song. By mercy made holy, by the Spirit made strong. Let the cross be our glory, and the Lord be our song 'til the likeness of Jesus be through us made known.

Let the cross be our glory, and the Lord be our song. Let the cross be our glory and the Lord be our song, our song. §Amen. Debbie: thank you so much, carMichael symphony adventist church's men's chorus. That was a beautiful song and a wonderful reminder, and I hope that is the prayer of each of us that the cross, we will only glory in the cross 'cause that is all that we have.

Let's bow our heads for prayer at this time. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for the reminder of what these men just sang about. Father, we have nothing, we are nothing without you. The best things that we could give are filthy rags, but we give our hearts today because that is the only thing we can give you. Father, cleanse them, purify us, and help us to be ready for that day when you come in the clouds of glory that we will each be there waiting with our families, our loved ones, our friends.

Thank you so much for the blessed hope that you give us as Christians, and we pray that you'll be with us as we open up Your Word and we study together now, and be with Pastor Doug as he brings us our lesson study. In Jesus' Name, amen. At this time, our lesson study is going to be brought to us by our senior pastor here at the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church, Pastor Doug Batchelor. Doug Batchelor: thank you, debbie. And thank you to the men's chorus, I really enjoyed that.

I saw a number of old friends in there--well, I didn't mean to call them old. Long-time friends that were participating in that. I want to welcome our friends from our part of the extended class that watch from all over the planet, and we're glad that you're joining us for our study today. If you see in the background here, Granite Bay looks a little bit different, it's because we just entered into an evangelistic program that began last night that will be continuing for a few weeks, and so you'll see the decor's a little different to accommodate that event. And we would like to remind you, we are continuing in our study on the book of Jeremiah.

Today, we're in lesson number seven and it's called, "the crisis continues." Lesson seven, "the crisis continues." The memory verse is Jeremiah chapter 9, verse 24, and I always encourage you to say that with me. This is from the new king James version, Jeremiah 9:24. You ready? "'But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight,' says the Lord." That is a very important and a very powerful verse. This study is going to, in particular, be dealing with the themes of Jeremiah 9, Jeremiah 10 and is some of Jeremiah chapter, most of Jeremiah chapter 26.

And, of course, we'll be bouncing around through the rest of the Word of God 'cause that's the way to understand the Bible, here a little and there a little. And to begin with, maybe we should start by going to Jeremiah chapter 9 and if we read in verse 3--well, I'll start reading verse 1 here. Jeremiah 9, verse 1, "oh, that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!" Now, Jeremiah is foretelling what is coming and later, he does write a book that is full of weeping and it's known, it's one of the only major prophets in the old testament that really writes two books and you have Jeremiah and then Lamentations. And when someone says they're in Lamentations, what does that mean? It's weeping and crying because Jerusalem had been destroyed. They did not listen to his counsel and repent.

Here he is prophesying in advance because he can see what's coming. You know, one time Elisha the prophet was talking to the King of syria, hazael was his name and all of a sudden, Elisha began to weep and so much so that hazael was embarrassed. It was very awkward. And he said, "now, why are you weeping so much?" And Elisha said, "I'm weeping because I see what you're going to do to our people, I see the slaughter. I see the men, women, and children you're going to kill.

Hadn't happened yet, but the prophet saw it and he's weeping in advance and so this is part of what's happening here. And then look at verse 3, Jeremiah 9, verse 3, "and like their bow they have bent their tongues for lies. They are not valiant for the truth on the earth. For they proceed from evil to evil, and they do not know me." Now, that just came up in our memory verse, "they do not know me." Is there a connection between the evil and not knowing the Lord? What does the Lord say is the key to everlasting life? In John 17, verse 3, this is one of the greatest statements of Jesus' prayer, John 17:3. "And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Jeremiah 9, verse 6, "'your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me,' says the Lord." How important is it to have a knowing relationship with Jesus? You've heard people say before, salvation consists on having a personal relationship with Jesus. What does that mean? Here, Jesus talks about those. They've gone to church, they've got that, you know, pharisee. He went to church regularly. He said, "I pay tithe of all that I have.

I fast twice a week." But he doesn't go to his house justified. Here, Jesus talks about those who say, "Lord, Lord." And he says, "I don't know you." Doesn't that make you a little edgy sometimes to think, "you know, I can be going through all of the outward trappings of the Christian religion and not have a knowing, saving relationship with the Lord," and this is crucial. Hosea 4:6, "my people are destroyed for," what's the rest of it? "Lack of knowledge." He goes on in that verse and says, "because you've rejected knowledge." It's not just they don't know, they had an opportunity to know and they refused it, they rejected it. "Because you've rejected knowledge, I'll also reject you from being a priest for me. Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I will forget your children.

" Are there a lot of professed Christians in various churches around the world that say, "oh, we love the Lord," but they've deliberately plugged their ears to at least part of his law? And the Lord says, "they've forgotten my law, therefore I'll forget your children. I don't know you. My people are destroyed by lack of knowledge." Knowing the Lord is the sum total of eternal life. We need to have that personal relationship. What does it say about Enoch? He walked with God.

You know, who else does it say that about? Noah. It says Noah walked with the Lord, not only he found grace in the Lord, it says Noah walked with the Lord. This is what it means, I think, to have a knowing relation--Karen calls me and sometimes she'll say, "hi." That's all I need. I don't need anymore information, I know who it is because we communicate so much, I know her. I know the voice.

And the boys, same thing. You hear them, even though their voices are very similar, you know who they are. How did Abraham know who it was that was saying, "take your son, your only son and offer him"? I mean what would you do if someone out of the blue you hear a voice that says, "go offer your child?" How could he follow that voice except he knew the Lord? He knew who was on the other end of the phone. Do we have a relationship where we walk with God and we know God? Are we in regular communion with him? How do you fall in love with somebody? You need to know them first and you know them through communication. I know we've all heard beautiful, romantic stories of love at first sight, and I'm sure that sometimes the Lord will reveal a person at first sight.

This is the person. Bible says that Jacob saw rachel and he wept and kissed her, and the first time he ever saw her. It says that, "Isaac saw Rebekah and he took her to his mother's tent and she became his wife," and that was a very short courtship. That's what it says. But generally before marriage, you talk to them, they talk to you.

There's communication and through communication, you get to know who the person is and you fall in love with them. There's a statement in the book, "Desire of Ages," I don't remember the page, I just remember the statement and it says, "to know God is to love him." So, is it easier to obey God if you love him? Is it easier to deny yourself and take up your cross if you love him? Isn't everything much easier. Matter of fact, isn't it drudgery to try to be a Christian if you don't love him? So, the key is loving him. And where does that happen? From knowing him? How does that happen? Communication. It all comes down to he talks to you, principally through His Word.

So, are you in the word? And you talk to him through prayer. If you're in daily conversation with the Lord, you will get to know him and to know him is to love him and loving him is what makes the Christian life delight. So, I can never emphasize that enough. So, he said, "my people are turned to wickedness 'cause they don't know me." That was the message of Jeremiah. All right, and then he talks also about a judgment in chapter , and you can read for instance in Jeremiah 9 verse 10, I'm gonna read through verse 13 here.

"And I will take up a weeping and wailing for the mountain, and for the dwelling places of the wilderness a lamentation, because they're burned up, so that no one can pass through; nor can men hear the voice of the cattle." The land, you know, usually off in a distance they could hear the brain of donkeys or the lowing of the oxen, something. "Both the birds of the heavens and the beasts have fled; they are gone. I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a den of jackals. I will make the cities of judah desolate, without an inhabitant. Woe is the wise man--" I'm sorry.

"Who is the wise man who understand this? And who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord has spoken, that he may declare it? Why does the land perish and burn up like a wilderness, so that no one can pass through? And the Lord says," why has all this happened? "Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and they have not obeyed my voice, nor walked according to it." Now, did this just happen to Israel, or is this the ultimate outcome of any nation that casts aside the law of God? It's just a rule of life of cause and effect. It happens in your life with the various elements of the laws of nature that you set aside. There are consequences that you will pay and it also happens for a nation. When it casts aside the law of God, it says it over and over again. Was it only Israel that experienced judgments for their disobedience or did surrounding nations also experience the judgments of God for their sin? That's right, you can see that many times and God names the different nations in the prophecies.

You wonder does this say anything to our country? Now, Jeremiah is looking ahead and he is seen in vision what's gonna happen to Israel. Remember the context of what's going on. They've been conquered by the Egyptians, that's how killed king josiah or shishak, king of Egypt. And then the Egyptians, they were under tribute to the Egyptians, but then the Babylonians conquered the Egyptians and they basically said, "we're gonna take over Israel as our tribute." And they served for a little while and then they rebelled. the King came in, dethroned one of those sons, took the other into captivity.

They agreed, "okay, we'll be your subjects again," and now they're thinking about rebelling again. Jeremiah's saying to king zedekiah, "God, if you'll serve the King of Babylon, if you'll humble yourselves and obey me, you'll get to continue existing. Your temple will continue. I'll bless you. But if you rebel again after you vowed in the name of the Lord to serve, you're gonna be carried away captive.

The city will be destroyed. The temple will be destroyed. There'll be no one left." And he's describing this woeful judgment. What happened to Israel during the Babylonian destruction is a precursor of what happens to the world after the coming of Christ. When they were carried off to Babylon and the land was desolate, the Bible says, the land was desolate and it rested and kept Sabbath for 70 years, that's what's happening to the world.

After Jesus comes, we're carried off to the golden city, the world for 1,000 years is desolate during the millennium. Isn't that right? It says, there is no man. Listen to what Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 4:23. Of course, this is our theme, Jeremiah. "I beheld the earth, and indeed it was without form, and void.

" If you stop right there, what does that sound like he's talking about? When you say, "without form and void," doesn't that sound like the creation? But you keep reading, you realize he's not going back, he's looking forward. "I beheld the earth, and it was without form, and void; and the heavens, had no light. I beheld the mountains, and indeed they trembled, and all the hills moved back and forth." It's like there's this quaking. "I beheld indeed there was no man. Well, that would seem normal if it's before creation.

But it says, "and all the birds of the heaven were fled." They were there, but they're gone. "I beheld, and indeed the fruitful land was a wilderness, and all its cities were broken down." He's not looking back, he's looking ahead to a terrible judgment that is gonna completely depopulate the land. Isaiah talking about this, he says, "I beheld and the land was utterly empty." Matter of fact, Isaiah says, "the earth was utterly empty" 'cause Isaiah's talking about the millennial time. It says, "there was no man and all the birds heavens were fled. I beheld, the fruitful places of the wilderness, all its cities were broken down.

" Now, what caused this? Is it the coming of Nebuchadnezzar? No, it says, "at the presence of the Lord, by his fierce anger. For thus says the Lord: 'the whole land shall be desolate; yet I will not make a full end.'" They were gonna be carried off to Babylon, but he was not gonna make a full end. They would come back again. "The world would be destroyed by the coming of the Lord, but I'll not make a full end because I will make a new heavens and a new earth." So, what happens to Israel? The terrible destruction, the depopulation? There were two group, one group was slain by Nebuchadnezzar, the other group, they were spared and they were taken off to that golden kingdom. Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom was called the head of gold, right? When Jesus comes, some are slain, some are shown mercy and they're taking back to his golden kingdom.

I know that's a crude illustration, but you get the point. That's what's gonna happen. So, Jeremiah's looking ahead. He's foretelling this. And then someone's got, I think Isaiah 63:9, hophtees, why don't you cue up to read that right away.

And so, you can look here in Judges 10:16. I'll give you one more verse on this theme. Judges 10:16, when they realized that there was a judgment coming, if they repented, he would postpone it. You know people say, "well, Jonah wasn't really a prophet because, you know, God said that he was gonna destroy nineveh, but he didn't destroy it." Well God said, "look, if you repent, I'll show mercy." Judges 10:16, "so they put away the foreign Gods from among them and served the Lord. And his soul could no longer endure the misery of Israel.

" When God saw the oppression of Israel and they humbled themselves, he said, "look, I can't take it anymore." Any of you parents, you ever tell your kids, "you do that one more time," and you say something rash? "You're, you know, in the corner for 6 hours," or whatever it is. "In your room the rest of t day. No dinner forever." Any of you kind of you make a rash--and then they do it again and you say, "okay, to your room," and after an hour goes by, you hear them whimpering on in there and no, no. All right, come on now. Isn't a parent like that? You show them mercy? Well God, that's how it was.

You know, he let these judgments come and he'd listen to their cry and then his heart would be moved. Go ahead and read Isaiah 63:9. Female: in all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bore them and carried them all the days of old." Doug: that's such an important verse to remember. In all of their affliction, why were they afflicted? Because they misbehaved. He withdrew their protection.

In all of their affliction, he was afflicted. So, if you are experiencing some chastising from God, or some judgment from God, or you're going through some trial and it may just be a trial. It may not be because you've done anything wrong. You might be suffering like job, just because it's a trial where you can witness. Who is afflicted in your affliction? Does the Lord feel it? And, you know, we have politicians that tell us they feel our pain and some may, but you doubt it usually, right? But when God says--do any of you ever have your parents say, all right, they take their belt off, they say, "this is gonna hurt me more than it hurts you.

" Anyone ever hear that before? But God he says, "I am afflicted." But isn't the Lord aware of everything? He said, "I am afflicted in your affliction." So, it hurts him. Well, you know what that tells us? He allows it because he loves us. Amen? All right, next section, creature or creator, and we're gonna jump to Jeremiah chapter 10 and we're gonna be looking at verses 1 through 15. So, if you have your Bibles out, I may just start reading a little bit of this. And, "hear the word of the Lord," Jeremiah 10:1, "which the Lord speaks to you, o house of Israel.

Thus says the Lord: 'do not learn the way of the gentiles--'" I'm gonna stop right there. "Do not hear the way of the gentiles," what was the concern that the Lord had when he brought the children of Israel into the promised land? They were surrounded by other nations. For one thing he was concerned, "I've told you not to allow any of the inhabiting nations to stay. Their options are to get out or die. You're not to make any covenants with them.

I don't want you intermarrying with them." But there would be other nations around. Do not learn the way of the gentiles. Now keep in mind, for 40 years, they had been like an idol in the wilderness. God was able to really teach them and purify them. There weren't too many outside influences, maybe some caravans that came and went, but they really had God's a hundred percent attention.

They weren't being influenced by other nations at that point, but now when they moved into the promised land, this was a land that was coveted. There was gonna be a lot of other people. "Do not learn the way of the gentiles." Leviticus 18:3, "you shall not do as they do in the land of Egypt where you lived. You shall not do as they do in the land of canaan to which I am bringing you. You will not walk in their statutes.

You will follow my rules and keep my statutes and walk in them. I am the Lord your God." Now, what does that say to the church today? Do not learn their ways, who's he talking about? Is God worried about us taking up the ways of the philistines, or are we surrounded by a different kind of philistines? And is there a temptation to turn on the tv and surf the channels and start learning the ways of the world? And little by little, as we read the literature of the world and are entertained with the entertainment of the world, we start learning the way of the gentiles and it starts affecting our thinking. God said, "look, you're to be a holy people to me." Amen? He tells us, 2 Corinthians 6:17 and 18: "therefore come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord.

" Now, I better pause here. That's the next verse I want to jump into. It says don't learn their ways. What did Jesus tell the disciples? They had a real challenge. He said, "you're to be in the world but not of the world.

I want you to reach the lost, you influence them, do not let them influence you. Yes, they will call you extreme. They will call you kooky. They will call you all kinds of things, but it doesn't matter what they call you. Woe unto you if they speak well of you because so they did of the false prophets.

Don't learn their ways." Well, that's what had happened to Israel. They had take on the Gods and the ways of the pagan nations. And then the other part of it says, I'm still in Jeremiah 10. He said, "do not be dismayed at the signs of heaven, for the gentiles are dismayed at them." Now, when he says, "the signs of heaven," that means a couple of things. First of all, don't be worshiping the sun, the moon, and the stars, and I think somebody has the next verse.

You're gonna read Deuteronomy 4:19. You have that, okay, dick. We'll get ready for that. Let me look here in Deuteronomy 17. "If there is found--" and this is verse 2 and 3, Deuteronomy :2 and 3, "if there is found among you, within any of your towns that the Lord your God has given you, a man or a woman that does what is evil in the sight of the Lord, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other Gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or the hosts of heaven," or pisces, or aquarius, or virgo, or what's your sign? Now, there's nothing wrong with astronomy.

Someone e-mailed me something last night that I thought I could look at on Sabbath. Nasa and their confederates have just put together the most extensive app for looking into all the known heavens and going as deep as you can. And it's a program, you've got a good resolution on your screen, it's amazing. You can look at all the sky that they photograph and you just click your mouse and it will keep zooming in further and further, and it's like you're going through space except this isn't, you know, some "star wars" effects. These are the actual stars and it's amazing how deep it is.

And I think God wants us to study the heavens, but he doesn't want us to worship them or make a religion out of it as the pagans did. We're not to worship the sun, we're not to worship the moon, we're not to worship the stars. Go ahead and read for us Deuteronomy 4:19. Dick: and take heed, lest you lift your eyes to heaven, and when you see the sun, the moon, and the stars, all the host of heaven, you feel driven to worship them and serve them, which the Lord your God has given to all the peoples under the whole heaven as a heritage." Doug: you know, you can sort of understand, you realize that most energy and life in the world comes from photosynthesis, and they've discovered a few rare exceptions at the bottom of the ocean but even they argue that photosynthesis creates the marine snow that goes down and feeds the creatures that live in the dark part of the ocean, ultimately it all seems to come from light. The coal in the world came from light, all of the energy comes from light, photosynthesis.

And the ancients sort of put two and two together and they said, "if everything comes from the sun, it is our God." And haven't you seen the moon on a beautiful night reflecting the light of the sun? They realized the moon reflected the light of the sun. And so, it was like the bride and so they had the man, God of the sun and the woman, God of the moon. And the stars were the children and so many pagan nations had variations of that. God said, "do not worship the creation. If you think the sun is really something, worship the one who made the sun.

" God, remember, he said, "let there be light," before he even made the sun. It wasn't 'til the fourth d the sun was made. He said, "I made the sun." And so, he said, "do not--" well, what were they doing in Israel in the day of Jeremiah? Like the pagans around them, they were worshiping the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the different Gods of the suns. Do Christians even fall into that a little bit today? Where does Sunday worship come from? Some may not realize it but you really trace it back and it started with taking, adopting the roman day of worship which was to worship the sun, helios, apollo, and it sort of gravitated. It displaced and eclipsed the biblical seventh day.

And then Jeremiah 10:18, but it says, "they altogether are dull-hearted and foolish." And this is again, Jeremiah 10. "A wooden idol is a worthless doctrine. Silver beaten into plates; and they brought it from tarshish, and gold from uphaz, the work of the craftsman and the hands of the metalsmith; blue and purple are their clothing; they are all the work of skillful men." Now, this is, I read that part first because if you look in Jeremiah 10, and you go to verse 3, I left this out on purpose. Some of you have heard this verse before and misapplied. Jeremiah 10, verse 3, "for the customs of the peoples are futile; for one cuts a tree from the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, the workman with the ax.

They decorate it with silver and gold; they fasten it with nails and hammers so that it does not topple. They are upright, like a palm tree, they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go--" now, how many of you have heard that applied before to a holiday? Have any of you ever heard someone read that and talk about Christmas trees? I make sure I'm not the only one. Maybe it's 'cause of what we do, but I have people ask that question on the radio. They send it to us and say, "Christmas trees are from the devil because it says in Jeremiah 10 they cut a tree, they decorate it, they pray to it." And I say, "no, that's not what it's saying 'cause if you keep reading that verse it says it is a wooden idol." They're talking about idolatry, the way they made their idols, most of them were not made out of pure gold, or pure bronze, or pure silver. They cut a piece of wood down, they chisel with the wood and make their idol, then they plate it with gold and silver.

And basically he says, you're praying to the stock of a tree, it had nothing to do with Christmas trees. Now, that's a whole different subject about where all that comes from, but this verse is not talking about Christmas trees. This verse was talking about idolatry, and I think it was Isaiah that says, "they have eyes but they see not. And they have ears, but they hear not. And they have mouths--" it's not talking about a Christmas tree, talking about their idols.

And then he says, "they cut a block of wood and at a part of the wood, they make a God and whatever is left over when they're done carving their God, they use to cook dinner." And they say, "part of it, you're our God, the other part they cook their dinner," and he sort of makes fun of what the customs of the people. He says they're vain. It's a workman with an ax. "They decorate it with silver and gold and fasten it with nails and hammers so that it will not topple. They are upright, like a palm, they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot go, they can't even walk.

Do not be afraid of them, the cannot do evil, they cannot do good. Inasmuch as is like you, o Lord God (you are great, and your name is great in might), who would not fear you, o king of the nations? For this is your rightful due. For among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like you. But they are altogether dull-hearted and foolish; a wooden idol is a worthless doctrine. Silver is beaten into plates; it is brought from tarshish, and gold from uphaz.

" Tarshish was the farthest place and, you know, they're still looking for the silver mines in spain that the Bible talks about. Blue and purple are their clothing. He used to dress them up. Any of you ever seen some of these holidays and some of them maybe spanish or mexican towns where they're carrying idols up the street and everyone follows? They did this in Bible time. During the feast, they'd carry these silver, it was wood plated with silver and they'd carry them around.

They'd pray to him, throw flowers at them, and burn incense before them. It says, "but the Lord God," verse 10, "is the true God. He is the living God, the everlasting king. His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure his indignation. Thus you shall say to them: 'the Gods that have not made the heavens and the earth shall perish.

" Now, we just talked about don't worship, the sun, the moon, and the stars. And here he says, "the Gods that did not make the heavens and the earth will perish from the earth and from under these heavens." You remember when Jonah was on his boat and finally they cast lots and they found out the storm was from Jonah? They said, "tell us about who you are." And he said, "well, I was worship the God that made the heaven, and the earth, and the sea." He said, "I worship the God that made everything your Gods are made out of, and that's what basically God is saying here. Instead of worshiping the sun, and the moon, and the stars, this is the God that made those things. He's emphasizing that. All right, let's go to a call to repentance, Jeremiah 26, Jeremiah 26:1 to 6, and I'll read this very quickly and then we'll talk about that theme.

And someone down here has a verse for us, 1 Kings 8:34. Jeremiah 26, "in the beginning of the reign of jehoiakim The Son of josiah, the King of judah--" josiah was a good king. Jehoiakim, not so good. "King of judah, tHis Word came from the Lord, saying, 'thus says the Lord: 'stand in the court of the Lord's house, and speak to all the cities of judah, which have come to worship in the Lord's house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word.

Perhaps everyone will listen and turn from his evil way, that I might relent concerning the calamity which I purpose to bring against them because of their evil doings.'" Hear what the Lord is saying? "Perhaps they'll relent. Perhaps they'll repent and I can relent if they will humble themselves, I don't want to do it." Why hasn't the Lord come yet? Because 2 Peter chapter 3, "the Lord is longsuffering to us who are not willing that any should perish." He is postponing that last judgment. Now, sometimes a person might get, you know, they might get years, they might get 5 years they might get 20 years for their crimes but there's still a glimmer of hope that there'll be life after prison. But when you get the death penalty, it's not much hope and the Lord is saying, "you know, there's still hope, and I want to give as much opportunity for as long as I can because of the evil of their doings." Verse 4, Jeremiah 26:4, "and you will say to them, 'thus says the Lord: if you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, to heed the words of my servants the prophets whom I sent to you, both rising early and sending them (but you have not listened), then I'll make this house like shiloh, and I'll make this city a curse to the nations of the earth." What happened to shiloh, who remembers? You remember eli? Hophni and phinehas? And they were the priests of the Lord, but they turned from the law of the Lord and they sinned and they thought, "oh, but we've got the temple." That's shiloh. Temple didn't used to mean Jerusalem, it was at shiloh.

"We've got the temple. We've got the ark. We can fight the philistines. We'll just carry the ark in the battle 'cause God is with us." But The Sons of eli were committing adultery, they were robbing the people, they were evil, they were taking bribes. But they thought, "we're God's people.

We've got the ark. We've got the--i am a fifth generation jew." That's what they were saying. Did that make any difference? They went into battle with the philistines and thought, "we'll just take the ark with us as a good luck charm." And the ark was captured, the men were slaughtered, the philistines took shiloh and he said, "look, don't say, you know, we got the temple here and we're God's people. We're untouchable." God said, "I'll withdraw my protection." That's a lesson for us as a church, it's a lesson for us as a country that when we repudiate the reasons that God has been blessing, then we're gonna be exposed like everyone else. All right, and he said, "so repent.

" Go ahead, read for us please 1 Kings 8:34. Karen: "then hear in heaven, and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land which you gave to their fathers." Doug: "if they were carried away because of their disobedience and they prayed towards that place," Solomon said, "then hear from heaven, forgive." If they repented, he'd bring them back. Jeremiah, in his prophecies, not only talks about judgment that isn't coming yet, Jeremiah looks beyond the judgment and he says, "and when the judgment comes, if you'll turn to the Lord, those of you who survive, if you'll turn to the Lord from the place where you're carried captive and pray, they'll forgive you and bring you back." That goes all the way back to the days of Solomon. Lack at the dedication prayer of Solomon in 2 Chronicles chapter 6, verse 37 through 39. This is one of the greatest prayers in the Bible.

By the way, it's one of the longest prayers in the Bible, and it's still not as long as some prayers we pray in church, but it is quite a prayer. Chronicles 6, verse 37, "and when they come to themselves in the land where you carried them captive--" notice those term, "when they come to themselves." Where do you find that in the new testament? Prodigal son in a far country because of his sin came to himself. What does that sound like? Sounds like you're crazy a you've come to your senses, right? "Yet when they come to themselves in the land where they were carried captive, and they repent, and they make supplication, they pray to you in that land of their captivity," Solomon's looking way down the line. "And they say, 'we have sinned, we have done wrong, and have committed wickedness.'" They humble themselves, they confess, they repent. "And when they return to you with all their heart and with all their soul in the land of their captivity, where they've been carried captive, and pray towards their land--" now, if that's us praying towards Christ and heaven where we want to go.

"Which you gave to their fathers, the city which you have chosen, and toward the temple that I have built for your name: then hear from heaven." Pray towards the temple. When Daniel was in Babylon, did he pray towards the temple? Was the temple there anymore? It was destroyed. It was rubble, but he remembered what Solomon said 'cause Daniel read the Bible, it says so. And it says, "pray towards this place," Daniel opened his window, he prayed towards that place. He did exactly what it said.

People probably thought he was a fanatic. Some of his countrymen said, "Daniel, the temple's not even there. Why are you praying towards that place?" He says, "'cause God told me to.'" They prayed towards this place in the, city which you have chosen, and toward the temple that I built for your name: then hear from heaven your dwelling place their prayer, their supplications, maintain their cause, forgive your people who have sinned against you." And then, Karen just read the verse, "bring them back to the land that I have given them." So, this was all about coming to their senses in repentance. Ezekiel 14:6, "therefore say to the house of Israel, 'thus says the Lord God: repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations.'" What does repentance mean? A sorrow for sin in turning away from it. What were the first words of John the baptist as he prepared for Jesus' first coming? Repent, first word, "repent for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

" Then when Jesus came and he began his ministry, what were the first words of Jesus? "Repent," same thing, "for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." And how many sermons have you heard lately on repentance? Why? It's because we don't need to repent anymore, nothing to repent of, or is it not--who likes to be told to repent? Well, that gets you re-elected to tell people to repent. That's an unpopular message. What did it do for John t baptist? Prison. What'd it do for Jesus? Crucifixion? How about Jeremiah? Banishment. Isaiah? Execution.

Is repentance a popular message? How did most of the apostles, their message was, as they went when they said to Peter, "what do we do, men and brethren?" He said, "repent." A lot of converts but Peter was crucified upside down. It's not a popular message. Not hearing a lot these days within the church about the importance of repentance and turning back to God and living Christ-like lives, I'd said enough. Okay, go ahead read for us, what is it? Acts 17:30? Karen: "truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent." Doug: God winked or he overlooked the times of ignorance, but now he commands everyone to repent because he says, "Christ has come." He's speaking to the first coming. Here we are on the borders of the second coming.

Do we need to hear a message of repentance? Do you think, do you see honestly in your heart, in the last two generations within our church and our country, do you see people are getting holier and drawing closer to God, or do you think that generally speaking, Christians are becoming more like the world and drifting from God? So, do we need to hear a message of repentance now more or less? If we're gonna have a rival, people talk a lot about revival, but they don't talk about the prerequisites to revival. It's to talk about sin and sometimes be specific. Jesus revealed to the samaritan woman that he was the Messiah and there was a great revival and many samaritans accepted the Lord. You know what he said first? "Go call your husband." That's pretty personal. Why did he say that? She had a major sin in her life.

He said, "yeah, the guy you're living with, you're not married to." Oops. How would you like to have Jesus point that out? He had to address something specific in her life, and there's a lot of specific sins I think that need addressing in the church before there's gonna be revival and people are gonna change, they have to repent, that means turning, not just hearing about it, but turning from their sins. All right, next section, I think it's the last section here is the call for death. So, they didn't like what Jeremiah was saying. "And when the princes of judah heard these things, they came up from the King's house to the house of the Lord and sat down in the entry of the gate of the Lord's house.

And the priests and the prophets spoke to the princes and all the people, saying, 'this man deserves to die! For he has prophesied against this city, and have heard with your ears.'" He is, "you know, we're getting ready to fight against the Babylonians and he's dis-enheartening everybody." Who's next here? Emily, are you gonna read this next verse? Get ready for acts--no rather, Jeremiah 38, verse 4, if you would. It's dis-enheartening everybody. What did they say about Amos and his prophecy. Amos 7, verse 10, "then amaziah the priest of bethel sent to jeroboam king of Israel, saying, 'Amos has conspired against you in the midst of the house of Israel. The land is not able to bear all His Words.

" Amos was prophesying about their sin and they're saying, "haven't you heard? He's got the audacity--" what did king ahab say to a Elijah when he saw him at the end of 3-1/2 years of famine? "Are you he, o troubler of Israel? Your prophecies caused all these problems." And what did Elijah say? "No, you are the troubler of Israel, you and your sins and jezebel's sins," and kind of threw it right back at him. Alright, go ahead, read that for us please. Emily: "therefore the princes said unto their king, please, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakens the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of--" I'm so sorry. "For this man seeks not the welfare of this people, but the hurt." Doug: now, you can understand why that would not be popular. It wouldn't be popular today.

If you've got an army and a nation getting ready to go war against the people who have put them under tribute, you'd be called patriots. You're getting ready to lay your lives on the line to free your country from and oppressing power and then along comes a prophet and said, "don't fight against them. You're being oppressed because of your sin, submit." Would that be popular? How many here remember the story in the Bible where king jehoshaphat and king ahab were considering going to battle against the Kingdom of syria to retake the city of ramoth-gilead that used to be part of Israel and had been taken by the syrians? And king jehoshaphat said, "ahab, my horses are like your horses, my men like your men. We'll work together in this battle to reclaim that land that used to belong to us." The syrians took it, "but let's consult the Lord. We should really get God's Word on this.

" Ahab said, "no problem. I got a lot of prophets." So, he brought all the prophets of baal out, hundreds of them. Said, "shall we go to ramoth-gilead and fight or not?" And all the prophets said, "go up and prosper," and they had a big cheerleading meeting, and they carried on and they blew the horns, they beat the drum. They had a mascot and one guy put on horns and he said, "with these iron horns, you will push the syrians 'til you push them out of the land." And it was looking really good and everyone's going, "rah, rah, rah, fight, fight, fight, fight." And jehoshaphat, he's looking around and he sees from their clothing and their behavior, these are not prophets of jehovah, these are baal prophets. And he says to ahab, he says, "do you have any prophets of jehovah here we can talk to?" Ahab goes, "yeah, we got one guy but he's sort of a downer, micaiah, you know, he never says anything good about me.

" He says, "let's give him a chance." So micaiah is brought and as micaiah's being brought, the servant from ahab that brings him says, "hey look, little word of advice that we're having a great rally. We're getting ready to go right, moral is high. Don't say anything to discourage the soldiers in the Kingdom. Everyone is spirit, it's good spirit. Don't ruin it.

" And he said, "I'll say whatever God tells me to say." And so he gets out there and jehoshaphat says, "well, micaiah, what's the word? Shall we go fight with the syrians or not?" And a little bit of divine sarcasm, micaiah says, "go up and prosper just like all the others." And ahab said, "all right. Give it to me straight." He knew he was being sarcastic, something about the tone of his voice. He said, "okay. I saw Israel scattered on the hills as sheep without a shepherd." Israel was the Kingdom of ahab meaning something was gonna happen to the shepherd. And ahab turns to jehoshaphat said, "didn't I tell you that he wouldn't say anything good about me?" And micaiah goes on and he says, "you're gonna die in this battle.

" And so ahab says, "how dare you? Put him in prison. Feed them with the bread of affliction and the water of affliction until I return in peace." Micaiah said, "if you come back in peace, God has not spoken by me." What holy audacity for a prophet to be able to say that when you know nobody there listening is gonna appreciate it, but it was the Word of God. The people were sinning. There was a judgment coming. He warned them, "do not come to ramoth-gilead and fight.

God is not in it. The syrians took it because of your sins." They did lose the battle. Ahab was slain and you always wonder, you never hear what happened to micaiah. You always hope maybe they said, "oh, you were right, let him out of jail." It never says. Son of ahab might have killed him.

You don't know what happens. It takes courage though, to tell the nation you need to repent and to be that, the one who's swimming against the tide, and this is what Jeremiah was faced with. He had a lot of courage. Well, we're out of time for today's lesson, but I want to remind you, we have a special gift book and it's called, it is possible to live without sinning? I actually read this flying in a plane one day and the title scared me, but it was really a very encouraging book. So, if you'd like a free copy of this, call the number that you see on your screen, in fact, you can even download it for free and read it at the Amazing Facts website, simply amazingfacts.

com. God bless you, friends, until we study His Word together again next week. 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.

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Today, ancient folklore of spirits and apparitions have gone from mere superstitions to mainstream entertainment and reality. Scientific organizations investigate stories of hauntings and sightings, trying to prove once and for all the existence of ghosts. Even with all the newfound technology and centuries of stories all over the world, there is still no clearcut answer. So, how do we know what's true? Why do these stories persist? Does it even matter? We invite you to look inside and find out for yourself. Visit ghosttruth.

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