Jeremiah's Yoke

Jeremiah's Yoke

Scripture: Luke 9:23, Jeremiah 16:1-13, Hosea 1:1-3
Date: 11/28/2015  Lesson: 9
"God's prophets preached not only through words but also through object lessons. At times the prophets had to live out the messages; it was another way to get the point across."
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Good morning, friends, and welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour. A very special welcome to our friends joining us across the country and around the world - our extended Sabbath school Bible study class. I'd also like to welcome the members and the visitors here at the Granite Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church. Thank you so much for joining us this morning. As you know, if you've been coming on a regular basis, we have been studying through the book of Jeremiah, which is our lesson quarterly, and we find ourselves today on lesson #9, called Jeremiah's yoke.

Now for our friends who are joining us, if you don't have the lesson, you can download the lesson for this week - again, you can go to the amazing facts website, just amazingfacts.org. Click on the link that says Sabbath school study hour, download lesson #9 entitled Jeremiah's yoke, and you can follow along with as we study the word of God. We have a free offer we'd also like to let you know about, it's a book written by Joe Crews called remember lot's wife and we'll be happy to send this book to anybody in North America who calls and asks for it. The number to call is 866-788-3966 - ask for the book remember lot's wife - it's offer #108. Again, that number is 866-788-3966 - ask for offer #108.

We'll be happy to send you this book. And for our international friends, you can read the book for free online at the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.org. At this time I'd like to invite our song leaders to come forward and lead us in a few hymns of praise before we get to our study. Happy Sabbath and welcome. It's a beautiful day here at Granite Bay seventh-day adventist church and I'd like to invite you to turn in your hymnals to #476 - burdens are lifted at calvary - and aren't we all thankful that we can actually turn our cares and our worries over to the good Lord? Join with us.

Days are filled with sorrow and care hearts are lonely and drear. Burdens are lifted at calvary, Jesus is very near. Burdens are lifted at calvary, calvary, calvary burdens are lifted at calvary, Jesus is very near. Cast your care on Jesus today, leave your worry and fear. Burdens are lifted at calvary, Jesus is very near.

Burdens are lifted at calvary, calvary, calvary burdens are lifted at calvary, Jesus is very near. Troubled soul, the Savior can feel every heartache and tear. Burdens are lifted at calvary, Jesus is very near. Burdens are lifted at calvary, calvary, calvary burdens are lifted at calvary, Jesus is very near. Amen.

I'd invite for you to turn to #469 - our last song here today - leaning on the everlasting arms. I know you like to sing with us. You certainly write in and let us know how much you enjoy these songs so please feel free to join us at this time. What a fellowship, what a joy divine, leaning on the everlasting arms; what a blessedness, what a peace is mine, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way, leaning on the everlasting arms; o how bright the path grows from day to day leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms. What have I to dread, what have I to fear, leaning on the everlasting arms? I have blessed peace with my Lord so near, leaning on the everlasting arms. Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms; leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms. And I'd like to welcome back up pastor jëan ross.

Amen. Thank you singers. That was beautiful. I invite you to bow your heads as we open with a word of prayer. Dear Father, once again we are so grateful for the opportunity to gather together to study the Bible - to study this book in the old testament - the book of Jeremiah.

There are so many important lessons for our time today and, once again, we ask for the holy spirit to come and guide our hearts and our minds, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Well, at this time, we're going to have our lesson brought to us by the assistant afcoe director, our very own carissa mcsherry. She's going to be sharing with us in our study of Jeremiah. Thank you. Come on up, carissa.

Good morning. Good morning. Happy Sabbath. It's a Happy Sabbath, isn't it? Yes. This is the day that the Lord has made.

Let us - rejoice. Rejoice and be glad in it. Do we have a reason to rejoice today? Absolutely. I praise God for his blessings and for his mercy that is new every day. Today we are going to be continuing our study in the book of Jeremiah.

We are continuing with lesson #9 - Jeremiah's yoke and we're going to look at how an old story, written thousands of years ago applies to our lives today. Before we begin, would you bow your heads with me in prayer? Heavenly Father, Lord, we thank you for the life and the joy that is in Jesus Christ. Lord, I thank you for this beautiful privilege to study together, to learn from Your Word. And father, I pray that your spirit may be speaking through us today. Lord, teach us Your Word.

Draw us closer to you is our prayer. In Christ's name, amen. If you have your quarterly with you, please open up to that first page and we are going to read our memory text together. Our memory text is found in Luke chapter 9 and verse 23 - Luke chapter 9 and verse 23. Would you read it together with me, please? "And he said to them all, if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

" Let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. We see that this truly is the story of Jeremiah's life. Jeremiah's life is a life of complete and absolute surrender. The story we'll be looking at today is found in Jeremiah chapters 16, 27, and 28, but before we look at these chapters, I want to set the foundation - give a little bit of background into the life and story of Jeremiah. So in order to do so, please turn with me to Jeremiah chapter 1.

We are in Jeremiah chapter 1 and this is a verse that many of us have claimed in our own lives. When we have been nervous, when we have been scared, we have claimed the words of Jeremiah, but I want to look at the context today and then see if we still want to claim it. Jeremiah chapter 1, verse 4, "then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying: 'before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.' Then said i: 'ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.' But the Lord said to me: 'do not say, 'I am a youth,' for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,' says the Lord." Would you like to receive a calling like that? Absolutely. To hear God say 'don't be afraid.

I am with you. In fact, I knew you before you were born. I had a plan for your life. Don't be afraid of what you need to speak. I will speak through you.

' And we claim this promise and we say, 'Lord, make that my reality.' And yet, if we continue into verse 10, we may just change our story. Jeremiah - continuing in chapter 1 and verse 10, "see, I have this day set you over the nations and over the Kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant." Do you still want this call of Jeremiah? It sounds nice to think that God's Word is in you and he's using you as a messenger and you get to be that Christian missionary. You know, often we think of being a child of God and we think of giving all to Jesus. We have these pictures of going off and being an incredible missionary or a famous evangelist, or maybe you think of being the next george mueller who sets up an orphanage in europe - a man of faith. But we don't often want the experience of verse 10.

'Lord, you want me to destroy? Lord, you want me to pull down? Lord, that's not really the job I applied for.' I praise God because as you find in the end of verse 10, it completes with these words: "to build and to" - do what? Plant. To plant. You see, God does not leave us in that point of discouragement - of destruction - he says, 'I am destroying so that I can build again - so that I can give you something so much more beautiful.' I don't know about you but i, unfortunately, was not blessed with a green thumb. I kill just about anything I receive. I am working on this - I promise - but one thing I do know about a garden - let's say that I want to go plant tomatoes, so I go out to the garden that has been overgrown with weeds and it has been lying dormant for years, and I start to try and make little holes to plant my tomato plants.

Will that work? No, why? All the weeds - all of the weeds - all of the soil that has not been dug up will destroy my tomato plants. So before I can plant, before I can build, I need to first do what? I need to destroy. I need to clean out that soil. And, you see, it is the same in our lives today. It is the same as Jeremiah spoke to the people of judah.

He says, 'you cannot be built - you cannot have this new experience in God until all that old soil is dug up - until those weeds are destroyed. You see, even in this message of destruction there is hope. Even in this message, God gives his people a promise. So now we'll dig into the heart of Jeremiah - our lesson for today. Turn with me to Jeremiah chapter 16 - Jeremiah chapter 16.

In this story, Jeremiah, again, receives a call from God - something that was quite a restriction on his life. Turn with me to Jeremiah 16 and we are going to look at verses 1 through 5. And the Bible tells us, "the word of the Lord also came to me, saying, 'you shall not take a wife, nor shall you have sons or daughters in this place.' For thus says the Lord concerning The Sons and daughters who are born in this place, and concerning their mothers who bore them and their fathers who begot them in this land: 'they shall die gruesome deaths; they shall not be lamented nor shall they be buried, but they shall be like refuse on the face of the earth. They shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, and their corpses shall be meat for the birds of heaven and for the beasts of the earth.' For thus says the Lord: 'do not enter the house of mourning, nor go to lament or bemoan them; for I have taken away my peace from this people,' says the Lord." Now again, imagine in Jeremiah's time, receiving this calling from God. My sister was just married in June and already she can hear the ladies whispering, 'I wonder when they're going to have children.

' Right? Maybe you remember being there as a young newlywed couple, but especially that was true in Jeremiah's life. Your lineage and your offspring were so important to your identity. That was how you had your retirement. Your children were your investment. Otherwise, when you reached old age you would be out on the street as a beggar.

They needed each other - that was their livelihood and, in fact, it was almost insultive for Jeremiah not to get married, not to have children. You can imagine people coming to Jeremiah and saying, 'what's your problem? Why aren't you married? Why haven't you followed in the traditions?' And that is the opportunity for Jeremiah to open up and say, 'let me tell you about the Lord's plan for my life. Let me tell you about the destruction that is going to come to Jerusalem and why I am not married.' You see, God uses his prophets as object lessons. God uses his prophets to demonstrate His Word and his Gospel. Does God use us as object lessons as well? Absolutely.

Did Jesus use illustrations as he shared the word? Help me out here. What illustrations did Jesus use? He used parables. He used the parable of the fig tree. He used the parable of the samaritan: 'consider this man - who is my neighbor?' In fact, the book Christ's object lessons paints a beautiful picture of Jesus, one day, sitting on the mountainside, sitting there with his disciples and he's just thinking, 'how do I explain to these mere mortals the beauty - the incredible power of God and of his kingdom?' Imagine facing that trial. Jesus understood - he had been in the presence of God and now he has to explain such an incredible concept to such finite minds.

And there, as Jesus sits considering this dilemma, he looks over at the flowers of the field and he says, 'consider the lilies. Consider the lilies. Consider how they grow. Look at the lilies to see a picture of the Kingdom of God.' And you see Jesus used simple illustrations to point us back to His Word. But I believe the most powerful illustration is the one that God used when accusations were brought to him against his servant job.

'Is there anyone that truly loves you, God? I think it's just because of what you give them.' And yet, God could point down and say, 'well, have you considered - have you looked at my servant job?' How incredible today to think that you are God's object lesson. That God can point at us today and say, 'have you considered my servant joe?' 'Have you considered my servant tim?' 'Have you considered how my life is being lived out through them?' Continuing - how many of you here are parents? Alright, the majority here. Have you ever told your children - I'm going to even put it on your teenage son - have you ever told your teenage son, 'I'm going to be gone for about two hours. When I come home, I want to see a clean room that smells good'? Have you done this before? And you go and you run your errands and you come back home and what that mother discovers is your son has taken his dirty socks and shoved them into the closet. And all those old wrappers with half-eaten food are now hidden underneath the bed.

And he took your can of air freshener and he emptied out half the container in that little ten by ten room. Does that room smell better or worse? Worse. It's worse, right? Now it's even a greater stench because you are trying to cover a stench with something beautiful, which makes it worse. Can we ever do that in our Christian experience? God is calling us to be perfume and so we say, 'oh, if we just spray more of that Christian perfume on ourselves, then everyone can see how beautiful I am and how good I smell and how wonderful of a Christian I am.' And we spray that perfume and we hide those dirty socks and those skeletons back in the closet, but we end up smelling like a wretched mess. Yet again, I think that principle is found in considering the lilies.

You see, the flowers do not work - they do not try to smell pretty. There is no effort to it, rather it is just because they are strong - it is because their roots are solid - that that beautiful essence begins to flow from within. It's never too strong. It's always the right amount. You see, it's true in our lives today.

God is calling us to be perfume. He's calling us to smell nice so that all the world can see his kingdom and his glory revealed, but that can't be by me trying to make myself look good. It can only be as I allow God to do that work through me. I'm so thankful that God promises to do just that. We're going to continue now in Jeremiah chapter 27 - Jeremiah chapter 27 - again, now we're getting into the meat of our lesson today.

Jeremiah 27 - again, a warning is given to the people of God through yet another object lesson. Jeremiah 27, beginning in verse 1. And the Bible says, "in the beginning of the reign of jehoiakim The Son of josiah, king of judah, tHis Word came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 'thus says the Lord to me: 'make for yourselves bonds and yokes, and put them on your neck, and send them to the King of edom, the King of moab, the King of the ammonites, the King of tyre, and the King of sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem to zedekiah king of judah. And command them to say to their masters, 'thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel - thus you shall say to your masters: 'I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to me. And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the King of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him.

'" Finally, in verse 7, "so all nations shall serve him and his son and his son's son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great Kings shall make him serve them." You see, here, Jeremiah is giving a very unpopular message. Here he is telling the people of judah that 'you need to serve the king of Babylon. the King of Babylon will come in and you must accept his yoke.' Now here is Jeremiah with the wooden yoke upon him. Now this yoke is not - not key chain sized, right? This yoke is about five feet long. Can you imagine walking around all day long with a giant yoke on your shoulders? Do you think you might be noticed? Absolutely.

And that's, again, what Christ is trying to portray through Jeremiah's life. He wants him to be noticed. He wants his people to understand this message of warning. So here is Jeremiah with his yoke upon him. And if you continue reading through Jeremiah chapter 27 you will see that Jeremiah is strongly, vehemently warning the people of God.

He is warning them that there will be false prophets that will come and they will prophesy smooth words. They will tell you there is peace and there is safety. Don't worry about Babylon. Don't worry about this yoke. There are many beautiful years ahead of you and Jeremiah warns again and again and again, 'don't believe it.

Don't trust them. Don't accept the lies.' And yet, what do we find them doing in chapter 28? Believing a lie. A prophet by the name of hananiah comes before the people of God. Now hananiah is The Son of a prophet - same as Jeremiah was - so we see they both have this lineage. They're both religious leaders and they both are before the people and yet they have two very contradictory messages.

You see, Jeremiah is telling the people that if you don't submit to this yoke, you will be destroyed. There will be seventy years of captivity. And yet hananiah comes and he says, 'oh, no, no, no, don't listen to all these horrible forebodings. That is not what's going to happen. There will be two more years and then all of our possessions will come back.

' He is prophesying peace and joy and prosperity. Now imagine that you were in that audience. Or let me make it a little more personal. Imagine, today, that two prophets came up onto the stage and one was prophesying and saying the United States is going to continue to be a world power. We will have many years of prosperity and the economy will improve and - beautiful things ahead of us - a land of peace.

And yet another prophet comes up and says, 'oh no, no, no. Seventy years of captivity. The trials are coming. Terrorism will destroy the country.' Now which of these two prophets would you be inclined to believe? I want the first option, right? Give me the peace. Give me the prosperity.

Not that second option - seventy years and destruction and pain and turmoil? No, no, no, I choose this guy.' And, you see, this is exactly what happened with God's people. They looked at these two messages and they said, 'ah, one of those is just not pleasing to me.' I'm going to choose hananiah.' What I find so interesting about this story is Jeremiah's approach. Turn with me, again, to verse 28 - we are in Jeremiah chapter 28 and we'll be picking up this story in verse 5 - Jeremiah 28 and verse 5 and the Bible says, "then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of the Lord, and the prophet Jeremiah said, 'amen! the Lord do so; the Lord perform Your Words which you have prophesied, to bring back the vessels of the Lord's house and all who were carried away captive, from Babylon to this place." Notice Jeremiah's response. Was Jeremiah treated kindly by the people of judah? No. He had been scourged.

He was beat. He was imprisoned. And yet, here he is saying, 'oh, would to God that your message was true.' He does not want a curse to come on the people of God. He would love it to be peace and prosperity. 'Oh may it be true!' You see, Jeremiah did not have animosity - even though he had been hurt time and again, his only desire was to speak the Word of God.

His only desire was to reach out and save his people. Continuing in verse 7, "nevertheless hear now tHis Word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people: the prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms - of war and disaster and pestilence. As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the Lord has truly sent." In other words, Jeremiah is not defending himself. He is not saying, 'you are hurting my pride. I gave this message and I'm going to stand strong behind it.

' Rather, he is saying, God will be proven true. Other prophets of old have prophesied peace and it has failed. Today we will watch and see which of these prophecies come true.' You know, the same thing occurs in our lives today. Sometimes we have to sit back and watch and see which of those messages were truly from God. Which of those can truly be trusted? Continuing in verse 10: "then hananiah the prophet took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah's neck and broke it.

And hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, 'thus says the Lord: 'even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.'' And the prophet Jeremiah went his way." So here he comes to him and rather violently breaks that wooden yoke off of his neck. Does Jeremiah throw up his fists and say, 'alright, the fight's on!'? How does he respond? He walks away. He leaves. Is there a time to be silent? You know, sometimes when people argue against us - when they rebuke us - we want to fight back. But there are times to hold our peace.

There are times to simply walk away. You see Jeremiah was reviled and yet he did not revile again. Can you think of another man in Scripture who did the same thing? Jesus Christ. Picture him, again, standing before herod. He could have given a beautiful sermon.

He could have worked a miracle like herod was commanding him to, and yet he did what? He reMained silent. Why? Because the greatest prophet had spoken to herod of old - John the baptist - and herod would not listen to that message. Why then should Jesus speak? Sometimes the strongest argument you can make is silence. Sometimes the best thing you can do is walk away. That is where true humility is demonstrated.

In Numbers chapter 16 the story is told of how Moses was approached by korah, dathan, and abiram. And as these men came to him, they claimed, 'who do you think you are? You are trying to set yourself as God. You are exalting yourself. You are no better than the rest of us. Any of us could do your position.

' What amazes me is the approach - the response of Moses. You see, Moses did not say, 'bring in the troops. Let me destroy you. Let me show you how strong I am. Let me call down fire from heaven.

' Rather, you see, in Numbers chapter 16 that Moses fell on his face. Moses is being attacked. Moses is being rebuked and his response is to fall on his face flat. That is a position of humility. That is the last position you want to be in when you are facing an enemy.

But he went down on his face to demonstrate the battle is the Lord's and not mine. Tomorrow we will see which leader God has chosen. You see, that is the humility that God is calling us to today. Often, we have people come to us and they say, 'you know, I'm trying to witness to my loved ones and I keep telling them all about the Mark of the beast - all about the prophecies of Revelation and they're just not listening to me.' And sometimes we have to remind them that, in that situation, the best approach you might take is silence. Be the living example of Jesus Christ.

Be that perfume. Sometimes the best approach is silence. I've had people come up to me before and say, 'how do you know when it is the right time to rebuke someone? The right time to correct someone?' And my response is when you have tears in your eyes. You see, Jesus, even when giving his strongest rebukes, did so with tears in his eyes. It hurt him.

He didn't want to say these things but it was the only way to help them realize their condition and point them to the cross. Seek others with tears in your eyes. A powerful quote I want to share with you from manuscripts 24 - this is from 1887. And we are told we may expect that false reports will circulate about us. Not 'it could happen.

' We may expect it will happen. "But if we follow a straight course, if we remain indifferent to these things, others will also be indifferent. Let us leave to God the care of our reputation. Slander can be lived down by our manner of living. It is not lived down by words of indignation.

Let our great anxiety be to act in the fear of God and show by our character that these reports are false. No one can injure our character as much as we ourselves. It is the weak trees and the tottering houses that need to be constantly propped up. When we show ourselves so anxious to protect our reputation against attacks from the outside, we give the impression that it is not blameless before God and that it needs, therefore, to be continually bolstered up." Powerful words, are they not? Absolutely. We don't have to defend our character.

We don't have to defend our reputation. Would to God that we live today only to seek approval from our father's heart. Imagine how that could change our daily experience. We're going to turn now to 2 Timothy chapter 4, verses 3 through 5 - and scarlet is going to read that for us this morning - Timothy chapter 4 - we are in verses 3 through 5. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. Thank you. Do we see this happening in Christendom today? How much more popular it is to hear these prosperity speakers who get up and they say, 'oh, if you give your life to Jesus, God will give you that new bmw. God will give you that new mansion. Just give all your money to me and God'll do it.

'? Right? And people enjoy these messages and they have those itching ears. 'Preach smooth words to me. I want to hear grace. I want to hear beauty. Lord, rebukes? Affliction? That's not what I'm looking for.

' And yet, that may be the very message that God is giving us to truly win and bring our hearts back to him. Hananiah, his name means 'God has been gracious' - here is this false prophet with the name 'God has been gracious' preaching a message of peace and joy and prosperity. Imagine being there and watching Noah build an ark. Was Noah's message a message of love and peace and joy? It was a message of destruction, was it not? 'Get in the ark or you will be killed! This is the way of salvation; walk ye in it.' And yet I imagine there were probably other preachers there standing beside the ark, trying to tell the congregation gathered there, 'don't listen to this fool. Don't stress about this - this end-time message.

Don't allow it to scare you. There are many more beautiful days ahead of you. Naturally we would desire to listen to those preachers, but only those who listened to Noah were saved. And God is calling us too, to listen to His Word, to allow it to be applied into our lives so that we are not deceived but that we will be ready for the times ahead. Imagine that I was a dermatologist and you came into me with this strange skin rash on your arm and I look at it and immediately I recognize that is cancer.

But I'm a friend of yours. We've been friends for years and it's almost thanksgiving - I don't want to make you sad. I don't want to hurt your feelings and so I look at your cancerous rash and I tell you, 'oh no, no, it's just - just a little rash - maybe a little allergy. It'll go away in a few days.' Would I be a faithful friend? No, not at all. I would be delaying your healing by preaching a message of grace.

And God is saying again, 'don't cover my words. Speak it in truth, but speak it in love.' Manuscript 33 continuing, "we are told that the present truth - the special message given to our world, even the third angel's message, comprehends a vast field containing heavenly treasures. No one can be excusable who says, 'I will no longer have anything to do with these special messages. I will just preach Christ.' No one can preach Christ and present the truth as it is in Jesus, unless he presents the truths that are to come before the people at the present time when such important developments are taking place." Do we see that in our world today? Amen. Are important developments taking place? Amen.

Do you see prophecy being fulfilled? Amen. We look at Matthew chapter 24 - we look at the prophecies in Revelation and we say, 'these things are happening.' In our time, today, the signs are being fulfilled and yet some may say, 'let it go. Let's just talk about love and Jesus.' But here we are reminded that it is because of love that God has warned us of the things before us. It is because of love that God has given us these messages so that our hearts can be prepared for his coming. It is from the love of God.

You see this in the book of Revelation. Often when people picture the book of Revelation, they're picturing what? Beasts. Beasts - these incredible creatures coming up out of the sea - of armageddon. And they may be terrified and yet we find in Revelation chapter 1 that Revelation is to be a Revelation of Jesus Christ. In other words, preach the truth.

Share the present truth. Present before the people the prophecies that are being fulfilled today. But in the midst of it all there must be Jesus. In the midst of it all reveal the lamb because that is the only way we can have salvation - the Revelation today of Jesus Christ. You see, after hananiah cut off that wooden yoke, the Lord sent another message to Jeremiah and he said, 'now take a yoke of iron and put it upon yourself and you will show the people that that yoke will not be broken.

You see, before it was only wood, much more comfortable and lighter to carry, but now it is of iron. Now your burden will be so much greater.' Turn with me back to Jeremiah chapter 28 as we finish the story here in Jeremiah chapter 28 and we will pick up in verse 15 - Jeremiah chapter 28 and verse 15, "then the prophet Jeremiah said to hananiah the prophet, 'hear now, hananiah, the Lord has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie. Therefore thus says the Lord: 'behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the Lord.'' So hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month." Again we see that because hananiah prophesied falsely, he was cut off. His life was cut short.

You see, hananiah goes to a prophet and says, 'don't wear this yoke, God is promising peace.' A very similar message was given from the disciples to Jesus Christ. 'Jesus, why do you keep talking about this cross? Why are you talking about the crucifixion and how you're going to be killed? And Jesus, that doesn't sound so nice. Jesus, you could be the earthly king. Jesus, you could sit on the throne. You could destroy the Romans.

' You see, the disciples were looking at a crown, but Jesus saw the cross. In other words, sometimes our future - our plans do not go as we anticipate. Our life may not be lived out as planned and we may question it. But if we could be in heaven - if we could look through heaven's eyes, we would have it no other way. God knows what is best for us and, as Isaiah 58 - 55 tells us, 'for my thoughts are higher than your thoughts and my ways are higher than your ways, for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Whatever your thoughts are today, whatever your plans are, God's plans for you are so much greater. Amen. Turning again in our Bibles to 2 Thessalonians, chapter 2, we are in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2. And again, we're going to see that it's not just a knowledge of the truth that saves us, there is more to it than that. We are in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2, verses 10 through 12.

2 Thessalonians chapter 2, verses 10 through 12, and the Bible says, "and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." Now notice with me, we are looking in verse - let's see - verse 10. Look with me in verse 10 and the Bible says they did not receive a love of the truth. In other words, did they have the truth? Yes. They had the truth but they did not have what? Love.

The love of the truth. You see, I can have the truth. I can understand all the prophecies of Revelation and understand every word of the Bible, but if I don't love it, I will be deceived. The story is told of a man who walked throughout Jerusalem yelling out, 'woe unto Jerusalem! Woe unto Jerusalem! You will be destroyed!' For seven years he continued this ritual, 'woe unto Jerusalem! Woe unto Jerusalem!' Many of the people looked at him as though he was crazy - he had lost his mind - and he was brought in before the courts. He was beaten.

He was arrested. He was thrown in jail. And yet, he never rebuked them. He was silent before his accusers. Finally they released the man and he continued this pattern of going throughout Jerusalem, 'woe unto Jerusalem! You will be destroyed! Woe unto Jerusalem!' And you see, this man was right.

Jerusalem was destroyed and when it was destroyed, he too was killed. You see, he knew all the signs. He knew that it would be destroyed. He knew that it would happen, but he did not have the love of Jesus Christ in his life and because of this fact, he was killed. I believe it's the same for us today.

Do we have the love of Christ in us today? Do we love the truth? You know, today, as you look at your own experience, you may say, 'you know, it's not going as I planned. This is not how I anticipated my life to be. I was looking towards the call of Jeremiah chapter 1. 'I have put my words in your mouth. I have a plan for your life.

'' And you like that. But then you read verse 10 and those trials come and those struggles come and you might begin to doubt God. But you see, God has a greater plan in mind for you than you can even imagine. Looking through the eyes of heaven, we will have no regrets. Two years ago my little nephew declan - a little over two years ago - my little nephew declan was born.

And soon after his birth the doctors realized that he had several holes in his heart. They would try to have him grow as much as he could before having the open heart surgery - it's better if they're a little bit older. But after a while he began to have challenges with breathing and other issues and they realized they couldn't put off this surgery any longer. So there was my nephew declan at ten months old - my sister, my brother-in-law taking that precious little baby and handing him off to the anesthesiologist, knowing that soon his chest would be cut open, knowing that he would bear those scars forever, knowing that he would be going through treatments and medication - this ongoing process. But, you see, the parents handed the child over because they knew that was the only way their child could be healed.

That's the only way their child could experience the joy of life. Could the parents explain to that ten month old what was occurring? No, the child could not possibly understand. Imagine Jesus standing beside that hospital bed. He wants to explain to the child what's happening. He wants to explain to us why we're going through the trials and the problems we may be going through.

But he looks at us and he says, 'you wouldn't understand. You're but a child. My plans are so much greater. I know that the only way you can experience true healing is by going through this experience.' And so God allows us to walk, but we do not walk alone. Amen! And I want to praise God today that, as we go through this journey, as we share His Word, God is the one that will keep us faithful.

If we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus - as we look for the lamb revealed in the book of Revelation, God will continue to lead us into truth. Today we have a free offer - remember lot's wife - so if you would like to call for this free offer, you can contact Amazing Facts for that free offer. So we encourage you to check out this resource and other resources that are available at our website amazingfacts.org. Thank you again for joining us today as we continue this study of God's Word. May God bless you until we meet again next week.

Can't get enough Amazing Facts Bible study? You don't have to wait until next week to enjoy more truth-filled programming, visit the Amazing Facts media library at 'aftv.org'. At 'aftv.org' you can enjoy video and audio presentations as well as printed material all free of charge, 24 hours a day 7 days a week, right from your computer or mobile device. Visit 'aftv.org'. Have you ever heard the expression before, 'they eat like a bird' talking about somebody who has a minuscule appetite? Well you might want to think twice next time you use that expression. For example, take the hummingbird: in order for it to maintain its incredible metabolism, it has to eat about -percent of its body weight every day.

To put that in perspective, if a hundred-pound woman was to eat like a hummingbird, she would have to eat 50 pounds of sugar a day just to maintain her body weight. Imagine that. Maybe you don't want to imagine that, but perhaps you'll want to consider this another way: the hummingbird typically consumes between four to seven calories a day, on the other hand, a human: about 3,500 calories a day. But if you were to eat like a bird - a hummingbird - you'd have to eat over 150,000 calories a day. That's like a man - pounds that would be eating 3,000 oreo cookies.

Under normal conditions, a hummingbird needs to eat every five or ten minutes, but there's actually one time during the year the hummingbird will eat its entire body weight every day. You see, once a year they make this migration 500 miles across the gulf of Mexico from Texas to the yucatan peninsula. In order to do that, the hummingbird feasts on nectar and gorges themselves on this nectar for about a week, doubling their body weight. That's the only way they can store enough calories to help them with their 70-wing beats per second or roughly 4 million wing beats on that journey. You know, in the same way, friends, as we near the end of time, we need to be feasting and gorging ourselves on the nectar of God's Word.

We've got to be able to have that strength to get us through the times of trouble that are ahead. So when it comes to the Bible and your personal devotions, if you're going to eat like a bird, eat like a hummingbird. In six 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.

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