The Destruction of Jerusalem

Scripture: Jeremiah 29:7, Romans 1:22-25, Daniel 9:2
Date: 12/05/2015 
Lesson: 10
"Even while people in Jerusalem were still fighting the Babylonians, still hoping that the words of the false prophets were true, the Lord was using Jeremiah to speak to the future."
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Welcome to Sabbath School Study Hour. We're so glad that you are tuning in and joining with us, like you do every week, from across the country and around the world. Can you believe this year has gone so quickly and it's already time to sing your favorite Christmas songs and today we are going to be doing that and we are very excited that our extended family around the world - we can all join together and sing about Jesus' birth. Let's sing our first song and then I will tell you about a book offer that we have for today. Our first one is hark! The herald angels sing - #122 - and we will do all three stanzas.

Join with us. Pull out your hymnals and sing with us - #122. Hark! The herald angels sing, "glory to the newborn king; peace on earth, and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!" Joyful, all ye nations, rise, join the triumph of the skies; with th'angelic host proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem!" Hark! The herald angels sing, "glory to the newborn king." Christ, by highest heaven adored, Christ the everlasting Lord; in the manger born a king, while adoring angels sing, "peace on earth, to men good will;" bid the trembling soul be still, Christ on earth has come to dwell, Jesus, our immanuel! Hark! The herald angels sing, "glory to the newborn king." Hail! The heaven-born prince of peace! Hail! The sun of righteousness! Life and light to all he brings, risen with healing in his wings. Mild he lays his glory by, born that man no more may die born to raise The Sons of earth, born to give them second birth. Hark! The herald angels sing, "glory to the newborn king.

" I always imagine the shepherds out on the hills of Bethlehem that night as they were sitting around the fire - maybe there was a fire, maybe there wasn't, but if they're out in the hills of Bethlehem it was pretty bleak. If you've been there you've seen what it's like - and suddenly, the sky was filled with angels singing 'hark! Jesus has been born!' You know, those shepherds had been searching the Scriptures and they knew that it was going to be happening at some time. Imagine being one of them - having that amazing news that Jesus had been born. You'd be bursting at the seams, running and telling everyone that you knew and strangers. And that's what they did.

They said, 'Jesus has been born and you will find him in a manger.' We're going to go right to that song - my favorite - silent night - #143. You know, I was thinking about that we were singing this song, and with the events that have happened within the last 24 hours, the bloodshed and the evil that is in this world - it's like, how do you tie that in with silent night when last night in paris it was far from a silent night. It was a horrible night. And I can't wrap my head around how you put those two together, because it's just evil. And our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with everyone who's been affected by that tragedy, but we, as Christians, we can always come back to - because of that night so many years ago in Bethlehem, in a manger, in a stable - that we know that the evil in this world isn't going to last forever.

So as we sing silent night, think about the words that you're singing: 'silent night, holy night'. One day we'll be in heaven - #143 - all four stanzas. Silent night, holy night all is calm, all is bright; round yon virgin mother and child! Holy infant, so tender and mild, sleep in heavenly peace, sleep in heavenly peace. Silent night, holy night, darkness flies, all is light. Shepherds hear the angels sing, "alleluia! Hail the King! Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born.

" Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love's pure light; radiant beams from thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace, Jesus, Lord at thy birth, Jesus, Lord at thy birth. Silent night, holy night, wondrous star, lend thy light; with the angels let us sing, alleluia to our king; Christ the Savior is born, Christ the Savior is born. Before we have our prayer, I'm going to tell you about a book offer that we have. It's a free offer for you this week. It's called the rest of your life! Everything you need to know about the Sabbath.

It's a beautiful sharing magazine put out by Amazing Facts, full of lots of pictures and great information on the Sabbath. So we encourage you to contact Amazing Facts. You can call 866-788-study more - that's 866-788-3966 and it's offer #813. So if you've never contacted us and you would like this, I encourage you to do that. The rest of your life - a beautiful magazine about the Sabbath.

Before Pastor Doug brings us our lesson study, let's have a word of prayer. Father in Heaven, thank you so much for being willing to come down to this world, to give up the glories of heaven, to save me, and to save every single person on this world. Father, we just have to choose that gift that you have given to us. And you knew, when you made that decision to come down here to save each and every one of us, that most people would reject you and some of them would even put you on a cross. But you loved us enough to look past that to the day when you would be able to come back to this world a second time and take us in the clouds of glory to heaven.

Father, may we each be ready for that day when you come. And at this time of year, as the Christian world is looking and celebrating your birth, father, may we join with our friends, our family, our neighbors, strangers in sharing that hope of your second coming very soon. Be with Pastor Doug and we thank you so much that he's back from the other side of the planet and he's bringing us our lesson study today. In Jesus' Name, amen. Yes, Pastor Doug and his lovely wife, Karen, have been in fiji and new zealand, having meetings over there, and we shared them with you for three weeks and we're glad that they're back and pastor doug will be bringing us our lesson study for today.

Our lesson today, in Jeremiah 10, is about the fall of Jerusalem. And, to be honest, it's kind of heavy so I thought I might lighten it up a little bit and share with you a brief mission report on where we were and what was going on for the last couple of weeks. I want to thank you for giving us leave to go and talk to that part of the world. Also, I think it's relevant because the people in fiji and new zealand that we saw virtually everywhere we went, watch Sabbath school, so they are part of our extended class. Now some of them watch, like, on a Thursday or a Friday and then they go to their classes on Sabbath, but I think just about everywhere we went we saw people who were watching.

This is a - just a quick Google earth shot of the part of the world that Karen and I were in. We were gone for about two weeks - I tell you, 11 airplanes, Karen counted, nine different hotels and houses that we stayed in, so this is a record for the number - yeah, 17 presentations - this is the record for the number of times I have changed airplanes and hotels on one trip. We, basically, never took our clothes out of the suitcase and put them in a drawer. So - because just one day after another we had to throw it back in the suitcase. And - but we were in three different islands in fiji and two islands in new zealand.

Then here's a little map of fiji. We flew in to nandi and spoke there. I spoke at the mission office. Drove over to - actually flew over to suva and spoke there and then we went on to the island of vanua levu and went to a mission there and spoke there as well. Matter of fact, if we go to the next picture - I'm not seeing it on my preview screen - oh, one of the neat things that happened when we first spoke at the mission office there - I don't know if you have heard, but the new president of fiji, who was just voted in this month - he was voted in and I think he was inaugurated this month - brother major general conradi is now the president of fiji - Seventh-day Adventist - and so he's the first Seventh-day Adventist president of the country.

He met with us and Karen and i, we had prayer with him with a different mission - matter of fact, he met with us twice. He was so very nice. When we left the country he had - well, when we arrived and then when we left, he had a presidential escort. It was a little over the top for what we expected, but it was very nice. But they were running cars off the road as they drove us.

This is - we met in the vodafone arena - and this is one of the largest indoor arenas in suvi - and met there - had about 3,000 people that came out and that was on a Wednesday night and so that was very good attendance. The next slide - let's see what we have here. This is - then we went to the fulton college. This is a brand-new campus. They moved from the very wet side of the island over at suva and went to nadi and - just a beautiful picturesque spot there.

Water comes right down from the mountains. Built a brand-new facility there. By the way, some of your 13th Sabbath offering that you see on the back of your quarterly helped to build that university that services a lot of the young people in the pacific islands there. And at the meeting there for Friday, Sabbath, and Sunday - it might have been Thursday, Friday, Sabbath - anyway, we had three or four meetings there. They had - 5,000 people came and it was just - it was really, really exciting.

They said it was the largest attendance they had in the new campus. And boy, they stayed all day long too. We thought after church they'd go home, but they just sat on the floor, had their lunch, and sat there all day long with their programs and sang and participated. Then we went from there - we flew over to the natuvu creek mission. This is a beautiful mission that has been built by doctors tom and marta tooma and this is the staff - the kalbermatters - nani and dr.

Anibal and some of their family that met with us. This is a medical mission that is on - it's right at the end of the natuvu creek and they have a clinic there and we had turned it into a little evangelistic program. People who had been coming for medical treatment to the clinic, they had been watching the Amazing Facts dvds. Some of them have been watching the Sabbath school program. We mostly had evening meetings but we didn't get any good camera shots because it was so dark.

And this is the final meeting we had during the day there, before we drove over to labasa. Now the people at labasa - and I'll get to that in just a second - when we finished at the creek there, we were catching the plane at labasa to go over to new zealand the next day and they said, 'will you please preach to us?' And we said, 'we're sorry, we're not even leaving until, you know, 6:00 and it's a 3-hour drive and we won't get there until like 9:45 or 10:00.' They said, 'we'll wait.' At night! And I thought, 'well, there's not going to be anybody there. And it took longer than we thought so, by the time we dropped Karen - and jared wasn't feeling well at the hotel - wayne and I went over just to speak to the people there. The place was packed. There were 300 people there that had waited - some of them five hours - because that was the last bus in.

And we were so moved by that - the dedication - they were happy. They weren't mad that we were late, they were just happy we came. And so we shared a quick message for them because we were tired too. So that was the - the three largest cities in fiji we spoke and went to the three largest islands - one of the interesting things - see this picture here? This is taveuni. You see the dark yellow line going through the middle? The international dateline goes through there and so we did an amazing fact of faith while we were there about how - it was very interesting - you could go like this and you could step from one day to the other.

(Laughter) so we tried to make some illustrations about time travel and prophecy and - I don't know what we were doing, but we did an amazing fact of faith we recorded - it's not out yet - at the international date line. It's a very interesting spot. And next picture - oh, there's some pretty - this is on that same island. Beautiful waterfalls - they took us up through some of the - just pristine. There are some beautiful spots in fiji.

And Karen and I also went scuba diving, oh three or four times, I forget - and just saw some - some of the best coral and tropical fish I've ever seen in the world were around fiji. And, you know, when I saw that waterfall, you know what had to happen? I don't know who that is, but somebody couldn't resist jumping in that water there. I think several of us dove in that day, but it was just a beautiful, beautiful spot. Alright, and then we went from there down to new zealand. And this is the first adventist church in the southern hemisphere.

When I first saw that, I thought it said 'poison by Seventh-day Adventist Church' but it's the ponsonby Seventh-day Adventist Church and this is actually a new facility attached to the original facility where Ellen white actually preached in this church. And it was packed. I don't remember how many were there. We had several hundred in the overflow, but every seat was full. The people were very receptive.

They are part of our extended Sabbath school class. Matter of fact, I want to wave to our friends in fiji and in new zealand. They said - I said, 'we'll wave to you because you're part of our class there.' And they - many of them watch with us every week. So we did a program there and then we went to the largest - and this is auckland, new zealand - a suburb of auckland, actually - and then we went to the town hall in auckland and that was the largest, by far, meeting. This is a very large old historic gathering place in auckland.

I think it's over a hundred years old. It was full to the gills. People that attended - there were - over 2,000 people came and they were standing up in the back, there was 400 in an overflow room, and it was also streamed on the internet. Just lovely, lovely people there. And next picture - I think - oh yeah, the mayor of the city came, len brown, and he kind of surprised us all when he sang to everybody too.

Not only did he welcome everybody from the church - and this was recorded for the hope channel in the south pacific - but then he sang and the next day we saw he was in the paper with prince charles. Karen and I just missed prince charles and camilla and they came to the same auditorium. I want you to know, we had a much bigger crowd than they did. (Laughter) I just want everyone to know that. (Laughter) so we had some wonderful meetings in auckland.

They took us around the city. Karen and I had a beautiful day off where we went across the harbor and just finally we had a day to totally relax. We spoke every other day except, I think, maybe one day. I don't know, I think maybe we spoke every day, actually. And we went to Christchurch next - and you heard about the terrible earthquake there in 2011.

I've never seen anything like this, friends. Karen and I got dropped off and we went walking around the city looking for a place to eat and it's like every other block had been bombed is what it looked like - even though this has been five years - four and a half years ago, they still haven't had a chance to rebuild it. They have buildings propped up and held up and blocked off. A lot of construction noise everywhere from demolition and construction, but they're just rebuilding the whole city. Many ancient churches were decimated.

Big buildings that look relatively new were condemned because they had cracked during the earthquake. And it was only, roughly, a 7 on the richter scale, which is big, but the ground under Christchurch liquefied and so many foundations were destroyed, but they're rebuilding and so we - the place we met in actually was the replacement church for this church. It's a temporary church they built and they called it 'the cardboard cathedral' and so this is where we met two or three times and so about three hundred people came. Now they didn't advertise our meetings to the other churches in Christchurch. They advertised, principally, to the people who had been watching on tv.

There's a television program on all over new zealand - it's adventist programming. It's kind of like 3abn down there - it's called firstlight. Free to air in our hotel - everywhere people have been watching our programs along with a lot of other programs - and they advertised through the tv program and so 50% of the people that came were non-members and so it was really exciting to share there at the cardboard - they call it the cardboard cathedral because it was designed and built - the core of it - the girders and everything - are made out of cardboard and they needed to put it up very quickly. I don't know if that was the last picture. I forget what's next.

Oh, that's right. Then we drove - we finally got to do some sight seeing and drove from Christchurch down to queenstown - covered some beautiful country and it's just - it's spectacular vistas. It looks like a combination of the rocky mountains and the alps and the air is very clean and the water is blue, blue from melted glaciers and we went to this little town of queenstown and there is a company of Seventh-day Adventists that we met with there and we shared and spoke with them. And then Karen and I got to do a little sight seeing and we flew home. So it was busy every day, preaching from town to town and meeting people.

I think Karen said 17 different speaking appointments and we went to five different islands and just a wonderful experience. Believers everywhere and the work is going forward so that's our mission report. Greetings again. I promised I'd wave to our friends that are watching in new zealand and in fiji and now to our study, which is a somber one. We're in lesson #10 in the book of Jeremiah and it's the fall of Jerusalem.

I'm glad there's going to be a new Jerusalem because the old Jerusalem is probably the most frequently destroyed city in the world. It has been destroyed and rebuilt 27 times, I think I read one place. Now, to understand what's going on. You remember in the book of Jeremiah, in the beginning, one of the things - one of the reasons that the city was going to be destroyed is because they had just given themselves over to apostasy several times. Read, for instance, in Jeremiah 1:16 - it says, "I will utter my judgments against them concerning all their wickedness, because they have forsaken me, burned incense to other Gods, and worshiped the works of their own hands.

" They had been burning incense to other Gods. And, matter of fact, you know I forgot the memory verse. You mind if I back up? Memory verse is Jeremiah 29, verse 7 and if you'll say that with me, I'm doing it from the new king James version - Jeremiah 29:7, "and seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace." God was telling them, 'you're going to be captive in a foreign land because of your unfaithfulness but, even while you're there, I want to use you as a witness in your captivity.' Now Jeremiah was not alone in having to warn the people about the judgments. You can read, for instance, in Ezekiel - Ezekiel was a contemporary of Jeremiah. Now just remember, we've talked about this, but I want to remind you that the captivity of the Hebrews in Babylon came in stages.

First, Nebuchadnezzar came and basically conquered them, surrendered and they made a covenant with him and they said, 'we will serve you.' He said, 'alright, I'm going to let one of The Sons of king josiah remain king and he put zedekiah on the throne. Zedekiah made a covenant and said, 'I'm going to serve you. We'll pay taxes. We'll submit.' And then they didn't. But for, oh, eleven or twelve years some of them had been carried away - Daniel, hananiah, mishael, azariah, Ezekiel, and many other jews.

Ezekiel prophesied from Babylon and the area of persia to the jews and he sent messages when they were there and this is one of the prophesies of Ezekiel and this is very important. Ezekiel 8, verses 8 through 16 - and I'll read this. Somebody, in a moment is going to read 2 Chronicles 36 - Karen will do that. Ezekiel 8:8, "then he said to me, 'son of man, dig into the wall'; and when I dug into the wall," - you see, I tell people my name is a Bible name." - There you have it, d-u-g (laughter) - "'son of man dig in the wall'; and when I dug into the wall, there was a door. And he said to me, 'go in, and see the wicked abominations which they are doing there.

' So I went in and saw, and there-every sort of creeping thing, abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed all around on the walls. And there stood before them seventy men of the elders of the house of Israel," - how many men? That number is going to come up later - "and in their midst stood jaazaniah The Son of shaphan. Each man had a censer in his hand, and a thick cloud of incense went up. Then he said to me, 'son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark,'" - does God see what happens in the dark? Does Jesus say in the judgment, 'those things done in secret will be proclaimed from the housetop? Was God showing the prophet what was happening? They thought nobody saw their idols they were worshiping - "'have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the room of his idols?'" - In the chamber of idols. Now some have wondered - there's a couple of things this may mean.

It may mean both - that even in the house of the Lord they had idols that they were worshiping - trying to cover all their bases - but 'in the chambers of the house' can also mean, you know, in their minds they had idols - in their hearts - Jesus said, 'if that wicked servant says in his heart, 'my Lord delays his coming' and begins to live like the drunken and the world.' And so some people have idols in their heart that people don't see, but they literally had idols that were brought into the temple of the Lord on several occasions. You remember when Solomon got old and his pagan wives began to urge him to set up idols to their Gods? And manasseh brought idols into the temple of the Lord. And one of the queen mothers brought an idol into the temple of the Lord, and so it had happened before. Do we sometimes have golden calves that sometimes find their way into God's church? Yeah, in the worship styles and in the way that we worship, sometimes idols are brought into the temple. We're not immune from the problems that they had back then - "'for they say, 'the Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.

''" - And since God's forsaken, we'd better get the God's of the locals - "'and he said to me, 'turn again,''" - God's speaking to Ezekiel - "'turn again, and you will see greater abominations that they are doing.' So he brought me to the door of the north gate of the Lord's house;" - this is in the Lord's house. And to my dismay, women were sitting there weeping for tammuz." - That's the chapter heading - weeping for tammuz. Tammuz was the chief sumerian fertility deity, similar to the Greek God adonis and its name is derived from the sumerian damuzi and it was a pre-deluvian sumerian shepherd God who married the Goddess ishtar and when he died, she followed him into the underworld and tried for his release and it's connected with every time spring came she was trying to resurrect tammuz and they would weep for tammuz and it was a whole pagan fertility rites and a lot of wicked things that go with fertility religions. And so, you can understand the consternation of Ezekiel when he sees there the women are doing just like the pagan women - in the house of the Lord they're weeping for tammuz in God's house. And that wasn't all - verse 15, "then he said to me, 'have you seen this, o son of man? Turn again, you will see greater abominations than these.

'" - Abominations - that word's only used a few times - 'abominations in the house of the Lord' - is it possible that in the last days the devil will try to bring in things that God calls an abomination? Are there things that are highly esteemed among men that Jesus said are an abomination to the Lord? And Jesus is talking to the church when he says that. He's not talking to the world. He says to the church, 'there are things that are highly esteemed, even in the church, that God calls an abomination that make their way into the church of God.' We need to pray that God will open our eyes and go by his His Word so that we don't be misled by the world around us into doing that. "...and there, at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about twenty-five men" - first you had 70, now you've got - "with their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, and they were worshiping the sun toward the east." Now they were told not to worship the sun that was made on the fourth day. They were told to worship God and they were told that the seventh day was the Sabbath day.

You wonder, could there ever be sun worship in a Seventh-day Adventist Church? I'll stop right there with that. That was a rhetorical question. Chronicles 33, verse 7 - who else had done it before? It says, "he even set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God, of which God had said to David and to Solomon his son, 'in this house and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my name forever." But manasseh had brought idols into the house of the Lord. So it had happened through their history. So when Jerusalem falls God is just helping you see he had been patient with them for hundreds of years - all the way from Solomon who built the temple - he began to corrupt the worship when his pagan wives influenced him, to manasseh and other Kings.

They began to copy the altars of the pagan nations, which is what ahaz did. And go ahead, read for us, 2 Chronicles 36:14, please, Karen. "Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the Lord which he had consecrated in Jerusalem." When God sets something aside as holy and he consecrates it for a holy use, he wants us to keep it holy and we need to remember those principles in our day and age, amen? Alright, and then you go to the next section, it's the unhappy reign of king zedekiah. Now zedekiah was one of the descendents of king josiah who was a good king. And when his nephew, The Son of josiah, was carried off to Babylon - you remember the book of Jeremiah ends by saying, 'in the thirty-seventh year of the reign of - the captivity of jehoiachin, evil merodach, king of Babylon, brought him out of jail.

' So jehoiachin was put in jail; his uncle, zedekiah said to Nebuchadnezzar, 'I make a vow. I will obey. I will submit.' But he didn't keep his promise. Matter of fact, if you turn to the book of Ezekiel, this corresponds with what's going to happen here in Jeremiah. Turn to Ezekiel 17 real quick - Ezekiel 17 - and if you start at verse 15, "but he rebelled against him" - zedekiah rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar - "by sending his ambassadors to Egypt, that they might give him horses and many people.

" - See, zedekiah said, 'I'm not going to serve Nebuchadnezzar anymore. If I can get the Egyptians to help me. If they'll give me horses and soldiers - I can hire them - we can fight the Babylonians and stop paying taxes to them.' And he broke his covenant. How important was a covenant made in the name of the Lord in God's eyes? Have you read the book of Joshua chapter 9, where the gibeonites get the children of Israel to make a covenant that they would protect them and they would be their servants? And even though they were tricked, they had to keep their law. They kept their covenants.

A covenant made in the name of the Lord was very important. Nebuchadnezzar trusted that they would not break a covenant made in the name of jehovah. He let them keep the temple of jehovah and keep their worship, but when they broke the covenant made in the name of their Lord, that's why Nebuchadnezzar destroyed their temple. He said, 'you do not respect your own God, neither will i. And so king zedekiah broke his covenant that he had made to Nebuchadnezzar.

And he goes on and he says, "will he who does such things escape?" - Ezekiel is asking - "can he break a covenant and still be delivered? 'As I live,' says the Lord God, 'surely in the place where the King dwells who made him king, whose oath he despised and whose covenant he broke - with him in the midst of Babylon he shall die. Nor will pharaoh with his mighty army and great company do anything in the war, when they heap up a siege mound and build a wall to cut off many persons." Ezekiel foretold, 'because you've gone to pharaoh for help, pharaoh's not going to help you. And because you have broken this covenant, you're going to go to Babylon and you'll die there.' And that's what happened to zedekiah. So zedekiah, he did not listen to the Lord. Now one reason - someone's going to read Jeremiah :5 - who has that? Okay, alberto, why don't you get ready to read that.

One reason that they believed that they could escape - what happened during the time of king hezekiah? Did hezekiah have the assyrian army surround them? And while the assyrian army surrounded them, there was a battle at libnah and they had to withdraw and they took the withdrawal as a sign that God would fight for them. They came back again, but ,000 of the assyrian soldiers died. And so, when they withdrew they thought, 'this is a sign God's going to deliver us. Sure, we're besieged, but God's going to deliver us because he did hezekiah. Well hezekiah turned to the Lord.

They did not. And so they were hoping that the same - that history would repeat itself. By the way, this happened again when the roman army surrounded Jerusalem. The emperor died and Titus and his forces briefly withdrew. Jesus had told his believers, 'you better flee for the hills when you see Jerusalem surrounded.

' That was a signal for Christians to run. But the jews took it - they said, 'oh, as God delivered hezekiah, he'll deliver us again.' But he didn't. The Romans destroyed the city and the temple again. They were looking back in history to this miraculous deliverance of hezekiah, but in hezekiah's day they repented, they humbled themselves, they spread the letter before the Lord, they turned from their sins. They wanted the deliverance without the revival and it didn't come.

Alright, so go ahead and read for us Jeremiah 37:5. "Then pharaoh's army came up from Egypt; and when the chaldeans who were besieging Jerusalem heard news of them, they departed from Jerusalem." Briefly the Babylonians withdrew to fight with Egypt and the people in Jerusalem said, 'aha! Deliverance! This is our moment!' But it was a false alarm. It didn't last. Sometimes God gives a little reprieve so people can escape and so people can repent. But they didn't.

They kept in their wicked ways. You read Jeremiah 37, verse 6 - just going on with the next verse, "then the word of the Lord came to the prophet Jeremiah saying, 'thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, 'thus you shall say to the King of judah, who sent you to me to inquire of me: 'behold, pharaoh's army which has come up to help you will return to Egypt, to their own land. And the chaldeans shall come back and fight against this city, and take it and burn it with fire.'''" Can you understand why Jeremiah was not popular? That was not a very good cheerleader song that he was singing. "...burn it with fire." - Go to verse 9, "thus says the Lord, 'do not deceive yourselves, saying, 'the chaldeans will surely depart from us,' for they will not depart.'" They were trusting in what had happened before in the days of hezekiah. By the way, you find the deliverance of hezekiah mentioned in 2 Kings 19, verse 20.

You can also read verses 32 and 34. And God promised hezekiah he would deliver the city. Then you get to the fall of Jerusalem. So there is a siege against Jerusalem - now, you understand what a siege is? A siege is - now a siege doesn't work like it did back in Bible times because of aircraft. You can take a helicopter and you can usually fly over and drop food into a city - unless they've got like anti-aircraft missiles, but in Bible times, if you could completely surround and cut off the capital of your enemy, where all their power - the seat of power was - prevent any food from coming in.

Don't allow anyone to go out to get messengers with help or to bring some emissaries with money to pay for mercenaries - just lock 'em up - and what you do is you starve them. Eventually they run out of resources. A lot of the capital cities were very careful to make sure they had water - because you can live a long time without food, or you can get by with very little food, but you don't last without water. Hezekiah, to protect Jerusalem in the event of a siege - he built a long tunnel. Have you heard of hezekiah's conduit? There was a spring outside of Jerusalem.

He knew they needed that water in the city, so he had his men, starting at two directions, digging through solid rock. I've not been there. I want to go see it someday. They dug this tunnel and - it's amazing that they were able to do it because, you know, to make water flow you have to have very precise angles or it'll - water doesn't flow uphill - and so, with just very primitive instruments and dead reckoning, they were able from two different directions - to dig a tunnel that was so precise when it came together - I think it's only off by that much - and the water from the spring outside ran into the city and then they blocked up and filled in the source so that they invading armies wouldn't know there was a spring there and the spring ran into the city and it provided water so whenever Jerusalem was besieged they had water. It still runs today from hezekiah's conduit.

You needed water in the city. They had water in megiddo - in samaria - they had different springs. Babylon had the Euphrates river running under the wall. But if you could surround them and starve them so they couldn't have food, they couldn't fight. There are some examples of this you find in the Bible.

Somebody's going to read for me Jeremiah chapter , verse 9 in just a minute. Alright, hofdis, so let me read Jeremiah 38:2, "thus says the Lord: 'he who remains in the city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes over to the chaldeans (the Babylonians) shall live; his life shall be as a prize to him, and he shall live.'" Did you get that? Those who rebel and stay in the city of destruction will perish. But those that surrender to the golden empire of Babylon will live. Is there an analogy there? Surrender and live/rebel and die? And they said, 'no, we've got to fight, fight, fight.' They were in the doomed city that had rebelled. Go ahead, please read Jeremiah 38:9.

"'My Lord the King, these men have done evil in all that they have done to Jeremiah the prophet, whom they have cast into the dungeon, and he is likely to die from hunger in the place where he is. For there is no more bread in the city.'" Alright, and this is the plea from ebed-melech, the Ethiopian eunuch who had gone to plead with zedekiah in behalf of Jeremiah. And he was the source of saving Jeremiah who was starving in this dry cistern - you know, they used to store water in the cisterns - this cistern was dry and all they had was muck at the bottom and they dropped him in this pit. They were so - they didn't want to kill him because he was a prophet, but they were - didn't like him either, so they dropped him in this pit and he sank down in the mire in this pit. It'd be bad to be in Jerusalem during a time of famine.

Have you read, for instance, 2 Kings? What happened when samaria was besieged by the assyrians? Listen: 2 Kings 24, 'it happened after this that benhadad, king of syria, gathered all of his army and he went and besieged samaria.' Samaria, now, was the capital of the northern kingdom. Jerusalem, of course, was the capital of the southern kingdom. 'He besieged samaria and there was a great famine in samaria.' - People in the city are starving - 'indeed, they besieged it until a donkey's head was - now is a donkey a clean or an unclean animal? Unclean. And if you're going to eat a donkey, what part would you want to eat? That's not the best cut, if you know anything about meat. I mean, who wants to eat a cow's head? A donkey's head? The siege was so bad that a donkey's head was sold for 80 shekels of silver and one forth off a cab of dove droppings - about a pint - for five shekels of silver.

And you read on, in that same chapter, it got so bad they turned to cannibalism. You know, when we were fiji, they took us to these - they have these places called 'cannibal caves.' And we did an amazing fact about cannibalism. We said, 'you know, the Bible endorses cannibalism? Jesus said, 'unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.' But the other cannibalism is not endorsed because you're unclean. People are in the unclean category. Did you all know that? I just want to make sure.

I hope no one's really troubled by that. But it got so bad that they devoured each other. Paul talks about 'beware, lest you be consumed of one another and you bite and devour one another.' Some Christians are vegetarian cannibals. They bite and devour one another with their words and they cut down people's reputations. So they had turned to cannibalism.

You can read - this was all foretold by Moses. If you go to Deuteronomy 28:52 - this is amazing - a thousand years earlier, listen to what Moses said: if they turned away from God and went to pagan Gods, he said, "they shall besiege you at all your gates until your high and fortified walls, in which you trust, come down throughout all your land;" - this is exactly what happened - "and they shall besiege you at all your gates throughout all your land which the Lord your God has given you. You shall eat the fruit of your own body, the flesh of your sons and your daughters whom the Lord your God has given you, in the siege and desperate straits in which your enemy shall distress you." And there's more in that chapter I won't read because it's very troubling. He goes into detail about how bad it would be if they turned away from the Lord and their enemies besieged them. And it's exactly what happened.

Moses foretold it. How does the devil try to conquer God's people? You know what a siege was? A siege was you would surround them and starve them so they couldn't fight. You basically starved them into surrender. Now what are Christians supposed to eat? We're supposed to eat good food. God's bread, living water, and if you don't eat God's food, Isaiah says, 'why do you eat that which is not bread?' If we're eating the food of Babylon, you're not going to have strength to fight.

And a lot of people in the church, instead of eating God's food, they're eating donkey head and dove droppings. 'Why do you eat that which is not bread? Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word.' And some people have almost no devotional life and they wonder why they cannot fight the enemy. They are being starved into surrender. They surrender when temptation comes because they have no spiritual nourishment. How did Jesus fight temptation? The bread of life.

'It is written. It is written. It is written.' And so the devil has not changed his tactics. He tries to starve God's people so that we don't have strength to fight. You look at the great reformers, when they fought against the wickedness of their age, they quoted the word.

Amen? I mean, all the way from martin luther on down, 'it is written by the Word of God.' You go to Jeremiah chapter 39, "in the ninth year" - finally the siege got so bad - you read where it says there was no bread in the city. People are starving. "In the ninth year of zedekiah king of judah, in the tenth month, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem, and besieged it. In the eleventh year of zedekiah," - so you go from the ninth year to the eleventh year and this talks about the fall of Jerusalem. The siege of Jerusalem began in 588 bc and it lasted until the summer of 586 bc.

You know, you count backwards when you go from bc towards ad. A nearly two-year siege. You can't leave the city. All the food is gone - everything they had stored up. And they are so weak they can't fight.

- "In the eleventh year of zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, the city was penetrated." - Babylonians, during those years, had been hammering the walls - been throwing - you've probably seen these catapults that throw great stones at these ancient walls - they'd been battering against the walls - and it's a long process. They don't have the big old bombs that we have. Gunpowder was not invented yet, but they used to pummel the walls with large stones and, finally, they broke through and the wall was penetrated - their defense - the outer wall, in any event, and zedekiah thought that he could escape and that night, they knew there was one weak spot in the walls of the Babylonian defenses - zedekiah abandoned his people and he and some of his crack forces that had been eating enough food to keep them going, they took the few horses in the city that could still ride and they escaped through a crack in the wall - there was actually the King's garden and there was a gate that was unfortified. They escaped and they made it through the Babylonian defenses and they tried to ride away. Their horses were so weak they could not outpace the Babylonians that eventually caught up with them in the plains of Jericho.

They made it as far as Jericho and then they executed judgment. All his soldiers forsook him. Zedekiah and his sons were captured and he saw his sons slain before him one at a time and then that was the last thing he saw. the King put out his eyes and carried him to Babylon where he died. The very thing he said.

And it's such a sad story because Jeremiah had told him. Zedekiah brought Jeremiah in. He said, 'what's the word of the Lord?' He said, 'there's still hope' - Jeremiah said - 'if you surrender - if you repent and you go out to the King of Babylon you will live. The temple will not be destroyed. The city will not be burnt, but you will be carried off to Babylon but you'll live.

Your sons will live. Repent.' And he wanted so much to do it, but he was afraid of what the other princes would think and he went with the crowd and he didn't listen to the prophet. Is there a risk that sometimes we make the same mistake? Follow popular opinion instead of the Word of God? And it was really sad because he was so close to doing the right thing. Now Jeremiah 39:11, "now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah" - so they broke into the city, they set the city on fire, they killed all the leaders that had rebelled against them, they let the poor people live, the temple was burnt only after they took all the valuables out of the temple, and just one little footnote I should mention at this point: when it lists all the articles of the temple that are carried by Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon, it talks about the laver and it talks about the bronze and the pillars and the utensils and the altar of incense, I think, is mentioned and it never mentions the ark of the covenant. Ark of the covenant is never heard from again.

It was in the temple in the days of hezekiah. It was still - presumably still in the temple during the days of Jeremiah, but it disappears and it's believed that when they saw that the city was going to be taken that Jeremiah and the priests - by the way, you read this in the book prophets and Kings - Jeremiah and some of the loyal priests took the ark and they hid it in a cave. If you know Jerusalem, it is riddled and honeycombed with caves underneath the city - caves and graves - and they put it in, probably, some grave - some unmarked thing - they sealed it up and it has never been found. I believe it's still there today. And so it'd be something to discover the ark, wouldn't it? And so - then they showed mercy to Jeremiah.

Just like the medo-persian king showed mercy to Daniel - Daniel, who foretold the fall of Babylon because of the wickedness of belshazzar, Nebuchadnezzar showed mercy to Jeremiah because he got intelligence of what was happening in the city and he said, 'there's a prophet that is telling them that they should surrender to you.' And he knew that Jeremiah did not approve that they had broken their covenant to him and he let Jeremiah not only live, he said, 'here's an allowance. Here's a reward for your faithfulness and you get to go where you want. You want to go to Babylon? You can go to Babylon. You want to stay here? You can stay here. You're free.

So it's good to know that when the King comes, that those who are serving him here, that he will watch over us. Amen? Amen. "Now Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon gave charge concerning Jeremiah to nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, saying, 'take him and look after him, and do him no harm; but do to him just as he says to you.'" Then the captain of the guard took Jeremiah and said unto him, 'Lord - the Lord thy God has pronounced evil on this place.' Now the Lord - do you notice they know that it was the Lord that did it. They're not giving the credit to, you know, one of the Babylonian Gods. 'And the Lord has brought it and done it according as he said.

' The captain of the guard is saying, 'Jeremiah, according to Your Word God has done because you have sinned against the Lord.' What a rebuke. It's coming from - a Babylonian general is saying what happened - 'and you've not obeyed his voice. Therefore this thing has come upon you and now, behold, I loose you this day from the chains which were on your hand. If it seemed good unto you to come with me to Babylon, come. I look well to you.

But if it seem ill unto thee to come with me to Babylon - to forebear - the land is before you. Whether it seems good and convenient for you to go, go. I'm giving you complete freedom.' Alright, last section, we've got about three minutes. All your heart - now someone's going to read Jeremiah 29:13. God, even in their captivity, promised to watch over them if they would seek after him and that's - why don't you go ahead and read that for us, sam.

"And ye shall seek me and find me when ye shall search for me with all your heart." That's one of my favorite verses in the Bible, Jeremiah chap - matter of fact, if I sign one of my books, I often put in that verse - Jeremiah 29:13 - "you will search for me and find me when you search for me with" - how much? All. Now where does he get that? Did Jeremiah make that up or is he quoting the Bible? Look in Deuteronomy - who wrote Deuteronomy? Moses. He's, again, talking about if you're carried away captive because of your unfaithfulness. Deuteronomy 4:27, "and the Lord will scatter you among the peoples, and you will be left few in number among the nations where the Lord will drive you. And there you will serve Gods, the work of men's hands, wood and stone, which neither see nor hear nor eat nor smell.

But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul." See what Jeremiah's doing? He's claiming and he's quoting the promise God made through Moses a thousand years earlier. Moses exactly foretold what would happen to God's people. Did everything Moses say happen? Were they carried off? Did they turn to other Gods? Yes. Did they pray from Babylon? Did he bring them back again when they finally sought the Lord with all their hearts? You read the prayer of Daniel in chapter 9 you can see it's happening. And he said 'I'll bring upon you the cursing and the blessing, but if, from that land, you search with all your heart and soul, the Lord'll bring you back.

You can look also in 1 Chronicles 28:9, "and thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found on thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever." What did Jesus say? 'Seek and you'll find.' Nothing more important than seeking after the Lord to love him will all of your heart. Well, we can - we've kind of looked at the fall of Jerusalem. I want to remind our friends, if you missed it at the beginning, we do have a free offer. This is a special, special free offer. It's a very beautiful magazine - a sharing magazine - that's dealing with the subject of the Sabbath.

It's called the rest of your life. It covers the whole Sabbath story and if you would like a copy we'll send you one free copy and just dial 866-788-study more - that's 866-788-3966. We'll send you this. God bless you. Thank you for studying with us.

By the way, that's offer #813 when you ask for it. We'll study together again, God willing, 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 ''. At '' 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.

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