Jeremiah – Chapter 29

And the beat goes on… Jeremiah 29:11 is one of those controversial and taken out of context verses. Jeremiah empowered by God’s promises to Israel is speaking of Israel in this verse using as present and far-future tense. Using the YLT (Young’s Literal Translation) it reads:

29:11… “For I have known the thoughts that I am thinking towards you–an affirmation of Jehovah; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give to you posterity and hope.”

continue

more to come…

 

Let’s however begin with the 29:1 then explain the controversy of verse 11 a bit later.

Jeremiah laments that he is “left in Jerusalem” while his brethren and fellow Judeans have been taken as captives to Babylon. The royalty, skilled labor/craftsmen, and the brightest of the youth (including Daniel) have been removed to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar hopes to leverage their skills, contacts, and *governing potentials. These are mostly men of value to any economy, politics, and society.

*Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed Nego became government officials of Babylon. So did many others whose names have not been recorded in scripture.

King Jehoiachin and the royal leaders/family are no long residents of Jerusalem and never will be again. This includes a truck load of prophets, priests, and religious leaders. Jehoiachin’s (aka: Jeconiah) uncle Zedekiah is placed on the throne in Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.  This eventually becomes another issue for Nebuchadnezzar but we will address it later in our study. A letter is sent to Nebuchadnezzar and the captives in Babylon that points out that it was God who allowed ol’ Neb to even capture Israel and the people of Jerusalem…”Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all the captivity, whom I have caused to be carried away captive from Jerusalem unto Babylon.”  In a very real sense, this letter reminds all of them that Jeremiah warned and they refused to listen. He (God) is also putting Nebuchadnezzar on notice. We find this in the Book of Daniel.

Basically God tells these captives to dig in and thrive because they will be there for quite a while (70 years). God even explains that HE does not want their numbers to diminish but increase while there.  Let’s go back several lessons for a minute. God promised Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob the Promised Land. It included a much greater territory than they ever conquered or occupied through the Judges, Saul, David and Solomon, and the divided kingdoms; about 800 years by this time. He promised that if they follow and worship him, HE will expand their borders. Well, Israel did not follow God but God is not slack in his covenants in either the Old or the New Testaments.

The Assyrian captivity and dispersion of the northern Kingdom of Israel 120 years earlier spread these people into lands that were to be Israel’s if they kept their end of the covenant. They didn’t. So they (Judean-Israelites) do occupy the land but are not rulers within them the same is true of the southern borders of the covenant with Israel. Sooooo, Babylon takes them captive moving large numbers of Judean-Israelis east of their small homeland. By doing so, they now occupy lands God had promised them; BUT…they are not rulers within this territory.  God actually tells his chosen people to work with not against their captives. He tells them to pray to him for the welfare of their captivity people in Babylon. WOW!

prefer liesAt the same time God through this letter and Jeremiah once again cautions these Judeans to not lend listening ears to the false doctrines and prophecies of those within their midst. Go back to our article on chapter 28 and re-read how Jeremiah dealt with on of them named Hananiah. It cost him his life for his false statements. You can believe several of these false prophets moved with them into captivity. God had ill plans for them but they are not recorded in scripture. Prophesying is one thing but to do so (lie) in God’s name….!!!! (See 29:21 to 26; 30 to 32). God will deal with all false teachers of the Old Testament and today per the New Testament. Vengeance is HIS!

Now we get into the controversial discussions of Jeremiah 29:; i.e. verses 10, 11, and 12. Here they are in the ESV:

Jer 29:10   “For thus says the LORD: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.

Jer 29:11  For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jer 29:12  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.

The primary issue is that it appears according to history as we know it, God did NOT make things better for them. Fact is, they got even worse after returning to Jerusalem 70 years later. There were the Greeks, Romans, Turks (Ottomans), WW I, WW II, Arabs and eventually Islamists. So where is the promised prosperity? This is where one must understand that God is referring to a distant future meaning when Jesus returns and sets up his millennial kingdom in Israel. Things are still going to get even worse for these people, i.e. Jacob’s Trouble in the latter half of the Great Tribulation. That is at least 2,700 years in the future from this time Jeremiah is lettering.

Author and blogger Mary DeMuth has another worthy opinion. She says, Jeremiah 29:11 Doesn’t Mean What You Think. As she explains, “the heart of the verse is “not that we would escape our lot, but that we would learn to thrive” in the midst of it.” There is some value to her thoughts but the fact is Jeremiah is referencing a prophecy yet to be fulfilled even today.  Of course this is not what the new captives wanted to hear. They wanted to make it a short tenure in Babylon then return to the “prosperity” of their home in Judah. Therefore, it is easy to conclude that they didn’t even fulfill this commandment; i.e. to pray for the prosperity of Babylon, not just their personal health and wealth. Most of those taken into captivity would die during the 70 years. (More on this in a later blog)

Dr. Coffman puts it: The crowd of false prophets similar to Hananiah were circulating the same falsehoods in Babylon; and the letter in this chapter was written by Jeremiah in order to counteract and frustrate the evil campaign of the false prophets.”  It is no easy task to accept what one does not want and then learn how to live with it in praying for the prosperity of one’s enemies; in this case, the Babylonians.

Jeremiah 29:14 makes verse 11 clearer and more obvious. God restates that he will regather all of Israel from all of the nations where they have and continue to this day to be scattered. What is the condition? ”When you finally decide to follow me” says God. This explains the WHY in the second half of the Great Tribulation; aka: Jacob’s Trouble. God needs to FORCE these bull-headed people into finally accepting and seeking HIM.

God even tells these exiles, through Jeremiah, that those who remain in Jerusalem, the poor farmers and undesired of Nebuchadnezzar, he will (verses 17-19) bring upon them the things that later bible writers like Daniel and John of Patmos (Book of Revelation) prophesied; pestilence, the great sword, make them a horror, a curse, burden and reproach  to “all” other nations. We see this in the daily news today. It is a prophecy yet to be completed. This is another example of this author’s often noted statement… “God says, if  you ____, then I will ____.

Today we are at the threshold of seeing this Jeremiah 29:11. We are opening the door of this End Time history soon to be played out. It is all around us; nation against nation (meaning territorial and political fighting) and kingdom against kingdom (meaning political, racial, religious, petty family feuds, political and literal fighting and sabotage, fake news, spreading of the soon to be southern kingdom of Daniel prophesies; i.e. Islam, border wars, … You name it. This is what the passage in Matthew 24:6 means when correctly translated.

miniJimDr. J. Stark

August 2017

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Jeremiah – Chapter 23

Little is new to this chapter of Jeremiah. God once again requests that Jeremiah go to the King of Judah and restate and remind them of God’s promises but only IFif the Judeans and leadership of Judah follow God’s commandments. There is a bit of “new look” in that God refers to the leadership of the Kingdom of Judah, both secular and religious, as shepherds. But according to the claim of in verse one, how have these Judean leaders scattered them and driven them away?

This is a two-fold answer:

lost sheepFirst: By them not being an example unto God, the sheep have followed in the examples set and taught by of their so-called leadership. They even have hired false prophets who claim ‘all is well.’ After all they claim, “we have the Temple” is what they stand behind so we (Kingdom of Judah) are protected even if God isn’t front and center in their individual lives. They saw their northern cousins in the Kingdom of Israel carried away 120 years earlier and nothing has happened to ‘good ol’ God protected Teflon’ Judah for decades.  Conclusion? They must be blessed.

In the short of it, Judean leadership has chased its people away from worshiping and depending on the one true God of Israel.

Second: The religious and ruling sectors of Judah have been cruel to the poor, taken advantage of them for personal gain, lied to them, given them false prophetic hope, and slanted the judicial system to the advantage of the ruling class. Jeremiah 23:2c states, (ESV) “Behold, I (have yet to) will attend to your evil deeds, declares the Lord.” They are going to get their deserved punishment and it comes with God’s promise attached to it.

Jeremiah 23:3 jumps to a prophecy yet to be fulfilled and only will be fulfilled after the Tribulation. God will re-gather his people (sheep) scattered throughout the globe and eventually bring them home to a much larger and totally safe Israel (Zion/Jerusalem). A fascinating little comment in verse 4… “ánd none will be missing.” Any question left with this comment that NONE will be missing? Since verse 6 says the *one that will be raised up to execute a future and prophesied justice, fairness, righteousness, and rule with wisdom is named “The LORD is our righteousness.” There is only one who can fit this bill; i.e. Jesus.

*It is in his day JUDAH and ISRAEL will be saved [23:6a).

In HIS day… This is at the 2nd advent of Christ. NOTE: This verse declares that the divided nation of old Israel; Kingdoms to the north and the south, will be united in Israel (Judah and Israel) when Christ returns to the Mount of Olives and calls or brings them back to their promised land.

Jeremiah 23: 11-15 is another example of “if you (us) ____, then I (God) will _____.” God points out the injustice in Judah and then explains to Jeremiah the consequence of such a life style. Even the false prophets are accused of prophesying in the name of Baal. These prophets are so arrogant they no longer even claim to be prophets of God Jehovah; any god will be fine as a so-called prophet. However, one must still keep going back to the promise to Israel (not the church) in verse 8:

[CEV] “…instead, you will call me the Living God who rescued you from the land in the north and from all the other countries where I had forced you to go. And you will once again live in your own land.”  This verse does suggest that we are talking about an Israel after-the-fact of the Tribulation.

In a very real sense, but cannot be proven with scripture, this is possibly similar to the Promised Land for the church of real believers. We will once again live in a Garden of Eden. This is not the actual promise but it is symbolic enough to put our faith and trust in Jesus so we get to the Promised Land as believers.

Jeremiah 23:17 is very similar to today: False declarations and promises by false ministers within shallow denominations. Today’s church tends to be a mile wide and only 1” deep in the Word of God and understanding. We see banners and signs in churches and billboards that read, “God is Love.” There is nothing wrong with this statement as it is true, but only tells us of half the truth. It is what is left out by these half true statements that we discover in the last sentence of v17. According to their false prophets and many ministers today is the claim that  “The Lord has promised that everything will be fine” (CEV). What is missing is the fact that God is also a JUST GOD; Revelation 20:11-13. So, what was true of false prophesy back then is inadvertently still true today. Yes, God is love, but he is also a just God. If this is not so, then why is there any reason for a final judgment; Bema Seat or Great White Throne? We have false proclamations in the very churches we attend.

Jer 23:20  The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly.

Do you catch the meaning of this verse and the last sentence? In the latter days YOU will understand it clearly. This does suggest a scenario of after the fact of the Tribulation. It also may suggest the gained knowledge is too late and the life God gave us is now on trial.

Verse 22 is very similar to what is going out from shallow preaching of the Word of God. It reads…Jer 23:20  But if *they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds.  *Who is the THEY in this verse? This is any who give out false doctrine and promises of anything God has not ordained as solid truth. Sadly and so true, those who wish to tickle the ears of their congregations fall into this same truth. They preach what sounds politically correct and not from what Ephesians 5:13 states; i.e. being a light that reveals evil; i.e. expose it, not to try and learn tolerance.

23:28b is like a summary of the above frustration of God. It asks in part…”What has straw in common with wheat declares the LORD?” Many people if not most can tell the difference between straw, hay and wheat. In a way they look similar but the difference is in its value. Wheat has a nutritional value to all; humans and animals alike. Straw fills the belly but has no food value. One can and will die of starvation even if his or her stomach is full (of straw). The straw here is the false doctrine preached via the prophets and today’s empty message sermons.

Jeremiah 23:30 is another warning too often missed by the reader and sometimes the teacher/preacher. There are two thoughts that come from this verse; the obvious and the more subtle. Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. The obvious is limited to the prophets. They sing off the same song sheet without regard to its truth. Just like we today sing songs in church declaring our faithfulness, worship and/or faith, but only sing the words without applying or intending to apply what the words say. We quote the Lord’s Prayer but don’t live the words we are reciting. Similar to today’s political battle grounds where so-called reporters say the same thing as if they have, and they have, mutually agreed upon.

The second thought is those who steal God’s words then spin them to fit motives, agendas, and political correctness.Truth Text Red Black Burst

So, in conclusion, what do we do about all of this? The answer is given to us in Jeremiah 23:33.

“When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the LORD?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden,…”

We may find this appalling; violating every rule of political correctness by being so honest. But then, why do we need to say this exposing evil? Simple, the truth shall set us free – John 8:32.

miniJimDr. JStark

June, 2017

Jeremiah – Chapter 22

Book of Jeremiah Chapter 22 Summary

Student Note: Chapter 22 deals with the last four kings of Judah, though not in chronological order. The historical order was: Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah

  • God tells Jeremiah to go to the King of Judah and bring him a message.

22:3 Do justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor him who has been robbed. Do no wrong or violence to the resident alien, the fatherless, and the widow, nor shed innocent blood in this place.

  • The resident alien??? Hmmm. This means the outsider; i.e. non-Jewish person who still lives within Judah. Even today this is true of Arab citizens of Israel. They get the same protection, opportunities, and justice as does some Judean or Israelite living in Judah; 2017.
  • Jeremiah’s supposed to go through the usual repentance speech: change your ways and stop oppressing widows and orphans, don’t shed innocent blood, and make sure you punish robbers, (yadda-yadda).
    • 22:4 “If you do__?___, then I will__?__.”  Just as every promise or covenant in the Old and New Testaments, all is conditional on us to first follow God and Jesus allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us. It is obvious Jeremiah is delivering a message of “stop that sinning” to the rulers. God’s patience is growing short.
  • If they, Judah, heed this advice, they’ll have righteous kings in the future. But if they don’t, the city will be destroyed and without a Jewish king [until the return of Jesus].
    • What is confusing about this prophecy from Jeremiah to the King(s) of Judah, administrators and Priests? Nothing is confusing or complicated about it. However, it seems to be too simple for the simple minded leaders of Judah to comprehend, desire, and put into action. They want to create a god in their self-centered ways instead of the other way around.
  • At that time, per Jeremiah, things in and around the Judean palace might seem as lush as Gilead or Lebanon. But God will turn the land into a desolate waste if the rulers don’t respond accordingly.

Gilead or Lebanon?  22:6b Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon; yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited.

Sadly this is precisely what eventually happens to Judah. After their Babylonian 70 year captivity, they were little more than a shadow of their previous self and greatness. America has need of this same understanding. We may have been given a temporary reprieve with the election of someone who respects Israel and more than once has been seen with a bible in hand.

  • The destroyers will cut down their best cedars and burn them.
    • Hebrew is a fascinating language since it has specificity in the use of words even when they appear closely related. The word “destroyers” is shaw-khath’ and the word for “worship”, is shaw-khaw; the opposite or antithesis of “destroyer,”. This is precisely why this author encourages bible students and readers to use multiple translations in personal bible study. So close in spelling are these two words but so antipathetic to each other in meaning by changing ONE LETTER.
  • All the nations will see Judah’s destruction and gossip about how they were destroyed for disobeying God.
    • The word “nations” in some translations should read “Gentiles of other nations”; i.e. those outside of Israeli descent. It may be discussed within other nations by gossip, wonder, or awe, but it will be those in-the-know who will wonder what happened to a once powerful and religious nation. Did their God desert them?
  • Don’t weep for the dead, says God—weep for the people being sent into exile.

Jeremiah 22:10 [God] says to not weep for the dead but pray for those who will be taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar. The “he” mentioned in this verse is King Jehoahaz who is soon to be taken captive to Egypt. Shallum, the second king of the four remaining kings of Judah, also called Jehoahaz, was the son of Josiah. He was carried captive into Egypt and died there without seeing his native land any more.

God says that King Shallum [Jehoahaz] will die in exile and never see Jerusalem again.

dielikedonkeyHow to Die like a Donkey

  • God says that rulers who exploit their workers to build fancy palaces for themselves will end up suffering.

o   Jer 22:17  But you have eyes and heart only for your dishonest gain, for shedding innocent blood, and for practicing oppression and violence.”

Might this be a close description of the world news today, here and around the world; N. Korea, Syria, Middle East, Iran, Turkey, Yemen, Ukraine, Politburo of Russia, the streets and courts of America?

  • A bigger palace doesn’t make someone a true king—ruling righteously does.
    • This is the center of issue with Israel since day one. They put so much emphasis on THINGS and little on worship. They even claim protection as they have the Temple of God, their religious ceremonies, Grand Pupa priests, Pharisees, and Sadducees; a class order similar today as is true in India.
  • Regarding King Jehoiakim and his arrogance, God says that people won’t lament his death and he’ll be buried like a donkey. He also burned the scrolls of Jeremiah.

o   Jer 22:19  With the burial of a donkey he [Jehoiakim] shall be buried, dragged and dumped beyond the gates of Jerusalem.”

Wish a better description of “buried like a donkey?”  Jehoiakim, the third king, built his palace with unpaid labor and would be dragged . . . out of . . . Jerusalem, to die unlamented. He would be buried with the burial of a donkey that is, tossed into a ditch so says Jeremiah. What a way to win friends and influence people. He must have missed that Dale Carnegie book or course.

  • The people should go cry in Lebanon and other places since their lovers (allies) have been crushed.
    • Too many ministers and bible students miss the meaning of verse 20; chapter 22. Judah is told to cry with others outside their own country as they too will suffer similar fates at the hands of Nebuchadnezzar.
  • The people of Israel seldom obeyed God for long. It’s been like this for generations.
    • During prosperous times God forewarned all of Israel and Judah that their prosperity may get in the way of their worship; i.e. pay a tithe and move on without much consideration of fellowship with God the rest of the week. What about us (you and me)? Does our prosperity or deprivation bring us closer to God?
  • So they’ll all get taken into captivity along with their allies.
    • The word “allies” may be a bit misunderstood. How were they allies? In part as neighbors who lived at this time without wars between them and Judah. But more so, allies in the cruelty about to be brought upon each of them by the Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzar.signetring
  • As for the next king after Jehoiakim, Coniah (aka: Jehoiachin), God says that even if Coniah wears the signet ring on his hand, he will tear him off. He and his mother will both be sent into exile in Babylon, where they will eventually die; never return to Judah.
    • Verses 25 – 27 offer a bit of insight as to why Zerubbabel in 538 B.C. returned to Jerusalem after 70-year Babylonian captivity with less than 1% of those taken into the Babylonian captivity. It isn’t that so many will die in Babylon before Cyrus the Mede releases the Jews from captivity. It is because so few will desire to go back to Jerusalem where the homes and city are in total ruins and be required to rebuild the Temple.
    • Zechariah had a vision about him (Zechariah 4).;
    • Haggai prophesied to him (Haggai 1 and 2).

miniJim

Dr. JStark

June, 2017

Jeremiah – Chapter 10

Editor’s Note: We are posting chapter 10 of Jeremiah ahead of earlier chapters for two reasons. One is that Jeremiah in and of itself is not written in a chronological order. Second and most importantly is opportunity. We have just past the Christmas season and Jeremiah 10 is sometimes used as an anti-Christmas tree chapter. We want to explain the fallacy of such nonsense.

Jeremiah Chapter 10

This is the passage from which some so-called bible scholars claim that a Christmas tree in the home is significantly similar to a wooden idol. Specifically these men and women quote Jeremiah 10:3, 4 as their supporting bible evidence.

Jer 10:3  “Their [see v2] religion is worthless! They chop down a tree, carve the wood into an idol, [v4] cover it with silver and gold, and then nail it down so it won’t fall over.” 

“Chop down a tree? Cover it with silver and gold? Nail it down so it won’t fall over..?

This is a good example of OUT OF CONTEXT, highly spiritualized conclusion, and a slight of words. Every scripture must be taken within context. Verse 1 specifically calls to the attention of Israel to not be like their neighbors. Let’s take a quick look at the argument that Christmas trees are somehow included in this passage.julies-tree

If we put anything, yes, ANYTHING before God, it is called a god or idol in His eyesight. Most Christians have no problem separating a fictional Santa, Elves, and a form of decoration from the celebrated birthdate of Jesus. Fact is, He wasn’t even born on this date.

To chop down a tree… This in and of itself has no connection with the content and intent of this passage through the eyes of Jeremiah and many other prophets who discuss the wrongs of idol worship. The Ark of the Covenant was made from Acacia wood the covered with silver and bronze [Exodus 35:24]; massive amounts of cedar wood was imported from Tyre to construct Solomon’s Temple and parts covered with gold (1 Kings 6:19-21);

One researcher has noted, “This wood [acacia] is resistant to decay because the tree deposits in the heartwood many waste substances which are preservatives and render the wood unpalatable to insects making the wood dense and difficult to be penetrated by water and other decay agents.” (Source: http://ww2.odu.edu/~lmusselm/plant/bible/acacia.php)

In one sense this would make for the ideal wood from which to make a longer lasting idol. It is resistant to rot, insects, strong and long-lasting. Much of the acacia, cedar, and juniper wood used to build the Temple and the Ark of the Covenant was covered with silver and gold. Did the priests of Israel bring Israelis to the wood, stone and jeweled Temple to worship the building itself? There is no scripture to support such a thought yet alone make it a supposition.

Cover it with silver and gold We have already discussed the extensive use of silver, bronze, and gold in the building of the Temple and the Ark of the Covenant. Putting silver tinsel and shinning ornaments on a Christmas tree is the same as a person wearing decorative jewelry. That does not make it or them an idol. Ezekiel, Proverbs, 1 Peter, Job, 1 Corinthians, Zechariah, Psalms, Matthew, Lamentation (another book written by Jeremiah) all discuss gold and its use.

Nail it down so it won’t fall over… How else does one keep a piece of wood standing upright? The last house I built was nailed and bolted to the ground, concrete, and wood framing. This does not make it an idol as described in Jeremiah 10:2 & 3. Even if one stands around the Christmas tree and sings the song “Oh Christmas tree” does not make it an idol. Only when and if that replaces God in one’s heart as an item of their affection and is first in their heart does it border becoming a Christmas idol and a worship song. Even if we “nail it down” in some sort of a tree stand in our house, what do we do after the season is over? Throw it out!!!! Who throws out an idol of worship?

We must ask here, where in the bible does God or Jesus say to set aside ONE DAY a year to celebrate his birthday? There is no such passage. We are to celebrate Him every day, in every way, with all of our might [Psalms 100:1, John 4:24, Matthew 22:37]. This is not to suggest that a given day of SPECIAL HONOR is wrong. What is wrong is limiting it to this one time a year.

Now, for the rest of the history and future prophecies found in Jeremiah 10…

V6 & 7 proclaims the greatness of God. This is in contrast with the idols the people of Judah is now guilty of worshiping. Idols are made by man, carried by man, taken care of by man, put in place by man, and they do not listen or speak. As Jeremiah describes it in verse 5… “They are like scarecrows in a cucumber field.” This passage is not understood by many as it is two-fold. The scarecrow part is obvious. This is the scary thing that flops according to the wind and keeps out the birds of opportunity. But, why did Jeremiah use the cucumber as the vegetable of choice? This is symbolic of fools who prostrate before the scarecrow; cucumbers bowing before a scarecrow; the cucumber represents the people of Judah; any who bow before a worthless manmade thing.

We have stated it before in our studies of Daniel and Revelation. Today’s church is too often similar. People celebrate the catchy song and lyrics; the dancing around in the building; self-emulation; the experience more than the worship; the beverage spill on the vestibule floor is of greater concern than is the soul of their neighbor; getting out of church on time; political correctness over truth; making god to their liking instead of fearing God who created them giving them life and breath.

The Coffman Commentary on Jeremiah 10 is simple and a good overview of Jeremiah 10 siply put in one sentence. “The true God contrasted with idols.” We could leave it at that if we didn’t need to have Jeremiah’s words from 2600 years ago explained. So we continue…

Jeremiah 10:11 is a mystery or enigma, not in its message but in how it is written. This is the one verse in the Book of Jeremiah written in Aramaic. This verse stands alone as a “one-verse paragraph” in the Masoretic text. True and well-intending bible scholars have debated the reason for this for years. This website will only add a thought. We call it JIV: Jim’s Introspective View. We report; you decide.

Sometimes in a given language it is difficult to express one’s point using their native tongue. In English we often hear the phrase “Quid Pro Quo.” Why? The English version of the message being conveyed would be much longer explaining what is meant by using this Latin term. It is a great pre-verse 12 statement and exenterates the radical and necessary reason for removing idols (disembowel the home of idols). These “things” did not create the world as we know it. Only God created all things. Even the idols themselves are made from things God created back in Genesis. Verse 11 and 12 are opposites but the Aramaic in in Jeremiah 10:11 helps to contrast Jeremiah 10:12. It may also be in Aramaic as it is a message to the world. Just as Daniel is written first half in Aramaic and second half in Hebrew; the intended audiences are different.

hand carving buddha's image.The CEV translation says in 10:14… People who make idols are so stupid! They will be disappointed, because their false gods are not alive. Other translations are just as brutal in translating verse 14. How can one believe that something s/he makes is somehow better or superior to the one who makes it? In a sense and if it is true, the Amish build fabulous furniture. No question here. However, they deliberately build a flaw into every piece. Why? No one is perfect but God. The sad irony or insincerity is… the Amish think they must include a man made flaw in their furniture. This means they must be under the false impression that they are capable of building something to such perfection it is greater or equal to what God creates.

Verse 17 begins a new paragraph but not a new chapter. Jeremiah is changing thoughts at this point. He is telling those inhabitants of Judah, mostly Jews but also some from other Tribes of Israel, to prepare to be moved… “…gather up your things as you are surrounded” and about to be take into your 70 year captivity in Babylon. In a very real way, the rest of chapter 10 is not only describing the fate of Judah but of all Israel. Below is the rest of chapter 10. Read it with the idea that there is more than just Judah being described. It speaks in the past-tense yet Judah has not yet been overrun by the Babylonians.

CEV (Contemporary English Version): 

Jer 10:19  The people answered, “We are wounded and doomed to die. Why did we say we could stand the pain?

Jer 10:20  Our homes are destroyed; our children are dead. No one is left to help us find shelter.”

Jer 10:21  But I told them, “Our leaders were stupid failures, because they refused to listen to the LORD. And so we’ve been scattered like sheep.

Jer 10:22  “Sounds of destruction rumble from the north like distant thunder. Soon our towns will be ruins where jackals live.”

Jer 10:23  I know, LORD, that we humans are not in control of our own lives.

Jer 10:24  Correct me, as I deserve, but not in your anger, or I will be dead.

Jer 10:25  Our enemies refuse to admit that you are God or to worship you. They have wiped out our people and left our nation lying in ruins. So get angry and sweep them away!

The past tense is the tell-tale sign that not only is this passage a change in thoughts, therefore a new paragraph, but a twofold prophetic application; i.e. a now and a future application. This is Jeremiah once again prophesying into a history that has yet to be fulfilled. This is also End Time prophecy per the Great Tribulation; Jacobs Trouble [Jeremiah 30:7].

Verse 25 is worthy of a short additional thought. “Our enemies refuse to admit you are God…” How ironic that those in Judah at this time are guilty of the same thing. We know this from reading the first few verses in Jeremiah 10 and the very first chapters already posted in this website. They meaning all of Judah to the person are GUILTY [Jeremiah 4:21]. This is what kindled God’s anger against his chosen people Israel. First it was the Northern Kingdom of Israel and now the southern Kingdom of Judah. In the coming End Time it will be global (anti-Christ).

“They have wiped out our people and left the nation in ruins.” [CEV; v25]. The ERV is more inclusive in this verse. It is the reason we encourage readers to use more than one translation and commentary in his or her bible studies. The English Standard Version puts verse 25 this way:

Pour out your wrath on the nations that know you not, and on the peoples that call not on your name, for they have devoured Jacob; they have devoured him and consumed him, and have laid waste his habitation.

Jeremiah is not speaking to the yet-to-be-captive people of Judah in verse 25, but to the world of haters or rejecters of God and anti-Semitists. Daniel and Revelation deal with this as will Jeremiah in later
chapters. We are headed that way in this study. An added thought to help one’s personal studies. Verse 25 is a reason to not take one translation as a stand-alone study bible. The CEV dminiJimoes not include the phrase “and upon the families that call not on thy name.” The phrase “and families” is better explained in Zechariah 14.

Rev Dr. Jstark

December 2016

The Unpardonable Sin

 

  • Unpardonable sin…

    This means once committed it is not pardonable! Not now; not later; not ever. Satan are you listening?

    One of the most often asked questions is what is the unpardonable sin? What is blasphemy? Let’s take a look at what scripture tells us per these questions. However, it must be emphasized that if one is busy following Jesus and worshiping God, there is no chance of committing the unpardonable sin. Here are three synoptic gospel verses to consider.

    Jesus is the one making these statements:

    Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come (Matthew 12:31-32).

    Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation—because they said, “He has an unclean spirit” (Mark 3:28-30).

    And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven (Luke 12:10).

    Now let’s also include from our website Revelation Study the same word… “blasphemy.” Revelation 17:3 states, in part “…and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names…” Wikipedia defines it as Blasphemy is the act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence to a deity…” It is a deliberate act on one’s part.

    Insulting; showing contempt; a lack of reverence? There goes the excuse of the one who says s/he is neutral per believing in a saving God and committing to Jesus. The blasphemy is found in the words, “lack of reverence.” Insulting and/or showing contempt are overt and obvious acts. But included in this definition is the simple act of not showing reverence; i.e. trying to be neutral, open minded or politically correct no matter what is the truth.

    Example: One knows that stealing is a crime. When one does not violate the law or simply does not get caught, they are not issued a penalty for their actions. When it comes to God, there is no such thing as “not getting caught” so that one does not fit in this situation. However, stealing is punishable. This is true even if up to this point it is the very first time one steals; i.e. a deliberate act on or one’s part or showing a lack of reverence for the law.

    Including the word “CONTEMPT” per the above definition adds to problem. It means getting caught and still showing contempt for the justice system and the law. A personal choice has been made. God is gracious in telling us in the above scriptures that such is forgivable if done against the son of God, Jesus. However, no such contempt against the Holy Spirit is forgivable. Just as in stealing, one made a choice and did the deed. The same is true of God the Holy Spirit. To reject him or turn ones back on him in a deliberate act is unforgivable. This is precisely why Satan does not have a choice to seek forgiveness and make everything alright between him and God. He showed contempt and there is no turning back or forgiveness.

    I recall a bible study where the instructor asked the question, “If Satan sought forgiveness, would God’s love be extended to him and forgive him.” There was great silence in the room as no one wanted to risk the fact that they believe God Is (only) Love. That statement alone, “God is Love,” is very misleading just as declaring the bible is full of stories. Stories may be true, but also may be just stories. It is very misleading to identify the Bible content as anything but history. Two books I have read include a History of the Civil War in America and “StoriesFrom the Civil War. The latter was qualified as unverified but still interesting as a read.  The author of this second book stated: “inside every story is often found a thread of truth.” A thread of truth????? What about Bible stories???? This is a gross misuse of Bible history when one relegates it to a book full of stories.

    Now back to the unpardonable sin focus of this article. None of the verses in our opening quotes from Matthew, Mark and Luke have a qualification. Satan has already done it. The Harlot (institution) will do it. The world has received the gospel of salvation but to reject it by NOT accepting God’s Provided Salvation (spiritual GPS) is akin to rejecting the civil statute of stealing. Once committed it is a done deal. There is and will be a price to pay.

    Nothing is said per who does the blasphemy or contempt. It remains a very loving and assuring statement to realize we can blaspheme Jesus or the Father God and it will be forgiven us. But rejecting, a deliberate act or not or no longer accepting HIM as holy is blasphemy. Notice in Matthew 12 that Jesus has just declared that a kingdom divided against itself (casting out demons in the name of Beelzebub) cannot stand. Without going into the detail of this history found in Matthew 12, anyone at any time can commit the one unforgivable sin. The only qualifier is one’s vocalization or demonstration of contempt for and/or claiming the Holy Spirit to be an unclean or non-existent spirit.

    So, can one lose his salvation? No! Can one surrender his salvation? Yes!

    Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” [NIV]

    Deuteronomy 31: 6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

    However, three passages in the New Testament say, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven. Satan is already condemned but was once an angel of light in heaven. God will not forsake us, but we can at any time forsake His Spirit.

    Truth Text Red Black BurstFor the purpose of the series thinker, Let me add an after-thought. John 4:23, 24 states, “…a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth” [NIV].

    miniJimJstark
    November 1, 2016

 

The Fourth Commandment

Across America, Believers are resurrecting the exhibiting of lawnRev Paul Hoffmaster signs that depict the Ten Commandments.  What they hope to achieve can only be interpreted as a conscientious response to activating their Christian duty.  Bringing awareness to Biblical principles may identify one as a Christian, but does little to influence others into seeking a hunger for the things of God.

Believers emphatically believe that the Ten Commandments are the basis for social justice.  It is through obedience to these laws that the Sermon on the Mount can build Christian character.  If we promote the Ten Commandments, we are obligated to affirm all of them through our actions.  A problem seems to arise when the Fourth Commandment calls us to an action that is hard to justify by the Church.  “REMEMBER THE SABBATH DAY TO KEEP IT HOLY.”  There is very little, if any, wiggle room to try to adjust or substitute a word for the Sabbath.  The observance of the Sabbath was to be perpetual, which means everlasting and never ending.  (Exodus 31:16)  What the Church tries to do is substitute the “Lord’s Day” for the Sabbath.  It is true the New Testament church did meet on the first day of the week to worship through the sharing of the Word, Communion, and fellowship, but that was not the purpose of the Sabbath.  It was to be a day of separation from the world.  It was a time to cease from the grind of six days and to rest in the Truths of God’s Word.  It was a time to shut out the world and its pollutants.  It was a time of worshipping God with spirit, soul, and body.  It was a time for renewal and spiritual reflection.  Jesus stated that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. (Mark 2:27)   What a gift God gave us, and yet we lose its blessing by diluting God’s intention.  We attempt to have the Lord’s Day be our Sabbath.  The problem is we think by going to church we have honored the intent of the Fourth Commandment.  In fact, if we take out Sunday worship, there is really no difference from any other day.    If we are going to substitute the Lord’s Day for the Sabbath, we must also be dedicated to keeping it Holy!

I remember years ago, as a young boy, my parents would not even let me change out of my church clothes. (People use to dress up to go the church, but today we dress down as we worship our God!)  I could not go out and play baseball.  My parents made sure we had enough food in the house so we did not need to go to the store.  Many stores were closed on this special day.  We would share the Word together and pray as a family.  There was also a time for a nap.  The day wrapped up by going to church in the evening. (It is very difficult today to find churches with Sunday night services.)  By Monday morning, we were ready for the challenges of the week.

The argument of Saturday or Sunday as the Biblical day for the Sabbath has long been the focal point of division.  It has even come to the point of birthing new denominations.  Straining over the actual day of Holiness has dwarfed the intent of the Fourth Commandment.  One day of the week is to be set aside for the renewing of our body, soul, and spirit.  If we want that day to be Sunday, then let it be.  We must be certain that whatever that day is, it is totally dedicated to God.  When we fail to keep any of His commandments and try to teach others the insignificance of any of His teachings, we will be called “least in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:19)  Many Believers claim this Fourth Commandment pertains only to the Jewish people.  If we want to be completely truthful, all the Commandments were for the Jews because the Church had not yet been conceived.  Yet, the Ten Commandments have a place in the Church today, and all we have to do is let the Holy Spirit guide us into the application of not only the Commandments, but all the teachings in the Old Testament.  Instead of looking for loop holes in Scriptural principles, let us simply obey what God says.  Is it that difficult to set aside a day, different from all other days, to focus on Him and to honor Him?  May our Sabbath be a day that prepares us for the challenges of the upcoming week.  Let us rest in the Lord that we may serve Him in the days ahead!

Revelation 17- Part 1

miniJimThere is so much parallel between the Book of Daniel and Revelation, a simple blog could not begin to conclude. The truly amazing facts are not so much the content as the fact that both books speak to the same thing. God’s direction is powerful today (N.T.) and yesterday (O.T.). Simply put and without explanation in this blog is that Daniel sets the stage for the Book of Revelation. We get details in Revelation than Daniel can only infer. It is also a special note that what Daniel saw as individual creatures, Apostle John sees as ONE 10 horned beast; [Revelation 13:2] “And the beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and its feet as of a bear, and its mouth as a lion’s mouth. Who might be the combined military or governmental forces that are represented as a leopard, bear and lion of Revelation? Recall that the Dragon and the Beast are two different entities.

Untitled

One Step Closer to Pulling Things Together

Chapter 17 of Revelation takes us a step closer to figuring this out. We have the dragon, beast 1 and beast 2, the image of beast 1, a red dragon with multiple heads and horns, a woman riding the beast which soon those in charge turn against it rider, four forces converging on Har Megiddo, the seventh bowl, kings in some symbolic adultery with the woman on the beast, blasphemous names, a mysterious Babylon the Great, a book of life and names not in it, three symbolic frogs hopping nation to nation to call to arms these ignorant arrogant millennial losers, a speaking image of beast #1, 10 unnamed kings (for an hour) who then hand over their authority to the anti-Christ…

no wonder people’s heads spin when trying to put this all together as one orchestrated sequence of events leading the return of Jesus the Messiah.

We MUST remind ourselves that the mind of God is so far greater than ours, it should be a simple thing to understand that our mental capacities are not equal to God’s, but our faith and hearts should be totally online. If not, then we need to check with our spiritual internet provider; what I enjoy calling our spiritual GPS; Gods Provided Seal on our forehead.

The very first thing we see in C17 is Apostle John in a bit of a dither. This is when I default to Young’s Literal Translation (YLT) as it is probably the most “literal” translation of scripture; but often difficult to read just for that reason. We say, the boy went to the game. YLT in in its literal translation would write, the games is to which the by went. Other translations try to simplify their translation but often lose something(s) in the process.

For this reason I include the YLT of C17: (1898) – All emphasis mine

And there came one of the seven *messengers, who were having the seven vials, and he spake with me, saying to me, `Come, I will shew to thee the judgment of the great whore, who is sitting upon the many waters, *often meaning angels

with whom the kings of the earth did commit whoredom; and made drunk from the wine of her whoredom were those inhabiting the earth;’

and he carried me away to a wilderness in the Spirit, and I saw a woman sitting upon a scarlet-colored beast, full of names of evil-speaking, having seven heads and ten horns,

and the woman was arrayed with purple and scarlet-colour, and gilded with gold, and precious stone, and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and uncleanness of her whoredom,

and upon her forehead was a name written: `Secret, Babylon the Great, the Mother of the Whores, and the Abominations of the earth.’

And I saw the woman drunken from the blood of the saints, and from the blood of the witnesses of Jesus, and I did wonder — having seen her — with great wonder;

and the messenger said to me, `Wherefore didst thou wonder? I — I will tell thee the secret of the woman and of the beast that [is] carrying her, which hath the seven heads and the ten horns.

`The beast that thou didst see: it was, and it is not; and it is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go away to destruction, and wonder shall those dwelling upon the earth, whose names have not been written upon the scroll of the life from the foundation of the world, beholding the beast that was, and is not, although it is.

`Here [is] the mind that is having wisdom; the seven heads are seven mountains, upon which the woman doth sit,

10 and there are seven kings, the five did fall, and the one is, the other did not yet come, and when he may come, it behoveth him to remain a little time;

11 and the beast that was, and is not, he also is eighth, and out of the seven he is, and to destruction he doth go away.

12 `And the ten horns that thou sawest, are ten kings, who a kingdom did not yet receive, but authority as kings the same hour do receive with the beast,

13 these have one mind, and their own power and authority to the beast they shall give over;

14 these with the Lamb shall make war, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because Lord of lords he is, and King of kings, and those with him are called, and choice, and stedfast.’

15 And he saith to me, `The waters that thou didst see, where the whore doth sit, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues;’

16 and the ten horns that thou didst see upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and shall burn her in fire,

17 for God did give into their hearts to do its mind, and to make one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast till the sayings of God may be complete,

18 and the woman that thou didst see is the great city that is having reign over the kings of the land.

Before moving on I feel totally compelled to issue a warning by example. During this end falseamongrealof time Tribulation, Satan will confuse many with false prophets, so-called miracles, a silver tongue of persuasion, unmatched deceit and a look-good universal church. Look at the picture on the right. If you look real close one can see the weeds that have grown up so close to the real flowers, one can easily be deceived into thinking the weeds are actually part of the flower arrangement. This is what Satan’s church will look like during the first 3 ½ years of the Tribulation. These fake flowers of beauty are so close in proximity to the genuine, one easily misses them.

Gradually more and more look-similar and delicate, but weeds grow up amongst the real thing. So close in proximity even the gardener will miss them. Eventually they overtake the garden while one stays politically and garden correct by watering, tolerating and wishing to be inoffensive to the garden saying it takes too much time to clean them out. They are allowed to be a part of the garden via compromise or failure to recognize they are plants but NOT flowers. This is precisely what is happening in our churches today.

Examples of what these weeds will look like:

  1. A song sung in church with a great tune but unidentifiable as a praise or worship song
  2. A person whose tithing is a goodly share of the church budget but demands political correctness be exercised within the church; not identifying or giving warning of sin.
  3. Pastors who fear calling out sin as defined in the Bible; Ephesians. Don’t be offensive.
  4. Board members who command weight and influence within the church, a community, city or politics but have little to no bible knowledge.
  5. Those willing to sit in the pews and not overtly stand on the promises of God.
  6. Inter and intra denominational bickering that leads to separation of church and church. There is but ONE CHURCH of which Jesus Christ is the head; not the pope or St. Peter.
  7. Churches that teach good living and self-improvement while ignoring the WORD.
  8. Beautiful buildings with debt that requires a congregation of several #2’s (above) to pay the debt.
  9. Singers and instrumentalists on the Praise Team who are really good but live lives unbecoming of The Church of Jesus Christ.
  10. Prayer that is not in the spirit as commanded in Romans 8 (study the entire chapter).

Take a moment of pause while using your weed-sin pulling tools and write in more cautions from which will come the universal false church.  [Mark 13:22, Matthew 24:24]

During the final 3 ½ years (Tribulation) there will no longer be any doubt. Satan sets himself up in the Temple of God in Jerusalem, slaughters Jews and those who refuse to bow the knee to him while claims to be God. Those who refuse to worship will be shrewdly eliminated.

Back to our study; C17:1 – 6 (we will pick up on more of 17 in our next blog)

The first six verses set the somewhat mystery stage of dragon, woman, fornicators, scarlet beast,…with their explanations in the remainder of C17. Let’s look at them.

The beast that was, is not, and is about to come up from the abyss then go away to potofdestruction is often identified with the Roman Church of the dark and pre-dark ages. It wasn’t until Napoleon disposed of the Pope who ultimately died in prison do we get the “then it was not.” The future and news worthy items today per the pontiff and his decrees show the Roman Church and its global influence is once again asserting [coming alive] itself.

Drunken (17:6) from the blood of the saints can be present or past tense. Most likely it is a continuum or revival of the Holy Roman Empire that replaced the original Roman Empire. Still considered the Roman Empire but with the innocuous word “holy” as the first word in the title. However we read “the blood of the Saints and of those who witness of Jesus.” The saints are those from the past and those who witness and are present at this time of bloodshed.

Revelation Chapter 14 (b)

Continued from Chapter 14 (a)miniJim

Revelation 7

This chapter is very specific in identifying who will be marked; 12,000 from 12 Tribes of Jacob (Israel). The Tribe of Dan walked away from their designated spot in the Promised Land and is not included as a tribe mentioned in Revelation 7. Ephraim’s name is simply replaced by the name of his father, Joseph of Egypt fame. Manasseh, Joseph’s first born in Egypt is listed as one of the twelve Tribes.

Additional considerations from Revelation 14:

  1. The souls under the throne and the handing out of white robes until the right number have died. Might this “right number” equal 144,000?
  2. Those who appear in great multitudes that cannot be counted.
  3. Who are 24 elders?
  4. The woman in chapter 12 and the woman in chapter 15
  5. The dragon, 1st beast, 2nd beast, the image and the false prophet.

A blog cannot cover all of this but we do recommend that the serious student go through Revelation Chapter 14-1Power Points provided and identified with chapter 14 and chapter 15 in this website. The PP for chapter 14 is long but has an identified division point where one can leave off and return to it at later time. The Power Point blog addresses many of the specifics of chapter 14.

The “virgin status” of those “men” (People) identified in C14 are people who are new babes in Christ, probably converted during the Great Tribulation. They know (YADDA) they are going to pay a severe price for their decision by accepting Christ therefore denying the mark of the Beast and his image. They have no reason to violate any of Gods laws or principles since their decision is a permanent and a do or die decision. These are not Sunday or Sabbath Day Christians. It is and end in and of itself so no purpose is served in them making a false statement. No lie is to be found on their lips after this decision to follow Christ to their death during the Tribulation of 7 years.

no more ignorance14:6 & 7 answer the question of whether or not all people hear the gospel or are doomed to condemnation due to their ignorance. There is NO IGNORANCE. Every tongue, every tribe, every nation, every people; leaves little room for someone to be missed. After all, this last angel with the final opportunity to accept the gospel follows the 3 ½ years of the two witnesses in Jerusalem who also were heard world-wide. Yet, many still refuse to accept Christ.

We have a fascinating sequence of events within the next few verses;

Verse 6 finds an angel announcing to the world (no exceptions) the eternal Good news. Verse 7 gives due warning and instructions for all individuals who heard the angel in verse 6.
Verse 8 Informs the same global population that the false prophet and leadership (Babylon) is now destroyed so they have nothing to fear from this group.
Verse 9 tells of the consequence for not heading this final warning and message from an angel in the sky. It also explains the consequences for taking the mark of the beast or worshiping either it or its image. It is the unforgivable sin.
Verse 10 says it straight… “He also shall drink of the wine of God’s wrath and ultimately tormented with fire and brimstone (in hell).”
Verse 11 specifically states it is forever and ever.

Here is an absolutely new fact of end time as read in Revelation 14:13…

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. From henceforth now, says the Spirit that they may rest from their labors. For their works follow them. [BRB]

“…from this point forward?” These people are probably the ones redeemed from earth for their flawless living after all the above has transpired. We are well into the Great Tribulation at this point in time and any choice is but one; follow Christ or follow the beast. No murky waters or fog at this time in history. This also explains why these men of earth who reject the beast and accept Christ are identified as the first-fruits and sinless from that point forward. They have everything to gain and KNOW IT. They also know the only thing they have to lose equals NOTHING! Poor example but a human thought with heavenly meaning…to give up a fake pass to Disney for an everyday any day pass is not a loss. There is no need to fake anything.

JIV NOTE: In 14:10 we read something about “spiritual fornication.” Does one actually grasp the depth of this statement? Revelation 10:9-10…

9) “If anyone worships the beast and its image and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand,

10)  he also will drink the wine of God’s wrath, poured full strength into the cup of his anger, and he will be tormented with fire and sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.

There is a parallel to this when the Tribe of Dan “leaped out of Bashan, leaving the Promised land in the Old Testament. His people worshiped idols and set up”high places” outside the realm of what God had instructed Israel, His chosen, to do. They walked away from the Promised Land and are not included in the list of Tribes and 144,000 identified in Revelation 7.
The very first commandment of the Old Testament states: ‘mankind’ shall have no other gods before me.” In verse 9 we see many will have openly worshiped the beast and its image receiving their “seal [club membership] of approval.” It is a one way membership club. One can get in or stay out, but cannot get in then back out. Verse 11 re-explains who these folks are. Here is no guess work. It is laid out in plain language.

harvest readyChapter 14:14 to the end of this chapter is the reaping of the earth. The first thrust of the sharp sickle is to harvest the *fully ripe grain or followers of God/Jesus Christ. This is the first harvest.

In verse 17 we discover a second harvest; one of grapes. These are thrown into the wine-press of God’s WRATH. Not a good thing. They are crushed or punished for their continual rejection over the past 7 tribulation years;  3 ½ years with the two witnesses in Jerusalem but who were heard and seen worldwide; the angel who proclaimed the gospel to the entire world near the end of the Great Tribulation period; the individual witnessing of the 144,000 who died “from this point forward” for their testimony [14:13]; and the their acceptance of the false prophet, the beast, its image and the Mark of the Beast.

Revelation Chapter 14 (a)

There are three other articles/blogs on this website that address specific topics within miniJimchapter 14; 666, What happens to those who never hear of the Gospel? The 144,000.  This blog is more of a shorthand review of other issues with which one should be familiar and  connected to Revelation 14.

Chapter 14 begins with the mentioning of the 144,000 standing with Jesus (the lamb) on Mt Zion. They have the Father’s name written in their foreheads. Some translations say the Father’s and the Lamb’s (Jesus) name. Let’s consider some of the differences between this 144,000 in C14 and the 144,000 in C7.

  1. end of the ages Revelation 7: the 144,000 are all identified as specifically from the multiple Tribes of Israel, then in verse 9 John sees *a great multitude around the throne wearing white robes that **came out of the ongoing Great Tribulation; 7:9. Before the tribes of Israel and their count is given; 12,000 from each, the first couple of verses in this chapter express a great calamity about to overwhelm man and earth. The 144,000 Israelites are protected from these calamities. In short, the calamities (God’s bowl judgments; the 7th Seal) are about to be poured out. These 144,000 folks are still on planet earth.

*They were from every nation, tribe, race of people, and language of the earth. They were standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They all wore white robes and had palm branches in their hands [ESV].

** “These are the ones who have come out of the great suffering” [ESV; 7:14]. JIV: perhaps these are the souls under the throne waiting for their deaths to be avenged by God [Revelation 6:10].

  1. 144,000 of Revelation 14 have specific traits that differ from the 144,000 discussed in chapter 7 of Revelation. John sees them standing with the Messiah on Mount Zion going everywhere he goes. This passages says they are “purchased from among men” (on earth) and are the first fruits. The word “men” here is “anthrōpos” meaning redeemed from the *earth. Contrast this to the specifics of chapter 7 where the 144,000 are selected from specific Tribes of Israel; not the generic anthrōpos,  men on earth and in general.

*redeemed from the earth is quite different than being protected while on earth.

  1. C14 has angels flying around making proclamations where C7 mentions a few angels with specific jobs or tasks to perform. Chapter 14 becomes what I call the “harvest chapter.” The only mention of great masses of people in this chapter is associated with a warning to NOT worship the beast, its image or take his mark, and the reward for those who do NOT take his mark or worship him. (14:7 and 14:9). People are still on earth and God’ kingdom on earth has yet to be established.
  • They sing a NEW song only they can learn (also with an orchestra of harps)
  • They are new babes in Christ (virgins); totally committed 24/7 for the duration of the Tribulation
  • They follow the lamb everywhere. This suggests Christ 2nd advent has now occurred.
  • No lie has crossed their lips since their tribulation acceptance of the coming messiah
  • They stand before the Throne, the elders and the 4 Living creatures.
  • They are reaped through the gospel message proclaimed world-wide by the angel spreading this good news and with fair warning found in verse 6.

There are some other passages we should consider as they too relate to chapter 14. One should ask, what about some of the other distinguishing or mentioned characteristics unique to groups of people in end time sealed or marked in one way or another.

Ezekiel 9

This book is focused on Israel, as is most of Revelation following the first four chapters that discuss the seven Messianic Christian churches.

  1. Ezekiel’s vision is isolated to Jerusalem, not throughout the world
  2. Those marked (tauv) in Jerusalem by the angels lament the sins of the city (historical past and present just as did Daniel for the nation of Israel in *Daniel 9). Here is how Rev. Dr. Robert Deffingbaugh puts it:
    1. Verses 24-27 [of Daniel 9] begin to spell out future events in detail rather than with vague, mysterious symbols. While all may not agree on the meaning of these verses, all Christians would agree they provide very specific information concerning the last times. For the first time in Daniel’s prophecy, the suffering and death of Messiah is introduced.
  3. The rest of the population [in Jerusalem] is slain without pity
  4. The context of this judgment goes back to Ezekiel 7: (1-10) but should include the entire chapter 7 in Ezekiel.

tavPS: Tauv is the last letter of the Hebrew Alphabet.

 

When The Vet Can’t Fix Me

Things have been tough lately for me and my mom. I know when she hurts but it is I who bytheShadowhas been in a lot of distress lately. My mom struggles with Multiple Sclerosis and she tells me the doctors “manage” the disease but there is no cure. Unfortunately, there is no cure for me. I’ve already had many tests and more tests would pinpoint exactly what is going on with me. But my Vet, Dr. Heather has primary tests results with reason to believe it is a life-long condition with no cure. We are working on keeping the symptoms managed. The exact diagnosis and radical treatment would be super expensive and the treatment could be harsher than the disease.

Dr.Heather and Shadow

I love my Vet!

So what’s a dog to do? Number one: I take my medication and sleep more. Much of the time I seem “normal” to people but my mom sees my pain. I have good days and play hard then and I am still a good working Service dog for the most part. I love my job. I love my mom. Lately I wash away my mom tears as she hugs me more and tells me she is sorry. This I do not understand because she hasn’t hurt me.

My mom tells me Ancient Wisdom says there is a time for everything. There will come a time when my time is up; whatever that means. And there will be a time when my mom’s time is up also. My mom calls this time simply Heaven and that we will hurt no more.

But like my mom who has and is fighting a tough battle to keep on keeping on; so will I. With the help of my Vet, Dr. Heather and my mom- I will continue to fight until I can fight no longer. After all, there is much work to do and my mom needs me. We need each other.

If you are in a battle of any sort, fight on and never give up. We are doing all we are able to do. There will be a time when the “time” will come for all of us. For me and my mom that time is called Heaven.