Countdown to Destruction by Deceit


In our continued efforts to understand what in the world God’s people of Judah
and Jeremiah were thinking which led to the destruction of Jerusalem in 597 B.
C.  God’s people of this time and of the little nation of Judah, like the northern
kingdom of Israel before them, made so many bad decisions, politically,
religiously, internationally with Egypt and Babylon in spite of warnings from
God through the Prophet Jeremiah, socially and with business dealings with
the people in the land, that we strain for an adequate answer to “what were
they thinking?”  Of course, naturally we have been comparing God’s people of
the United States to God’s people of Judah for any lessons that we might
learn on how “Righteousness exalts a nation, and sin is a reproach to any
people” (Proverbs 14:34).  The very reason that God through thousands of
years has given the Bible to His people is in order that we might learn by
example, national example and individual example.
 {It is unfortunate how
with a recent and intense series of calamities from God since 9/11 we as
a total nation of God’s people have been forced to pay for the
unrighteousness of groups like the gay righters, the deceivers like in the
city of Bell California and the Pastor of a mega church in Atlanta,
Georgia, the greedy, and the cover ups in big business, government,
and churches.}
With the good job the national news is doing on spot notices of the goodness
of character of Americans, and gracious spirits, we are surprised to learn that
greed, deceit and cover up like the church at Atlanta and in the city of Bell
where city workers scalped fellow citizens, may be more the norm in this
nation than the exception.  {Even here in New Mexico a federal agency has
declared the state of New Mexico as among the most corrupt, and we are
suddenly very disappointed to hear the ads on TV becoming very viscous
about corruption.}  Maybe we are not the good Americans and citizens we
thought we were; and perhaps like in Judah before the destruction of
Jerusalem, we while carrying on in a life style very acceptable to ourselves,
have forgotten the righteous standards that God long ago laid down for a
nation that He is going to bless.  Have we come to the point in America where
it can be said of us like God in His own words given to Jeremiah, said of Judah:
“Because from the least of them even to the greatest of them, everyone is
given to covetousness; and from the prophet even to the priest, everyone
deals falsely {with deceit}.  They have also healed the hurt of My people
slightly {they are there for funerals, births, and forgiveness of sins}, saying,
‘Peace, peace {peace and prosperity, at least in 2 years}!’  When there is no
peace.”  (Jeremiah 6:13,14)

NOTE:  Perhaps also like God’s people in Jeremiah, we in the United States
have stuck our head in the sand, like them placing confidence in the number
and beauty of our churches, homes, government  buildings and fortifications
{remember how in Temple worship at the NATIONAL “DEN OF THIEVES”,      
God’s people of Judah would daily sing the praise song of “The Temple of the
LORD, the temple of the LORD, the Temple of the Lord are these” (Jeremiah
7:11), while ignoring both the prophetic predictions of inevitable destruction
without revival and repentance and their own unrighteous ways}.  We are right
to be concerned about our economy, health care, and unemployment; but
should be not be far more concerned about what God thinks of our nation, the
Falling Away, and the cure for this intense series of calamities since 9/11.

25-1:  The Exile of God’s People was a Process.

Jerusalem was not just suddenly destroyed.  In fact during the period that
Judah was a vassal to Babylon, after King Nebuchadnezzar replaced king
Jehoiakim with Zedekiah {also called Jehoichin}, they refused to listen to God’s
instructions through Jeremiah to serve Nebuchadnezzar faithfully. (Jeremiah 27:
12) {Never forget that Daniel was a satrap-ruler in Babylon under
Nebuchadnezzar, and that God calls that king of Babylon “His servant”.
(Jeremiah 27:6)}
1.  From 734-722 B.C. the Assyrians made repeated attacks on the 10 tribe of
the northern kingdom of Israel, taking several companies of citizens back
home; of course, among them were Ezekiel.
2.  Samaria, the capital of Israel, fell to Assyria in 722, the citizens being
transported into the country of the Medes.  {Ezekiel was no doubt among
these.}
3.  The people of God of the divided kingdom, before the fall of Samaria, that
lived east of the Jordan River and in Galilee had already been taken captive by
Tiglath-pileser.
4.  The Babylonians in 605 took Daniel and other of the most gifted citizens of
Judah captive to Babylon.
5.  King Jehoichin and many other citizens of Jerusalem and Judah were taken
captive to Babylon in 598 B.C.
6.  In 587 B.C. Jerusalem was captured and the temple destroyed by the
Chaldeans {you can read in Daniel of how the Babylonian kingdom passed
from the Babylonians to the Mede-Persians}, king Zedekiah (Jehoichin) and
most of the people remaining in Judah were carried captive.
7.  Even after the almost complete destruction of Jerusalem, some scattered
citizens {much like Iraqi today} remained in the surrounding regions; and quite
a group of princes and citizens went down to two cities in Egypt, taking
Jeremiah captive with them.  {The kings of Babylon, no doubt due to the
influence of God on Nebuchadnezzar and because of the rule of Daniel, had
assured the care of Jeremiah  Of course the immigrants to Egypt even more
made at Jeremiah, especially as he predicted their own destruction by
calamities if they did not discontinues worship of the Queen of Heaven.}

25-2:  The Drift Toward Deceit and Destruction.

Judah started the drift toward deterioration and destruction:  (1) religiously
with the passing away of the spiritual leadership of the Prophets Isaiah {also a
historian at the king’s court writing much of Kings and Chronicles} and Micah,
and the king in government of Hezekiah; (2) the earlier Assyrian invasion of the
country-side {God did not allow them to take Jerusalem} under King
Sennacherib, which devastated the country and took away some of their best
citizens.
1.  The reign of King Hezekiah in Judah.
Hezekiah reigned 29 years in Jerusalem (II Chronicles 29:1),
“And he did what was right in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his
father {forefather} David had done.”  (II Chronicles 29:2)
(1).  Hezekiah cleansed the temple (II Chronic es 29:3-19), for the first time in
years reopening and repairing the doors of the Temple, gathered the priests
and Levites, admonished them to “sanctify the house of the LORD God of your
fathers”, telling them to also get the “rubbish” out of this holy place.
(2).  Hezekiah restores Temple Worship (II Chronicles 29:20-36).
2.  In the opinion of Sampey it was the reign of Manasseh, the son of Hezekiah
with his wickedness that “really decided the fate of Judah”.  After him and his
reign, even the good king Josiah and the Prophet Jeremiah could not turn
matters around.  {Basically God’s people of Judah just turned their back on
God, and would not listen to Him anymore.}  Can you imagine the power and
influence a President would have on this nation if he lived and reigned 55 years
as head of the government. (II Chronicles 33:1)
Yes, politics were involved and with Manasseh being only 12 years old when
he started his reign, the “heathen party” took control of the nation.  {There is
no attempt now to say whether they were the equivalent of the Republican
party, the Democratic Party, or the Tea Party; however in the next few years
as there is a showdown between the American Democratic Faith and Bible
faith priority, surely in the gay rights issue you will see which one is closer.}

“But he did evil in the sight of the LORD {perhaps this is our problem in
America than we have considered too many other criterion other than “the
sight of the LORD”}, according to the abominations of the nations whom the
LORD had cast out before the children of Israel {obviously it was not just the
detrimental influence of the Egyptians that came out of bondage with them,
and who lead them to worship the golden calf, like in Egypt, in the wilderness
at the very time Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the 10 commandments
and the new covenant}.  For he rebuilt the high places which Hezekiah his
father had broken down; he raised up altars for the Baals, and made wooden
images; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them.”  (II
Chronicles 33:2-3)

Further King Manasseh:  (1) built altars to these same false gods in the very
temple, “house”, of the LORD God; (2) likewise altars to all the host of heaven
{recall the infamous Queen of Heaven as an example} in the 2 outer courts; (3)
burned some of his many sons with fire in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom; (4)
also practiced soothsaying, witchcraft, sorcery, and consulted mediums and
spirits; (5) with a life style of much evil, he provoked God to anger; and (6) set
an idol carved image that he made in the house of God.

“So Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more
evil than the nations whom the LORD had destroyed before the children of
Israel.”  (II Chronicles 33:9)

25-3:  The Ears are going to Tingle with evil from God.

55 years of this and deceit and destruction were almost inevitable.

“And Jehobah spake by His servants the prophets, saying, Because Manasseh
king of Judah hath done these abominations {recall how prominent were the
“abominations” of the people of temple worship of Jeremiah’s Temple
Sermon}, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, that were
before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols; therefore thus saith
Jehovah, the God of Israel, Behold, I bring such evil upon Jerusalem and
Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle” (II Kings 21:10-
15).

25-4:  Josiah, last good King of Israel.

Now we get into the time of the ministry of the Prophet Jeremiah.  You might
even label this historical period of Jeremiah as THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAH
AND JERUSALEM.  It was during the reigns of Josiah, Jehoiakim, and
Zedekiah right up to “the carrying away of Jerusalem captive in the fifth
month”.  (Jeremiah 1:1-3)
1.  Taking over as a boy of 8 {Manasseh before him and King Amon did not
have to yield to the control of the heathen party, Josiah didn't}, and at age 9
{generally what most consider as the age of spiritual accountability} starting
seeking after God.
2. Josiah broke down the image of Baal and Astarte {another name for the
Queen of Heaven, of course one of the “hosts of heaven”).
3.  Josiah repaired the broken down temple in 623 B.C.
4.  Josiah read the book of the law {the Pentateuch from Moses or the first 5
books of the Bible}, which the high priest had found tucked away in the
repaired temple; and you know times are bad in the land when there is a 55
year period in which the Word of God is hidden from the people.  No wonder
they forgot the covenant, blesses with obedience and curses and calamities
with unrighteousness.

NOTE:  Curses or blessings, it has always worked this way in the manner with
which God deals with His own people since the original giving of the Law.  And
it is exactly the way it will happen for Canada and the United States today in
spite of our intellectual sophistication and education!  And our beginnings like in
the wilderness can not save us if we continue to duplicate the follies of God’s
original people, as we become more wicked than the generations before us.  
The sad part is that we go down together as a nation, righteous and
unrighteous!

(1).  Josiah rent his garments in fear and grief that the curses of the law
{opposite of the blessings of keeping the covenant of God} might come upon
Judah and Jerusalem during his reign. (II Kings 22:1-13).
(2).  Josiah assembled the people of the nation for a Revival with the reading
of the Law publicly and solicited a response from the people to keep the
covenant {blessings and curses based on obedience} of this Law.
(3).  Josiah conducted a campaign to destroy in Jerusalem and all of Judah,
the idol images, the pillars, and the wooden images of Astarte.
NOTE:  It was a revival and reformation externally; however God’s people
were not in it, sort of like the revival meetings of Billy Graham and Franklin
Graham; and they could not wait for a more wicked king like Jehoikim, the
second king during Jeremiah’s ministry.

25-5:  Other Prophets were active Besides Jeremiah.

You know the saying “when it is dark, men see the stars”.  Well in spite of
Josiah, it was dark in the people’s hearts and getting darker.
1.  The Prophet Nahum.
God always according to the history of the Bible reciprocates on the nation
later that He used to chastise His own people; and the prime theme of the
book of Nahum {by the way this long historical period from Isaiah through
almost all of the 16 writing Prophets, major and minor, is often called the
“Golden Age of Prophesy; and you recall how God said often as in Jeremiah
that “I rose up early and stayed up late sending the prophets to reprimand
you”, deals with the destruction of Nineveh, the capital of Assyria.  Nahum
reveals a side to God that is often denied in America in favor of a “Santa
Claus” like image of God that always blesses and never curses.
“Jehovah is a jealous God {jealous in that no country is excuse for not
worshipping and honor the one God of this Universe even if they change his
name to Allah} and avengeth {the time of the Muslims is coming when they
bring a large army against Jerusalem and the camp of the saints, God
intervening and avenging then with fire from heaven}; Jehovah avengeth and is
full of wrath {God through the Bible wants you to know this aspect of His
character in the face of persistent and continuous rebellions}; Jehovah taketh
vengeance of his adversaries {God is always at work among nations as with
individuals, and punishment for unrighteousness will come in a few years, at
death, or at the end of earth time when Christ comes again}, and He reserveth
wrath for His enemies.”  (Nahum 1:2)
NOTE:  If this is not the God you  know, or want to believe, you had better get
on the ball.  This is the God of the Bible, the LORD God of the Universe, and
the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Amen, amen, and Amen.  The only Real
God, the same God of the Bible, is ruling, reigning, directing nations and
affairs.  He is very patient and long suffering with unrighteousness, but His
wrath is inevitable!

25-6:  Calamities That Cause Both Ears to Tingle!

This is a timely subject for us, as the ears of American are tingling today from
the shock and surprises of current calamities like floods, fires, and tornados;
and add to this the unparalleled historical series of calamities on this nation
since 911, so that THIS IS A TIME FOR THE TINGLING OF EARS.  And as
the ears tingle, the American mind, knowing all of these legally are called “acts
of God”,  is ravaged with the thoughts of how much did God have to do with
these calamities.  Much insight comes from the study of “calamities” in the
Bible.
1.  This subject is very timely to these Bible Studies in Jeremiah as we know
of the great calamity of desolation that God Himself brought on Judah and
Jerusalem because of their idolatry.  Ezekiel, the Prophet in Assyria and
contemporary with Jeremiah, spoke of this same idolatry and the calamity
brought  of the house of Israel.by God Himself in Ezekiel
“Then those of you who escape will remember Me among the nations where
they are carried captive, because I was crushed by their adulterous heart
which has departed from Me, and by their eyes which play the harlot after
their idols; they will loathe themselves for the evils which they committed in all
their abominations.  And they shall know that I am the LORD; I have not said in
vain         THAT I WOULD BRING THIS CALAMITY UPON THEM. {Where did
the calamity come from, it came from God, He “brought this calamity upon
them”, did you miss that!}  (Ezekiel 6:9-10)

“Thus says the Lord GOD:  ‘Pound your fists and stamp your feet {is this what
some Americans are doing in Alabama and along the flooded Mississippi
River?}, and say, ‘Alas, for all the evil abominations of Israel!  For they shall
fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”  {God is in charge and is the
determinative factor although He can use warfare, hungry, and pestilence even
as He can use floods, fires, and hurricanes to chastise His own people in
calamities of the first kind.}  (Ezekiel 6:11)

“He who is far off shall die by the pestilence, he who is near shall fall by the
sword, and he who remains and is besieged shall die by the famine.  Thus will
I spend My fury upon them.”  (Ezekiel 6:12)

NOTE:  The Pope reflects the majority opinion of the world, and Americans,
that anything bad can not come from God.  Well, reconcile that with the Bible
statement in God’s own words, “Thus will I spend My fury upon them.”
THEN IDOLATRY IS CURED!  What is the cure of idolatry, a major calamity
from God Himself!

“Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when their slain are among their
idols all around {have you noticed in the increased series of calamities since
911 how many more churches are hit, and how the intensity of causalities has
increased because God’s people of America are not listening!} their altars, on
every high hill, on all the mountaintops, under every green tree, and under
every thick oak, wherever they offered sweet incense to all their idols.”  
(Ezekiel 6:13)

2.  You quickly and easily recognize “calamities” as sent from God against
idolatry in God’s chasing chastisement of the remnant which escaped to Egypt
after the destruction and desolation of Judah and Jerusalem.  {Recall that they
asked for the word of God through Jeremiah whether to go from Mispah to
Egypt, God told them they would be safe if they remained in the land; and then
after Jeremiah delivered another message of condemnation about idolatry to
them down in Pathros of Egypt, they blatantly refused to stop worshiping idols
like the Queen of Heaven.}
(1).  Jeremiah 44:2.

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel:  ‘You have seen all the
CALAMITY that I have brought on Jerusalem and on all the cities of Judah;
and behold, this day they are a desolation, and no one dwells in them,
because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke Me to
anger, that they went to burn incense and to serve OTHER gODS whom they
did not know, they nor you nor your fathers.”  (Jeremiah 44:2,3)

What part do you not understand of “I have brought on Jerusalem and all the
cities of Judah”?
(2).  Jeremiah 44:11 where “catastrophe” is a stronger and bigger calamity.

“They have not been humbled, to this day, nor have they feared: they have not
walked in My law or in My statutes that I set before you and your fathers.  
Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts {again He is God of all the world, God
of the Gentiles and Jews and all nations}, the God of Israel {the world really
came to know Him foremost as the God of Israel during the reigns of David
and Solomon}:  ‘Behold, I will set My face against you for CATASTROPHE
and for cutting off all Judah.”  (Jeremiah 44:10,11)

THAT GOD CUT OFF ALL JUDAH FROM THE LAND INCLUDING THE
TEMPLE AND FORTIFIED CITIES, ISN’T THAT CATASTROPHIC ENOUGH
AS A ACT OF GOD TO BE LEGITIMATELY CALLED A CALAMITY.

(3).  Jeremiah 44:23,
“So the LORD could no longer bear it, because of the evil of your doings and
because of the abominations which you committed.  Therefore your land is a
desolation, an astonishment, a curse, and without an inhabitant, as it is this
day.  {what if we had a Jeremiah with the courage today to tell America that
since these floods have come from the great God of the Universe, your land is
in many places flooded and burned and a desolation; you are astonished that
things can change so quickly when God’s blessings turn into a curse because
of repeated and continuous idolatry, that God really does send curses just like
He has previously sent blessings; and some of these lands, farm lands and
downtown cities like in Memphis and New Orleans will also at least temporarily
be “without an inhabitant”}, as it is this day.  Because you have burned incense
and because you have sinned against the LORD, and have not obeyed the
voice of the LORD or walked in His law, in His statutes or in His testimonies,
therefore this CALAMITY has happened to you, as at this day.”  (Jeremiah 44:
22,23)
(4).  Jeremiah 44:29.  “Adversity” another word for Calamity.
“’And this shall be a sign to you,’ says the LORD, ‘that I will punish you in this
place {the “place” was Egypt, chastisement was chased by calamity as the
remnant of Jews tried to escape to Egypt and continue their idol worship of
the Queen of Heaven}, that you may know that My words will surely stand
against you for ADVERSITY.’”  (Jeremiah 44:29)
God and Jeremiah wanted no misunderstanding of the reason for this
adversity, as would Americans learn with the unparalleled series of intense
calamities since 911 that God is both trying to speak and speak against His
number one anger, IDOLATRY!