Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible
Chapter 1: Jeremiah’s Commission
Most people would probably label Jeremiah the gloomiest prophet in the Bible. The word “jeremiad” means “a prolonged lamentation or complaint” (see Webster’s Dictionary). This word originated from Jeremiah and his prophecies.
The word “Jeremiah,” however, means “the Lord founds.” People should look more deeply into what they believe. The meaning of the name Jeremiah is very positive—“the Lord founds.” Jeremiah does discuss some very gloomy prophecies. But why? Because the Lord didn’t “found,” or establish, the lives of those people. The modern nations of Israel have rebelled against God, so they leap from one disaster to another. The greatest disaster of all time is imminent. Jeremiah tells us how to avoid these disasters. But very few listen.
Ezekiel and Daniel were contemporaries of Jeremiah (see Daniel 9:2). When Nebuchadnezzar conquered Judah, Ezekiel and Daniel were taken captive. Jeremiah was released to complete his mission regarding David’s throne. Ezekiel was in a prisoner’s camp on the river Chebar. Daniel and his three friends were prisoners in the Babylonian palace.
Jeremiah went to Judah, which is only a small part of Israel. Judah today mistakenly is called “Israel.” But biblical Israel is mainly the United States and British nations in this end time. Herbert W. Armstrong proved that in his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Contact us if you would like a free copy.
Notice, the book of Jeremiah is for the end time—the time we are living in right now.
Messages to the Nations of Israel
“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book” (Jeremiah 30:1-2; also see Jeremiah 45:1 and 51:60-64). Jeremiah wrote these prophecies in a book. Why would he write them in a book if Israel had already gone into captivity over 100 years before he wrote it? Because these prophecies are for our time today.
Verse 3 says God “will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah.” Notice this is addressed to Israel and Judah (see verse 4 of Jeremiah 30 also). Jeremiah personally only went to Judah. The word Jew is only a shortened form of Judah. And even Judah was about to go into captivity when Jeremiah prophesied.
“The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it” (verse 24). “Consider it” would be better translated “understand it thoroughly.” That means we won’t truly understand this book until the end time. This is a message for “the latter days”—or the time we are living in now. That is why Jeremiah wrote God’s message in a book called Jeremiah in your Bible!
“And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it” (verses 4-7). “Jacob’s trouble” means the trouble in the U.S. and British nations mainly. And notice—it’s the worst trouble they have ever experienced! Far worse than World War ii and the concentration camps! This has not happened yet. But it’s about to begin. It is prophecy unfolding this very minute.
This coming nuclear holocaust is the culmination of man’s rule over man. Study your history books and you will see man’s rule is from crisis to crisis. But the crisis of crises is just ahead!
The terrifying madness of man’s rule over man is about to end. God will rule man the way he should have been ruled from the beginning. “For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them” (verses 8-9). This terrible trouble our nations are soon to experience will occur just before God resurrects David to rule all Israel! We have a wonderful future, but not until we have suffered as never before.
God says the U.S. and British peoples must wake up and repent, or they are about to enter the Great Tribulation!
Message to Spiritual Israel Too
“The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly” (Jeremiah 23:20). In the latter days everybody will understand it thoroughly (it should read)—because it will be fulfilled in this end time.
Too bad most people won’t understand the book of Jeremiah until after the disaster strikes. But the peoples of Israel could understand it now if they would only heed God’s Word. However, even many of God’s own people fail to heed the warning message.
Let’s look a little closer at what this chapter is all about. “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord” (verses 1-2). Jeremiah personally went to Judah. But here he addresses Israel, which had already been in captivity over 100 years! So this has to be addressed to end-time Israel. However, end-time national Israel was never God’s flock! It was never unified as God’s people in these latter days. This is referring to God’s spiritual flock.
Wickedness is found in God’s own Church today! What is it? God is concerned about evil in all Israel, but far more in spiritual Israel, the Church. That is where the worst crimes of all are being committed!
In this chapter of Jeremiah God is addressing spiritual Israel, which was unified by a strong leader and then scattered and driven away by the Laodicean leaders today. This can only apply to God’s people now! If God’s people are scattered and driven away, then it is obvious that someone had to unify them first, so they could be scattered! But who? The answer is fully revealed in our book Malachi’s Message. Request your free copy. We can never truly understand these prophecies until we comprehend who did the unifying and how he did it.
National Israel could not be scattered by false prophets in the end time anyhow. It has been scattered for hundreds and hundreds of years. The subject in Jeremiah 23 is a spiritual scattering.
How will God correct these people? He will “visit upon you the evil of your doings.” Verse 3 says, “And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.” This spiritual scattering of God’s people happens just before the Great Tribulation and the resurrection of David (verse 5).
And remember, verse 20 says this is all happening in the latter days—to God’s own end-time Church, spiritual Israel. So the book of Jeremiah is a warning to both national and spiritual Israel in the end time. Both of them are going into the Tribulation together, unless they repent.
“Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:4-5). His message was to go to the nations—plural. But again, Jeremiah only delivered his prophetic message to Judah anciently.
Only Jeremiah, John the Baptist and Christ were chosen from the womb. Jeremiah was a very special prophet, chosen for an extremely important commission. He was chosen from the womb by God—like John and the Son of the living God!
Surely that puts him in the category of one of God’s greatest prophets. Yet, too many scholars today scoff at the message this man delivered. The message and commission were so vital that God chose and shaped Jeremiah from the womb. We need to deeply ponder that point!
This book was revealed to Jeremiah by God. Part of it was revealed in the days of Josiah (verses 1-2). Another part of this book was revealed in the days of Jehoiakim (verse 3). God is putting great emphasis on this special messenger and message. If we are to properly understand this book, we must do the same.
It’s one thing for God to call a man to do a job. It’s quite another thing to choose him from the womb. Then God revealed a major message to him. That message is the greatest, most inspiring vision in the Bible—the key of David (Revelation 3:7-8).
God revealed this message and only God can interpret it. God has not commissioned some scholar to interpret this book for Him. However, that is what too many Bible scholars think. This is a dangerous attitude if you truly know the God of Jeremiah.
“Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child” (Jeremiah 1:6). Jeremiah was quite young at that time—perhaps only in his late teens. He saw the terrible struggle and danger involved. Jeremiah told God he was too young for the job. Other people undoubtedly also thought he was too young.
God calls us to do a very difficult work. People respond by saying they are too young, too old, not eloquent, or they have some other pathetic excuse.
God has an answer for such excuses. “But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (verse 7). That is easy to understand. If God calls you to do a job, you would be wise to heed.
When God gives you a mission, you must go where He says and speak what He commands! No excuses. The majority of God’s own people fail to do His Work in this end time. They, like Jonah, are trying to run away from the job. But their punishment will be far worse than being swallowed by a whale. They will be chastised by God in the worst time of suffering ever on this Earth.
Jeremiah’s message has been revealed only to God’s Church. The foundational part of the message was delivered to Herbert W. Armstrong. But only God’s little remnant today can deliver the full message of Jeremiah, because only we fully understand this book. If God reveals His message to us, we have a heavy responsibility to deliver that message. Only we can!
So the command to Jeremiah (verse 7) becomes a command to God’s loyal remnant today.
Mr. Armstrong laid the foundation by writing The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Only he was commissioned and inspired by God to deliver that message in this end time.
Only the Philadelphia Church of God publishes Mr. Armstrong’s inspired version. Because we are building on God’s foundation, God has revealed much more about Jeremiah and David’s throne since Mr. Armstrong died in 1986! Now we must deliver it to the whole world.
This key of David unlocks the most inspiring vision in the Bible. The vision is so deep that God continues to give us more and more understanding.
This key unlocks how God will endlessly rule and produce growth from David’s throne throughout the whole universe for all eternity! Only a person with a childlike attitude and with God’s Holy Spirit can comprehend such a vision.
There are numerous obstacles to delivering God’s message. “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord” (verse 8). God knew Jeremiah would encounter many hard looks and threats. And so will the people who are doing God’s Work today. But remember, if you have God’s message, you also have God with you!
Those who do the Jeremiah commission today have Jeremiah’s God with them! What is there to fear? We must never forget that the living God is with us.
Again, God gives His revelation for a reason. “Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth” (verse 9). If we have God’s words in our minds and mouths, it’s because God put them there. And God expects His spokesman to speak those words. God’s people are fully expected to support those revealed and spoken words!
God reminded Jeremiah, and He reminds His people today, who is the source of these words. So when we receive them, we must support a work that speaks these words to the world. We have been ordained by God to do so!
The Apostle Peter said men of old spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). Only God’s Spirit can motivate us to do God’s Work.
“See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). This verse reveals Jeremiah’s commission and the main subject of this whole book.
Jeremiah not only had a commission. He understood the greatest vision in the Bible. This vision is called the key of David in the New Testament (Revelation 3:7-8).
Here is an excerpt from The United States and Britain in Prophecy: “Notice, Jeremiah was set over nations—more than one kingdom. He was a Jewish lad, living in Judah. He was set a prophet over Judah—but not Judah alone. Over nations—over kingdoms! He was set over these kingdoms to do two things: first to ‘pluck up’ or ‘root out,’ to ‘pull down’ or to ‘overthrow,’ and second, to build and to plant ….
“It is well known that Jeremiah was used in warning Judah of the impending captivity, and the ‘pulling down’ or ‘overthrowing’ of the throne of David in the Kingdom of Judah ….
“But note it! See it in your own Bible! Jeremiah was divinely commissioned to pull down and to overthrow that very throne of David in Judah—but notice the second half of the commission. To build and to plant! To build and to plant what?
“Why, naturally, that which he was used in ‘rooting out’ of Judah—the throne of David which God swore He would preserve forever! Jeremiah was set over not just the one nation, Judah—but over nations. Over the kingdoms—the kingdom of Israel as well as Judah!
“He was used in ‘rooting out’ that throne from Judah. Then what was Jeremiah commissioned to do in Israel? Notice the second half of his strange and little-understood commission—to build and to plant!”
Jeremiah was commissioned by God to deliver that throne and its ruler to Ireland. Later, the throne was moved to Scotland and then to Westminster Abbey in London. Even though it is called David’s throne, Christ will sit on it. The throne belongs to the Son of God.
The Throne of David
“And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:30-33). Why is Christ called Son of the Highest? Because the Son has a Father. It is a God Family throne. Christ is to rule on it forever in subjection to His Father, who is the Head of the Family. It’s a family government ruled by Christ, who is under His Father.
However, that is not the end of the story. Why is it called the throne of David? Because Christ will share that throne with a very elect group of human beings like David, biblically called firstfruits.
Remember, this is a family throne. The Son has a wife (Revelation 19:7). The wife is the Church: the firstfruits, called out before Christ returns. She is to be Christ’s queen and share that throne with Him (Revelation 3:21).
So we then have Father, Son and wife. After Christ returns, billions of people will eventually be invited into God’s Family. Those who repent and obey will be likened to the children in God’s Family. They will literally be sons in God’s Family.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7). It says “government and peace.” There is no peace without God’s family government. Christ, with His “help meet,” His wife, will bring all humanity into subjection to the Father! This will all be done from David’s throne. That government will be extended to the entire universe. God’s government will bring peace to the whole vast universe!
God and the Word, who became the Father and Son, have lived in this peace for all eternity! At that time, they will have brought mankind into their family government and peace as spirit beings. There will be endless growth in God’s Family!
When God brings all mankind into His Family as spirit beings, that will be the real beginning! God will begin His family plan to restore and beautify all of the decaying planets and galaxies. Then God will begin a work with His entire Family, which will even dazzle our Creator!
God’s Family will see the work to be done. They will know what has to be done to finish God’s awesome plan. Truly, this is the real beginning of our incredible human potential.
This is the vision Jeremiah had. This is why he and other prophets could suffer so horribly and still endure.
The vision almost left them breathless because of sheer joy and delight. This is how Jeremiah could teach the short-term bad news to Judah while going through indescribable persecution.
Jeremiah had the most inspiring vision in the Bible, but he also had a warning about the worst suffering ever on Earth about to afflict Israel—mainly America, the British peoples and the Jews.
“And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north. Then the Lord said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the Lord; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah” (Jeremiah 1:13-15). A huge, seething, boiling pot will spill over onto Israel. This is a picture of indescribable disaster and suffering—an expression of God’s extreme wrath over our sins!
How many different horror pictures do we see about this subject in Bible prophecy? There must be more than a hundred. It is time for Israel to repent. This mega-disaster is almost upon us!
Another vision precedes this one and is a part of it. “Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it” (verses 11-12).
What is the “rod of an almond tree”? It precedes the boiling pot. The Companion Bible describes it as “a watcher or an early waker because it is the first of the trees to wake from its winter sleep and it is thus what the cock is to the birds.” It is also described as “a vigilant watchman.”
A watchman always precedes some great disaster to strike Israel. God raises up a watchman to warn His people of their terrifying punishment. The boiling pot—Babylon from the north (the European Union today)—is about to spill over, and God gives America, Britain and Judah a chance to repent before it occurs—and afterward.
Revelation 3:19-22 is a specific prophecy about God’s very elect warning the Laodicean era. These verses in Jeremiah 1 are addressing the same thing. “And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands” (verse 16). The end-time Laodiceans have forsaken God. Only God’s people could ever forsake Him! They knew God and then “burned incense to other gods.” They have turned to “other gods”—away from the true God. This means they are still “religious,” but the great God is not with them. “Burning incense” is temple language. Today, the temple is God’s Church. They have created a work with “their own hands” and called it God’s Work.
This prophecy is getting very specific. God revealed the book of Jeremiah to Herbert W. Armstrong. He had the foundational understanding. But Mr. Armstrong did not understand this Laodicean rebellion and era (in Jeremiah and other prophecies). He also didn’t understand the Philadelphia Work in the Laodicean era.
God didn’t want to completely reveal that truth until the Laodicean era, which began when Mr. Armstrong died.
So what God has revealed in the book of Jeremiah (and the other major and minor prophets) since Mr. Armstrong’s death is a towering sign of where God’s Work is today!
Truth and prophecy are revealed by God. You will find God only where you find His revelation!
Our warning comes at a time when God’s people are forsaking Him. This specific warning comes after the end-time Elijah has come and gone (Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6; Matthew 17:10-11). He restored God’s government in the Church and then the majority of the people turned away. They stopped building on the foundation laid by Herbert W. Armstrong.
Before each vision God asked Jeremiah: “What do you see?” (Jeremiah 1:11, 13). Jeremiah saw what God saw. There is a reason why. God’s prophet had the vision of verse 10. Then God could reveal to him about the rod of an almond tree and the seething pot.
Twice God asked Jeremiah, “What do you see?” God prophesied that most of His people would be blind in this end time (Revelation 3:14-19). God knew they would lose the big vision: the key of David vision. There is no mention of the Laodicean era having the key of David. That is because the Laodiceans have lost it. That is the main reason they are blind! That is why God couldn’t reveal to them what Jeremiah (and other prophets) saw about the Laodicean era today.
Unless we see what God sees, we can’t do His Work. We cannot deliver a message we do not see. Eloquence is not the top priority. It’s a matter of what we see. And God reveals it only to babes, those with a humble, childlike attitude (Matthew 11:25). God can reveal to you individually only if you are childlike. The Laodiceans are too proud and stubborn for God to work through them.
The Laodiceans have forsaken God (Jeremiah 1:16). This revolt revolves around rejecting The United States and Britain in Prophecy. This is the visible sign of how the Laodiceans were losing the key of David vision.
Verse 16 is about a split in God’s Church. One group delivers Jeremiah’s message and the other group forsakes God and fails to do His Work. They receive God’s greatest wrath in the Tribulation.
Don’t Be Afraid
This message is for the whole world. It is from the omnipotent God. We must not fear men. “Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them” (verse 17). If God’s very elect back off because of fear, then they really have a big problem. God will confound them before their enemy.
The word “confound” is from the Hebrew word frangere. It means “to break in pieces.” Some commentaries think Jeremiah used language that was too harsh. But consider this. Look at what has happened to the church Mr. Armstrong founded. It has been shattered to a great extent already. It will be shattered even more in the Tribulation. The Apostle Paul said, “Woe unto me if I preach not the gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16).
If God gives us a job, we had better do it—or God will break us in pieces! Doing the job, we will face fearful situations. But if we run like Jonah, we will face a greater fear—God’s wrath!
This is a warning to God’s true Church today. We have no excuse not to do this job. After all, God is behind us. So let’s get the job done!
“For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land” (Jeremiah 1:18). This is the incredible power behind God’s little remnant. God has made us like “a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls.” In many ways God has made His people like an iron fortress. Without God, we would be quickly destroyed. God’s message is against kings, princes, leaders of the world and priests—primarily Laodicean ministers, but it also includes religions of the world. That is our battleground! “And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee” (verse 19). They will fight against God’s Work and His people, but “they shall not prevail” against us! This is a prophecy and a promise from God for the end time. Nobody can close the doors God opens for His Work. Nobody! Not even great armies!
We are destined to win this war because God is with us! But we shall win only after many tense battles. The beautiful outcome is so inspiring it ought to make us dizzy with joy!
In September 1996, violence in Jerusalem left over 70 people dead. There was severe fighting around Rachel’s tomb, near Jerusalem. This tomb is mentioned several times in the Bible. The question is, why? “And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Beth-lehem. And Jacob set a pillar upon her grave: that is the pillar of Rachel’s grave unto this day” (Genesis 35:19-20). Jacob set a pillar upon her grave, and at that time many people knew about it. The location was still well-known in the time of Samuel and Saul (1 Samuel 10:2). I believe it is probably the same location today as it was when Jacob raised a pillar over her grave.
Jeremiah prophesied about Rachel’s tomb. It is end-time prophecy. “Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; [Rachel] weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus saith the Lord; Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears: for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border” (Jeremiah 31:15-17). Rachel is symbolically pictured as losing her entire family! It will be so bad that she cannot be comforted.
Imagine a mother with a large family losing all her children at one time! This is a prophecy for Israel—primarily America and Britain.
During World War i, a man and his wife got on a train. After they were seated, the lady repeatedly counted the fingers and thumb on one hand—“one, two, three, four, five.” It continued incessantly. Some people began to laugh. Her husband asked them to please stop the laughter. Then he told them that they had lost five sons in the war. He was taking her to an insane asylum.
Why won’t our people heed Jeremiah’s mind-splitting prophecies? Many people will go mad!
Is there a reason why some of the violence in 1996 occurred around Rachel’s tomb? God is giving us every opportunity to see how that violence is the embryo of the total destruction of Israel!
This is the strongest kind of warning from God!
Rachel had only two children, Joseph and Benjamin. She died giving birth to Benjamin. So she really only knew her son Joseph, who had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (which are the British and American peoples today).
This is a specific prophecy aimed at those two great nations. However, they won’t be great much longer. Rachel is symbolically about to weep for the captivity and death of both nations!
There is only one way we can be comforted. There is “hope in your end”! In spite of this dire prophecy, there is still a glorious outcome! Christ is about to return to sit on David’s throne. He will then rule Israel and the world. Israel will never again go into captivity or be slaughtered as a nation.
There is some disagreement about where Ramah is today. Based on the Bible, I believe it is probably in the area where Rachel’s tomb is located. But regardless, Rachel’s actual grave is probably close to where her tomb is today. There is a blacker than black prophecy concerning that tomb for end-time Israel.
When Herod killed all of the infants in and around Bethlehem, Jeremiah’s prophecy was applied. “Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not” (Matthew 2:16-18). But that was only a small type of what is prophesied for this end time.
Jeremiah reminds us that this prophecy will ring in the ears of many people in Israel when it comes to pass. “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, after that Nebuzar-adan the captain of the guard had let him go from Ramah, when he had taken him being bound in chains among all that were carried away captive of Jerusalem and Judah, which were carried away captive unto Babylon” (Jeremiah 40:1). The captives of Judah were marched to Babylon from Ramah, where Rachel’s tomb was located. That too was only a small type of what is prophesied to happen in this end time. There is sobering symbolism in this prophecy.
The captives of Judah (called “Israel” today) will be marched by Rachel’s tomb on the way to modern Babylon, the European Union. This is obviously symbolic for America and Britain in this end time. The peoples of Israel will be exiled from their nations. However, Scripture indicates that only one third of the people are left alive to even be exiled.
God says the blackest nightmare imaginable is coming upon America, Britain and the Jews! How many prophecies of horror do we have to hear and experience before our people wake up?
Thankfully, there is still hope in the end. They will come back “from the land of the enemy.” Jeremiah depicts the greatest hope in the Bible in his prophetic masterpiece!
Conditions were beginning to get very bad for Jeremiah. “Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the dungeon of Malchiah the son of Hammelech, that was in the court of the prison: and they let down Jeremiah with cords. And in the dungeon there was no water, but mire: so Jeremiah sunk in the mire” (Jeremiah 38:6). He was thrown in a dungeon filled with mud. God was not working through the king’s palace. God was working through His prophet in a mud-filled dungeon!
Who could respect and befriend such a man as poor Jeremiah? There was a man of faith who did come to Jeremiah’s aid and God rewarded him immensely.
“Now when Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, one of the eunuchs which was in the king’s house, heard that they had put Jeremiah in the dungeon; the king then sitting in the gate of Benjamin; Ebed-melech went forth out of the king’s house, and spake to the king, saying, 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 like to die for hunger in the place where he is: for there is no more bread in the city” (verses 7-9). It took courage to speak to the king and perhaps even more so for Ebed-melech. He was an Ethiopian, apparently part of a black minority. There was no bread for Jeremiah. He would have died shortly, if Ebed-melech had not personally gone to the king.
“Then the king commanded Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. So Ebed-melech took the men with him, and went into the house of the king under the treasury, and took thence old cast clouts and old rotten rags, and let them down by cords into the dungeon to Jeremiah. And Ebed-melech the Ethiopian said unto Jeremiah, Put now these old cast clouts and rotten rags under thine armholes under the cords. And Jeremiah did so. So they drew up Jeremiah with cords, and took him up out of the dungeon: and Jeremiah remained in the court of the prison” (verses 10-13). Rotten clothes had been saved because of the terrifying famine conditions. Still, the people had not repented. So Ebed-melech freed Jeremiah from the dungeon, as the king had directed. Jeremiah was allowed to be in the prison court to live under much less confining conditions.
No Respecter of Persons
What happened to Ebed-melech? Did God forget him? “Now the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, while he was shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Go and speak to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will bring my words upon this city for evil, and not for good; and they shall be accomplished in that day before thee. But I will deliver thee in that day, saith the Lord: and thou shalt not be given into the hand of the men of whom thou art afraid. For I will surely deliver thee, and thou shalt not fall by the sword, but thy life shall be for a prey unto thee: because thou hast put thy trust in me, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 39:15-18). This man was considered a “stranger” in Judah. But he trusted God. He knew Jeremiah was God’s prophet. He went to the aid of a man the leaders were about to kill. Ebed-melech trusted God when very few did. He helped Jeremiah when it was dangerous to do so!
It always pays to trust God. Ebed-melech was saved from the destruction of Judah with Jeremiah’s small group. He walked by his faith and God was always there.
God has a small remnant in this end time. They too will be delivered when their nations are destroyed.
Does it matter if we are white, black, brown or yellow? God is no respecter of persons. He is a respecter of faith! Ebed-melech knew where God was working. That is each person’s responsibility. You can and must know! Millions—even billions—of people will die in the near future! But God will protect any person who trusts Him.
God is building faith in His little remnant. He is leading “one of a city, and two of a family” to do His Work today (Jeremiah 3:14). Each person must walk by his faith and then build more faith. How precious to God is a man of faith—a person who can follow God while his whole city is rebelling. Someone who looks to God, even if His leader or prophet is in a mud-filled dungeon. Ebed-melech saved his own physical life by supporting a man—God’s man!
People who never knew God are today being called “one of a city.” They are responding and bringing more shame on God’s end-time Laodicean people, who knew God and then turned away.
Ebed-melech shows God’s little remnant how they too can save their physical and spiritual lives. This is a profound lesson. And what a reward God has for such a faithful person.
Can you follow God’s man, even if society plunges him into a dungeon? Is your faith that strong? Can you walk alone—with God?
Baruch Loses the Vision
Jeremiah had a scribe named Baruch. He wrote Jeremiah’s words in a book. You might think that he would never get discouraged, being so close to Jeremiah, but that was not the case. “The word that Jeremiah the prophet spake unto Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the mouth of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, unto thee, O Baruch; Thou didst say, Woe is me now! for the Lord hath added grief to my sorrow; I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest” (Jeremiah 45:1-3). Baruch believed God had added more grief to his already miserable life. He was very discouraged. There is a reason why—he was sinning! Because of that sin, he was about to faint spiritually.
When people get overwhelmed by discouragement, sin is the cause! Baruch was discouraged because of his selfish, sinful thoughts. God showed him, and us today, why he was discouraged and how to overcome it.
“Thus shalt thou say unto him, The Lord saith thus; Behold, that which I have built will I break down, and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land” (verse 4). Here, The Companion Bible refers us back to Jeremiah 1:10. There we read almost identical words. Why? What does it mean?
“See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant” (Jeremiah 1:10). Jeremiah had a vision revolving around David’s family throne. He had to “root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.” Baruch was losing sight of this vision and commission. That’s why he was discouraged! He got his mind on a personal goal and off God’s vision of the gospel—the Kingdom of God and Christ’s coming rule on David’s throne. If we lose that vision, we become discouraged. God’s people must avoid Baruch’s error and keep Jeremiah’s vision to endure future trials.
Baruch was in Jeremiah’s party. They had Jacob’s pillar stone, which remained with David’s throne until very recently. Zedekiah’s daughter, who later sat on that throne, was with them. Baruch transcribed the book of Jeremiah. Still, he lost the key of David vision.
Today we understand about the birthright promises explained in The United States and Britain in Prophecy. We understand the key of David vision (request our free booklet The Key of David). We know that the end-time Elijah has come and gone—after he restored all things. God has also given us a full understanding of the book of Jeremiah. But we could still lose the vision about David’s throne. We shouldn’t, but we could, unless we learn from Baruch’s mistake.
“And seekest thou great things for thyself? seek them not: for, behold, I will bring evil upon all flesh, saith the Lord: but thy life will I give unto thee for a prey in all places whither thou goest” (Jeremiah 45:5). Baruch was seeking great things for himself—not God. All of Judah was about to be enslaved or killed. And about all he could think of was himself. He didn’t realize that the only way he could save his physical life was if he did God’s Work with Jeremiah.
We must remember, though, that this is a prophecy for the end time. Today, destruction is about to come “upon all flesh”—the whole world! Do we really get it? It’s not a time to seek great things for ourselves. It’s time to deliver Jeremiah’s message and warn the world.
God will save us from captivity and death, if we deliver this message. If we love humanity, we’ll work to warn and hopefully save some of them physically.
The vision about David’s throne, which encompasses the whole universe, will get us through any trial. This vision separates the Philadelphians from the Laodiceans. Only the Philadelphians have the key of David vision.
History reveals that Baruch had a brother who was a high-ranking officer in Zedekiah’s government. Baruch must have thought about a prosperous government job. But he forgot that the government was about to fall! Instead of helping his boss, Jeremiah, he hurt God’s Work. He added to poor Jeremiah’s trials. It’s so easy to become distracted.
There was a good ending. Baruch repented and did go with Jeremiah to deliver David’s throne and the stone of destiny to Ireland. God took them to a safe place. Their lives were saved. Baruch was told to remember what he was taught. He went back to the beginning, when he was taught the vision. That is how he overcame discouragement. His life was again filled with hope.
To Christ’s Bride
We must always keep in mind that this is an end-time book, and that God first of all addresses the biggest problem in this end time—His own Church. “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord, I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown” (Jeremiah 2:1-2, Revised Standard Version). Anciently, Israel and Judah were married to God. But that was only a letter-of-the-law type of the Church’s marriage to Christ in this end time.
God is primarily speaking to spiritual Jerusalem, His Church. God remembers how kind His people were in their youth—when they had the key of David vision. This was when they were Philadelphian—before they became Laodicean (Revelation 3:7-20). This prophecy is specifically dated.
The Prophet Malachi discussed this same end-time problem with the “wife of your youth” (Malachi 2:14).
God is addressing His own Bride! Throughout the book, Christ addresses His own Bride. She will share David’s throne with her Husband, Jesus Christ.
There never has been, and never will be, a more noble office in this world or in the world to come than being the Bride of Christ!
This is why Christ is so angry. The majority of His Church has turned away. He remembers “when you went after me.” But they aren’t going after Him now! His own Bride is turning away!
They had a history of going after God. This happened under the leadership of Herbert W. Armstrong. When he died, they turned away from much of what he restored.
This is the Bride’s Husband speaking. He wants His Bride to passionately go after Him, like a young physical bride with intense emotions preparing to marry her beloved husband. You can easily see how diligently she pursues him. And so it should be with Christ and His Bride. Christ loves that passion directed toward Himself. Like any normal husband does.
Do we grasp what it means to be the Bride of Christ—the Creator of the universe? Repeatedly, Christ reminds us we are His Bride. The very Bride of Christ!
God called David “a man after my own heart.” This is why God calls it “David’s throne”—even though it belongs to Christ. If we want to sit on that throne with David, we must cultivate that same attitude. Then we can share the throne with David and Christ!
God wants His Laodicean Church to get back to going after Him “in the wilderness [of religious confusion], in a land that was not sown.” It’s not easy to follow God. We have to sow in a new land—where people have not sown before—break new ground. Herbert W. Armstrong “restored all things.” Religion in this world and in God’s own Church was in a pathetic condition, or he wouldn’t have had “to restore all things”! Virtually all of God’s truth had been lost, or no such statement could have been made. Mr. Armstrong worked in a spiritual wilderness, breaking and sowing new ground.
This is what God expects of His own Bride. We must “go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem”! First we have to warn spiritual Jerusalem—the Church. Then we have to warn all Israel, typed by the ancient capital Jerusalem. When God gives us His truth—His secret, or revelation—then we are obligated to “go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem.” It’s our responsibility. God commands us to do so!
The word for “cry” is often used of beasts. God wants a strong spiritual warning. After all, His own Bride is turning away. She stands to lose everything! She should be crying out and warning Israel. Instead, the majority is turning away!
A man in Britain from the Laodicean Church, after seeing one of our television programs, said it “put the fear of God” back into him. How can you put a price on God’s beautiful message? It is priceless! “Israel was [should read ‘is’] holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 2:3). The firstfruits are God’s own people, whom He calls before Christ’s Second Coming. This is God’s first harvest. Then these saints have the honor to help God harvest the whole world—pictured by the Feast of Tabernacles, the fall harvest.
The firstfruits are being harvested now—this very minute! This is our moment in life. There will never be another like it throughout eternity!
This is Christ’s Bride who shares her Husband’s throne for the purpose of harvesting the whole world.
“Firstfruits” is not just a word—it’s a vision! And what a vision it is. They are “holiness unto the Lord.” The word “holiness” means “set apart.” God has set them apart to be the Bride of Christ—if they get ready today (Revelation 19:7).
They were set apart by the Father (John 6:44). Only the Father begets His sons today. We can’t even come to God unless that happens. Then Christ takes these firstfruits, whom His Father chose for Him, and harvests them to be His Bride! If you really grasp this vision, it almost makes you faint! Christ is calling the firstfruits to be His “help meet” (Genesis 2:18). We have the glorious honor of helping the Father and Christ harvest their children—their Family—and then introduce them to the entire universe. That is when God’s Work really begins!
Chapter 2: Laodicean Failure
Unless God’s Church delivers Jeremiah’s message in the end time, Jeremiah virtually lived in vain! The message he wrote in a book is for us to deliver today.
Jeremiah only went to Judah anciently. But in this prophecy, God is mainly addressing Jacob and Israel. Jacob was Israel’s name before he was converted. Upon conversion, God changed his name to Israel. So God is obviously addressing both physical and spiritual Israel. The context makes that very clear. However, the emphasis is on spiritual Israel—people who knew God but then went “far from” Him. “Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?” (Jeremiah 2:4-5). They went after vanity and became vain, or worthless, to God.
Where Is God?
The Laodiceans became evil because of one major, disastrous failure. “Neither said they, Where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt?” (verse 6). The end-time Laodicean priests, or ministers, failed to ask the one and only important question: “Where is God?”
The living God led us out of Egypt, or the world in this end time. He also led us “through the wilderness” of many trials. It takes great miracles to free us from Satan’s world—his bondage—and then lead us in God’s way for many years. God did that for His Church. Now most of those who were in that Church are not seeking this omnipotent, all-powerful God. They don’t even know where this majestic God is!
These people have a magnificent history with God, but have turned away to a life of vanity and worthlessness.
God doesn’t have five or six different works. He has one work that anybody can find—if they know the true God!
One evangelist said he joined a certain Laodicean church because he liked the leading speaker’s sincerity and good television results. That could be said of many false religious leaders. But “where is God?” That evangelist is lost spiritually and doesn’t even know it! Where is the God of revelation? Where is the one Church that God governs? Where is the one and only Work God is doing?
“Where is God?” This is the only question that will lead us to God! If we don’t know where God is, the God whose countenance shines like the sun in its full strength (Revelation 1:16), then we are dangerously deceived.
“Where is God?” This one big question, if honestly answered, will always keep us anchored in the truth. Answer this question correctly and there should never be a serious problem answering other questions.
God is always revealing “present truth” based on what He has already revealed in the past (2 Peter 1:12). That means there is always a powerful work, if His people are submissive. God provides an “open door” (Revelation 3:7-8), through which we can deliver His revealed truth.
If we are going to build for God, we must start on this foundation: “Where is God?”
“And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. The priests said not, Where is the Lord? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit” (Jeremiah 2:7-8). God brought physical Israel—America and the British peoples—into an abundant land. These people have been far more blessed physically than any other nations on this Earth in the end time.
God also brought His end-time Church into abundant spiritual truth through the late Herbert W. Armstrong. The nations of Israel defiled God’s land and the Church polluted God’s truth. Only God’s Church has God’s law. Those ministers who handle God’s law have become so Laodicean, they no longer even know God. God’s own ministers are causing His people to stumble at the law (Malachi 2:7-8).
How can we tell? Because if these ministers knew God they would be where He is! Where His revelation is. Where His law of love is. Where His Work is.
These Laodiceans constantly talk about love, but they don’t have God’s law of love (1 John 5:3).
Talk is meaningless if we don’t prove where God is.
“Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit” (Jeremiah 2:11). These people “changed their glory” for vanity. They had God and His glory and then changed to gods that do not profit. This could only apply specifically to God’s Church. (It applies to the nations of Israel in a general way.)
There are several different Laodicean groups in this end time. They all had God’s truth and became lukewarm. Now they often say, “Let’s all get together.” But that is not the right goal. They are erroneously assuming that God is leading them. “Where is God?” We must get together with God.
There is no glory in getting together with people if God is not there! That is what Aaron and the Israelites did when Moses climbed Mt. Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments. They ended up worshiping the golden calf. They all got together—but God wasn’t with them.
In terms of numbers, this is probably the greatest Church crisis ever! “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (verse 13). God’s own Church has committed two evils. First, it has forsaken God, the fountain of living waters. Water is a type of God’s Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit-begotten people have forsaken Him. Only God’s people could commit such an evil. You can’t forsake God if you never knew Him. They no longer receive God’s spiritual revelation.
Secondly, they have created their own religious work—“broken cisterns that can hold no water.” They have rejected God’s government. God no longer directs their building program or work. They are losing more and more of God’s revealed truth. They are also losing God’s Holy Spirit. They still act religious. But they are perishing—dying spiritually (2 Thessalonians 2:10).
The Laodiceans are blind spiritually. They cannot discern a “broken cistern” from God’s great Work! They are no longer proving all things (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
They can’t discern the spiritual difference between God’s “fountain of living waters”—a powerful flow of God’s Spirit—and a broken cistern. Their wrong choice condemns their religion.
Jeremiah had a fountain of new, revealed prophecy and truth pouring into his mind. So does the Philadelphia Church of God today—just as Herbert W. Armstrong did in the past.
Do we know a spiritual fountain when we see one? We do if we are not blind.
Fear Is Not in Them
The Laodicean leaders have established churches of deceit. The people are headed for the Great Tribulation and the lake of fire! “Is Israel a servant? is he a homeborn slave? why is he spoiled? The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste: his cities are burned without inhabitant” (Jeremiah 2:14-15). Only nuclear war could produce cities without inhabitant! We love the Laodiceans and nations of Israel enough to tell them what is about to happen.
Do we have the courage to face this terrifying truth about nuclear war that will strike very soon? “Cities without inhabitant”?! This is the mind-chilling message the pcg must proclaim to the nations of Israel. We must expose the dangerous lies that are leading the Laodicean Church and the nations of Israel to their imminent destruction.
Next, we clearly see the most colossal disaster in this end time. “Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when he led thee by the way?” (verse 17). How did God’s Church bring this evil upon themselves? The Church “forsook God when He led you.” God Himself ruled, governed and led His people. Then they rejected God’s government.
This is a catastrophe of indescribable destruction. God can no longer lead them.
They now lack the faith to do God’s Work. “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:7-8). The Philadelphians follow God through His open doors. They do not deny His name. The Greek word for “name” literally means authority. Thayer’s Lexicon defines “name” this way: “1) To do a thing, i.e. by one’s command or authority; 2) By the command and authority of Christ.”
Then God explains the problem with the Laodicean era in verses 14-19. The Laodiceans have no “open door” because they have rejected God’s government. God can no longer lead them through the most exciting doors ever opened to His Church! This is how the Laodiceans have brought the evil upon themselves.
The Laodiceans have a history that condemns their present work—“when He [God] led you.” The word “led” is past tense. Their history with God is past. Now they are rebelling. They rejected God’s government taught through Herbert W. Armstrong, and now they will be scourged by God. They could commit no greater sin!
“Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts” (Jeremiah 2:19). God’s fear is not in them (see Malachi 2:5-8). It was in them but now they have “forsaken the Lord.” Their own “backslidings” are going to correct them. God can’t rule anyone who doesn’t fear Him.
A Noble Vine
“Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?” (Jeremiah 2:21). What a majestically inspiring verse! God “planted you a noble vine.” Only God the Father begets His sons (John 6:44). Even Jesus Christ can’t do that. What a noble vine!
The firstfruits are the most noble vine God will ever plant throughout eternity! There will never be firstfruits again after Christ returns.
This is the most critical moment in the history of the universe for the firstfruits today!
That is the good news. The extremely bad news is that most of them have become a “degenerate plant.” The only solution is for them to go back to the time God planted them—“a wholly right seed.” A time when they were not degenerate. They have a glorious history to compare with the present. They are without excuse.
God is pleading with them to go back to their spiritual beginning—back to that noble planting. There will never be a more noble beginning throughout eternity! We warn them out of love. They must see what they are losing.
“For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God” (Jeremiah 2:22). No amount of extreme washing will make the Laodiceans righteous while God is not ruling them. They say they are not polluted or Satan-inspired. But God says they are. They talk back to God, because they have a government problem. God demands that they know what they have done! (verse 23). They must understand the towering sin they have committed!
Rejecting God’s Bridle
“A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her” (verse 24). Spiritually, they are acting like “a wild ass.” That means they have rejected God’s bridle—His government. This is what they must understand and change. God must punish them until they repent. There is no other way into His Kingdom.
When God evaluates His own Church as “a wild ass,” it is no small problem! It is clearly and obviously a government problem which will destroy these people forever unless they repent!
God has called us to rule the world. We qualify for that job by learning to be ruled by God now.
The nations of Israel and the lukewarm saints will see how helpless their false gods are when the devastating nuclear holocaust comes (verses 27-28). Then they will call upon their gods to save them, but only the true God can. At that time, many of them will repent.
Can you trust God to save you now? Can you trust God to heal you? (That’s a type of spiritual salvation.) We must be trusting God now to build a saving faith. That is what the Laodiceans lack.
“O generation, see ye [or heed] the word of the Lord. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? a land of darkness? wherefore say my people, We are lords; we will come no more unto thee?” (verse 31). God is pleading with His people to heed His Word. The Philadelphia Church is delivering that plea. These are Laodicean people whom God once ruled. Now they say spiritually, “We are lords,” or we will rule ourselves! That is why they “will come no more” to God. They once came to God, but now they are rebelling against His rule.
Gesenius Lexicon defines “lords” this way: “specifically used of beasts which have broken the yoke and wander freely” or “a people, who, having as it were, broken God’s yoke, go on unbridled.”
This means that God’s Laodicean Church has rejected His government. That is why they are Laodicean. As a result, God has commissioned His Philadelphia remnant to warn the Laodiceans that they have one specific, major problem with God’s government that leads to all of their other problems.
We must tell God’s own people that they have broken the yoke they once wore happily. They are “unbridled.” That is why they will not be saved from the Great Tribulation. So this is a prophecy of God’s Philadelphian and Laodicean churches.
“Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number” (verse 32). God is addressing His Bride. Can a bride forget her attire—her righteousness that God gave her? (Revelation 19:7-8). Is it likely that a bride would come to the wedding naked? That is precisely what the Laodiceans are doing spiritually! They are coming naked to Christ’s wedding supper.
If we can’t discern the difference between a clothed Philadelphian and a “blind and naked” Laodicean, then we are in a deadly spiritual condition.
This Laodicean bride has “forgotten” her husband.
Jesus Christ, our Husband, is going to rule His wife. Is that negative? To become Christ’s Bride is the most awesome opportunity that will ever be given to any human being for all eternity! There is only one Bride of Christ forever! That is the most supreme rank any human being will ever have throughout all eternity. Today is the greatest moment ever for Christ’s Bride! Ours is the highest calling God gives. We get to share David’s throne with our Husband forever!
We are called now to get ready for the one and only Christ-firstfruits wedding! God will never give one Laodicean rebel such an indescribable and glorious reward. Understanding this vision will get us through any test or trial.
Marriage today is a type of that glorious wedding with Christ. What a difference it would make in our marriages if we could grasp that they are God-plane relationships. Sadly, even most of God’s own people have lost that supreme vision. The Laodicean bride refuses to let her Husband be the Head. She doesn’t want to be His “help meet.” Likewise, women today rebel against the husband as the leader in marriage.
“Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways” (Jeremiah 2:33). God’s love joins God and man as one. But the evil Laodicean leaders are trimming, or changing, that love and teaching their views of love. They are moving away from God’s marriage laws. God’s people are being led into a bloody slaughter (verse 34).
Two Baskets of Figs
We can see the heavy emphasis God places on His Laodicean Church. Now let’s move ahead in the book of Jeremiah and see the outcome of this Laodicean rebellion.
“The Lord showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the Lord, after that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon” (Jeremiah 24:1). The temple is God’s Church today (Ephesians 2:19-22). This prophecy is for God’s people now! The Jewish Soncino Commentary inserts a semicolon so there is no confusion on the time sequence: “… two baskets of figs set before the temple of the Lord; after that” Babylon struck. First, God sets two baskets of figs before the temple. Then “after that,” Babylon attacks.
We are now in the period of God setting two baskets of figs before His Church—just prior to modern Babylon, a united Europe, attacking the U.S. and British peoples.
The pcg’s job is to set the two baskets of figs before God’s Church. We have mailed Malachi’s Message and other literature to most of the Laodiceans. Also, most of them can receive our television program in their homes.
This stunning prophecy is being fulfilled even as you read this booklet! Warning the Laodiceans has always been a major part of our commission.
“One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad” (Jeremiah 24:2). Those first ripe figs are the firstfruits. So God is addressing His firstfruits—those members called before Christ’s Second Coming. That is the good news. The bad news is that one of the baskets of figs didn’t ripen.
These scriptures mean nothing to the world. They should mean everything to God’s Church!
Today we are told to eat Christ spiritually (John 6). Likewise, the world is to eat Christ through the firstfruits. We are now being ripened spiritually to feed the world. That is why the firstfruits are called before Christ returns. If they don’t grow and ripen, they are unfit to feed the world. They are unqualified to teach with Christ (Hebrews 5:11-12).
It is very similar to the way God developed Jeremiah and other prophets and apostles to feed us through the Bible today.
God keeps revealing more and more truth (as He did to Herbert W. Armstrong). We teach it to the Laodiceans and the world today. In the World Tomorrow, we shall continue teaching these same truths to the entire world.
“Then said the Lord unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil” (Jeremiah 24:3). The evil figs couldn’t be eaten. The Companion Bible says the word “evil” means “worth nothing.” They are fit for nothing to God.
“Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good” (verses 4-5). The good figs were sent into captivity for their good. These are the five wise virgins who repent in the Great Tribulation. The other five virgins lose their eternal lives (Matthew 25). This trial is necessary to get 50 percent of the Laodiceans to repent. Those who deliver this message are taken to a place of safety during the Tribulation (Revelation 12:14).
“For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up. And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:6-7). These are the Laodiceans who left God and then return unto Him with their whole heart. They are no longer lukewarm. They are whole-hearted for God.
Those who go to a place of safety must give their whole heart to God today. We are called today to give our whole heart to God’s Work. Those who fail are going into the worst time of suffering ever. That shouldn’t be hard to imagine today, considering that nuclear bombs and other devices of mass destruction are being proliferated all over the world!
We have the opportunity to share David’s throne with Christ. That means we must become “a man after God’s own heart” the way David was.
God is not mocked. The Laodiceans act like their whole heart is with God. But they compromise God’s Word and are not childlike. God cannot teach and guide them.
“And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the Lord, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt: And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them. And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers” (verses 8-10). The word “consumed” means “totally extirpated” or completely destroyed.
Malachi 1 discusses the Jacob and Esau Laodiceans (request our free booklet Obadiah for more information). The Laodiceans are all very carnal, like Jacob before he was converted, but 50 percent of them (represented by Jacob) will repent in the Tribulation.
However, Esau lost his birthright. He represents 50 percent of the Laodiceans who lose their eternal lives—their spiritual birthright.
God is giving abundant revelation so we can see in precise detail what happens to His Bride in this end time. That is obviously God’s top priority!
Chapter 3: Christ’s Bride
Do you fear God? Enough to do what He asks of you
“And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce [legal separation]; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also” (Jeremiah 3:8). God legally separated from Israel because she rejected Him, committing adultery and multiple harlotry.
But notice verses 12-14: “Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lord thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion.” God is still addressing Israel—not Judah. He says, “
God is addressing two of His churches in the end time. One is backsliding and the other is led by God. At this very moment, God is turning some of His people away from a backsliding church. He takes one from a city and two from a family—and brings them to righteous Zion! These verses apply to us this very moment! The pcg is receiving “one of a city, and two of a family” now to prepare for the rule of Christ. During the Tribulation, God’s Laodiceans must prove themselves by dying for God. So these verses could not apply to that time. In the Millennium everyone will be called, so it could not apply to that time either.
“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15). As people come out of the Laodicean Church and into the pcg, God feeds them with the truth from His loyal pastors. This is happening right now! Of course, in principle this applies to the nations of Israel. The process will continue on into the Millennium.
Here is the tragic picture just before the Great Tribulation. Most of God’s own people are backsliding. God works with a small remnant. The very elect resist the backsliding flow of God’s people. At the same time, this remnant fights Satan and his world.
God uses “one of a city, and two of a family” to do His end-time Work. These saints can stand alone as they serve God. They are God’s most noble end-time warriors. This small remnant is God’s voice crying out in a wilderness of religious confusion. So we should not expect a large number of people doing God’s Work today. Most of the members in God’s own Church are too weak to serve Him.
This greatest of all tragedies reveals how difficult it is to do God’s Work. But never forget, the reward for doing so is glorious beyond words. God will use them as king-priests in His world headquarters! (Revelation 3:12; 5:10).
“And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers” (Jeremiah 3:16-18). This all leads into the wonderful World Tomorrow when Christ will rule this Earth. What a glorious ending!
“Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings” (Jeremiah 4:4). Here God warns Judah and other nations of Israel. (Jerusalem is a type of all Israel.) “Declare ye in Judah, and publish in Jerusalem; and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go into the defenced cities” (verse 5). God commands His people to “declare” and “publish” His warning message! This is God’s Work. We must do it urgently. We must blow the trumpet because nuclear war is coming on the nations of Israel unless they repent!
“Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction” (verse 6). If you want to escape the terrible trouble ahead, find the Zion, the Church that is led by God. Only then will you have a place of safety from the terrifying evil which is to come on Israel! This is not a message to be taken lightly.
“The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant” (verse 7). Once again, Israel is warned that its cities will be without inhabitant. That never happened to ancient Israel! But it will happen to modern Israel! The subject here is nuclear warfare!
“Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled. O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?” (verses 13-14). God wants repentance. Planes and bombs will come like a whirlwind and as the eagle flies. This is prophecy for today!
“My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war” (verse 19). Our monthly magazine is called the Trumpet—because we are commissioned by God to deliver Jeremiah’s warning message today! What is coming upon Israel was acutely painful to Jeremiah; and it’s even more painful for God’s true Church today, to think of their own people being enslaved and killed unless they wake up!
“Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment. How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?” (verses 20-21). The trumpet must sound because destruction upon destruction is coming! “I beheld, and, lo, there was no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled” (verse 25). It must be very bad if even the birds flee our cities when the destruction comes
Verse 29 says, “The whole city shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen; they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.” Every city forsaken! And not a man left dwelling there—not one man! Surely we can see God is talking about nuclear warfare.
Breaking the Yoke
We must remember that these prophecies are primarily for the end time. That means they are specifically for God’s Church and generally for the nations of Israel, which have an ancient history of briefly following, then rejecting, God.
The only nation God ever called to serve Him was Israel. The people of Israel failed God anciently and are still rebelling today. Because of Israel’s history with God, it is held more accountable to God than other nations. Just think, Israel is the only nation on this Earth that has ever been married to God! It was actually God’s wife. But with that marvelous history comes a sobering responsibility.
As we have stated, the prophecies for physical Israel in this end time refer mainly to the American and British peoples. These people have “refused to return” (Jeremiah 5:3). This applies specifically to God’s Church and generally to the nations of Israel. Only God’s Church has left and can return to God in this end time.
Herbert W. Armstrong preached God’s message from 1927 to 1986. The pcg has proclaimed the same message since 1989. So the nations of Israel have had a powerful warning message.
“I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the Lord, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds” (Jeremiah 5:5). Only God’s people have known the way of God today. Only God’s Church could have committed this greatest of all sins in this end time. But how could God’s people commit such a dastardly evil? They have “altogether broken the yoke and burst the bonds.” That means the majority of God’s own people have, with one accord—“altogether”—rejected God’s yoke, or His government! This is the same massive rebellion described in the second chapter of 2 Thessalonians.
They have committed the greatest sin of all—rejecting God’s rule. God no longer leads them or works through them. The Anchor Bible explains their rebellion this way: “The people are like oxen who have escaped their master’s yoke—and his protection!”
Let’s not overlook that Jeremiah’s message is directed to “the great men”—God’s leading ministers! They “have known the way of the Lord” even better than the lay members. And God will hold them even more accountable!
These ministers have rejected God’s government taught by Herbert W. Armstrong. Now they are leading most of God’s people away from God’s rule.
Repeatedly, God condemns them most of all for their government problem! Why? Because this is the worst spiritual sin there is—it’s their biggest problem! It breaks the first and most important of God’s Ten Commandments. God corrects more severely for this sin.
If you think not, look at the next verse. Here we see, as the Anchor Bible states, that they “escaped their masters yoke—and his protection.” “Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased” (verse 6). What is it like to be “torn in pieces” by fierce lions, wolves and leopards? This is only symbolic of how God will chasten the Laodicean Christians physically and spiritually! God’s Laodicean Church is as helpless before Satan as a small deer before a hungry, roaring lion!
Even now, spiritually, God’s Church is being “torn in pieces” by Satan and his demons. And if Church members don’t heed our message, they also will be “torn in pieces” physically!
Do God’s own people really comprehend what He is saying? They are no longer protected from Satan’s devouring wrath! Do we know what that means?
Do the Laodiceans comprehend that we are in the worst spiritual war ever fought? (Ephesians 6:11-18; 2 Timothy 2). Do they know that eternal life is at stake for God’s Church? And that 50 percent of them are prophesied to lose their eternal lives?
“How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods: when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses” (Jeremiah 5:7). The word “children” should read “sons.” These sons have forsaken their spiritual Father.
God’s Church was “fed to the full” through Herbert W. Armstrong. Never in the history of God’s Church did the members receive so much revealed truth! This end-time Elijah (Mr. Armstrong) “restored all things” (Matthew 17:10-11). That is why God’s Laodicean Church has such towering guilt. God is holding them accountable for every word (Matthew 12:36). This is a high mountain of responsibility. Failure to fulfill it means terrifying punishment.
After they were “fed to the full,” they committed adultery. Only Christ’s wife, the Church, can commit adultery today against her Husband, Jesus Christ!
So we have Father and sons. We also have Husband and wife. God is a Family!
That means God’s own Family has turned to “them that are no gods.” This is a very revealing expression. It means they knew the all-powerful, living God—the only true God—and then turned to false gods or no gods!
This is like a dog returning to its vomit. Spiritually, they have left the loving God and have gone to “harlots’ houses.” What an indescribable, shameful disgrace! They have lost the God Family vision. They don’t honor their Father (Malachi 1:6). Christ’s own wife turns to Satan rather than submitting to God’s government! This can only have a dreadful outcome.
“Wherefore thus saith the Lord God of hosts, Because ye speak this word, behold, I will make my words in thy mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them” (Jeremiah 5:14). We speak words of fire to them! Their false doctrines wither before God’s truth, like dry wood in a raging fire. Our words burn them until they repent. If they do not repent, they burn in a lake of fire. Words of fire, indeed.
“Lo, I will bring a nation upon you from far, O house of Israel, saith the Lord: it is a mighty nation, it is an ancient nation, a nation whose language thou knowest not, neither understandest what they say. Their quiver is as an open sepulchre, they are all mighty men” (verses 15-16). This is referring to the ancient and famous warring nation now called Germany. It has risen again to become Europe’s most powerful nation, and it is asserting that power even now.
Notice, God says He “will bring” this nation upon you—not “did bring.” This is prophecy for the time we are living in now! We must see this and accept God’s truth or else pay a mind-splitting penalty!
Only God’s Church can understand most of these verses. “But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the Lord our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest” (verses 23-24). The appointed weeks is referring to Pentecost.
Pentecost pictures the firstfruits’ marriage to Christ. Who really understands this, except God’s Spirit-begotten Church members?
These Laodiceans are neglecting to say, “Let us now fear the Lord our God.” This is their major problem. God condemns their failure to fear Him (Malachi 2:1-5). Christ’s wife must fear her Husband and submit to His lead. This fear is her greatest treasure.
Pentecost is about marrying Christ and ruling the Earth and the universe with Him. What kind of a catastrophe is it to forsake such a Husband?! There will be no greater disaster throughout eternity!
If this were real to God’s people, they surely wouldn’t rebel against such an unparalleled honor.
“Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you” (Jeremiah 5:25). Many wonderful, inspiring blessings are being withheld even now from most of God’s own people. “The former rain,” God’s Holy Spirit, is not flowing as it should.
“For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men” (verse 26). The word “men” is in italics and was added by the translators. The word “wicked” is defined this way by the Companion Bible: “From the root which indicates its nature as breaking up all that is good or desirable.” God’s people are losing all that is good and aren’t even aware of it!
These lukewarm ministers set snares and traps for God’s people. This means some of their leaders are not honest. They are treacherously setting snares and traps, and they know exactly what they are doing. They are destroying the noble marriage between Christ and His Bride! They are destroying “all that is good or desirable”! What an obscene and satanic evil. God will deal with them accordingly.
“The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?” (verse 31). The prophets, or leading Laodicean ministers, prophesy and teach falsely. The lower-ranking ministers follow along.
The Hebrew for the word “bear” means “to take into their own hands.” This means they establish their own government, not God’s rule.
Sadly, the people “love to have it so.” Nobody will stop the evil. First, the leading ministers rebel. The lower-ranking ministers should stop it, but fail to do so. The only people left to stop it are the lay members. But they also love to rebel against God’s government.
So heart-stopping disaster awaits them all!
God has a major question for all of them. “What will they do in the end thereof?” What will they do when the nations collapse? They may love to rebel, but they won’t love the greatest catastrophe ever to strike planet Earth! What will you do in the end?
Chapter 4: Why Israel Failed
God put the archangel Lucifer over this Earth to administer His government. However, Lucifer rebelled and became Satan. He left the Earth in tohu and bohu. “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” (Genesis 1:1-2). The word “was” should be translated “became.” The earth became “without form and void”—or tohu and bohu in the Hebrew.
The Earth was organized and beautiful as long as Lucifer and the third of the angels he had charge over administered God’s government. God’s plan for all the angels was for them to beautify and finish the whole universe.
So their opportunity here on this Earth was a test. All of the angels rejoiced greatly when God created the Earth and the universe (Job 38:1-7). The angels knew they had a wonderful potential before them.
However, those angels failed the test. The Bible doesn’t reveal how long it was before they rebelled. But the outcome in Genesis 1:2 is clear. Satan’s legacy was tohu and bohu. He left the Earth destroyed—“without form and void.” It all happened because they rejected God’s government.
God then knew that to beautify, finish and rule the universe through others, He must recreate Himself (Genesis 1:26). Only a God Family member could do the job—by loving the government as God does.
That meant God had to re-create the Earth and beautify it again. Then He created man. Man had to be tested also by making a choice between God’s government or Satan’s government. Mankind was given the same potential that the angels had—to rule the universe. But man chose Satan’s way, rejecting God’s rule (Genesis 3:1-7). That attitude is the reason Satan is able to deceive the whole world.
Jeremiah had to face Satan’s evil world, but with an added dimension that was far more frightening.
Tohu and Bohu Again!
As was pointed out in the last chapter, Jeremiah 4 reveals that the Earth will be devastated again. Unparalleled nuclear destruction will leave entire cities uninhabited (Jeremiah 4:7).
Why are we about to see this Earth so totally devastated? What is the cause? There is always cause and effect. “I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form, and void; and the heavens, and they had no light” (verse 23). In a vision Jeremiah sees the whole Earth “without form and void”—tohu and bohu. Even the heavens had no light! Satan is leading the Earth to destruction again!
Every version of Satan’s government ends in destruction. Man still hasn’t figured this out. Only God’s government works. God the Father and Christ have never had a serious government problem. They have been living in joyful unity for all eternity!
The world refuses to submit to God’s government. That leaves God with only one way to teach people. He lets them produce tohu and bohu and hopes that those terribly negative results will drive home the lesson.
How hard is it for man to learn to be ruled by God? Very hard. Jeremiah reveals that there is a much deeper tragedy here that is far more frightening.
It is sad when you see carnal men continue to reject God’s government. You would think that when people are given God’s Holy Spirit, that attitude would change. However, many of God’s own people from the beginning of history have rejected God’s rule. The majority of God’s end-time Church also reject His government. They too are destined to produce tohu and bohu—waste and destruction within God’s own Church! This should give us the very strongest warning about how difficult it is to accept God’s rule! “For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers” (verse 31). The woman here is Zion, God’s own Church. But it is God’s lukewarm, rebellious Church.
This is a painful firstfruits birth—the saints who are called before Christ returns. The firstfruits’ birth is likened to a woman giving birth to her first child. The spiritual firstfruits are born first into God’s Kingdom. However, some births are harder than others. God’s very elect are to be protected from the coming Great Tribulation, but not the Laodiceans. They are pictured here as being caught in that holocaust.
The Laodiceans, not the Philadelphians, cry out, “Woe is me now!” because their work is destroyed. It becomes extreme tohu and bohu. They have to die to prove their faith in God. Fifty percent of them lose their eternal lives.
Many of them become inexcusably hard as they rebel. I don’t believe any of the Church eras are condemned as severely as the Laodiceans (Revelation 3:14-20).
Where are God’s very elect today? It is really quite logical. They are delivering the revealed message of Jeremiah! They are giving people on this Earth a chance to repent. Their whole work is filled with hope. They are the only saints on Earth who don’t produce tohu and bohu—confusion, waste and destruction!
God completely rules them and they love it. There is no reason for them not to be protected from the Tribulation. Satan has no power over them. They administer God’s government in the Church. They are qualifying to administer that same government over the entire Earth.
Jeremiah prophesied that the Laodiceans and the world would produce “destruction upon destruction”—extreme tohu and bohu. Without God’s government and direction that is always the end result. It’s the most painful lesson for man to learn!
Still, there is great hope. Jeremiah gives the picture of God’s Church giving birth. Many God Family members are about to be born. The great God is re-creating Himself in us even if the birth does come through a trial of “destruction upon destruction”!
Preparing the Bride
God has a simple picture to help us understand what He is doing. If you have a physical family that is in disarray, each parent and child going their own way, how do you solve the problem? According to God’s law, the man is the head. So the husband must work to make certain that there is unity and love between the parents first. Then both can work together to lead the children into family harmony.
This is what God is doing in His potential Family. For example, in this end time, God’s Church (His wife) has rebelled. God likens those called after the firstfruits to children in His Family. The firstfruits are those called today to be Christ’s wife. This wife is to be a “help meet” to Christ, our Husband—just as the physical wife should be to her physical husband (Genesis 2:18). Physical family and physical marriage are God-plane relationships. That is, the institutions are just a type of a future marriage to Christ and entering into God’s Family forever.
Christ is preparing His Bride today—bringing her into a right relationship with her Husband (Revelation 19:7). She is suffering many problems. Christ is trying and testing us so we can be ready when He returns to rule over the whole world—God’s future children. The Church is His “help meet” to accomplish that job.
First, Christ works on His wife. Then they can rule and serve the whole world. We must be ready to teach billions of Family members—and that is no fantasy! The time is almost here.
Many mothers today don’t know how to deal with their children. The same is true spiritually. We have to be trained for this breathtaking honor! We have to be a “bride adorned for her husband.” She must adorn herself for her Husband. That means she does it His way. This is where government enters the picture. She must submit to her Husband’s government to share David’s throne with Him. Then that throne rules the entire Earth and later the whole universe (Luke 1:31-33; Isaiah 9:6-7). Jeremiah’s vision is built around that throne. It is a vision that should leave us breathless!
Think deeply about the character we need to sit beside Jesus Christ and help Him rule mankind.
Feast of Trumpets
Jeremiah 31 is a Feast of Trumpets message. To this day, the Jews still read this chapter on the Feast of Trumpets. “At the same time, saith the Lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people. Thus saith the Lord, The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness; even Israel, when I went to cause him to rest” (Jeremiah 31:1-2). The Moffatt translation uses “dungeon” instead of “wilderness.” When Israel goes into captivity, many will be in dungeons when Christ returns. Then God will give them “rest” from sin and suffering! All mankind will be given a rest from famine, pestilence, war and nuclear bombs. This is the first time ever that mankind will have a real spiritual rest. And it will be forever! Suddenly, there will be peace and rest for all humanity—that lasts forever!
“The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee” (verse 3). Now Israel finally sees that God never stopped loving her! All of the punishment was designed to bring Israel back to God.
After that, God begins to shower His blessings upon the people of Israel—the greatest prosperity this Earth will ever know! “Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry. Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things. For there shall be a day, that the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God. For thus saith the Lord; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel” (verses 4-7). Israel (mainly the U.S. and Britain) will lead the world. God will build Israel again, as He has done so many times before. But this is the last time! Never again will Israel fall. Leading the world in righteousness is what our people were created for—if only we could see it!
The watchmen will see Israel coming back from captivity. They will signal each group to join the procession—saying, “Let us go up to Zion unto the Lord our God”! Oh, if only we could see now what God has in store for us! The Church leads Israel to God. Then Israel leads the whole world to God!
Why are there watchmen upon Mount Ephraim? This is a Feast of Trumpets message. This is “a day”—a special holy day. Most of the commentaries recognize this as an annual holy day. It is only a type of all the holy days in the World Tomorrow.
God will use Israel—the chief of the nations—to lead the whole world to Him with the holy day plan. Life is meaningless without God’s master plan, pictured by His holy days. God will galvanize the whole world with an inspiring and thrilling purpose.
Each holy day will have watchmen preparing the people to properly learn God’s plan. This obedience will fill the world with joy and hope.
Who will these watchmen be? One of the definitions of watchmen is “to defend, to preserve from dangers (as God guarding men)” (Gesenius‘ Lexicon). The root word means to “shine.” The watchmen will defend people from danger—which will make them “shine” for God. They will shine like the stars forever and ever! (Daniel 12:3). The watchmen are protecting people from losing their eternal glory with God! That majestic goal can be accomplished only if people look to God’s government. The watchmen who help prepare them for God’s Kingdom are the ones who keep God’s holy day plan today. The firstfruits are being harvested today so they can help Christ harvest the world! It’s such a beautiful plan.
Each holy day is filled with vision. This vision of the World Tomorrow is deeply etched into God’s very elect today. They have a critical watchman role to fulfill in the very near future—for all humanity!
At last, the world is about to have peace. “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither” (Jeremiah 31:8). God brings them back from captivity to His own glorious rule.
“They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn” (verse 9). Ephraim (Britain) is God’s firstborn. Herbert Armstrong proved that many years ago. David’s throne is in London, England, right now. And that is the very throne Jesus Christ will sit on very soon—so says your Bible! (Request our free booklet The Key of David.)
“Hear the word of the Lord, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. For the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the Lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd: and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they shall not sorrow any more at all” (verses 10-12). What a fabulous future the people of America and Britain have. Imagine, they won’t sorrow any more at all. What a utopian future! What a magnificent message we have for Israel and the world! What a godly hope we have for the whole world!
“Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. And I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, saith the Lord” (verses 13-14). What an incredible mission we have. The course of all humanity is about to change! God wants you to be a part of the crusade. Our job is to help Christ turn the mourning of this entire Earth to joy. The whole world is waiting for us!
“I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God” (verse 18). What is the big problem with the world and God’s Laodiceans? They are unaccustomed to the yoke. That means they reject God’s rule even as they look upon themselves as being very religious.
“Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord” (verse 20). Now Jeremiah begins to also address spiritual Israel. Only God’s people are sons today. Only they are begotten by the Holy Spirit. Only they have a spiritual Father (John 6:44). Only the Father can beget sons. The nations of Israel and the world are not begotten sons today.
“Set thee up waymarks, make thee high heaps: set thine heart toward the highway, even the way which thou wentest: turn again, O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities” (Jeremiah 31:21). Now Ephraim becomes all Israel (spiritually). The Hebrew reads, “return
The “waymarks” and “high heaps” are guideposts. It means that all they have to do is look at the way they once traveled spiritually and follow what the end-time Elijah taught. They must return to that way.
A New Thing
What is the real cause of their going astray? “How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter? for the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man” (verse 22). This is a “backsliding daughter.” Or God’s Church who knew Him and then rebelled. The word “backsliding” in the Hebrew means “turned away.” And remember, God is specifically addressing His end-time Church.
How does God solve this problem? “How long will you go about” should read “turn yourself away.” God has “created a new thing in the earth” to solve their problem. This new thing prevents His very elect from rebellion, but not the lukewarm Christians.
What is that new thing? Whatever it is, it’s a new creation—one the world and God’s rebellious Laodicean Church does not accept. This new thing is, “a woman shall compass (or surround) a man.” The woman is God’s Church. Christ prophesied that He would build His
This is one of the most profound concepts in the Bible. It is a very strong statement about God’s government.
In this end time, a man was sent to restore all things (Matthew 17:10-11). God sent one man to do that job. The Church’s calling was to back and support him. God’s Church revolved around that man. Like Paul, they followed him as he followed Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). So Christ must send “a man” who is obedient to Him. Christ does His Work through that man.
This is how we follow Christ and submit to His government. This is the way God has always led Israel and His Church. This is clearly taught in the Bible. God used one-man leadership like Noah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David and the Apostle Peter, just to name a few.
God always builds His Work around a man. If you don’t accept this profound concept, then you must reject the end-time Elijah (Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6). God’s whole end-time
This is the history of how God did His Work through Jeremiah. It is prophecy of how God would always do His Work. The Church revolves around a man—Christ’s man. This you can and must prove to yourself. You are under a curse if you just follow a man (Jeremiah 17:5). It must be Christ’s man.
This government of God is the hope of the world. This is how God would solve all the world’s problems, even today, if it would heed His message. It all revolves around finding God’s man!
God is revealing a deep and often fatal flaw even in His own Church. He is revealing to us why His Laodicean Church has gone astray. All of its leaders have rejected Herbert W. Armstrong as God’s end-time Elijah. That also means the Laodiceans would reject the man who would follow in his footsteps.
Herbert W. Armstrong restored God’s government. He was the physical head of God’s Church. The Philadelphia Church of God clings to that same government. It is the only way God ever does His Work.
Why is this a “new thing”? The book of Jeremiah is prophecy for the end time. Anciently God established a letter-of-the-law government. Moses enforced it on the people of Israel whether they liked it or not. Today we have God’s Holy Spirit and must choose God’s government. Nobody is forced to submit. Most of God’s people have chosen to reject God’s one-man government. They often talk about “the evils of one-man government.” They refuse to let God’s Church revolve around a man. They must be plunged into the Tribulation, where God makes them choose His government or eternal death. Voluntarily accepting God’s government today qualifies us to be Christ’s Bride—the highest position man can attain in God’s Kingdom!
This concept goes much deeper. Marriage and family are God-plane relationships. They are a type of the firstfruits marriage to Christ and the Family of God. The physical marriage and physical family must revolve around a man as the head if we are ever to enter God’s Family—our purpose for being on this Earth! The families on this Earth are being destroyed because they reject God’s form of government—and accept a version of Satan’s government.
We must submit to God’s government today, or we’ll never rule with Christ or be in His Kingdom!
Are we ready to lead the world? That is what God is calling us to do! Are you ready to make this the dominant theme of your life? “For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me” (Jeremiah 31:25-26). Jeremiah saw a horrible vision of World War iii. That vision should be enough to keep any of us awake! But he also saw Christ returning at the last trumpet. This beautiful vision brought Jeremiah sweet sleep, in spite of the terrible suffering that preceded it. There will be times ahead when we can’t sleep—unless we see Jeremiah’s sweet vision of Christ’s return! Jeremiah showed us all how to have sweet sleep in the troubled times ahead.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” (verses 31-33). The Church is preparing now to enter into that covenant when Christ returns. If we respond, we get to help Christ teach and make that covenant with all humanity!
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (verse 34). Everyone will know God then. Everyone! Do we really see what a glorious future lies ahead?
“Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. Thus saith the Lord; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the Lord” (verses 35-37). God could never totally reject Israel unless it rejects Him. This is God’s unconditional love and loyalty to Israel.
Even Jeremiah’s temporary “doom” contains great hope. He was not a prophet of doom. He was a prophet of incredible hope. Jeremiah talked about bad news only because of this world’s rebellion against God. But his overall message was filled with hope!
Which God is it who teaches us this new covenant today and teaches us about one-man government? It is the God who gives the sun to light the day and the moon and stars to light the night! He is the God who divides the seas! This is the God behind this covenant and law—and one-man government. God is trying to put some fear into hard and rebellious mankind!
There is a vital lesson here. God is showing us that the universe and Earth are subject to His laws and ordinances. That is why they function so beautifully! Who is behind those laws and government that so majestically sustain the universe? The great Creator God. If man is ever to have such harmony, it must come through God’s law and family government! It can come no other way!
Chapter 5: Following Christ
In Jeremiah 6:2, it says, “I have likened the daughter of Zion to a comely and delicate woman.” Zion, or God’s Church headquarters, is always in Israel—so Zion can represent all Israel in that sense. Here we see Zion likened to a woman. A woman is used in the Bible to represent a church. But if it is Zion, it is God’s own Church. It could be a rebellious Zion or a loyal Zion, because there are two end-time churches.
The rebellious Zion in the end time has made a serious mistake. “Thus saith the Lord, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein” (verse 16). God’s Laodicean Church has gotten away from the “old paths” which it was taught! The nations of Israel have also rejected God’s word that was delivered to them in this end time.
These people said, “We will not walk in God’s way”! So somebody had to teach and warn God’s Church and Israel about God’s way! Who was it? It was Herbert W. Armstrong and God’s Philadelphia Church today!
“Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken” (verse 17). Who said “hearken to the sound of the trumpet” in this end time? Herbert W. Armstrong preached the gospel and warned the nations of Israel and the world. Today the Philadelphia Church of God warns God’s own Laodicean Church, the nations of Israel and the world. That is our work. Our emphasis today is on the warning—as Jeremiah’s was! We blow a trumpet and warn. God’s Laodicean Church and the nations of Israel say, “We will not hearken”! And what a terrifying penalty they must pay for that attitude.
These prophecies are being fulfilled this very moment!
“Hear, O earth: behold, I will bring evil upon this people, even the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not hearkened unto my words, nor to my law, but rejected it” (verse 19). So we can see this message is for the whole world—the Earth. Mr. Armstrong preached God’s law to the whole world! But people rejected it.
“To what purpose cometh there to me incense from Sheba, and the sweet cane from a far country? your burnt offerings are not acceptable, nor your sacrifices sweet unto me” (verse 20). When Jeremiah talks about burnt offerings and sacrifices, it is a coded message. These offerings were made in the temple. The temple is God’s Church today (see Ephesians 2:19-21). So these words are also a warning to God’s own rebellious Church today!
The Laodiceans are sent “strong delusion” (2 Thessalonians 2:11). What makes it such strong delusion? Because though they are zealously sacrificing and giving offerings, they are failing to do the Work God has given them to do. They give tithes and offerings. They serve in the Church. They talk about love, love, love. Then they feel that as long as they have done all those deeds, God couldn’t reject them. But Jeremiah tells us that God will reject them with wrath!
Now God gives another warning. “Thus saith the Lord, Behold, a people cometh from the north country, and a great nation shall be raised from the sides of the earth. They shall lay hold on bow and spear; they are cruel, and have no mercy; their voice roareth like the sea; and they ride upon horses, set in array as men for war against thee, O daughter of Zion” (Jeremiah 6:22-23). Here is a great nation north of Jerusalem. It has a history of cruelty in warfare. It shows no mercy in warfare. They are men of war. A very good description of Germany!
Did Germany have mercy in World Wars i and ii? Remember the concentration camps! The world is still mesmerized by its past cruelty captured on film. Again and again we watch it on television.
And believe it or not, it’s about to happen again, unless we wake up! This time God’s own Laodicean Church, sinning Zion, will be right in the midst of it.
“We have heard the fame thereof: our hands wax feeble: anguish hath taken hold of us, and pain, as of a woman in travail” (verse 24). Yes, indeed, we have heard the fame of Germany—especially God’s own people! When it happens, the hands of God’s people will wax feeble. Why? Because they have heard these prophecies more than anybody on Earth! They heard them in the past from Mr. Armstrong and are now hearing them from the Philadelphia Church of God.
“I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way” (verse 27). God is still talking about Zion, His Church. God says, “I have set you for a tower and a fortress” among Israel. God did this. He raised up Zion to do a work. His people were to watch from the tower and warn Israel about God’s prophecies. Some of Zion’s members do God’s Work, but many do not.
God’s Church is a fortress that God will protect—if the members obey His law. We have nothing to fear if we obey God. But if we fail to obey God, then we are entering into a time when fear will be, by far
‘You Can’t Leave God’s Church’
We often hear people say it would be a grave mistake to leave God’s Church. But did you know that Jeremiah left God’s Church and warned others to do so? Of course, he didn’t always tell people to leave. But he did say there is a time to leave God’s temple, or Church. The temple is the Church in the New Testament.
Jeremiah taught that there is more to following God than belonging to a temple, a church or an organization of men. He gave one of the strongest warnings in the Bible about leaving God’s Church!
“The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Stand in the gate of the Lord’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the Lord, all ye of Judah, that enter in at these gates to worship the Lord” (Jeremiah 7:1-2). Spiritually, God’s saints are the temple today. Jeremiah is discussing God’s house, temple or people. He stood in the gate of the temple, where the worshipers had to see and hear him! Of course, the people accused him of leaving God’s temple. They said he was a traitor who was betraying them.
But remember, this is primarily a prophecy for today.
“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these” (verses 3-4). Jeremiah warned them to repent and stop listening to lying words. What were these lying words? The temple, the temple, the temple. Their statement was the same as what God’s people today are saying: the church, the church, the church! Or, to state it another way—“This is God’s Church,” or, “You can’t leave God’s Church,” or, “This is still God’s Church.”
All these statements are lying words! It was a problem in Jeremiah’s time, and he prophesied it would be a problem today in God’s own Church! These are lying words because the statements imply that these are God’s people doing God’s Work. That is simply not true.
God’s faithful people today, just like Jeremiah, have a commission to warn God’s unfaithful people that they are going astray spiritually.
If God’s people are going astray, then it becomes a sin to remain with them. A plea to remain in a sinning church becomes “lying words”! (verse 8).
Some people ask, “Well, can’t God control His own leaders?” The answer is no, He cannot, because He has made them free moral agents and they must choose right over wrong. God won’t force obedience on His leaders or His followers. Character is built by voluntarily choosing the way of God.
The Bible is full of examples where God’s people were led astray by sinful leaders.
“Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?” (verses 9-10). These people turned away from God as they sanctimoniously talked about loving God and His temple! Just having God’s name doesn’t make it God’s Church. Jeremiah says the temple is only called by God’s name and he condemned them for rejecting God’s Word.
In this end time, the Laodiceans had God’s truth but have now turned away from God as they hypocritically act very righteous.
“Is this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, even I have seen it, saith the Lord. But go ye now unto my place which was in Shiloh, where I set my name at the first, and see what I did to it for the wickedness of my people Israel” (Jeremiah 7:11-12). The Hebrew word for “my place” means “sanctuary”—the most sacred place in the temple, the holy of holies. These were God’s own people. He dwelled among them. But the people turned away from God. So God was no longer present among them. As in Revelation 2 and 3, God removed His lamp when the people turned to sin! Something dreadful happened to God’s “place” in Shiloh. It’s a powerful lesson for us today.
The Shiloh story is in 1 Samuel 4. Israel had the ark of the covenant which contained the two tables of stone, or the Ten Commandments. The ark was a symbol of God’s throne—His presence. When the Israelites crossed the Jordan River, they had the ark. They saw the waters of the Jordan separate so they could cross. They knew this was a great miracle of God. When Israel circled Jericho seven times, the walls came tumbling down. They had the ark of the covenant with them. All of the Israelites knew that God was with them and had performed these miracles.
When the temple was built, the ark was put in the sanctuary, the holy of holies. The Israelites thought God was always with them when they had the ark. In 1 Samuel 4, they had the ark when they went into battle. But over 30,000 Israelite soldiers were lost in a bloody massacre!
The people of Israel were deeply discouraged. They wanted to know why this happened. So God revealed to them that He had left them because of their wickedness, as explained in the seventh chapter of Jeremiah. Even if God’s people have the ark, or His temple, or His Church name, He is against them if they are rebelling!
Having God’s name is not enough. God must be there too! And if God’s people turn away from Him, He won’t be with them.
If God punished physical Israel as He did in 1 Samuel 4 and Jeremiah 7, what will He do to spiritual Israel, His Church, today?
“And then come to present yourselves before me in this house, which belongs to me, thinking you are now quite safe—safe to go on with all these abominable practices!” (Jeremiah 7:10, Moffatt).
“I will treat this temple that bears my name, and in which you put your trust, and the place I have given to you and your ancestors, just as I treated Shiloh. I will drive you out of my sight, as I drove all your kinsmen, the entire race of Ephraim” (verses 14-15, Jerusalem translation).
“Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Put your burnt offerings unto your sacrifices, and eat flesh. For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you” (verses 21-23). The Israelites were getting into a ritualistic religion. They considered themselves very religious, but they were rebelling and committing abominable sins!
And so it is today. The Laodiceans act very religious while they rebel against God!
God inspired Jeremiah to write about our time today. He warned that we must remember what God commanded (mainly through Herbert W. Armstrong in this end time). It’s not enough to call ourselves God’s people. We must also obey God!
We all have read about how Satan comes as an “angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14). We often see a leader hugging kids and talking endlessly of love, love, love, and we find it so hard to envision this person as being motivated by Satan. But that is how Satan comes! He appears as an “angel of light.” We must understand this or be deceived!
“But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward” (Jeremiah 7:24). If God’s Church is going “backward”—God says get out of it! We must listen and be corrected by God (verse 28). This is a prophecy for today. If we fail, we receive God’s wrath—in this generation! (verse 29).
Many of God’s own people reject God through deceit (Jeremiah 9:6). They don’t want God ruling them! So they come up with some scholarly reasoning and they deceive themselves. But God doesn’t accept their rebellious ideas. He gets to the core of their problem. He just says, “They refuse to know me”! And that is an attitude problem.
“When Jeremiah was entered into the dungeon, and into the cabins, and Jeremiah had remained there many days; Then Zedekiah the king sent, and took him out: and the king asked him secretly in his house, and said, Is there any word from the Lord? And Jeremiah said, There is: for, said he, thou shalt be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon” (Jeremiah 37:16-17). Zedekiah saw Jeremiah secretly. He probably had Jeremiah brought in through the back door at night. Then he asked Jeremiah if there was “any word from the Lord.”
Deep down he knew where God’s word was. But he still deceived himself into believing he could escape God’s wrath. He was wrong. Zedekiah never told the truth to his people. So when the Babylonians conquered Judah, they killed both of Zedekiah’s sons before his eyes! Then they blinded Zedekiah and took him to Babylon.
At some point in this mind-numbing punishment, Zedekiah must have said tearfully, “I should have taken a stand for God.”
God has given His end-time people this revelation through Jeremiah. It’s mainly for us today. If we refuse to submit to God’s inspired Word, then our future will be like Zedekiah’s fate!
The issue is not where God’s Church is. It’s where God is! God wasn’t in the temple, He was in the dungeon with Jeremiah! God’s leader was not in some exalted office. He was in a dungeon! And God was there with him. That is often reality for God and His servants.
The only time we want to be in God’s Church is when God is there. God has removed His lamp from the Laodicean Church, and there is only terrifying disaster ahead for that church!
Only One Work of God
Let’s move now to Jeremiah 26, which is a counterpart to Jeremiah 7. Both chapters deal with two end-time churches of God. “In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the Lord, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Stand in the court of the Lord’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the Lord’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word” (Jeremiah 26:1-2). Jeremiah had to speak to all the temple worshipers. We have shown several times that the temple is God’s Church today and that Jeremiah is mainly an end-time book. (See Jeremiah 23:20; 30:24—the word “consider” should be translated “understand.”) So in these latter days, God’s own Church is rebelling against Him. In Jeremiah 26:2, God says we are not to omit one word. That means you never compromise with what God says. Herbert Armstrong often said if there was any reason that he could see why God would use him, it was because he would not compromise one iota with God’s Word. That is why you see so much religious confusion today. Religious leaders continually compromise with God’s Word.
Rejecting God’s Law
“If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth” (verses 3-6). Who did God use to set His law before His people in this end time? Almost all religions reject God’s law today. But Herbert Armstrong didn’t. He set it right before God’s own Church and the world. The world refused to accept that law—and the church Mr. Armstrong founded has done the same thing!
Many religious scholars reason around God’s law today and fantasize that they are right. But God cuts through the scholarly nonsense and labels these scholars as rebels.
“So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the Lord” (verse 7). What Jeremiah did was only a type of this end-time message. He got right into the temple so the people had to hear his message! God says His true followers will have the same approach today. We must get this message out so Israel, and especially God’s own Laodicean Church, can hear it. God says many of His own people are rebelling in this end time. God always warns them and hopes they will repent and escape the coming Tribulation.
“Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die. Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the Lord, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the Lord” (verses 8-9).
This message is mainly for today. Jeremiah is discussing a nuclear disaster where cities are left “without an inhabitant”! In Jeremiah’s time, Jerusalem was not left without an inhabitant. But many American and British cities will experience this nuclear disaster in the near future, if they fail to repent! Jeremiah was told to stop the message or die. They told him to shut up or be killed. God’s own temple worshipers in Israel were trying to legally put him to death!
Today, some people get upset with us when we preach the truth. The Worldwide Church of God was so upset, it tried to keep us from printing Mystery of the Ages—God’s truth. That doesn’t shock us. It would shock us if some people didn’t get upset!
We sometimes get accused of having the wrong approach in our message. Of course, that’s what they told Jeremiah and all of God’s messengers. Did that stop God’s leaders? Of course not! We expect some criticism. But we deeply understand that this is God’s message and it must be proclaimed! God commands us to do so!
“When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king’s house unto the house of the Lord, and sat down in the entry of the new gate of the Lord’s house. Then spake the priests and the prophets unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this city, as ye have heard with your ears” (verses 10-11). Jeremiah’s worst enemies were in God’s temple! And today our worst enemies are in God’s own Church! That is because our message condemns them for failing to do God’s Work.
“Then spake Jeremiah unto all the princes and to all the people, saying, The Lord sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city all the words that ye have heard” (verse 12). Jeremiah was sent to prophesy against God’s house and Judah. Today we are sent by God to prophesy against God’s own Laodicean Church and the nations of Israel! Both parties are guilty of rebellion against God. We have a mandate from God to proclaim this message! Nobody can stop it. That is because it’s not our idea—it is God’s command.
This message is the only hope for America and Britain. Only this message and their repentance can save them from disaster. “Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; and the Lord will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you” (verse 13). If any individual repents, God won’t bring destruction upon him or her. There is no other hope! God’s Laodicean Church and Israel must amend their ways.
“As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you. But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the Lord hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears” (verses 14-15). If people persecute us, they are fighting against God. Every human being on planet Earth must come to know that God is behind our message!
“Then said the princes and all the people unto the priests and to the prophets; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the Lord our God” (verse 16). This is an amazing statement. The secular leaders knew Jeremiah spoke God’s truth and they didn’t want to kill him. But religious leaders rejected God’s message and wanted Jeremiah dead. The most hatred for God’s message always comes from the religious sector. Mr. Armstrong is a perfect example of that. While many world leaders and dignitaries respected him, the religious community hated what he stood for.
However, in Jeremiah’s day, the secular leaders’ hatred did intensify as he prophesied (see Jeremiah 37). “Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying, Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest” (Jeremiah 26:17-18). Remember, this is an end-time prophecy. God’s Church will be plowed like a field! Do you know what a plowed field is like? It is torn into little pieces. That will happen to God’s Laodicean Church.
The nations of Israel will become like garbage “heaps”! These are terrifying prophecies about the nations of Israel, which include America, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other democracies of northwestern Europe. Herbert Armstrong preached these prophecies for over 50 years. It’s time for our people to wake up!
“Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? Did he not fear the Lord, and besought the Lord, and the Lord repented him of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we procure great evil against our souls” (verse 19). God still calls upon each of us to repent! There is still hope. Repentance doesn’t mean to turn to a deceived Church, but to God’s truth!
Then Jeremiah gets into one of the most sobering and frightening incidents in this book. There was a man named Urijah who also prophesied in God’s name and it got him killed! You need to know why.
Why Urijah Was Killed
“And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the Lord, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah: And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death: but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt; And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him into Egypt. And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people. Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death” (verses 20-24). Remember, these prophecies are mainly for the end time. There will be Urijahs who will rise up today also! Urijah prophesied in God’s name and against Jerusalem and Judah. But there is no indication he was working with Jeremiah. He probably wanted his own following instead of supporting God’s Work through Jeremiah. That means he really lacked faith in what God was doing through Jeremiah.
Some Laodicean leaders today proclaim many of Herbert Armstrong’s teachings, but reject the Philadelphia Church which God raised up to succeed him! What will happen to them? They don’t have God behind them, so they will panic when real persecution comes. Like Urijah, rather than staying with God and Jeremiah, they run—and it may get them killed!
They lack faith in the living God because they are not supporting His Work. God said He would raise up a work in our day which many wouldn’t believe even when told (Habakkuk 1:5). If we can’t even recognize where God’s Work is, then something is tragically lacking in our spiritual lives!
It’s not enough to be preaching God’s Word and prophecies. All of us must find Christ’s true Work—there is only one—and then back and support that endeavor. Only then will you have the faith and power to stand and fight for God! God will support you only as you support Him and His Work! Jeremiah didn’t run. He was imprisoned, then released by the enemy, Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon. This could happen to some of God’s people in the end time. The point is, we must know where God’s Work is and never leave it. God will always take care of His loyal people.
Many people know about God’s Word and His prophecies for the end time. But this is not the big issue. The only vision that will save us from physical destruction is knowing where Christ and His Work is—then following it! Only then are you walking by living faith. You must back and support God’s Work, or you could get yourself killed.
Chapter 6: Laodicean Ministers
The message God revealed to Jeremiah addresses a specific condition peculiar to our time. “How do ye say, We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us? Lo, certainly in vain made he it; the pen of the scribes is in vain. The wise men are ashamed, they are dismayed and taken: lo, they have rejected the word of the Lord; and what wisdom is in them?” (Jeremiah 8:8-9). Who is wise in the law? Only God’s people are wise concerning the law today. But many of these “wise” men have rejected God’s law!
This could only apply to God’s Laodiceans in this end time. Only they have had God’s law in the past and are now rejecting it!
What is their real problem? Jeremiah 9:6 answers that question: “Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the Lord.” Through deceit they refuse to know God! It’s so easy to twist what God has taught us and still act so righteous. But God calls rebels what they are. They can use all the scholarly deceit they want, but it’s still rebellion!
Rejecting God’s Law
Notice what Joseph Tkach Sr., former pastor general of the Worldwide Church of God, said about God’s law: “It is a common mistake to assume, ‘If everybody would just keep the Ten Commandments, what a nice world we would have.’ Christians should consider that the Ten Commandments do not require kindness, mercy, compassion, generosity, sacrifice for others, impartiality, patience or love. Nor do the Ten Commandments specifically forbid conceit, envy, hatred, rage or selfish ambition” (co-worker letter, May 27, 1992).
That is close to being a blasphemous statement. Read what the Bible says: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone” (Matthew 23:23). Here the “law” is mentioned in God’s word. And it says one of the weightier matters of the law is mercy! Just the opposite of what Mr. Tkach said! He also said the Ten Commandments “do not require sacrifice … or love.” Let’s read 1 John 5:3: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” God says that keeping the law is love! In other words, if you don’t keep the Ten Commandments, you don’t have love!
“Who is the wise man, that may understand this? and who is he to whom the mouth of the Lord hath spoken, that he may declare it, for what the land perisheth and is burned up like a wilderness, that none passeth through?” (Jeremiah 9:12). God’s own mouth spoke these words to us—His own mouth! Will we listen to words from God’s own mouth?
If we believe these words are from God, then God says we must declare them! We have no choice—God commands that we declare His words. But what must we declare? What is God’s message? That our land will be “burned like a wilderness”! That means nuclear war!
God wants us to repent. Notice verse 13: “And the Lord saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein ….” Some people have forsaken God’s law, which He set before them in the end time. You can’t forsake God’s law unless you once had it and kept it. God’s own people, who had God’s law set before them in this end time by Herbert Armstrong, have rejected that law. In fact, Mr. Armstrong preached that law to the whole world for many years, but most would not obey God’s voice. The biggest tragedy is that God set His law before His own Church, and it is now forsaking that law. God will punish the U.S. and Britain as no nations have ever been punished! Surely this ought to prod us to fervently seek God’s truth.
“For a voice of wailing is heard out of Zion, How are we spoiled! we are greatly confounded, because we have forsaken the land, because our dwellings have cast us out” (verse 19). A voice of wailing will be heard out of Zion, God’s Church. Why will God’s own people be wailing in agony? Because they forsook God’s law and failed to prophesy God’s end-time warning message!
God has perfect vision. He has already seen the wailing pain of His own Church in captivity. It hasn’t happened yet, but you can be sure that it will happen just as God says.
“But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord” (verse 24). The only true glory you will ever have is to understand and know the great God of love. We’ll find glory no place else.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will punish all them which are circumcised with the uncircumcised” (verse 25). Who are the circumcised and the uncircumcised? God will punish His Laodicean Church along with the nations of Israel. Only God’s people can truly understand this.
“O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. O Lord, correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing” (Jeremiah 10:23-24). Do you and I know deeply that we can’t direct our own steps? God says if you really know this, you will continually ask God to correct you. Do you frequently ask God for correction because you know that no man can direct his own steps?
You can’t even direct one of your steps. Jeremiah learned this lesson deeply. That is the reason God could use him so effectively. We must humbly seek God’s correction if we are to be used. This prayerful attitude is so rare today. This is the only attitude God can use. Because religions of this world lack this attitude, they are in a wilderness of religious confusion.
Shepherds of God’s Pasture
Let’s now skip down to chapter 23. Jeremiah 23 is a counterpart of Ezekiel 34. It deals with the same problem. “The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly” (Jeremiah 23:20). As I said before, the expression “consider it perfectly” is better translated “understand it thoroughly.” So in this end time, God’s people know that Jeremiah (and especially Jeremiah 23) applies to us. It will be to our own shame if we fail to understand. Only in the end time can we fully put the biblical “puzzle” together. God is revealing the pieces of the puzzle needed to complete the picture. This is also what God told Daniel (Daniel 12:4, 9).
“For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:11). This is happening “in my house,” God’s temple. The Anchor Bible translates that expression “in my very own house.” We know that the temple is God’s Church in New Testament times and in end-time prophecy. Wickedness is found in God’s very own Church today! What is it? Request a free copy of Malachi’s Message and God’s Family Government, and you will see. God is concerned about evil in all Israel, but especially in spiritual Israel, His Church. That is the worst crime of all.
“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord” (verses 1-2). We must remember that Jeremiah personally went only to Judah. But here he addresses Israel, which had already been in captivity over 100 years. So this has to be addressed to end-time Israel. However, end-time national Israel was never God’s flock. It was never unified as God’s people today.
In this chapter God is addressing spiritual Israel, which was unified by Mr. Armstrong and then “scattered” and “driven” away by the Laodicean leaders today. This can only apply to God’s people now.
If God’s people are “scattered” and “driven” away today, then it is very obvious that someone had to unify them so they could be scattered! God’s Laodicean flock today is being driven away from God by a wholesale departure from doctrinal truth since Mr. Armstrong died. National Israel could not be scattered by false prophets anyhow. The people of Israel haven’t been spiritually unified with God for thousands of years. This is a spiritual scattering by false prophets. How will God correct them? He will “visit upon you the evil of your doings.”
“And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase” (verse 3). This spiritual scattering of God’s people is all happening just before the Great Tribulation and the resurrection of David (verse 5). The “remnant” means the “remaining part” or “survivors.” This is the “great multitude” that repents in the Tribulation (Revelation 7). They will become God’s flock.
That means there will be a great demand for loyal shepherds shortly. “And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:4). God is now preparing the firstfruits, and especially the Philadelphians, to be shepherds over this vast multitude of repentant people. These people will be eager to be taught God’s way of life. Now is our time to prepare for this enormous and wonderful job!
God will set up shepherds over them who will feed them His truth. They will teach them what God taught Mr. Armstrong and the Philadelphia Church. God is talking about us as His future shepherds. Are we ready to feed God’s people the truth? We are not ready if we reject what Mr. Armstrong taught us through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth” (verse 5). These verses are very similar to those in Ezekiel 34. “In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:6). This is our glorious future.
“Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt; But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land” (verses 7-8). This is the end-time captivity of Israel. It hasn’t happened yet, but it will in the very near future.
“Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the Lord, and because of the words of his holiness” (verse 9). Why did Jeremiah express such horror? Because God’s own prophets are not warning Israel of this terrible destruction and captivity! All of Jeremiah’s bones shook because of the false prophets. He understood that they would refuse to warn God’s own people in this end time. When Jeremiah read God’s holy prophecies, it made him feel like a drunken man.
God’s people and Israel desperately need to be warned today, but their leaders won’t do it! It is the worst time of suffering ever to come upon this Earth, and God’s own ministers say “prophesy not” (Amos 2:11-12).
Nuclear proliferation is a mind-numbing reality, and God’s own ministers won’t prophesy what God says about it! Write for our free booklet The Lion Has Roared. It will explain exactly what the future holds for Israel. It will make your bones shake as Jeremiah’s did!
‘The Year of Their Doom’
“For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the Lord. Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:11-12). God has found wickedness in His own house, His Church. These false prophets are fast approaching “the year of their visitation,” or, as the Anchor Bible says, “the year of their doom.” This is where the Laodicean leaders are headed. Time is running out fast.
“And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err” (verse 13). This is referring to the worldly prophets of Samaria, or the 10 tribes of Israel. But there is a far more serious crime.
“I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah” (verse 14). Jerusalem is a type of all Israel. But this is referring to spiritual Israel. These false prophets are committing adultery. Ancient Israel committed adultery and separated from God. This can only apply to spiritual Israel, the Church of God! Only Christ’s Bride can commit adultery today (Revelation 19:7). Only God’s Church is married to Christ in the end time.
It’s interesting that this verse discusses “the prophets of Jerusalem.” The temple (a type of God’s Church) was in Jerusalem. Perhaps that is the reason God inspired the word Jerusalem, instead of the word Israel.
This verse refers to the Laodicean Church in “the latter days.” The Laodiceans “walk in lies.” The Laodicean leaders are telling and teaching lies. They “strengthen also the hands of the evildoers.” This is all happening in God’s own Church. God says they are like Sodom and Gomorrah. The blind Laodiceans (Revelation 3:17) fail to see what is happening until it’s too late to escape the Tribulation.
“Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say still unto them that despise me, The Lord hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you” (Jeremiah 23:15-17).
God has prophesied that the Middle East will be a caldron of violence and have no peace until Christ returns! The Laodicean leaders tell their people that the Tribulation is far into the future and that “no evil shall come upon you.” But God says the Laodiceans today will be plunged into a nuclear holocaust—the worst time of suffering ever known to man! This is what awaits all of God’s Laodicean people if they don’t wake up! There is no peace ahead for Israel—only unparalleled disaster. Still, the Laodicean leaders say “prophesy not” (Amos 2:11-12).
“For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it?” (Jeremiah 23:18). Who has “stood in the counsel of the Lord” in the “latter days”? Here is one definition of the word “counsel” in the Gesenius‘ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon: “a secret … to reveal a secret … Amos 3:7.” This is much more than just reading and studying the Bible. These are the only people who have had God’s revelation given to them! God revealed His secrets to them and they “marked his word.”
After writing Mystery of the Ages, Mr. Armstrong said, “I feel I myself did not write it.” It was revelation from God. The wcg discontinued that book and tried to keep the pcg from printing it. Those leaders have a dangerous disagreement with Jesus Christ! They too “stood in the counsel of the Lord” and then violently rebelled against it! Mystery of the Ages is only one of many revelations from God that the wcg rejected! The wcg leaders had God’s precious revelation and counsel based on God’s Word. Then they rejected it. God says this is the most heinous sin of all!
God is asking a specific question about “who” has stood in His counsel. This means God’s own people today can name some high-ranking ministers who did. God is demanding that we have some definite, specific names! Who has read and understood The United States and Britain in Prophecy? Who was taught the 18 restored truths by Herbert W. Armstrong? And who deeply learned the first point on that list—God’s government—taught by Mr. Armstrong? We must get specific.
Now note this carefully, please. If you have stood in God’s counsel in “the latter days,” here is what you will thoroughly understand: “Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the Lord shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly” (verses 19-20). If you have stood in God’s counsel and heard the prophecies preached by Mr. Armstrong, then you know a grievous whirlwind is about to fall on evil Israel! The Tribulation and the Day of the Lord are almost here. Mr. Armstrong preached for over 50 years precisely what is happening in Israel and Europe today. Those who stood in God’s counsel and truly heard it know “the year of their doom” is fast approaching!
And remember, a sign that these very events are exploding on the world scene is that they happen at the same time there is great wickedness in God’s own house, or Church! (verse 11). A great part of that wickedness is rejection of revealed prophecy.
Jeremiah is saying that the people who accept God’s prophecies and revelations know a nuclear epidemic is about to be ignited on the world scene! This moment in history is not one of peace. It is a time of God’s judgment on a sinning world. Those who pray for peace are praying contrary to the prophecies of their own Bible! It’s no use praying for peace if you are rebelling against God.
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings” (verses 21-22). True ministers should have “caused” physical and spiritual Israel to hear God’s Word. But these ministers didn’t, and they failed to turn God’s people from their evil way.
The word “stood” would be better translated as “remained, stood firm in battle.” If these ministers had remained in what God taught them through Mr. Armstrong, they would have turned many to righteousness. Instead, they usually did just the reverse.
“Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?” (verse 23). The Laodiceans put these prophecies far into the future. They act like these prophecies will never be fulfilled because God is far from them. They lack the faith to believe God’s Word and His prophecies. These ministers are in a faith crisis.
“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal” (verses 24-27). Can you forget God’s name if you never really knew it? These are people who knew God and all that His name meant. But these rebellious ministers actually “cause” God’s people to forget God’s name!
God is not addressing pagan ministers. He is talking about ministers who knew Him spiritually and then caused God’s people to forget God. What an abominable sin!
These ministers failed to remember what they were taught (Malachi 3:16). Then they caused God’s people to forget what God taught through Mr. Armstrong.
“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 23:28). The prophet that has God’s Word is commanded to speak it faithfully. God is talking to ministers who had His precious truth and failed to teach it. Only the Laodicean era of God’s Church had the truth in this end time and turned away from it.
“Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?” (verse 29). The truth we have is like a fire that burns their spiritual chaff, their worthless spiritual food, or like a hammer which breaks their false religious ideas to pieces! This is why many Laodiceans fear our message.
“Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour. Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord” (verses 30-32). God will work against these false ministers.
The Burden of the Lord
“And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the Lord? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the Lord. And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the Lord, I will even punish that man and his house” (verses 33-34). This is not very clear in the King James Version. God is stating that the Laodicean Church thinks His Word is a burden. That is why it is changing many major doctrines.
Then God says the real burden for His people is that He is going to forsake them! God has done this to the Laodicean Church today! He forsook them because they forsook Him. That means God reveals no more prophecies to them. During the Tribulation, the Laodiceans will become victims of the very prophecies they once taught! This is what it means for God to forsake them!
“Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? and, What hath the Lord spoken? And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God. Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the Lord answered thee? and, What hath the Lord spoken? But since ye say, The burden of the Lord; therefore thus saith the Lord; Because ye say this word, The burden of the Lord, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the Lord; Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence: And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten” (verses 35-40). These Laodiceans are, by their actions, calling God’s prophecies a burden! They are acting as if prophecy is just one calamity after another. That is why they say “prophesy not.”
These verses reveal the psychology behind their “prophesy not” attitude portrayed in Amos 2:11-12—also an end-time prophecy. These Laodiceans ministers have a faithless view of prophecy. They don’t see the positive side of prophecy—only the negative side. Prophecy is a great burden to them.
So God answers to warn them of His justice. He says, Since you think prophecy only means calamity and disaster, I will bring these prophetic calamities and disasters down on your head! They will see the prophecies they fear most come crashing down upon them. Worldly religions have never truly understood God’s prophecies. This is talking to God’s people who did understand prophecy in “the latter days.”
“And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten” (Jeremiah 23:40). Even the Laodiceans who repent in the Tribulation will have a certain eternal shame because they lost such a large share of their magnificent reward. Everybody will always know why they are not in God’s headquarters temple forever (Revelation 3:12).
“But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die” (Deuteronomy 18:20). False prophets were killed in Old Testament times. That was their fate, regardless of how “nice” they were. Some of these ministers today will die eternally. As Ezekiel said, it is no “small thing” when ministers turn or “drive” people away from God! These are very dire prophecies about the end-time Laodicean ministers. They have a bleak future unless they do some deep repenting.
Chapter 7: A Blind Church
The greatest tragedy of this end time is happening within God’s own Church. God’s people have rebelled and now most of them refuse to heed God’s warning message to repent. They say, “If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 3:1). God is discussing His end-time wife here. Even though she has greatly polluted herself, God still allows her to return. God’s forgiveness is emphasized. She couldn’t “return” if she weren’t God’s wife before. This applies to the nations of Israel in a general way. But only God’s Church is Christ’s wife in this end time.
Why does His wife have such a problem? “Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed” (verses 2-3). God’s wife, whom He likens to an animal in heat, is shamefully committing adultery.
The showers and the rain (both are types of God’s Holy Spirit) have been withholden. That means they were receiving God’s Holy Spirit, but it was greatly diminished or stopped! They no longer receive God’s revelation or secrets. The power of the Holy Spirit is no longer with them.
There is a reason why they are left without spiritual power. They have a “whore’s forehead” which refuses to be ashamed of their greatest of all sins—leaving their Husband, Jesus Christ.
Only a tiny portion of humanity has tasted God’s Holy Spirit. That means these saints are in grave danger of losing their eternal lives. Most of the Earth’s population will never have a chance to be the Bride of Christ. That unparalleled honor is given only to those called before Christ’s Second Coming.
The unfaithful have been warned repeatedly by God’s message through His Church—the Philadelphia Church of God. But it is dangerously hard to warn someone who has a “whore’s forehead.” God usually has to use more than words to reach them, if they can be reached at all.
People ask, “Why can’t all of the Worldwide Church of God dissidents get together?” We can’t do that because most of them have “a whore’s forehead”! This is the frightening truth. Remember, this is Christ’s wife. She will be judged far more severely than anyone else because of the knowledge she had. These Laodiceans are rebelling against God the Father’s Family and His government.
God fervently wants to give them spiritual “showers” and “the latter rain.” Attitude determines the flow of God’s Holy Spirit to His people. Our own hardness can stop the flow. God’s people control the faucet of the Holy Spirit.
“Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?” (verse 4). The word “art” is in italics, which means it was added by the translators. It should read, “My Father—the guide of my youth.” This is a very revealing statement. Before they rebelled they understood the Father and God’s Family—including the family government. But they have turned away from what they once believed. Their own past life with God condemns them!
They have failed to “remember” (Malachi 3:16). The Father was the “guide of their youth,” but not now. They have committed the greatest sin by leaving their Husband and Father—God’s Family!
This is God’s warning to the Laodiceans now. “Will you not from this time cry unto me, My father—the guide of my youth?” Tragically, they have forgotten their history with the Father.
This is precisely why God condemns the end-time Laodiceans in the book of Malachi. “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name?” (Malachi 1:6). God condemns these priests, or ministers. They fail to honor God as their Father. They reject His family government, established by God’s end-time Elijah—Herbert W. Armstrong. The Laodiceans’ spiritual family has fallen apart. Our job is to tell them so.
If we love our family, how can we fail to warn them? “The Lord said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot” (Jeremiah 3:6). This refers to “backsliding Israel” today. This means spiritual Israel, the Church. God’s people knew the great God and then began to backslide.
“And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it” (verse 7). Notice, after they sinned, God said return. This message is being proclaimed only by the Philadelphia Church of God. Nobody else has a work specifically warning God’s end-time Laodicean Church. Still, they refuse to return. Those who fail to heed must experience the worst suffering ever on this Earth (Jeremiah 30:6-7). These verses cannot be explained without the pcg and its work today. This is the message we are commanded to proclaim to the Laodiceans (Jeremiah 3:12). God pleads with them to acknowledge their sin (verse 13).
Is there a wholesale response to God’s warning message? “Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion” (verse 14). Jeremiah is addressing Christ’s “backsliding” wife—the Church. God had already put ancient Israel away (verse 8).
Who responds? Not the majority who turned away. But “one of a city, and two of a family.”
Here is the ultimate test for Christ’s end-time wife. Can she follow her Husband when the majority in God’s Church are rebelling? Can she respond to Christ and warn the Laodiceans for her Husband? This is how we remain God’s very elect. It is the most difficult challenge we face.
If you and I can stand alone, or almost alone, like Jeremiah did, that means we grasp the depth of our spiritual marriage and submit to the government of our Husband. He rules us and does His Work through us. If He doesn’t, then we are Laodicean at best!
Can you face the trials and difficulties of doing Christ’s Work and know that your Husband will protect you?
There is only one Church on this planet fulfilling this prophecy!
Verse 14 confuses the Bible commentators and scholars, but not God’s very elect. Only they understand the key of David vision about a God Family throne (Luke 1:30-33). That is what the entire book of Jeremiah is about.
“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:15). God will give pastors to those who respond. God will bring them into His family Work. This prophecy is happening right now.
“And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the Lord, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers” (verses 16-18). It is easy for us to get excited today about perhaps finding the ark of the covenant. But we need to keep everything in perspective. The ark was very important in leading a carnal nation. It represented God’s presence. However, it is soon to be forgotten as we move on to the spiritual Family of God. Today God lives in each member of His Church. There is no comparison between that begettal and the physical ark of the covenant.
God is now preparing His Bride to rule over and unite the nations of Israel. Then Israel will be used to lead the world—“all the nations”—to God. After that, David’s throne will rule over the whole universe (Isaiah 9:6-7).
“One of a city, and two of a family” is leading to this magnificent future! Christ’s Bride is to share David’s throne with Him. We get to share in this most royal future. We shall have a world and universe responsibility. That time is almost here. Now is the time to prepare. Let’s not neglect this unparalleled calling!
God help those who deal treacherously with their Husband—those who have “forgotten” their God Family relationship (Jeremiah 3:20-22). Now is the time to return!
The Linen Girdle
Why would Jeremiah write an end-time prophecy about a linen girdle? “Thus saith the Lord unto me, Go and get thee a linen girdle, and put it upon thy loins, and put it not in water” (Jeremiah 13:1). We have to look at these verses spiritually. We are told that “fine linen is the righteousness of the saints” (Revelation 19:8). However, this linen is not “fine.”
“So I got a girdle according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, Take the girdle that thou hast got, which is upon thy loins, and arise, go to Euphrates, and hide it there in a hole of the rock. So I went, and hid it by Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. And it came to pass after many days, that the Lord said unto me, Arise, go to Euphrates, and take the girdle from thence, which I commanded thee to hide there. Then I went to Euphrates, and digged, and took the girdle from the place where I had hid it: and, behold, the girdle was marred, it was profitable for nothing” (Jeremiah 13:2-7). This linen girdle is of no value to God. The key question is why?
“Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Thus saith the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing” (verses 8-10). God’s own Church and the nations of Israel refuse to hearGod’s words.
This is a scorching indictment from God. “For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear” (verse 11). Here is the big overview. God created the tribes (later nations) of Israel for an incredible purpose. They were created to be “a praise, and a glory” to God. The nations of Israel were to cause the whole world to praise and glorify God! The world could have seen Israel’s might and glory and would have known that God was blessing it. But Israel would not obey God. So God gave it a legal separation. God continued to warn the people of Israel throughout the ages, but they would not repent.
Then God moved on to spiritual Israel, the Church. He built His Church to be a praise and a glory to Him (Matthew 16:18). Most in the Church also have rebelled and failed God.
God’s Church has been a major disaster in this end time. God’s own lukewarm Church commits the greatest sin of all, according to Jeremiah’s prophecies.
God’s people have rejected the Work God gave them to do. They should be helping the pcg deliver Jeremiah’s message! This job is being done now, but only by a small very elect remnant. Only they are showing forth the praise and glory of God today! Only they are receiving God’s blessings today.
A Warning to Kings
“Then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will fill all the inhabitants of this land, even the kings that sit upon David’s throne, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, with drunkenness” (Jeremiah 13:13). God commands His little remnant “to speak unto them this word.” This is the very word you are reading now! You are a part of this amazing prophecy.
We are to “say unto them, Thus saith the Lord”! God is speaking, so everybody should take heed! Every person on Earth! The kings and queens who sit upon David’s throne in London, England, are to be warned by our message about being spiritually drunk! A very specific message to a specific group of leaders.
Christ is deeply concerned about David’s throne—the throne He is to sit on when He returns very soon. Jeremiah no doubt puts them first on this list because his whole book is about the key of David vision, and the heart of that vision is the throne of David.
God also has a specific warning message to His own priests and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, a type of all the nations of Israel.
All of these specific groups of people are to be warned that they are as worthless as Jeremiah’s linen girdle! Why? Because they refuse to hear God’s warning message. God will dispose of them like a rotten girdle if they don’t repent and heed His message! That is the simple truth.
There was only one Jeremiah. And there is only one man publicly proclaiming his message today. That is the way God always warns!
Just how serious is this message? “And I will dash them one against another, even the fathers and the sons together, saith the Lord: I will not pity, nor spare, nor have mercy, but destroy them” (verse 14). How can we take these prophecies lightly? God is going to dash people one against another! He is going to destroy the nations of Israel. The living God will have no mercy on the nations of Israel! Are we too drunk to even know what indescribable terror that means?! Do we believe God?
“Hear ye, and give ear; be not proud: for the Lord hath spoken” (verse 15). God repeats the warning: “Hear and give ear.” Why? Because “God has spoken”—these are not the words of men!
God always does precisely what He says! This is an end-time prophecy that is about to be fulfilled! Will you hear? Will you give ear? Or will you be proud? Only the humble, childlike person will hear this message before the events occur. All Israel will be humble and childlike after these prophecies come to pass!
God pleads with us to hear His message today. “Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness” (verse 16). If you fail to hear, this will be the result. As you seek for the light, you will receive gross darkness and the shadow of death! How could God’s warning be stronger?
“But if ye will not hear it, my soul shall weep in secret places for your pride; and mine eye shall weep sore, and run down with tears, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive. Say unto the king and to the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down: for your principalities shall come down, even the crown of your glory” (verses 17-18). Again we see a specific job for the pcg today. We are to “say unto the king and the queen, Humble yourselves, sit down”!
They must change to accept this message. Only an act of great humility will do. Jeremiah also warns them to “sit down,” or get rid of the worldly pride. It’s as if Jeremiah gives them a double warning to become humble! If they don’t heed, the “crown of your glory” is about to be lost. They will lose everything!
The royal family of Britain will understand whose throne they are sitting on! It’s only a matter of when.
It is because of pride that the royal family and all Israel reject the truth we have taught for over 50 years about that throne. God is acutely concerned about that throne, regardless of their pride! There is abundant proof that it is David’s throne, the very throne Christ is to sit on when He returns.
The reason people reject what we teach about David’s throne is not for a lack of proof. It is pride! It’s time we faced the truth about our own pride! The life or death of nations is at stake! “Pride goes before destruction” (Proverbs 16:18). “A man’s pride shall bring him low” (Proverbs 29:23).
Did Jeremiah really care about ancient Judah and end-time Israel? He went into a secret place to weep for their pride. We do the same today for the royal family, God’s Laodicean Church and all Israel.
God’s true royalty is delivering Jeremiah’s message today!
“The cities of the south shall be shut up, and none shall open them: Judah shall be carried away captive all of it, it shall be wholly carried away captive. Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north: where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?” (Jeremiah 13:19-20). The enemy is coming from the north. Then God addresses His own ministry. (See Jeremiah 23 and Ezekiel 34.)
If this flock was given, through whom was it given? The same person who taught us about David’s throne and who Israel is in this end time—Herbert W. Armstrong. When he died, the flock was driven away and scattered.
Only God’s Church has been given the key of David vision. Only God’s people know the truth about David’s throne. Only they can give God’s warning message. At the time of greatest need for a warning, most of God’s flock has been scattered. This is a staggering tragedy.
Those ministers responsible are under a curse (Malachi 2:14). They had a beautiful flock “given” to them for a great work. But then the flock became as worthless as Jeremiah’s rotten girdle! Those responsible ministers now face the “shadow of death”—eternal death!
A Church in Darkness
God begins Jeremiah 15 by discussing His own Church. “Then said the Lord unto me, Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my mind could not be toward this people: cast them out of my sight, and let them go forth. And it shall come to pass, if they say unto thee, Whither shall we go forth? then thou shalt tell them, Thus saith the Lord; Such as are for death, to death; and such as are for the sword, to the sword; and such as are for the famine, to the famine; and such as are for the captivity, to the captivity. And I will appoint over them four kinds, saith the Lord: the sword to slay, and the dogs to tear, and the fowls of the heaven, and the beasts of the earth, to devour and destroy. And I will cause them to be removed into all kingdoms of the earth, because of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah, for that which he did in Jerusalem” (verses 1-4). Tell me where there is a stronger warning in any four verses of the Bible! Please read those verses again.
Anciently, Manasseh “seduced” Israel into being more evil than other nations (2 Kings 21:1-3, 9, 16). He destroyed the righteousness that his father Hezekiah had established. In the same way, America today—the world’s number one superpower—has led the rest of Israel and much of the world into great evil also!
This is what we have done with the enormous blessings God has given us. Now God is sending curses because of our sins. This is a shocking prophecy!
“She that hath borne seven languisheth: she hath given up the ghost; her sun is gone down while it was yet day: she hath been ashamed and confounded: and the residue of them will I deliver to the sword before their enemies, saith the Lord” (Jeremiah 15:9). This is referring to a woman—God’s Church—and the seven eras discussed in Revelation 2 and 3. How clear it is that Jeremiah’s book is prophecy for the end time. God’s Church is dying (2 Thessalonians 2:10). “Her sun went down while it was yet day.” She had the marvelous light of God’s truth. But then comes the greatest of catastrophes! While it is yet day, the sun goes down and God’s own Church is in darkness.
There is yet a great work to be done and the majority of God’s own people are too sick and deceived to do that work.
We have to grasp the magnitude of this disaster. What happens literally if the sun goes down while it is yet day—perhaps high noon? It would be a worldwide catastrophe of indescribable magnitude! God is trying to get us all to see the towering spiritual disaster that has struck His Church worldwide. Spiritual Israel—God’s Church—is dying. The outcome has eternal consequences. There is no greater crisis! We must warn a Church of God that is in gross darkness.
A big part of the story is about the time when the sun rose. God used an end-time Elijah to “restore all things” (Matthew 17:10-11). What a sunrise! We can’t understand the disaster unless we also understand about God’s end-time Elijah. When we deeply understand his story, everything becomes clear.
“Woe is me, my mother, that thou hast borne me a man of strife and a man of contention to the whole earth! I have neither lent on usury, nor men have lent to me on usury; yet every one of them doth curse me. The Lord said, Verily it shall be well with thy remnant; verily I will cause the enemy to entreat thee well in the time of evil and in the time of affliction” (Jeremiah 15:10-11). Jeremiah experienced God’s people turning away when he got nearer to Judah’s time of captivity to Babylon. That is why we must see this whole chapter as being closely related to God’s Church in this end time.
The story of Urijah is an example of what we are talking about. He taught essentially what Jeremiah did. But he apparently wasn’t walking by faith and supporting God’s Work being done through Jeremiah. That is undoubtedly why he was killed (Jeremiah 26:20-24).
God may very well inspire more and more people to help His Work today. But we must expect that as times get more trying, and the captivity of Babylon gets closer, there will be more people defecting from God’s truth. Jeremiah experienced it and so shall we. Like Urijah, some may just want to selfishly do their own work, even though it could bring upon them physical and even spiritual death.
Jeremiah was fighting discouragement. Still, God promised him and his “remnant” protection from the Babylonian captivity (Jeremiah 15:12-15). He makes the same promise to God’s loyal remnant today. God makes it clear in these verses that He knows about your trials and how to deliver you. Jeremiah left shortly after that time and established David’s throne in Ireland. He also built a college to honor the great God. What we need now is the faith to believe God. It’s time to “fight the good fight of faith.”
“I sat not in the assembly of the mockers, nor rejoiced; I sat alone because of thy hand: for thou hast filled me with indignation. Why is my pain perpetual, and my wound incurable, which refuseth to be healed? wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar, and as waters that fail?” (verses 17-18). Jeremiah was not a machine. He had a weak human spirit, as we do. He needed people to help and support him—as we do. We are doing by far the most important work on this Earth. Now we are being tested to see if we are real soldiers of Jesus Christ or if we just talk about being a true Christian—one who follows Christ.
In your time of affliction, do you know God will deliver you? Do you fight the battle of faith, always aware of that reality? We must believe God!
Do you personally trust God in your daily life? Do you depend on Him for miracles to help you support the Jeremiah Work today—when most people are rebelling, even in God’s own Church? It all gets back to faith.
We must choose the precious over the vile, or we can’t “be as [God’s] mouth.” What an awesome responsibility! We can be as God’s mouth—we can support the Work that speaks for God today!
We can’t lose with faith in God. We can’t be beaten!
“And I will make thee unto this people a fenced brasen wall: and they shall fight against thee, but they shall not prevail against thee: for I am with thee to save thee and to deliver thee, saith the Lord. And I will deliver thee out of the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem thee out of the hand of the terrible” (verses 20-21).
People will fight against us today and not prevail. They will fight us and lose! Why? Because God is with us. He will deliver us because we are doing His Work. God will deliver us from evil men.
We must have the strength of a “brasen wall.” If God is with us, and we are with God, we can’t lose! We’ll always win against those who fight God! Expect it. May God help us to build more faith. No matter what happens, if we remain faithful, in the end we win!
Chapter 8: No Hope in Man
Everywhere we look there are problems man has not been able to solve. We are living cursed lives and usually do not even know it. Jeremiah 17 gets at the very heart of why we refuse to face and conquer our problems. This chapter gets to the core of the whole Bible message.
Again we see God addressing His Church—spiritual Israel—and the nations of Israel. “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars” (Jeremiah 17:1). This is a dreadful warning. Sin becomes deeply etched in our minds, as if it were written there with “a pen of iron” and “the point of a diamond.” It becomes engraved upon our hearts.
It’s like being hooked on heroin. The key is to never let it begin. Once we are hooked, it is almost impossible to repent without mind-paralyzing trials. That is how hard a sinning mind becomes. Sin penetrates our very being and becomes a real part of our lives. This should cause men to acutely fear sinning. But it rarely works that way. Jeremiah shows that even when some people know where sin leads, they still continue sinning.
“Whilst their children remember their altars and their groves by the green trees upon the high hills. O my mountain in the field, I will give thy substance and all thy treasures to the spoil, and thy high places for sin, throughout all thy borders. And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever” (verses 2-4). Their altars, or religious practices, are corrupt. But here is the serious part. They were prophesied to “discontinue from thine heritage.” This has happened, just as prophesied. They were given God’s truth and then they discontinued it. You can’t discontinue what you never had. This could only refer to God’s Church in this end time.
These verses refer to the nations of Israel in a general way. They had a history with God anciently. They rebelled and never returned to God. However, God focuses on a far more serious problem—His Church today. Many of His saints will die eternally. Their sins have kindled God’s anger, which will burn until their sin is blotted out forever.
Trusting in Man
“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord” (verse 5). Why do we see such a mountainous disaster in God’s Church? Their heart “departs from the Lord.” That means they knew the great God intimately and then rebelled. But why? How? They are under a curse because they no longer trust God—they “trust in man.” It is a curse that leads to eternal death, unless they repent. That “man” they trust may be a leader, or it may even be their own human nature—people can follow their own minds.
This is a fundamental lesson that man has not learned for 6,000 years. We are cursed if we follow a man. And yet God always works through one man to lead His Church and do His Work—like Jeremiah did.
The Laodicean ministers today talk about avoiding “the evils of one-man government.” So they rebel against God leading them with one man.
That is a deadly, satanic deception. God plainly says that we are cursed if we follow a man. But we are also cursed if we fail to follow the one man God is using—like Jeremiah! Or the man God is using today to deliver the full message of Jeremiah!
We must get this straight in our minds. Most of God’s people have rebelled against God in this end time because they trust a man! At the same time, they refuse to trust God and follow His man, His leader. We must learn this gigantic lesson or be cursed. We are cursed if we follow a man—and cursed if we fail to follow God’s man!
How will we be cursed? “For he shall be like the heath in the desert, and shall not see when good cometh; but shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land and not inhabited” (verse 6). If you trust in men, you won’t “see when good comes.” The Laodiceans are blind (Revelation 3:17-18). They fail to see the good, or revelation, that God has given to the Philadelphia Church of God. Only the pcg understands the prophecies about God’s Laodicean era in the book of Jeremiah and all the other prophetic books! This is a large portion of the “good” that they fail to see because they trust in a man. Therefore, God can’t use them to do His Work.
This is a lake-of-fire mistake, unless they repent! This is the most grotesque sin of all. They knew the omnipotent God and then put their trust in a pathetic man! They knew the God described in the first chapters of Revelation and Ezekiel and then turned to sickly man! How could their sin be more grotesque?
If we want to be blessed, here is what we must do. “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7-8). We are blessed if we trust in God. Those who trust in God bear fruit. They are like a tree planted by the waters, with deep, strong roots which can survive drought and still bear fruit.
Find the church that trusts God and you will find fruit. It will have God’s secret—His revealed prophecy. It will be doing a powerful work, delivering that newly revealed prophecy.
This spiritual tree can easily be seen by anybody—except the blind. And remember, Jeremiah only discusses one tree with green leaves and fruit in the midst of spiritual drought. It is easy to see for those who have spiritual eyesight. The fruitful tree stands out in a spectacular way. It stands alone in the midst of a scorching drought. Those who cannot see that tree are focused on a man! That condemns them spiritually.
Is your life like this beautiful fruit-producing tree—“in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit”? Are you always producing fruit in a world filled with spiritual drought?
The Deceitful Human Heart
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (verse 9). Notice carefully: The human mind is deceitful above all things. The expression “desperately wicked” should read “dangerously sick,” “incurably sick” or “sick unto death.”
First of all, God is speaking to His own people. Their incurably sick minds have led them into unparalleled deceit. They are dying spiritually (2 Thessalonians 2:10). That is how depraved and dangerous their minds are.
Trusting in such minds destroys God’s own Church and nations! And yet that mind is the foundation of this world’s education. Trusting sick human minds is why we live in such a sick, sick, sick world! The frightening evidence is all around us. Avoiding human annihilation is our number one problem! (Matthew 24:21-22). That one problem should reveal how sick the human mind is.
Our educational system looks upon man as being basically good and trustworthy. That philosophy destroys institutions and nations! We must see the evil in human nature, or we can never solve our problems. That is where man’s false hope lies—in an incredibly deceitful mind that is terminally ill! Here is where men generally place their trust. What deadly deceit!
Jeremiah 17 teaches the fundamental lesson about our human minds. If we truly understand, we won’t let a day pass without intense Bible study and repentant prayer to our God. Only He can save us from our own incurably sick minds. We are deathly ill and need a physician.
“And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick” (Matthew 9:10-12). Christ inspired this lesson to be taught by three of the Gospel writers. So it must be very important. The Pharisees failed to see their own sick minds and need for a physician—Christ. But this is not just the Pharisees’ problem. This is the number one problem of humanity today! People don’t see their own terminal sickness. They don’t yet see a need for a physician—the real Jesus Christ, not a false Christ. But soon people will be in a nuclear holocaust, created by sick human minds. Then God can begin to teach them, because they will no longer be able to deny the fruits of their human reasoning.
Understanding this profound verse is more important than any education in this world. When we understand it, radical action is necessary. The greatest need is to understand God—to let Him reveal our own sickness and heal it. Until we learn this lesson, we are living under a curse (Jeremiah 17:5).
This chapter in Jeremiah discusses hope. This is where mankind must begin if we are ever to have hope. There is no hope in man. There is endless hope in God. God ends verse 9 of Jeremiah 17 with the question, “Who can know it?” Only God knows the human mind. “I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (verse 10). Man is being cursed “according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” Man is about to totally destroy himself because of “his ways”—his way of life. The nuclear holocaust the world faces is simply “the fruit of his doing.” Man’s sinful way of life is causing all of the world’s problems.
We must learn that true education is founded on cause and effect. That is what God is forcing mankind, and even His own Church, to face. Only God can explain the mind and emotions of man. Only God can lead us to trust Him instead of our very sick minds.
Forsaking the Fountain of Living Waters
“A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary” (verse 12). God has given His firstfruits a place in His holy of holies—where He dwells. We are to sit on and rule from a “glorious high throne” with God. There is no higher glory than our reward! We have been called to be Christ’s Bride. Only those called and faithful before His Second Coming are given that high and unique honor forever. The Laodiceans have lost that vision by focusing on a man.
“O Lord, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters” (verse 13). These are saints who forsake and depart from God. This is Christ’s Bride who has become blinded. As mentioned in Chapter 2, the Laodiceans had everything, but have “forsaken the Lord, the fountain of living waters.” They have forsaken “the hope of Israel.” People often scoff at their only hope!
Those who forsake God will be “written in the earth.” They will become no more than a mark in the sand! They have descended to an earthly vision, and that will return them to the earth. What a waste!
Are you drinking from a “fountain of living waters”? That means God is always revealing more new truth—more new prophecy. It should be coming like a fountain of water. And it is coming that way into the pcg. You are drinking from that fountain now! God’s Holy Spirit should be flowing into our lives. We should be inspired by God’s power and using it to grow spiritually.
How can we forsake such a great calling? This is the greatest calling ever given to any saints. This is our greatest moment. Why have most of God’s people let it slip away? Because they follow a man! What a hopeless curse!
Are God’s lukewarm people lost forever? “Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise” (verse 14). The Laodiceans can be healed! They can be saved, if they repent.
“Behold, they say unto me, Where is the word of the Lord? let it come now” (verse 15). The Laodiceans need to find God’s “fountain of living waters.” They are drinking from stagnant pools of polluted truth. Their fountain has stopped flowing. Their hope is dying. God no longer leads and inspires them.
“Be not a terror unto me: thou art my hope in the day of evil” (verse 17). Again God inspired the word “hope.” In the worst day of evil there is still great hope. The vision can be recaptured now! If not, the Great Tribulation horror is their last chance to repent. If they wait until then to repent, they will lose a good portion of their reward.
“Let them be confounded that persecute me, but let not me be confounded: let them be dismayed, but let not me be dismayed: bring upon them the day of evil, and destroy them with double destruction” (verse 18). God’s people must see how serious the problem is. They are facing “double destruction.” What does that mean? It can only mean that they lose their physical life two times—first in this life, and later they are resurrected and thrown into the lake of fire. That is what happens to 50 percent of the Laodiceans (Matthew 25:1-10).
Why can’t the Laodiceans see the magnitude of the curse they are under? A curse that leads to eternal death! They refuse to see the fountain of living waters. They listen to men—not God! They have lost God’s most glorious vision of hope.
The Sabbath-Day Vision
How can God’s lukewarm people begin to turn their lives back to God? “Thus said the Lord unto me; Go and stand in the gate of the children of the people, whereby the kings of Judah come in, and by the which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem; And say unto them, Hear ye the word of the Lord, ye kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem; Neither carry forth a burden out of your houses on the sabbath day, neither do ye any work, but hallow ye the sabbath day, as I commanded your fathers. But they obeyed not, neither inclined their ear, but made their neck stiff, that they might not hear, nor receive instruction. And it shall come to pass, if ye diligently hearken unto me, saith the Lord, to bring in no burden through the gates of this city on the sabbath day, but hallow the sabbath day, to do no work therein; Then shall there enter into the gates of this city kings and princes sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, they, and their princes, the men of Judah, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and this city shall remain for ever” (Jeremiah 17:19-25).
We must look at this spiritually today. Who will share David’s throne with Christ forever? That is the reward of God’s firstfruits (Revelation 3:21; Luke 1:23-33; Isaiah 9:6-7).
God says we are already kings and priests (Revelation 1:5-6). We are now getting ready to marry our Husband, Jesus Christ (Revelation 19:7). What a glorious vision of hope! Do we get it? This vision has become vague to most of God’s people today. That is the curse of following a man.
The Laodiceans can stop the curse. They must start with properly keeping God’s Sabbath day. The Sabbath is a sign that we are God’s royal Family. “Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you. Ye shall keep the sabbath therefore; for it is holy unto you: every one that defileth it shall surely be put to death: for whosoever doeth any work therein, that soul shall be cut off from among his people. Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Wherefore the children of Israel shall keep the sabbath, to observe the sabbath throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between me and the children of Israel for ever: for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:13-17).
Today we must look at these verses spiritually. It is far more serious now than it was anciently. We get to know the true God through proper Sabbath-keeping. Only the firstfruits are called to that honor today. If they turn away, they won’t just die physically as ancient Israel did. These saints entered into a covenant with God. Now their eternal lives are at stake!
The Sabbath day focuses our mind back to God the Creator. He “rested, and was refreshed” on the Sabbath day. God doesn’t need physical rest. So how was He refreshed? The Sabbath is a type of the Millennium—a time when God will be ruling this Earth and building His Family. Then that Family will rule the universe forever. So the Sabbath also causes us to look ahead.
God is a Creator. He is creating His Family. It only started with the creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 1:26). The animals were created after the animal kind. Man was created in the image and likeness of God. We look like God in our features. However, the spiritual creation is far more important. God is doing that job within His Church today. We must build the character of God (Matthew 5:48).
The great God was inspired and “refreshed” by the Sabbath-day vision. It will also greatly inspire you and me, if we keep the Sabbath holy.
Only that glorious vision will bring the Laodiceans back. Only that vision will keep us growing spiritually. If we truly comprehend that breathtaking future, we will never forsake God—the hope of Israel!
The Creator of the Sabbath set an example for His creation on how to keep it and to become holy in the process. Think of the power in God’s personal example! Our only purpose for being created is to follow that example.
The Sabbath has become a “burden” to God’s lukewarm Church. It is no longer a “delight” to the Laodiceans (Isaiah 58:13).
God is present in a special and powerful way on His Sabbath day. The Sabbath, instead of being a burden, should leave us on a spiritual high. This is where Christ and the firstfruits will begin to change the whole world! This is where God started working with His end-time Elijah, Herbert W. Armstrong. This is where it all starts! We must learn this lesson if we are to rule the world with Christ.
I can give you this godly guarantee. If you start keeping the Sabbath properly, it will begin to make dramatic changes immediately in your life! Put God to the test! If we properly keep the Sabbath, we would never look to hopeless men.
“And they shall come from the cities of Judah, and from the places about Jerusalem, and from the land of Benjamin, and from the plain, and from the mountains, and from the south, bringing burnt offerings, and sacrifices, and meat offerings, and incense, and bringing sacrifices of praise, unto the house of the Lord” (Jeremiah 17:26). This is prophecy about God’s house, His Church, today. All we have to do is look at these verses spiritually. Then we can see a strong warning from God. “But if ye will not hearken unto me to hallow the sabbath day, and not to bear a burden, even entering in at the gates of Jerusalem on the sabbath day; then will I kindle a fire in the gates thereof, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem, and it shall not be quenched” (verse 27). If we don’t heed this message about keeping the Sabbath holy, then God will kindle a fire!
Repeatedly God warns us in these verses. “Hear ye the word of the Lord …” (verse 20). “Take heed to yourselves …” (verse 21). “If you will not hearken unto me …” (verse 27). God will personally kindle a fire—starting with the Great Tribulation. But this fire will not be quenched—it will destroy lives forever, unless we repent.
Will you heed God’s strong warning?
‘There Is No Hope’
God makes it very clear that this evil won’t come upon us if we repent (Jeremiah 18:8). “Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good” (Jeremiah 18:11). God commands His very elect to warn His Church and the nations of Israel. God is personally framing evil—total destruction—against the nations of Israel.
God pleads with His own people to return—to come back to where they once were spiritually.
Many of the Laodicean leaders are not honest. “And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart” (verse 12). Some leaders of God’s Church and the nations of Israel see that there is no hope. But they still walk after their evil ways. They are so enslaved to their sinful lives that they won’t repent, even when they know disaster awaits them!
However, these leaders don’t often tell their followers the brutal truth. This is the kind of mind that is “deceitful above all things” (Jeremiah 17:9). It is catastrophic to ever trust such a mind! The motives are often evil.
We sometimes get persecuted for showing how hopeless man’s way of life is. But we tell you the truth. Other leaders often lie. We must trust God—the potter (Jeremiah 18:1-7). God will shape and mold our lives if we allow it. Before He can do that, we must all see that there is no hope in man!
“Therefore thus saith the Lord; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing” (verse 13). God is talking to the virgin Israel. Only Christ’s blood can cover our sins and make us virgins spiritually. This is directed to God’s Church—the virgin which God will marry. She has no intercourse with the world.
But this virgin has done a very horrible thing. “Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken? Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up” (verses 14-15). This virgin has “forgotten” her Husband. She is spiritually fornicating with the world. “They have burned incense to vanity” in their temple service, which refers to the Church today. The leaders have caused the people to stumble from the ancient paths (Malachi 2:8). They have left the “cold flowing waters” from the snows of Lebanon for vanity. They have rejected much of what they were taught in the past by God’s Holy Spirit.
The virgin forsook her Husband. No small sin. “To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head” (Jeremiah 18:16). Physical and spiritual Israel are becoming desolate. “I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will show them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity. Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words” (verses 17-18). They devised evil plans against Jeremiah anciently. They do the same to those who deliver Jeremiah’s message today. And what a horrendous price they pay for doing so!
Chapter 9: David’s Throne
Few ministers have sacrificed more for God’s Work than Jeremiah did. While in Jerusalem prophesying, Jeremiah was instructed by God not to marry and raise a family (Jeremiah 16:1-2). He probably wasn’t free to marry until he arrived in Ireland as an old man.
Remaining single was only the smallest of Jeremiah’s trials. He spent much of his life in prison, even as he wrote the book of Jeremiah. How could he endure such trials? Jeremiah was filled with the greatest vision in the Bible, and he didn’t just act like he believed it. Enduring intense trials proved that this vision filled his mind and life.
Jeremiah had a message for the leaders of the world of his time and for this end time. Sometimes that message focused on a particular leader.
King on David’s Throne
“Thus saith the Lord; Go down to the house of the king of Judah, and speak there this word, And say, Hear the word of the Lord, O king of Judah, that sittest upon the throne of David, thou, and thy servants, and thy people that enter in by these gates: Thus saith the Lord; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place. For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people. But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the Lord, that this house shall become a desolation” (Jeremiah 22:1-5). Remember, this is prophecy for the end time! This message was addressed to one person—the king on David’s throne! And it is specifically addressed to the queen of Britain today, in London.
Where is David’s throne? It is in Israel—primarily America and Britain in end-time prophecy. We have proven that truth for over 50 years. These prophecies could not be understood without knowing where David’s throne is. God’s very elect must know all about David’s throne and where it is, or most of Jeremiah’s message could not even be understood today!
God promises success and prosperity if we heed these words. If we reject God’s warning message, desolation—total destruction—awaits us.
God is forcing us to choose between hope and disaster. But even if we choose disaster, there is still hope in the Great Tribulation—if we learn from it and repent. That is how merciful God is.
Notice how specific the message is: “Hear the word of the Lord, O king”—or queen—“that sittest upon the throne of David”! A specific leadership position is warned by Jeremiah’s message, which God’s very elect must deliver! “Thus says the Lord; Go,” and “say” to the king. You can’t get much more direct. This is a command from God! We must know where to deliver this message. God has revealed the message only to those people who know specifically what they must do with it!
If we know where the throne of David is, we must also know who and where Israel is in the end time. Our message is primarily for the nations of Israel, because their destruction is prophesied to happen first, before the rest of the world falls. If we don’t know who Israel is, we certainly don’t know where David’s throne is. Without that knowledge the book of Jeremiah and all Bible prophecy can’t be understood.
Who else on this planet fully understands the book of Jeremiah? Who else is specifically warning the royal family of Britain? Who else in this world is doing the Work that Jeremiah prophesied for this end time? Those questions are easy to answer.
God warns the royal family which sins they must repent of (verse 3). If they don’t, their short-term future is very bleak.
There is also a very inspiring message here for God’s loyal servants. Through these prophecies we learn how to be righteous kings and priests. These are positions we already have in embryo (Revelation 1:6; 5:10). We are preparing to rule with Jesus Christ on David’s throne. The righteousness Jeremiah describes must be obtained by God’s very elect.
Those in God’s Laodicean Church will lose their reward of sharing David’s throne in a headquarters position forever.
“For thus saith the Lord unto the king’s house of Judah; Thou art Gilead unto me, and the head of Lebanon: yet surely I will make thee a wilderness, and cities which are not inhabited” (Jeremiah 22:6). The nation becomes a barren wilderness. There is a direct connection between the unrighteousness surrounding David’s throne in England and the death of America and Britain!
Jeremiah warns that each individual in Israel has a responsibility in connection to that throne. Ultimately, the whole world will submit to that throne. That is the throne on which Christ is to rule forever. The very elect is to share that rulership with Christ. That means we should have a deep concern for what is happening on that throne—now and forever.
Would God give these mind-bending prophecies against the rulers on David’s throne and the nations of Israel without revealing who and where they are?! That would make God a grotesque monster. But if God delivers these prophecies and they are rejected, then the royal family and Israel are to blame. They are the hard-headed rebels who refuse to understand.
This entire prophecy is mainly about David’s throne. Just how important is that throne to us today? Our job is to tell the nations of Israel that they have David’s throne and that their fate is directly tied to the righteousness or unrighteousness of that throne! Ignorance is no excuse.
The nations of Israel are to become a nuclear wilderness with uninhabited cities! How could God give us a stronger warning? How could we so fiercely rebel against such a nightmarish prophecy? How could we be so hard and refuse to heed?
Never, never, never has there been such a terrifying prophecy! It should bring every person in the U.S. and Britain to their knees in prayer to the great God!
Forsaken Covenant With David
Why is God bringing all this destruction upon the royal family sitting on David’s throne? “And I will prepare destroyers against thee, every one with his weapons: and they shall cut down thy choice cedars, and cast them into the fire. And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this great city? Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them” (Jeremiah 22:7-9). They are punished because they forsook the covenant God made with David regarding that throne in England. The royal family has not yet entered into the new covenant with God. But they are nevertheless a part of God’s covenant with David because they sit on David’s throne. God gave them the honor, and with it came a heavy responsibility.
“And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (2 Samuel 7:12-13). God told David that his son Solomon would build His house, the temple, and that David’s throne would be established forever.
That throne continues to this day in England because of God’s covenant with David. The king spoke of this covenant just before he died. “Now these are the last words of David: The oracle of David, the son of Jesse, the oracle of the man who was raised on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, the sweet psalmist of Israel …. Yea, does not my house stand so with God? For he has made with me an everlasting covenant, ordered in all things and secure. For will he not cause to prosper all my help and my desire?” (2 Samuel 23:1, 5, rsv). God made an everlasting covenant with David. The throne of David will never cease, even throughout eternity! (Isaiah 9:6-7). Anybody who sits on that throne today is a part of that special throne covenant made with King David whether they know it or not. Or whether they like it or not.
“He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever” (2 Samuel 7:13). The Hebrew word for “name” could also be translated family. The covenant was made so that this throne would be a part of God’s Family.
God gave them a clear warning in the Bible about how they would be corrected if they sinned. “I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men” (verse 14). God wanted to make the ruler His son (or daughter), and He would be their Father. It’s a God Family throne. If the rulers on that throne sin, God said He would chasten them with the stripes of men. Often that means God would cause them to be defeated in significant military battles or wars.
The rulers of David’s throne and of Israel are about to suffer their worst defeat ever if they don’t repent. It will be the worst time of suffering ever on this Earth.
However, David’s throne always continues. “But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever. According to all these words, and according to all this vision, so did Nathan speak unto David” (verses 15-17). That throne must continue. Christ will sit on it when He returns. It was established forever. All we have to do is believe God—believe what He says in the Bible.
What if the royal family of Britain fails to heed this extremely strong warning? God will send destroyers against the rulers sitting on David’s throne who forsake God’s covenant with David (Jeremiah 22:7-9). Jeremiah is very descriptive of their end. “Therefore thus saith the Lord concerning Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah; They shall not lament for him, saying, Ah my brother! or, Ah sister! they shall not lament for him, saying, Ah lord! or, Ah his glory! He shall be buried with the burial of an ass, drawn and cast forth beyond the gates of Jerusalem” (verses 18-19). The ancient rulers were only a type of what is to happen in this end time. The royal family of Britain will receive the “burial of an ass” if they don’t repent!
The conquerors won’t refer to the royal family as “Ah lord!” or “Ah his glory!” They won’t call them “Your Royal Majesty” or “Your Royal Highness.” The throne in Britain is the greatest royalty the world has ever known! Do our people ever ask why? How did such an unparalleled royalty begin? How did it develop? It happened for only one reason: God’s covenant with David. The royal family of Britain will get the same type of treatment they have rendered to the royal Family of God! That is why British royalty will receive the burial of an ass if they don’t repent. Nothing majestic about that end. That is how God corrects them for their evil.
A Covenant With the Levites
At the same time God made a special covenant with David, He also made a covenant with the Levites, or God’s ministry. The question is, why?
“Moreover the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:1-3). Jeremiah was still in prison. The expression “mighty things” means “hidden things” in Hebrew. That means God’s revelation was given to Jeremiah—“that which you know not.” So if we are going to understand about David’s throne, we must have it revealed to us by God. It is beyond man’s knowledge.
If you find God’s Work today, God will still be revealing secrets “which you know not.” Just as in Jeremiah’s time, it will revolve around a man. The revelation came to one man—Jeremiah. That method eliminates great confusion. God didn’t reveal to Jeremiah and Baruch or a group of men. God still uses one man, even if that man is imprisoned in a muddy dungeon as Jeremiah was. And so it is today.
That means if you are going to find God, you must look for His revelation from God’s man, but he will not be a man of stature in this world! The person to whom God gives revelation will not be exalted in this society. Instead, he and his followers are persecuted by this world as Jeremiah was.
Much of Jeremiah’s book was inspired while he was in prison. No matter where you find God’s revealed prophecy or truth, cling to it—even if it emanates from a dark dungeon. Find the man to whom God is revealing His truth.
“For thus says the Lord: David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, and the Levitical priests shall never lack a man in my presence to offer burnt offerings, to burn cereal offerings, and to make sacrifices for ever” (verses 17-18, rsv). This is the temple service that was performed by the priests. God’s Church is His temple today.
Here is a two-fold covenant. God made a covenant that David’s throne would never lack for a ruler. He also promised that there would always be a true ministry to teach the revealed truth about that throne. This is an unbreakable promise from the omnipotent God that there would be a continual flow of new revelation about that throne in the end time. You are reading that revelation now. This very moment you are a part of this prophecy! The amazing truth of David’s throne is a major part of our whole work. That is why our television program is called The Key of David today.
“And the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; if ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers” (verses 19-21). Breaking these two covenants with David and with the Levites is just as impossible as breaking God’s covenant with day and night. Man can’t stop the Earth from turning on its axis; neither can he break these two covenants. The fulfilling of these two covenants is more certain than day and night!
Herbert W. Armstrong fulfilled God’s end-time covenant concerning the ministry. “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:7-8). God gave Mr. Armstrong the key of David. That was specifically revealed through his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy. Only God’s end-time Elijah was commissioned to restore the key of David (Matthew 17:10-11). That is why we print that same book by Mr. Armstrong. Nobody else was commissioned by God to produce their own version after he died. God is using the Philadelphia Church of God to build on the foundation that Mr. Armstrong laid. The pcg has built on that foundation. We have a booklet titled The Key of David. God has revealed a much fuller understanding of the book of Jeremiah to our Church.
God established His government through Mr. Armstrong
—one man. It is the same government that is to be administered from the throne of David forever! All of God’s Laodicean churches today have rejected that government. That is why God no longer reveals new truth to them. But God has deluged the pcg with new revelation, and it will continue to flow to God’s very elect. That is how God is fulfilling His special covenant with the ministry today, related to David’s throne.
God calls the ministry which fulfills that covenant today “my ministers” (Jeremiah 33:21). God’s ministers are the modern-day Levites. They teach God’s revealed truth about David’s throne (verse 22).
Those people who are loyal to God will be called “Your Majesty” or “Your Royal Highness” forever! They are the true royalty of God today. They will rule from David’s throne for all eternity.
A Great Work
Jeremiah worked extremely hard to deliver God’s message to Judah. “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the Lord hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened” (Jeremiah 25:3). His routine was “rising early and speaking.” This expression is used 12 times in the Bible. Jeremiah uses it 11 times. It simply means that he was very urgent and hard-working in getting the Work done.
Where did he get that urgency? “And the Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear” (verse 4). God was always urgent and hard-working in sending prophets to warn Judah. Jeremiah was being inspired by God. Here is the key to our success in God’s Work. We must be urgent the way God is! There is nothing more urgent than getting God’s Work done! Are we filled with God’s urgency? That means God’s Work must become our work.
This is why so few people are doing God’s Work. Generally an individual doesn’t love God and His Work more than he does his own life. His individual work is more important than God’s Work. The very elect know that they work for God. And nothing is more urgent. How rare are such people on this Earth.
God will send the king of the north to conquer our people (verses 5-9). Anciently, it happened exactly as Jeremiah prophesied. But again, this was only a type of what is coming upon America, Britain and Israel (biblical Judah) in this end time. How could a message be more urgent?
“Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle” (verse 10). The voice of happiness will disappear. We need to look at this verse spiritually. The voice of the bridegroom—Christ—and the voice of the bride—God’s wife, the very elect—will disappear. The “light of the candle,” or lamp, is going out. That lamp is burning in God’s very elect Church (Revelation 2 and 3). That means God’s message will stop, except for the two witnesses in the Great Tribulation. There will be a “famine in the land … of hearing the words of the Lord” (Amos 8:11).
Where is the lamp today? Where is the bride? If you know where the bridegroom is, you know where the bride is! God’s very elect know who they are. They also know they are the only ones delivering God’s revealed message. Only they have God’s lamp in this dark world. If you can’t see God’s only lamp in this dark world, you are blind. And God’s very elect know how terrifyingly black it will become spiritually in this world when they are taken to a place of safety. Then the Work as we know it today will come to an end. Nobody else can repent and escape the Tribulation.
How could a work be more urgent?
“And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations” (Jeremiah 25:11-13). After Israel, it will be Babylon’s time to suffer punishment. These prophecies of Jeremiah are “against all the nations.”
Jeremiah only went to Judah. This is a prophecy that only the pcg can totally fulfill. God is warning the whole world about “all that is written in this book” of Jeremiah. Only the pcg understands what Jeremiah prophesies about God’s Laodicean Church. And only we directly see Babylon rising in power and getting ready to attack its “lovers.” Only we have the message and the power to deliver it!
God is revealing all of the book of Jeremiah to the pcg. That new revelation is added to the foundational revelations given to Herbert W. Armstrong. But only we understand all the words of Jeremiah. Only we can fulfill this prophecy completely.
Here is what sets God’s very elect apart. They know that God’s revelation comes only to them. They know this means a heavy responsibility. They must deliver that revelation to the entire world. Only they have the message to deliver!
This prophecy is aimed directly at the pcg today. We must urgently get the message delivered. It is the people of Israel’s only hope. This message is against them. They must repent to be saved from the worst catastrophe ever! “For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands. For thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it” (verses 14-15). We are to “cause all the nations … to drink it.” Cause is a strong verb. It depicts the kind of effort God expects from us. It is a cause that includes God’s strong judgment.
“And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them. Then took I the cup at the Lord’s hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent me” (verses 16-17). The word “drink” in verse 16 is a more intense Hebrew word than the word “drink” used in verses 15 and 17. That means this message must be very intense to the point that it stirs people to “be mad”! It is the most difficult message they or anyone else have ever heard!
God will send all the words of Jeremiah to all the nations of this world. And it’s a message of the worst suffering ever. It’s such a nightmarish message that it will drive people mad.
God says we must cause the nations to drink. A courageous and vigorous message must be delivered. It will take the urgency and courage of God to fulfill this commission. The nations are not to just glance at the message or take a sip—they must drink. The prophecy states that Jeremiah “made all the nations to drink.” But Jeremiah only wrote this message in a book. He never delivered it. Only we can deliver this message today and make them drink! That means a very powerful warning!
Even these nations in the “utmost corners” must hear the warning! (verse 23). Also those nations in the desert (verse 24). That includes the “mingled people”—the strangers and aliens. Nobody is exempt. This is God’s message to the whole world—every person on this Earth.
What if they don’t heed? “A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth. And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground” (verses 31-33). God has a great controversy with this world. The “slain of the Lord” will be from one end of the Earth to the other. Millions of dead people will be “dung upon the ground.” They won’t be “buried.” That is the primary meaning of “heaping up in a mound” (see Gesenius‘ Lexicon). High mounds of dead bodies, like piles of dung or manure, will fill the Earth!
God is going to speak to man in the only language he understands!
Chapter 10: Hope in Anathoth
People label Jeremiah a prophet of doom. He did teach people why they brought short-term doom upon themselves. But he committed one of the strangest acts in the Bible to prove that none of God’s prophets ever came with a greater message of hope!
People came to Jeremiah and asked for God’s words and direction about whether they should stay in their own land or flee to Egypt to escape the armies of Babylon (Jeremiah 42). Jeremiah was the only man from whom they could get God’s answer. He was the only one God was using. Jeremiah told them he would pray and seek God’s will. God didn’t answer immediately. He often builds our faith and patience by allowing us to wait on Him. God is in charge. Jeremiah had the faith and patience to wait on God. The people he was dealing with did not. We must learn from Jeremiah’s good example and the people’s rebellious example.
Ten days went by before Jeremiah returned with God’s answer. But the people didn’t like the answer. “And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the Lord their God, for which the Lord their God had sent him to them, even all these words, Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the Lord our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there: But Baruch the son of Neriah setteth thee on against us, for to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death, and carry us away captives into Babylon” (Jeremiah 43:1-3). The prophet told them exactly what God commanded him to say. But they accused him of falling under the influence of his scribe Baruch.
Here is a critical flaw of human nature. They believed what they wanted to believe. They deceived themselves into believing they were following God. Such behavior is a major reason why this world is in such a crisis. Men and women ask for God’s direction and then reject it because of their pride.
Mankind’s big problem is not an inability to prove God’s existence and understand Him. The problem is mankind’s refusal to understand God’s will!
This is foundational understanding that we must have before we can ever grow spiritually. Without any evidence, these people accused Jeremiah of being misled by his scribe Baruch. I hear such accusations at times. Proud people sometimes say I have fallen under the influence of one of our leading ministers. Their pride has deceived them into rejecting God’s authority.
This message is for today. It was inspired to help us see why men reject God. We must not let our pride lead us astray.
Most of God’s own people in this end time have rejected God’s revelation given to Herbert W. Armstrong. They also reject what God has revealed to the Philadelphia Church of God. They do it because they are too proud to receive God’s revelation (Matthew 11:25).
God reveals only to people who are humble. Before we can totally follow God, we must understand our own human nature and conquer it. We must “become as little children” (Matthew 18:1-3). If we fail to heed God’s commanded message, then terrifying punishment awaits us!
The Potter and the Clay
“So they came into the land of Egypt: for they obeyed not the voice of the Lord: thus came they even to Tahpanhes” (Jeremiah 43:7). The people refused to stay in Judah and trust God to protect them. Instead they went into Egypt and forced Jeremiah to go with them. Taking Jeremiah only added to their sin.
God immediately informed them of the consequences of their actions. “Then came the word of the Lord unto Jeremiah in Tahpanhes, saying, Take great stones in thine hand, and hide them in the clay in the brickkiln, which is at the entry of Pharaoh’s house in Tahpanhes, in the sight of the men of Judah; And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will send and take Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will set his throne upon these stones that I have hid; and he shall spread his royal pavilion over them. And when he cometh, he shall smite the land of Egypt, and deliver such as are for death to death; and such as are for captivity to captivity; and such as are for the sword to the sword” (verses 8-11). Jeremiah warned them about being “clay in the brickkiln”—the furnace of the potter. We are the clay and God is the potter.
Since they refused to hear God’s words and be protected, God told them about His next plan. They would face captivity and death in Egypt—exactly what they feared and were trying to escape!
We must keep the big picture. God is the potter; He continues to shape and mold us—even in concentration camps and facing death!
The bad news is good news in the long run, if we finally respond to God. But be warned. God will take us into a raging furnace if that is what it takes to remove our pride! God has done that repeatedly throughout history!
Webster’s Dictionary defines “kiln” this way: “An oven, furnace or heated enclosure for processing a substance by burning, firing or drying.” This is “the refiner’s fire.” We are the clay.
This is still very good news. God won’t give up on us until we give up on Him. That means there is a splendid hope in this great suffering! God is only giving us the punishment that is required to make us moldable clay in His hands! God is the potter.
This is Jeremiah’s message of hope for the end time. First, God delivers the warning message, hoping we will heed. If we don’t, then God heats up the fiery furnace of captivity and death in an effort to refine us.
God only gives us the correction that our hardness requires. He takes His very elect to a place of safety (Revelation 12:14). His own Laodicean Church is plunged into a nuclear holocaust with the nations of Israel (verse 17).
This is the message we must declare to God’s lukewarm people and Israel. God is now preparing the fiery nuclear furnace.
“And I will kindle a fire in the houses of the gods of Egypt; and he shall burn them, and carry them away captives: and he shall array himself with the land of Egypt, as a shepherd putteth on his garment; and he shall go forth from thence in peace” (Jeremiah 43:12). God is now sending His final appeal to His Church and Israel. This book is an end-time prophecy! (Jeremiah 30:1-9).
God is about to shatter the power of His holy people (Daniel 12:7). This calamity is building now. The curses will come like waves in the sea, until we repent.
God’s goal is always to bring men to repentance.
Is that bad news? Not in the long run. The bad news is when God is no longer the potter and men have rejected His loving correction. Then the clay is no longer usable. There is no more hope that they can become members of God’s Family.
These are very specific warnings. And it gets even more specific! Why won’t we all heed God’s word now? This warning is aimed at you.
God addresses His Church first of all. “The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews which dwell in the land of Egypt …. Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah; and, behold, this day they are a desolation, and no man dwelleth therein, Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers” (Jeremiah 44:1-3). Jerusalem and the cities of Judah were emptied of human beings—“so no man dwelleth therein”! This is a thunderous warning of the crisis we will experience very soon!
These people turned to “other gods, whom they knew not.” Today, God is addressing those in His Laodicean Church, which knew the true God and then turned to the gods of this world that they did not know. They would have only known those gods had they not known the true God. They have rejected God’s rule. They went from God into the world.
Let’s not forget that these are end-time prophecies. “Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate. But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods” (verses 4-5). God always sends His prophets to warn. He does the same today. Still, they “burn incense to other gods.” This refers to the temple worship.
The Laodiceans are still religious, but they are not worshiping the true God! They refuse to return to the true God.
Then comes the fiery furnace. “Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day. Therefore now thus saith the Lord, the God of hosts, the God of Israel; Wherefore commit ye this great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, child and suckling, out of Judah, to leave you none to remain; In that ye provoke me unto wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense unto other gods in the land of Egypt, whither ye be gone to dwell, that ye might cut yourselves off, and that ye might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth?” (verses 6-8). God relates that the Laodiceans knew God and then cut themselves off. This prophecy could only apply to God’s own people. The Laodiceans and nations of Israel are cursed and eventually scorned by “all the nations of the earth.”
Royalty and Wives Warned Too
God’s people are following the wrong examples. “Have ye forgotten the wickedness of your fathers, and the wickedness of the kings of Judah, and the wickedness of their wives, and your own wickedness, and the wickedness of your wives, which they have committed in the land of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem?” (verse 9). The kings of Judah and their royal wives were setting bad examples on David’s throne. And the same evil is rampant today.
Look at the example set on David’s throne today. God is deeply concerned and prophesies His warning. Queen Elizabeth ii sent the stone of David’s throne to Scotland. That stone is a symbol of Christ Himself! (Our free booklet The Key of David explains how.) Now their Protector has left them! Perhaps the Queen doesn’t understand how she has made her throne vulnerable to Satan’s attack! Satan is now attacking that throne as never before. The Queen could hardly have made a bigger mistake!
Prince Charles has publicly lived in an adulterous relationship with a married lady. Princess Diana went from one sordid adultery to another, while the whole world ogled and many followed her example! Since her death, she has widely been viewed as a saint! In truth, she was in the vanguard of a spirit that turned our families upside down!
God thunders that these are nation-destroying problems!
When she married, Princess Diana had the word “obey” removed from the wedding ceremony. She didn’t want to obey her husband, and Charles shamefully agreed! God holds him more accountable. Herbert Armstrong prophesied that the royal marriage would fail because of that serious omission.
Princess Diana led an unparalleled rise of feminism and rebellion against God’s law and the marriage covenant of God. It is blatant rebellion against God, and it is wrecking the families in Israel. It leads to Sodom and Gomorrah!
The family is a God-plane relationship. It was designed to prepare us to enter the God Family forever! Distorting God’s intent or ignoring His instruction regarding that relationship is a very serious problem. Men and women must repent of their evil, or they have no future beyond this life! They are fighting God!
“As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths” (Isaiah 3:12). This is end-time prophecy also. Who is God addressing? In the context, we see that Zion is the focus—“my people.” Zion is God’s Church. Women today say they are seeking a 50-50 marriage, but in truth their goal is to rule! It is an affront to God—open rebellion against Him!
“Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet” (verse 16). These daughters are haughty and proud. They lack humility.
What will God do to correct the situation? “Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts” (verse 17). They will be smitten with scabs and stripped naked. God will humble them until they accept His rule.
“In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon” (verse 18). “In that day” means this is an end-time prophecy. This occurs just before Christ’s return.
“And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty” (verse 24). God will plunge Israel into concentration camps and death! World War ii was mild by comparison.
This horrendous destruction is described in the context of family rebellion. Israel wants upside-down marriages, and God’s Laodicean Church wants an upside-down spiritual marriage. The Laodiceans don’t want Christ to rule His Bride. That is the worst possible mistake they could make. God will not have it.
Their future is very dark, until they learn this lesson!
Where have they gone astray? “They are not humbled even unto this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in my law, nor in my statutes, that I set before you and before your fathers” (Jeremiah 44:10). These royal members have broken God’s law against fornication and adultery! And it is leading America and Britain into destruction.
God’s own Church has been affected—men and women and children. They too have rebelled against God’s law and government, and now God will punish His Church for following the world instead of leading it in righteousness.
Here is what the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary states about the words “they” and “you” in verse 10: “The third person [they] puts them to a distance from God, on account of their alienating themselves from Him. The second person [you] implies that God formerly had directly addressed them.” The word “you” is how God addresses His own disciples (Matthew 24:4, 9).
These were God’s own people who were receiving revelation directly from God and then rebelled in this end time.
The law and statutes were “set before you.” The word translated “set” can even mean “make a covenant.” That is exactly what God did with His own people. He made a covenant with them—a marriage covenant. They became the Bride of Christ.
God set the law before His Church only. Then they committed spiritual adultery by turning to other gods. The Laodiceans are following the spirit of those ruling on David’s throne. God punishes for physical and spiritual adultery.
Anciently, God sent only one man to warn them—Jeremiah. He was the physical head of God’s government. And today, God sends one man to warn His Church and Israel. That warning message is supported by God’s very elect. You are reading that warning. Only the Philadelphia Church of God submits to God’s law and government today—the same government taught by Herbert W. Armstrong. God used Mr. Armstrong to set His government and law before us in this end time.
The Laodiceans have rejected that government. Only the pcg remembers and keeps God’s government!
“Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will set my face against you for evil, and to cut off all Judah” (Jeremiah 44:11). Do you have any idea what it means to have God “against you”? This is what God’s Laodiceans face today. If they fail to repent now, they should be terrified!
The Queen of Heaven
“Then all the men which knew that their wives had burned incense unto other gods, and all the women that stood by, a great multitude, even all the people that dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah” (verse 15). These men knew that their wives had turned to other gods. Like Adam, they just followed along. This is only a type of what the Laodicean husbands and wives are doing today. Generally, the wives are leading the men. These men and women of God are following the world as marriages are being turned upside down. Children’s minds are being twisted and warped by their dysfunctional families. They know God’s way and reject it through self-deceit.
“As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee” (verse 16). Just like in chapter 43, they rejected Jeremiah’s authority from God. And again, the same is true today.
We don’t have just some tiny little doctrinal differences with the Laodiceans. We are keeping God’s government. They are rejecting God’s government—and know it! They were taught government through Mr. Armstrong, as were all of God’s people. God says they are without excuse!
“But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals, and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine. And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven, and poured out drink offerings unto her, did we make her cakes to worship her, and pour out drink offerings unto her, without our men?” (Jeremiah 44:17-19).
These ladies turned religion into a female-dominated worship. They didn’t do it “without our men,” or their husbands. That means the men had full knowledge of the women ruling their religion and their homes.
This was audacious and brazen public rebellion against God’s family plan! This was a group of leading women addressing God’s Prophet Jeremiah! They weren’t afraid of God’s government. And the weak men went along.
These treacherous women knew they were not responsible for their false religious practices if their husbands approved (Numbers 30:7). Since their husbands approved, they said the men were responsible! And that is also true today.
God holds the men accountable for leading the families. They are commanded to lead the women in love and even die for them if need be. That is what the Church’s Husband, Jesus Christ, did. But the men are also to be the head of the family, as Christ is the Head of the Church.
Just because the husbands are mainly to blame for not leading the family doesn’t mean the women won’t suffer too. They all suffer captivity and death because of their rebellion.
Conspiracy in the Priesthood
Where is there any real hope in this world? Jeremiah was surrounded by the total collapse of Judah’s freedom. It was about to be conquered by Babylon. Still, Jeremiah had great hope and proved it by making an investment which will probably be in our memory forever.
“And the Lord said unto me, A conspiracy is found among the men of Judah, and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers” (Jeremiah 11:9-10). These people broke God’s covenant and “turned back.” Only God’s people today have entered into a covenant with God. Only they can turn back from their covenant. Again we see God describing His own Church.
“What hath my beloved to do in mine house, seeing she hath wrought lewdness with many, and the holy flesh is passed from thee? when thou doest evil, then thou rejoicest” (verse 15). Here God discusses “my beloved in my house”—God’s temple, or His Church today. Just before they are to be plunged into the worst time of suffering ever seen on this Earth, God reminds us that He loves them.
The “holy flesh,” or holy sacrifices, have ceased. They no longer do God’s will. At one time these people were holy to God, but not anymore.
“For the Lord of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee …” (verse 17). God planted this Church. Trace back the history of this Church and you see it was begun by the great God! Focus on who planted them! What a beginning!
That makes the end agonizingly sad. “For the Lord of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal. And the Lord hath given me knowledge of it, and I know it: then thou showedst me their doings. But I was like a lamb or an ox that is brought to the slaughter; and I knew not that they had devised devices against me, saying, Let us destroy the tree with the fruit thereof, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be no more remembered. But, O Lord of hosts, that judgest righteously, that triest the reins and the heart, let me see thy vengeance on them: for unto thee have I revealed my cause. Therefore thus saith the Lord of the men of Anathoth, that seek thy life, saying, Prophesy not in the name of the Lord, that thou die not by our hand” (verses 17-21). God’s own priesthood was secretly plotting to kill Jeremiah! At the time, Jeremiah knew nothing about it.
What does that mean for the very elect who are delivering Jeremiah’s message today? It means the priests God planted and raised up will have the most evil thoughts and deeds toward God’s very elect! At one time they delivered the very prophecy of God. Now they are bitterly working to destroy that message and the messenger! They were fighting for God. Now they are fighting God.
“And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the Lord. But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not” (Amos 2:11-12). This is the same end-time problem that Jeremiah prophesied. God says, “I raised up of your sons.” God raised up these ministers to prophesy. They did so, but then stopped. They were sober and became drunk. Then they hated and tried to destroy the same message they had prophesied in the past.
So who is prophesying about new godly revelation from the books of Jeremiah and Amos today? There you will find God! And who is fighting against that prophecy? There you will find the Laodiceans! You can easily see this battle today within God’s Church.
One vivid example was our court battle over Mystery of the Ages. That was just one big part of this prophecy being fulfilled right now. Fighting for that book was our greatest honor!
You can see this battle raging in every major and minor prophet of the Bible. It’s painfully obvious in God’s Church—Philadelphians versus Laodiceans.
Hope in Anathoth
The evil priests who tried to kill Jeremiah and his message lived in Anathoth. This was where Jeremiah was born. Today it is a little community called Anata, just outside Jerusalem. I have done a television program from there.
Anathoth was a city of God’s own priests. It was assigned to the Levites, a type of God’s ministers today. Is there an Anathoth today? God’s end-time Work and college were raised up in Pasadena, California, by Herbert W. Armstrong. As far as I know, all of God’s ministers received some kind of training there. That is where I got my degree.
I still believe the same message I was taught there. Mystery of the Ages was produced from there. We fought in a fierce court battle over that book, against ministers from the same Church that Herbert Armstrong was used to raise up in that same city!
God gives us ample warning of what would emanate from that city today! God warns His very elect that our worst enemies will come from within God’s own Church! It is prophesied to happen. Be vigilant.
Delivering God’s message is no small challenge. But what a fabulous reward God gives us for doing so.
God promises to punish them for their evil. “Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will punish them: the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine: And there shall be no remnant of them: for I will bring evil upon the men of Anathoth, even the year of their visitation” (Jeremiah 11:22-23). No remnant of them is left. These ministers who do the plotting against Jeremiah’s message today will probably be a part of the 50 percent of the Laodiceans who die forever! (Matthew 25:1-10). God help the poor rebels who fight against God.
Even in the midst of betrayal and adversity, Jeremiah still had great hope. “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house” (Jeremiah 32:1-2). The end of Judah was dangerously near. The Babylonian armies had already surrounded Jerusalem. Jeremiah was in prison. Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, was sitting on the throne of David. This evil king actually imprisoned God’s prophet at this critical juncture. The king hated Jeremiah’s message. There was no way out, except God’s way, which the king and the people rejected (verses 3-5).
Then Jeremiah was inspired by God to make a strange decision. Just before the whole area fell to Babylon, Jeremiah purchased a plot of land in Anathoth from his prison cell. This was probably the most spiritually evil city in Judah. The priests led a revolt against God from there.
“Behold the mounts, they are come unto the city to take it; and the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans, that fight against it, because of the sword, and of the famine, and of the pestilence: and what thou hast spoken is come to pass; and, behold, thou seest it. And thou hast said unto me, O Lord God, Buy thee the field for money, and take witnesses; for the city is given into the hand of the Chaldeans” (verses 24-25). Why such an act? God is sending an inspiring message through that purchase of real estate. At the very moment Judah was under siege by Babylon, Jeremiah bought a plot of land in Anathoth.
Israel today is about to lose its land just like Judah did. That includes America, Britain and biblical Judah (the land called Israel today). But we know, as Jeremiah knew, that God will also bring His people back to their land after 31/2 years of Tribulation.
We must see the imminent collapse of Israel, but like God and Jeremiah, we must see the wonderful World Tomorrow. Then Christ will be ruling the world from David’s throne.
Christ’s future rule on this Earth ought to be as real as a piece of real estate in Pasadena, California! We tend to only see the problems on this Earth and not God’s overall plan.
We should be willing to invest our time, money and effort in God’s glorious Work today. God’s Work will usher in the wonderful World Tomorrow. Doing God’s Work is an investment in that incredible future!
Jeremiah was no prophet of doom. He had the greatest vision in the Bible, clearly focused. If we keep this vision in our minds, we shall never be overcome by discouragement!
Jeremiah was not even allowed to take a wife and have a family (Jeremiah 16:1-2). He was willing to make that sacrifice—in fact, any sacrifice—for God. He kept his mind filled with the greatest vision in the Bible.
So must we.