Chapter 1

Jeremiah’s Commission

From the book Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible

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.

Jeremiah 30:3 says God “will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah ….” Notice this is addressed to Israel and Judah (see verse 4 also). Jeremiah personally went only to Judah. The word Jew is 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 will soon 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 only they would 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 Gods 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.

Jeremiah’s Commission

“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 prophets 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 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 Biblethe 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 Gods 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 Jeremiahs 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.

The Watcher

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 is thus what the cock is among 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 didnt 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 Gods 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” (Jeremiah 1:17). 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 a Hebrew word that 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 itor 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!

Rachel’s Tomb

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 Bethlehem. 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; Rahel [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 are about to 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 really she only knew her son Joseph, who had two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (ancestors of 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 ishope 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 Nebuzaradan 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 Rachels 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!

Muddy Dungeon

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 Ebedmelech 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; Ebedmelech 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 Ebedmelech. He was an Ethiopian, apparently part of a black minority. There was no bread for Jeremiah. He would have died shortly if Ebedmelech had not personally gone to the king.

“Then the king commanded Ebedmelech the Ethiopian, saying, Take from hence thirty men with thee, and take up Jeremiah the prophet out of the dungeon, before he die. So Ebedmelech 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 Ebedmelech 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 Ebedmelech freed Jeremiah from the dungeon as the king had directed. Jeremiah was allowed to live in the prison court under much less confining conditions.

No Respecter of Persons

What happened to Ebedmelech? 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 Ebedmelech 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. Ebedmelech trusted God when very few did. He helped Jeremiah when it was dangerous to do so!

It always pays to trust God. Ebedmelech 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! Ebedmelech 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. Ebedmelech 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.

Ebedmelech 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. Thats 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. Gods people must avoid Baruchs error and keep Jeremiahs vision to endure future trials.

Baruch was in Jeremiah’s party. They had Jacob’s pillar stone, which remained with David’s throne until 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 book 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 thy 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. Mr. 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 Gods 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—its 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!

Continue Reading: Chapter 2: Laodicean Failure