Chapter 7

A Blind Church

From the book Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible

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 whores 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. Gods 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 Fatherthe 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 Christs end-time wife. Can she follow her Husband when the majority in Gods 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 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 hear God’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.

But why?

God’s people have rejected the Work God gave them to do. They should be helping the pcg deliver Jeremiahs 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 Davids 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” (verse 12). 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!

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 Jeremiahs 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 Lords 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 once sat 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 70 years about that throne. God is acutely concerned about that throne, regardless of their pride! There is abundant proof that it was David’s throne, the very throne Christ will sit on when He returns.

The reason people reject what we teach about Davids 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 goeth 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.

Gods true royalty is delivering Jeremiahs 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 have been scattered. This is a staggering tragedy.

Those ministers responsible are under a curse (Malachi 2:1-4). They had a beautiful flock “given” to them for a great work. But then the flock became as worthless as Jeremiahs 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 is gone 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 Gods own Church is in darkness.

There is yet a great work to be done, but 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 Gods 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!

Continue Reading: Chapter 8: No Hope in Man