“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the emptiness of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to licentiousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which is corrupted according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 4:17-24
One wonders with all of the current directions, often negative, that this world is going in, why people can’t see how the foundations for a futuristic, perhaps near term, end of the world scenario, as prophesied in the Bible, appears to be on the edge of fruition.
A couple of days ago I watched part of a DVD video that I own called A Distant Thunder. I didn’t make it through the whole video, but there was a scene that seemed to be very relevant to the very day and age in which we live, though the Rapture hasn’t taken place yet and people have yet to have been Left Behind.
In this scene and from previous scenes, there is this pastor who preached humanism, who didn’t really believe God’s Word, the Bible and simply believed that Jesus was a great teacher. He scoffed, though allowed an evangelist to preach in his church about the Rapture and Tribulation.
Afterwards he goes through the emotions of knowing that he was wrong, realizing that his false and apostate preaching had caused those whom listened to him to be Left Behind and then sets out to take the Bible seriously, believing God’s Word and warning those who still attend his church.
These particular movies are interesting and have a decent amount of Bible truth in them. There are certain aspects I disagree with and wonder if someone who knew and refused to believe the truth (the pastor) would not be ceased with the ‘strong delusion’ (2 Thes. 2:11) and would rather ‘believe the lie’. Yet for the sake of argument, even though it is a fictional film based off of many Bible truths, the following scene was rather dramatic when considering the current course of our world.
In this scene the pastor is preaching and hollering out from the pulpit as to why people will not listen now. He hollers that he is now telling them the truth and they do not want to see it. He questions if they can’t see clearly that the things that the Bible speaks of are actually happening and once again wonders why they don’t listen.
When the camera pans out you see that the church is blocked from entry from the Antichrist world government system and he was preaching to empty pews, though in a previous scene he had reiterated some of the same things and there were a few people listening, but rather not seemingly believing the preacher at the same time.
This scene particularly struck me as I also ponder these things and wonder why people can’t see what is going on now. Why they are not watching and ready (Matt. 24:42 & 44)?
Or rather I become extremely frustrated on many different aspects, one of which is the pastors at the vast majority of churches who are refusing to warn their congregations of these things, as we see the time growing closer (Heb. 10:25). Literally the whole world is being led astray, just as the Bible said it would:
“So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who leads the whole world astray; he was cast out onto the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” Revelation 12:9
Recently I decided to visit a different church than the one I normally attend. I was interested in seeing what state the churches are really in. The one that my family and I currently attend might be small in attendance, but the pastor there fearfully preaches correctly from the Bible, before God.
My intent became to attend a ‘regular’ conservative church and then also I was going to attend a ‘modern’ church to see what exactly the atmosphere, holiness, reachability of those in attendance might be. For I struggle to find even so called Christians to talk about the things of God. Most do not want to have a Bible study or have any sort of deep doctrinal discussion, of which usually their lives reflect it.
What I was surprised about with the ‘modern’ churches was that none of them had a Sunday night (or even Wednesday night) service anymore, at least the couple bigger ones that I had thought about stopping into. However, I did make it to the ‘regular’ conservative church (which did have a Sunday evening and Wednesday night service).
With writing this I am not trying and any means to knock the pastor and his sermon. One must understand who he is talking to. Certainly a godly pastor will often by the leading of the Holy Spirit, preach that which is on his heart to the congregation.
In this church, of part of a denomination that was once seen as the bastion of Bible truth, there was a verse mentioned in Nahum, of which the pastor joked that ‘you know the book you probably have read 4 or 5 times’ in a sarcastic tone. Sadly I was one who assuredly have read it more times that that, but as any good pastor knows, most of your congregation will not be diligent Bible readers.
The problem was not necessarily the content of the sermon, but that the sermon was ‘milk’ (1 Pet. 2:2) being fed to potentially newborn babes or at least those, with a fair portion of the congregation being retirement age or older and the basic rudiments having to still be taught to those in attendance (Heb. 5:12). I had spoken to the pastor who told me that the last week he preached a sermon on repentance.
These things need to be heard, these things need to be preached, but where is the growth of the congregation?! Where are those who are ready for more? How many in attendance have not just believed in Jesus (Ja. 2:19), but repented towards God and by faith believed into Jesus as their Lord and Savior, accepting the free gift of Salvation?
…“testifying both to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” Acts 20:21
“Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has established a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has appointed. He has given assurance of this to everyone by raising Him from the dead.” Acts 17:30-31
“For by grace you are saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
“But what does it say? The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the Word of Faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:8-10
I looked around at those in attendance and wondered if I preached a sermon from one of the several articles up here on the website, whether or not the people would stone me or kick me out the door. Then I wondered about those who might hear and through the preaching of God’s Word, through the preaching of the Gospel, even if just one or two in attendance, might actually accept the free gift of Salvation and be Saved.
For clearly the Bible says that in the last days perilous times will come and speaks of apostasy.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, unyielding, slanderers, without self-control, savage, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.” 2nd Timothy 3:1-5
“Beloved, I now write to you this second epistle (in both of which I stir up your pure minds by way of reminder), that you may remember the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and the commandment of us, the apostles of the Lord and Savior, knowing this first: that scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were since the beginning of creation. For of this they are willfully ignorant: that by the Word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same Word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not be unaware of this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is longsuffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with intense burning; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, of what sort ought you to be in holy behavior and godliness, looking for and earnestly hastening unto the coming of the Day of God, through which the heavens will be dissolved, being set on fire, and the elements will melt with intense burning? Nevertheless we, according to His promise, look for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and without blemish; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the unlearned and unstable twist, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. You therefore, beloved, since you know this beforehand, beware also that you not be led away with the error of the wicked, and fall from your own steadfastness. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.” 2nd Peter 3
Also Jesus makes it known the two paths that men can be on and few there are they find the correct one:
“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many entering in through it. Because narrow is the gate and distressing is the way which leads unto life, and there are few who find it. Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them from their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces excellent fruit, but a corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree is not able to produce evil fruit, nor is a corrupt tree able to produce excellent fruit. Every tree that does not produce excellent fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore from their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many works of power in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who work out lawlessness!” Matthew 7:13-23
Irregardless of what the response would be to people who are preached God’s truth with no watering down of His Word, is that not the natural response from a willing heart to those who actually know God? Do we care what people think? Do we worry about having a smaller group of people rather than a larger, if we preach what is laid upon our hearts? Certainly many do, though those who are truly Saved will contend, not with me, nor any preacher, but with Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10), where our works will be tested by fire (1 Cor. 3:13).
Yet, even though I have in my heart a burning desire to warn people to turn towards God, to repent from their wickedness, to seek Him who Created them before it is too late, to tell them to accept Jesus Christ as their Savior, to preach the Gospel, to warn those who are Saved to be ‘watching and ready’, nonetheless, it is ultimately in God’s hands and the timing as to how, if, when and where such preaching may or may not be done, though we all have things that can be done, such as writing this article, waiting to see if perhaps God opens the door to a larger audience.
What we have going on in the world is actually nothing new. The fact that we are surrounded by surmountable evidence that the end is near and that the masses ignore it is not only another prophecy regarding the day and age in which the things that the Bible prophesies will happen is (Matt. 24:37-39), but rather yet another reason to be hollering from the rooftops, knowing that the response will likely be small, even if the message is able to be bolstered across the air waves or from crowd to crowd.
If one studies the Bible, it will become apparent after time that these conditions where they can’t see is nothing new, in fact we are provided examples of that. Looking at the book of Jeremiah, let us examine a couple of such examples.
“And Zedekiah the king sent and had Jeremiah the prophet brought to him at the third gate of the house of Jehovah. And the king said to Jeremiah, I will ask you something. Do not hide anything from me. Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, If I declare it to you, will you not execute me to death? And if I give you advice, you will not give heed to me. So Zedekiah the king swore secretly to Jeremiah, saying, As Jehovah lives, who made our souls, I will not put you to death, nor will I give you into the hand of these men who seek your life. Then Jeremiah said to Zedekiah, Thus says Jehovah the God of Hosts, the God of Israel: If you will come out and go forth to the rulers of the king of Babylon, then your soul shall live, and this city shall not be burned with fire. And you and your house shall live. But if you will not go forth to the rulers of the king of Babylon, then this city shall be given into the hands of the Chaldeans, and they shall burn it with fire, and you shall not escape out of their hand. And Zedekiah the king said to Jeremiah, I am afraid of the Jews who have defected to the Chaldeans, lest they deliver me into their hand, and they abuse me. But Jeremiah said, They shall not deliver you. I beg of you, obey the voice of Jehovah which I am speaking to you; so it shall be well with you, and your soul shall live. But if you refuse to surrender, this is the Word that Jehovah has shown me: Behold, all the women who are left in the house of the king of Judah shall be brought out to the rulers of the king of Babylon, and they shall say, Your friends have enticed you, and have prevailed against you. Your feet have sunk in the mire, and they have turned away. So they shall bring out all your wives and your children to the Chaldeans. And you shall not escape out of their hand, but shall be taken by the hand of the king of Babylon. And this city shall be burned with fire. Then Zedekiah said to Jeremiah, Let no man know of these words, and you shall not die.” Jeremiah 38:14-24
So in this instance we have a very interesting ordeal happen. Jeremiah had declared that Babylon was going to indeed siege Jerusalem as part of God’s judgment, yet the people didn’t listen.
“And command them to go to their masters, saying, Thus says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: Thus you shall say to your masters, I have made the earth, man, and the animals on the face of the earth, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed right to Me. And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant. And I have also given him the beasts of the field to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the time of his land comes. And then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them. And it shall be, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish, says Jehovah, with the sword and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. Therefore, do not listen to your prophets, nor to your fortune tellers, nor to your dreamers, nor to your conjurers, nor to your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon. For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land, and that I should drive you out and you should perish. But the nations who bring their necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, those I will let remain on their own land, says Jehovah. And they shall work it and dwell in it.” Jeremiah 27:4-11
So here Jeremiah, the prophet, as the spokesperson for God, prophesied what God had determined was the near course of events that were going to take place. Here you can also see that there were false prophets, fortune tellers and others that were telling the people that Jeremiah was wrong, that they were not going to serve the king of Babylon. At this point, from a citizen’s standpoint, it was choosing sides, listening to Jeremiah, a prophet of God or other prophets, who also would have said they were speaking on behalf of God, yet they were speaking lies, to see what would come to pass. The Bible tells us the following:
“And if you think in your heart, How shall we know the word which Jehovah has not spoken? when a prophet speaks in the name of Jehovah, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which Jehovah has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” Deuteronomy 18:21-22
Back to the subject of this example given in the Bible regarding the day and age in which we live and likewise the future during the Tribulation, where the same sort of ideas will persist (imagine the amount of evidence there!!!), yet the evidence is already here in our current day and age.
Yet we speak of evidence, how much more evidence did they need in Jerusalem?! Here the example starts with the king coming to Jeremiah to seek what God has to say about the current besieging of Jerusalem. They are nearly at the point of being broken into and fully conquered. The mercy, the abundant mercy of God (Ps. 103:11) is clearly seen here, where God offers their lives as a prize.
Essentially the king is told to raise his hands in the air, surrender unto the Babylonian army, go off to Babylon and live your life. Do not worry about the Babylonian army, they won’t kill you, do not worry about the other Jewish people, they will do you no harm. The king is given a choice, he inquired to know God’s will, God allowed it to be proclaimed through Jeremiah the prophet and now the king has a choice to walk by faith, with what should be some clear sight (the Babylonian army is outside, as Jeremiah proclaimed via God that they would be), yet ultimately he chooses to walk in what is presumably either the fear of man (his co-citizens and leaders) and/or the fear of the Babylonian army. He chose fear over following God and His offer of mercy. Continue reading in your Bible were this passage in the article left off, in order to see that indeed God’s Word came to pass.
Now the situation turns even more precarious, as there are some survivors, the poor and others who were allowed to stay in the area, after the bulk of Israel was swept away to reestablish their lives in Babylon, as God had proclaimed.
Without getting into every detail of this passage, as many studies could be written on it, but simply focusing on the context needed for this current article, in a nutshell the surviving people are worried about the Babylonian army coming back and finishing them off, so they are pondering to go to Egypt, where they presume they will live peaceably and have it much easier then were they currently are living. So before making a decision (though it seems as if the decision was already made in their hearts, they were just hoping the prophet Jeremiah would confirm it) they decided to inquire to God about the way in which they should go and they ask Jeremiah to do so for them.
“Then all the commanders of the forces, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and Jezaniah the son of Hoshaiah, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, came near, and they said to Jeremiah the prophet, Please let us prostrate our supplication to you, and intercede for us to Jehovah your God, even for all this remnant, (for we are left but a few of many, as your eyes behold us), that Jehovah your God may show us the way in which we should walk, and the thing that we should do. And Jeremiah the prophet said to them, I have heard. Behold, I will pray to Jehovah your God according to your words; and it shall be that all the word Jehovah shall answer, I will declare it to you. I will keep nothing back from you. So they said to Jeremiah, Let Jehovah be a true and faithful witness between us, if we do not do even according to all things which Jehovah your God shall send you to us. Whether it is good, or whether it is evil, we will obey the voice of Jehovah our God, to whom we send you; so that it may be well with us when we obey the voice of Jehovah our God.” Jeremiah 42:1-7
As God is faithful, Jeremiah receives an answer and proclaims it to those who had inquired and had promised to ‘do even according to all things which Jehovah your God shall send you to us’. That’s a big promise, they are saying ‘we will do what God says, even if it isn’t what we ‘want’’.
So Jeremiah provides the answer on behalf of God:
“And he called Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the commanders of the forces with him, and all the people from the least even to the greatest, and said to them, Thus says Jehovah the God of Israel, to whom you sent me to present your supplication before Him: If you will still remain in this land, then I will build you and will not pull you down. And I will plant you and will not pluck you up. For I am sorry for you because of the evil that I have brought upon you. Do not be afraid of the king of Babylon, of whom you are afraid. Do not be afraid of him, says Jehovah; for I am with you to save you and to deliver you from his hand. And I will show mercy upon you, so that he may have mercy on you and cause you to return to your own land. But if you say, We will not dwell in this land, nor obey the voice of Jehovah your God, saying, No, but we will go into the land of Egypt, where we shall see no war, nor hear the sound of the shofar, nor hunger for bread; and there we will dwell; then now hear the Word of Jehovah, O remnant of Judah. Thus says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: If you decide to set your faces to go into Egypt, and go to live there, then it shall happen that the sword which you feared shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt. And the famine about which you were anxious shall cling to you there in Egypt; and you shall die there. So shall it be to all the men who set their faces to go into Egypt to live there. They shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence. And none of them shall remain or escape from the evil that I will bring upon them. For thus says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: As My anger and My fury have been poured forth upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so shall My fury be poured forth upon you when you shall enter into Egypt. And you shall be a curse, and a wonder, and a shame, and a reproach; and you shall see this place no more. Jehovah has said concerning you, O remnant of Judah, Do not go into Egypt. Recognize and acknowledge that I have testified against you this day. For you used deceit in your hearts when you sent me to Jehovah your God, saying, Pray for us to Jehovah our God; and according to all that Jehovah our God shall say, declare it to us, and we will do it. And I have declared it to you today; but you have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah your God, nor anything for which He has sent me unto you. Now therefore know and recognize that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, in the place where you desire to go to live.” Jeremiah 42:8-22
So there was a response from the people after Jeremiah had told them:
“And it happened when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking to all the people all the Words of Jehovah their God, for which Jehovah their God had sent him to them, all these Words, that Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men spoke, saying to Jeremiah, You speak falsely! Jehovah our God has not sent you to say, Do not go to Egypt to live there. But Baruch the son of Neriah is inciting you against us, to deliver us into the hand of the Chaldeans, that they might put us to death and to take us captive to Babylon. So Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the commanders of the forces, and all the people, did not obey the voice of Jehovah to live in the land of Judah.” Jeremiah 43:1-4
So of course the people decide to move down to Egypt. Now I want you to consider something for a moment, I want you to consider that Jeremiah was known, hated and now he is still being called a liar, in fact he is being accused of conspiring against these people that they might be put to death. Essentially the people are saying you are lying to us, so that you might get us killed. Really?
Was this not the same Jeremiah that prophesied on behalf of God that Jerusalem was going to be captured? How can’t they see that they came to pass, they ought to really pay attention to what this man has told them that God is saying to them.
How about getting angry at the other prophets who said that the yoke of the king of Babylon would be broken? (Jer. 28:11) How about getting angry at all of those who words that they prophesied, contrary to what Jeremiah had prophesied? Their words did not come to pass! Would that not make sense, were they not the ones lying? How is it that they are blinded? How is it that they still can’t see!
This is exactly the way the world is nowadays! We live in a time where things are progressing, with nothing else needing to happen prior to the Rapture, which occurs before the Tribulation (1 Thes. 4:16-17; Rev. 4:1)(Link) and nobody is paying attention. You can warn them and for the vast majority they simply don’t care.
The same is true with warnings about these false teachers who fill the pulpits preaching what they ought not to, preaching doctrines of demons (1 Tim. 4:1), yet recall that is what the peoples’ ‘itching ears’ want to hear. They like to have an ear full of lies, so that they can continue on in their sin and willful blindness.
Certainly if Jeremiah had come back and stated what they wanted to hear, they would have been glad, but Jeremiah came back not with his opinion, but with a word from God Almighty, the very Creator of the earth that their feet walk upon.
So now, with the mercies of God (Ps. 86:5), here are the people in Egypt and here comes Jeremiah with what could be called one final warning. I know that if I had found myself standing amongst these people, after Jeremiah spoke, I would have cried out to God in repentance and ran back into Israel, casting my cares upon Him (1 Pet. 5:7) and trusting in Him with my whole heart (Pr. 3:5). Yet that is not what the people did.
“Thus says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: You have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem and upon all the cities of Judah. And, behold, today they are a desolation, and no one lives there because of their evil which they have done to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, to serve other gods whom they knew not, they, you, nor your fathers. But I sent to you all My servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not do this abominable thing which I hate! But they did not heed, nor extend their ear to turn from their evil, to burn no incense to other gods. Therefore My fury and My anger was poured out, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. And they are wasted and deserted, as it is this day. Now therefore thus says Jehovah the God of Hosts, the God of Israel: Why do you commit this great evil against your souls, to cut off from you man and woman, child and infant, out of Judah, leaving none remaining; in that you provoke Me to wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to live, that you might cut yourselves off and that you might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? Have you 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 done in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? They have not humbled themselves to this day, nor have they feared, nor walked in My Law, nor in My statutes which I have set before you and before your fathers. Therefore thus says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I will set My face against you for evil, to cut off all Judah. And I will take the remnant of Judah, who have set their faces to go into the land of Egypt to live there; and they shall all be consumed, and fall in the land of Egypt. They shall be destroyed by the sword and by the famine. They shall die, from the least even to the greatest, by the sword and by the famine; and they shall be a curse, a wonder, and a shame, and a reproach. For I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, so that none of the remnant of Judah who have gone into the land of Egypt to live there shall escape or survive, that they should return into the land of Judah to which they have a desire to return to live there. For no one shall return except those who escape.” Jeremiah 44:2-14
So here the people have a clear warning from God, a very scary warning from God. So where they had told Jeremiah he was part of a conspiracy and they were going to die, without any evidence and despite what God had spoken, here now they are reminded that they are going to die and this should be a fact, as the prophet can already be proven to actually be a true prophet of God, and they are being told they are going to die. Their reply is the following:
“And all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, and all the women who stood by, a great multitude, even all the people who lived in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying, As for the Word that you have spoken to us in the name of Jehovah, we will not give heed to you. But we will prepare and do whatever goes forth out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our rulers, in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, and were well-off, and saw no evil. But since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything, and have been consumed by the sword and by famine. And the women also said, when we burned incense to the Queen of Heaven, and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make our cakes in her image, and pour out drink offerings to her without our men?” Jeremiah 44:15-19
I’ll let Jeremiah’s reply suffice for a perfect answer to such a response:
“Then Jeremiah said to all the people, to the men and to the women, and to all the people who had given him that answer, saying: The incense that you burned in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, you, and your fathers, your kings, and your rulers, and the people of the land; did not Jehovah remember them, and did it not come into His mind? Yes, so that Jehovah could no longer hold back because of the evil of your doings, because of the abominations which you have done! Therefore your land is a waste, and a wonder, and a curse, without inhabitant, as it is today. Because you have burned incense, and because you have sinned against Jehovah, and have not obeyed the voice of Jehovah, nor walked in His Law, nor in His statutes, nor did you walk in His testimonies, therefore this evil has happened to you, as it is this day.” Jeremiah 44:20-23
This response is horrific! They are not blaming their sins, as the world will likely not also during the Tribulation for there are two occasions recorded for us about future attitudes during the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7) that show that even as cosmic events and untold catastrophes are happening, not only will the people acknowledge that it is coming from God, but they will –still- refuse to repent (Rev. 9:20-21;16:9).
So finally God responds to this folly:
“Moreover Jeremiah said to all the people and to all the women, Hear the Word of Jehovah, all Judah who are in the land of Egypt. Thus says Jehovah of Hosts, the God of Israel, saying: You and your wives have both spoken with your mouths, and fulfilled with your hands, saying, We will prepare and celebrate our vows that we have vowed, to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven, and to pour out drink offerings to her. You will arise and carry out your vows, and prepare and celebrate your vows. Therefore hear the Word of Jehovah, all Judah that lives in the land of Egypt: Behold, I have sworn by My great name, says Jehovah, that My name shall no more be named in the mouth of any man of Judah in all the land of Egypt, saying, The Lord Jehovah lives. Behold, I will watch over them for evil, and not for good. And all the men of Judah in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end to them. Yet a small number that escapes the sword shall return out of the land of Egypt into the land of Judah; and all the remnant of Judah, who have gone into the land of Egypt to live there, shall know whose word shall stand, Mine or theirs. And this shall be a sign to you, says Jehovah, that I will punish you in this place, so that you may know that My Words shall be established and confirmed against you for evil. Thus says Jehovah, Behold, I am giving Pharaoh-hophra, king of Egypt, into the hand of his enemies, and into the hand of those who seek his life, just as I gave Zedekiah king of Judah into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, his enemy that sought his life.” Jeremiah 44:24-30
Essentially what God is reiterating is that His word will stand and as that was how they wanted it, then certainly that was what they were going to do. If you read on you will see clearly that what happens is exactly as God proclaimed would happen.
Now what is coming upon this world in the future will also happen just as God proclaimed it would happen through His Word. The masses can’t see it, the vast majority of people don’t want to hear it. What about you, dear reader, can you see it? Will you believe what God has spoken through His Word?
Will you seek God before it is too late or will you be led away with the masses? Do not be one who can’t see, but rather open your eyes and look around before it is too late. Open the door of your heart, repent and believe the Gospel (Mk. 1:15).
“So when this comes to pass (surely it will come); then they will know that a prophet has been among them.” Ezekiel 33:33