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These are brief sermons to be
taken for what they are worth.

Turn you every individual Christian from your evil way.

You can also download this study as a pdf file.

Volume 1, Study 18

    Jeremiah 26:3-4)  If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings.

        This study follows on the heels of the last study, which I wrote only last week. Before getting out of bed this morning I prayed and reached over for my little Bible and it opened at Jeremiah 26 where essentially the ongoing theme regarding God’s intent toward Judah and Jerusalem was being prophesied. It would be good if the reader first read Volume 1, Study 17 before continuing here. That study was from Isaiah regarding the northern kingdom, the southern kingdom, and the holy city Jerusalem; and so I will give the preceding paragraphs of it here, which amounts to a short history lesson.

 Long before the time of Isaiah -

         Ephraim and Manasseh, tribes descendent from the two sons of the great Joseph, were large and powerful among the twelve tribes of the kingdom of Israel. God had greatly blessed them, they were geographically located in the center of God’s people, and they had never understood why one of them, sons of Joseph, had not been chosen as the tribe for Israel’s kings. The first king was Saul of the tribe of Benjamin. But God changed the throne to the tribe of Judah, whereupon David, by faith, became a great conqueror and expanded Israel’s borders, whereupon David’s son, Solomon, expanded the prestige and wealth of the realm to greatness among all the kingdoms. Even in neighboring Egypt, Pharaoh’s house…very long ago managed in faith by the great Joseph…highly esteemed Israel and acknowledged Israel’s God as a great God.

        This esteem by the world was enjoyed by all of Israel’s tribes and they grew them in wealth. Ah, but the building up and maintenance of Solomon’s grandeur, which glorified the land of Judah more than the other tribal lands, necessitated increasing taxes upon the people. King David had not taxed the people, as his kingdom had depended upon spoils of war and yearly tribute from Israel’s conquered nations. Taxes, then, came to the people by way of Solomon; and people through the ages have never liked taxes. But these taxes were not terribly bad in that all the little boats of the tribes were rising on the great tide of wealth that was floating Solomon’s boat.

        However, Solomon died and a son, Rehoboam, gained the throne. His name means ‘may the people expand’. David had greatly expanded the kingdom in area and conquests. Solomon had greatly expanded the kingdom in prestige and in riches. We do not know the plans of Rehoboam, but we know that very quickly he sought to become greater than his father and he levied more taxes upon the people; after all, the people were going to be greatly blessed by his government. (It kind of reminds me of our new administration in Washington.) This levy caused rumbling among the people. Tribal leaders (princes and aristocrats) gathered in Jerusalem and sought audience with the king. They laid out their requests and the logic behind their requests. The new king, shunning advice from the throne’s elder advisers, sought advice from the young princes of the realm with whom he had been raised and who greatly admired him. The meeting was received by the king as an insult and he responded by insulting the people’s delegation with the levy being made even harsher.

        These angry leaders returned home and soon most of them, with their people’s consent, leagued together against the government in Jerusalem, with the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh taking the lead. All the tribes north of the tribal land of Benjamin on both sides of the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee associated together and declared that they were the true Kingdom of Israel. Thus, they had cut off the tribes of Benjamin, Judah, and Simeon…which were the tribes of the south faithful to the Davidic throne.

        Therefore, within the chronicles of the Bible, the southern tribes became known as the southern kingdom or ‘Judah’, and the tribe of Judah (with the other two tribes in the one kingdom) became the supporters and maintainers of the Mosaic Law and the Davidic throne. The northern tribes became known as ‘Israel’. Jeroboam was its first king.

        In contempt for the Jerusalem government (which was fully incorporated with the Mosaic priesthood, temple, and sacrifices), which had harshly taxed them, the newly crowned king of Israel (and Israel’s following kings) decided to initiate another version of the religion and law of Yahweh. A religious center was set up in the city of Samaria where the people could worship within their modified religion and law of Yahweh…with a separate and newly appointed priesthood. (Sounds like a church split, doesn’t it?) Of course their rejection of the holy city, temple, priesthood, etc., had put them on a collision path with their God. Even so, many people of the northern tribes continued in obedience to the Mosaic Law so that three times a year they traveled to Jerusalem for the required feasts and sacrifices, which further antagonized the rebellious leaders and the majority of the people of Israel.



 ~~~

         In the time of Isaiah and in these chapters, God speaks in terms of the present situation and He warns of what He has planned for His people and for the nations. Our passage of study is long and it comes out of Isaiah's early years as a prophet.

         For quite some years the northern tribes have been suffering due to 1) Syria attacking them in their northernmost parts, taking some towns and territory, and 2) Philistia attacking them on their western border. Therefore, Israel has been working to gain terms with Syria, which has been accomplished in a rather loose Association within which Israel pays tribute to Syria and Israel agrees to help Syria in her desired expansions and conquests. Syria also has designs on the southern kingdom of Judah and so Israel is helping with this and together they have been attacking the northern part of Judah and taking off spoil, though they have yet to permanently capture and hold any towns or cities.

         Meanwhile during this same period, Assyria has been increasing in strength and has been flexing her muscles in small military excursions to some of her neighbors. Israel’s tribes east of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River have already experienced Assyria’s expanding might and those tribes have been taken off of their land and into exile in Assyria. Assyria was the first empire of that early age to remove in great numbers the high and middle classes of a conquered land and take them into other conquered lands as exiles. It was done with the idea of making the empire everlasting, the conquered nations not being able to regenerate by means of its low class citizens. Therefore, west of the Sea of Galilee and the Jordan River and north of the land of Benjamin are the remains of the northern kingdom of Israel.

~~



         Interestingly, God is giving a long prophecy that deals with all His people (i.e. all the tribes), but also it is to the surrounding small nations and to Syria and to Assyria. But primarily, this prophecy falls hardest on the northern tribes, for they have been forming intertribal associations to gain greater internal strength and have been confederating with Syria; and in this they have with Syria been attacking their brothers in Judah. This prophecy, for the northern tribes, extends from the time that Isaiah uttered the prophecy to the wondrous occasion of the first coming of the Messiah and then on to the end of our own present age. It shall be explained as we go along.

         However, even more to the point of our purpose (i.e. the Bible's warning to us) we shall focus (when we arrive there) on 8:9-20. A couple of weeks ago, as I was drawn to this passage in my own study, it seemed appropriate for our time in the coming days.

 
Now we switch from the introduction of Study 17

        And we continue with comments for this Study 18. All that was said in the previous study had come to pass through the years intervening between the prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah, and the Kingdom of Israel (the northern tribes) is no more. The small Kingdom of Judah, however, has lasted many years and is approaching its own chastisement (i.e. to be exiled into Babylon, which Jeremiah would live to see and experience).

        Since we are now considering only Judah and Jerusalem, again refer to Study 17 and their condition in Isaiah’s day so as to compare it with their condition in this study in Jeremiah…and realize that God is continuing to deal with them as they go through their Sin - Revival - Sin cycles and are again in the Sin stage. In the previous study, God had focused on the associations that His people had been making among themselves in attempts to save themselves…all the while telling themselves that they were in service to God and were acting wisely. Now the very same was happening both out in the land and in the holy city of Jerusalem.

        These studies, as I have often mentioned, are really for me, but I pass them on when I think I should; and so this study seems (for me at least) a continuing topic of God dealing with me. Therefore, let us get on with the passage in Jeremiah -

 26:1)  In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying,

    As a prophet, Jeremiah by faith would be on the scene in Judah and Jerusalem for some forty years, having appeared on the scene during the reign of King Josiah on David’s throne. The next king had been Jehoahaz; but now Jehoiakim has begun his reign (607 BC), which is the time of this study. Therefore, Jehoahaz is the third king to have Jeremiah prophesy to him for God. At this time there were more than a few other prophets (true and false) as we shall see.

    (However, be advised that Jeremiah by faith would witness a total of five kings upon David’s throne. Jehoahaz would reign for only 10 years because, against God's wishes, he would rebel in breaking a sworn (before God) treaty with Babylon. His son, Jehoiachin, would reign for only three months…when Nebuchadnezzar would decide to take him and most of the princes and aristocracy, including young men like Daniel, and Artisans, and many of the important and high-ranking men of the army and exile them to Babylon. It would be the first exile to affect Judah and Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar, then, would place Zedekiah on the throne; he would be the last king before final and total exile of the Kingdom of Judah to Babylon, which occurred in 587 BC with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple.)

26:2)  Thus saith the LORD [i.e. around 607 BC]; Stand in the court of the LORD'S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD'S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word:

    The people of Judah were faithful according to the Mosaic Law to regularly worship in the Lord's house (Solomon’s temple). The reason that Jeremiah was to particularly speak to the worshiping people coming in from the cities was that amid the ongoing prophecies regarding the Kingdom of Judah the cities were particularly and often mentioned for chastisement along with Jerusalem.

    Also be aware: this may have been the first time that the troublesome prophet, Jeremiah, prophesied in Jerusalem with King Jehoahaz sitting on David’s throne.

26:3-4)  If so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. And thou shalt say unto them,

    The above words of God were to Jeremiah. Note the wordings that I have placed in italics, for here are two emphatic concepts: 1) the turning must be done a) individually and b) each must do it…and 2) God’s punishment will be to the whole of them for their evil doings. God has always looked upon His people as a whole (flock) and upon each (sheep) as an individual that is responsible for his or her actions (which is the reason for the title of this study).

    At this point, we see that God emphases the individual. However, at the end of the study we shall see Jeremiah adding some information, as he will do his own emphasizing of individual responsibility.

    Next, God’s words comprise this prophecy to the people.

Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, To hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened;

    From times even well before Isaiah, God had been speaking of chastisements to His chosen people (i.e. God ‘rising up’ in earlier times to warn them). In the last study in Isaiah, we see that the northern kingdom was to be taken off exile into Assyria, which happened. It should have been an example of what was coming to the southern kingdom, and in the intervening years many more prophecies had been given. Sometimes they had the desired (though soon ending) effect…‘but ye have not hearkened’.

26:6)  Then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth [i.e. the very broad region of the lands of the Bible].

    Shiloh was where the initial tabernacle had been kept by Joshua when Canaan had been conquered by the Israelites. (See the last study for Shiloh.) It remained there until David built a new tent near Jerusalem. Then Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem.

    In the reign of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, when the northern tribes split off from the southern tribes, they had centered their modified religion of Yahweh in the vicinity of ancient Shiloh which was near the growing city of Samaria. Later in God’s chastisement of them, Assyria conquered the kingdom and crushed Samaria along with the kingdom's holy places. Therefore, ‘make this house like Shiloh’ is God’s threat to Jerusalem and Solomon’s temple.

    Moreover, dear reader, take note of ‘make the city a curse to all the nations of the earth [i.e. the very broad region of the Bible lands]’. Today, is not Jerusalem still the center of controversy among all the nations mentioned in the Bible, and even stirring controversy in much of the world?

26:7)  So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.

26:8)  Now it came to pass, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak unto all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people took him [into custody], saying, Thou shalt surely die.

    The people of Judah, and particularly of Jerusalem, consider themselves the special guardians of God's law given by Moses, also guardians of God's Word, also guardians of God's promises, also guardians of the holy city with Solomon's temple, etc. More than the people of the countryside, the people of the cities were especially associated in this effort, which they considered holy. Of course, the people of Jerusalem were much more associated in their religious activities. Thus, even a long-time, well recognized prophet like Jeremiah must not be allowed to defile, in word or in deed, that which was holy under their guardianship, ‘Thou shalt surely die [i.e. in the very immediate future].

    Note the total agreement: the priests, the prophets, and all the people (for the people were greatly influenced by the spiritual ones, the priests and the prophets). Interesting, is it not, how leaders admired for their positions (positions which seem to be joined in common with the people) can sway in speeches an otherwise intelligent crowd.

    God working with Jeremiah has gained for Jeremiah a reputation as a troublemaker, labeled as such by these very priests and the majority of the prophets. Is there ever anything new under the sun? How can a crowd of upstanding and sincere people be so manipulated? And note that this particular crowd is made up of God’s people very much dedicated to Him…in their own way of course (i.e. association or denomination).

26:9)  Why hast thou prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate without an inhabitant? And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

    The question had two obvious answers: 1) it was obvious to the people that no such thing should ever be said about holy things, much less by declaring that God Himself has said it and that He was going to do it; ah but 2), the obvious answer in Jeremiah's mind and heart was that he has said it because God had given it to him to say. Had God not, over quite a few years, already proven that he was a preeminent prophet of God? Like Isaiah, Jeremiah’s near-term prophecies had been fulfilled. Furthermore, his long-term prophecies were in accord with the God-proven prophets that have passed on before him.

26:10)  [However,] When the princes of Judah heard these things, then they came up from the king's house unto the house of the LORD, and sat down in the [prestigious] entry [way] of the new gate of the LORD'S house.

    At this moment in time, the princes (i.e. the highest aristocrats in Judah) had been hobnobbing with the king in his house (i.e. what was left of Solomon’s grand house located below and not far away from the temple). Upon hearing of this ruckus, as a unit the princes went up to the temple to see what was going on; and so they took their prominent seats (i.e. of wisdom, advice, and judgment within their authority). They had not heard the words of Jeremiah, only a brief report of the goings on.

26:11)  Then spake the priests and the prophets [in their own authoritative roles] unto the princes and to all the people, saying, This man is worthy to die; for he hath prophesied against this [holy, sanctified, and protected] city, as ye have heard with your ears.

    The princes have taken their authoritative seats at the newly constructed outer gate of the temple. Thus, the authoritative priests and the authoritative prophets are standing and testifying before the authoritative princes; and they are inviting the people to affirm what they are saying because the people, too, had witnessed Jeremiah’s words.

    This is the very scenario, repeated, regarding the Lord Jesus Christ…when God finally allowed him to be taken prisoner. However, at that time, only the Roman government could, in their authority, sentence a person to death.

26:12)  Then spake Jeremiah [addressing himself] unto all the princes [i.e. leaving out the priest and prophets] and to all the people, saying, The LORD [from my beginning as a prophet has] sent me to prophesy against this house [i.e. both the temple and the house of David’s throne] and against this city all the words that ye have heard [from God until this day].

26:13)  Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.

26:14-15)  [But] As for me, behold, I am in your hand: do with me as seemeth good and meet unto you. But know ye for certain, that if ye put me to death, ye shall surely bring innocent blood upon yourselves, and upon this city, and upon the inhabitants thereof: for of a truth the LORD hath sent me unto you to speak all these words in your ears.

    Jeremiah states to the princes and to the people that…over and above what God has said He will do…if they shed innocent blood of one of God's messengers then they should expect much worse from God. It was the most spiritual ones, the priest and the prophets, who wanted to shed Jeremiah’s blood; therefore, Jeremiah was not addressing them with his words.

    (Therefore, what happen to that city…it having been rebuilt after the Babylonian exile …when the Jews instigated (i.e. associated) against the innocent blood of the Lord Jesus Christ their Messiah?)

26:16)  Then said the princes [in their authoritative roll] and all the people [i.e. having heard more from Jeremiah, they now agree with the princes] unto the priests and to the prophets [who zealously wanted to shed blood]; This man is not worthy to die: for he hath spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.

      Interesting: the spiritual ones, expert in spiritual things, expert in God's word, in their spirituality simply could not recognize the spirit of prophecy on Jeremiah. But the more worldly princes had no such problem. And the worldly people of God (when aided by the princes to have listened closer and to have recognized this very important occasion as a visit from God) no longer had the problem that they had earlier when influenced by the spiritual (and jealous) leaders…who still did not “get it”.

26:17)  Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying,

      In most societies there are men and women known and recognized as particularly wise, who truly want the best for the land and for the people. In the land of Israel, such men and women had always been recognized and honored; and, regarding important things and in difficult times, the elder men would meet together with Israel’s leaders to offer advice. In this instance some of them, well known, stood up to speak.

      Here, then, is their advice. It is a short sermon about similar past years, and what had been decided at that time and how God had leniently responded.

26:18)  Micah the Morasthite prophesied in the [past] days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spake [then] to all the people of Judah, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Zion shall be plowed like a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of a forest.

      The ‘mountain of the house as the high places of a forest’ actually refers to the summer homes of kings, the aristocracy, and wealthy men who had mansions in the high and cool mountains. Micah had prophesied not only regarding Jerusalem and the land in general, but also regarding the wealthy summer homes that would be left unattended to grow up and become merged into the forests amidst an abandoned land (i.e. the people would be taken from the land).

26:19)  Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah put him at all to death? did he [i.e. Hezekiah] not fear the LORD, and besought the LORD, and the LORD repented him[self] of the evil which he had pronounced against them? Thus might we [also] procure [i.e. purchase away from God this] great evil against our souls.

      Here is the end of the affair (on this particular occasion) between Jeremiah and the people and God. Yet, to finish off this twenty-sixth chapter of Jeremiah, the prophet (Jeremiah) included more information on the same subject regarding another prophet in Judah at the time.

      God had given this prophet the same message and he was to give it to the same people, in which case it so happened that the princes were not gathered at the king’s house in Jerusalem and therefore they could not intervene as they had done with Jeremiah.

26:20)  And there was also a man that prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjathjearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the [same] words of Jeremiah:

26:21)  And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men, and all the princes, heard his words, the king [himself] sought [means] to put him to death: but [not long after] when Urijah heard it, he was afraid, and fled, and went into Egypt;

    An important difference between the above scenario and this one is that Urijah did what seemed wise to him: he fled into Egypt, but (it seems) without God telling him to do so. Even a prophet’s common sense is supposed to be at the beck and call of God and not to function according to its wisdom, nor to function according to that which he can see and hear of his circumstance.

    Jeremiah simply remained where he'd been placed, depending completely on his Lord and Master. God told Joseph and Mary to take baby Jesus into hiding in Egypt, but it seems that Urijah had received no such order. Even so, Urijah shall sit with the prophets of God in heaven. His foolishness and his resulting death had only hurried the reward of this martyr…who waits with all the martyrs under the heavenly altar until God’s Plan of the Ages in Jesus Christ is completed.

26:22-23)  And Jehoiakim the king sent men into Egypt, namely, Elnathan the son of Achbor, and certain men with him into Egypt. And they fetched forth Urijah out of Egypt, and brought him unto Jehoiakim the king; who slew him with the sword, and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people [i.e. a great insult to a true prophet].

 

26:24)  Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan [likely a high level prince with widespread influence] was [aligned] with Jeremiah, that they [i.e. the princes] should not give him into the hand of the people [or the hand of the king] to put him to death.

 ~~~

    The end result of this prophecy was that the Kingdom of Judah became exiled to Babylon, and only 70 years later did a remnant of the people return. Some 400 years after that, in the land of Judaea, Jesus stood before similar men of similar zeal trying similarly to achieve their mission as protectors of God and of His word and of His law and of His city and of its temple and of His chosen people and of His promised land and of …

    …as if the God of creation and of the world and of the nations and of Israel and of all His myriad people could not protect Himself and all that He has.

~~ 



    Where in Volume 1, Study 17 we see Isaiah’s prophecy focused upon the associations that God’s people make among themselves for their agendas (which are claimed to be for God) this Study 18 mentions such associations, but it focuses more upon individual relationships and walks with God and how God deals individually with each, including prophets.

    Then Jeremiah took it on himself to give added information regarding God’s prophetic word and how God had individually given it to two prophets who had individually delivered it, individually handled it, and individually dealt with God about it…and how God had individually dealt with them.

    Both blessings and chastisement from God typically arrive to the whole of His people, but individual walks with Him (or the lack thereof) are treated by Him on an individual basis. Yes, He is no respecter of persons. But He is an Individual Rewarder of those who, above all else, humbly believe Him and individually seek Him in faith.

    Each child of God has the faith of heaven, placed there by God. And God is pleased (Hebrews 11:6) by the person who habitually allows Biblical faith to do its inner work (see God’s Hook, a book about Biblical faith).



~~~~~~

PS:  God working individually with individuals

         From the several paragraphs just above, you can see that I had thought that I had finished Study 18. However, as this morning Barbara was up early and in the living room proofreading, and before getting out of bed I picked up my little Bible and opened it, which fell to Acts 8:36, and upon finishing my study, I knew that I had to add something more regarding this continuing theme.

         Instead of proceeding as normal, I shall summarize. (When proofreading this, Barbara said that this is like a “PS”. That is, it is added, but it is a distinct break from the Bible text above.)

 Acts 8:36-40)  …they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart…And he answered…I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

 …and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

 …when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more.

         Note the italicized words: 1) God had arranged that they meet and come to a certain water, 2) they both went down into the water, 3) both Philip and the eunuch [the word both is doubly emphasized], and 4) they were come up [together] out of the water.



         Now we continue on my same opened Bible page with Acts 9:1-26.

9:1-6)  And Saul…went unto the high priest, And desired of him letters to Damascus…And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.

9:8-11)  And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw no man: but they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. … And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias…And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go…for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth…

9:17)  And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus…hath sent me…And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened.

        In the manner that God does things, this is very similar to Acts 8:26-31and 36-39.

9:26)  And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not [as yet] that he was a disciple.

        Continuing: God is pointing out (for me) how He deals individually with individuals. God is having an ongoing occasion with Saul and has arranged for Saul to be in Damascus in a condition of looking to God for some answers…much like God had arranged for the eunuch to be on a road asking questions of Him regarding the Scriptures and to arrive at a certain water.

        Similar to God arranging that Philip be available near the certain water, God has arranged that Ananias be available in Damascus. As God used the words of Philip to give answers, God used the words of Ananias to give answers.

        However, in each circumstance it was God who had arranged for the questions, arranged for the help, and provided the answers. All was done by God as He worked individually with individuals. In this manner, God had very obviously brought the attention and the honor to Himself, but also to His preferred manner of doing things. Human ways of doing things is to associate for the purpose, become educated of proper methods, organize the program, and zealously work.

        Yet, if you and if I are to experience such individual workings of God, we must allow Him to prepare us well beforehand and to call upon us at the appropriate time and to manipulate us into such a circumstance…and then we must humbly do our little part even as we intently study His most wonderful part. This of course would be said about you or me if you or I were on the Philip and Ananias side of God’s equation.

        On the other hand, if you or I were on the eunuch and Saul side of God’s equation, and we were asking questions of God which He has stirred up in us, and He wants to use someone’s words as He works answering our questions…then we must humbly and eagerly look to and accept whatever manner God would choose for it.

        Notice in each occasion how both individuals were dipped by God into the certain waters and/or the city of Damascus. That is: walking individually…two individuals were manipulated by God to a commonly shared occasion. Then both were dipped into the occasion by God for His purpose in each individual. And when God was done ‘they were come up [together] out of the water (i.e. up out of God’s occasion)’ and each continued on his individual path with God.

~~

        Jeremiah faithfully issued forth his prophecy, but then he added further information regarding the prophecy to demonstrate how God was using individual prophets on individual occasions to give the same message to His people. Yet, in no way did Jeremiah desire to detract with this information from the primary emphasis of God’s prophetic words.
        Similarly, in dealing with how God works with individuals, I do not wish to detract from Jeremiah’s prophecy and any message which surely it contains for us today. Even so, know that any message that this prophecy might contain for today must be absorbed individually.


You can also download this study as a pdf file.

- C. Ronald Johnson at Christian Wilderness Press -


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