Jeremiah 23-25

Thursday Evening Bible Study

March 3, 2005

Jeremiah 23

Starting back in Jer. 23:9, a section started where Jeremiah began to deal with the false prophets of his day. First, Jeremiah talks about how heartbroken he is over the false prophets:

(Jer 23:9 KJV) Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, and like a man whom wine hath overcome, because of the LORD, and because of the words of his holiness.

The big issue with these prophets is that they were trying to comfort the people by telling them that everything was going to be okay.

(Jer 23:17 KJV) They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.

Yet in reality, things weren’t okay. It was as if someone had a message from God that two airline jets were going to be flown into the Twin Towers, and while they were trying to evacuate everyone, someone else claimed to also have a message from God saying that nothing was going to happen.
Sometimes the real message from God is one that makes us uncomfortable. If we’re committing sin, God’s message is for us to stop it.

:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

He’s saying that the dream of a false prophet is as nourishing as the chaff while God’s Word is like the kernel of wheat.


God’s Word

Wheat – it nourishes.
It’s the bread from heaven.
(Exo 16:1-31 KJV) And they took their journey from Elim, and all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departing out of the land of Egypt. {2} And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness: {3} And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died by the hand of the LORD in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger. {4} Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

Part of the lesson of manna was to see if the people would learn to do what God asked them to do. Would they learn to be fed the way that God wants to feed them?

The same thing happens with God’s Word. Will you do what He says? Will you let Him feed you with His Word? Over time the people would complain about the manna – that it was getting too boring. Yet it was the way that God chose to feed the people. He provided for them through the manna. God will provide for us through His Word.

{5} And it shall come to pass, that on the sixth day they shall prepare that which they bring in; and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily. {6} And Moses and Aaron said unto all the children of Israel, At even, then ye shall know that the LORD hath brought you out from the land of Egypt: {7} And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us? {8} And Moses said, This shall be, when the LORD shall give you in the evening flesh to eat, and in the morning bread to the full; for that the LORD heareth your murmurings which ye murmur against him: and what are we? your murmurings are not against us, but against the LORD. {9} And Moses spake unto Aaron, Say unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, Come near before the LORD: for he hath heard your murmurings. {10} And it came to pass, as Aaron spake unto the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and, behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud. {11} And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, {12} I have heard the murmurings of the children of Israel: speak unto them, saying, At even ye shall eat flesh, and in the morning ye shall be filled with bread; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God. {13} And it came to pass, that at even the quails came up, and covered the camp: and in the morning the dew lay round about the host. {14} And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.

The manna came in the morning.

{15} And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was.

The word “manna” means “what is it?” They were to eat the “what is it?”

I wonder if we shouldn’t approach God’s Word each day with that question, “what is it?” “What do you want for me today Lord?”

And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat. {16} This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents. {17} And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less. {18} And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating. {19} And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. {20} Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them.

Already God was testing them to see if they would do the simple things He asked them to do.

It’s important that we not just be “hearers” of God’s Word, but “doers”.

{21} And they gathered it every morning, every man according to his eating: and when the sun waxed hot, it melted. {22} And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses. {23} And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. {24} And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.

This was truly a “God” phenomena. There was no other explanation other than that God was providing for the people.

{25} And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. {26} Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none. {27} And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. {28} And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws? {29} See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. {30} So the people rested on the seventh day. {31} And the house of Israel called the name thereof Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.

God wants to feed His people. He feeds us in the Word.

:29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

Fire – burns, purifies

Fire burns up the chaff.

Fire purifies metal.

Hammer – pounds, shatters

Shatters the hard things, the stony heart.

Pounds pliable metal into useful shapes

:30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

steal – It could be that it’s talking about the false prophets getting words from each other …

(Jer 23:30 NLT) "Therefore," says the LORD, "I stand against these prophets who get their messages from each other--

Could it possibly mean that since the false prophets were leading the people astray, they were “stealing” God’s real words away from the people and replacing them with their own words?

One of the consequences of false prophets is that people will pay attention to the false prophet and not to God’s Word.
You see this among the Mormons. They will read their Book of Mormon, but in my experience it’s rare to find a Mormon who is regularly reading the Bible.

:31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.

:32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.

lightnesspachazuwth – recklessness, extravagance, frivolity (making jokes when you should be serious).

:33-40 False “burdens”

:33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the LORD? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the LORD.

burden – a prophetic message was often called a “burden”. It was a message that was considered “weighty”, “heavy”. (Nah. 1:1; Hab. 1:1)

The people would come to Jeremiah and ask him mockingly what the “burden” of the Lord was. God’s response was that they were the real burden.

:34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the LORD, I will even punish that man and his house.

God was tired of hearing this phrase, “the burden of the Lord”.

:35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the LORD answered? and, What hath the LORD spoken?

God wanted them to change the way they said things.

:36 And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the LORD of hosts our God.

People were abusing this phrase, “the burden of the Lord”. People were making up their own things and saying, “The burden of the Lord is …”

:37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the LORD answered thee? and, What hath the LORD spoken?

:38 But since ye say, The burden of the LORD; therefore thus saith the LORD; Because ye say this word, The burden of the LORD, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the LORD;

:39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:

:40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

God was sick and tired of people abusing His Word. He was tired of people claiming to speak for Him when He hadn’t spoken.

For us, the important thing is to stay close to what we KNOW is His Word – the Scriptures.

Jeremiah 24

:1-3 Basket of Figs

:1 The LORD showed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the LORD, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.

This vision takes place somewhere after 597 BC, the year that King Jeconiah was taken captive to Babylon and King Zedekiah was reigning. In Jeremiah’s vision, he sees two baskets of figs set before the Temple in Jerusalem.

:2 One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

first ripe – figs that ripen early. They are yummy. These would be considered “first fruits”.

naughtyra‘– bad, evil; disagreeable, malignant; unpleasant

:3 Then said the LORD unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

:4-7 The Good Figs

:4 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

:5 Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.

:6 For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.

:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

The good figs were a picture of the people that had already been taken captive to Babylon. This would include people like the prophets Daniel and Ezekiel, as well as all the rest that were currently in Babylon.

They were the “first fruits”.

Ultimately, this is a prophecy that even looks forward to the blessings that will come at the Second Coming of Christ.

:8-10 The Bad Figs

:8 And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the LORD, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:

:9 And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.

:10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.

The people remaining in Judah were the rotten figs.


Healthy Offerings

This vision seems to be a picture of things that have been offered to the Lord, sitting before the Temple.
There are good offerings and bad offerings.
The good figs are like the “first fruits” offered to God. The “naughty” figs were just simply too disgusting to give to anybody.
The laws of sacrifice required that you don’t give to God things anything but the best.
(Lev 22:20 KJV) But whatsoever hath a blemish, that shall ye not offer: for it shall not be acceptable for you.

You don’t give God leftovers or throw-aways. You don’t give God your second best.


There’s a story about a man whose cow had twin calves.

He was so excited that he ran to the church and decided to give one of the calves to God in thanks. But he hadn’t decided which calf to give to the Lord.

But after a week, one of the calves got sick, and eventually died.

The man came to the pastor and said sadly, “I’m sorry, but God’s calf died”.

We too often want to give God things that don’t cost us very much.
Paul talks about one of the kinds of things we give to God as a sacrifice:

(Rom 12:1-2 KJV) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. {2} And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

When we come to God for help, we come “as we are”. He accepts us just as we are. But He doesn’t want to leave us the way He found us. He wants us to change.

When we offer ourselves to God for service, as a “living sacrifice”, I think it’s arrogant to think that God is “just going to have to take me the way I am and settle for it”.

We should want to give God our very best. We should want to be the very best we can for God.

In Jeremiah’s day, the “bad figs” were the people who were too stubborn to change. They didn’t want to hear God’s call to repent.

What are we offering to God? Good figs or bad figs?

Jeremiah 25

:1-7 Faithful warnings to repent are unheeded

:1 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon;

fourth year – This is the year 605 BC. Time is recorded in many ways in the Scriptures. Regular calendars with a standardized way of reckoning years weren’t established until long after the Scriptures were written. In the land of Judah where Jeremiah was writing, the year that a person became king was called their “first” year. In Babylon, a king’s “first year” wouldn’t be counted until the following, first full year. What Jeremiah calls the “fourth year” is what Daniel (writing in Babylon) would call the “third year”.

The year 605 BC was the year that Nebuchadnezzar made his first attack on the city of Jerusalem. His attack was followed by the taking of captives back to Babylon with him.

The captives taken in this first of three captivities included Daniel and his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego.
The second captivity would take place in 597 BC, and would include King Jeconiah, the prophet Ezekiel, and 10,000 other people were taken to Babylon.
The third captivity took place in 586 BC, and would be the time when the city of Jerusalem was destroyed. Most of the remaining people were taken to Babylon.

:2 The which Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying,

:3 From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened.

Jeremiah has been in ministry for 23 years. He is thought to be about 40 years old.

:4 And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.

God has been faithful to send prophets to the people and warn them of what was coming. But they wouldn’t listen.


Mornings with Jesus

When did God “send” the prophets?
rising earlyshakam – to rise or start early. A lot of the newer translations translate this as diligence or faithfulness, but I like the original idea.
I think there is something to the idea of God speaking early in the morning, first thing in the morning.
When did the people collect the “manna” in the wilderness? In the morning.
But the manna didn’t appear in their kitchen. They had to go outside the camp to collect it. They had to look for the manna.
If they got up too late in the day, the manna had melted.
(Mark 1:35 NKJV) Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
I don’t think it’s a matter of being a “morning” person or not. It’s a matter of priorities. It’s a matter of giving the first part of your day to Jesus, allowing Him to teach you, guide you, and set your agenda.
It’s not a matter of doing a deep Biblical study with Greek words and such. It’s a matter of letting Him speak to your heart.
It’s a matter of hearing that “one thing” the Lord would want you to think about during the day.
For me, today was:

(1 Tim 1:5 NLT) The purpose of my instruction is that all the Christians there would be filled with love that comes from a pure heart, a clear conscience, and sincere faith.

:5 They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:

:6 And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.

:7 Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.

The people would not pay attention to the warnings given to them.

:8-14 The Seventy years

:8 Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words,

:9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.



There are several reasons for the Babylonian captivity, but the main over arching reason was the continued disobedience of the people.
God warned the people over and over again that they needed to change their ways. But they wouldn’t do it.

:10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.

God is speaking about the destruction of Jerusalem, but it’s interesting to see the parallel in the book of Revelation when we see the destruction of Babylon:

(Rev 18:22-23 KJV) And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; {23} And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.

:11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

This is the first time that Jeremiah has received the message that the captivity will last for seventy years. The captivity would last from 605-536 BC.

(2 Chr 36:20-21 KJV) And them that had escaped from the sword carried he away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia: {21} To fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her sabbaths: for as long as she lay desolate she kept sabbath, to fulfil threescore and ten years.

Apparently the reason the captivity would last for seventy years was because the people had ignored the Sabbath laws concerning the land.

(Lev 25:4 KJV) But in the seventh year shall be a sabbath of rest unto the land, a sabbath for the LORD: thou shalt neither sow thy field, nor prune thy vineyard.

The people were to rotate their crops and let the fields lie fallow every seventh year. Yet apparently they had ignored this law for 490 years, and as a result God gave the land a rest.


Don’t neglect the Sabbath

There are some folks who do nothing but rest, but I imagine that they don’t come to the midweek Bible Study either.
For some of us, the issue in our life is learning to take a Sabbath.
God was concerned even for the land – that it get a chance to rest.
God is even more concerned for you that you learn to take your Sabbath.
Which do you think could be more productive for God: Dying at age 40 from stress, poor health, and overwork – or living to age 90 and living a productive life serving God?
When God fed Israel manna in the wilderness, He gave it every day except on the Sabbath. He provided for them on the Sabbath in a different way. By letting them rest.

The prophet Daniel knew of Jeremiah’s prophecies.

(Dan 9:1-2 KJV) In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; {2} In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

This was the year 538 BC, 67 years after Daniel had been taken captive to Babylon.
Daniel gets out his calendars and calculators and begins to realize that they are getting close to when they will be going home.
And so Daniel prays and begins to confess the sins of the nation, asking for God’s forgiveness. He is acting on another promise from God’s Word:
(2 Chr 7:14 KJV) If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.


Pay attention to the times

For us, it’s important that we learn to be aware of where we are in the prophetic timetable of things.
Do you think it’s possible that Daniel had an effect on things with his prayer for his nation? I do.
We have a responsibility for the times we live in as well:
(2 Pet 3:9-12 NLT) The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. {10} But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be exposed to judgment. {11} Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living! {12} You should look forward to that day and hurry it along--the day when God will set the heavens on fire and the elements will melt away in the flames.

What kinds of things could we be doing to “hurry” things along?

We could be praying like Daniel.

We could be sharing our faith with those who don’t know Jesus yet.

:12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.

The Medes and the Persians captured Babylon on October 12, 539 BC. The armies, led by Cyrus, had diverted the waters of the Euphrates River and came into the city through gates in the river bed. On that night, Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, Belshazzar, was killed.

:13 And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.

:14 For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.

:15-29 Many nations will be judged

:15 For thus saith the LORD God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.

:16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.

:17 Then took I the cup at the LORD'S hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the LORD had sent me:

:18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;

:19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;

This begins a list of all the other nations that were also judged by the Babylonian army.

:20 And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,

:21 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon,

:22 And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea,

:23 Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners,

:24 And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert,

:25 And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes,

:26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.

SheshachSheshak – “thy fine linen”

Scholars think this word is a “code” word for Babylon. There is a kind of code called an “atbash”. The way the code works is that you count the position of the letter from the beginning of the alphabet and substitute it for the letter that is the same distance from the end of the alphabet. In English, the word “abby” would be changed to “zyyb”.

The “atbash” of Sheshak is the letters “bbl”, which is the Hebrew for Babylon. This same word is also found in Jer. 51:41.

Even Babylon after Babylon would be used as God’s tool of judgment, Babylon itself would one day drink the cup of God’s wrath. Babylon would be conquered.

:27 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.

spueqayah – to vomit, vomit up, disgorge

:28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.

None of these nations will be exempt from drinking the cup.

:29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the LORD of hosts.

:30-33 Great judgment from God

:30 Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The LORD shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.

Did you notice how the judgment has switched from some nations to “ALL the inhabitants of the earth”?

Interpreting Prophecy

Prophetic Telescoping is where a prophecy will take a hyper jump into the future in the middle of a sentence.

When Jesus began His ministry in the synagogue at Nazareth, He read from a passage in Isaiah that speaks of the ministry of the Messiah:
(Isa 61:1-3 KJV) The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; {2} To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD

This was a far as Jesus read. Then He stopped, closed up the scroll, sat down, and said that these things had now been fulfilled.

But He didn’t read the entire passage. He stopped in the middle of a sentence. The rest of the passage goes on to say:

, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; {3} To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.

The “day of vengeance” is still future. It will come during the Tribulation period. It will be followed by Jesus ruling and reigning on the earth, a time of great joy and restoration.

The point? The prophecy skips through time without missing a beat.

Double Fulfillment can occur in prophecy when a prophecy is fulfilled in two different time periods.

The Bible speaks about the prophet Elijah coming to prepare the hearts of the people for the coming of the Messiah (Mal. 4:5).
Did Elijah come before Jesus’ first coming? Yes. John the Baptist came in the “spirit” of Elijah (Luke 1:17).
Is this prophecy completed? No. Elijah will come before Jesus’ second coming as well (Rev. 11).
The point? Some prophecies may have more than one fulfillment.

In our passage in Jeremiah, we are reading about the time of the Babylonian invasion. But there is some language that is being used that we find in descriptions of the Great Tribulation that is yet to come.

(Rev 14:9-10 NLT) Then a third angel followed them, shouting, "Anyone who worships the beast and his statue or who accepts his mark on the forehead or the hand {10} must drink the wine of God's wrath. It is poured out undiluted into God's cup of wrath. And they will be tormented with fire and burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and the Lamb.

We see the picture of drinking a cup of the wine of God’s wrath, just like 25:15.

(Rev 14:19-20 NLT) So the angel swung his sickle on the earth and loaded the grapes into the great winepress of God's wrath. {20} And the grapes were trodden in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed from the winepress in a stream about 180 miles long and as high as a horse's bridle.

We see the treading of grapes as a picture of God’s wrath (like 25:30).

:31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD.

:32 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.

:33 And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.

:34-38 Wailing shepherds

:34 Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.

:35 And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.

:36 A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard: for the LORD hath spoiled their pasture.

:37 And the peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the LORD.

:38 He hath forsaken his covert, as the lion: for their land is desolate because of the fierceness of the oppressor, and because of his fierce anger.

The rulers of these nations will weep to see what is happening.

We on the other hand won’t have to weep when the Tribulation comes.

Even as the world will be going through the horrible wrath of God, I do not believe that the church will be around.

(2 Pet 2:5-9 NLT) And God did not spare the ancient world--except for Noah and his family of seven. Noah warned the world of God's righteous judgment. Then God destroyed the whole world of ungodly people with a vast flood. {6} Later, he turned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into heaps of ashes and swept them off the face of the earth. He made them an example of what will happen to ungodly people. {7} But at the same time, God rescued Lot out of Sodom because he was a good man who was sick of all the immorality and wickedness around him. {8} Yes, he was a righteous man who was distressed by the wickedness he saw and heard day after day. {9} So you see, the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials, even while punishing the wicked right up until the day of judgment.

God knows how to rescue the godly while punishing the wicked.

The Bible talks about the Great Tribulation being a time of “God’s wrath”, when He will punish the world for it’s wickedness. Yet the Bible says about us:

(1 Th 5:9 NASB) For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

When this destruction would come on all these nations, brought about by the Babylonians, where were the “good figs”? They weren’t there. They were in Babylon.

I believe that before the Tribulation period starts on the earth, the Lord will take His church out of the earth:

(1 Th 4:15-18 NKJV) For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. {16} For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. {17} Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. {18} Therefore comfort one another with these words.


It's The Same In My Business
A pastor waited in line to have his car filled with gas just before a long holiday weekend. The attendant worked quickly, but there were many cars ahead of him in front of the service station. Finally, the attendant motioned him toward a vacant pump. “Preacher,” said the young man, “I’m sorry about the delay. It seems as if everyone waits until the last minute to get ready for a long trip.” The minister chuckled, “I know what you mean. It’s the same in my business.”

Do you recognize the times we’re in? Are you ready for the trip ahead?