I know that sometimes a transcript for a message can be helpful. This post contains the transcript notes for the Awaken Bible Prophecy Update regarding: Can Abomination Be Redeemed?
I’m going to do this Prophecy Update a little differently than what I normally do. The Old Testament is replete with the prophets declaring extremely hard Words from the Lord as to the difficulties that would come upon Israel as the Northern Kingdom and Judah as the Southern Kingdom. The prophecies inevitably laid out an if-then scenario for God’s Chosen People. If they would turn from their wicked ways, then God would heal their land. If the people would turn from their worship of pagan gods along with their resulting sexual immorality, and if they would turn to the Holy One of Israel with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, then He would relent of the destruction He planned to bring upon their nation.
However, God knew the hearts of the children of Israel and He knew they were a stiff-necked people. Because of that, God knew full-well they would NOT turn from their abominations, and that He would indeed bring upon them all the disaster He had declared.
What I want to do today is pull some passages from Jeremiah 11-23, which was part of my recent daily reading, and examine several verses in light of God’s plans and purposes. In this context then I want to compare and contrast our situation in America in light of Bible prophecy. I’ve expressed previously some of the things which I’ll say today – but hopefully this will present them in a slightly different manner. However, it’s a very contrarian position to what the world and most of the church is currently saying, so I know it is not going to be popular or received well by some. Despite that, it IS the Word of God.
Let’s go ahead and pray. Because I’ll be bringing in multiple Scripture passages in the course of this message, I won’t begin with any verses initially.
Can Abomination Be Redeemed?
- God didn’t spare the truth when he spoke to Israel through Jeremiah
- For something a little different today, I’ll use the Septuagint version of the Bible, which is the Greek translation of the OT and NT
- It was the Septuagint that the writers of the NT would have generally consulted
- In Jeremiah 11:6-8 listen to what the prophet says:
- 6 And Yahweh said to me, “Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, ‘Hear the words of this covenant and do them, 7 for I solemnly admonished your ancestors in the day of my leading them out from the land of Egypt and up to this day, admonishing persistently, saying, “Obey my voice.” 8 But they did not obey and they did not incline their ear. Instead each one walked in the stubbornness of his evil heart. Therefore, I brought on them all the words of this covenant which I commanded them to do, and they did not do it.’”
- Time after time God spoke to His people and warned them to obey Him
- Over the years, e.g. in the time of Judges, they had seen the consequences of disobedience
- Did it matter to them?
- Nope! In the stubbornness of their hearts, they were going to do life their way regardless what God threatened
- So He said, “Fine, you want to disobey Me? Then everything I’ve said in Deuteronomy 28 – all those curses! – will happen to you. And it won’t be pretty.”
- Considering America in this light, what do we see:
- God immensely blessed our nation
- Why did God bless us?
- Because as a people we sought after Him and desired through the church to obey Him and Him alone
- Yet over time we allowed anti-God sentiment to invade our churches
- God raised up strong and vocal preachers like Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and Billy Graham to call the people to repent and worship God
- Despite that, seminaries, pastors, and congregations have turned from the Lord over the years
- They taught and received falsehoods as Biblical truth and disobeyed the God who made this nation a shining city on a hill
- The sin resident in the evil hearts of men triumphed over that which God wanted for us individually and as a nation
- Next we see the problem in the hearts of the people as we look at Jeremiah 11:9-13:
- 9 And Yahweh said to me, “A conspiracy is found among the people of Judah and among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 10 They have turned back to the iniquities of their former ancestors, who refused to obey my words, and they have gone after other gods, to serve them. The house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant that I made with their ancestors.”
11 Therefore thus says Yahweh, “I am about to bring on them disaster from which they will not be able to escape. Though they cry out to me, yet I will not listen to them. 12 Then the cities of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will go and cry out to the gods to whom they are making smoke offerings, but they will certainly not save them in the time of their trouble. 13 For the number of your towns are your gods, O Judah, and the number of the streets of Jerusalem are the altars you have set up to the shameful things, to make smoke offerings to Baal.
- The smoke offerings were the burning of incense to a pagan god
- These would be similar to drink offerings poured out upon the ground in reverence to a deity
- In these verses, God declares that the turning away from Him is a conspiracy
- People have banded together and made a pact that they will ignore what God has said by serving and obeying other gods
- It is this act of worship and reverence for pagan gods that is an abomination to Him
- It is literally the worst offense His people could commit
- What is the very 1st of the Ten Commandments?
- “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
- By breaking that commandment, the Israelites spit in God’s face
- Because He says immediately before the commandment:
- “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of slavery.”
- Think about it:
- God gave them freedom and liberty and they deliberately chose to enslave themselves by rejecting God their deliverer, which then brought them back into bondage under pagan and tyrannical gods
- Because of this great offense, God promised to ignore and reject the cries of His people when they were in trouble – which they would fall into
- What is the parallel situation in America?
- Believe it or not there has long been a conspiracy in America to undermine our nation and particularly the church
- It is found in those who follow the Communist ideal
- For 100 years, Communists have been active in this country to bring us down
- Once they had infiltrated every sphere of our society, they realized the church was the keystone
- If they could infiltrate and corrupt the pulpit so that the true Word of God was discarded, they could accomplish their goal
- The means to the end was to convince the church as a whole that God’s Word was not inerrant, nor was it infallible
- Harkening back to the Garden, the serpent asked: “Did God really say…?”
- That is exactly how the church has fallen into apostasy and is in the worldly condition that we find it today
- Very few have stood up against this
- The ones who have resisted have largely been ignored
- This situation has caused the church as a whole to literally pursue other gods
- That willful desire to worship any God but Yahweh has resulted in a broken covenant
- The church is no longer in relationship with God
- This has resulted in disaster in the churches and will bring greater misfortune in the future upon those who follow this wayward path
- In fact, God declared to Israel, and surely declares today, that for those who reject Him, He will not listen to them
- Their prayers will hit a brass ceiling
- God told Israel: “Go ahead, cry out to the pagan gods you’d rather follow in your time of trouble.”
- “See how they respond to your pleas.”
- Is it any different with us? Don’t bet on it!
- Now , here’s the punchline in Jeremiah 11:14-17:
- 14 Therefore you must not pray for this people, and you must not lift up for them a cry of entreaty, or a prayer, for I will not listen in the time of their calling to me, in the time of their trouble.
15 What rights has my beloved in my house
when she has done many wicked things?
Can the flesh of holiness pass over you?
For you engage in your wickedness, then you exult.
16 Yahweh called your name, ‘A leafy olive tree, beautiful with fine fruit.’
With the sound of a great storm he will set fire to it,
and its branches will be good for nothing.
17 And Yahweh of hosts, the one who planted you,
has spoken evil against you,
because of the evil of the house of Israel and the house of Judah,
that they have done to themselves,
to provoke me to anger by making smoke offerings to Baal.”
- This offense of worshiping other gods through stark disobedience to the Lord caused God to tell the prophet Jeremiah NOT to pray for Israel
- The people had crossed the bright red line that God had drawn once too often
- They weren’t worthy of prayers, and He wouldn’t hear them anymore
- The consequence for such a people – His very own Chosen People – was a terrible fire of disaster that He would bring on them
- At this point in time, He was through with Israel, and she would suffer for it
- As to America, the parallel is very real
- What benefit do our prayers have anymore in changing what God has decreed?
- We have shed the innocent blood of millions of innocent children through abortion and become proud of it
- The only true church left in our nation that truly believes in God and in His ways is a tiny remnant
- I don’t know whether we’ve reached the point where God instructs us to not even pray for this nation, but I believe we are on the cusp of that if nothing else
- When that happens, He will no longer bother to hear our prayers of intercession because of the wickedness in our midst
- We have few rights – or perhaps even none – at this time as a holy people because of the evil we’ve allowed to consume us in the church
- A great storm is indeed coming – it a fire that will consume the earth
- The coming 7-year Tribulation is an act of God in His wrath upon this unbelieving God-hating world
- Because of our attitude toward Him, He intends evil upon those who perpetrate it and follow those who act against our holy God
- Listen now to what the Lord says against Israel in Jeremiah 12:7-13:
- 7 I have forsaken my house, I have abandoned my inheritance.
I have given the beloved one of my heart into the hand of her enemies.
8 My inheritance has become to me like a lion in the forest.
She has lifted up against me her voice; therefore I hate her.
9 The lair of the hyena is my inheritance to me,
the birds of prey are all around her.
Go, gather all of the animals of the field,
bring them to come and devour.
10 Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard,
they have trampled down my plot of land.
They have made my pleasant field
like the desert of desolation.
11 They have made it a desolation.
Desolate, it mourns to me.
All the land is made desolate,
but there is no person taking it to heart.
12 Upon all the barren heights in the desert destroyers have come,
for the sword of Yahweh devours,
from one end of the land to the other end of the land,
there is no peace for all flesh.
13 They have sown wheat and they have reaped thorns.
They are exhausted, they do not profit.
And they will be ashamed of your produce,
because of the burning anger of Yahweh.”
- The heart of Israel was turned so far from God that He turned around and left the house of Israel forsaken and utterly abandoned
- He raised up enemies to Israel and allowed them to enter the Holy Land and overrun it
- Look at who God blames
- The shepherds of Israel – the priests and prophets – had become enemies of God and led the people into destruction with all turning their hearts from Him
- Such derision on their part toward the One and only God who loved them, was more than He could bear
- It angered Him with such righteous anger that He removed all His blessings
- Are we in America in a similar state?
- You better believe it!
- As the church has removed God from its midst, so has God pulled further from those churches
- They want to lift up the gods of social justice or prosperity or the hating of Israel?
- So be it
- Yahweh has delivered those churches into the hands of those enemies which despise Him
- Why are so many places of worship dead in their faith? – Literally dead churches?
- Because the shepherds have removed the Holy Spirit
- Such a church reaps only thorns
- There are so many more passages in this section of Jeremiah, but I’ll touch on just one more – Jeremiah 16:10-13:
- 10 And then when you tell this people all these words and they ask you, ‘Why has Yahweh pronounced against us all this great evil, and what is our iniquity, and what is our sin that we have sinned against Yahweh our God?’ 11 Then you shall say to them, ‘Because your ancestors have forsaken me,’ declares Yahweh, ‘and they have gone after other gods, and they have served them, and they have bowed down in worship to them, and they have forsaken me, and they have not kept my laws. 12 And you have behaved badly more than your ancestors, and look, you are going each one after the stubbornness of his evil heart, without listening to me. 13 So I will throw you from this land to the land that you have not known, you or your ancestors, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will not show you favor.
- The people of Israel were willfully ignorant of their sins
- Naively and foolishly they asked why God would treat them so poorly
- It was such a stupid question that God would have had every right to ignore it given all that He had done for the people of Israel
- But He restrained Himself and gave them the straight and honest truth
- They pursued other gods even to a worse extent than those who came before them
- This was totally unacceptable to the One true God
- He had given Israel their land – He could remove that blessing
- Pagan gods ruled other nations
- Israel would go under their jackboot and see how merciless and useless these gods were
- Israel could go and serve them and reap the disastrous consequences
- America today might ask the same questions
- We are going downhill as a nation and the churches are falling away into apostasy – why?
- What have we done to anger the Lord?
- The answer for us is the same as to Israel
- It goes back to the 1st of the Ten Commandments noted earlier
- We have pursued and served other gods to the exclusion of the only One that matters
- Jesus Christ has become a byword – He has become a curse
- We take His Name in vain and think that God doesn’t hear
- We erect altars to Baal beside the one to God and think that we can worship two masters
- Because the church no longer reads the Word of God, it does not know His Word
- The church no longer even knows the character of God
- It has no clue how much He loves Israel and will not forsake it despite her having forsaken Him
- Yes, He will punish, but He will not leave her
- In the same way, God will deal with the church
- Revelation shows us His concern for the various churches over the ages and in this current time
- Two churches will not be punished – those of Smyrna and Philadelphia
- The other five church types will certainly experience God’s wrath
- They will not receive God’s favor in any way once He begins punishing the earth in judgment in the Tribulation
- This brings us to the heart of the matter in this Prophecy Update
- God warned Israel of impending doom
- He foretold it time and again that He would bring His wrath to bear upon them
- Then He did and they lost everything
- Bible prophecy was fulfilled
- However, God also promised that he would redeem Israel
- He would destroy the abomination in His land and then ultimately restore a believing remnant
- God has shown us in the prophetic text of the Bible exactly how these end times will play out
- Jesus described them, Paul described them, and John described them
- As the time of the end grew near, there had to be a progression of gathering evil
- The wickedness in the world had to grow immensely as men’s hearts became cold as ice toward Jesus Christ
- The birth pains had to increase in frequency and duration
- I’ve noted previously that the unique phenomenon with birth pains is that they don’t stop until there is birth
- I know that’s profound but there it is
- The birth pains of these end times have surely begun
- We see the gathering gloom
- We see the portent of doom all around us
- All – and I mean ALL – of the signs of the end times are extremely active and growing immensely
- We are in a time of convergence of every single sign of warning that the return of Jesus is near
- That return will be at the end of the 7-year Tribulation
- This is the birth that the pains we’re experiencing are leading toward
- If the Tribulation is so close at hand, that means that the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the church is even nearer
- God always retained a remnant of believers even as he brought disaster
- The remnant today is true believers in the church who will be rescued by Jesus when he comes in the clouds for us
- Why? Because He loves those who love Him
- We are the true Bride of Christ whom He will not forsake or allow to be desecrated like the unbelieving world when he rains down His judgment
- Once the Rapture occurs, God can and will unleash all the plagues He has purposed to bring an end to this world as we know it
- This will happen
- The Bible clearly shows this to be true
- If we are in this period of birth pains that will not cease until the Tribulation is birthed, here is the question of the day:
- Why does the church so desperately wish to hang onto this world?
- In Philippians 1:21, Paul tells us that to live is Christ and to die is gain
- Do we believe that?
- Hebrews 13:14 tells us that this world is not our home; that we are (or should be) looking forward to our permanent home in heaven with the Lord
- If these statements are true, why do we cling to this world and try to make it better AT THIS POINT where God is judging it?
- In other words, at this time in history, Bible prophecy explicitly says that the world is going down
- It will not survive in this present form
- Yet, we have the church trying to resurrect something that is already dead – for all intents and purposes
- Again another question:
- Where are we looking?
- We have a choice
- We can focus our eyes on Jesus, or we can look to the world for our sustenance and salvation
- I can understand the secular world trying to keep this thing afloat
- From that perspective it’s a noble and worthy undertaking trying to keep our country, our democratic republic, our freedoms, and our way of life
- I get that
- It even brings me to tears knowing what is lost
- But God has told us in His Word that it cannot be saved at this time
- In the past, when we weren’t in the middle of the birth pains of the end, count me in
- I would have wanted to save all this as much as anyone
- But that day has passed
- The church has gone the way of the world, and the world is headed toward destruction
- How useful would it have been to build a house on the eve of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima?
- That house and everything associated with it would have blown away as dust
- That’s where we are today trying to restore the things in this nation that have been blown away
- If you believe we’re at a point that we can redeem this nation, you are contending against God
- Judah reached that point when God told His people to go to Babylon in Jeremiah 29
- The false prophets declared that God told them He would not send His people into exile
- For them and all the people who disobeyed the Lord, He said He would bring great disaster upon them
- Then a remnant that was left in israel decided in Jeremiah 42-43 to go to Egypt
- God warned them not to but they did anyway thinking they’d find safety there
- Instead God brought them plague, captivity, and the sword
- They kept trying to retain what God had condemned as unworthy and an abomination
- They had their eyes on the world and what they thought they were losing rather than on God and the blessings He would bring for being obedient
- As Jesus said to Paul on the road to Damascus, “Why are you kicking against the goads?”
- Those were sharpened sticks to keep the animals in line
- Are you kicking against that which will impale you?
- If you don’t believe God’s prophetic Word, that’s exactly what you’re doing
- Pastor JD Farag said it well recently that the Bible doesn’t tell us to rise up, it instructs us to look up because our redemption draws near
- The reason God punished Israel was because of their abomination of following other gods
- We in America have committed that same abomination – as has all the earth
- That deserves punishment and nothing we can do at this point will thwart God’s Word in which He says that He will bring this destruction upon the world
- I’ve also made this point in the past, but I’ll repeat it
- For those of you who want to delay God’s judgment, let’s pretend you’re able to pray it away for a time, be it 10 or 20 or 30 years
- If you believe in the Bible then you know that this judgment must happen because God has declared it
- If God’s Word returned void, then He wouldn’t be God and Satan would win because Satan has – since the beginning – attempted to cause God to fail
- But let’s say God relents, and He doesn’t unleash the Tribulation right now
- Again, He must at some point
- So, the prayers of the saints prevail
- We have peace in our time
- Glory – hallelujah!
- Now we’re just like King Hezekiah after he showed the wealth of Israel to the Babylonians
- God asked him through the prophet what he did
- Hezekiah essentially said that in his pride he displayed the might of Israel
- For that arrogance, God told him that it would be Babylon itself that would destroy Israel
- However, because Hezekiah had been generally a faithful king, God would not bring this destruction upon the land during his lifetime
- Do you know what Hezekiah then thought?
- He said, “Good, this won’t happen while I’m alive. My children are the ones who will suffer, which is just fine with me.”
- For those of you wanting to pray away the coming judgment in your day – i.e. this current time in which we’re living – so that it doesn’t happen on your watch, you are saying that you’re perfectly fine with allowing the destruction to come upon your children or grandchildren!
- Is that really what you prefer?
- You’d better think about what you’re asking for, because that’s a very selfish attitude
- God’s prophetic Word will be fulfilled
- He has declared disaster upon this world and it will happen
- The signs of the times tell us that this disaster – the 7-year Tribulation – is almost upon us
- Why are Christians wasting our time trying to build houses on the eve of destruction?
- Why are we fleeing to Egypt to attempt to preserve our lives?
- The judgments of God will sweep away all the detritus of our measly efforts to restore our house before the atomic bomb hits
- What a waste of time and energy!
- God will destroy Egypt as a place of refuge just like any other because there is no one righteous in the land
- All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God
- The church through the efforts of man has failed to redeem our nation
- Now it’s God’s turn to shine His light into this dark and dying world
- Now is the day of salvation in His way
- It is not the day of rebuilding and making America great again
- Rather than trying to restore this secular nation that has no fear of God
- Rather than trying to live in this alien world that is not our home
- Why don’t we as Christ-followers do as Jesus instructed?
- He said to make disciples
- To do that, we have to get Jesus to people and people to Jesus
- That is the one and only task that we should be working at in this late hour
- Are you building a house of sticks that will soon be blown away?
- If you are, then your priorities are not aligned with those of God
- Forget the useless work of the world
- Let’s draw near to the only One who can save us and do all that we can to bring others to Him