In Jeremiah chapter number 2, the Bible reads, beginning in verse number 1, "Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, thus saith the Lord, I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown." The first thing I want to point out here, is at the beginning of verse number 2, where it says, "Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem." Now, when the Bible uses the word cry, it doesn't mean what we would think of as crying. The Bible calls that weeping. When the Bible says cry, basically it means to shout or to yell.
All throughout the Bible, God instructs preachers to lift up their voices and to preach loud, to yell, to shout, to cry out. He says here, "Cry in the ears of Jerusalem." This type of preaching, today, is unpopular in many circles, and people will ridicule preaching that yells and lifts up its voice, and they'll say, "Oh it's just too dramatic, or too emotional." They prefer a more soft spoken, monotone style. Yet, the Bible says over and over again, "Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet and show my people their transgressions in the house of Israel there since."
God told Ezekiel to, "Smite with his hand and stomp with his foot." Jesus, all throughout the gospels is constantly raising his voice and screaming. I'm not going to scream tonight, because I have a really bad cold. I'm not going to be able to practice what I preach here. Honestly, we need to stay with that style of preaching that has urgency and passion behind it, not just this go down deep, stay down long, come up dry preaching with no passion, no excitement, no zeal, no urgency. If people are dying and going to hell, then obviously, we ought to yell and shout, and warn them. If Christians are in danger of ruining their lives, we need to yell, and shout, and warn them.
The nation of Israel, at this time, was in danger of being destroyed. In fact, if we read to the end of the book of Jeremiah, we know that they did not heed Jeremiah's warnings and they ended up being destroyed and carried away captive in the land of Babylon. Because the country is hanging in the balance and ruin is just around the corner, Jeremiah's told to yell when he preaches, and to cry out, and to loudly proclaim the word of the Lord. He says in verse 3, "Israel was holiness unto the Lord." Holiness means to be set apart, or sanctified.
He's talking about the fact that Israel had been set apart as a special nation, a chosen people, a peculiar people, and that they were supposed to be God's first fruits. It says, "Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the first fruits of his increase, all that devour him shall offend, evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord." Referring to the fact that God would defend His people and that evil would come upon anyone who attacked them. He says in verse 4, "Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel. Thus saith the Lord, what iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?"
He's saying that the children of Israel were supposed to be set apart unto the Lord, they used to be holiness unto the Lord, now they're going after vanity. The reference there is to the fact that they're going after false Gods. Vanity means that which is worthless and has no meaning, it has no value, it's a waste of time. He's referring to the fact that when they go after these false Gods that are vain, they cannot profit them. He says that they are become vain. We see that the children of Israel only had value, or worth, as long as they were serving the Lord.
The Lord was the whole reason why they were a great people. I mean, why was the children of Israel great at any point of their history? It was because they're worshiping the Lord. That's the only reason. Any time they turned from the Lord, they became losers and they were devoured, and they became a laughing stock and a reproach to the nations around them. Then, when they would serve the Lord, then they would be great in the eyes of those around them. They would also be lifted up and exalted. Without the Lord they're nothing. If they're serving other gods, they're nothing. By the way, the Bible clearly teaches that without the Lord, all of our lives are pointless and meaningless.
The atheist today who believes there is no God, his life is completely meaningless. He's living the life of an animal. He lives, he dies, he goes back to the dust and is forgotten, and it doesn't matter what he did with his life. Ecclesiastes goes on and on, for 12 chapters, about the vanity of life. All the different pleasures and accomplishments that we can achieve in our life are all vain in the end. That serving the Lord and keeping His commandments are the only thing that make this life worth living. The Bible's clear on that.
Just as the children of Israel were vain without the Lord, so our lives are completely vain without the word of God, and serving the Lord. Once you've been saved and you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, and you're sealed up the day of redemption. Then, you've taken it a step further and gotten baptized, and gotten in church, and started serving the Lord. If you go back to a life of sin, if you get back slidden and go back to a worldly life, you're going to find that it's completely vain and worthless unto you, even if you had enjoyed it in the past.
Once you've known what it is to have true meaning in your life, and to do something of eternal value, then obviously, the things of this world are going to lose their appeal unto you if you try and go back to that life of sin. It truly is vain, it's meaningless, it is worthless. By the way, the children of Israel today, or the so called nation of Israel in the middle east today, they don't have the Lord. Therefore they are vain. They are complete vanity over there. You can get all excited about that nation over there, but that nation is meaningless because it doesn't have the Lord, Jesus Christ, as their savior. Except a very small remnant over there that believes on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and of course, they have value in the eyes of God.
The Bible says, in verse 6, " Neither said they, where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt? And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof, but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination." He's talking about the fact that they had forgotten the miracles that the Lord did when he brought them out of Egypt, and brought them through the Red Sea. He talks about bringing them into a wonderful country, and he says, "Ye defiled my land." Referring to that promised land.
He said, "You made my heritage an abomination." What does the word heritage mean? Heritage is like our modern word inheritance. When David said in Psalm 16, for example, "The lions are falling unto me in pleasant places, yeah I have a goodly heritage." He's referring to the fact that he had a great inheritance. He wasn't just referring to money that was handed down to him, but rather the fact that worshiping the Lord had been taught unto him, from a child he had known the Holy scriptures and been brought up with the Lord. He said, "I have a goodly heritage." Heritage is that which you inherit, like an inheritance.
Here, God says that they defiled His land and made His heritage an abomination. Think about this, if you had someone that was in your ancestry pass away and they left you an inheritance, usually in today's world that would be money, or maybe land, or a house, or something like that, that you would inherit. You can imagine that if you were left an inheritance, that would be something to be happy about, something to be excited about. If you inherited some money, that you'd be thinking, "Great, I was able to receive some extra money that I was expecting. Or, wow, now I've got this piece of land, or this house, because my great, great uncle kicked the bucket or whatever, and I received the inheritance."
I know that my mom has an inheritance that she got, some kind of an oil producing land where she gets a check every once in a while. I'm sure that she doesn't mind getting that check every once in a while from that inheritance. He says, "You've made my inheritance, you've made my heritage, an abomination." Meaning, He's inheriting that which He hates. An abomination is something that is hateful unto you, you don't even want it, you don't even like it. It'd be like if you were expecting to inherit a house, or something like that, and then the house was so bad that it was just an abomination unto you, that which you inherited.
God's saying, "You defiled my land and made my heritage an abomination." The promised land, again, is only as good as the people who are living in it. When you have people in the land that are defiling it, then the land becomes an abomination. God, here, is talking about that land as His land, His inheritance, His heritage, and He's saying, "You've made my heritage." In context, the land. "You've made that land an abomination." It's really not even a holy land today, it's an abomination of land because of the fact that it's been defiled by the people who live there.
They're not worshiping the Lord, they're not serving Jesus Christ, and they're not following Christian values in the nation of Israel today, either. That's why Tel Aviv has the greatest gay pride parade in the middle east. That's why Tel Aviv, Israel, has been known as one of the top homosexual destinations in the world. Because of the fact that the people of that land have defiled that land with their abominations. They've made that land an abominable land.
Verse 8, " The priests said not, where is the Lord? And they that handle the law knew me not, the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children's children will I plead. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see, and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? But my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit."
What He's saying is, even heathen nations will stick with the same God for hundreds of years, even if it's a phony, false god. They'll still stay with that god for hundreds and hundreds of years. He's saying, "None of the nations around you are changing gods. Yet, you've changed gods when you had the true God. You've changed your glory for that which does no profit." Repeatedly, He used this term, "Do not profit." At the end of verse 8 He said, "Walked after things that do not profit." At the end of verse 11, He says, "Their glory, they've changed it for that which doth not profit."
This is synonymous with that which is vanity, that which is vain. It's unprofitable, it has no meaning, it has no value. Again, referring to the false gods, and referring to those who follow them as becoming meaningless in their lives. It says in verse 12, "Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. For my people have committed two evils, they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water." They've turned away from the true God and they've turned unto false gods.
Notice that He says, in verse 13, "They've forsaken me, the fountain of living waters." God is saying, "I am the fountain of living waters." If you would, go to John, chapter 7. This is something that the book of John talks about in several places. Of course, in chapter 4 there's the woman at the well, where Jesus says to the woman at the well, "Woman, give me to drink." Of course, He ends up saying to her, "If thou knewest the gift of God and who was that saith to thee, give me to drink, thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would've given thee living waters." He talks about the fact that whoever drank of those living waters, would never thirst again.
Look down, if you would, at John, chapter 7, verse 37. "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood." And what? Cried. More of that annoying, loud preaching, that yelling preaching. I guess He was just trying to be dramatic. "But if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given because that Jesus was not yet glorified."
God said in the Old Testament, "I'm the fountain of living waters." In the New Testament, the fountain of living waters, identified as the Holy Spirit that would indwell the believer. He would spring up as a well of living water. He said that, "If you drink of the water that I give you, you will never thirst." By the way, that's another proof, among all the thousands of others, why a person cannot lose their salvation. The Bible says that out of the scripture would, the scripture had said, "Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive, for the Holy Ghost was not yet given because that Jesus was not yet glorified."
That well of water, springing up in us unto everlasting life, that is the Holy Ghost, and that is the Lord, Himself, dwelling in us. The Bible teaches that the Holy Ghost is God. The Bible teaches that the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, these 3 are 1. If you would, go back to Jeremiah chapter 2. We see that God is the fountain of living waters. You can't lose your salvation because once you drink of the living water, you'll never thirst the Bible says. There's no need to come back to the well again, and drink. As they had to go daily to that well in John, chapter 4, you go to this well one time, you drink the water one time, and it becomes within you, a well of water that just springs up unto everlasting life, the fountain of living water.
The Bible says in Revelation 22, "And the Spirit and the bride say come. And let him that heareth say, come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely." Salvation is free. It's for whosoever wants it, whosoever will. Once you have it, it's everlasting, it's a well of water that never runs dry. You'll never be thirsty, if you thirst again after that, then God's a liar because He promised that whoever came to Him would never thirst. In John chapter 6, John chapter 4, these things are taught.
Now, the Bible says in verse 14, "Is Israel a servant? Is he a home born slave? Why is he spoiled?" What the Bible's saying here is that Israel should've been freed because the Bible said that Israel was God's son. Remember in Exodus when he said, "Israel is my first born and out of Egypt have I called my son." Referring to Israel as God's son. Yet, he is living his life as a servant or a home born slave and being being spoiled of the enemy when he should've been free. He should've had freedom.
You see, whether we have freedom or slavery is our choice, in our personal lives and as a nation. If we want the United States to have freedom, we must serve the Lord, we must be sons and daughters of God in this country. We have to honor the word of God. If we don't, our country will go into bondage. Personally in our own lives, if we disobey the commandments of the Lord, we're going to go into bondage because the Bible says, "Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." If we continue in God's word, then we'll be his disciples indeed, and we shall know the truth, and the truth shall make us free.
If you want America to be a free country, if you stand for liberty in this country, you have to stand for the principles of God's word. You'll never have freedom any other way. Those that are atheists, or agnostics, and they're part of some kind of a libertarian movement, some kind of a freedom movement in this country, they think that they're on the right side. They're actually working for the enemy. They're actually bringing enslavement. They think that they're doing something for freedom? No. By standing against Jesus, you're destroying freedom. By saying, "Oh, I'm for so much freedom, I'm even pro choice." Well, you're just bringing God's wrath on this country through the murder that is abortion.
"Oh, I'm for freedom, I don't care what people do. If people want to be homosexuals, that's all good." Well, you're just bringing God's wrath upon our country then, by forsaking the laws of the Lord, forsaking God's word. No country could ever have freedom without the Lord, because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Our country has been one of the freest countries in the past, because of the fact that we honored the Lord, and that's the only reason why. Everywhere else in this world, there's so much darkness and so much slavery, it's as the French philosopher said, "Man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains." Why? Because of sin.
Whether that French philosopher knew that or not, that's the reason. Because of sin. Because of ungodliness. Because of wickedness. The reason why our country has had freedom is because of a God fearing populous, that's why. To the degree that we lose that in this country, and to the degree that we forsake those roots, we're going to lose our freedom to that exact degree. It's that simple. You can see it happening, look around. People, today, are excited about the election, and they're following the blow by blow of the primary, of the Republicans and the Democrats, and really on pins and needles just kind of hoping and praying that it's not so ... Most people aren't really excited about it anyway, but they're just really hoping it's not so and so. They don't realize the whole thing's rigged anyway.
Here's the thing, even if it were rigged, God can't bless our country until we get right with God. You say, "Oh are you voting?" You know what? I vote every Sunday morning. I vote every Sunday night. I vote every Wednesday night. I vote every time I go out soul winning. I vote every time I pick up my Bible and read it. Because that's when I'm actually doing something to change our country. When you go out and preach the gospel and win someone to Christ, you're doing way more for this country than casting a vote for the lesser of 5 evils, or the lesser of 2 evils, or whichever person you think is really telling the truth this time, of these lying politicians.
I'm telling you, the vote is when you go to church. The vote is when you love the Lord. We could turn this country around if the pulpits of America would get on fire and start preaching the truth. It's not a political solution that's needed, it's a spiritual solution. God is saying in this chapter, and really in the whole book of Jeremiah, He's pleading with a nation that's not that different from our nation. A nation that had been Godly in the past, and now they've turned unto vanity. He's pleading with that nation saying, "There's no reason for you to be a slave. There's no reason for you to be spoiled. There's no reason for you to be a servant. Why don't you just turn unto me and turn away from your false gods and worship me? I can protect you, I can bless you." That's the message of the book of Jeremiah.
Verse 15, "The young lions roared upon him, and yelled, and they made his land waste, his cities are burned without inhabitant. Also the children of Noph and Tahapanes have broken the crown of thy head. Hast thou not procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when he led thee by the way?" He's saying, "Look, you've done this to yourself." We control our own destiny in this world. We decide what our life is going to be like and what our nation's going to be like. It's based on what we do.
God wants to bless, but God can't bless us when we turn away from Him and when we do wrong things. Here's the thing, it's up to us whether we want to have freedom, it's up to us whether we want God to bless us or to curse us. It depends on our actions. He's sitting there and saying to them, "Look, you've done this unto yourself. You've procured this unto thyself, in that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, when he led thee by the way." Verse 18, "And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor? Or what hast thou to do in the way of Assyria, to drink the waters of the river?"
Basically, He's referring to the fact there that they thought that Egypt is going to help them against Babylon. "Hey, if we teamed up with Egypt, then we can defeat Babylon. Or, maybe we can team up with the Assyrians, and then the Babylonians won't come and get us." God's just telling them it's not going to work. Throughout Jeremiah He keeps bringing this up, that they can't help you, you're going to go down, it's a spiritual problem that you have. It doesn't matter who you ally yourself with.
Verse 19, "Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee, know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord God of hosts. For of old time I have broken thy yoke, and burst thy bands and thou saidst, I will not transgress, when upon every high hill and under every green tree thou wanderest, playing the harlot." He's referring to times in the past when He had broken their yoke and burst their bands. Other times when they were in bondage or when they were taken captive, God was always able to make them free.
Look at the book at Judges. They turn away from the Lord, they be enslaved. When they cried out to the Lord, when they put away the false God, He was able to break their bands asunder. He was able to give them freedom. He's saying, "I've already done it in the past, of old times. I've saved you and whenever I did, this is what you said." "I'll not transgress. I promise I'll be good this time." "Then you went and played the harlot." He said, "Under every green tree, playing the whore." God uses this metaphor with the children of Israel, that when they're serving other gods they're like unto a wife that is cheating on her husband. That's the illustration that He uses.
It's like a spiritual adultery. The fact that they're not being faithful unto Him and Him alone. They're just as dirty and wicked as a woman that would commit adultery on her husband. That's the comparison. Playing the whore with all these multiple partners, under every green tree. What a disgusting image that is. That's what God compares it to when the children of Israel would turn after other gods.
Verse 21, "Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed, how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me? For though thou wash thee with nitre, and take thee much soap." Kind of an interesting spelling of the word soap, there. "Yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God. How canst thou say, I am not polluted, I have not gone after Baalim? See thy way in the valley, know what thou hast done, thou art a swift dromedary traversing her ways." What He's saying here, in verse number 22, is that no matter how clean you make yourself, and wash yourself with soap, if you don't have the Lord, you're wicked.
You could sit there and try to clean it up, and try to make it look good. But, when you're not worshiping the Lord, you're not clean. You're unclean in His sight. This would be like a person who basically doesn't believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ, but they're trying to live a good life, what they define as a good life, or what the world defines as a good life. They think that that somehow is going to get them a pass into Heaven. When, in reality, the Bible says, "Look, no matter how much you scrub with that soap, if you're not worshiping the Lord, when you're going after other gods, when you're going Baalim, it's not going to help you. Your iniquity is marked before me."
See that at the end of verse 22? It says, "For though thou was thee with nitre, and take thee much soap, yet thine iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God." Now, that reminds me of Psalm 130 where the Bible says, "If thou Lord shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared." What the Bible is saying is, that if God were to actually mark our iniquities, meaning He would actually hold us accountable for our iniquities, no one could stand before Him. Why? Because we've all sinned and come short of the glory of God.
"If thou Lord shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee that thou mayest be feared." It says in Psalm 130 verses 3 and 4. Right here He says, "You can wash yourself with soap, yet your iniquity is marked before me, saith the Lord God." You know, I often preach about, in Matthew chapter 7, the people who think that they're saved. They say, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works. Then will I profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from me ye that work iniquity."
People that are unsaved are often so blind that they'll actually use that scripture to prove that you can lose your salvation. That's how blind they are. They're using a scripture that says I never knew you, to say you can lose your salvation? How does that work? I've said this to so many people when they bring it up, I say, "Wait a minute, if they lost their salvation, then how could He say I never knew you?" "Oh well, it's just like He never." Whoa, so He's just lying? Could I really say to my wife, that I'm married to for 15 years now, "I never knew you?" That would be a ridiculous thing to say, wouldn't it? It's nonsense.
The fact that He says, "I never knew you." Proves that those people were never saved. Now, why were they never saved? They were relying on their works. What are they saying, "Lord Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in they name have cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works." People often say, "Well, that shows they believed on Him because they did all that stuff." No it doesn't. It shows that they're trusting in their works.
Believe on Jesus doesn't just mean Jesus existed. It means, put your faith on Jesus to get you to Heaven. Believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. You have to rely on Him. It's defined as trusting, Ephesians chapter 1, when we believe on Him is when we trust in Him. Our faith is in Him to get us to Heaven. If you say, "Well, I believe in Jesus, but I'm going to Heaven because I'm a good person." That's not salvation. You got to believe on the Lord, Jesus Christ, with all your heart to get to Heaven, you got to put your faith and trust in Him.
Someone would say, "Well, no, no, no, the reason that those people are damned, it's not because they were trusting in their works. It's because of the fact that they did iniquity." At the end, He says, "I never knew you, depart from me ye who work iniquity." Here's the thing, if the Lord marks iniquities, then who could stand? No one. What nonsense to say, "Oh, these people believed in Jesus but they were rejected because of their iniquity." Okay, well, I guess nobody's going to Heaven. That's why the Bible even says, "Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to who the Lord will not impute sin." Romans 4:7 and 8.
The Bible says that iniquity is marked, in verse 22. Meaning that, their iniquities will hold them accountable that they will be punished for them, no matter how much they clean themselves up, God is going to judge them for their sins. Why? Because they don't trust in the Lord because they're going after other gods. They're not saved. He says in verse 24, "A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure, in her occasion who can turn her away? All they that seek her will not weary themselves, in her month they shall find her." What's this saying?
It's just more derogatory comparisons that He's referring to the children of Israel as being a whore. He's basically, now, just kind of referring them to an animal. Like an animal that's in heat and basically it's just found of all kinds of male animals. Verse 25, Withhold thy foot from being unshod, and thy throat from thirst, but thou saidst, there is no hope, no, for I have loved strangers, and after them will I go." Again, referring to strangers meaning men other than her husband. "As the thief is ashamed when he is found, so is the house of Israel ashamed, they, their kings, their princes, and their priests, and their prophets. Saying to a stock, thou art my father."
Now, what's a stock? A stock is a piece of wood. They're saying to a piece of wood, "You're my father." "To a stone, thou hast brought me forth." Brought me forth means giving birth unto me. Saying to a stone, "You're my mother." Saying to a piece of wood, "You're my father." He's talking about idolatry, how foolish it is to carve a god out of an inanimate object, and then tell it it's your father and mother. Mother Mary, right? You're my mother. It's made of stone, or made of wood, it's a stock. Or father Abraham, or God the father, or Jesus, or saints, or whoever they make statues of these days. Buddha, or all the gods of Hinduism or whatever. These are all vain.
He says, "Thou has brought me forth for they have turned their back unto me." Verse 17, "And not their face, but in the time of their trouble they will say, arise, and save us. But where are thy gods that thou hast made thee? Let them arise, if they can save thee in the time of thy trouble, for according to the number of thy cities are thy gods, O Judah." That reminds me of India, whenever I read that verse. In India, they have thousands and thousands of gods, where every city that you go to has a different god. That's what He's saying, "According to the number of they cities are thy gods, O, Judah." It's just paganism, idolatry. There's nothing new under the sun.
The Hindu's brag about the fact that their religion is the oldest religion in the world. Yeah, that's because the devil goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. That's why your religion's so old. Yeah, because you're worshiping a serpent, because you're worshiping Satan. When you look at the gods of Hinduism, he's not even trying to hide the fact that he's Satan, most of the time. Half of the time he's holding a pitchfork. Who knows what I'm talking about? Have you seen these Hindu gods? They hold a pitchfork, literally. They have flames around them, they're wearing serpents, and sometimes they're even holding a severed head and everything. Talk about a demonic religion.
They have all these different gods. Why? Well, because the Bible talks about the fact that in Heaven, there are 10,000 times 10,000 angels, and thousands of thousands, which is over 100 million angels, that are serving and worshiping the Lord. Well, remember, the devil took a third part of the angels with him. That means that there are tens of millions of devils in this world. All of these gods, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 10, that the things that the Gentiles sacrificed are unto idols. They sacrificed unto devils. "I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils."
By the way, where did the Hindu's get their religion from? History tells us that the Hindu's got their religion from what are known as the Aryans. The Aryans were a lighter skinned people who came from the north and came into India, and they brought the Sanskrit language, which is a European related language. They came with the Sanskrit language and they brought Hinduism, and they taught the indigenous people of India Hinduism. That's what most historians agree happened in the history of India. These people were Gentile people, they were the same type of Gentiles, in fact, that Paul was talking about worshiping idols in 1 Corinthians 10, in Greece.
Obviously, they came to India long before that. It's the same satanic, pagan religion. It's the same mystery babble on, where you have the mother worship the female goddess that they worship in India, which is very common throughout India. The great mother that they worship and so forth. Same thing in Egypt, same thing in Roman Catholicism, which is a pagan religion, same thing throughout history. There's nothing new under the sun. Yeah, the Hindu's have a really old religion because it goes all the way back to the devil himself, who goes back all the way to the Garden of Eden.
He's talking about the fact that the children of Judah had gotten caught up in this kind of pagan idol worship, which has been going on for thousands of years, and still goes on in India and other places, today. This is still a relevant teaching, because of that reason. Now, a lot of places in this world no longer worship idols. For example, the Muslim world does not worship idols, in the sense that the Muslims do not make graven images. Neither do the Jews, today, make graven images.
But, much of the world still does worship graven images, don't they? The Roman Catholicism, I brought up, obviously worships graven images. Then, the Orthodox Church worships 2D images, 2 dimensional images that they worship and light candles to. Then, we have, of course, Buddhism, that involves graven image worship, Hinduism, and all types of paganism whether it be Chinese folk religion or other indigenous pagan, satanic religions all around the world. Wiccan or whatever else that involves these type of things.
Here's the thing, if you form and fashion a god that you've invented, that is not the God of the Bible, just because you don't make a wooden image of it, you're still worshiping a false god. The Muslims are still worshiping a false god, even though they don't carve an image. Just because they say, "Oh, well, we're worshiping the invisible god." Yeah, but if it's not Jesus, if you don't have the Son, then you don't have the Father. Neither the Muslims or the Jews have the Son today, so therefore they don't have the Father.
The Bible says, in verse 29, "Wherefore will ye plead with me? Ye all have transgressed against me, saith the Lord. In vain have I smitten your children, they received no correction, your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion." Notice that, "Your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion." Who's known in the Bible as being liked unto a lion seeking whom he may devour? The devil, right? Here we have those 2 words, devouring and a lion. He says, "Your own sword hath devoured your prophets, like a destroying lion."
The children of Judah hath killed their own prophets. Now, go, if you would to Matthew 23 and Acts chapter 7, both. If you want to put a finger in both places, we're going to read from both. Otherwise, if you can only go to one, then just go to Acts chapter 7. We're going to look at Acts chapter 7 and we're going to look at Matthew chapter number 23. Look what the Bible says in Matthew chapter 23, verse 37, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
Flip over to Acts chapter 7. The Bible reads, in verse 51, "Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost, as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One, of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers. Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it. When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth."
In both Matthew 23 and Acts chapter 7, God is talking about how the Jews had killed the prophets that were sent unto them. Jesus gave a parable about this. He talked about planting a vineyard in Isaiah chapter 5. He planted a vineyard and when he went to receive the fruit of the vineyard, it was wild grapes, it was not what He planted. He planted good seed and it was wildness that grew up. It was that which is unusable that grew up. He said, "The vineyard is the house of Israel." Everybody got that? Isaiah chapter 5.
Then, in the New Testament, in Matthew 21, he tells a parable about a vineyard. He talks about how the vineyard is there, it's planted, and he lets out the vineyard to husbandmen and then he goes away into a far country, and He sends his servants to require the fruit of it. When his servants come, they beat some and they kill others. Then, he last of all sends unto them his son and says, "They will reverence my son." When they see the son coming afar off, they say, "This is the heir, let us kill him and let us seize on the inheritance, and the vineyard shall be ours." Of course, the question is asked, what shall the Lord of the vineyard do when he cometh? He'll destroy those murderers and he'll let out the vineyard unto other husbandmen that will bring forth the fruits of the new season. Of course, he said, "The kingdom of God."
Two verses later, "The kingdom of God shall be taken from you and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." That vineyard is the house of Israel, and they were sent prophets. Those are the servants that God kept sending, rising up early and sending the prophets, and they killed their own prophets. Jesus also said, in Matthew 23, "Whoa unto you." He said, "You, your fathers killed the prophets and you garnished their sepulchers." You say, "Well, if we had been in the days of our fathers, we wouldn't have" ... I'm paraphrasing, but, "We wouldn't have killed the prophet." He says, "You're basically admitting it was your fathers who killed the prophets."
"Fill ye up then, the measure of your fathers you serpents, you generation of vipers." And so on. He's referring to the fact that they had devoured their own prophets, like a destroying lion. See, they were doing the work of the devil when they did that, when they killed their own prophets in Judah. "O generation." Verse 31 of Jeremiah, chapter 2, "O generation, see ye the word of the Lord. Have I been a wilderness unto Israel? A land of darkness? Wherefore say my people, we are lords, we will come no more unto thee?"
Look at that. This is like the parable in the New Testament where, again, the king goes off into a far country and his citizens, when he's gone, this is what they say, "We will not have this man to reign over us." Then they conspire to take everything from themselves, which is exactly what the Jews have done today. They want to have the promised land without Christ. They want to have the kingdom of God without the Lord, Jesus Christ, as their King, the true son of David as the rightful heir to the throne. So, they say, "We are lords." This is like in Psalm chapter 2 when the Bible says, "Why did the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord and against his anointed saying, let us break their bands asunder and cast away their accords from us."
We will not have this man to rule over us, is the attitude of the unsaved world today, and the ungodly world. They do not want Jesus Christ to rule. They don't want His rules. They don't want Him to be the boss. He is the boss. It says in verse 32, "Can a maid forget her ornaments." Maid, referring to a virgin. "Or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number." That's an important verse because when the Bible talks about the attire of a bride, this is something that God talks a lot about in the Bible. He uses this symbol a lot about the bride and about the wedding gown and so forth.
Now, of course, in the New Testament, the Bible talks about Jesus Christ coming back on a white horse and it talks about how the armies, which are in Heaven followed Him, clothed in white linen. The Bible talks about the fact that the marriage of the lamb is come. "His wife hath made herself ready. To her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints." When we think of a wedding that we go to today, the woman who's getting married, she wears a white wedding dress, right? What does that white wedding dress symbolize?
Here's the thing, it comes from the Bible. That is a Christian tradition of having the wife wear a white wedding dress. Because, if you went to other countries, she would be wearing other colors than white. That is a Christian tradition. The reason why the bride wears white is because of the fact that in Revelation 19, it talks about at the marriage supper of the lamb, his wife is arrayed in white, fine linen, clean and white. It says what that symbolizes, the righteousness of saints.
Now, many people have misunderstood this because the righteousness of saints is not referring to all of the good deeds that we do, all the good stuff we do. See, look what the Bible says here, "Can a maid forget her ornaments or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number." Think about this. What does the attire represent? If the bride forgets the attire, who are they forgetting? They're forgetting the Lord. He is the attire. Does everybody understand? The Bible says here, a bride is not going to forget to put on the wedding dress. I mean, can you imagine if it's the wedding day and everybody's excited and the bride gets there and she's just about to walk down the aisle and it's like, "Oh, whoops, I forgot something. I'm wearing street clothes. I forgot to put on the wedding dress."
That never happens. There's all kinds of things that go wrong at weddings. That's not one of them, because of the fact that brides pay a lot of attention to their wedding dress. It's a big deal to them, they spend a lot of time making sure that that dress is the right dress and they look their best. The Bible is saying, "There's no way that a bride's going to forget her wedding dress, but yet my people have forgotten me." Look at this, flip over, in Jeremiah, to chapter 23 verse 6 and look at this important phrase. In Jeremiah chapter 23, verse 6, "In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely and this is his name whereby he shall be called." Watch this, "The Lord our righteousness."
"The Lord our righteousness." Now, go to chapter 33, verse 16. Chapter 33, verse 16. We're cross referencing scripture with scripture right here in the book of Jeremiah itself. Chapter 33, verse 16, "In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely and this is the name wherewith she shall be called, the Lord our righteousness." The apostle Paul said, "And be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." "The righteousness which is of God by faith." Not having my own righteous, why? "Because there is none righteous, no not one."
Why? "Because all righteousness is as filthy rags." I mean, to sit there and say, "Oh, the fine linens, the righteousness of saints." That's going to be an ugly wedding dress because if you think it's your righteousness, because your righteousness is as filthy rags. When the Bible says that the fine linens, the righteousness of saints, it's the Lord, our righteousness. "We've lost our robes and made them white in the blood of the lamb." It's not that we worked hard and earned it. That's why, I take a stand on this, any wedding that I perform, the bride wears a white dress, because there are some people who have other traditions where they say things such as, "Well, you know, if she's had a child out of wedlock, or if she's not a virgin, or if she's been defiled in the past, then she has lost the right to wear the white wedding dress."
This is where some people would stand. I would say to that, you're missing the whole point of the symbolism. It's not about her righteousness, it's about the righteousness of Jesus. That wedding is a picture where the husband represents Christ and she represents one who is redeemed by Christ, and who's clothed in fine linen in white, by the grace of God, not according to her works or her clean life. When women say to me, "Well, I'm going to wear some other color because of my past." I'm not going to participate in a ceremony that doesn't do justice to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I only perform Christian type ceremonies that follow the traditions that we've gotten from the word of God.
Again, I'm not saying that I'm the only one who has a right to an opinion. I have the prerogative to perform whatever weddings I want. If someone wants to do something else, then they can go somewhere else. There are plenty other pastors, and preachers, and justice of the peace to perform their ceremony. When I perform a wedding ceremony, it's important to me that the bride wears a white dress, because of the fact I love the grace of God. I feel it's such a wonderful picture of the gospel of Jesus Christ. You say, "Well, it takes away from the one how kept her virginity." You know what, the one who kept her virginity is glad that she kept her virginity and it's not just because she gets to wear a dress and say, "Hey, look at me everybody."
Those who are not a virgin when they get married, you know what, they have to live with that for the rest of their life. Obviously, that is not, it has its own punishment built in. God demands us to be pure, and He wants us to be pure on our wedding day, He wants both man and woman to be a virgin on the wedding day. You know what? Our society has completely lost that standard, but that is the biblical standard, that is the right standard. Let's not mix that with what the whiteness of the dress is. The whiteness of the dress is something else all together.
Plus, these people who have this weird idea of only the virgin can wear the white dress. Then, it becomes a strange inquisition of confronting people and figuring out whether they're worthy. Honestly, I don't want to know about your dirty laundry because honestly, that's between you and the Lord. "Forget those things which are behind and reach forth unto those things which are before." I don't want to have to sit here and quiz people about their past sins. I'd rather just forget about your past sins and move on, and just move forward and be forgiven. The Bible says, "Can a maid forget her ornaments or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number."
Verse 33, "Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? Therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways. Also in thy skirts is found the blood of the souls of the poor innocents, I have not found it by secret search, but upon all these. Yet thou sayest, because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned." When we say I've not sinned, God will deal with us more harshly, when we say I'm innocent. Think of the church of Laodiceans in Revelation chapter 3, where he said, "Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."
He's saying, "You don't know that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. That is what makes me sick. That's what makes me want to spew you out of my mouth." Such as Babylon in Revelation 17 that says, "I sit a queen and am no widow and shall see no sorrow." Those who say, "I've not sinned, I'm innocent." They don't receive mercy because the Bible says that if you cover your sin, you'll no prosper, but it says, "Who so confesseth and forsaketh him shall find mercy." If we want God to go easy on us, we need to confess our sins to God. I'm talking about those of us that are Christians, those of us that are already saved. We should, on a continual basis, confess our sins, not to the priest, but unto the Lord. If we confess our sins, He's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We need to be constantly confessing our sins to the Lord, and not get an attitude of, "Well, I haven't done anything wrong." That's what makes God upset and He comes down harder on us. Verse 36, "Why gaddest thou about so much to change thy way? Thou also shalt be ashamed of Egypt, as thou wast ashamed of Assyria. Yea, thou shalt go forth from him, and thine hands upon thine head, for the Lord hath rejected thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them." He's saying, "Look, in the past you relied on Assyria to save you, it didn't work out. Well, Egypt is going to be the same way, now that you think that Egypt's going to be the one that saves you." He says, "You're going to go away with your hands on your head."
What's He talking about? Think about when you get arrested, right? "Hands on your head." Right? POW's marching with their hands on their heads. He's saying, "That's how you're going to go away. You're going into captivity, you're going to be judged." That's a very negative chapter here, it's a very negative book, Jeremiah. It's a warning book. I'd rather hear a negative sermon than to live a negative life. You're like, "Oh man, don't tell me that negative preaching." I'm preaching you negative preaching so you can live a positive life. Wouldn't you rather just sit for an hour and listen to some really negative stuff than to live a whole life of sorrow, and shame, and bondage, and reproach? Because you wanted to listen to a positive sermon and then go mess up your life. Think about it.
Let's bow our heads and have a word of prayer. Father, we thank you so much for the warnings that are in your word, Lord, because you love us. Lord, there's so many times in this chapter where you're just pleading with them and you even used that word in this chapter so many times, you said, "I'm pleading with you, I'm pleading with your children. I'm pleading with your grandchildren." Lord, help us to listen when you plead with us to do right, Lord. Help us to realize that we can live a life of blessing, and righteousness, but we have to obey you, Lord. Help us not to turn after all the things that this world would distract us with. Help us to stay the course for you, Lord, and to keep serving you so that our lives can have meaning and value, and so we can be blessed. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.