"LET THERE BE LIGHT" Ministries
The Message Then--is the Message Now!
First Printing, 1995
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The Message Then--is the Message Now!
God called Jeremiah as His watchman and messenger "to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down" established nations and kingdoms before any could be built up or planted (Jeremiah 1:5, 10). But how was their destruction to be accomplished? By the attack of another defenced city and kingdom (Jeremiah 1:18)--being the messenger of the Lord speaking the words of the Lord (Jeremiah 1:9, 6:17)!
All these nations and kingdoms worshipped a god or gods, thus making them religious nations and kingdoms. But to which established religious nation and kingdom in particular was to be rooted out, pulled down, and destroyed? The very one in which the Lord himself had established and carefully built up and planted to be His own. This was Jerusalem, along with all the cities (outposts) connected with her (Jeremiah 1:15).
The whole land (kingdom) was to be destroyed, including its king (main ruler or president), its princes (leaders), its priests (ministers), and its people (Jeremiah 1:18). Of course they all would fight against this attacking kingdom (or the Lord's messenger), in order to defend and save their own established kingdom. But they would not be able to prevail because the Lord was not with them, but with His messenger (Jeremiah 1:19). Why? Because of "all their wickedness." They had forsaken God, the One whom they professed to worship and obey, and formed another god out of the works of their own hands, and worshipped it instead (Jeremiah 1:16).
How did they become this way? What led up to the necessity of destroying this once pure and chosen church of God along with its whole religious kingdom? Lets review some of their history from the book of Jeremiah.
God called His people out of Egypt (a corrupted religious nation in which all were held captive under man's influence) to join Him in the wilderness, and all who wanted to follow and obey God went out after Him into the wilderness--a land not sown or established (Jeremiah 2:2). No man passed through nor dwelt there (2:6), so the only one they could look to and depend upon would be the Lord.
God told them that all who would continue to obey His voice, and do all His commandments, would continue to be His people and He would be their God (11:4). Because they obeyed these conditions, they became "holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of His increase" in this new land (2:3). Thus God was able to perform His oath or covenant with them because they obeyed Him (11:5).
God became their Husband (31:32), and they became married unto Him as His bride (3:14). But they gradually forgot that they were sacredly joined unto the Lord and turned their backs, not their faces, to Him (2:27). They departed from their Husband (3:20), and became a harlot by committing adultery--uniting themselves with many lovers (3:1-2, 6). Because of this, they fell into confusion (3:25).
God, in love and mercy, called to this wayward woman to come back to His side as a faithful wife and stop her harlotrous love affair (3:1, 22). He was calling His people to obtain the "new covenant" experience (4:3-4, 14), which they had failed to obtain before (2:19, 9:26). They were only putting on an outward show--living a lie--by confessing the Lord (with their mouths) while they had forsaken Him inwardly (reins (12:2, 5:1-2). Did His chosen people--His wife (church)--return to His side, stopping their harlotrous love affair? NO (3:7)! They rejected God's words and His law (6:19) and refused to be ashamed, or even to blush, for all their wickedness (6:15). So God withheld the showers and the latter rain from them (3:3).
Since they had forsaken God--their Fountain or Source of Living Waters (truth--2:13), and no showers or latter rain was coming upon them, they had nothing at all with which to quench their thirst. In this dry condition, did they stop their rebellion against God and look to Him for help in relieving them of their thirst? No. They built cisterns to try and hold other water (2:13). But where did they go to obtain this other water?
They ran back to Egypt and even to Babylon (Assyria) to try and quench their thirst by drinking up and storing their dark and turbid waters (doctrines--2:18). But they continued to remain dry and thirsty, and could not seem to get enough of this new water to satisfy them because their cisterns were broken (2:13). So, because they forsook God and refused to return to their Fountain of Living Waters, a never ending scenario was initiated of continually going back to Egypt and Babylon to receive of their dark waters, yet discovering that they never seemed to have enough with which to quench and satisfy their thirst.
But did this maddening thirsty experience and condition cause them to cease their harlotry and return to God? No! They continued on in harlotry (2:25), going beyond the evil actions of all the other harlots--rising above them in wickedness (5:28). Thus they became their leader in doing evil, becoming the worst harlot of all, and even taught others to become just like they were (2:33, 3:13).
No one, not even God Himself, could turn them away from their stubborn path (2:24, 5:13). And even Judah, a sister to Israel (their larger northern counterpart of 10 tribes or divisions), and still considered part of Israel, yet independent and self-supporting from her, also committed harlotry (3:8). Judah was the more treacherous of the two because they put on the pretense of following the Lord with all their heart, or having the "new covenant" experience, yet it was just a big farce and put-on (3:10). In God's sight, Israel (church) was more justified than her sister Judah (the independent self-supporting class--3:11).
God's once pure church became a den of thieves (7:11). Her pastors, that merchandised in the souls of men, had become the snares of Satan (the fowler) to trap, enslave, and destroy God's people (5:26, 12:10). Thus their crown became broken (2:16). The church had become corrupt, a cage of every unclean and hateful bird (12:9, 5:27), and would also be a hold (den) for dragons (9:11). It was even called "the great city" (22:8), and in her was found the blood of prophets (2:30) and of the innocent saints (2:34, 19:4). All the people connected or united with her were also a partaker of her sins--being corporately responsible (2:29, 6:27-28, 26:15).
Because of all this, God was preparing for a physical separation to take place out of the midst of Jerusalem (6:1). This was necessary so that His people could come out of their corrupted religious nation, which was holding them captive under the influence of man, to go through the wilderness experience and again see and feel their need of God (3:14-19). God had bore long with their continued wickedness, but could not forbear forever (6:11-12).
Some thought that by living a righteous example within Jerusalem that many would be led to follow their example, but this did not occur because of the great wickedness in the midst of the church (6:29). The leaders had run to Egypt and Babylon to receive and drink up their dark waters (doctrines), and now the church itself had become a source of dark waters spewing forth to others (6:7). Thus the truth (pure living water) was perished and cut off in the midst of the church (7:28).
All the while that the church was practicing their abominable wickedness, they were claiming they had done nothing wrong, that they were sinless and innocent, and that they were pure and clean and not polluted (2:21-23, 35). They were also claiming that the Lord would not reject them as His people, and that His anger would not fall upon them (5:12). But God did reject them as His people (6:30)! He divorced Himself from His once faithful wife and church (3:8).
Even though this was true, yet was heard the lying voices of the false prophets (leaders) and ministers (priests) of the church saying; "Peace, peace; we are still God's chosen people and His only church; do not be afraid, we shall never have to separate from this place" (7:4, 5:14). But God had said, "If ye thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, and continue to do good, then I will cause you to dwell in this place and not to leave it" (7:5-7). But they had forgotten that it was only on condition of obedience to God and His words, and an acknowledging and forsaking of their sins, that God's promises would be fulfilled to them and they could remain His people and church without being removed (3:12-13, 4:1).
But they refused to hearken to or obey the conditions upon which God's promises were granted, and so the Lord was going to cast them out of His sight (7:15). He even told His true people not to pray for the church, neither to intercede for this people, for He would not hear them (7:16). In fact, God didn't even want them to be in His sanctuary, and none of the priests were holy or able to perform the sanctuary services (11:15). Neither would God hear the people who would cry for deliverance, or for God to change His mind (11:14). God refused to call them "My people," but referred to them as "this people" (8:5).
Because of all the evil being unashamedly and continually practiced, God forsook His once pure church and separated Himself from His once obedient people (12:7). He even hated them (12:8). Yet, the people would not know this (8:7). The priests and church supporters were falsely prophesying from the imagination of their own hearts, saying, "Because God has seen fit to deposit His holy oracles (law) with our religious nation (8:8), then the prophetic destiny of this church is that it will go through safely unto the end (23:16-17). There is peace and victory prophesied for our church, not evil. So all this talk of separation and destruction is certainly not so" (8:10-11). But God had said that they were not going through to heaven, but would be cast down (7:14, 8:12).
All the wickedness that was being committed by the church and its leadership was not because they were deceived into committing it, but it was willfully being committed, because there was a conspiracy against God (11:9-10). And because of this, the whole land became desolate (12:10-11, 23:15). All the guilt and darkness of the whole land was laid at the door of the church and to those within her doors.
The majority of the church refused to give ear to God's words through His messenger, or to even see what fruits were being produced by their beloved church. They were blindly trusting in the lying words of their leaders (7:8), and were content because they loved to have it so (5:31). Some were hoping that the lying words of their leaders would come true, and also hoping that all the wickedness would cease, but there was no chance of a reformation back to God from within the church (13:23). It would not go from bad to good, but would continue to go from bad to worse (evil to evil--8:5, 9:3). And even Jeremiah himself was contemplating completely separating from them (9:2). He had already separated himself from their committee meetings, and would not attend their church services or assemblies (16:8, 15:17) unless God specifically told him to go and speak directly with the people at these meetings (17:19).
In the beginning, Israel was like a pure linen girdle which the Lord cleaved unto Himself (13:11). But after a time, they refused to obey or even to hear God's laws and words, and so no water was given them (13:1). They then went to Babylon to drink water from its main source (Euphrates), and tried to hide this from being known. But God's messenger dug through the surface of the deception and exposed to any who would see the real condition of the church. Because the church had continued to drink up the waters of Babylon, it had become ruined, corrupted, and worthless (13:7), being good for nothing (13:10), which was to be cast away and destroyed (13:14).
The people prayed to God that He would change His mind and again favor them as His people--thinking that God was still in their midst (14:7-9). But God did not accept them back as His people (14:10). He refused to hear any prayers or intercession for them (14:11). Yet, the church leaders were saying just the opposite (14:13), and God warned all who would hear of the deceit and falsehoods being spoken by their false watchmen (14:14-15).
Many of the people still refused to believe, or to acknowledge, the word of the Lord--that He had really rejected and cast them off as His people. Others, hoping that such a thing had not occurred, and out of fear and astonishment that such a thing might be true, prayed again to God, confessing their sins and pleading for Him to change His mind and not break His covenant with them (14:19-22). Did God hear these prayers and accept them back as His people? No! God was weary of their repentance (15:6), and He had determined that separation was necessary: they would have to go forth from their church (15:1).
Needless to say, the majority flatly refused to obey the word of the Lord through His messenger. They would rather fight against God and His will, than to willingly bear the pain of separating themselves from their beloved--but wicked church. Others tried to excuse themselves, and went about trying to raise doubts in other minds as to the necessity of separation, by saying; "If we do separate, whither shall we go forth" (15:2)? But God's answer to this was--(15:2).
But there were a faithful few who heard and found these words of God, and ate them up rejoicing to be able to follow the expressed will of God instead of following the expressed will of man or their own will (15:16). These remnant willingly and gladly obeyed God's will, separated themselves from their wicked church, returned unto God (15:17), and it was well with them (15:11). God brought them back as His people, and they were able to stand before Him (15:19). These took forth the precious from the vile, and were as God's mouth proclaiming the words of the Lord in the message of separation to God from the wicked church (15:19). God's command to them was, "Let the people come to thee for the truth, but do not return to the church to teach them" (15:19). And though the church leaders and independent church supporters would do all in their power to come against them and their message, yet they would not be able to prevail or to stop the message from increasing, because God was with His remnant to defend and save them (15:20-21).
God did not want any new converts to be brought into connection with the wicked church because they would die right along with her (16:2-4). He had already removed all His peace, mercies and lovingkindness from her (16:5). Many of the church members were doing business (merchandising) upon the Sabbath--thus breaking it instead of keeping it holy--and they refused to change (17:20-23). The very church and people which the Lord had carefully built-up to be His own, and planted to bring forth fruit and glory to His name, He was now going to break down and pluck up (45:4, 18:9-10). He would now only build-up and plant those who should obey His voice and willingly separate themselves from their corrupt church (24:5-7).
God, out of His infinite love and mercy, tried again to get the membership to understand the true condition of their church. He told them that they were as a clay potter's vessel in His hands (18:1-6). He also told them that no matter what promises were made to them, if they continued to do evil and not obey Him, He would not fulfill any of the promises because these promises were conditional--requiring obedience in order to have them fulfilled (18:9-10).
God had tried to get His people to repent, but they refused to do anything that God wanted them to do (32:23). They thought that they had gone too far in iniquity to return and repent, and said; "There is no hope," and thus continued on in wickedness (18:11-12). They ignored God's pleadings, and continued to lead others away from the ancient paths--those truths (pillars) given to them in the beginning (18:15). Yet they still believed that God was in their wicked midst, that their priests were speaking the truth, that their wise men were giving honest counsel and guidance, and that God would still speak through their leaders--believing them to be as the voice of God to the people (18:18).
They deceived themselves into believing that God's face was ever watching over them, being turned in favor towards them and their church, while they themselves had turned their backs and not their faces to Him (32:33). But the real truth was that God's face was turned away from them, and His back was towards them (18:17, 33:5). Too many abominations had been practiced within the church (32:34). They had rebelled too long and had passed the boundary, and God cast His once pure and chosen people out of His presence (52:3). The church and its members were prophetically destined to be destroyed from being before the holy face of God (32:26-32).
God commanded that the clay potter's vessel, which represented the whole church, be cast down and broken--signifying that the church could never be made whole again (19:10-11). It would continue to do wickedly until it was destroyed. Their sin was written with a pen of iron which had a diamond point (17:1), and the names of those still connected with the church were NOT written in heaven above, but in the earth beneath (17:13).
Those who trusted in the men who had told them to stay within the corrupt church instead of separating, were cursed (17:5). They trusted to human reasoning, thinking they were clinging to the truth and to sound logic and theory (17:9), and this led them to believe the lie that they were right and God's messenger was wrong. So they began to persecute God's messenger to try and stop his God-given message of separation in order to save their church (17:18).
God's messenger was beaten and jailed (20:1-2) overnight (20:3) by those who were preaching lies and working the hardest to discredit his message in the eyes of the people (20:1, 6). God's messenger had even tried to forbear giving the message, but it was as a fire in the bones, and it had to be spoken so that all could hear and then decide (20:7-9). Even those who were supposedly his friends were watching his every word to try and twist them and prevail against him--seeking revenge upon him for saying such things about their church (20:10). But their beloved church was irrevocably destined to destruction, and all its money, labors, and membership were to be taken into Babylon and be controlled by Babylon (20:4-5).
Thus the whole church, along with all those who were in any way connected with her, would become a part of Babylon, and no one--not even God Himself--would prevent this from happening (21:4-6). The voice of mirth and gladness would be heard no more at all in the church; neither would the sound of the millstone be heard anymore in her; the light of a candle would shine no more at all in her; and the voice of the Bridegroom and of His bride (being both outside) would be heard no more at all in her (25:10, 16:9).
The king asked Jeremiah to pray to God for His help, but no prayer was offered, for God would not hear (21:1-3). God had already stated three times before not to pray for this people (7:16, 11:11, 11:14). The church would continue to slip and slide in darkness, being driven on in wickedness, until it fell (23:12). But God, in His great and infinite love and mercy, provided the people with a way of escape from being destroyed. They must willingly separate themselves from their wicked church, or be destroyed along with their beloved church (21:8-9)! So, "the way of life (separation from), and the way of death (remaining within)" was clearly laid out before all; and all were tested as to whom they would obey--God or man.
The reason for all this was because of the wicked course which the leaders and pastors of the church chose to follow. They were holding in their hands, as it were, the torch of false prophecy, preaching lies and falsehoods to the flock (23:1-2)--right from the pulpit (23:11). This was allowed because the headquarters of the entire church was behind it all and sanctioning it (23:13). The church leaders were themselves committing adultery and living by lies. They were also strengthening the hands of evildoers so that none would turn from his wickedness to do righteousness. God considered them all as Sodom, and all the church membership as Gomorrah (23:14).
God again warned the people not to listen to any of their church leaders, for they all were teaching lies and deceiving them (23:25-26). They all were standing in Satan's counsel (23:22), and were perverting the truth (23:36). Therefore God forgot and forsook them as His people, and cast them and their beloved church out of His holy presence (23:39).
Both God's messenger and the false prophets were preaching to the people. The words spoken by God's messenger were words like fire, which lightened up the hearts of those which heard them--breaking through their darkened hearts of stone and showing them the correct, but narrow and straight path to take in order to be with God (23:29). While the false shepherds were preaching falsehoods, causing their people to err from the way of truth (23:31-32), and were doing all they could to steal away the words of God's true watchman from the people (23:30). Obedience to either message decided whether you would become wheat, or worthless chaff (23:28). Thus eternal life depended on which message was followed and obeyed!
Those who obeyed God would have to separate willingly from their wicked and forsaken church "for their good" (23:5). But God would not forsake these, because He had promised to build them up and plant them, making His "new covenant" with them to be their God and they His people. He would write His law within their hearts, and only those who obeyed and separated to Him--living this "new covenant"--would become God's children and His chosen people (24:6-7), and would bear good fruit like figs (24:5). Whereas, those who chose to obey the false message of their lying watchmen, refusing to separate from their beloved church--thus disobeying God--would bear fruit like evil and rotten figs, and would be of no use to anyone to be destroyed (24:8-10).
Both messages became more bold and decided. God's messenger spoke clearly to all the church membership that, because of their wickedness, their church and its whole structure would fall and be broken down--becoming completely desolate--as was Shiloh (26:2-7). God's covenant and glory and presence would be entirely removed from them (as was the ark from Shiloh--see Psalms 78:60-61; 1 Samuel 4:3, 11). And this once pure and chosen church and people would become a part of Babylon (27:12, 32:3, 28), and be established in Babylon (29:5-6, 28)! While the false watchmen and independent self-supporting church supporters were lying in God's name, proclaiming that God's favor was still with them and there was no need to separate because their beloved church was prophetically destined to never become a part of, nor ever be established in, Babylon, and would not become desolate or be destroyed (27:14-17). They were making the membership to trust in a blatant lie (28:15), and were teaching them rebellion against God's will and command (28:16). They loved their wicked church so much, and wanted so badly for God to change His mind and favor them again, that they caused themselves to have dreams that their lies were really true--thus they deceived themselves, and others were caused to believe the lie (29:8-9).
All the words of the Lord were put into a book and read to the people, and many became interested, with some even hearkening to the writings in the book while they had not hearkened to the messenger in person (36:1-16). But the king destroyed his copy of the book in the presence of the other church leaders, and many followed his rebellious example (36:21-24). They continued to reject the words of God, and to deceive the people into believing that the church would never be connected with Babylon, while God said that Babylon would never depart from them (37:9).
Then Jeremiah, after the army of Babylon unexpectedly withdrew its forces at a time when everything seemed favorable for an immediate attack, willingly separated himself out of the church in the eyes of the people (37:12). He separated himself at a time when the church was claiming victory over their foes, and seemed at peace and favored of God once again, which made the messages of the false watchman appear to be correct. Thus those who had chosen to stay within the church were more entrenched in the delusion, while those who had already separated, or were thinking of it, were tested as to their faith and trust in God and His words.
Because Jeremiah had willingly separated himself in the eyes of the people, the church leaders became angry, beat him, and threw him into prison. They refused to let him remove himself completely from the church, trying to keep their people from following his example, if not his message (37:13-15). All who worshipped and loved their wicked and corrupt church above God came against the messenger and demanded his death for saying such blasphemous words against them and their church (26:8-11). The leadership especially wanted to kill him for speaking such things because the faith and hope of the people in the church was weakening (38:4). They believed that the messenger could not really be seeking the welfare of the people by calling them out and telling them that their beloved church would be connected with Babylon (38:2-4).
You see, both God and the corrupt leadership were trying to save "the church." God was trying, by mercy and truth, to save His church of faithful people from being destroyed by calling them out of their wicked church for their good. While the leadership were trying, by lies and force, to save their church from being destroyed by keeping the people within her and her wickedness--supposedly for their good. Thus a life and death controversy, between God's message of truth and Satan's message of falsehood, was full blown. Willing separation out of the church was a chance for life, but remaining connected with her was certain death (21:8-9). All had the chance to hear and obey, and all made their decision to leave or stay.
Babylon captured the church, and broke down her walls and pillars--one by one--removing everything that was sacred and holy (52:13-14, 17-23). When they were finished, the church, to all who would see, had a completely different look than it did in the beginning. The people in that generation were now under the rule, control, and leadership of Babylon. Even the heathen could see and comprehend that it was by the continued disobedience to God and His will, that the church, and those who clung to her, were destroyed eternally from what they once were (40:2-3). Thus God's once pure and chosen church and people were completely desolate, and a part of Babylon (25:9-11).
This not only occurred to the church and its cities (outposts) connected with her, but also occurred to all the other religious nations and kingdoms (churches) in the whole land (25:26)! The once chosen church of God, along with all the other established churches, had drunken of the wine of the wrath of Babylon's iniquity (25:15-18). They all, without the exception of one, had drunk from the cup, and all became drunk (25:19-26). All were full of vomit (spue) and filthiness and there was not a single established church that was clean or pure (25:27). Every single established church in the whole world had fallen to Babylon, and was what made up the kingdom of Babylon--including the membership of these churches (27:2-6, 28:14)!
Because of all the abominations being practiced in the midst of the church (44:2-4) and in the land (44:22), God's once pure and chosen church and people were the first to have God's wrath and destruction fall upon them; and then it fell upon all the rest of the churches (nations--25:29). God rewarded His once pure and chosen church and people double for their sins (16:18, 17:18), and the fowls that flew in the midst of heaven gathered themselves together to feast upon their flesh (19:7).
The king (president) of God's once chosen church didn't escape either. He had led the church membership to follow his example of rebellion and disobedience to God and His will. He refused to separate from the church himself, and when it was too late, tried to in order to escape the punishment. But he did not escape. He was captured by Babylon (39:4-5), judgment was pronounced upon him (39:5), and he saw his own children and others destroyed before him (39:6). He eyes were then put out--becoming blind, was bound with chains, and became established in and a part of Babylon (39:7); but because he was blind he never saw that he was really there (52:11).
But not all were captured by, or became a part of, Babylon. There was a small remnant who had earlier separated themselves from the church because of all the abominations being practiced within it, and these escaped Babylonian control (40:11, 15). But were these safe from being taken captive? No. Many were led captive, first by one group of leaders who were leading them in one direction (41:10), and then by another group of leaders who were leading them in another direction--straight into Egypt to become a part of it (41:16-17).
This last group of leaders outwardly acknowledged the prophet as being from the Lord, and inquired of him for direction and guidance (42:1-2). They appeared very willing to follow any direction from God--given through His prophet--showing them where they should lead the people. But they did not tell the prophet of their plans to lead the people to become a part of Egypt (42:3-6). The prophet exposed their hidden plans, and warned all the remnant not to follow these leaders and become part of Egypt (42:7-14). He clearly told them all that God did not want them to go there, and if they disobeyed God's will and became a part of Egypt, they would lose their lives there (42:15-19).
The leaders, and all those who were too proud to change their plans and follow God's will, doubted that the prophet was really from the Lord. They said that the prophet was lying, or that someone had told him of their intentions of going to Egypt, and that it was not revealed by the Lord (43:2-3). They then took the majority of the remnant, including Jeremiah, and brought them straight into Egypt (43:4-7). These leaders thought that by fleeing there, they would be safe and not come under Babylonian control. Yet Egypt was also to be captured by, controlled by, and become a part of Babylon (43:8-13).
God told all the remnant, which had been led to become a part of Egypt, to willingly separate themselves from it and their disobedient leaders, or they would be destroyed and lose their souls in it (44:2-14). A small number of all those who were called the remnant, did separate in obedience to God's will (44:28). But the majority of the remnant still followed their disobedient leadership and chose to remain in Egypt. Even though they had separated from the church, the majority of them still had not learned the lesson that no one is to look to man, or to trust in man, or to expect much help from man, but is instead to look to God for all their guidance and help (17:5).
The majority of the remnant refused to obey God and refused to separate from their connection with Egypt (world), continuing to follow their own evil ways (44:17); and all because of their love for their woman (44:15). So even though these were separate from the church, they were disowned by the Lord (44:26); and these also became a part of Babylon (44:30, 46:1-26).
It was God's purpose that three generations after every religious nation (church) in the whole world had become captured by, connected to, ruled by, and a part of Babylon (27:7), that He would call out of Babylon (being all churches) any who wanted to be His people once again (27:22, 29:10-14, 30:3). After three generations, the rebellious and wicked, who originally had been carried to Babylon, would be dead, and a new group of individuals would be tested to see whom they really wanted to follow--God or man. God would again call His people out of their corrupted religious nation, into a wilderness experience where His grace was only to be found (31:1-2). He would, because of His infinite love and mercy, call and draw any who would not resist Him to separate to Him (31:3). His purpose was that He would build up and establish only these as His mount Zion (31:4-6) and remnant people (31:7). He would only become a Father to those who willingly separated from Babylon, which was made up of all the religious nations--including God's once chosen church. All nations--not excepting one--they all were what made up Babylon, and only those people who separated themselves from their Babylonish church, coming solely to the Lord, would be accepted back as God's chosen people once again (31:8-9, 32:37-41, 33:6-11).
But after the time passed, many had become comfortable and had grown at ease while being a part of Babylon. They did not want their peace to be broken, and refused to separate from their Babylonish churches when the call came to them.
It was found that, out of all the people who heard the call to separate and become God's special people once again, only a small remnant had willingly obeyed (Ezra 8:1-14). It was found that the majority had chosen to disobey God's will, and had failed their test. It was also discovered that none of the sons of Levi--those ministers especially dedicated to follow all the will and commands of God--had, at first, separated themselves in obedience to Him (Ezra 8:15). Although a few did willingly separate themselves at the last opportunity to do so (Ezra 8:16-20), their lack of prompt obedience had caused others to follow their example of disobedience and delay. They had failed at a time when the influence of a prompt decision to accompany those who had willingly separated, would have led others to follow their example of obedience and to also separate. But their strange and careless indifference is a sad revelation of their real attitude towards God's purposes for His people.
This whole sad history is being more than repeated today! The prophet has already told us:
"That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past." Ecclesiastes 3:15.
So, that which hath been--Old Testament history--is reoccurring now; and that which is to be--in the future--has already occurred in the past. Old Testament history would include the book of Jeremiah as well as all his messages. Thus everything you have already read is not just history, but it is repeating itself in the churches of today!
Thus once again, all nations (denominations or churches)--not excepting one--all churches have drunken of the wine of the wrath of Babylon's iniquity. All denominations, including God's once chosen church of today (Revelation 18:3), have committed fornication and harlotry with her, and all are connected with, ruled by, and a part of Babylon--thus making up its kingdom. And three generations have already passed by since all the churches became an harlot of Babylon--including God's once chosen church (see 8T 250)!
What is God going to do about all these harlot churches making up Babylon the Great? The book of Jeremiah plainly tells us.
Babylon is to be utterly destroyed, including all who are members in, or in any way connected with her, (Jeremiah 51:1, 12, 50:30). They all will sleep the perpetual sleep of death (51:39, 57). But God has not forsaken His people or will allow them to be destroyed ignorantly along with Babylon (51:5)!
The Lord is continuing to raise up His faithful watchmen who are fishing and hunting for His people to bring them out of Babylon (16:14-16). God is calling for all those who want to be His chosen people once again to manifest it by willingly separating from all their Babylonian churches, to come back to Him weeping and sorry for all their sins, into a covenant agreement that shall never be forgotten (50:4-5). All the membership in all the churches have been led astray by their leaders and ministers, and have forgotten whom they are to find rest in--not in their churches, but in the Lord (50:6).
Therefore God has sent a nation to attack the whole kingdom of Babylon and all that belongs to her (50:9). He is sending in His watchmen and standard-bearers (51:12), opening His armory, bringing out all His weapons (His true people--50:25, 51:19-23), and with these is attacking the whole kingdom of Babylon--calling all to come out and separate from her (50:8). His sword is already drawn against her and her supporters (50:35-37), and has commanded His spoilers and fanners to remove His people from her (50:10, 51:2). He is also having His archers shoot their arrows against her, and none of their bright arrows (words) shall return in vain (50:9, 14, 29, 51:3, 11). God's attacking army will spare not (50:14), but will loudly shout for all God's people to flee (50:15, 41-42). Thus they will hinder the Babylonian churches in their driving efforts to sow and harvest an increase in the membership of their nation (50:16)! Babylon's foundation and walls (structure) shall fall (50:15, 51:44), and nothing will be left covered up or unexposed in her (50:26).
God, in His infinite mercy and love, is calling for all His people to separate from all the churches so that they will not be defiled by harlot women--being a partaker of her sins and destruction--and losing their souls along with her (51:6, 45). And this is also true of God's once chosen church of today: it is not going through to heaven, but will be destroyed--going through to hell (see 3RH 69, col 3)!
Babylon has been content to remain at ease with a firm control over her members, and has forborne to fight (51:30). But after the message which swells into a loud cry goes forth (Revelation 14:7-12, 18:1-5), and more and more of God's army are fighting against her, she will fight back all the more in order to hold her members fast within her--refusing to let them go (Jeremiah 50:33). But though she roars with a great voice, it will do no good, for nothing will be able to stop her from being spoiled and destroyed, and all her captives being set free from her--if they really want to be (51:53-58, 64). The Lord is stronger than all the kingdom of Babylon, and all her captive members will hear His voice and then choose to leave or stay--to follow God or to disobey Him (50:34).
But just like in Jeremiah's time, the majority will choose to disobey God, and these will repeat the same experience of king Zedekiah. They will not willingly separate from their church in obedience to God's stated will. They will become blind, a part of Babylon, and will die there--but will never see it. While those who do willingly separate from their church, and live the "new covenant" experience, will be accepted of God, become His children once again, and God will be their Father. These will begin to build up His temple once again, and though all odds are against them, and many determined efforts made to try and stop their efforts, yet their Redeemer is stronger than all opposition. These will complete the building of His temple, themselves being the lively stones of it (1 Peter 2:5), and will be forever with their Lord in their midst.
So today, as in the days of Jeremiah, the way of life (separation from all churches) and the way of death (remaining connected and a member within), is clearly shown to all who will see and hear. History is definitely being repeated today. And all will make their decision, choosing which side of the battle they will eternally stand on, and whom they will fight for--either Christ or Satan.
"How long halt ye between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him: but if Baal, then follow him.” 1 Kings 18:21.
"But Christ as a Son over His own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts..." Hebrews 3:6-8.
"And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve...but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15.