Ezekiel, chapter thirteen, as we continue our journey through the Bible. The thirteenth chapter is addressed to the false prophets. Now in every age, one of the banes to Christianity, and to the work of God in the Old Testament time, were the false prophets. There are many false prophets today. Jesus warned that in the last days, one of the signs would be many false prophets. Some of them working miracles, and wonders, deceiving the people through them.
So the thing about a false prophet is that people want to hear what they are saying. People flock after them, because they are saying the things that people want to hear. So I look at them, and I think, “Oh how can you be so deceived? How can you believe that stuff?” But it’s because they want to believe that stuff!
Now Jerusalem was about to fall. The only hope for Jerusalem was a true, complete repentance before God, and seeking for the mercy of God. They were critical days! But the false prophets were giving comfort to the people in the midst of the crisis, and they were saying, “Jerusalem is not going to fall. We’re about to have peace. With our alliance with Egypt, we will destroy the Babylonians.” Some of the prophets were saying, “The Babylonians will never cast a spear into this city!” They were predicting a route of the Babylonian forces.
Now the people wanted to hear that. They didn’t want to hear, “The judgment of God was about ready to fall because of your sins”, and, “You better turn to God and repent, that’s your only hope!” They didn’t want to hear that. They wanted to hear that everything’s gonna be okay. Thus, they flocked to the false prophets, and they ridiculed and imprisoned the true prophets. So Jeremiah devoted the twenty third chapter of Jeremiah, to the false prophets in Jerusalem.
Now Ezekiel is addressing the false prophets who were taken captive, and were already in Babylon. Jeremiah had sent a letter to the captives in Babylon, and he told them that they were to settle down, to build houses, and, and to make themselves as comfortable as possible, because it would be seventy years before they returned to Israel.
But the false prophets were saying, “Hang loose! Any day we’re going back!” They were encouraging the people in a false hope. But that false hope was keeping the people from what they really needed to do, and that was to repent, and seek God with all of their hearts, and turn to the Lord, as their only hope. So Ezekiel addresses, or the Lord addresses through Ezekiel, the false prophets here in chapter thirteen.
So the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say [that prophesy and say] thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear the word of the Lord (13:1-2);
So the first mark of the false prophets were that they were not really prophesying the word of God, but they were prophesying out of their own hearts. God had not spoken to them. God had not given to them the message that they were bringing to the people. It was something out of their own hearts.
Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing (13:3)!
They really did not see a vision from God, their prophesies were coming out of their own spirits. Though they were pretending to hear from God. There are men today who have gained a lot of popularity through the United States because of their television exposure, that are preaching all kinds of horrible heresies supposedly coming by divine inspiration. While I was reading about a sociological study of a tribe in New Guinea, where the first thing in the morning, when they get up, they always have a big tribal fight. Every morning starts out with a big fight. Yelling, screaming, smashing each other.
So this sociologist was trying to figure out why in the world they had this big fight every morning. His conclusions were quite interesting! He studied their diet and realized that they were living on a substandard diet. As the result of the substandard diet, and the malnutrition, that these people were weak physically. So the only way they could get enough energy to really get started with the day, was to have a big fight. That got the adrenaline going, and they were then able to go out and work in their fields, because the adrenaline was really flowing. That was his conclusion as the reason for this big tribal fight every morning!
Well whenever I want to get my adrenaline going, all I have to do is tune into some of these prophets. I’ll tell you, it gets my adrenaline going! My blood to boiling! I wonder, how can people be so gullible as to believe this stuff, and to follow this stuff? You know, where they say, “Just a minute here. Wait a minute Lord. Wait a minute, wait a minute now.” I think, “Oh help me Lord!” You know! Then come out with this you know, crazy stuff, supposedly inspired directly from God!
I have a problem, a real problem. But there are people that are attracted to that. They want to hear that. They want to hear something spectacular, novel, different! Something that will tingle in my ears. “Wow, ooh!”, and, and they love that kind of stuff, and thus these fellows get a following! That’s the problem with the false prophets, is that people are wanting to be deceived. Wanting to believe these things, and thus, they’re gullible, and do believe. It’s amazing, when a person is in a desperate condition, how gullible they become.
So many people head down to Mexico for treatments because the FDA is trying to hold back cures. Thus over the border in Mexico, these doctors have available water injections that will do what the FDA won’t allow the doctors to do in the United States. People are so desperate because the doctors here have given up hope, there’s nothing that we can do. They’re so desperate they’ll go down there, and spend their life savings on some supposed treatment. Then when they die, the doctor says, “Well they just got here too late. You know, if they’d come here earlier, we could’ve helped them.” But people want to hear, “We can do it! Yes, here is the, you know, the book of all the people we’ve cured. We can cure you!” They want to hear that, because they’re desperate!
The desperation creates a gullibility. Anybody that will dangle any hope for them. There are charlatans that realize that, that desperate people are pretty much blind. They, they lose their sense of logic and reasoning. Any glimmer of hope they will grab onto.
But not only are there charlatans in the medical practice, but there are charlatans in the evangelistic field that prey with the same kind of, of guise because they know that people are gullible when they’re desperate. There’s all kinds of charlatanism that’s going on with false prophets. It was true in Ezekiel’s day, it’s true in our day. He said…
O Israel, your prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. [They are sly, they are wily.] You have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord (13:4-5).
You see, their false prophesies were giving a false security, and the people were not taking the necessary measures that were needed to defend themselves. Prophets were saying, “Don’t worry, the Babylonians will never reach here, they’ll never build a mount against this city, thus saith the Lord! You know, the Babylonians are coming back!”, and all. So the people were not even taking the necessary measures that were needed to defend the city. They weren’t building up, filling in the gaps in the wall. They weren’t building up the wall and making a strong fortification, because of the assurances that were being given to them by the false prophets.
So people today are not doing the things that the Lord commands us to do, because they have the assurance of some false prophet! It’s a terrible thing to assure a person in spiritual matters, when that person is on the brink of destruction.
I read the story that happened years ago in America, of a lady who was travelling on a train with her little daughter, obviously very nervous. Every time the conductor would come through the coach, she would ask the conductor how close they were to the city that she was to disembark from, or at. The conductor kept assuring her that before they came to that city, he would come through the coach and let her know, they would announce their arrival at that city. A man sitting across from her saw her obvious nervousness, and so he said, “You know I ride this route all the time, and I know the area very well.” He said, “You don’t have to worry, sometimes the conductors are forgetful, but when we get to your stop, I will let you know, and I will help you off.”
So they came to this one stop, and the fellow turned and he said, “Now this is the last stop before we get to yours, so we will, at the next stop is where you get out.” So, as the train pulled to a halt, he said, “See I told you! The conductor’s not here. They’re so forgetful! But this is your stop.” He helped her off the train in that blinding blizzard.
As the train started up again, presently the conductor came through, looked in the coach, and he said, “Where is, where is that woman that wanted off at this city?” The man said, “Well”, he said, “I realize that you forgot, and you missed her. So”, he said, “I helped her off when the train stopped.” He said, “Man! That was not the city! That was just a water stop! You let that woman off in the middle of a barren area in that blizzard!” When the search parties came back, the woman and her daughter were frozen to death. She was the victim of false information.
I think of people who are victims of false information, that regards their eternal soul! You know it’s bad enough to, to do something that would cause a person to lose their life! But if you cause a person to lose their soul because of false information, assuring them, “Oh it’s alright. God doesn’t mind. It’s okay, God doesn’t care.” Assuring them in their sinful practices! How horrible and how great the responsibility is upon that person who would pretend to speak for God, and lead people astray in regards to their eternal well being!
The people were comforted, comforted in their iniquity. Thus, they were not repenting, nor were they taking the means that were necessary to defend themselves from the Babylonians! Concerning the false prophets, verse six, God said…
They have seen [emptiness, or] vanity and a lying divination, whereas you say, The Lord saith it: however I have not spoken (13:6-7)?
They were attributing it to God, but God said, “I have not spoken.” God, in Jeremiah you remember, said, “Jeremiah there’s a phrase I don’t want you to use anymore, it’s that, Burden of the Lord”. People are going around saying, The burden of the Lord! The burden of the Lord!” God said, “I didn’t put any burden on them.” So here, they were saying, “This is the word of the Lord”, but God said, “I didn’t speak to them, it isn’t my words.”
Therefore thus saith the Lord God; Because you have spoken these vanities, and you have seen lies: I am against you, saith the Lord God (13:8).
I have gotten in the past, letters from some of these faith healers, and faith evangelists. They are done with computers. But it is addressed to, “Dear Mr. Smith, As my wife and I were in prayer this morning, God placed you on our hearts, and we began to intercede for you, and your home there. We feel troubled in our spirits like there is something wrong. But the Lord hasn’t revealed to us just what it was. Please write to us in the enclosed envelope, and let us know what your problem is, so that we can pray more intelligently for you, because you’ve been on our hearts so much! When you send your request, please enclose an offering for this ministry. We’re going through some desperate times right now.” “And we’re gonna have a difficult time making a payment on our Mercedes.”, he doesn’t say that but, that’s what it amounts to! “If you don’t have the money to send us, maybe you could go down to the bank and borrow it, in faith, because the Lord will surely help you to pay it back you know.”
I, I write these fellows. I send the envelopes back to them. With my enclosed donation for their ministry, which is a letter, “I’ll donate this letter to you.” I tell them that they’re absolute liars, frauds, and deceivers! “To say that you and your wife were praying for me is an absolute lie! You don’t even know me!” I said, “I know that these letters are written by computers, and sent to people all over the country. They are deceptive! Peter said, ‘One of the signs of the false prophet is with feigned words, they will seek to make merchandise of you’.” I said, “These are feigned words, they’re fake! The bottom line is you’re wanting to get bucks from me.” I said, “You know, I would hate to stand in your shoes when you stand before God! I can only conclude that you have no fear of God in your heart to do these deceptive things. But one day, you’re gonna stand before God. You’re gonna answer before Him, and I’m glad I’m not you to have to answer to that kind of stuff!”
God said, “I’m against you”, the false prophets. God is against them because they actually keep people away from God. They comfort people in their sin, and keep people from coming to Jesus Christ, who is the only hope for salvation.
My hand [The Lord said] shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, [That is when God assembles His people in heaven, they’re not gonna be there, you’ll look around and say, “Oh where’s evangelist…, wonder what happened you know”, and they’ll not be there, a lot of the prominent names will not be there in the assembly of God.] neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel (13:9),
The house of Israel kept a, a record of all of the names of the people, the genealogies. They were the people of God. But their names will not be listed with God’s people, written in the book of life.
neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and you shall know that I am the Lord. [That He is a holy God, He is a righteous God, He is a just God.] Because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and another came and daubed it with untempered mortar: [Or sand without any lime, it’s just, it looks good, it looks solid, it looks strong, but the rain will wash it out.] Say unto them with the untempered mortar, that it’s gonna fall: there’ll be an overflowing shower of rain; and, there will be great hailstones; a stormy wind, and it will be torn. When the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith you have daubed it? Therefore thus saith the Lord God; I will even tear it with a storm wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in my anger, great hailstones in my fury to consume it. So will I break down the wall that you have daubed with the untempered mortar, and bring down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and you will be consumed in the midst thereof: and then you will know that I am the Lord (13:9-15).
That God has spoken, and this is the word of God. When you see it done, then you’ll know who the true prophet is, and who the false prophet is. But often times, by then it is too late, the damage has already been done.
To wit, these prophets of Israel which were prophesying concerning Jerusalem, and were seeing visions of peace for her, when there is no peace, saith the Lord God (13:16).
The Bible says, “There is no peace for the wicked”, or, “there is no rest for the wicked”. Yet, they were causing the wicked to be comforted in their sin. Tragic.
Likewise son of man, set your face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; prophesy against them (13:17),
Now not only were there men who were false prophets, but the women were getting in on the act. They also were deceiving the people for gain.
Say to those, Thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the women that sew pillows into all the armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will you hunt the souls of my people, and will you save the souls alive that come unto you (13:18)?
Now here’s a, we only, we don’t have any real historic amplification to this particular practice of sewing the pillows, and making these kerchiefs. So it has been suggested by some of the commentators that these women prophets would get a person in a comfortable position, with pillows and all, and then put a handkerchief over their face, and then go into sort of a trance and you know, make it sound like its very spiritual, and eerie, and so forth. That’s what’s been suggested by the commentators, but we don’t really have any solid historical background for this particular practice that the women were doing when they would prophesy. But it had to do with the seance, or the prophesies that they were giving.
Will you pollute me [God said] among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, [“Will you pollute the name of God, and the work of God for these, for these paltry rewards?”] to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by lying to my people that hear your lies? [Actually, the result of their lies was that people were being destroyed who should live, and people were living, who should’ve been destroyed!]Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I’m against your pillows, wherewith you hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls go, even the souls that you hunt to make them fly (13:19-20).
So there was some kind of a, you know, a voodoo kind of a hex, and so forth. You know, the capturing the souls of people, had to do with these pillows. Just what it is, as I said, unfortunately we don’t have any historic amplification.
Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and you shall know that I am the Lord. Because with lies you have made the heart of the righteous sad, [It’s so grieving to, to see what is being done, the damage that is being done by the false prophets, “you made the heart of the righteous sad”,] who I have not made sad; and you’ve strengthened the hands of the wicked, [Encouraging the people in their wickedness.] that they should not return from their wicked way, by promising him life (13:21-22):
Now on the other hand, there are false prophets today, who are denying sin. They are preaching a gospel that is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. That, “We have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death. But God’s provision for sin is the shed blood of Jesus Christ upon the cross.” Your only hope of salvation is to come to Jesus Christ, repent of your sin, and receive Him as your Lord, and as your Savior.
But they are saying, “Well just feel good about yourself. That’s what’s important.” Sin is really a poor self image. Being born again is to have a healthy self image. “So as long as it feels good, as long as you feel good, that’s the most important thing, and you’re alright.” They’re comforting people in their wickedness. They, they are questioning the judgment of God against sin. They are denying the existence of heaven and hell. They would say, “All the hell you’ll ever experience is that which you experience on this earth, because of your poor self esteem. All the heaven you’ll ever experience is the heaven that you’ll have on earth, when you come to feel good about yourself!” That’s not the gospel of Jesus Christ. That’s another gospel. Paul the apostle said, “If any man would come and preach unto you any other gospel than what you’ve already received, let him be accursed, for the Lord is coming.” Let him be anathema.
Therefore you shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I am gonna deliver my people out of your hand: and you shall know that I am the Lord (13:23).
So God is promising to send His people the truth, servants of God free from the practices of these false prophets.
Now in chapter fourteen, we, we come now to a, a scene where some of the elders, the rulers of the people, the prominent men of Israel, who were captives in Babylon, and…
They came to Ezekiel, these certain elders, and they sat before him (14:1).
Ostensibly they had come to inquire of the Lord. Now so often in those days, when you wanted to hear from God, you would go to a prophet of God, and the prophet of God would, would seek the Lord, and would get a vision, or some word from the Lord, for you. So these men had come to Ezekiel the prophet, that he might inquire of the Lord, for them.
And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and they’ve put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of [“Should I be inquired of”] at all by them (14:2)?
So as they sit there before Ezekiel, they look very pious. It looked very religious. It looked like they’re doing the right thing, seeking the guidance of the Lord, but the Lord is looking right down in their hearts. God sees what goes on in their hearts. He saw that they had idols in their hearts. “So should I be inquired of by them? Just you know, should I speak to them with their idols in their hearts?”
The first commandment that God gave of the ten was, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” The second, “Thou shalt not make any graven image of any likeness of things in heaven or on the earth, to bow down to them, and to worship them. For I the Lord, they God am a jealous God.”
Now these people had idols in their homes when they were living in Jerusalem. Jeremiah was crying out against the idols, and telling them to get rid of their idols, to destroy their idols, and to serve the living God. But they didn’t listen to Jeremiah. Their false prophets were assuring them that they were gonna be okay. “The Babylonians will never take this city. We’ll never fall!” Thus the people were going on in their idolatry.
Now when Babylon did come, rather than seeing that Jeremiah was the true prophet, and recognizing their need of complete and total repentance, and turning to God, as they come to Babylon, they’re still listening to the false prophets. Though they had to leave their idols in Jerusalem, they still carried them in their hearts. Those things that mastered their lives of which they had made little representations, though the representations were taken from them, in their hearts the same gods were still ruling. Those who were mastered by their sex drives, were still mastered by their sex drives, and loved, their desire for sex exceeded their desire for God. Those who lived for pleasure, were still living for pleasure. Those who were living for power, were still living for power. But the idols were now in their hearts, rather than on a table in their home. God could see that their hearts weren’t fully towards God. God was a convenience, God was the proper thing. To worship God was, was considered civil, and proper. But as they sat there before the Lord, rather than their hearts really being towards the Lord, seeking the Lord, their hearts were on their idols. They were thinking about these other things as they sat there in the presence of God. God could see their hearts, and God knew their hearts.
A lot of people go to church today, because it’s sort of you know, the proper thing. It’s a good thing. But even as they sit in church, there are idols in their hearts. There are, there are loves, there are attractions that exceed their love for God. God sees that! God knows that! God commanded that they put away their idols, they put away idolatry.
Therefore [The Lord said] speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Every man of the house of Israel that sets up his idols in his heart, and puts the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and comes to the prophet; I the Lord will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols (14:4);
Now so many times our prayer reflects really, that idol that is in our heart. I maybe am worshiping possessions, things. They are, they are paramount in my life. I’m wanting to amass more things. Not things that I need, not necessary things, but just things. So I come, and I say, “Oh God, I just saw that fabulous sports car! Lord I want that, please Lord let me have that!” You know. I’m praying according to the idol that is in my heart. I want another idol that I can drive around in, and enjoy. So the prayer is reflective of the prayer which is in my heart, the idol that is there.
Now the worst thing that can happen to me, is for God to grant my prayer. To answer me according to the idol that’s in my heart. Because in answering me, according to the idol in my heart, I can be destroyed. I see that little cobra that can do, you know, zero to sixty in four seconds. Like that power! “Lord, Lord I need it! Oh God I want it you know!” So God says, “Okay, that’s in your heart, that’s your idol, have it.” You read in the paper, “Pastor Chuck smashed into a concrete abutment on the freeway doing 160 miles an hour. Nothing left of him, or the car!” You know. God said, “I will answer them according to the idols in their hearts.
That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols (14:5).
That’s what an idol will do. It will separate you from God. It will estrange you from God. It will keep you from God. Because an idol is that which comes between you and God. It’s a false god. It’s that which takes over your mind, your heart, your passions, your life, and it’s a substitute for God. It separates you from the true and the living God.
Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Repent, turn from your idols; [Ask God’s forgiveness, ask God to take it away, turn away from those idols.] and turn away your faces from all of your abominations. [That’s the only hope, is repentance!] For every one of the house of Israel, of the stranger that sojourns in Israel, which separates himself from me, [Which idols will do.] and sets the idols in his heart, and puts the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the Lord will answer him, [“He’ll have to answer to me, I will answer him”,] by myself: And I will set my face against that man, [The Bible says, “Woe unto him who strives with his Maker!”, when God sets His face against a man.] and I will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and you shall know that I am the Lord. [“I’ll deal with him!”, God said.] And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the Lord have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and destroy him from the midst of my people Israel (14:6-9).
God will allow them to be deceived. The Bible sort of indicates that if you don’t have the love of the truth in your heart, God will just turn you over, that you might believe a lie, rather than the truth. When the Antichrist comes, he’s gonna be a master deceiver. The Bible said that, “Those that did not have the, and they will be deceived, even the elect will be deceived, who had not the love of the truth in their hearts.” It’s because a person doesn’t love the truth, they want to be deceived. God said, “Okay, you want to be deceived? Be deceived!” And, He’ll allow you to be deceived!
And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that is seeking the prophet; That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord God (14:10-11).
That’s God’s desire! “Get rid of the idols, I want to be the God in your life! I want to be the Lord of your life, and I want you to be my people!”
So the word of the Lord came again to Ezekiel, saying, Son of man, when the land sins against me by trespassing grievously, then I will stretch out my hand upon it, and I will break the staff of bread thereof, and will send a famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it (14:12-13).
So when the people turned against God, God said, “Alright I will deal with them, and I will first of all cut off the, the, the, the grain of the bread, and the famine will ensue.”
Now the purpose of that is to turn the people back to God. Leviticus, chapter twenty five, God goes through these series of calamities that can befall a nation. Then the Lord said…
Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, [Though they were there] they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God (14:14).
So it’s interesting, three examples of righteous men were, Noah, and Daniel, and Job. It is interesting that Daniel was living at this present time. But already his righteousness was well known among the people, he was of course serving Nebuchadnezzar in the court of Nebuchadnezzar. But his, his righteous example was already known among the people.
Noah. “God saw the iniquity of the earth was great, and every man was actually doing after his own will. The imagination, and the thoughts of man’s hearts were evil continually. But God saw Noah, a righteous man a righteous man before the Lord. God determined to destroy the earth with a flood, but Noah”, and Noah did bring his family into the ark. But, “When the land is sinning, and I send the famine, though Noah, or Daniel, or Job”, these righteous men were there. God said of Job, “A perfect man, and upright. One who loves good, and hates evil.” Yet they will not be able to deliver the city. All they could do was deliver themselves when the judgment of God comes. They will be spared, but they cannot actually, “and their righteousness will not spare the city, though these three men were there.”
Now if I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, to spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither their sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate (14:15-16).
So the second play, these ravenous beasts overrunning the land. Yet, these three men, could not avert the disaster for the land, but only for themselves.
Or if I bring a sword upon that land, and say, Sword, go through the land; so that I cut off man and beast from it: Though these three men were in, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters, but they only shall be delivered themselves (14:17-18).
Your righteousness can only come from your faith in Jesus Christ. But it can only avail for you. You see, you can’t be righteous for your child, or for your parents. Every man is responsible to God individually, for what he is. Your righteousness in Christ, can only bring you salvation. It won’t deliver your friends, or anyone else. Only you will be delivered by that righteousness which is yours through faith in Jesus.
So if I send a pestilence into the land, and pour out my fury upon it in blood, to cut off from it man and beast: Through Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness. [Your righteousness can only avail for you, no one else.] For thus saith the Lord God; How much more when I send the four sore judgments upon Jerusalem, the sword, the famine, and the beast, and the pestilence, to cut it off from it man and beast? And yet, behold, therein shall be left a remnant [There are those that are righteous, they will be left.] that they shall be brought forth, both sons and daughters: behold, they shall come forth unto you, and ye shall see their way and their doings: and you will be comforted concerning the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, even concerning all that I have brought upon it. And they shall comfort you, when you see their ways and their doings (14:19-23):
There will be a righteous remnant that God will deliver. “When they come to Babylon, you will see how pure and holy these people are! You’ll be comforted in, in that work of God that He has spared and delivered His righteous ones, though the judgment came upon the city to destroy it.”
and you shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done to it (14:23).
“There was a reason for the judgment, and for the destruction, and you will realize the causes for it, as they declare to you the wickedness, the horrible atrocities that were taking place in the city of Jerusalem before the fall. The refusal of the people to repent. Their abdurant stand in unrighteousness and sin. And you’ll know that God was just in destroying it.”
God is always just in His judgment. Again, as I look at our land, and as I look at our world, I believe that the conditions for judgment exist in our land. I believe that God is going to judge our land. I believe that, that judgment is not far off. I think we’re gonna see the hand of God against this land because we have turned to idols, to idolatry. There are false prophets that are comforting the people in their open rebellion against God.
God is going to judge us because of abortion, because of the homosexuality, the activity of the homosexuals. Because of the hearts of the people that have been turned from God, and have actually set up the idols of pleasure, and sex, and power, possessions. God’s gonna answer us according to the idols of our hearts. Judgment is going to come, but God will be thoroughly vindicated in that judgment.
But also, those that are walking before God as Lot, whose righteous spirit was vexed by the things that were going on in the world around him, God will deliver them. As God will bring this remnant to Babylon, and as they meet these people, and see their devotion and commitment to God, they will realize the faithfulness of God in delivering His people, from His judgment that will come upon the land.
But, you can’t be delivered by your wife’s righteousness, or your husband’s righteousness, or your child’s righteousness, but only by your own relationship with God. It’s a personal matter between you, and God.
Shall we pray?
Father, we thank You for Your faithfulness in keeping Your Word. Lord those things that You said would happen, did indeed happen, so that the people knew that were God, and that You had spoken. Lord we realize that You have spoken of events of our day, and we realize Lord that man cannot defy God and get by with it! Man cannot curse God and get by with it! Man cannot fight against God, and win. We realize Lord that our land is polluted with blood. Our land is filled with violence. Our land is filled with sexual perversion, and the people seem to desire it, and want it so. They applaud the evil. Lord we realize that the day of judgment is fast approaching. How we desire Lord that we be found in Christ, not having our own righteousness, but that righteousness which is of Christ, through faith. That we Lord, will be accounted as Your faithful remnant. Accounted worthy by You to escape the judgment that shall fall upon this Christ rejecting world. Oh God help us in the time that we have, to use it wisely in warning others of the truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Shall we stand?
May the Lord watch over and keep you through the week as you walk by faith, in Jesus Christ. May you be strengthened, and may your life be a witness for Him. May you be as a light shining in darkness, a ray of hope to those that are perishing.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7319