Jeremiah 35-36

Jeremiah 35-36

Chapter 35: Blessings for Obedience

The Lord commands Jeremiah to go and test the obedience of the Rechabites by essentially tempting them with wine. However after having wine placed before them they tell Jeremiah and those that are with him; “…We will drink no wine: for… our father commanded us… Ye shall drink no wine…” (Jeremiah 35:6) So even after being tempted they resisted and obeyed the commandment of the Lord. This is something we should learn from… even after temptation and perhaps peer pressure or pressure from the world to do something that goes against God’s commandments… WE CAN HAVE THE STRENGTH TO SAY NO!

The Lord commends and blesses the Rechabites, who obey the Lord by staying sober and not partaking of any wine.  Their obedience is contrasted with Judah and Jerusalem.

Chapter 36: Roll or Book

Word comes to Jeremiah in the fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim. Using Baruch as his scribe, Jeremiah writes down his prophecies. Baruch reads them publicly upon a fast day in the temple, where the princes hear him, and decide to tell the king of what they are preaching while at the same time advising both Jeremiah and Baruch to hide. Jehoiakim has the roll thrown into the fire, and orders Jeremiah and Baruch to be seized. The Lord conceals them and then later commands Jeremiah to rewrite the roll, and denounces the burning of the roll.

 

Jeremiah 23-24

Jeremiah 23-24

Chapter 23: False Prophets

Woe to those that have scattered the sheep of the Lord’s pasture. A king shall arise from the branch of David, and he shall be called the King of Righteousness (Jesus Christ). Jeremiah writes; “Mine heart within me is broken because of the prophets; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man…” (Jeremiah 23:9) The priests and prophets of Judah are wicked, and divine vengeance is hanging over them. The people should not listen to their false promises: they will face destruction if they do.

Jeremiah continues to write about the land being filled with evil and “…swearing…” (Jeremiah 23:10) which goes to show that keeping your words clean is important to God. Jeremiah writes that “…both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness…” (Jeremiah 23:11) The so called prophets of the Lord have “…caused my [God’s] people Israel to err.” (Jeremiah 23:13) But the Lord counsels the people that are hearing the false prophets; “…Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the Lord. They say… unto them… Ye shall have peace; and they say unto you everyone one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.” (Jeremiah 23:16-17) The world today is filled with prophets/pastors who say that as long as you profess the name of the Lord you shall be saved. It doesn’t matter what you do! But in reality, it does matter what you do! If you don’t make proper choices, like following all of God’s commandments, your calling of the Lord in your heart is in vain.

Jeremiah tells us that “…in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.” (Jeremiah 23:20). Jeremiah was right! We are in the latter days and we are seeing it happen, perfectly, all around us. I hear you can’t do wrong, and if for some reason you do… confess the name of God in your heart, accept Him as your Savior and you will be freed from sin! Do you realize what kinds of lies are being taught? The people are being misled and because of the false teacher/preacher/pastor/prophet they are causing the Lord’s people to err.

So if there are so many False Prophets, how do we know which ones are TRUE messengers of God? Well this is where we get into a very unique LDS Doctrine. In the past God has called prophets, like Jeremiah for instance, but God knew that they would not believe him, so He gave Jeremiah “fruits” to prove that he was a messenger of God. Jesus speaks of these False Prophets and gives a formula for proving their truthfulness… “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-17)

Jesus tells us that good prophets (men who are called of God, and given His authority to act and speak in His name) will bring forth good fruits, and bad or FALSE prophets will show forth evil or rotten fruit. It goes on to say “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruity… Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:18,20)

In the LDS church, we have a church that was RESTORED. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the RESTORE church of Jesus Christ. God restored HIS church through the hand of Joseph Smith and continues on this day with a living Prophet and Apostles. No other church on earth has this, the Authority and power of God is back on the earth! How can you know this to be true? God gave Joseph Smith a “Fruit” to prove that he was truly called of God. This fruit is known as the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon is the Ancient record of the people of the Americas, which was buried for thousands of years! God told Joseph Smith the location of this ancient buried record and had him translate it from an ancient language. The Book of Mormon is the fruit. If anyone wants to know the truth of these statements they must read the Book of Mormon and ask God themselves to manifest the truthfulness of this message.

Chapter 24: Jews shall be scattered and cursed

A vision after Jeconiah had been taken away captive: good figs and bad figs. The good figs symbolize those the Lord shall preserve in captivity, and the bad figs Zedekiah, his princes, the residue of Jerusalem, and those that dwell in Egypt. A scattering of people will occur.

Isaiah 29-30

Isaiah 29-30

Chapter 29: The Book of Mormon

Woe to Ariel (Jerusalem) – its pride shall be humbled. However, the humbled Jerusalem will be protected from its enemies. Jerusalem suffers from spiritual drunkenness and illiteracy. However, the spiritually blind will see, and justice for the wicked be administered.

The coming forth of the Book of Mormon (to cure the spiritually blind) is prophesied:

“And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.” (Isaiah 29:4)

The Book of Mormon came out from the ground and came forth as a familiar spirit and as a companion to the Bible, the New World story of the Ancient Americas. What is more interesting is that Isaiah continues to prophesy about the Book of Mormon…

“…the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned.” (Isaiah 29: 11-12)

Joseph Smith received this book (the Book of Mormon), being unlearned. What’s more, he sent it with Martin Harris to the learned Professor Anthon, who reportedly said precisely “I cannot read it, for it is sealed.”

Ezekiel prophesied of a Stick of Judah (Ezekiel 37:15-17), (a stick is a book or a scroll) these are the Jews and this stick is the Bible. He also prophesied of a Stick of Joseph, these are descendants of Joseph, down through Lehi and his descendants who came to the New World. He and his descendants wrote the Book of Mormon.

Isaiah continues by saying that God will “…proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.” (Isaiah 29:14) God will bring forth more of His word, what is more marvelous than that? People long for the Lord to speak and reveal that He still lives, the Book of Mormon proves that Jesus Christ Lives! It is Another Testament of Him! In the last days the word will become confused and many will wonder and stray away from God, the Book of Mormon will help people come back to the path… “They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.” (Isaiah 29:24)

Chapter 30: Rejection of Prophets

Woe to the rebellious children who look to Egypt to protect them from Assyria.

“…this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: Which say to the seers, See not: and to the  prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things…” (Isaiah 20:9-10) The people do not want seers to see, and want prophets to prophesy deceits rather than right things. They want “smooth things” or things that don’t require them to be righteous and follow commandments.

Judah will be broken like a potter’s vessel. Blessed are those who wait for the Lord. He shall respond to his people, who cry to him from Jerusalem. The Lord’s people will throw away their graven images of gold and silver. Nature will bring forth abundance. There is a place in Tophet (the rubbish dump outside Jerusalem) for the Assyrian king. The breath of the Lord shall kindle it.

Remember that “…though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction… This is the way, walk ye in it…” (Isaiah 30:20-21) OR in other words… the Lord gives us affliction… but we need to move forward and walk in His path, and we will be blessed and those afflictions will be for our own growth and learning.

Isaiah 23-24

Isaiah 23-24

Chapter 23: Tyre shall be overthrown

The burden against Tyre. The sailors will agonize when they hear about the destruction of their home port. The pride of Tyre will be dishonored. Tyre will be forgotten for seventy years. God will allow Tyre, symbolized by a prostitute, to continue her gross materialism with all the kingdoms of the world, but her gain and her pay will be set apart for the Lord.

Chapter 24: Men Shall Change the Scriptures

The land will be emptied and laid waste. The earth will mourn and fade away, because people “…have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant” (Isaiah 23:5). The simple doctrines and ordinances taught by the Savior were debated and changed to conform to worldly ideas. This would lead to the need for a Restoration of the Gospel.

The Book of Mormon expands on what happened:

“And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away…this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men… after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book… And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles… Neither will the Lord God suffer that the Gentiles shall forever remain in that awful state of blindness, which thou beholdest they are in, because of the plain and most precious parts of the gospel of the Lamb which have been kept back by that abominable church, whose formation thou hast seen….

 behold, saith the Lamb: I will manifest myself unto thy seed, that they shall write many things which I shall minister unto them, which shall be plain and precious; and after thy seed shall be destroyed, and dwindle in unbelief, and also the seed of thy brethren, behold, these things shall be hid up, to come forth unto the Gentiles, by the gift and power of the Lamb…. And after it had come forth unto them I beheld other books, which came forth by the power of the Lamb, from the Gentiles unto them, unto the convincing of the Gentiles and the remnant of the seed of my brethren, and also the Jews who were scattered upon all the face of the earth, that the records of the prophets and of the twelve apostles of the Lamb are true…. These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first, which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved.(1 Nephi 13:26-40)

                In the last days the Book of Mormon will come forth as Another Testament (or evidence) of Jesus Christ.

Psalms 85-86

Psalms 85-86

Chapter 85: Truth Shall Spring out of the Earth

To the chief Musician, A Psalm for the sons of Korah

                The author starts this Psalm by telling the Lord that He has been favorable unto the people, the author asks the Lord for His mercy and salvation.

The Lord will speak peace unto His saints; salvation comes to those that fear God.

“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other” (Psalms 85:10) With TRUTH, there can be Mercy, and with that righteousness and peace can come.

But the most important verse in this Psalm; “Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.” (Psalms 85:11) – In other words; The Book of Mormon will come out of the Earth (Joseph Smith unearthed gold plates, and translated them into the Book of Mormon) and that Book will bring the world the truth and with that truth righteousness will look down from heaven.

Chapter 86: Saved from the lowest Hell

A Prayer of David

                David prays to the Lord and asks Him to “Teach me thy way, O Lord; O will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.” (Psalms 86:11) – This is very interesting, David has asked the Lord to not only lead him and guide him… but David asks the Lord to teach his heart to seek the Lord and not the things of the world. Because if in his heart he fears the Lord, then he will not want to do anything to anger or upset the Lord.

David continues by asking the Lord for his mercy, so that he can be saved from the “…lowest hell.” (Psalms 86:13), this is most likely referring to the “sons of perdition” which is the ultimate hell reserved for those who deny the Holy Ghost and after having been given a perfect knowledge deny the Lord.

The Lord is “…full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.” (Psalms 86:15) – David asks that he can be comforted and saved from his enemies.

Psalms 55-56

Psalms 55-56

Chapter 55: David Seeks Protection

To the chief Musician on Neinoth, Maschill, A Psalm of David.

                David spends morning, afternoon and evening praying for the Lord’s protection. He says that “…the terrors of death are fallen upon…” him. (Psalms 55:4)

                He tells us that the wicked fear not God, but because of that he puts his trust in the Lord and prays for His mighty protection from the evil.

Chapter 56: The Book of Remembrance

To the chief Musician upon Jonath-elem-rechokim, Mitcham of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath.

                David continues by telling us that he “…will praise his [God’s] word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.” (Psalms 56:4) We, like David, should not fear what man can do to us! We must fear God only! With that trust and faith in God, He will deliver us from the evil in the world!

 

2 Chronicles 17-18

2 Chronicles 17-18

Chapter 17: The Book of the Law of God

Jehoshaphat reigned and strengthened himself against Israel. He fortified and placed troops in the cities of Judah, and Ephraim and walked in the ways of the Lord. Jehoshaphat continues in the ways of the Lord is greatly blessed for this; he takes down the high places and the images from Judah.

In the 3rd year of his reign he sends leaders; Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Michaiah to teach in the cities of Judah.  Accompanying the teachers were some Levites; Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tobadonijah. With the Levites were; Elishama, and Jehoram, who were priests. They went throughout the cities, teaching from the Book of the Law of God. The fear of the Lord spread throughout the land.

The Philistines brought Jehoshaphat presents and silver as tribute, the Arabians brought him flocks, seven thousand seven hundred rams, and seven thousand seven hundred male goats. Jehoshaphat becoming increasingly more and more powerful by the day. Jehoshaphat continued to build his presence and fortified his cities. His army was comprised of valiant honorable men.

The captains and there men:

Adnah: 300,000 men.

Jehohanan: 280,000 men.

Benjamin: Eliada: 200,000 men.

Jehozabad: 180,000 men.

Among  these men, was; Amasiah the son of Zichri, who offered himself up to the Lord.

Chapter 18: Ahab’s False Prophets

Jehoshaphat had riches and honor, but by and through marriage he allied himself with Ahab. A few years go by and he goes to visit Ahab in Samaria, Ahab for his guest kills sheep and oxen in abundance, and persuaded Jehoshaphat to go up with him to Ramoth Gilead.  So Jehoshaphat and his people agree to go up with Ahab to fight against Ramoth Gilead.

The prophets and seers tell them both that the Lord will help them until the Syrians are gone. Michaiah, the prophet, tells the king that the Lord will help them prosper. He sees in a vision that all of Israel is scattered on the mountains, as sheep that have no shepherd. Micaiah prophesied evil against Ahab, and Ahab was not happy.

“… Therefore hear the word of the Lord; I saw the Lord sitting upon his throne, and all the host of heaven standing on his right hand and on his left. And the Lord said, Who shall entice Ahab king of Israel, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-Gilead? And one spake saying after this manner, and another saying after that manner.  Then there came out a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said, I will entice him. And the Lord said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go out, and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And the Lord said, Thou shalt entice him, and thou shalt also prevail: go out, and do even so. Now therefore, behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the Lord hath spoken evil against thee.” (2 Chronicles 18-22)

So, Ahab was deceived by the prophets. In reality going to Ramoth Gilead would mean his death. Micaiah is thrown in prison because Ahab was upset by his harsh, yet true words. The King of Israel and Jehoshaphat go up to Ramoth Gilead. Ahab goes into battle dressed as a soldier and not as a king, but Jehoshaphat agrees to go into battle as a king.

Well some time into the battle, they recognize that the king is there and go to attack. Upon surrounding Jehoshaphat they go to kill him, but because he turned to the Lord, they were thwarted and left his presence. But Ahab, was struck through the weak parts of his arm and is killed at the time the sun was setting, this was done at random as he was no special target. Micaiah was right.

 

2 Kings 23-25

2 Kings 23-25

Chapter 23: The Book of the Covenant

The King sent for all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem to come unto him. The King then went up into the house of the Lord and read out to them all the words of the Book of the Covenant. Then the King stood by a pillar and made a covenant there with all the elders to God that they would follow the words of the book and do well in the eyes of the Lord.

So the King commanded everyone to take anything that belonged to the worship of Baal and burn it in a field.  In the eighteenth year of King Josiah a Passover was held to the Lord in Jerusalem.

The King of Egypt decides to go up against the Assyrian Empire, but King Josiah went up against him and his servants carried him dead from Megiddo to Jerusalem and buried him in his own tomb. The people then took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah and made him king in his father’s stead. Jehoahaz was 23 years old when he began to reign and he reigned for 3 months in Jerusalem and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.

The King of Egypt; Pharaoh-nechoh put king Jehoahaz in band at Riblah in the land of Hamath that he might not reign in Jerusalem. Instead the king of Egypt put Eliakim the other son of Josiah king and renamed him; “Jehoiakim” and took Jeoahaz to Egypt where he would later die. Jehoiakim was 25 years old when he began to reign and he reigned for 11 years in Jerusalem and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.

Chapter 24: Jerusalem Taken by Nebuchadnezzar

Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon comes up and makes Jehoaikim his servant for three years. But Jehoaikim rebels against him. Jehoaikim gets some help from the Chaldees, Syrians, Moabites and the children of Ammon. Jehoaikim dies and his son Jehoiachin reigns in his stead. Jehoiachin was 18 years old when he began to reign and he reigned in Jerusalem for 3 months and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord.

The King of Babylon comes and besieges the land and takes Jehoiachin and his household and also carried away all the treasures of the house of the Lord, including vessels of Gold that King Solomon had made in the Temple. The king of Babylon also took over 10,000 captive and brought them back to Babylon, he then appointed Mattaniah his father’s brother, whose name was changed to Zedekiah to reign in his stead.

Zedekiah was 21 years old when he began to reign and he reigned in Jerusalem for 11 years and he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord. Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.

Chapter 25: The Fall of Jerusalem

In the ninth year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon he came to Jerusalem and pitched against it and build forts all around the city. Because of the surrounding armies, the city of Jerusalem started to go hungry for the lack of bread. Here is where things really get interesting, and where the Book of Mormon can help us understand more of the story from the Bible….

“And the city was broken up, and all the men of war fled by night by the way of the gate between two walls, which is by the king’s garden: (now the Chaldees were against the city round about:) and the king went the way toward the plain. And the army of the Chaldees took him in the plains of Jericho: and all his army were scattered from him. So they took the king, and brought him up to the king of Babylon to Riblah; and they gave judgment upon him. And they slew the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes, and put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass and carried him to Babylon.” (2 Kings 2:25)

                According to this story all of the sons of Zedekiah were killed, however in the Book of Mormon it talks about how one of his sons… named Mulek fled and came to the Americas! See Helaman 6:10 and 8:21.

“…the land north was called Mulek, which was after the son of Zedekiah; for the Lord did bring Mulek into the land of the north…” (Helaman 6:10)

“And will you dispute that Jerusalem was destroyed? Will ye say that the sons of Zedekiah were not slain, all except it were Mulek? Yea, and do ye not behold that the seed of Zedekiah are with us, and they were driven out of the land of Jerusalem?” (Helaman 8:21)

This is something that is very interesting and really helps us to understand the purpose of both the Bible (New and Old Testaments) and the Book of Mormon. The Bible is the word of God, but with the Book of Mormon we realize that God has more to say than just what is written in the Bible and had spoken with people of the Old world (middle east) and the New world (the Americas). Nebuchadnezzar with the help of his captain Nebuzar-adan burnt down the house of the Lord and the houses of Jerusalem. The remnants of the people flee to Egypt. Jechoiachin is released from prison and is favored by the new king; Evil-merodach the king of Babylon.