Jeremiah 1-2

Jeremiah 1-2

Chapter 1: Jeremiah Foreordained

Jeremiah is the son of Hilkiah, of the priests of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. He prophesied from the days of Josiah to the captivity. The Lord tells Jeremiah that he was ordained to be a prophet and that he knew him before he was born.

“Before I formed thee in the belly, I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)

This tells us two things; God can preordain someone and you must be ordained of God to be a Prophet, you can’t just assume that role. Secondly, we learn that there IS a life before this earth life, where we lived with God… because he knew us before we are placed in the womb.

Jeremiah is anxious he is a child, and cannot speak. The Lord touches his mouth, so he will be a prophet unto the nations. The Lord’s plans are compared to the branch of an almond tree – comes to fruit quickly. Jeremiah sees a boiling pot facing the north – an evil shall break forth from the north against the inhabitants of Judah. Jeremiah will be protected as he prophesies.

Chapter 2: The Jews reject everything

Although pious when it first entered the Promised Land, Israel has forsaken the Lord and gone after other gods. Its own retreat from God will be its punishment. From a right seed, Israel has become a degenerate vine. They say to stock [wood], “…Thou art my father…” and to a stone, “…thou hast brought me forth [birthed]…” (Jeremiah 2:27)  Israel sinfully presumes itself to be innocent.

The people of Israel say: “…Because I am innocent, surely his anger shall turn from me. Behold, I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned. Why gladdest thou about so much to change thy way? …” (Jeremiah 2:35-36)

                We need not to forget that God has His ways and we cannot turn our backs on what we know… sinning with knowledge and then think that God will forgive us, because we are “innocent” and that we have made a mistake. Surely God will forgive, but if we knowingly sin and then just think we will ask for forgiveness and that will be the end, we are slapping God in the face.

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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.

2 Chronicles 35-36

2 Chronicles 35-36

Chapter 35: Josiah is slain

                Now Josiah kept a Passover to the Lord in Jerusalem, and they slaughtered the Passover lambs on the fourteenth day of the first month. And he set the priests in their duties and encouraged them for the service of the house of the Lord. Then he said to the Levites who taught all Israel, who were holy to the Lord; “Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; it shall not be a burden upon your shoulders: serve now the Lord your God, and his people Israel. And prepare yourselves by the houses of your fathers, after your courses, according to the writing of David king of Israel, and according to the writing of Solomon his son. And stand in the holy place according to the divisions of the families of the fathers of your brethren the people, and after the division of the families of the Levites. So kill the passover, and sanctify yourselves, and prepare your brethren, that they may do according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses”. (2 Chronicles 35:3-6)

Then Josiah gave the lay people lambs and young goats from the flock, all for Passover offerings for all who were present, to the number of thirty thousand, as well as three thousand cattle; these were from the king’s possessions. And his leaders gave willingly to the people, to the priests, and to the Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah, and Jehiel, rulers of the house of God, gave to the priests for the Passover offerings two thousand six hundred from the flock, and three hundred cattle. Also Conaniah, his brothers Shemaiah and Nethanel, and Hashabiah and Jeiel and Jozabad, chief of the Levites, gave to the Levites for Passover offerings five thousand from the flock and five hundred cattle.

The service was prepared, and the priests stood in their places, and the Levites in their divisions, according to the king’s command. And they slaughtered the Passover offerings; and the priests sprinkled the blood with their hands, while the Levites skinned the animals. Then they removed the burnt offerings that they might give them to the divisions of the fathers’ houses of the lay people, to offer to the Lord, as it is written in the Book of Moses. And so they did with the cattle. Also they roasted the Passover offerings with fire according to the ordinance; but the other holy offerings they boiled in pots, in caldrons, and in pans, and divided them quickly among all the lay people. Then afterward they prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, because the priests, the sons of Aaron, were busy in offering burnt offerings and fat until night; therefore the Levites prepared portions for themselves and for the priests, the sons of Aaron.

                And the singers, the sons of Asaph, were in their places, according to the command of David, Asaph, Heman, and Jeduthun the king’s seer. Also the gatekeepers were at each gate; they did not have to leave their position, because their brethren the Levites prepared portions for them. So all the service of the Lord was prepared the same day, to keep the Passover and to offer burnt offerings on the altar of the Lord, according to the command of King Josiah. And the children of Israel who were present kept the Passover at that time, and the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days. There had been no Passover kept in Israel like that since the days of Samuel the prophet; and none of the kings of Israel had kept such a Passover as Josiah kept, with the priests and the Levites, all Judah and Israel who were present, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah this Passover was kept.

After all this, when Josiah had prepared the temple, Necho king of Egypt came up to fight against Carchemish by the Euphrates; and Josiah went out against him. Josiah would not turn his face from him, but disguised himself so that he might fight with him, to fight in the Valley of Megiddo.

And the archers shot King Josiah; and the king said to his servants, “Take me away, for I am severely wounded.” His servants therefore took him out of that chariot and put him in the second chariot that he had, and they brought him to Jerusalem. So he died, and was buried in one of the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And to this day all the singing men and the singing women speak of Josiah in their lamentations.

The rest of the acts of Josiah and his goodness, according to what were written in the Law of the Lord, and his deeds from first to last, they are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Another Lost book of the Bible.

Chapter 36: The People Reject the Prophets

                Then the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and made him king in his father’s place in Jerusalem. Jehoahaz was twenty-three years old when he became king, and he reigned three months in Jerusalem. Now the king of Egypt deposed him at Jerusalem; and he imposed on the land a tribute of one hundred talents of silver and a talent of gold. Then the king of Egypt made Jehoahaz’s brother Eliakim king over Judah and Jerusalem, and changed his name to Jehoiakim. And Necho took Jehoahaz his brother and carried him off to Egypt.

Jehoiakim was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord. Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against him, and bound him in bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also carried off some of the articles from the house of the Lord to Babylon, and put them in his temple at Babylon. The rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, the abominations which he did, and what was found against him, are written in the book of the kings of Israel and Judah. Then Jehoiachin his son reigned in his place. More LOST books of the Bible!

Jehoiachin was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months and ten days. And he did evil in the sight of the Lord. At the turn of the year King Nebuchadnezzar summoned him and took him to Babylon, with the costly articles from the house of the Lord, and made Zedekiah, Jehoiakim’s brother, king over Judah and Jerusalem.

                Here we find something very interesting, Jehoiachin was only 8 years old when he did “evil in the sight of the Lord”, and therefore he was capable of committing these sins at the age of 8. Now in many churches and religions the age for baptism is questioned. After all Jesus was baptized when he was about 30 years old. In the Catholic Church, they baptize you when you are born. Which we have learned through the Book of Mormon is an evil practice:

“And their little children need no repentance, neither baptism. Behold, baptism is unto repentance to the fulfilling the commandments unto the remission of sins. But little children are alive in Christ, even from the foundation of the world; if not so, God is a partial God, and also a changeable God, and a respecter to persons; for how many little children have died without baptism! Wherefore, if little children could not be saved without baptism, these must have gone to an endless hell. Behold I say unto you, that he that supposeth that little children need baptism is in the gall of bitterness and in the bonds of iniquity; for he hath neither faith, hope, nor charity; wherefore, should he be cut off while in the thought, he must go down to hell. For awful is the wickedness to suppose that God saveth one child because of baptism, and the other must perish because he hath no baptism”. (Moroni 8:11-14)

Other religions and churches believe that you should be baptized later in life, but what age would God have us baptized at? The Doctrine and Covenants, a modern scripture revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith in November of 1831 clearly lays out when baptism should be performed.

“And again, inasmuch as parents have children in Zion, or in any of her stakes which are organized, that teach them not to understand the doctrine of repentance, faith in Christ the Son of the living God, and of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the hands, when eight years old, the sin be upon the heads of the parents. And their children shall be baptized for the remission of their sins when eight years old, and receive the laying on of the hands.” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:25 & 27)

                So we see that the Bible clearly states that at the age of 8, Jehoiachin could commit sin, therefore it is important to have children be baptized from the age of 8, and on.

Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord his God, and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke from the mouth of the Lord. And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar, who had made him swear an oath by God; but he stiffened his neck and hardened his heart against turning to the Lord God of Israel. Moreover all the leaders of the priests and the people transgressed more and more, according to all the abominations of the nations, and defiled the house of the Lord which He had consecrated in Jerusalem.

And the Lord God sent warnings to them by His messengers, rising up early and sending them, because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised His words, and scoffed at His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord arose against His people. The Lord’s prophets are almost always rejected by the people. Including his modern day prophets, like Joseph Smith and his current prophet in His Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He brought against them the king of the Chaldeans, who killed their young men with the sword in the house of their sanctuary, and had no compassion on young man or virgin, on the aged or the weak; He gave them all into his hand. And all the articles from the house of God, great and small, the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king and of his leaders, all these he took to Babylon. Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possessions.

Those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to him and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.

In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven has given me. And He has commanded me to build Him a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah. Who is among you of all His people? May the Lord his God be with him, and let him go up!