Today’s selected reading continues in the Old Testament prophetic book of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah of the priests of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin. More specifically, today’s passage is found in chapters twenty-five through twenty-seven of this Old Testament book. THE LORD SHALL ROAR! JEREMIAH 25:30! JOEL 3:16! AMOS 1:2! JOEL 3:4,8! THE FIRST YEAR OF NEBUCHADREZZAR KING OF BABYLON! FROM THE THIRTEENTH YEAR OF JOSIAH THE SON OF AMMON KING OF JUDAH, EVEN UNTO THIS DAY, THAT IS THE THREE AND TWENTIETH YEAR! I HABE SPOKEN UNTO YOU RISING EARLY AND SPEAKING! SEVENTY YEARS! THE CUP OF THIS FURY! STAND IN THE COURT OF THE LORDS HOUSE! SO THE PRIESTS AND THE PROPHETS! THE PRIESTS AND THE PROPHETS AND ALL THE PEOPLE TOOK HIM! When you come to this particular portion of the prophetic book of Jeremiah you will not only find Jeremiah beginning to prophesy during the days and generation of the sons of Josiah, but you will also find Jeremiah beginning to prophesy two very specific truths. On the one hand you will find the prophetic picture concerning this force from the north becoming all the more clear as the prophet Jeremiah starts revealing the name of this great storm that would come against the land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem. If you read the words which are found within these chapters you will find that no longer is it merely the families which will come out of the north, and no longer is it simply a storm that will come out from the north against the land of Judah, the city of Jerusalem, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. That which you find within these chapters—quite honestly, those which precede them as well—is this storm and force coming out of the north having a name and becoming a present reality that would be drawing closer and closer unto the borders of the land. As you read the words which are found within these chapters you will encounter and come face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that this army out of the north would have a name, and that name would be Babylon. What’s more, is that not only would this army out of the north have a name, but the leader of that army would also have a name—namely, Nebuchadnezzar. The LORD was very specific concerning the name and nature of this army which would proceed out of the north and would be used as an instrument in the hand of the living God. We dare not miss and lose sight of this awesome and incredible reality, for it brings us face to face with the reality that as the nation of Judah and the city of Jerusalem drew closer and closer to the judgment which was prophesied and spoken against it, the prophet Jeremiah would begin seeing a clearer picture concerning this army which would come out of the north and invade the land.
WHEN THE PROPHETIC PICTURE BECOMES CLEARER! WHEN JUDGMENT HAS A NAME AND THE NATURE OF WRATH IS REVEALED! As I sit here this morning I find it absolutely and incredibly intriguing when reading these chapters, for from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah king of Judah Jeremiah would prophesy unto the people of Judah and Jerusalem concerning the judgment and wrath which would come upon the land and the inhabitants thereof. Jeremiah would boldly and powerfully declare at one point a word that the LORD Himself had spoken during the days of Manasseh—namely, that it would be because of the sin, the transgression and iniquity of Manasseh, which he caused Judah to sin against the LORD. The LORD would indeed and would in fact bring judgment and wrath upon the nation and kingdom of Judah, and upon the city of Jerusalem where He had placed His name, and it would be because of the sins of Manasseh which he caused Judah to sin against and in the presence of the living and eternal God. It is important for us to recognize and understand this truly incredible and powerful truth, for it reveals something of the tremendous prophetic message Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah prophesied and proclaimed in the midst of the land of Judah and Benjamin. It would be during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah king of Judah the word of the LORD would begin coming unto Jeremiah, and from the very start and outset of this prophetic call and ministry we find the LORD revealing very specific truths unto Jeremiah. When the LORD called Jeremiah out from among the priests of Anathoth in the land of Benjamin, He would reveal unto him that judgment and wrath would be poured out against the land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem, and that this great storm would proceed out of the north. The LORD would reveal unto Jeremiah that he was to speak all that he was commanded, and that the LORD would make him as brasen walls and as a defenced city in the midst of the land. What’s more, is the LORD would also declare unto Jeremiah and prepare him for opposition from those unto whom he would be sent, as the LORD declared that those unto whom he was sent would rise up and fight against him.
PREPARE FOR WRATH AND JUDGMENT! PREPARE FOR OPPOSITION AND PERSECUTION! What is truly unique about the call that was upon Jeremiah is that the word of the LORD essentially prepared and sought to make him ready for two distinct realities which would undoubtedly come to pass—namely, that the wrath and judgment of the LORD would indeed come upon the land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem, and that the people of the land would rise and fight against Jeremiah. The LORD would send Jeremiah unto prophets and priests alike, unto princes and rulers alike, and unto kings and people alike, and in the midst of proclaiming all the LORD commanded him Jeremiah would experience direct opposition and persecution from those who would rise up against him. Jeremiah would faithfully proclaim the word of the LORD unto his generation, and would speak the very words the living and eternal God instructed and commanded him to, and that message would be one that would warn the people of judgment and wrath being at the door. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this truly incredible reality, for to do so would be to miss out on the underlying themes and crux of the call and ministry of Jeremiah. Within and throughout the prophetic ministry of Jeremiah he would faithfully proclaim and prophesy the word of the LORD, and upon doing so he would find himself at odds with kings and rulers alike, as well as prophets and priests. In fact, as you read these particular chapters you will once more find Jeremiah experiencing persecution and opposition as prophets, priests and people alike sought to lay hold of Jeremiah to put him to death. You will find in these chapters—specifically, the twenty-sixth chapter—the prophets, priests and people of the land conspiring against Jeremiah that they might seize and lay hold of him and put him to death. You cannot read the words which are found in this Old Testament prophetic book and not encounter and come face to face with the awesome reality that Jeremiah would indeed faithfully proclaim the word of the LORD unto the people of Jerusalem, Benjamin and Jerusalem, yet the very word which he was called to preach and proclaim would set him at odds with those unto whom he was sent, as they would rise up in opposition and persecution against him.
In all reality, I can’t help but view Jeremiah as sort of a wonderful and powerful picture of an end-times prophet, for you will find the word of the LORD preparing Jeremiah for two distinct realities as he faithfully walked before Him and proclaimed the words He commanded. Upon reading the words found within this prophetic book you will find the word of the LORD preparing Jeremiah for the judgment and wrath of the LORD, while also finding and discovering the word of the LORD preparing Jeremiah for persecution, opposition and affliction. It’s almost as if these two themes and chords run parallel and side by side within the prophetic book and life of Jeremiah as he would faithfully preach and proclaim the word of the LORD unto the people of Judah and Jerusalem, and yet how that prophetic word would set him at odds with those unto whom he was sent. The word of the LORD would come unto Jeremiah in the thirteenth year of the reign of the last and final righteous king of Judah, and five years before the book of the Law would be found within the Temple, and the word which the LORD instructed Jeremiah to proclaim and prophesy was that judgment and wrath were on the door, and that the people ought to be ready and prepare themselves for that which the LORD had purposed and decreed since the days of Manasseh. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this truly captivating reality, for not only had the LORD decreed judgment and wrath upon the land of Judah and the city wherein and whereupon He placed His name, but the LORD had decreed that wrath since and from the days of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah. Despite the wonderful and powerful witness of Josiah’s cleansing the land of all its filth, all its idols, all its graven images, all its shrines, and the worship of strange and false gods, judgment and wrath would still be at the door. Despite the fact that Josiah’s humility upon hearing the words of the book of the Law would delay and postpone the judgment and wrath of the LORD during his generation, it would not cancel it out, nor would it avert it.
The more I read and the more I study the prophetic book of Jeremiah the more I can’t help but view him—not only as that prophet which most readily and most easily identified with the sufferings of Christ, but also as a powerful picture of an end-times prophet. If you take the time to read and study the words which are found within this book you will essentially find the word of the LORD preparing Jeremiah to walk during “the last days” so to speak, as Jeremiah would prophesy the word of the LORD during the last days of Judah and Jerusalem before Babylon would invade the land, would destroy the wall and gates of the city of Jerusalem, would destroy the Temple of the LORD with fire, and would carry away captive the people of God. You cannot read the words which are found within this prophetic book and not encounter the truly awesome reality that Jeremiah was indeed a “last days” and “end times” prophet, as the word of the LORD would raise him up in the midst of a generation that would live on the cusp and on the brink of the divine judgment and wrath of the LORD. Oh how absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand this, for the call that was upon the life of Jeremiah was not one that would be easy to take up and bear, as Jeremiah would not only have to walk and move with the knowledge that judgment and wrath were on the horizon, but he would also have to faithfully proclaim that divine judgment and wrath would be poured out upon the land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem. What’s more, is that judgment and wrath of the LORD would not only touch Judah and Jerusalem, but it would touch the nations of the earth—including that nation and kingdom which would march against and destroy the inheritance and heritage of the people of God. In fact, within these chapters you will find the word of the LORD speaking of the cup of the fury and wrath of the LORD, and how Jeremiah was instructed to take that cup and make the nations of the earth to drink of it in full. The word of the LORD would cause Jeremiah to prophesy unto the nations of the earth and essentially reveal and speak unto them that they ought not to think that they themselves were immune and exempt from the judgment and wrath of the LORD. Oh it was true the LORD would execute His judgment and His wrath upon Judah and Jerusalem, and it was true the nations round about Judah and Jerusalem would watch as now the southern kingdom of Judah would be destroyed and its people carried away captive as was the northern kingdom of Israel, however, that would only bring the judgment and wrath of the LORD toward and against them all the more closer.
I sit here contemplating the prophetic call and ministry of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, and I am brought face to face with the awesome and incredible reality that Jeremiah was truly and indeed a “last days” and “end time” prophet, as he would not only live during the last days leading up to and prior to the judgment and wrath of the LORD, but also as he would prophesy and proclaim the word of the LORD unto the inhabitants of Judah, Benjamin and Jerusalem. It was one thing for Jeremiah to know and understand according to the word of the LORD that judgment and wrath were at the door and on the horizon in the midst of the land, however, it was something else altogether and entirely different to have to warn an entire generation that that judgment and wrath would come upon both land and people. It would have been one thing for the LORD to reveal unto Jeremiah that judgment and wrath was on the horizon and was at the door of the land of Judah, and for Jeremiah to walk with that knowledge within his heart, his mind and his spirit, and not speak or reveal it unto anyone within the land of Judah or the city of Jerusalem. It would be something else altogether for Jeremiah to hear and see the alarm and trumpet from and by the word of the LORD, and to warn the people of the land concerning the sound of that alarm and trumpet. Jeremiah wasn’t merely raised up to hear the sound of the alarm, nor was he raised up to keep the meaning of that trumpet and alarm unto himself. In fact, one might even say that Jeremiah—much like Ezekiel—was raised up as a watchman upon the wall who would see danger coming on the horizon and sounding the alarm and blowing the trumpet in the midst of the land warning the people of what was to come. We might very well conceive and understand concerning Jeremiah that as truly and as certainly as he was an end-times prophet, he would be called to faithfully proclaim the word of the LORD unto the people of the land concerning judgment, wrath, devastation, destruction and desolation.
The prophetic book of Jeremiah is one that is absolutely remarkable and astonishing when you take the time to read and consider carefully the words which are found and contained therein, for there is absolutely not a doubt in my mind that Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah was not truly and indeed a prophet of the last days and of the end times. I cannot read the words which are found in this prophetic book without encountering and coming face to face with the reality that Jeremiah was one who was raised up in the last days leading up to judgment and wrath, and in the days leading up to the devastation, destruction and desolation that would come upon the land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem. Jeremiah would begin prophesying during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah king of Judah, and would faithfully prophesy and proclaim the judgment and wrath of the LORD which would come upon the land and people alike, as well as upon the city of Jerusalem, and even the Temple of the LORD. It was indeed true that five years into the prophetic call and ministry of Jeremiah the word of the LORD would come unto Huldah the prophetess concerning the judgment and wrath of the LORD, and that because Josiah humbled himself in the sight of the LORD in response to the words he heard in the book of the Law the LORD would not bring upon the land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem the judgment and wrath He had been warning against since the time and days of Manasseh king of Judah. For five years Jeremiah would faithfully proclaim the word of the LORD and would proclaim and speak of judgment and wrath coming upon the nation and the inhabitants therein, however, the humility and response of Josiah would grant the nation a temporary reprieve during those days, as the LORD would delay the judgment and would not bring it to pass during the days of Josiah king of Judah. In all reality, I would dare say that this delay and postponement of the judgment and wrath of the LORD would not only allow the land to be cleansed of her idolatry, her filth, her lewdness, her wickedness, her immorality and her iniquity, but it would also give the people in the midst of the land time and space to repent. As surely and as certainly as I am convinced Jeremiah is indeed a prophet of the last days and end times, I am also absolutely and powerfully convinced that there would be a period of time during those days when the LORD would invite men and women to repent and return before and unto Him—to turn once more to Him with their whole hearts in the days leading up to the judgment and wrath that would come upon the land. What’s more, is that you will also read within the prophetic book of Jeremiah—specifically, within this particular section of Scripture—Jeremiah instructing those who could and would hear the prophetic warning of judgment and wrath to humble themselves before and in the sight of the king of Babylon, and in their humbling themselves before and in the sight of the king of Babylon they would find safety during days of judgment and wrath, as the LORD would preserve and protect them in the midst of the land of the Chaldeans.
Before delving any further into the words which are found within this particular portion of Scripture I feel it is absolutely necessary and imperative to call and draw your attention to the words which are found in the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Matthew where we find Jesus speaking unto His disciples and preparing them for the last days and the end times. What’s more, is I am absolutely convinced we must also consider the words which the LORD spoke unto His servant Ezekiel whom He had taken from among the priests taken captive and brought into the land of the Chaldeans and raised up to be a faithful prophet of the LORD. Within the prophetic book of Ezekiel you will find the LORD on two distinct occasions speaking unto this priest turned prophet that he was being raised up as a watchmen who would not only hear the sound of the trumpet and the alarm, but would also sound the trumpet on the wall in the hearing of the people. In order to truly understand the words which are found within this prophetic book of Jeremiah, I am convinced we must understand how Jesus prepared His disciples for the Last Days, as well as how the LORD would raise Ezekiel up to be a watchmen on the wall who would sound the alarm and sound the trumpet of judgment and wrath before and unto the people. With this in mind, I invite you to consider if you will the words which are found in the following chapters, and consider how they directly correlate and connect to Jeremiah being raised up according to the word of the LORD as a “last days” and “end times prophet:”
“And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and His disciples came to Him for to shew Him the buildings of the Temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And as He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall e saved. And this gospel of the kingdom shall e preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then the end shall come. When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand) then let them which be in Judaea feel into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For Wheresoever the car case is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and thy shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall e taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch therefore: for ye know now what hour your Lord doth come” (Matthew 24:1-42).
“Then I cam to them of the captivity at Tel-abib, that dwelt by the river Chebar, and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days. And it came to pass at the end of seven days, that the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou gavest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless if Thou ran the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul” (Ezekiel 3:15-21).
“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bringeth the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand. So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul” (Ezekiel 33:1-9).
With the words our Lord Jesus spoke unto His disciples in what is commonly known as the Olivet Discourse we find Him preparing and making ready His disciples for the Last Days and the end times. Of course we know and understand that the disciples who would later be called apostles would not live during what Scripture would refer to as the Last Days before the coming and return of the Messiah, however, they would in fact live in the midst of a generation which could very well have been considered a “last days” and “end times” generation, as less than forty years after Jesus would ascend and return unto the Father the city of Jerusalem would be invaded by the Roman army, the people in the midst of the city scattered or put to death by the sword, and the Temple of the LORD would once more be burned with fire. In all reality—not only could Jeremiah be considered a “last days” and “end times” prophet who would live in the days leading up to the land of Judah being invaded, the city of Jerusalem being captured, and the Temple of the LORD being destroyed by fire, but the apostles and early church can very well be considered a “last days” and “end times” generation in that a great many of them would watch as Rome would invade the land of Judaea, would capture the city of Jerusalem, would scatter or put to death men, women and children with the sword, and as the Temple of the LORD would once more be destroyed by fire. The more I think about and consider the narrative of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah the more I can’t help but come face to face with the awesome and strong reality that he was indeed a “last days” and “end time” prophet who was living in the days leading up to the judgment and wrath of the LORD which would be poured out upon Judah and Jerusalem. Jeremiah would begin prophesying during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah king of Judah, and would spend five years prophesying and warning that generation of impending judgment and wrath. What makes this all the more intriguing is when you think about and consider the fact that the judgment and wrath which Jeremiah would prophesy and warn about was first pronounced during the days of Manasseh when the LORD spoke and revealed that because of the iniquity, immorality and idolatry which he committed and enticed Judah and Jerusalem to sin against the LORD.
The more I read and the more I consider the narrative of Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah the more I am convinced that he could not only be considered the prophet who most readily identified with the sufferings of our Lord Jesus, but he also could very well be considered an end times, last days prophet. If you take the time to truly read the words which are found in the prophetic book of Jeremiah you will encounter and come face to face with the strong reality that Jeremiah would not only experience tremendous persecution, suffering, affliction and opposition at the hands of those unto whom he was sent, but he would also—not only prophesy concerning the coming judgment and wrath, but would also witness and behold the very judgment and wrath he had spent so many years warning about and prophesying concerning. You cannot read the prophetic book of Jeremiah and consider the language he used within his generation and not encounter the tremendous reality that he was indeed a prophet who spent a considerable amount of time sounding the alarm and blowing the trumpet concerning the coming judgment and wrath, and would warn his generation of what was to come. Even when through the prophetess Huldah the word of the LORD would declare the LORD would not bring that judgment and wrath to come during the days of Josiah, the judgment and wrath which Jeremiah had spoken of would still come to pass. When you read the opening words of the twenty-fifth chapter you will find the word of the LORD coming unto Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah during the fourth year of Jehoakim the son of Josiah king of Judah. This year would also be the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and would be the beginning of the LORD bringing to pass that which He had determined generations earlier during the days of Manasseh. In fact, when you read the words found in the opening verses of this chapter you will find it written how the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, and he prophesied that word from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah until the present day, which would be the fourth year of Jehoiakim—essentially a total of twenty-three years. For nineteen years Jeremiah would faithfully proclaim the word of the LORD during the days of Josiah king of Judah, which would mean that for the first twelve years of the reign of Josiah there would be no prophetic word or vision from the LORD. Beginning in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah through to the end of his reign by and through his death Jeremiah would faithfully proclaim the word of the LORD. In the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah the book of the Law would be found in the Temple of the LORD, and its words would be read in the hearing of Josiah who would humble himself in the sight of the LORD, and inquire of the LORD through the prophetess Huldah. This is quite interesting when you think about and consider that fourteen more years would pass from the time the book of the Law was found in the Temple to the end of the reign of Josiah as a result of his death—fourteen years in which the judgment and wrath of the LORD would be delayed and postponed.
As you continue to delve further into the prophetic narrative surrounding Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah you will find that he was indeed and was in fact a “last days” and “end times” prophet—not only in terms of prophesying concerning the judgment and wrath which was to come, but also because of the tremendous persecution he would face and experience. There is not a doubt in my mind that in the days leading up to the outpouring of the wrath and judgment of the LORD there will be a tremendous increase in persecution and opposition against those faithful in the LORD—particularly and especially those who not only walk in faithfulness, but those who faithfully proclaim the word of the LORD. Jeremiah was one who walked in faithfulness and obedience before and unto the LORD his God, and he faithfully proclaimed the word of the LORD unto all those to whom he had been sent. This is in all reality what is expressed during the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah in this particular passage as Jeremiah would speak to the fact he began prophesying in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah and would prophesy unto the present day. For twenty and three years Jeremiah rose up early speaking and proclaiming that which the living and eternal God had instructed and commanded him. Consider if you will the words which Jeremiah spoke unto all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Judah during this fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah:
“From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah, even unto this day, that is the three and twentieth year, the word of the LORD hath come unto me, and I have spoken unto you, rising early and speaking; but ye have not hearkened. And the LORD hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear. They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and form the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever: and go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt. Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the LORD; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt. Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words, Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make then an astonishment, and an hissing and perpetual desolations. Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle. And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the LORD, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations. For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands” (Jeremiah 25:1-14).
It is quite clear when reading these words that Jeremiah faithfully prophesied and proclaimed the word of the LORD for twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah king of Judah unto the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah. Of course we know and understand that Jeremiah would continue to prophesy even after what is mentioned and spoken of within this chapter, however, suffice it to say we see a wonderful picture of faithfulness within the life of Jeremiah as he would sound the trumpet and bring the alarm of judgment and wrath in the midst of the land. If there is one thing we must understand about Jeremiah being a “last days” and “end times” prophet, it’s that it essentially takes place in different realms. On the one hand we see Jeremiah prophesying concerning judgment and wrath which was to come, and rising early day after day warning the people and inhabitants of the land concerning its presence among them. On the other hand we also find Jeremiah continuing to prophesy concerning this wrath and judgment all the unto the day it would actually come to pass and Jeremiah would witness and behold the fulfillment of everything he had been speaking about. It’s one thing for Jeremiah to prophesy concerning the wrath and judgment of the LORD and to not see the direct fulfillment of that wrath and judgment come to pass, however, it’s something else altogether and entirely to continue prophesying up to the time it began manifesting in the midst of the earth and emphatically proclaim and declare “This is that which I rose up early speaking, and warning, and prophesying unto you for these many years.” Jeremiah would prophesy concerning judgment and wrath for more than two decades, and what makes that reality all the more intriguing is when you think about and consider the fact that Jeremiah would actually live to see the manifestation and fulfillment of that which he had spent so many days and years speaking about. Stop and consider what it must have been like for Jeremiah to continue prophesying unto the inhabitants of Jerusalem and Judah concerning the wrath and judgment of the LORD from the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah unto the thirty-second year of his reign knowing that judgment and wrath were on the horizon and at the door, and yet it was Josiah’s humility and response before the LORD it was delayed and postponed. Stop and consider what it must have been like for Jeremiah to continue prophesying concerning the wrath and judgment of the LORD and to warn those inhabitants of the land not to grow lethargic, complacent, or comfortable during that time, for the judgment and wrath of the LORD would still come and be manifested in their midst.
For all intents and purposes Jeremiah would indeed be a “last days” and “end times” prophet, as he would not only prophesy concerning the judgment and wrath to come, but would also live to see that judgment and wrath come to pass. What’s more, is in the midst of warning of that judgment and wrath Jeremiah would also call the people to turn and return unto the LORD with their whole heart, and to once more come after Him. In the midst of prophesying and speaking about the judgment and wrath of the LORD Jeremiah would also call the people unto repentance, and would invite them. To turn their hearts back unto the LORD. Even within this particular chapter we find Jeremiah speaking of and referencing the words and message which both he and the prophets of the LORD spoke unto them—namely, “Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and form the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the LORD hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever: and go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt” (Jeremiah 25:5-6). Even when you turn and direct your attention back to the third chapter of this prophetic book you will find during the days of Josiah king of Judah the LORD through His servant Jeremiah calling the people to return once more and come unto Him. What’s more, is that these words take on an entirely different meaning when you consider them in light of the words which the prophet Joel prophesied during his generation. Consider if you will the following words which the prophet Jeremiah spoke in the last days leading up to judgment, as well as the words which the prophet Joel spoke during his generation:
“Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger for ever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: and I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. And it shall come to pass, when ye be multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, saith the LORD, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the LORD: neither shall shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more. At that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the LORD; and all the nations shall be gathered unto it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem: neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel, and they shall come together out of the land of the north to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers” (Jeremiah 3:12-18).
“Therefore also now, saith the LORD, Turn ye even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: and rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God: For He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil. Who knoweth if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him; even a meat offering and a drink offering unto the LORD your God? Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly: gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet. Let the priests, the ministers of the LORD, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O LORD, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should ruler over them: Wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the LORD be jealous for His land, and pity His people” (Joel 2:12-18).
In order to truly understand just how much Jeremiah is indeed a “last days” and “end times” prophet it is absolutely necessary to recognize that the two themes which seemed to run side by side and parallel with each other during his time on the earth were judgment and wrath and returning and repenting. What’s more, is that as you continue reading the the words which are found within this prophetic book you will find Jeremiah declaring unto the people of God—not only that the LORD had decreed seventy years before He would rise up and punish the king of Babylon, and would bring forth and bring back His people from the midst of their captivity and exile. The LORD would indeed call the people to returning and repentance while still in the midst of the land sworn unto their forefathers, and would also speak through the prophet Jeremiah concerning another return—namely, one that would involve their coming forth from the midst of the the land of the Chaldeans, and returning unto their own land. Jeremiah would indeed prophesy concerning the coming wrath and judgment of the LORD, and while prophesying of judgment and wrath he would also invite the people to turn and return unto the LORD. This is what was so incredibly powerful about the witness of the book of the Law being found in the Temple, its being read in the hearing of Josiah the king of Judah, Josiah’s humility before the LORD in response to the words he heard, Josiah’s inquiring of the LORD through the prophetess Huldah, and Josiah’s cleansing the land of all its filth, lewdness, idolatry, wickedness and abominations in the sight of the LORD. It would be because of Josiah’s actions the wrath and judgment of the LORD would be delayed at least a minimum of fourteen years through the end of his reign. Stop for a moment and consider how during those days there would and could essentially be two different responses. On the one hand you would find those who would see the delay and postponement as an act of divine mercy at the hand of God who was allowing and giving them space to repent. These individuals who hear the words which Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah would speak and respond through turning and returning unto the one true and living God while forsaking their wicked ways. On the other hand, however, there would be those who would see the delay in the judgment and wrath which Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah spoke about, and would view Jeremiah as a phony and false prophet, and would continue walking in their wicked ways as they had always done.. These individuals would be much like the scoffers and mockers whom the apostle Peter wrote and spoke about in the second epistle he wrote unto the Christians who had been scattered among the nations and peoples of the earth.
It with all of this being said that there is one other thread which is wove through the tapestry of the prophetic call and life of Jeremiah which directly points to his truly and indeed being a “last days” and “end times” prophet. If you recall from the words which Jesus spoke unto His disciples you will find Him referencing how in the Last Days one of the greatest manifestations within the earth would indeed and would int act be the persecution of the saints. Jesus Himself would reference two of the greatest manifestations in the last days which men and women would face as they made the decision to walk in faithful obedience before and in the sight of the living God. As you read the words found in the twenty-fourth chapter of the New Testament gospel narrative which was written by the apostle Matthew you will find Jesus not only referencing deception which would come through false prophets, false Christs, and the like, but you will also find Jesus referencing persecution which would manifest itself in the last days. If you ant to truly understand the last days you must understand that the Last Days are going to be days rampant and replete with a tremendous amount of deception as false teachers, false prophets, false Christs, false apostles, and false brethren can and will be manifested in the midst of the earth. Jesus Himself spoke of this deception being so strong that if it were possible these false prophets and false Christs would deceive even the very elect of God. You cannot talk about the Last Days and end times without talking about just how pervasive and widespread deception is going to be, which is a reality which the apostle Paul, the apostle Peter, and even Jude spoke about in their epistles. Before I get into the element of persecution which would also provide us with a powerful glimpse into Jeremiah being a prophet of the end times and last days, I feel it is absolutely necessary and imperative to present you with the words which the apostles Peter and Paul, as well as Jude wrote in their epistles. Consider if you will the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto Timothy, as well as the words which the apostle Peter wrote in his second epistle, and the words which Jude wrote in his epistle:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their sons opened seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. For every create of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:1-5).
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthanksful, unholy, without natural affection, truce-breakers, false accusers, in to invent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as James and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith, but they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall e manifest unto all men, as theirs also was” (2 Timothy 3:1-9).
“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privy shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall e evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not. For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; and spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrew, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; and delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) the LORD knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: but chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities. Whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord. But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet. These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a temptest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the Holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire” (2 Peter 2:1-22).
“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. And the angels which. Kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers devil the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. Ye Michal the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee. But these speak evil of those things which they knew not: but what they know natural, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves. Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core. These are spots in your feasts of charity when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own sham; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. And Enoch, also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied. Of these, saying, Behold, the LORD cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmured, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, m a king a difference: and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 3-23).
As I prepare to bring this writing to a close I find it absolutely necessary to call and draw your attention to the tremendous reality that Jeremiah was for all intents and purposes a wonderful and powerful end times and last days preacher, and was so in that he not only lived, but also prophesied in days leading up to national judgment. Jeremiah began prophesying in the thirteenth year of the reign of a righteous king who sat upon the throne of David named Josiah, and Josiah would prophesy concerning judgment and wrath that would come upon both nation, land and inhabitant alike. As a direct result of this reality and truth within the life of Jeremiah he would find himself experiencing tremendous opposition and persecution at the hands of those whom he had been sent to proclaim the word of the LORD. You cannot read the Old Testament prophetic book of Jeremiah and not come face to face with the fact that Jeremiah was one who found himself at odds with the men of his hometown, one who found himself at odds with the chief governor of the LORD’s house, and even one who found himself at odds with the priests, the prophets and the people of Judah and Jerusalem. If you read the words which are found in the twenty-sixth chapter of this prophetic book you will find the priests, the prophets, and the people—when they heard that Jeremiah was prophesying such things at the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, they all took him and declared concerning him that he should die. The opening of the twenty-sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah describes how Jeremiah was instructed to stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak unto all the cites of Judah which came to worship in the LORD’s house. Jeremiah would be instructed to stand in the court of the LORD’s house in the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, and declare unto the people that if they would not Hearken unto the LORD to walk in His law, which He set before them, and if they would not hearken to the words of His servants the prophets, He would make the Temple and house like Shiloh, and would make the city of Jerusalem a curse to all the nations of the earth. It is important that we realize and recognize this particular truth, for when you come to the latter portion of the twenty-sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah you will find all the priests, all the prophets, and all the people hearing Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the LORD and took him that he might die.
What you find and what you read in the twenty-sixth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah is not the first time Jeremiah would face opposition because of the word of the LORD, for you will recall in the eleventh chapter how he faced opposition from the men of Anathoth, which was the place of his birth and upbringing. The persecution and opposition Jeremiah would face and experience would first begin within his hometown of Anathoth, yet it would eventually transition beyond that place, and would not only touch the city of Jerusalem, but would also touch the land of Judah as well. We find Pashur the priest and chief governor of the house of the LORD taking Jeremiah and putting him in stocks in the gate of the land of Benjamin overnight. Now that you come to the twenty-sixth chapter you will again find Jeremiah at odds with the people of the land, as Jeremiah would be vehemently opposed by prophets, priests and people alike. It’s necessary that we recognize and understand this absolutely tremendous truth, for what we must realize and understand concerning Jeremiah is that he was not only a prophet who would live in the days leading up to national judgment, but he was also a prophet who would be called to warn of the coming judgment and wrath of the LORD. Even during the final fourteen years of the reign of Josiah the king of Judah after the LORD had declared His judgment and wrath would not come upon the land during the days of Josiah This Hebrew prophet would still have to warn of the impending judgment and wrath which was to come. We don’t read of Noah experiencing persecution of those of his generation seeking to put him to death, nor do we read of Lot experiencing any persecution from those in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, and yet what we find is both of these individuals living in the days leading up to the judgment and wrath of the LORD. LIVING IN THE DAYS OF JUDGMENT AND WRATH! LIVING IN THE DAYS LEADING UP TO JUDGMENT AND WRATH! Noah lived during the days leading up to the judgment and wrath of the living God which would come in the form of a great flood of and deluge that would cover the face of the whole earth. Lot lived during the days leading up to the judgment and wrath of the living God which would come in the form of fire and brimstone which would rain down from heaven upon the cities of the plain. Jeremiah would live during the days leading up to national judgment and wrath, and Jeremiah would even witness and behold the direct fulfillment and manifestation of that wrath in the form of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon and the families of the north. The apostles and the early church would also live during days leading up to national judgment and the wrath of the LORD as Rome would invade Judaea and Jerusalem and would not only destroy the ancient city, but would also destroy the Temple of the LORD with fire.
I feel absolutely compelled to leave you with the tremendous declaration that just as Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah lived during days leading up to national judgment and wrath, so also are we which are alive in this generation living in days leading up to—not only national judgment, but also judgment upon the nations. There is not a doubt in my mind that we who are alive within and upon the earth are living in days leading up the judgment and wrath of God which the prophets and apostles prophesied and foretold. Jesus warned of rampant and widespread deception, as well as persecution in the Last Days leading up to the judgment and wrath of the living God, and we have witnessed, we are witnessing, and we will witness the continued deception of false teachers, false apostles, false prophets, and false Christs who will emerge within the earth. Moreover, we have witnessed, are witnessing and will witness continued persecution against the saints of God. It might in fact only be a matter of time before we witness and experience this persecution reach the shores of the western world, and specifically the United States of America. The underlying question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are indeed walking in obedience and faithfulness before and unto the LORD in this generation, and while we cannot guard and protect ourselves from and against persecution—at least prepare and make ourselves ready. I sit here today and can’t help but see Jeremiah as a last days and end time prophet, and a powerful witness and example of one who faithfully proclaimed the word of the LORD during those last days, and as a direct result would not only experience persecution, affliction and opposition at the hands of many within his generation, but he would also witness and behold the fulfillment of what he had been prophesying for more than two decades. Oh that we would read the words found in the prophetic book of Jeremiah and truly see this “last days “ and “end times” prophet who stands as a powerful example of what many within this generation have been called, are being called, and will be called to do in the sight of the living and eternal God. Let us this day realize and recognize that which the LORD is calling and has called us to, and that we would walk in obedience and faithfulness in the sight of the living God in these days leading up to—not only the judgment and wrath which the LORD will pour out upon the whole earth, but also the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.