The Last Days King & the Delay of Judgment

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-eight through thirty-one of this Old Testament prophetic book. CONFRONTATION AND SHOWDOWN WITH A FALSE PROPHET! WHEN THE YOKE OF WOOD IS REPLACED WITH A YOKE OF IRON! THE PROPHETS THAT HAVE BEEN BEFORE ME AND BEFORE THEE OF OLD PROPHESIED BOTH AGAINST MANY COUNTRIES, AND AGAINST GREAT KINGDOMS, OF WAR, AND OF EVIL, AND OF PESTILENCE! THE PROPHET WHICH PROPHESIETH OF PEACE, WHEN THE WORD OF THE PROPHETO SHALL COME TO PASS, THEN SHALL THE PROPHET BE KNOWN, THAT THE LORD HATH TRULY SENT HIM! BECAUSE THOU HAST TAUGHT REBELLION AGAINST THE LORD! THE WORDS OF THE LETTER THAT JEREMIAH THE PROPHET SENT FROM JERUSALEM UNTO THE RESIDUE OF THE ELDLERS WHICH WERE CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVES, AND TO THE PRIESTS, AND TO THE PROPHETS, AND TO ALL THE PEOPLE WHOM NEBUCHADNEZZAR HAD CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVE FROM JERUSALEM TO BABYLON! THUS SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE GOD OF ISRAEL, UNTO ALL THAT ARE CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVES, WHOM I HAVE CAUSED TO BE CARRIED AWAY FROM JERUSALEM UNTO BABYLON! BUILD HOUSES! DWELL IN HOUSES! PLANT GARDENS! EAT THE FRUIT OF YOUR GARDENS! TAKE WIVES! BEGET SONS AND DAUGHTERS! TAKE WIVES FOR YOUR SONS, AND GIVE YOUR DAUGHTERS TO HUSBANDS, THAT THEY MAY BEAR SONS AND DAUGHTERS! THAT YE MAY BE INCREASED THERE, AND NOT DIMINISHED! SEEK THE PEACE OF THE CITY WHITHER I HAVE CAUSED YOU TO BE CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVES! PRAY UNTO THE LORD FOR IT! IN THE PEACE THEREOF SHALL YE HAVE PACE! LET NOT YOUR PROPHETS AND YOUR DIVINERS, THAT BE IN THE MIDST OF YOU, DECEIVE YOU, NEITHER HEARKEN TO YOUR DREAMS WHICH YE CAUSE TO BE DREAMED! THEY PROPHESY FALSELY UNTO YOU IN MY NAME! I HAVE NOT SENT THEM, SAITH THE LORD! [JEREMIAH 23]! AFTER SEVENTY YEARS BE ACCOMPLISHED AT BABYLON I WILL VISIT YOU, AND PERFORM MY GOOD WORD TOWARD YOU, IN CAUSING YOU TO RETURN TO THIS PLACE! [FOR I KNOW THE THOUGHTS THAT I THINK TOWARD YOU, SAITH THE LORD, THOUGHTS OF PEACE, AND NOT OF EVIL, TO GIVE YOU AN EXPECTED END. THEN SHALL YE CALL UPON ME, AND YE SHALL GO AND PRAY UNTO ME, AND I WILL HEARKEN UNTO YOU. AND YE SHALL SEEK ME, AND FIND ME, WHEN YE SHALL SEARCH FOR ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART! AND WI WILL BE FOUND OF YOU, SAITH THE LORD! I WILL TURN AWAY YOUR CAPTIVITY, AND I WILL GATHER YOU FROM ALL THE NATIONS, AND FROM ALL THE PALCES WHITHER I HAVE DRIVEN YOU! I WILL BRING YOU AGAIN INTO THE PLACE WHENCE I CAUSED YOU TO BE CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVE!

I WILL SEND UPON THEM THE SWORD, THE FAMINE, AND THE PESTILENCE, AND WILL MAKE THEM LIKE VILE FIGS, THAT CANNOT BE EATEN, THEY ARE SO EVIL! I WILL PERSECUTE THEM WITH THE SWORD, WITH THE FAMINE, AND WITH THE PESTILENCE, AND WILL DELIVER THEM TO BE REMOVED TO ALL THE KINGDOMS OF THE EARTH, TO BE A CURSE, AND AN ASTONISHMENT, AND AN HISSING, AND A REPROACH, AMONG ALL NATIONS WHITHER I HAVE DRIVEN THEM! THEY HAVE NOT HARKENED UNTO MY WORDS, SAITH THE LORD! HEAR YE THEREFORE THE WORD OF THE LORD, ALL YE OF THE CAPTIVITY, WHOM I HAVE SENT FROM JERUSALEM TO BABYLON! [PROTECTED THROUGH CAPTIVITY! PRESERVED THROUGH CAPTIVITY! SENT FROM JERUSALEM TO BE PRESERVED!] THUS SHALT THOU ALSO SPEAK TO SHEMAIAH THE NEHELAMITE! THUS SPEAKETH THE LORD OF HOSTS, THE GOD OF ISRAEL! BECAUSE THOU HAST SENT LETTERS IN THY NAME UNTO ALL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE IN JERUSALEM! ZEPHANIAH THE SON OF MAASEIAH THE PRIEST, AND TO ALL THE PRIESTS! FOR EVERY MAN THAT IS MAD, AND MAKETH HIMSELF A PROPHET, THAT THOU SHOULDEST PUT HIM IN PRISON, AND IN THE STOCKS! BECAUSE THAT SHAMAIAH HATH PROPHESIED UNTO YOU, AND I SENT HIM NOT, AND HE CAUSED YOU TO TRUST IN A LIE! HE SHALL NOT HAVE A MAN TO DWELL AMONG THIS PEOPLE! NEITHER SHALL HE BEHOLD THE GOOD THAT I WILL DO FOR MY PEOPLE! BECAUSE HE HATH TAUGHT REBELLION AGAINST THE LORD!

WRITE THEE ALL THE WORDS THAT I HAVE SPOKEN UNTO THEE IN A BOOK! THE DAYS COME, SAITH THE LORD, THAT I WILL BRING AGAIN THE CAPTIVITY OF MY PEOPLE ISRAEL AND JUDAH! I WILL CAUSE THEM TO RETURN TO THE LAND THAT I GAVE THEIR FATHERS, AND THEY SHALL POSSESS IT! I WILL BRING THE NORTH COUNTRY, I WILL BRING OUT OF THE NORTH COUNTRY! I HAVE SCATTERED, I WILL GATHER! A GREAT COMPANY SHALL RETURN THITHER! THEY SHALL COME WITH WEEPING, AND WITH SUPPLICATIONS WILL I LEAD THEM! I WILL CAUSE THEM TO WALK BY THE RIVERS OF WATERS IN A STRAIGHT WAY, WHEREIN THEY SHALL NOT STUMBLE! THEY SHALL COME AND SING IN THE HEIGHT OF ZION, AND SHALL FLOW TOGETHER TO THE GOODNESS OF THE LORD! A VOICE WAS HEARD IN RAMAH, LAMENTATION, AND BITTER WEEPING; RAHEL WEEPING FOR HER CHILDREN REFUSED TO BE COMFORTED FOR HER CHILDREN, BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT! TURN THOU ME, AND I SHALL BE TURNED! FOR THOU ART THE LORD MY GOD! SURELY AFTER THAT I WAS TURNED, I REPENTED! AND AFTER THAT I WAS INSTRUCTED, I SMOTE UPON MY THIGH! SET THEE UP WAYMARKS, MAKE THEE HIGH HEAPS: SET THIN EHEART TOWARD THE HIGHWAY, EVEN THE WAY WHICH THOU WENTEST!

BEHOLD THE DAYS COME, SAITH THE LORD, THAT I WILL MAKE A NEW COVENANT WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL, AND WITH THE HOUSE OF JUDAH! NOT ACCORDING TO THE COVENANT THAT I MADE WITH THEIR FATHERS IN THE DAY THAT I TOOK THEM BY THE HAND TO BRING THEM OUT OF THE LAND OF EGYPT! THIS SHALL BE THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL! AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAITH THE LORD, I WILL PUT MY LAW IN THEIR INWARD PARTS, AND WRITE IT IN THEIR HEARTS! AND WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE! THEY SHALL TEACH NO MORE EVERY MAN HIS NEIGHBOUR, AND EVERY MAN HIS BROTHER, SAYING, KNOW THE LORD: FOR THEY SHALL ALL KNOW ME! FROM THE LEAST OF THEM UNTO THE GREATEST OF THEM, SAITH THE LORD! I WILL FORGIVE THEIR INIQUITY, AND I WILL REMEMBER THEIR SIN NO MORE!

CONFRONTING THE FALSE PROPHETS OF PEACE IN A TIME OF JUDGMENT! When you come to this particular section of Scripture found within the prophetic book of Jeremiah you will find some incredibly powerful language contained therein. As you read the words found within these chapters you will of course find one of the most well known and beloved verses and passages of Scripture in all of Scripture—one that is quoted time and time again as a means to bring encouragement and hope to those who might be discouraged, distressed, anxious, hopeless, and the like. In the twenty-ninth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah you will come across and encounter the words Jeremiah wrote in a letter which he sent unto those who had been taken and carried away captive into the land of the Chaldeans. The twenty-ninth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah presents us with a period of time when the captivity had already begun—when the king of Babylon had already been taking and removing individuals from the land of Judah and bringing them into the land of the Chaldeans. It’s actually quite interesting to think about and consider the captivity of the people of God, for when you take the time to read the words which are found within the Old Testament book of Second Kings and Second Chronicles you will find that the people of God weren’t taken into captivity all at once and all at the same time. Upon reading and studying Scripture you will find that the captivity of the people of Judah and Jerusalem would essentially be performed and completed in three different waves at three different times before that third and final time would ultimately include the devastation and destruction of Jerusalem in the midst of the earth. You cannot read the words found within these Old Testament books and not encounter and come face to face with the truly incredible reality that the captivity of the people of God would not take place at one time, and that the LORD would indeed slowly—and essentially systematically remove the people from the midst of the land. What’s interesting to note is that there were those who would be destined for the sword, those who would be destined for the pestilence, and those who were destined for famine. The narrative of the siege of Jerusalem and the invasion of Judah and Jerusalem would ultimately result in a siege of Jerusalem which would last for roughly a year and a half before the wall would finally be broken through and the king of Babylon would enter into the city of Jerusalem would set himself up in the midst of it.

The language we find within the prophetic book of Jeremiah—specifically that which is found in the twenty-ninth chapter—contains a very pointed and powerful message which Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah spoke and wrote unto the residue of the captives of the people of Judah and Jerusalem who would be taken into captivity. In fact, when you begin reading with and from the twenty-eighth chapter of this prophetic book you will encounter Jeremiah describing the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, and specifically in the fourth year and the fifth month. If you read the previous chapters within this prophetic book of Jeremiah beginning to read with the twenty-fifth chapter you will find the word of the LORD coming unto Jeremiah during days and times of those kings which would sit upon the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem after Josiah the son of Ammon would die and go the way of all the earth. The language that is found and contained within these chapters reveals the word of the LORD that would come during the days of the sons of Josiah who would rule and reign as king after him, and in whose days the word of the LORD which Jeremiah had prophesied for more than two decades would be fulfilled and come to pass. It’s necessary for us to understand and recognize these days of the sons of Josiah, as well as the days of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon—and not only Nebuchadnezzar, but also Nebuchadnezzar—for it would be these two kings of Babylon who would invade the land of Judah, capture the defenced cities therein, lay siege to the city of Jerusalem, carry away captive the people in the midst of Jerusalem and Judah, and would ultimately destroy both the wall and gates of the city, while also destroying the Temple with fire. If you want to truly understand the narrative and language that is found in the Old Testament prophetic book of Jeremiah it is absolutely necessary that you think about and consider the events which would take place in the days after Josiah would die, for while the LORD would delay and postpone the wrath and judgment He spoke unto Manasseh, and which He had spoken through Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah, and while Josiah would die in days of peace and rest in the midst of the land, his sons would experience a completely different reality. It’s actually quite astonishing to think about and consider the fact that here we are during the days of the reigns of the sons of Josiah, and Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah was still present in the midst of the land prophesying according to the word of the LORD. Jeremiah would begin prophesying according to the word of the LORD in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah king of Judah, and would continue prophesying unto the time of the captivity of the people of Judah and Jerusalem.

If you want to truly understand the days in which Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah was prophesying in during the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, and even Zedekiah who would sit upon the throne of David in Jerusalem, you must turn and direct your attention to the final chapters of the Old Testament book of Second Kings, as well as the final chapters of the Old Testament book of Second Chronicles. What you will find within these portions of Scripture is the description of the days in which these sons of Josiah would sit upon the throne of David and reign over Judah and Jerusalem. I have previously written how Jeremiah could most readily and most easily be considered a “last days” and “end times” prophet, as he would not only prophesy the word of the LORD and live in the midst of those days leading up to the judgment and wrath the LORD declared and decreed upon the land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem, but he would also live to see the fulfillment of everything he had prophesied from the time he began prophesying in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah. What makes Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah so incredibly intriguing is when you think about and consider the fact that he would not only prophesy concerning the judgment and wrath the LORD would bring upon the the nation of Judah and the city of Jerusalem, but he would also live to see the day when all he had prophesied would come to pass and would be fulfilled. Pause for a moment and think about what it must have been like for Jeremiah to live during those days leading up to the judgment and wrath of the LORD, and knowing that the judgment of the LORD was the door, and His wrath was upon the horizon. Consider how for more than two decades Jeremiah would prophesy the word of the LORD and would speak of coming judgment and wrath, calamity and chaos, devastation and destruction, and eventually and ultimately he would see the direct fulfillment of everything the LORD had commanded and instructed him to speak. Jeremiah wasn’t merely one who prophesied and saw the judgment and wrath of the LORD being poured out over and upon Judah and Jerusalem, but he would also see the direct fulfillment of all he had been prophesying since the days of Josiah. With that in mind, and before we delve into the words found in the books of Second Kings and Second Chronicles, it is absolutely necessary to turn and direct our attention to the various passages found within this middle portion of the prophetic book of Jeremiah which reveal Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah prophesying during the days of Josiah’s sons who would sit upon the throne of David in the midst of Jerusalem. Consider if you will the following words which are found within this prophetic book beginning in and with the twenty-fifth chapter of the book:

“The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah Ian the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that was the first year of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon; the which Jeremiah the prophet spake unto all the people of Judah, and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, 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” (Jeremiah 25:1-3)

“In the beginning fo the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah k int of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD’s house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’s house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: IF so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to me, to walk in my law, which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth” (Jeremiah 26:1-6).

“In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto J eremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck, and send them to the king of Edomite, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah; and command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters; I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me. And now have I given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him. And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the same Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the LORD, with the sword, and with the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand. Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviner’s, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: For thy prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the LORD: and they shall till it, and dwell therein” (Jeremiah 27:1-11).

“I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. Why will ye die, thou and thy people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you. For I have not sent them, saith the LORD, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you” (Jeremiah 27:12-15).

“And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the LORD’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: and I will bring again to this place Jecoiniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: For I will read the yoke of the king of Babylon” (Jeremiah 28:1-4).

“Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem unto the residue of the elders which were carried away captives, and to the priests, and to the prophets, and to all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive from Jerusalem to Babylon; (After that Jeconiah the king, and the queen, and the eunuchs, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;) by the hand of Elisha the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, (whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent unto Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon)” (Jeremiah 29:1-3).

As you consider the words which are found within these passages of Scripture you will find the prophet Jeremiah recalling and recording specific words which the LORD instructed him to speak during the days of two of the kings who would sit upon the throne of David after the death of Josiah. Within these passages you will encounter the names of two kings of Judah whose names would essentially and ultimately by synonymous with the invasion of Judah, the destruction of Jerusalem, the captivity of the people of God, and the destruction of the Temple. You cannot read the words found in these passages of Scripture and not encounter and come face to face with the fact that a transition had taken place within the nation and kingdom of Judah, and with the death of Josiah the judgment and wrath of the LORD would be free to be manifested in the midst of both land and people. It’s actually quite intriguing to think about and consider the fact that so long as Josiah was alive the LORD would not bring His judgment and wrath—judgment and wrath which was decreed since the days of Manasseh the son of Hezekiah king of Judah—upon the land of Judah, nor upon the city of Jerusalem. This is truly something to think about and consider, for it’s quite remarkable how the word of the LORD which would be delivered unto Josiah from the prophetess Huldah would declare that because he humbled himself upon hearing the words which were recorded in the book of the law the LORD would not bring upon the city of Jerusalem, nor upon the land of Judah the destruction and devastation, the chaos and calamity, the judgment and wrath He had purposed. Essentially, Josiah and his being seated upon the throne of David served as a buffer so to speak which would be in between the judgment and wrath of the LORD and the people of Judah and Jerusalem. Josiah’s life would serve a greater purpose than simply his cleansing the land of its idolatry with its graven images, its idols, its altars, its shrines, and all the strange and foreign gods the people had worshipped. WHEN RIGHTEOUSNESS PROTECTS A NATION!

I sit here this morning and I can’t help but be absolutely and completely captivated by the fact that while it is true that Josiah would call the people of Jerusalem and Judah into covenant with the LORD, while it is true Josiah called the people to celebrate the Passover before the LORD, and while it is true that Josiah would cleanse the land of all its filth, all its lewdness, all its idolatry, and all that would defile, corrupt and pollute it, there was something else we must recognize and understand concerning the life of Josiah. Josiah would begin to reign as king when he was just eight years old, and in the thirteenth year of his reign the prophet Jeremiah would begin prophesying according to the word of the LORD, and during the eighteenth year of his reign the book of the law would be found in the Temple and brought into his presence and into his hearing. Josiah would hear the words which were found in the book of the Law of Moses and his heart and spirit would be stirred and moved within him as he realized the nation and kingdom of Judah, together with the city of Jerusalem and all the inhabitants thereof were under the threat of the judgment and wrath of the LORD. Undoubtedly Josiah would have been aware of the judgment and wrath which the LORD spoke unto Manasseh as a direct result of his transgression, his wickedness, his iniquity and his idolatry, and upon hearing the words which were found in the book of the Law would discern and understand the nation and kingdom of Judah was under the wrath and judgment of the LORD, and that there iniquity was great in the sight of the LORD. We dare not miss and lose sight of this truly astonishing reality, for Josiah’s humility before the LORD upon hearing the words and witness of the book of the Law of Moses would be a pivotal and crucial moment within the history of Judah. Josiah’s humility before and in the sight of the LORD would not only delay and postpone the judgment and wrath of the LORD, but it would also allow time, room and space for the people to turn and return unto the LORD, and for Josiah himself to move throughout the land as he went about cleansing it of all that was an abomination in the sight of the one true and living God. The delay in the wrath and judgment of the LORD would actually be an act of divine mercy and grace from the LORD, as the LORD not only promised that His wrath and judgment would be delayed in coming to pass, but also that it would be delayed so long as Josiah sat upon the throne of David in the city of Jerusalem.

Please don’t miss the significance and importance of this awesome truth, for the book of the Law of Moses would be found in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah, and it would be in the eighteenth year of his reign he would humble himself in the sight of the LORD, and would receive the word of the LORD that He would not bring to pass His judgment and wrath during the days of his reign. If you turn and direct your attention back to the twenty-second chapter of the Old Testament book of Second Kings you will find that Josiah was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned thirty-one years in the city of Jerusalem. The book of the law of the LORD would be found in the eighteenth year of the reign of Josiah, and it would be in that same year—on the same day Josiah would send messengers to inquire of the LORD through the prophetess Huldah—the word of the LORD would reveal that the judgment and wrath which He purposed to bring upon that place would not come during the days of Josiah. What this means is that for the next thirteen years there would essentially be peace, and rest, and safety, and security in the midst of the land, as so long as Josiah sat upon the throne of David the judgment and wrath would not come upon the land of Judah, nor the city of Jerusalem. This actually brings the intercession of Abraham concerning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to a whole different level, for you will recall that Abraham interceded on behalf of these cities asking the LORD if He would destroy the righteous with the wicked. Ultimately, the LORD declared unto Abraham that He would not destroy the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah if He found ten righteous in the midst of the city. Abraham would so intercede on behalf of the cities of the plain that the LORD would actually avert His judgment and His wrath if there were ten righteous which were found in the city. In other words, it would be the righteousness of ten that would avert the judgment of the LORD which He had purposed to bring upon the cities of the plain. It is with this in mind that the narrative of Josiah is so absolutely remarkable, for it would not only be Josiah’s righteousness, but also his humility before the LORD that would delay and postpone the judgment and wrath which was purposed against Judah and Jerusalem.

As we come to the twenty-fifth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah we find the word of the LORD continuing to come unto Jeremiah, yet the word of the LORD coming during the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, as well as Zedekiah king of Judah. What makes the words which are found in this particular section of the book of Jeremiah so captivating is that it is quite clear and quite obvious that Josiah the king of Judah had died during the thirty-first year of his reign, and was succeeded by his sons who would reign upon the throne of David in his stead. This is truly significant because with the death of Josiah would come the removal of that which held back and that which prevented the wrath and judgment of the LORD from being manifested in the land. Of course we know that it was ultimately the LORD who would delay and postpone His wrath and His judgment, however, we cannot diminish the value of Josiah’s righteousness and humility before the LORD. It was his humility and his response before the LORD upon hearing the words which were written in the book of the law of the LORD that would so move the heart of God that He would not bring about the judgment and wrath He purposed against Jerusalem and Judah during his days. For the next thirteen years until the death of Josiah Jerusalem and Judah would experience a reprieve and temporary delay in the judgment and wrath of the LORD. There is not a doubt in my mind that Josiah would continue ruling and governing the nation and kingdom of Judah in righteousness before the LORD, and with the prophetic word of Jeremiah, as well as the witness of the book of the Law of Moses, there was great space given for repentance and for the turning of hearts back and unto the LORD. I firmly believe that it would be during the final eighteen years of the reign of Josiah the LORD would call His people unto repentance and the turning of their hearts back unto Him. With the word of the LORD being manifested through Jeremiah, and the witness of the words found in the book of the Law Josiah would rule and reign over Judah and Jerusalem in righteousness before the LORD, and there would be men and women who would indeed and would in fact turn their hearts back to the LORD. The significance of Josiah extends beyond simply cleansing the land of all its idolatry and iniquity which was offensive and abominable in the sight of the LORD, but his very life would hold back and delay the judgment and wrath of the LORD. This actually brings a whole new meaning to the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Thessalonian saints, which were the first epistles he wrote unto the churches found in Asia. Consider if you will the words which are found in the second epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Thessalonian saints beginning with the first verse of the second chapter:

“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? AND NOW YE KNOW WHAT WITHHOLDETH THAT HE MIGHT BE REVEALED IN HIS TIME. FOR THE MYSTERY OF INIQUITY DOTH ALREADY WORK: ONLY HE WHO NOW LETTETH WILL LET, UNTIL HE BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness or unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12).

Please don’t miss the tremendous significance of what is found within these words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Thessalonian saints, for not only did the apostle Paul write and speak of “the man of sin,” and “the son of perdition,” and “that Wicked,” but the apostle also wrote concerning that one who would hold back and prevent that wicked one from being revealed. I have previously written concerning Jeremiah being a last days and end times prophet in that he lived and prophesied—not only during the days leading up to the judgment and wrath of God, but also during the days when that wrath and judgment would be poured out. With that being said, I can’t help but see Josiah as a “last days” and “end times” king. I can’t help but see in Josiah a powerful picture of a “last days” king whose very existence in the earth—at least from the time of the eighteenth year of his reign through the end of the days of his reign—would hold back and prevent the man of wickedness from being revealed in the midst of the earth. It would be during the days of Josiah Jeremiah would first begin prophesying unto the city of Jerusalem, the land of Judah, and even the land of Benjamin, and during those days the judgment and wrath of the LORD would be manifested in “the families of the north,” or “that which would come out of the north.” It wouldn’t be until the days of Josiah’s sons that the actual name of the kingdom and empire would be revealed, and the name of the king who would be used as the divine instrument in the hand of God would be revealed. There would indeed be a man of sin, and there would indeed be a man of wickedness who would be revealed during the days of Josiah’s sons, however, so long as Josiah was alive upon the earth, and so long as Josiah sat upon the he Theron of David and reigned over the nation and kingdom of Judah this man of iniquity and wickedness would not be revealed. I can’t help but see this as a powerful witness and testimony concerning Jeremiah and Josiah, as Jeremiah would essentially be a “last days” and “end times” prophet, and Josiah would be a “last days” and “end times” king. The apostle Paul wrote about that which restrained and that which held back the man of sin and the son of perdition from being revealed, and it’s quite interesting to consider the fact that Josiah himself was used by the LORD to actually hold back and temporarily prevent this man of wickedness who would enter into and invade the land of Judah from being manifested in the earth. Josiah’s presence in the earth during the final thirteen years of his reign would have a huge significance and impact on the nation and kingdom of Judah, for all the LORD had purposed, all the LORD had decreed, and all the LORD had spoken would not come to pass during his days.

Upon the death of Josiah, however, we find that which held back, that which restrained, that which postponed and that which delayed the manifestation of the wrath and judgment of the LORD, and that which held back and restrained the manifestation of the armies and families of the north would be removed and essentially taken out of the way. When Josiah would pass from this life and enter into the next he would be succeeded by his, and it would be during the days and generation of his sons that that which the LORD purposed to bring to pass would be manifested. A similar reality would be manifested at least two more times within the history of the nation and kingdom of Israel—once when the kingdom and nation would be united during the days of Solomon, and once when the kingdom would be divided during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah. If you read the narrative of Solomon the son of David you will find the LORD speaking unto Solomon because of his idolatry, his rebellion, and his wickedness before Him, and would declare that He would rend the kingdom out of the hand of David and would tear it away from the house of David, but would not do it during the days of Solomon for the sake of David the servant of the LORD. The LORD would indeed rend ten of the twelve tribes from the house of David because of the iniquity and idolatry of Solomon, however, the LORD would do it during the days of his son Rehoboam who would sit on the throne in his stead. Similarly, during the days of Hezekiah king of Judah we find the LORD speaking and declaring that there would come a day and there would come a time when Babylon would return unto the land of Judah and unto the city of Jerusalem and would not only take as spoil and plunder the treasure of the king’s house, but also the treasure of the house of the LORD. With this being said, however, the prophet Isaiah would declare unto Hezekiah according to the word of the LORD that it would not take place during his days. That which the LORD purposed during the days of Solomon would not take place during his days, but during the days of his son; that which the LORD purposed during the days of Hezekiah would not take place during the days of his reign upon the throne of David, but in future generations; and that which the LORD purposed in the days of Manasseh and even during his own days would not take place while he was alive, but would take place during the days of Josiah’s sons.

When I read in the prophetic book of Jeremiah the word of the LORD coming unto him during the days of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah kings of Judah, I can’t help but be directly confronted with the absolutely tremendous reality that what held back the judgment and wrath of the LORD had been removed from the earth, and that everything the LORD purposed and everything the LORD had spoken by His servant Jeremiah the son of Hilkiah would indeed come to pass. No longer would Josiah’s presence in the earth hold back and temporarily restrain the man of wickedness and the manifestation of the armies of the north from being manifested, but now during the days of his sons the LORD would bring to pass that which He had spoken by the mouth of Jeremiah. It’s necessary that we recognize and understand this, for the names Jehoiakim and Zedekiah would indeed be synonymous with Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, as it would be during their days the land of Judah would be invaded by the Babylonian army, the defenced cities would be taken, and ultimately the city of Jerusalem would be laid siege to before the wall would be broken through, the gates destroyed by fire, the enemy marching straight up into the city of the Great King, and the Temple being destroyed by fire. If there is one thing that makes the above mentioned passages so incredibly captivating is when you think about the fact that they describe a period in Judah’s history when the LORD would begin to bring about the wrath and judgment He decreed, purposed and spoke through and by the mouth of His servant Jeremiah. I still cannot escape the fact that Jeremiah was truly and for all intents and purposes a “last days” and “end times” prophet, as he would not only live and prophesy in the days leading up to the manifestation of the wrath and judgment of God, but would also watch and witness it beginning to unfold. The words which are found in the twenty-ninth chapter of the prophetic book of Jeremiah are one of the first indications within this book that the judgment and wrath of the one true and living God had begun to come to pass, for we find Jeremiah writing unto the residue of those who had been carried away as captives from the land of Judah and the city of Jerusalem, and brought unto the land of the Chaldeans. The words and language found in the twenty-ninth chapter are quite remarkable and telling when you take the time to think about and consider them, for not only do they reveal words which Jeremiah wrote unto those who had been carried away captive, but they also point to and reveal one of the most dangerous realities that was found in the last days leading up to the fall of Jerusalem— a dangerous reality which was also found in the days leading up to the fall of Jerusalem a second time in the year 70 AD at the hands of the Romans, and ultimately during the last days leading up to the return of Jesus the Christ, and the wrath and judgment of the LORD being poured out.

If you read the words which are found within chapters twenty-eight and twenty-nine of this Old Testament prophetic book you will undoubtedly encounter the letter Jeremiah wrote unto the residue of the captives which were in the land of the Chaldeans, but you will also encounter one of the greatest challenges Jeremiah faced during the tenure of his prophetic ministry—namely, false prophets who would rise up during those days and who would prophesy peace, safety, security and prosperity during those days. You cannot read the words which are found in these chapters and not find Jeremiah contending with the false prophets who rose up during those days having not been sent by the LORD, and prophesying of their own heart and their own imagination. The words which we see in these chapters point to and reveal the absolutely tremendous reality that while Jeremiah would faithfully proclaim the word of the LORD unto the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem, he would find himself having to contend with those false prophets who would not only contradict the words which he spoke, but would also prophesy peace and prosperity during those days. Before we get into the letter which Jeremiah wrote unto the captives which were found in the land of the Chaldeans, as well as his contending with the false prophets of those days, it is necessary to consider the words which are found in the Old Testament book of Second Kings—even Second Chronicles—concerning the beginning of the manifestation of the judgment and wrath of the LORD upon Judah and Jerusalem during the days of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah kings of Judah. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the book of Second Kings beginning to read with and from the first verse:

“In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which He spake by His servants the prophets. Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did; and also for the innocent blood that he shed: for he filled Jerusalem with innocent blood; which the LORD would not pardon. Now the rest of the acts of Jehoiakim, and all that he did, are they not written in the book of the chronicles of the kings of Judah? So Jehoiakim slept with this fathers: and Jehaoiachin his son reigned in his stead. And the king of Egypt came not again any more out of his land: for the king of Babylon had taken from the river of Egypt unto the river Euphrates all that pertained to the king of Egypt” (2 Kings 24:1-7).

“Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he began to reign, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. And his mother’s name was Nehushta, the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done. At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the cit, and his servants did besiege it. And Jehoiachin the king of Judah went out to the king of Babylon, he and his mother, and his servants, and his princes, and his officers: and the king of Babylon took him in the eighth year of his reign. And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said. And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, saved the poorest sort of the people of the land. And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king’s mother, and the king’s wives, and his officers, and the might of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon. And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah his father’s brother king in his stead, and change his name to Zedekiah” (2 Kings 24:8-17).

“Zedekiah was twenty and one years old when he bean to reign, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. And his mother’s name was Hamutal, the daughter of Jeremiah of Libyan. And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. For through the anger of the LORD it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until He had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon” (2 Kings 24:18-20).

“And it came to pass in the ninth year of his reign, in the tenth m on the, in the tenth day of the month, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came, he, and all his host, against Jerusalem, and pitched against it; and they built forts against it round about. And the city was besieged unto the eleventh year of king Zedekiah. And on the ninth day of the fourth month the famine prevailed in the city, and there was no bread for the people of the land. 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 bout) and the king went the way toward the plain. And the army of the Chaldees pursued after the king, and overtook 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 25:1-7).

“And in the fifth month, on the seventh day of the month, which is the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, came Nebuzar-Adan, captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, unto Jerusalem: and he burnt the house of the LORD, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man’s house burnt he with fire. And all the army of the Chaldees, that were with the captain of the guard, brake down the walls of Jerusalem round about. Now the rest of the people that were left in the city, and the fugitives that fell away to the king of babylon, with the remnant of the multitude did Nebuzar-Adan the captain of the guard carry away. But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandman” (2 Kings 25:8-12).

“And the captain of the guard took Serbian the chief priest, and Zephaniah the second priest, and the three keepers of the door: and out of the city he took an officer that was set over the men of war, and five men of them that were in the king’s presence, which were found in the city, and the principal scribe of the host, which mustered the people of the land, and threescore men of the people of the land that were found in the city: and Nebuzar-Adan captain of the guard took these, and brought them to the king of Babylon to Riblah: and the king of babylon smote them, and slew them at Riblah in the land of Hamath. So Judah was carried away out of their land” (2 Kings 25:18-21).

“And as for the people that remained in the land of Judah, whom Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon had left, even over them he made Gedaliah the son of Ahikam, the son of Shaphan, ruler. And when all the captains of the armies, they and their men, heard that the king of Babylon had made Gedaliah governor, there came to Gedaliah to Mizpeh, even Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and Johanna the son of Careah, and Serbian the son of Tanhumeth the Netophathite, and Jaazaniah the son of a Maachathite, they and their men. And Gedaliah sware to them, and to their men, and said unto them, Fear not to be the servants of the Chaldees: dwell in the land, and serve the king of Babylon; and it shall be well with you. But it came to pass in the seventh month, That Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, the son of Elishama, of the seed royal, came, and ten men with him, and smote Gedaliah, that he died, and the Jews and the Chaldees that were with him at Mizpeh. And all the people, both small and great, and the captains of the armies, arose, and came to Egypt: for they were afraid of the Chaldees” (2 Kings 25:22-26).

If you take the time to read and study the words which are found within the final two chapters of the Old Testament book of Second Kings you will encounter the tremendous reality that once Josiah the son of Amon king of Judah died and went the way of all the earth it was essentially as though a temporary restraint was removed, and that which the LORD had purposed against Judah and Jerusalem could come to pass. I can’t help but wonder if upon the death of Josiah—when Jeremiah learned that he had died—the prophet did not weep over him because he knew what would unfold in the coming days. Undoubtedly the prophet Jeremiah knew the restraint of the LORD during the days of Josiah king of Judah, and with Josiah now dead and his body buried in the earth, kings would arise after him—and it would be during the days of those kings the LORD would finally bring against and upon Judah and Jerusalem all that He had purposed and spoken through and according to the prophet Jeremiah. The final chapters of the Old Testament book of Second Kings reveal the tremendous devastation and destruction Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon wrought against the land of Judah and against the city of Jerusalem, and how he carried away—not only captives from among the prominent and mighty within the land of Judah, but also the treasures of the house of the LORD, and the treasures in the king’s house. This is what makes the conspiracy and treachery of Hananiah so dangerous, for in the fourth year of the reign of Zedekiah Hananiah would falsely prophesy that not only would the LORD break off the yoke of the king of Babylon, but would also restore the captives which were taken from the midst of the land, as well as all the treasures of the house of the LORD which the king had taken. What’s more, is that in the twenty-ninth chapter of the same Old Testament prophetic book you will find more false prophets who had risen up during the days of judgment and wrath—namely, Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah. Within this chapter you will find the word of the LORD coming unto Jeremiah concerning these two false prophets who “prophesy a lie unto you in my name.” One of the greatest dangers that was present during the days of Jehoiakim and Zedekiah was that of false prophets who would prophesy lies unto the people claiming they were prophesying and speaking for and on behalf of the one true and living God. As if the persecution, the affliction, and the suffering Jeremiah experienced during those days wasn’t bad enough, and as if the judgment and wrath of the LORD being poured out upon the land of Judah and upon the city of Jerusalem wasn’t enough, Jeremiah would also find himself contending with the false prophets who would prophesy lies unto the people as they would teach them rebellion in the sight of the LORD.

Within this prophetic book you will find the stark contrast between the word which Jeremiah would speak unto the residue of the captives which were carried away captive by the Chaldeans in the twenty-ninth chapter, and the lies which the false prophets would claim to speak in the name of the LORD, and which they would use to incite and teach rebellion in the hearts of the people. We dare not and must not miss and lose sight of this reality, for the words which Jeremiah would write unto the captives which were in the land of the Chaldeans would be in direct contrast to the lies which the false prophets would claim to speak for and in the name of the LORD. Please don’t miss how absolutely crucial and critical this is, for the words which Jeremiah would write unto those who were living and dwelling in the land of the Chaldeans would be such that would not speak of the LORD breaking off the yoke of the captivity of Babylon and of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, nor of the treasures which were taken from the house of the LORD and the king’s house being restored. Instead, the words which Jeremiah the prophet wrote unto those living in captivity and exile in the land of the Chaldeans would invite and instruct them to put down roots in the land of their captivity. Oh, it was true that Jeremiah would write and speak about seventy years being completed and fulfilled before the LORD would visit His people, and before He would return and restore them unto the land sworn unto their forefathers, however, it would be during those seventy years when the people would essentially need to get comfortable in and get comfortable with their captivity. Pause for a moment and think about what that type of reality might have sounded like for those living in captivity, as not only would they have been removed and carried away out of their land, but they would be instructed to get comfortable in their captivity, to plant roots in their captivity, and even to serve the king of Babylon. It’s truly something unique to think about and consider that two of the words which were given unto those which remained in the land, as well as those who lived and dwelt in the land of the Chaldeans were given very specific instructions. In fact, there would essentially be a third invitation and instruction that would be given. Upon reading the words found in the prophetic book of Jeremiah you will find the invitation to go out from the midst of the city and submit themselves unto the king of Babylon that it might go well with those who did, as well as the invitation to serve the king of Babylon within your own land if permitted to remain, and finally, to serve the king of Babylon within the land of the Chaldeans. Consider if you will the following words which are found in the letter which Jeremiah wrote and sent unto the captives which were in the land of the Chaldeans during the days of Zedekiah king of Judah:

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem unto Babylon; Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished. And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD. For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the LROD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you a gain into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive” (Jeremiah 29:4-14).

INCREASE IN THE LAND! SEEK THE PEACE OF THE CITY I HAVE SENT YOU! PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF THAT CITY! IN THE PEACE OF WHERE YOU HAVE BEEN YOU SHALL HAVE PEACE! DO NOT BE DECEIVED! When writing unto the captives of Judah and Jerusalem which were in the land of the Chaldeans Jeremiah would invite and instruct them to increase in the land, for the LORD had not brought them into the land to make an end of them, but to preserve and protect them during the seventy years of captivity. If there is one thing we must learn and understand concerning the captivity of the people of God in the land of the Chaldeans it’s that those who were brought unto the land and who would live as captives and exiles were brought there that they might be preserved and protected by the LORD. The LORD would bring a remnant of His people into the land of the Chaldeans that He might watch over and protect them that when the appointed time of seventy years had been completed He might bring them back into the land and restore them in the midst of it. Perhaps one of the most incredible realities concerning the captivity of the people of God is that during those seventy years—not only did the LORD preserve the people themselves, but the LORD would also preserve the land. One thing we must realize and understand is that during those seventy years the LORD would not only watch over the land which He had sworn on oath unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to give unto their descendants for ever, but the LORD also watched over and preserved the people themselves that He might bring them back into the midst of that land. The words which Jeremiah spoke and wrote unto the residue of the captives of the people of God would be instructions to increase and multiply in the land of their captivity—much like the children of Israel increased and multiplied in the land of their slavery, bondage and oppression. The LORD allowed the children of Israel to increase and multiply within the land of Egypt that He might bring them forth out of the land and into the land of their inheritance, and the LORD allowed the children of Israel to multiply and increase within the land of their captivity that He might have a people to bring back into the land. Even in captivity and exile the LORD was not willing to make an end of the people of Israel, and would allow them to increase within the land that at the appointed time He might bring them back.

As I bring this writing to a close I find it necessary to call and draw your attention to the awesome and incredibly reality that the letter Jeremiah wrote unto the captives which were living and dwelling in the midst of the land of the Chaldeans is one that is quite beautiful when you think about it. Within this letter Jeremiah invited and instructed the people of Judah and Jerusalem—in fact, all of Israel—to not only get comfortable in their captivity, but also to settle themselves in the midst of it. The word of the LORD which Jeremiah would bring unto the captives would be words of promise, provision, and protection, as the LORD declared unto them—in the context of dwelling in captivity and returning unto their own land at the appointed time—that He knew the thoughts which He thought toward them, which were thoughts of peace and not of evil, and to give them an expected end. What’s more, is that directly linked to the invitation to get settled in captivity and providing the promise of return, the LORD would also instruct the people not to listen to the false prophets which prophesied falsely lies in the name of the LORD. The prophet Jeremiah would speak directly unto the captives which dwelt in the land of the Chaldeans and would call and invite them know and understand with absolutely certainty that the LORD had not cast them off, that the LORD had not forsaken them, that the LORD had not abandoned them, and that the LORD did not bring them into the land to make an end of them, but rather to preserve and protect them that at the appointed time He might bring them forth out of captivity, and bring them into the land which He swore unto Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. If there is one thing we must recognize and consider upon reading these words is the tremendous implications of Jeremiah and Josiah during their generation(s), as Josiah would indeed be a “last days” and “end times” king who would be used of the LORD in delaying and postponing His judgment and wrath upon Judah and Jerusalem. What’s more, is that Josiah would during that time of peace bring about cleansing in the midst of the land, as he would destroy all the idols, all the graven images, all the altars, and every wicked and abominable thing in the sight of the LORD. Jeremiah would indeed be a last days and end times prophet, as Jeremiah would prophesy concerning, and would live in the days leading up to the judgment and wrath of the LORD, and would even see the fulfillment of that which He spoke of come to pass after the death of Josiah. It is necessary that we understand what is found within the narratives of the lives of these two men as they would both represent a powerful picture of an times prophetic generation, as well as an end times political generation that would be involved preparing both the land and the people for the judgment and wrath of the LORD which He would unleash and manifest at the appointed time.

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