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Jeremiah 28-30

by Chuck Smith

Now in chapter 28:

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, he 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 the king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon (28:1-3):

Now this was the prophecy that Jeremiah had spoken against earlier. Those guys were saying, “Two years. It’s all coming back.” And so here is Jeremiah standing there and this guy makes this prophecy.

And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. Then Jeremiah the prophet said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and of the people that stood in the house of the LORD, Jeremiah said, [All right] So be it: may the LORD do that: and perform your words which you prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD'S house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place. Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in your ears, and in the ears of all the people; 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 prophesied of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall that prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him (28:4-9).

Now Jeremiah says, “Look, people prophesied before and we’ll believe you when we see the peace. When we see the things carried back, then we’ll believe you.” So this Hananiah, going one step further,

took the yoke off Jeremiah's neck, and he broke it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way. Then the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after Hananiah had broken the yoke from off of his neck, and he said, Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; You have broken the yokes of wood; but you shall make for them yokes of iron. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. Then said the prophet Jeremiah to Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; the LORD hath not sent thee; but you are making the people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year you will die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD. So Hananiah the prophet died (28:10-17)

Within a month, actually, because this word came to Jeremiah in the fifth month. He died in two months. In the seventh month Hananiah died.


Chapter 29

Now Jeremiah sent this letter, chapter 29, to those Jews that were in Babylon. And, of course, this letter was sent to them and one of the chief of the princes that was in Babylon was Daniel. So Daniel was the one, no doubt, that received this letter from Jeremiah. Daniel was a captive in Babylon at the time, and this letter was sent by the prophet Jeremiah to those captives. Now, of course, Jeremiah is an older man at this point whereas Daniel is quite a young man at this point.

Now these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to 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 [the princes of Judah would have included Daniel], and the carpenters, and the smiths, were departed from Jerusalem;) By the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan (29:1-3),

This was the guy who carried the letter to Babylon, saying,

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 to Babylon; Build houses, and dwell in them; plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them; Take wives, and have children sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that you might be increased there in the land, and not diminished (29:4-6).

Now rather than your coming back in two years as the false prophets were holding up a hope to them, Jeremiah’s saying, “Hey, look, settle down, build your houses, plant your gardens, you know, start having children. You’re going to be there a while and no sense of the population being diminished while you’re there.”

Seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captives (29:7),

In other words, don’t rebel, but live peaceably with them. Seek their peace.

and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace (29:7).

As long as Babylon has peace, you will have peace.

For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that are 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 (29:8-10).

Now in the ninth chapter of the book of Daniel we read, “In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans; in the first year of his reign, I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem” (Daniel 9:1-2). So Daniel’s making a reference now to this letter that have been placed in the book form of the prophecies of Jeremiah. And having read them and understood by the prophecy of Jeremiah that the seventy years that were predicted of their Babylonian captivity were just about over, he began to seek the Lord. But here is interesting to me how the Bible ties together. Here’s the letter that Jeremiah is sending to those in Babylon; among them, of course, one of the chiefs being Daniel. And Daniel was there when the letter arrived. And Daniel was there seventy years later. So at that point, Daniel was probably in his nineties when he realized, “Hey, the seventy years are about over. It’s about time to go home.” And he’s probably in his late eighties or early nineties.

We had a beautiful lady here this morning, ninety-seven years old. She said, “The Lord first spoke to me when I was fifteen years old and I’ve been walking with Him for eighty-two years.” Oh, envy, envy, envy. Walking with the Lord. I said, “Oh, just talk to me. I want to gain from your experience of walking with the Lord.” Beautiful. She showed it on her face, just a beautiful countenance.

David said, “Blessed is the man that walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law does he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, bringing forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither” (Psalms 1:1-3). I saw an unwithered ninety-seven year old leaf today. It’s beautiful, just beautiful. Sorry, honey, but I fell in love with her.

“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,” after seventy years.

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, they are thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end (29:11).

Or to bring you to a good end.

Now if you follow your own thoughts, if you rebel against the king of Babylon, then you’re going to have a disastrous end. If you will obey Me and follow My words, I’m thinking about you. I haven’t forgotten you. I’m thinking about you. And My thoughts concerning you are those of peace. I’m desiring your peace. I’m not desiring evil for you. Now I haven’t forgotten you.

So many times we’re in captivity or we’re having great problems, we think, “Oh, God’s forgotten me. God’s not thinking of me anymore.” Oh, that’s not so. God is thinking of you. But God is always looking down at the end of the road. Our common mistake is that we are always looking for immediate advantage, immediate fulfillment. And we don’t consider the end result or the consequences of the things that we are doing. How many times we jump into things not considering what the end result is. Oh, but it looks exciting. It looks fun. Let’s jump in. And God is warning and He is saying, “No, the end of that path is destruction. Now I’m thinking about you. Don’t think I’ve forgotten you. I am thinking about you. And My thoughts concerning you are for your peace to bring to you this expected end.”

Then shall ye call upon me, and then shall ye go pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you (29:12).

Now if you’ll go back to Daniel when you have a chance, I’m not going to tonight, but when you have the chance, go back to Daniel the ninth chapter when he understood from the prophecy of Jeremiah that the seventy years were about over, what did he do? He began to fast and pray because the Lord said, “Then shall ye call upon Me.” When? After the seventy years. “And ye shall go and pray unto Me, and I will hearken unto you.” So here is Daniel following the word of the Lord.

 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart (29:13).

I think that one of our problems is that we oftentimes have a half-hearted attitude towards God. We’re not really seeking God with all of our heart. “Well, God, if You want to, I’m here. And You can do it for me if You desire. I won’t stop You, Lord.” And we oftentimes take a very passive attitude towards God, towards the things of God. Rather than really seeking God with all of our hearts. Now, there have been a few times in my life when I have really gotten desperate before God. But I’m amazed at how much it takes to make me really desperate before God. I’m sort of a kickback individual and I sort of take things in stride. Learn to just sort of roll with the punches and oh, well, it will work out. But there have been occasions where God really brought me to a place of real desperation where I can say I really sought God with all my heart.

One was in the sickness of our youngest daughter who was the light of our life. God gave her as a special gift to us. Well, all of our children are special gifts. They are just beautiful. We thank God for each one of them. But this youngest one, we were older, more mature, able to enjoy her more because we just had a little more maturity. We didn’t know what we were doing when we had our first kids. All of a sudden by biological process you’re parents, but no one trained us or taught us in how to parent. And so the fact that our kids have turned out good is only the grace of God, not our wisdom. We didn’t know what we were doing. But by the time you have your fourth, you know a little bit. And you’re a little older, more mature, more experienced. She was a joy, the light of our life. But she was running a high fever. Have been running this fever for a couple of days. Sat up all night holding her, just praying unto the Lord to heal her. And the fever kept high, and as I was holding her she went into convulsions and I thought I was losing her. Her little body stiffened up and the whole thing and I thought, “Oh, this is it.” And I tell you, I began to seek God with all my heart. I was desperate before God. And I said, “God, you know that I treasure this little gal so highly. I would gladly lay down my life for her, Lord. I would much rather be sick than to see her sick. I would gladly, Lord, lay down my life for her. I love her so much. But yet, God, if it is Your will and Your purpose to take her to be with You, I give her to You, Lord. She’s Your child. But please, God, I would love to have her still.” But I mean, I was seeking God with all my heart. My wife had called the doctor. We bundled her up and started rushing off to the doctor with her. But before we ever got to the doctor, she was completely healed. Fever was gone. She was smiling, laughing and back to her beautiful, cute little self again. We got her to the doctor, “Well, looks fine to me.” He said to Kay, “How long since you’ve had a tetanus shot?” She said, “I don’t know.” He said no use wasting time, give you a tetanus shot while you’re here, you know. Kay got the shot. “In the day,” the Lord said, “you seek Me with all of your heart.”

The Bible says, “The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16). How many times are we really fervent? How many times are we really desperate before God? How many times do we really seek God with all of our hearts? God said, “In that day I’ll be found of you.” He doesn’t really like us to come with a half-hearted attitude but with a total commitment.

And I will be found of you, saith the LORD: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places where I have driven you, saith the LORD; and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive. Because you have said, The LORD hath raised us up prophets in Babylon; Know that thus saith the LORD the king that sits on the throne of David, and of all the people that dwell in this city, and of your brothers that have not gone forth with you into captivity; Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will send upon them the sword, and the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like vile figs, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil (29:14-17).

A reference back to the message there in the courts of Zedekiah where God said those that were carried away were good figs but those that were left were going to be like rotten figs and be destroyed. Nothing left. No value to them.

And I will persecute them with the sword, and 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, a hissing, a reproach, among all the nations whither I have driven them: Because they have not hearkened to my words, saith the LORD, which I sent unto them by my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; but you would not hear, saith the LORD. Hear ye therefore the word of the LORD, all ye of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon: Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, of Ahab (29:18-21)

And God is speaking of Ahab.

the son of Kolaiah, and of Zedekiah (29:21)

Now who these two guys are, we don’t know. They’re not mentioned any place else in Scripture, but they were a couple of the false prophets. They were prophesying lies in the name of the Lord. So God speaks out against Ahab and Zedekiah, whoever they may be. Not the Ahab the king; nor Zedekiah the prophet of the future, but these are just two guys.

Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon; and he shall slay them before your eyes (29:21);

These two false prophets.

And of them shall be taken up a curse by all the captivity of Judah which are in Babylon, saying, The LORD make thee like Zedekiah and like Ahab (29:22),

So you want to curse somebody, you’ll say, “The Lord make you like Ahab.”

whom [he said, Nebuchadnezzar] burned in the fire (29:22);

So Nebuchadnezzar evidently had a… the burning fiery furnace was his way of publicly getting rid of those who would rebel against him. And it is interesting that here in Jeremiah there’s a reference to his old burning fiery furnace. It consumed Ahab and Zedekiah, but it could not consume Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. And so here is another reference to that old burning fiery furnace. “Whom he burned, he roasted in the fire.” So you want to really curse someone, “Well, the Lord make you like Zedekiah, you know. May He roast you with fire.” And it became a curse, the way people cursed someone else. It’s interesting they don’t have curse words in Hebrew. If the Hebrews want to curse, they have to use English. Isn’t that interesting? They don’t have any swear words in Hebrew. We were told that and we were sort of surprised by that.

We went to the Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus one night. And we were standing there in the room and there was this Jewish doctor there and he was cursing in English. And I turned to Kay and I said, “Hey, I guess it’s true. They don’t have any swear words in Hebrew; he has to use English.” And he looked up and he was quite embarrassed, you know. But they don’t have any swear words in Hebrew, which I think is rather beautiful. And so they have to use English to swear. Or some other language, but they can’t swear in Hebrew. They just don’t have it. But they could say, “The Lord make you like Zedekiah,” and that’s about the worst thing you can say to a guy. “God roast you with fire.”

Because they have committed villainy in Israel, and have committed adultery with their neighbors' wives (29:23),

So here he’s telling the sins of these two guys.

and have spoken lying words in my name (29:23),

God’s just revealing the cause against these guys. They’re villainous, they’re adulterers, and they’re speaking lies in God’s name.

which I have not commanded them; even I know, and am a witness, saith the LORD (29:23).

Wow, that’s heavy duty. God says, “Hey, I’m witnessing. I know. I know what they’re doing.” Jesus said over and over to the churches, “I know thy works. I know what’s going on.” When God starts bearing witness against you, you’re in big trouble.

Thus shalt thou also speak to Shemaiah the Nehelamite, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, Because thou hast sent letters in thy name unto all the people that are at Jerusalem, and to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying, The LORD hath made thee priest in the stead of Jehoiada the priest, that ye should be officers in the house of the LORD, for every man that is mad, and makes himself a prophet, that thou shouldest put him in prison, and in the stocks (29:24-26).

Now when they got this letter in Babylon, then this guy sent back a letter to the priests and he said, “You ought to put Jeremiah in prison. Put him in the stocks.”

Why have you not reproved Jeremiah of Anathoth, which makes himself a prophet to you? For he sent to us in Babylon, saying, This captivity is going to be a long time: build houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them. And Zephaniah the priest read this letter in the ears of Jeremiah the prophet. Then came the word of the LORD to Jeremiah, saying, Send to all them of the captivity, saying, Thus saith the LORD concerning Shemaiah (29:27-31)

The guy who wrote this letter.

Because that Shemaiah hath prophesied unto you, and I sent him not, and he caused you to trust in a lie: Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite, and his seed: he shall not have a man to dwell among this people; neither shall he behold the good that I will do for my people, saith the LORD; because he hath taught rebellion against the LORD (29:31-32).

So Shemaiah and all of his children are going to be wiped out. He won’t have any progeny following him.


Chapter 30

Now as we get into chapter 30, we enter into the future in these next four chapters. And this is now writing of the Great Tribulation period which is yet future. This is writing about this period of time, the final seven years in which God is going to be dealing with the nation Israel. For seventy sevens were determined upon the nation Israel, of which sixty-nine were fulfilled when Christ the Messiah came, leaving one seven-year cycle yet to be fulfilled which is yet future, which Jesus spoke to His disciples as being fulfilled during the time when the antichrist will be upon the earth. Now here in Jeremiah he speaks of this final seven-year period of God’s dealing when He draws the Jews back into the land and He begins to deal with them. And thus, we are in this in yet future events of this final seven years. It is called here in Jeremiah the time of Jacob’s trouble.

The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus speaks the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the LORD: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it (30:1-3).

And he’s talking about the present re-gathering that you see in the nation of Israel, not the re-gathering from the Babylonian captivity. And if you notice the very last verse of chapter 30, in the very end of the verse it said, “In the latter days you will understand it or you’ll consider it.” You’ll be able to understand this in the last days. So write it in the book. In the last days this will be understood. So as we see the nation Israel being re-gathered into the land, we can begin to understand now the words of this particular prophecy.

And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace (30:4-5).

Of course, the land hasn’t really experienced peace since they’ve been re-gathered. And the people are beginning to live in fear. Quite an article in the paper the other day concerning the children from Kiryat Shemonah and the fear that they have of these Russian Katyusha rockets that are raining down upon them.

Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? (30:6)

Does a man travail? Does a man go through labor?

why do I see every man with his hands on his loins, like a woman in travail, and all of their faces are turned into paleness? (30:6)

And so he sees, really, the anguish that is upon the men of Israel.

Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it (30:7).

So God promises that He is going to save the people out of it.

For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him: But they shall serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them (30:8-9).

So God is going to break up the yoke of the antichrist and of the oppression as Jesus comes again. And they will serve the Lord their God, and David. Christ, after the seed of David, Branch out of the stem of Jesse, will be the king out of the “throne of David, to order it, and to establish it in righteousness and in judgment” (Isaiah 9:7). “Whom I will raise up,” God said, “unto them.”

 Therefore fear thou not, O my servant Jacob, saith the LORD; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid (30:10).

This is when Jesus comes again. “Then shall He gather together His elect from the four corners of the world” (Isaiah 11:12). And Israel would be brought back and recognize Jesus and acknowledge Him and serve Him.

For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee (30:11):

For all of Israel shall be saved, as saith the Scripture, for a deliverer shall come out of Zion to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers when Jesus comes again.

though I make a full end of all of the nations where I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee; but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished (30:11).

You’re going to be punished, but you’re not going to be destroyed.

For thus saith the LORD, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. There is none to plead thy cause, that you may be bound up: you have no healing medicines. All of your lovers have forgotten thee; they do not seek you; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased. Why do you cry for your affliction? your sorrow is incurable for the multitude of your iniquity: because your sins were increased, I have done this unto you. Therefore all of they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all of your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and all of they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all they that prey upon thee will I give for a prey (30:12-16).

You remember Jesus said in Matthew’s gospel when He returns again, when the Son of man comes in His kingdom, then shall He gather together the nations for judgment. And He will separate them as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And He will say to those on His right hand, “Come, ye blessed of the Father. Inherit the kingdom that was prepared from the foundations of the earth. Enter into the joy of your Lord. For I was hungry and you fed Me; thirsty and you gave Me to drink; naked and you clothed Me; in prison, and sick, and you visited Me.” And to those on His left He’ll say, “Depart from Me, ye workers of iniquity into everlasting judgment or into Gehenna which was prepared for Satan and his angels. For I was hungry and you did not feed Me; thirsty and you did not give Me to drink; naked you did not clothe Me.” “Lord, when did we see You hungry? When did we see You naked? When did we see You in these conditions?” And He said, “Inasmuch as you did it not unto My brethren, the least of My brethren, you did it not to Me” (Matthew 25:31-36,41-45).

And Jesus is talking about the Jews and the treatment of the nations of the Jews. And the nations will be brought in judgment before God for their treatment of the Jewish race. That is why it is so important for us to maintain a strong pro-Israel position as a nation. God is going to judge the nations for their treatment of His brothers, Jesus’ brothers, that is the Jewish nation. So here God is saying the same thing through Jeremiah that He will bring… “Those that devour you will be devoured. All of your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity, and those that spoiled you will be spoiled.”

For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the LORD; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeks after. Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; and the city shall be built upon her own heap (30:17-18),

And the city of Jerusalem has been built over the heaps of the past ruins.

and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as they were before, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them (30:18-20).

The glorious restoration of the nation Israel. Now there are Bible teachers today who deny this aspect of biblical truth. It is unfortunate, but there are many ministers who have been deceived into an anti-Semitic position. And I get tracts and all, letters from people with these tracts on anti-Semitism because they know my pro-Israel position. And they say, “God is through with the nation Israel. The church is now spiritual Israel. All of the promises that God gave to Israel now apply to the church and the church is now spiritual Israel, and God is through and forever finished with the nation Israel. As a people they are over. They had their chance. They ruined their chance. God has cast them out forever. They’re gone, that’s the end of it and all.” Not so. These people are not scholars of the Old Testament. If they will read the Old Testament they would realize that God is making these promises to the nation Israel, to the seed of Jacob, and they do not and cannot apply to the church even in a spiritual way.

Now because these people misinterpret the Scriptures and have such a lack of understanding of the Old Testament prophecies, they then make the second error and say that the church is going to go through the Great Tribulation. Because in the Great Tribulation God speaks of the saints. God speaks of the elect. And thus, if there are saints and elect in the Great Tribulation, they must be the church, because God is through with Israel and those promises, and all that apply to Israel are now all applicable to the church. Therefore, the other things that were applicable to Israel would also be applicable to the church, and thus, they see the church in the Great Tribulation. But it’s only because of the spiritualizing of the church to become spiritual Israel and declaring that God is through once and forever with the nation Israel, the seed of Jacob. That is contrary to all of the prophecies.

As Peter spoke how that God spoke in all of the Scriptures, he said, of the final restitution. Peter makes reference to how God in all of the Scriptures spoke of that day when the final restitution of the nation Israel, of all things to the nation Israel. But these men either willfully or ignorantly overlook this fact and thus they fall into that tragic error of saying, “Well, the church is in the Great Tribulation because, look, here it speaks about the saints.” What does it say about the saints? It says, “And the beast will make war against the saints, and overcome them” (Revelation 11:7). Good luck, saints. You’re going to be overcome by the antichrist. Doesn’t that encourage you? In Daniel it speaks about the little horn, the antichrist, who makes war against the saints and prevails against them. Congratulations, saints, the antichrist is going to wipe you out. No, no, no, don’t you believe that. Jesus said, “I will build My church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Then who are the saints who the antichrist prevails against? Israel.

In this final seven-year period the time of Jacob’s trouble, and that’s why Jacob is in trouble, because he has made a covenant with the antichrist. So anxious are they to rebuild their temple, that when the European leader comes along and says, “Look, we’ll help you to rebuild your temple. After all, you’ve eliminated Russia and given us now this great rise to power, and so we like to show you a favor and we’ll just put a wall along here and we’ll separate the Dome of the Rock mosque from this area here and go ahead and build your temple right here.” And they will begin to worship this man as the Messiah. But after three-and-a-half years he’ll come to this temple and he’s going to stand in the holy of holies and he’s going to say, “All right, that’s enough. Stop the prayers, the sacrifices. I am God; you must now worship me as God.” And the people are going to flee down to the area of Jordan, Trans-Jordan, into the area of Petra where God is going to preserve them. The antichrist is going to send out an army after them. The earth is going to open up and swallow the army of the antichrist. And then he is going to just make war against the remnant of the Jews that is still in the land, eradicating them. Time of Jacob’s trouble. But then deliverance is coming.

For as the antichrist then begins to move with his European forces to conquer Africa, and he passes through Egypt, comes to the borders of Ethiopia, and he’s moving down in a conquest of Africa, he’ll hear the news that the forces of China and Russia have combined together and are moving across the Euphrates in a mass invasion of Europe. And he will return from his invasion of Africa, and he’ll meet these combined forces of China and Russia in the valley of Megiddo there in Israel. And there the final great conflict will be fought. And while these armies of the world, the vast millions of people pour into this area where this holocaust and the blood is running to the horses’ bridle through the space of the whole valley, then the Deliverer shall come out of Zion. Behold, He comes with ten thousands of His saints and He sets His foot upon the Mount of Olives which perpetrates an earthquake that splits the Mount of Olives in two. One part towards the north, one part towards the south, forming a new valley down to the Dead Sea area. And underground springs will be opened up and a river will come gushing out from Jerusalem and flow on down towards the Dead Sea. A part of it will branch off and go to the Mediterranean and when the waters come in to the Dead Sea, the Dead Sea will no longer become a Dead Sea, but will become alive and active. And they’ll begin to have a fishing industry in the area of the Dead Sea and Engedi will be a place of drying fishers’ nets.

And all of this God has predicted and told in advance. And when Jesus returns, by the brightness of His coming and by the word that goes forth out of His mouth, He’s going to destroy this man of sin, the antichrist, this false Messiah. And He is going to sit upon the throne of David. He’s going to establish the kingdom of God upon the earth and He will rule over the nation with the rod of iron. And He has said to those who overcome that they shall rule and reign with Him over the nations. And we shall reign with Him as kings and priests as He establishes God’s kingdom here on the earth. And our prayer, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven” will be consummated as we see the glorious day of God’s kingdom here on earth. “And they will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks: and they will study war no more” (Isaiah 2:4). “And the lion will eat grass with the oxen and the wolf and the lamb will lie down together and a little child will lead a lion around by its mane” (Isaiah 11:6-7). For there will be no more wars. There will be no more violence in God’s kingdom. It will be a kingdom of righteousness and joy and peace. And that’s the kingdom where we share because of God’s grace and love to us through Jesus Christ.

So Jeremiah is now moving ahead to this Kingdom Age in his prophecy. He’s going out beyond the darkness. There’s going to be a period of darkness, period of captivity. But then, there will come forth (in verse 19) the “thanksgivings and the voices of those that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they will not be few; I will also glorify them, and they will not be small. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before Me, and I will punish all that oppress them.”

And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the LORD. And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. Behold, the whirlwind of the LORD goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. The fierce anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days [you’ll see it come to pass] ye shall consider it (30:21-24).

You’ll understand it. As in this tribulation like a whirlwind from God until it has accomplished God’s purposes. And then the kingdom shall be established. The book of Revelation closes with the words, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let him who is athirst come. And drink of the water of life freely” (Revelation 22:17). And Jesus said, “Behold I come quickly.” And John responded, “Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:20).

Oh, how I long for that day when Jesus shall come and establish His righteous reign over the earth. How I long for that day when we will see the world that God intended and God wanted from the beginning. A world that is cleaned up of its pollution, physical and spiritual. Where we live together in His love, in His righteousness, in His peace, in His glory. I’m so thankful that God has ordained that I should have a place and a part in that kingdom. Even if it is just picking up coconut on the beaches in Hawaii to keep them clean. Great! Love it. Keep my section of the beach clean. May the Lord cause His Word to be established in each of your hearts and lives. And may you grow in grace and in knowledge of Him. And may He with His cords of loving-kindness just draw you unto Himself that you may ever experience a richer, fuller, deeper comprehension of that love that God has for you, His child. In Jesus' name.

Chuck Smith

Pastor Chuck Smith began his ministry at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, in 1965, with just twenty-five people.