Truth from the Temple Message of Jeremiah 7, a Summary in one chapter of the book of Jeremiah
In other words how does any nation of God’s people, Judah or America, prevent the state-of-the-nation from being labelled by God Himself as “truth has perished, and it no longer comes out of their mouth” (Jeremiah 7:24). Actually the wording is really that “truth…is cut off from their mouth”, which naturally implies that God has cut them off at that point from receiving or speaking truth.
“This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the LORD their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth.” (Jeremiah 7:24)
That God has cut off the truth from the nation is verified: (1) by the very definition and Bible understanding of “backsliding” from Jeremiah; and (2) that since backsliding corresponds with the fourth and fifth stages of the Falling Away, and that after the turning away from truth of the fourth stage, God does the rest in the fifth stage as God’s people are “turned into fables”. The two pre-requisites of diminished and perished truth are given in this Jeremiah 7:24 verse, and then we can back up in reverse order to get several more steps from the Temple Message of the rest of Jeremiah 7, always recalling that the Temple Message which Jeremiah delivered each day at the gates of the Temple is within itself a terse summary of all God’s message and “prophesy” for God’s people in the whole book of Jeremiah.
1. Disobedience to the voice of God perishes Truth. Truth diminishes and perishes in a nation when “a nation does not obey the voice of the LORD their God…” (7:24a)
Can this happen in America, that American citizens and church members cease to obey the voice of God on marriage, on divorce, on gay marriages, on the taking of God’s name in vain, on secular activities on the sabbath day, and on greed and covetousness? Certainly! And can we say that it has already begun to happen in America although with some measure of resistance from churches and citizens; but can we see a diminishing in God’s truth from the Bible on this matters that already we are losing the battle.
2. Rebellion against “correction” perishes Truth. Truth diminishes and perishes in a nation as “a nation…does not receive correction” (7:24b) from the voice of the LORD their God.
I think when you consider what comes from our pulpits and church activities in the major of churches today, if not all, you along with so much emphasis on the Gospel of Prosperity, the positive, how to win friends and influence people, etc, that “correction” and “chastisement” has already diminished in our land and pulpits.
3. Truth diminishes as False Prophets are Heaped Up. Truth diminishes in the land as the people listen more and more to the false prophets and refuse to listen to the true prophets like Jeremiah. Two times in the history of the world will the earth witness this vast “heaping up” (II Timothy 4:3,4) of false prophets with the corresponding heaping out of true prophets: (1) during the time of Jeremiah when all the officials of religion, the prophets and priests “dealt deceitfully”; and (2) during the Falling Away when there are also many more false prophets than true prophets according to Jesus (Matthew 24:11).
“Therefore you shall speak all these words to them, but they will not obey you. You shall also call to them, but they will not answer you.” (Jeremiah 7:27)
NOTE: Just consider as one sure measure of diminished truth in the land, that hardly any church member today would be willing to “obey” the words from a man of God; in fact, would refuse as a church member to even consider obedience to the words of a man of God in their midst.
4. Truth diminishes as the “incline” toward God disappears. Truth diminishes in a nation, yea perishes, as God’s own people in the churches and in the nation: (1) neither obey the voice of God, or even incline their ear toward the voice of God; (2) as they “stiffen” their necks in national disobedience to the way and will of God for their lives; and (3) as they do worse than their forefathers (Jeremiah 7:26) As the incline or bent toward God disappears in the first place of the hearts and minds of God’s people comes: (1) a stiff neck of repeated and habitual disobedience to the ways and will of God; and (2) a generation of the wrath of God that does much worse than their forefathers.
5. Truth diminishes direct proportional to the “counsels and dictates of their evil hearts”. Recall from II Timothy 4:3,4 and about the third stage of the Falling Away, as personal desires and wants of church members dominate over the voice of Christ and the Spirit for church votes and motivation, that these evil dictates and desires have lead to the call and appointment in churches of the pastors and Bible teachers of itching ears. Truth diminishes and perishes as: (1) as citizens and church members “followed the counsels and the dictates of their own evil hearts; and (2) as they went backwards and not forwards on God and truth (7:24).
Quite often today church members in large and small churches have the nerve to say “it is truth and right if the majority in our church vote for it”, when they know very well it is what they want that is the motivation instead of Christ or the Spirit, that it is the “counsels and dictates of their own evil hearts” that is in control and the controlling motivation. A sign of the times in churches where the dictates and counsels of evil hearts in the church have replaced the Spirit and Christ is the obvious popular in churches of PURPOSE DRIVEN motivations in church and individual lives which is self generated rather than Christ and Spirit. It is the very personal wants of the second stage of the Falling Away–”out of their own desires shall they heap up teachers with itching ears” (II Timothy 4:3,4)–which motivates the majority of church members today instead of truth on Bible, truth about the Spirit and about Christ, leading them also when necessary, as we see often more and more, to dump out the pastor which resists their “wants” and perverted motivations, then heap in and hold on to the pastor which acquiesces and promotes these evil motivations, evil primarily because they are substitutes for Christ and the Holy Spirit, substitutes for Truth.
6. Family Activity dedicated to other gods. Truth diminishes and perishes as Family and Church Activities like for the Queen of Heaven take the place of a real listening and obedience to what God “in truth and in spirit” demands for His people (7:17-23). And once again be careful with what is truly “other gods” in any life or any family, what is truly another god is any object, person, or place than takes priority over the God of the Universe, the God of the Bible and of Jesus.
7. As prayer of Gods own people is no longer heeded by God. Truth diminishes, surely has perished, when God tells the few Prophets like Jeremiah who will listen and obey no longer to pray for His own people. They are beyond any effective and fervent prayers on their part and on the part of the men of God in their behalf. (7:16)
8. As a house of prayer becomes a “Den of Thieves”. Truth diminishes and perishes as the concept of the majority of the people in any church considers God’s house, no longer a “house of prayer”, but as a “Den of Thieves” (Jeremiah 7:11), a HIDEOUT FOR BAD HABITS like in II Timothy 3:1-8; when the church is considered as a place that will provide a holy cloak over them no matter what they do at church or during the week. Who can mark the exact time at which any church or other house of God passes from formerly being a House of God and a House of Prayer into a Den of Thieves where criminals against God come to hide after they commit their abominations against God all week, thinking that since they are in a house of God, or what was formerly a house of God, God will forgive and overlook all these violations of the commandments habitually committed every week. It is sort of like a magic fountain of cleansing, where no matter how habitual the wrongs are, the cleaning will automatically take place; and is requested without shame, knowing full well that the same will happen next week. Of all the cover-ups in our nation where we know lead the world as the “Champion of Cover-Ups”, the worse is this attempt to use the house of God as a cover up for continued and habitual bad habits and follies.
9. With distortions of the meaning and message of the commandments of God and Jesus. These distortions are called sin; and sin becomes unforgiven when it also becomes habitual. Truth certainly has diminished as the real meaning of all the 10 commandments find substitutes in false applications and interpretations so that lying is no longer a matter of truth absence, and etc.; and as having committed these truth violations all week, they come to say effectively in church that “we are delivered to do all these abominations” (7:10), as if God was really blessing them because they are still alive, prospering, and have not been punished. All the abominations listed in Jeremiah 7:9 are horrible in the sight of God, but the master sin and the one that most angers God is that of “other gods” or false images of the God Himself, a sin that today is less and less considered even thought placing any person, object, or think in a place of priority before God Himself is “another god”.
10. God has blessed and prospered us in order to continue in all these abominations. (Jeremiah 7:10) You can bet that this was God’s interpretation of what the people of God were saying, for they would not have called what they were doing “abominations”. The way they actually said it would be more like we hear today, “God has blessed because we have faith and we are doing what is right.” Like with the Gospel of Prosperity, and these abominations were the Gospel of Prosperity of that day, faith was measured by the extent to which God provided a believer with things. Until a couple of years ago, America had an unprecedented period of prosperity as all enjoyed the American dream, and consequently the Gospel of Prosperity flourished and prospered: now that a long and continued series of calamities have replaced that prosperity, what as a supporting gospel and philosophy will replace the Gospel of Prosperity. Perhaps a gospel of calamities?
11. Truth perishes as “lying words” in worship replace Faith in God. This obviously from Jeremiah 7:4 happens when confidence in the buildings of worship, government, and communities take the place of the reality of God’s presence and blessings. When even the words of worship “the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD are these” becomes a lie because it is faith in what use to be, in the heritage of the past, rather in the realities of the present. That little, three-time chant of worship and weekly devotionals was once true, and even recommended during the time of Isaiah as God through Isaiah encouraged the people to have faith in God during a time of invasion. But it was no longer true. Even as any covenant is a two way street, the continued blessing and deliverance, you might say salvation of God, depended on obedience to the voice of God.
These take time; at least one hundred years in Jeremiah when warned against by God through the Prophet Isaiah. But they inevitable cause Truth to die! For any nation, be it Judah or be it the United States. As truth is diminished year after year, it finally dies and becomes a perished, precious commodity! Can it happen in America like in Judah? Certainly, we already seen many signs in our nation and in our churches of diminished truth.
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