Today’s Devotional – January 18th (Jeremiah & the Smooth Prophets)

By admin On January 17th, 2014

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 “Complete List of Daily Devotionals”

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Today’s Devotional – January 18th

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Jeremiah & the Smooth Prophets

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“For the time will come

when they will not endure sound doctrine;

but after their own lusts 

shall they heap to themselves teachers,

having itching ears;

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth,

and shall be turned unto fables.”

2nd Timothy 4:3, 4.

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In this above passage, the Lord is foretelling of a day when the churches will no longer tolerate the true and uncompromised Gospel.

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And there are many today who believe that we have come to that very time, in which the attendees of almost all churches demand an “itching ears” gospel.

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They merely want their ears tickled with a non-condemning, non-threatening gospel!

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 Evangelist Preaching – Church – Audience hands – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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JEREMIAH’S DAY

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So what happened?

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Why did the church-world come to the same fate as the Old Testament people of God?

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Yes, if we go back to the Book of Jeremiah, we can get a glimpse of this same condition among the people of God in Jeremiah’s day!Prophet Jeremiah - www.christianimagesource.org - Public Domain

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Listen… “Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and brake 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.” Jeremiah 28:10, 11

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You see, Jeremiah was warning God’s people that they would soon be taken captive in Babylon for 70 years.

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But the false prophets were prophesying just the opposite!

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They were prophesying “peace and safety”!

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Prophet Jeremiah – www.christianimagesource.org – Public Domain

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PROPHESYING SMOOTH THINGS

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And in this above passage, the false prophet, Hananiah, was likewise misleading God’s people, telling them that Jeremiah was the one who was lying!

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They were telling the people what they wanted to hear! Yes, the people were listening to an “itching ears” gospel by those prophets prophesying “smooth things”!

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And as you can see in this picture, Jeremiah was devastated by the eventual destruction of Jerusalem!

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Repin – Cry of prophet Jeremiah – www.wikigallery.org – US Public Domain

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GIVE US SMOOTH PROPHETS!

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And so, the people hated Jeremiah.

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He was telling them unpleasant things. Too much negativity!

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In essence,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Happy_face.svg they were saying… “…say to the seers, ‘See not’; and to the prophets, ‘Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits'” Isaiah 30:9

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Yes, even back in Isaiah’s day, God’s people didn’t want all that negativity!

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They only wanted happy-faced prophets: prophets who would lie to them, only telling them what they wanted to hear! “Smooth things”!

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Happy face svg wikimedia public domain

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TODAY’S ITCHING EARS PARISHIONERS!

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And so it is today!

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Paul prophesied concerning the days we are now in… “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.” 2nd Timothy 4:3, 4.

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And it doesn’t take much observation to notice that Christendom is filled with prophets of smooth things!

accusing finger www.signsofheaven.org_share-alike license feel free to share

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Yes, if you will notice, that most of the finger-pointing today is only at others.

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Today’s teachers are fearful of pointing the accusing finger at their own followers!

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We only point the accusing finger at those cults over there!

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Or at those crazy prosperity gospels over there!

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ENTERTAIN US! DON’T CONVICT US!

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This is because they know that their own followers will no longer endure sound doctrine!

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To die with Jesus is totally unacceptable, when there’s so much to enjoy in the world! We only want happy things! Things that will not condemn us! We desire to have our itching ears satisfied with titillating things! Soothing things! Pleasant things!

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Yes, today’s audiences demand clever speakers, energetic music, repetitive chants, and well-timed jokes and quips! We want clever conversation! And we want exotic prophecies about black helicopters and prognostications about future events!

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Certainly nothing that will make us uncomfortable and wound our egos or condemn our selfish lifestyles!

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Rock Music Christian CHURCH STP 2010 Pomona wikimedia public domain

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WAKE-UP CALL NEEDED!

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On the other hand, God takes no pleasure in giving us such a harsh rebuke!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Seven_sleepers.jpg

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And yet, if God only presented us with a nice, poetic and smooth message, then nobody would prepare for war! Oh yes, everyone would like that smooth message!

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But we would not be alarmed out of our slumber!

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Listen… “But though He (God) cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth…Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” Lamentations 3:32-34, 40, 41

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Seven sleepers – Wikipedia – Public Domain

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TRUMPET, NOT VIOLINS!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Wise_Virgins_(Les_vierges_sages)_-_James_Tissot.jpg

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The fact is, the Bible has many unhappy things to say! And the message so often sounds like a trumpet of war: but is only given for our ultimate good! We have to be reminded that we are in the midst of a battle-zone!

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Yes, we are standing on enchanted ground as Bunyan’s book, Pilgrim’s Progress spoke of it.

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Satan wants God’s people to go back to sleep!

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Brooklyn Museum – The Wise Virgins – James Tissot – Wikimedia – public domain

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ENCHANTED GROUND!

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But just as the two pilgrims in Bunyan’s book had to keep talking to one another, so as to keep from falling asleep, so too, God has to keep slapping us in the face, in a sense, so as to keep us from slipping into a death-like slumber!

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And those who respond to these encouragements, will be like those Five Wise Virgins spoken of in Matthew, Ch. 25. Yes, here is a picture of the Church-victorious!

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And because these virgins are wise, they cheerfully accept all the supposed negativity which so often emanates from God’s Word!

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Five Wise Virgins – Matt 25 – www.thebiblerevival.com – Public Domain

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THE WISE DON’T MIND REBUKES!

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Listen… “rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:8, 9

.FiveFingersFaceHighandMightyTrailerScreenshot1954 wikipedia public domain

Yes, a wise man doesn’t mind a rebuke! He (or she) knows that it will only make one wiser to hear constructive criticism!

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Now a fool is a different story! Listen to this proverb, as it speaks of scorners… “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:” Proverbs 9:8

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And so, let’s pray that we will be wise, and receive all this supposed negativity with joy, knowing that God is only desiring us to repent from our errors and turn to Him with all our hearts!

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High and Mighty Trailer Screenshot – 1954  – Wikipedia  – Public Domain

 

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OUR JOY-FILLED DESTINATION!

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Yes, we live in a very unhappy world!

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And we need to be honest and NOT be like the proverbial ostrich, hiding her head in the sand.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_Study_for_The_Cross_and_the_World......_-_Thomas_Cole.jpg

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But we also must fix our gaze on that happy and joyful Land just ahead!

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And once we cross that Dark River, we will hear the distant sounds of innocent children, laughing as they play!

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And then we’ll hear the joyful songs of the Redeemed, as they happily stroll through wandering meadows of lush green grass, in that Land that is Fairer than Day! 

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Study for The Cross and the World…… Brooklyn Museum Thomas Cole – US public domain

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TO READ PART 2, GO HERE…SEPTEMBER 12 (Jeremiah & the Smooth Prophets, Part 2: Absalom The Great Flatterer!)

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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“Dear Lord, help me today, to appreciate correction! Let me not be misled by all the smooth preaching of today’s teachers. But lead me in the way of truth, though it may cause grief at times…

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Fleeing to the Mountains: The Abomination in the Church, Part 1”

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THE END

.picture - soldiers of the cross - armor up!

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

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TURN THE OTHER CHEEK  

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You will notice a big bruise on this “Man in the Moon”. His right cheek looks like it has a big bruise on it. That reminds us of the following verse… “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy RIGHT CHEEK, turn to him the other also.”  Matthew 5:39.

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And just as this verse says ” turn to him the other also”, so too, our nocturnal friend likewise is turning his other cheek. This is a big statement that God is making about how important is this Bible principle of “turning the other cheek”!

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“FAITHFUL ARE THE WOUNDS OF A FRIEND”

Proverbs 27:6

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Notice that this “Man in the Moon” is turning his other cheek towards us? This faithful Watchman knows that unless he allows God to chasten him, that he too would likely be taken away in sin. And so he offers his other cheek to his “Re-provers”… “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.” Psalm 141:5.  (see also Proverbs 27:6 & 9:8 & Eccl. 7:5)

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In reality, it is God who is smiting the Watchman on the right cheek. In reality God is just using the people of the world to do His bidding. Both good people and bad people alike, God uses to test and chasten this Nocturnal Watchman to teach him patience, forgiveness, and love.

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“HE GIVES HIS CHEEK TO HIM THAT SMITES HIM”

 Lamentations 3:30, 31 

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God uses anyone and everyone as “helpers” in the purification process of His Watchmen. And the desire of every watchman of God is to become like Jesus. So as this Watchman beholds, in his mind’s eye, his Lord Jesus being mocked ridiculed and his face smitten, the Watchman too, knows he must likewise endure the same treatment from the world… “…they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me. God has delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the hands of the wicked…  when He (God) has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 16:10, 11 & 23:10.

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In these passages, Job is complaining about his suffering at the hands of the wicked. But Job knows that if he endures to the end, he will come forth as gold. In other words, Job knows deep down, that God is testing Job. Job knows that God will ultimately turn all Job’s tribulation into something beneficial, yea, even beautiful for Job! God uses tribulation in order to remove the “dross” from Job, and Job will eventually come forth as purified gold… “when He (God) has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

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Five Fingers Face High and Mighty Trailer Screenshot 1954 wikipedia public domain

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… Moon Into Blood Trilogy: 1st Face: The Night Watchman

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TOMORROW

“January 19th (Who Wants To Hang Out With Holiness?)”

 

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20+ MINUTE AUDIO STUDY IN JEREMIAH 

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YOU ARE ENCOURAGED TO BEGIN FOLLOWING THIS 650+ AUDIO BIBLE STUDY THROUGH THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH EACH DAY ON THIS DAILY DEVOTIONAL.

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THIS IS STUDY #18 IS PRESENTED BY THE LATE HAROLD CAMPING OF FAMILY RADIO…

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(YOU CAN ALSO GO TO Family Radio Founders’ Site (click here), TO LISTEN TO, OR DOWNLOAD MORE OF THESE STUDIES, AS WELL AS OTHER HAROLD CAMPING STUDIES.)

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above picture: Prophet Jeremiah – www.christianimagesource.org – Public Domain 

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