Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

Just as Christ is returning to the earth, the Antichrist is also coming. Paul reminded the Thessalonians of several facts regarding the mysterious person he referred to as the "man of lawlessness."

First, Paul said, "He will exalt himself and defy every god there is and tear down every object of adoration and worship. He will position himself in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God" (2 Thessalonians 2:4). His spirit will be that of a proud, boastful, arrogant beast.

Second, Paul pointed out that the Antichrist could not be revealed yet because something was holding him back (v. 6). Many believe that this "something" is the Church, inhabited by the Holy Spirit. When the Church is removed, however, the Antichrist will manifest.

Finally, Paul said that incredible signs and wonders that will deceive all humankind will accompany Antichrist's coming (vv. 9-10). The people who refuse the simple truth of the Christ will be deceived by Antichrist's lies, and they will eternally perish.

So stand firm, believer. You may pass through the "Valley of Weeping" (Psalm 84:6), but you will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!

Jeremiah 23:21-25:38

21 I did not sendS Jer 14:14; 27:15 these prophets,

yet they have run with their message;

I did not speak to them,

yet they have prophesied.

22 But if they had stood in my council,S 1Ki 22:19

they would have proclaimedS Dt 33:10 my words to my people

and would have turnedS 2Ki 17:13; Jer 25:5; Zec 1:4 them from their evil ways

and from their evil deeds.ver 14; Am 3:7

23 “Am I only a God nearby,Ps 139:1-10

declares the Lord,

“and not a God far away?

24 Who can hideS Ge 3:8; S Job 11:20; 22:12-14; S Ecc 12:14; S Isa 28:15; 1Co 4:5 in secret places

so that I cannot see them?”

declares the Lord.

“Do not I fill heaven and earth?”S 1Ki 8:27

declares the Lord.

25 “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy liesver 16; Jer 14:14; 27:10 in my name. They say, ‘I had a dream!ver 28, 32; S Dt 13:1; Jer 27:9; 29:8 I had a dream!’26 How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusionsS Isa 30:10; 1Ti 4:1-2 of their own minds?Jer 14:14; Eze 13:227 They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forgetDt 13:1-3; Jer 29:8 my name, just as their ancestors forgotS Jdg 3:7; S 8:33-34 my name through Baal worship.S Jer 2:2328 Let the prophet who has a dreamS ver 25 recount the dream, but let the one who has my wordS 1Sa 3:17 speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord.29 “Is not my word like fire,”S Ps 39:3; Jer 5:14; S 1Co 3:13 declares the Lord, “and like a hammerHeb 4:12 that breaks a rock in pieces?

30 “Therefore,” declares the Lord, “I am againstS Ps 34:16 the prophetsver 2; Dt 18:20; Jer 14:15; S 21:13 who steal from one another words supposedly from me.31 Yes,” declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who wag their own tongues and yet declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ver 1732 Indeed, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,S ver 25” declares the Lord. “They tell them and lead my people astrayS ver 13; S Jer 50:6 with their reckless lies,S Job 13:4; Eze 13:3; 22:28 yet I did not sendS Jer 14:14 or appoint them. They do not benefitJer 7:8; La 2:14 these people in the least,” declares the Lord.

False Prophecy

33 “When these people, or a prophet or a priest, ask you, ‘What is the messageMal 1:1 from the Lord?’ say to them, ‘What message? I will forsakeS 2Ki 21:14 you, declares the Lord.’34 If a prophet or a priest or anyone else claims, ‘This is a messageLa 2:14 from the Lord,’ I will punishZec 13:3 them and their household.35 This is what each of you keeps saying to your friends and other Israelites: ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’Jer 33:3; 42:4 or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’36 But you must not mention ‘a message from the Lord’ again, because each one’s word becomes their own message. So you distortGal 1:7-8; 2Pe 3:16 the words of the living God,S Jos 3:10 the Lord Almighty, our God.37 This is what you keep saying to a prophet: ‘What is the Lord’s answer to you?’ or ‘What has the Lord spoken?’38 Although you claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ this is what the Lord says: You used the words, ‘This is a message from the Lord,’ even though I told you that you must not claim, ‘This is a message from the Lord.’39 Therefore, I will surely forget you and castS Jer 7:15 you out of my presence along with the city I gave to you and your ancestors.40 I will bring on you everlasting disgraceS Jer 20:11; Eze 5:14-15—everlasting shame that will not be forgotten.”

Two Baskets of Figs

24 After JehoiachinHebrew Jeconiah, a variant of JehoiachinS 2Ki 24:16; S 2Ch 36:9 son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and the officials, the skilled workers and the artisans of Judah were carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Lord showed me two baskets of figsEx 23:19; Dt 26:2; Am 8:1-2 placed in front of the temple of the Lord.One basket had very good figs, like those that ripen early;S SS 2:13 the other basket had very badS Isa 5:4 figs, so bad they could not be eaten.

Then the Lord asked me, “What do you see,Jer 1:11; Am 8:2 Jeremiah?”

“Figs,” I answered. “The good ones are very good, but the bad ones are so bad they cannot be eaten.”

Then the word of the Lord came to me:“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Like these good figs, I regard as good the exiles from Judah, whom I sentJer 29:4, 20 away from this place to the land of the Babylonians.Or ChaldeansMy eyes will watch over them for their good, and I will bring them backS Dt 30:3; Jer 27:22; 29:10; 30:3; Eze 11:17 to this land. I will buildJer 33:7; 42:10 them up and not tear them down; I will plantS Dt 30:9; S Jer 1:10; Am 9:14-15 them and not uproot them.I will give them a heart to knowS Isa 11:9 me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people,S Lev 26:12; S Isa 51:16; S Zec 2:11; Heb 8:10 and I will be their God, for they will returnJer 32:40 to me with all their heart.S 2Ch 6:37; Eze 11:19

“‘But like the badJer 29:17 figs, which are so bad they cannot be eaten,’ says the Lord, ‘so will I deal with ZedekiahJer 32:4-5; 38:18, 23; 39:5; 44:30 king of Judah, his officialsJer 39:6 and the survivorsJer 39:9 from Jerusalem, whether they remain in this land or live in Egypt.Jer 44:1, 26; 46:14I will make them abhorrentS Jer 15:4; 25:18 and an offense to all the kingdoms of the earth, a reproach and a byword,S Dt 28:25; S 1Ki 9:7 a curseThat is, their names will be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, others will see that they are cursed.S 2Ki 22:19; S Jer 29:18 and an object of ridicule, wherever I banishS Dt 28:37; Da 9:7 them.10 I will send the sword,S Isa 51:19; S Jer 9:16; Rev 6:8 famineJer 15:2 and plagueJer 27:8 against them until they are destroyed from the land I gave to them and their ancestors.S Dt 28:21’”

Seventy Years of Captivity

25 The word came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in the fourth year of JehoiakimS 2Ki 24:2 son of Josiah king of Judah, which was the first year of NebuchadnezzarS 2Ki 24:1 king of Babylon.So Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people of JudahJer 18:11 and to all those living in Jerusalem:For twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of JosiahS 1Ch 3:14 son of Amon king of Judah until this very day—the word of the Lord has come to me and I have spoken to you again and again,Jer 11:7; 26:5 but you have not listened.S Isa 65:12; S Jer 7:26

And though the Lord has sent all his servants the prophetsJer 6:17; S 7:25; 29:19 to you again and again, you have not listened or paid any attention.S Jer 7:26; 34:14; 44:5They said, “TurnS Jdg 6:8; S 2Ch 7:14; S 30:9; S Jer 23:22 now, each of you, from your evil ways and your evil practices, and you can stay in the landS Ge 12:7; S Dt 4:40 the Lord gave to you and your ancestors for ever and ever.Do not follow other godsS Ex 20:3; S Dt 8:19 to serve and worship them; do not arouse my anger with what your hands have made. Then I will not harm you.”

“But you did not listen to me,” declares the Lord, “and you have arousedJer 30:14; 32:35; 44:5 my anger with what your hands have made,Dt 32:21 and you have brought harm2Ki 17:20; 21:15 to yourselves.”

Therefore the Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to my words,I will summonIsa 13:3-5 all the peoples of the northS Isa 14:31 and my servantS Isa 41:2; Jer 27:6 NebuchadnezzarS 2Ch 36:6 king of Babylon,” declares the Lord, “and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations. I will completely destroyThe Hebrew term refers to the irrevocable giving over of things or persons to the Lord, often by totally destroying them.S Nu 21:2 them and make them an object of horror and scorn,S 2Ch 29:8 and an everlasting ruin.S Jer 19:8; S 20:4; Eze 12:2010 I will banish from them the soundsS Isa 24:8; Eze 26:13 of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom,Jer 7:34; 33:11 the sound of millstonesEcc 12:3-4 and the light of the lamp.S Job 18:5; La 5:15; Rev 18:22-2311 This whole country will become a desolate wasteland,S Lev 26:31, 32; Jer 4:26-27; 12:11-12 and these nations will serveJer 28:14 the king of Babylon seventy years.S 2Ch 36:21

12 “But when the seventy yearsJer 27:7; 29:10 are fulfilled, I will punish the king of BabylonS Ge 10:10; S Ps 137:8 and his nation, the land of the Babylonians,Or Chaldeans for their guilt,” declares the Lord, “and will make it desolateS Isa 13:19-22; 14:22-23 forever.13 I will bring on that land all the things I have spoken against it, all that are writtenS Isa 30:8 in this book and prophesied by Jeremiah against all the nations.14 They themselves will be enslavedIsa 14:6; Jer 27:7 by many nationsJer 50:9; 51:27-28 and great kings; I will repayS Dt 32:41; S Job 21:19; S Jer 51:6 them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”

The Cup of God’s Wrath

15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cupS Isa 51:17; Jer 49:12; La 4:21; Eze 23:31; Rev 14:10 filled with the wine of my wrath and make all the nations to whom I sendJer 1:5 you drink it.16 When they drinkver 26 it, they will staggerS Ps 60:3 and go madJer 51:7 because of the swordver 27-29 I will send among them.”

17 So I took the cup from the Lord’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sentJer 1:10; 27:3 me drink it:18 JerusalemS Jer 13:13 and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruinS Job 12:19 and an object of horror and scorn,S 2Ch 29:8 a curseThat is, their names to be used in cursing (see 29:22); or, to be seen by others as cursedS Jer 24:9—as they are today;S Ge 19:13; Jer 44:2219 Pharaoh kingS 2Ki 18:21 of Egypt,Isa 19:1; 20:3; Jer 44:30; Eze 29:2 his attendants, his officials and all his people,20 and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz;S Ge 10:23 all the kings of the PhilistinesS Jos 13:3; S 2Ch 26:6; S 28:18; Zep 2:4-7 (those of Ashkelon,Jer 47:5; Am 1:7-8 Gaza,S Ge 10:19 Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod);21 Edom,S Ge 25:30 MoabS Ge 19:37; S Dt 23:6 and Ammon;S Ge 19:38; Jer 27:3; 49:122 all the kings of TyreS Jos 19:29 and Sidon;S Ge 10:15 the kings of the coastlandsIsa 11:11; 48:20; 66:20; Jer 31:10; Eze 27:15; 39:6; Da 11:18 across the sea;23 Dedan,S Ge 25:3 Tema,S Ge 25:15 BuzS Ge 22:21 and all who are in distant placesOr who clip the hair by their foreheads;Jer 9:26; 49:3224 all the kings of ArabiaS 2Ch 9:14 and all the kings of the foreign peoplever 20 who live in the wilderness;25 all the kings of Zimri,Ge 25:2 ElamS Ge 10:22 and Media;S Isa 21:226 and all the kings of the north,ver 9; Jer 50:3, 9; 51:11, 48 near and far, one after the other—all the kingdomsIsa 23:17 on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of SheshakSheshak is a cryptogram for Babylon.Jer 51:41 will drink it too.

27 “Then tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunkver 16, 28; S Isa 29:9; S 49:26; Jer 51:57; Eze 23:32-34; Na 3:18; Hab 2:16 and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the swordS Jer 12:12; Eze 14:17; 21:4 I will send among you.’28 But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drinkS Isa 51:23, tell them, ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: You must drink it!29 See, I am beginning to bring disasterS 2Sa 5:7; Isa 10:12; Jer 13:12-14; 39:1 on the city that bears my Name,S Dt 28:10; S Isa 37:17 and will you indeed go unpunished?S Pr 11:31 You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a swordver 27 on allver 30-31; Isa 34:2 who live on the earth,S Isa 24:1 declares the Lord Almighty.’

30 “Now prophesy all these words against them and say to them:

“‘The Lord will roarIsa 16:10; S 42:13 from on high;

he will thunderS Ps 46:6 from his holy dwellingS Ps 68:5

and roar mightily against his land.

He will shout like those who treadIsa 63:3; Joel 3:13; Rev 14:19-20 the grapes,

shout against all who live on the earth.

31 The tumultJer 23:19 will resound to the ends of the earth,

for the Lord will bring chargesS Jer 2:9 against the nations;

he will bring judgmentS 1Sa 12:7; S Jer 2:35; S Eze 36:5 on allS ver 29 mankind

and put the wicked to the sword,S Jer 15:9’”

declares the Lord.

32 This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Look! DisasterS Isa 30:25 is spreading

from nation to nation;Isa 34:2

a mighty stormS Jer 23:19 is rising

from the ends of the earth.”S Dt 28:49

33 At that time those slainIsa 66:16; Eze 39:17-20 by the Lord will be everywhere—from one end of the earth to the other. They will not be mourned or gatheredS Jer 8:2 up or buried,S Ps 79:3 but will be like dung lying on the ground.

34 Weep and wail, you shepherds;S Jer 2:8; Zec 10:3

rollS Jer 6:26 in the dust, you leaders of the flock.

For your time to be slaughteredS Ps 44:22; S Isa 34:6; Jer 50:27; 51:40; Zec 11:4, 7 has come;

you will fall like the best of the rams.Septuagint; Hebrew fall and be shattered like fine potteryS Jer 22:28

35 The shepherds will have nowhere to flee,

the leaders of the flock no place to escape.S Job 11:20

36 Hear the cryS Jer 6:26 of the shepherds,S Jer 23:1; Zec 11:3

the wailing of the leaders of the flock,

for the Lord is destroying their pasture.

37 The peaceful meadows will be laid waste

because of the fierce anger of the Lord.

38 Like a lionS Job 10:16; S Jer 4:7 he will leave his lair,

and their land will become desolateJer 44:22

because of the swordSome Hebrew manuscripts and Septuagint (see also 46:16 and 50:16); most Hebrew manuscripts anger of the oppressorJer 46:16; 50:16

and because of the Lord’s fierce anger.S Ex 15:7; S Jer 4:26

21 “I have not sent these prophets,

yet they run around claiming to speak for me.

I have given them no message,

yet they go on prophesying.

22 If they had stood before me and listened to me,

they would have spoken my words,

and they would have turned my people

from their evil ways and deeds.

23 Am I a God who is only close at hand?” says the Lord.

“No, I am far away at the same time.

24 Can anyone hide from me in a secret place?

Am I not everywhere in all the heavens and earth?”

says the Lord.

25 “I have heard these prophets say, ‘Listen to the dream I had from God last night.’ And then they proceed to tell lies in my name.26 How long will this go on? If they are prophets, they are prophets of deceit, inventing everything they say.27 By telling these false dreams, they are trying to get my people to forget me, just as their ancestors did by worshiping the idols of Baal.

28 “Let these false prophets tell their dreams,

but let my true messengers faithfully proclaim my every word.

There is a difference between straw and grain!

29 Does not my word burn like fire?”

says the Lord.

“Is it not like a mighty hammer

that smashes a rock to pieces?

30 “Therefore,” says the Lord, “I am against these prophets who steal messages from each other and claim they are from me.31 I am against these smooth-tongued prophets who say, ‘This prophecy is from the Lord!’32 I am against these false prophets. Their imaginary dreams are flagrant lies that lead my people into sin. I did not send or appoint them, and they have no message at all for my people. I, the Lord, have spoken!

False Prophecies and False Prophets

33 “Suppose one of the people or one of the prophets or priests asks you, ‘What prophecy has the Lord burdened you with now?’ You must reply, ‘You are the burden!As in Greek version and Latin Vulgate; Hebrew reads What burden? The Lord says he will abandon you!’

34 “If any prophet, priest, or anyone else says, ‘I have a prophecy from the Lord,’ I will punish that person along with his entire family.35 You should keep asking each other, ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ or ‘What is the Lord saying?’36 But stop using this phrase, ‘prophecy from the Lord.’ For people are using it to give authority to their own ideas, turning upside down the words of our God, the living God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

37 “This is what you should say to the prophets: ‘What is the Lord’s answer?’ or ‘What is the Lord saying?’38 But suppose they respond, ‘This is a prophecy from the Lord!’ Then you should say, ‘This is what the Lord says: Because you have used this phrase, “prophecy from the Lord,” even though I warned you not to use it,39 I will forget you completely.Some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version read I will surely lift you up. I will expel you from my presence, along with this city that I gave to you and your ancestors.40 And I will make you an object of ridicule, and your name will be infamous throughout the ages.’”

Good and Bad Figs

24 After King NebuchadnezzarHebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar. of Babylon exiled JehoiachinHebrew Jeconiah, a variant spelling of Jehoiachin. son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to Babylon along with the officials of Judah and all the craftsmen and artisans, the Lord gave me this vision. I saw two baskets of figs placed in front of the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem.One basket was filled with fresh, ripe figs, while the other was filled with bad figs that were too rotten to eat.

Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

I replied, “Figs, some very good and some very bad, too rotten to eat.”

Then the Lord gave me this message:“This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians.Or Chaldeans.I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them.I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.

“But the bad figs,” the Lord said, “represent King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, all the people left in Jerusalem, and those who live in Egypt. I will treat them like bad figs, too rotten to eat.I will make them an object of horror and a symbol of evil to every nation on earth. They will be disgraced and mocked, taunted and cursed, wherever I scatter them.10 And I will send war, famine, and disease until they have vanished from the land of Israel, which I gave to them and their ancestors.”

Seventy Years of Captivity

25 This message for all the people of Judah came to Jeremiah from the Lord during the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign over Judah.The fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign and the accession year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign was 605 B.c. This was the year when King NebuchadnezzarHebrew Nebuchadrezzar, a variant spelling of Nebuchadnezzar; also in 25:9. of Babylon began his reign.

Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people in Judah and Jerusalem,“For the past twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon,The thirteenth year of Josiah’s reign was 627 B.c. king of Judah, until now—the Lord has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened.

“Again and again the Lord has sent you his servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention.Each time the message was this: ‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the Lord gave to you and your ancestors forever.Do not provoke my anger by worshiping idols you made with your own hands. Then I will not harm you.’

“But you would not listen to me,” says the Lord. “You made me furious by worshiping idols you made with your own hands, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer.And now the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Because you have not listened to me,I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the surrounding nations. I will completely destroyThe Hebrew term used here refers to the complete consecration of things or people to the Lord, either by destroying them or by giving them as an offering. you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever.10 I will take away your happy singing and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will no longer be heard. Your millstones will fall silent, and the lights in your homes will go out.11 This entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.

12 “Then, after the seventy years of captivity are over, I will punish the king of Babylon and his people for their sins,” says the Lord. “I will make the country of the BabyloniansOr Chaldeans. a wasteland forever.13 I will bring upon them all the terrors I have promised in this book—all the penalties announced by Jeremiah against the nations.14 Many nations and great kings will enslave the Babylonians, just as they enslaved my people. I will punish them in proportion to the suffering they cause my people.”

The Cup of the Lord’s Anger

15 This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup filled to the brim with my anger, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink from it.16 When they drink from it, they will stagger, crazed by the warfare I will send against them.”

17 So I took the cup of anger from the Lord and made all the nations drink from it—every nation to which the Lord sent me.18 I went to Jerusalem and the other towns of Judah, and their kings and officials drank from the cup. From that day until this, they have been a desolate ruin, an object of horror, contempt, and cursing.19 I gave the cup to Pharaoh, king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials, and all his people,20 along with all the foreigners living in that land. I also gave it to all the kings of the land of Uz and the kings of the Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and what remains of Ashdod.21 Then I gave the cup to the nations of Edom, Moab, and Ammon,22 and the kings of Tyre and Sidon, and the kings of the regions across the sea.23 I gave it to Dedan, Tema, and Buz, and to the people who live in distant places.Or who clip the corners of their hair.24 I gave it to the kings of Arabia, the kings of the nomadic tribes of the desert,25 and to the kings of Zimri, Elam, and Media.26 And I gave it to the kings of the northern countries, far and near, one after the other—all the kingdoms of the world. And finally, the king of BabylonHebrew of Sheshach, a code name for Babylon. himself drank from the cup of the Lord’s anger.

27 Then the Lord said to me, “Now tell them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: Drink from this cup of my anger. Get drunk and vomit; fall to rise no more, for I am sending terrible wars against you.’28 And if they refuse to accept the cup, tell them, ‘The Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: You have no choice but to drink from it.29 I have begun to punish Jerusalem, the city that bears my name. Now should I let you go unpunished? No, you will not escape disaster. I will call for war against all the nations of the earth. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!’

30 “Now prophesy all these things, and say to them,

“‘The Lord will roar against his own land

from his holy dwelling in heaven.

He will shout like those who tread grapes;

he will shout against everyone on earth.

31 His cry of judgment will reach the ends of the earth,

for the Lord will bring his case against all the nations.

He will judge all the people of the earth,

slaughtering the wicked with the sword.

I, the Lord, have spoken!’”

32 This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says:

“Look! Disaster will fall upon nation after nation!

A great whirlwind of fury is rising

from the most distant corners of the earth!”

33 In that day those the Lord has slaughtered will fill the earth from one end to the other. No one will mourn for them or gather up their bodies to bury them. They will be scattered on the ground like manure.

34 Weep and moan, you evil shepherds!

Roll in the dust, you leaders of the flock!

The time of your slaughter has arrived;

you will fall and shatter like a fragile vase.

35 You will find no place to hide;

there will be no way to escape.

36 Listen to the frantic cries of the shepherds.

The leaders of the flock are wailing in despair,

for the Lord is ruining their pastures.

37 Peaceful meadows will be turned into a wasteland

by the Lord’s fierce anger.

38 He has left his den like a strong lion seeking its prey,

and their land will be made desolate

by the swordAs in some Hebrew manuscripts and Greek version; Masoretic Text reads by the anger. of the enemy

and the Lord’s fierce anger.

21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

23 Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?

24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.

25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.

26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;

27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.

29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the Lord; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the Lord, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.

32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.

33 And when this people, or the prophet, or a priest, shall ask thee, saying, What is the burden of the Lord? thou shalt then say unto them, What burden? I will even forsake you, saith the Lord.

34 And as for the prophet, and the priest, and the people, that shall say, The burden of the Lord, I will even punish that man and his house.

35 Thus shall ye say every one to his neighbour, and every one to his brother, What hath the Lord answered? and, What hath the Lord spoken?

36 And the burden of the Lord shall ye mention no more: for every man's word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God, of the Lord of hosts our God.

37 Thus shalt thou say to the prophet, What hath the Lord answered thee? and, What hath the Lord spoken?

38 But since ye say, The burden of the Lord; therefore thus saith the Lord; Because ye say this word, The burden of the Lord, and I have sent unto you, saying, Ye shall not say, The burden of the Lord;

39 Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence:

40 And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.

24 The Lord shewed me, and, behold, two baskets of figs were set before the temple of the Lord, after that Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon had carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, and the princes of Judah, with the carpenters and smiths, from Jerusalem, and had brought them to Babylon.

One basket had very good figs, even like the figs that are first ripe: and the other basket had very naughty figs, which could not be eaten, they were so bad.

Then said the Lord unto me, What seest thou, Jeremiah? And I said, Figs; the good figs, very good; and the evil, very evil, that cannot be eaten, they are so evil.

Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,

Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge them that are carried away captive of Judah, whom I have sent out of this place into the land of the Chaldeans for their good.

For I will set mine eyes upon them for good, and I will bring them again to this land: and I will build them, and not pull them down; and I will plant them, and not pluck them up.

And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.

And as the evil figs, which cannot be eaten, they are so evil; surely thus saith the Lord, So will I give Zedekiah the king of Judah, and his princes, and the residue of Jerusalem, that remain in this land, and them that dwell in the land of Egypt:

And I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for their hurt, to be a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places whither I shall drive them.

10 And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, among them, till they be consumed from off the land that I gave unto them and to their fathers.

25 The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah in 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.

And the Lord hath sent unto you all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending them; but ye have not hearkened, nor inclined your ear to hear.

They said, Turn ye again now every one from his evil way, and from the evil of your doings, and dwell in the land that the Lord hath given unto you and to your fathers for ever and ever:

And go not after other gods to serve them, and to worship them, and provoke me not to anger with the works of your hands; and I will do you no hurt.

Yet ye have not hearkened unto me, saith the Lord; that ye might provoke me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.

Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Because ye have not heard my words,

Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the Lord, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.

10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.

11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

12 And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations.

13 And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.

14 For many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.

15 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel unto me; Take the wine cup of this fury at my hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send thee, to drink it.

16 And they shall drink, and be moved, and be mad, because of the sword that I will send among them.

17 Then took I the cup at the Lord's hand, and made all the nations to drink, unto whom the Lord had sent me:

18 To wit, Jerusalem, and the cities of Judah, and the kings thereof, and the princes thereof, to make them a desolation, an astonishment, an hissing, and a curse; as it is this day;

19 Pharaoh king of Egypt, and his servants, and his princes, and all his people;

20 And all the mingled people, and all the kings of the land of Uz, and all the kings of the land of the Philistines, and Ashkelon, and Azzah, and Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod,

21 Edom, and Moab, and the children of Ammon,

22 And all the kings of Tyrus, and all the kings of Zidon, and the kings of the isles which are beyond the sea,

23 Dedan, and Tema, and Buz, and all that are in the utmost corners,

24 And all the kings of Arabia, and all the kings of the mingled people that dwell in the desert,

25 And all the kings of Zimri, and all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes,

26 And all the kings of the north, far and near, one with another, and all the kingdoms of the world, which are upon the face of the earth: and the king of Sheshach shall drink after them.

27 Therefore thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Drink ye, and be drunken, and spue, and fall, and rise no more, because of the sword which I will send among you.

28 And it shall be, if they refuse to take the cup at thine hand to drink, then shalt thou say unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ye shall certainly drink.

29 For, lo, I begin to bring evil on the city which is called by my name, and should ye be utterly unpunished? Ye shall not be unpunished: for I will call for a sword upon all the inhabitants of the earth, saith the Lord of hosts.

30 Therefore prophesy thou against them all these words, and say unto them, The Lord shall roar from on high, and utter his voice from his holy habitation; he shall mightily roar upon his habitation; he shall give a shout, as they that tread the grapes, against all the inhabitants of the earth.

31 A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations, he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord.

32 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth.

33 And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground.

34 Howl, ye shepherds, and cry; and wallow yourselves in the ashes, ye principal of the flock: for the days of your slaughter and of your dispersions are accomplished; and ye shall fall like a pleasant vessel.

35 And the shepherds shall have no way to flee, nor the principal of the flock to escape.

36 A voice of the cry of the shepherds, and an howling of the principal of the flock, shall be heard: for the Lord hath spoiled their pasture.

37 And the peaceable habitations are cut down because of the fierce anger of the Lord.

38 He hath forsaken his covert, as the lion: for their land is desolate because of the fierceness of the oppressor, and because of his fierce anger.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-17

The Man of Lawlessness

Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus ChristS 1Th 2:19 and our being gathered to him,Mk 13:27; 1Th 4:15-17 we ask you, brothers and sisters,not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letterver 15; 2Th 3:17—asserting that the day of the LordS 1Co 1:8 has already come.2Ti 2:18Don’t let anyone deceive youS Mk 13:5 in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellionMt 24:10-12 occurs and the man of lawlessnessSome manuscripts sin is revealed,ver 8; Da 7:25; 8:25; 11:36; Rev 13:5, 6 the man doomed to destruction.He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God1Co 8:5 or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.Isa 14:13, 14; Eze 28:2

Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?1Th 3:4And now you know what is holding him back,ver 7 so that he may be revealed at the proper time.For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it backver 6 will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.And then the lawless one will be revealed,S ver 3 whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouthIsa 11:4; Rev 2:16; 19:15 and destroy by the splendor of his coming.S Lk 17:30The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how SatanS Mt 4:10 works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wondersMt 24:24; Rev 13:13; S Jn 4:48 that serve the lie,10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing.S 1Co 1:18 They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.Pr 4:6; Jn 3:17-1911 For this reason God sends themRo 1:28 a powerful delusionMt 24:5; S Mk 13:5 so that they will believe the lieRo 1:2512 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.Ro 1:32; 2:8

Stand Firm

13 But we ought always to thank God for you,S Ro 1:8 brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruitsSome manuscripts because from the beginning God chose youEph 1:4 to be saved1Th 5:9 through the sanctifying work of the Spirit1Pe 1:2 and through belief in the truth.14 He called youS Ro 8:28; S 11:29 to this through our gospel,1Th 1:5 that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firmS 1Co 16:13 and hold fast to the teachingsOr traditions we passed on to you,S 1Co 11:2 whether by word of mouth or by letter.

16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father,S Php 4:20 who loved usS Jn 3:16 and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,17 encourage1Th 3:2 your hearts and strengthen2Th 3:3 you in every good deed and word.

Events prior to the Lord’s Second Coming

Now, dear brothers and sisters,Greek brothers; also in 2:13, 15. let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him.Don’t be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don’t believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us.Don’t be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessnessSome manuscripts read the man of sin. is revealed—the one who brings destruction.Greek the son of destruction.He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.

Don’t you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you?And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes.For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back steps out of the way.Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.

This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles.10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them.11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies.12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.

Believers Should Stand Firm

13 As for us, we can’t help but thank God for you, dear brothers and sisters loved by the Lord. We are always thankful that God chose you to be among the firstSome manuscripts read chose you from the very beginning. to experience salvation—a salvation that came through the Spirit who makes you holy and through your belief in the truth.14 He called you to salvation when we told you the Good News; now you can share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 With all these things in mind, dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and keep a strong grip on the teaching we passed on to you both in person and by letter.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope,17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.

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,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

14 Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

16 Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Psalm 84:1-12

Psalm 84In Hebrew texts 84:1-12 is numbered 84:2-13.

For the director of music. According to gittith.Title: Probably a musical term Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

How lovely is your dwelling place,S Dt 33:27; Ps 27:4; 43:3; 90:1; 132:5

Lord Almighty!

My soul yearns,S Job 19:27 even faints,

for the courts of the Lord;

my heart and my flesh cry out

for the living God.S Jos 3:10

Even the sparrow has found a home,

and the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may have her young—

a place near your altar,S Ps 43:4

Lord Almighty,Jer 44:11 my KingPs 2:6 and my God.Ps 5:2

Blessed are those who dwell in your house;

they are ever praising you.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verse 8.

Blessed are those whose strengthPs 81:1 is in you,

whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.Jer 31:6

As they pass through the Valley of Baka,

they make it a place of springs;S Job 38:26

the autumnJoel 2:23 rains also cover it with pools.Or blessings

They go from strength to strength,S Job 17:9

till each appearsS Dt 16:16 before God in Zion.1Ki 8:1

Hear my prayer,Ps 4:1 Lord God Almighty;

listen to me, God of Jacob.

Look on our shield,Or sovereignS Ps 59:11 O God;

look with favor on your anointed one.1Sa 16:6; Ps 2:2; 18:50; 132:17

10 Better is one day in your courts

than a thousand elsewhere;

I would rather be a doorkeeper1Ch 23:5 in the house of my God

than dwell in the tents of the wicked.

11 For the Lord God is a sunIsa 60:19; Jer 43:13; Rev 21:23 and shield;S Ge 15:1

the Lord bestows favor and honor;

no good thing does he withholdPs 34:10

from those whose walk is blameless.

12 Lord Almighty,

blessedPs 2:12 is the one who trusts in you.

Psalm 84

For the choir director: A psalm of the descendants of Korah, to be accompanied by a stringed instrument.Hebrew according to the gittith.

How lovely is your dwelling place,

O Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

I long, yes, I faint with longing

to enter the courts of the Lord.

With my whole being, body and soul,

I will shout joyfully to the living God.

Even the sparrow finds a home,

and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young

at a place near your altar,

O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God!

What joy for those who can live in your house,

always singing your praises. Interlude

What joy for those whose strength comes from the Lord,

who have set their minds on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

When they walk through the Valley of Weeping,Or Valley of Poplars; Hebrew reads valley of Baca.

it will become a place of refreshing springs.

The autumn rains will clothe it with blessings.

They will continue to grow stronger,

and each of them will appear before God in Jerusalem.Hebrew Zion.

O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, hear my prayer.

Listen, O God of Jacob. Interlude

O God, look with favor upon the king, our shield!

Show favor to the one you have anointed.

10 A single day in your courts

is better than a thousand anywhere else!

I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God

than live the good life in the homes of the wicked.

11 For the Lord God is our sun and our shield.

He gives us grace and glory.

The Lord will withhold no good thing

from those who do what is right.

12 O Lord of Heaven’s Armies,

what joy for those who trust in you.

84 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!

My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.

Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.

Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.

Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.

They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.

Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.

10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.

Proverbs 25:15

15 Through patience a ruler can be persuaded,Ecc 10:4

and a gentle tongue can break a bone.Pr 15:1

15 Patience can persuade a prince,

and soft speech can break bones.

15 By long forbearing is a prince persuaded, and a soft tongue breaketh the bone.

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