by Paul Benson
For thus hath the LORD of hosts said, Hew ye down trees, and cast a mount against Jerusalem: this is the city to be visited; she is wholly oppression in the midst of her. 7 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds. 8 Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; lest I make thee desolate, a land not inhabited. 9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall throughly glean the remnant of Israel as a vine: turn back thine hand as a grapegatherer into the baskets. 10 To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in… Jeremiah 6:6-11
In the sixth chapter of Jeremiah God sets forth a very stern warning concerning the approaching Judgment of his beloved city of Jerusalem. A very concise and descriptive warning of what would befall the inhabitants if they continued along their course of rebellion and corruption.
I have stated before that I believe there is a remarkable parallel between the condition of our nation and that of ancient Israel in the days before they fell victim to the Judgment of God and were stripped of the glory and blessing they foolishly thought they could never lose.
I don’t place much confidence in all the prophesying I am hearing of a coming era of peace and prosperity for the nation of America. It is a false vision and a delusion that mirrors the words of the false prophets pacifying (and fleecing) the people of Jerusalem in the days before her humiliation.
We are a nation already under Judgment; but most cannot recognize that fact as they do not understand God’s judgments are often unfolded in a progressive manner. Just because there are not fireballs or nuclear warheads falling from the sky, or super volcanos erupting, does not mean we are not currently being dealt with by the Almighty.
Though much could be said about the coming hardships this nation will face, and evidence shown that God is removing our staff and stay (Isaiah 3:1), my intention with this article is to focus upon the promise of blessing God has placed (as he normally does) right in the middle of this warning of coming Judgment.
Seeking The Old Paths
If you would take a few minutes to read this sixth chapter we find right smack in the middle of this frightening warning by the Prophet Jeremiah, in what I see as a standard practice of the Lord, words of promise to those who would seek a path free of the corrupt behavior and deluding lies the rest of the people seem to have such an affinity for.
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16
It amazes me the way so many today speak of preaching on judgment as if it were an act of unrighteousness! Like if you preach a warning of coming judgment, or a message that gives a call to repentance, you are damaging the cause, or are behaving in a cruel or unloving manner! I hear it all the time!
I received some strong flack for criticizing Mark Taylor’s prophesy on Donald Trump. I did so because there are elements of that prophesy that are completely false! And that 2011 prophesy, which concerned the 2012 election of which Trump was not even a part, was revamped and misrepresented as being about the 2016 election between Trump and Clinton. There was (and is) much deception involved in the promotion of what people are calling ‘The Firefighter Prophesy’. It needs spoken against; and I did so at the prompting of the Lord.
And what bothered me most was not just the deceptive way a failed ‘word’ was recycled and misrepresented, but moreover the reoccurring rebuke in the preaching and prophesying of Mark Taylor of anyone speaking of a coming Judgment against America, or of judgment preaching or negative speaking in general. If you listen to much of his speaking or read his prophecies it is quite evident. And he is just one of the MANY preachers and teachers who seem to think speaking any word against this nation is some sort of treasonous act. Or who think preaching on repentance or Judgment is uninspired and detrimental to what God is doing in this day and age.
But I don’t see why Judgment preaching has gotten such a bad rap. There is always a promise of blessing and reward to the repentant nestled within God’s warnings of Judgment. ALWAYS!
Many people come to quite erroneous conclusions not discerning the difference between Judgment and Wrath. God’s Judgments are not solely punitive, there is also a redemptive nature to them. There is a call to, and opportunity for, repentance involved. The Wrath of God is not so! It is strictly punitive. Its purpose is the eradication from this planet of those upon whom it falls (as well as their eternal damnation). This is one of the greatest reasons I firmly state the time of great tribulation is NOT the wrath of God. We clearly see in the Bible a clarion call to repentance in God’s dealings with mankind during that horrible period of cataclysm.
For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? 2Corinthians 2:15
To the stubborn and rebellious any exhortation to lay aside selfish ways and sinful behavior are like fingernails on a chalkboard. But preaching and teaching on repentance and Judgment are not an affront to the wise! We can recognize and seize upon the promises of God to the repentant and appropriate them to ourselves. And we must!
Why do the citizens (and even the professing believers) of this nation cling so ferociously to the hedonistic lifestyle that has evolved in our midst when it is to our own destruction? We have become hard of heart and hard of hearing! Should we think such behavior will be dealt with any differently in our nation than it was in days of old by a God who ‘changeth not’?
To whom shall I speak, and give warning, that they may hear? behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot hearken: behold, the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it. 11 Therefore I am full of the fury of the LORD; I am weary with holding in: Jeremiah 6:10
As in Jeremiah’s day we live in a day where people (even the Church) have lost their appetite for the truth. The preaching of the truth has become a reproach; and those who dare raise a standard of holiness are labeled fanatical, divisive, and dangerous. But we desperately need to raise those standards (and live by them) if we are going to avoid the fate of those with uncircumcised ears!
Within the words Jeremiah spoke, bringing such rebuke and warning of approaching Judgment, we see the call of God upon his people that they should return to the ‘old paths’; that they should return to the ‘good way’ and walk therein. As believers living in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation we need to grasp those words, and the promised blessing they convey, like a drowning man clutching a life-preserver tossed him!
In a day where it seems nearly every facet of Christian ministry has been polluted by greed, false theology, people seeking position and power, or out-right satanic influence, it is not easy to find good food to sustain your faith and edify you. But it is out there! Yes, the liars and deceivers are pawning off their imitation Gospel from every platform they can gain control of. BUT…
The Old Paths are still there to those who will seek them out! And the promised blessing of rest, refreshment, and most importantly the favor of God, is still valid to those who hunger and thirst after truth and righteousness. Let’s be the recipients of that promised blessing!
The deceptions and distractions of the compromised Christianity abounding in this nation will drag you down and hinder your faith. As followers of Christ we need to be edified und uplifted by the preaching of the truth.
Here are some examples of what I would call ‘old paths’ preaching. Do yourself a favor and seek out this type of ministry; and stop consuming the sin-pacifying witches brew the counterfeit church is addicted to!
Of all the preachers I have ever listened to Leonard Ravenhill is one I would recommend to everyone. There is just something about his preaching that sets my heart ablaze! You can find his sermons on YouTube or at sermonindex.net .
Michael Boldea is the grandson of Dumitru Duduman who was a Romanian Bible smuggler. Michael has a radio show and also his shows are on YouTube.
If you have never heard Zac Poonen speak you have missed out on the preaching and teaching of a man who truly glorifies Christ and teaches a very balanced and edifying word. I always get a lot out of his messages.