A perishing flock became my people!
By Brother Mike (7-31-17; 42 minutes)
5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, [saying], Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten .
6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place .
7 All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers .
In verses 5-7 of Jeremiah 50, we first see the elect during Judgment Day asking the way to Zion with their faces already facing in that direction. They are already joined to Yahweh in an eternal covenant or promise that will not be forgotten. Then, the Lord comes out and says with respect to all the Christian churches, My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds or leaders have caused them to go astray. They have made the flock turn away from Yahweh, backsliding from mountain to hill, and forgetting their resting place. And, Yahweh speaks further about His people in all the churches and says, All that found then have devoured them . . .
Well, let's look a little more closely at these verses to see what Yahweh says to us:
They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, [saying], Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten
In this verse, we first read, They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward. Literally, it reads,
Zion, they will ask the way; their faces thitherward
. . .
Since the word they in the sentence, they will ask the way refers to the children of Israel and the children of Judah in the previous verse whom we learned in our last study ultimately refers to the elect, what we are being told is that during Judgment Day that we are now in ever since May 21, 2011, the elect will ask the way to Zion; their faces thitherward. Zion literally referred to a mount that was less than two miles from Jerusalem that was once a stronghold of the Jebusites, but conquered by King David and then became known as the city of David (2Sam. 5:7). It also became known as the City of Yahweh. Later, it became a part of Jerusalem near where the temple mount was in Solomon's day so that Zion - the city of David or the city of Yahweh - and Jerusalem became synonymous with each other. Spiritually, Zion refers to the heavenly Jerusalem or city of the living God that the elect became spiritually a part of once they were saved. We read of this, for instance, in Hebrews 12,
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven [the elect], and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect ,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant . . .
We could even say that Zion, spiritually, refers to the elect. For instance, we read in Psalm 147,
Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion
They that trust in the LORD shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever
Or, again, we read in Psalm 74,
Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt
Now, we are told that the elect in our day will ask the way to Zion. That is, we are asking that the Lord guide us to our heavenly dwelling place in Zion; in the new heavenly Jerusalem, which will be in the new heaven and earth to be created on the Last Day. We are asking the Lord to guide us in truth, which is the way that leads to the heavenly Zion. And, we are asking Him to keep us on that narrow path, which, although difficult, leads to the heavenly Zion. We are not seeking an earthly Zion where there is yet suffering, pain, crying, and death, but we are seeking the heavenly Zion where these things exist no more, but rather joy, faith, and righteousness in Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Next, we read that the elect's faces [are] thitherward. That is, even while the elect ask the way to Zion, they are already facing the direction to Zion. This is so because ever since we, the elect, were saved, we have been pointed in the right direction through Jesus Christ, and, now, we are requesting that our Lord guide us the rest of the way to the heavenly Zion; the way which ends in our receiving of new resurrected bodies, and inheriting the new heaven and earth where we will dwell forever with our Lord. Our faces are already facing that direction because once we were truly saved, it was guaranteed that we would always be facing in the right direction because our Lord would make it so. Indeed, once we were saved, we were eternally secured in that we could not lose our salvation by drifting off in another direction. O yes, we might drift here and there, but we would always be brought back to facing in the right direction as our Father would chastise us unto righteousness (Hebrews 12:5-11). He made and makes sure that in the long run, we will always be facing thitherward to Zion because once saved, always saved. Indeed, Yahweh's elect are always secure in the arms of their Lord, Jesus Christ.
Now, our verse states, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant. Literally, it reads, Come, and they are joined to Yahweh in a perpetual [or eternal] covenant. Notice how the King James translation says, Come, and let us join ourselves . . . while the literal translation says, Come, and they are joined . . . So, the King James is telling us to join ourselves to the Lord while the literal translation says that they (the elect) are already joined to Yahweh. The question is, which translation is true to the context? In answer to this, we would have to say that the literal translation is true to the context because during the Day of Judgment that we are now in, which is the context of our verse, the elect are not joining themselves to the Lord as they did when they were being saved before Judgment Day began, but, instead, they are in this time of judgment already joined to Yahweh as can be seen in that they are already facing Zion. Our verse, therefore, should read,
5 . . .
Come, and they [the elect] are joined to Yahweh in a perpetual [or eternal] covenant
. . .
That is, during this time ever since May 21, 2011 in the Day of the Lord, we (the elect) are joined in an everlasting covenant with Yahweh. And, what is this everlasting covenant? Why, it is the covenant or promise which says that we (the elect) have eternal salvation through the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, and this eternal salvation will include the receiving of our new eternal bodies on the Last Day as well as the receiving of the new heaven and earth wherein we shall dwell for all eternity in the presence of and relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ who is Yahweh.
Finally, we read that this perpetual or eternal covenant or promise that the elect are joined to with Yahweh shall not be forgotten. These are very comforting words to the elect. It means that all that Yahweh has promised us through Jesus Christ will not be forgotten. This insures that Yahweh will never forget us, but we can be assured of the completion of our salvation yet to come on the Last Day, and assured of a new heaven and earth where we will dwell forever without any more pain or sorrow, crying or death. It will be a place of joy, peace, and righteousness, for these things have been promised to us in Yahweh's covenant with us, and they will not be forgotten. Indeed, everything promised to us in His Word will not be forgotten, but they will be brought about by our great God with whom is no shadow of turning, and with whom there are no lies.
My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their resting place
Here, the first thing that we read is that My people hath been lost sheep. The word translated as lost is most often translated as perishing, and the word translated as sheep can be translated as flock. Our verse literally reads,
A perishing flock became my people
. . .
Here, the perishing flock refers to the corporate church, and includes all the various Christian churches throughout the world. They became a perishing flock ever since May 21, 1988 when Satan took up his seat of rule as the false Christ or Antichrist in all the churches as judgment against them because of their sins. By using the shepherds of the flock, Satan brought in much false teaching which made the flock a perishing flock. The elect, on the other hand, were called out from all the churches to go into Babylon (this world). This has left all the churches without any light of truth so that they are now on a path to perish, and they can be called a perishing flock as we find them called here in Jeremiah 50.
Next, we discover why it is that Yahweh's flock became a perishing flock. We read, their shepherds have caused them to go astray [on] the mountains. Yes, it was the shepherds who made the flock to perish as they were the ones used by Satan to lead the flock astray. They brought in such gospels as do-it-yourself gospels where you could become saved by simply following a formula for salvation such as believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31), and then claiming what it says for yourself, and you would be saved. It became a formula to follow, namely, if you do this, then you will be saved. For instance, if you answer the gospel call of the minister and come up to the front of the stadium or church in response, then you are saved. The problem with these gospels is that the emphasis is always upon you having to do something to become saved, which is a works gospel and cannot save anyone. The truth is that we cannot do anything to become saved, but we must be given the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) through the hearing of the word (Ro 10:17), which is something that only God can do. It is God who saves, and the following of some formula for salvation can do nothing but give people the false impression that they are saved when they are not. And, you end up with churches full of people who have not truly been born again (from above). And, as the old saying goes, birds of a feather flock together, these unsaved people attract more people like them, and before you know it, the churches are being run by unregenerate pagans as has come to be the case in the Christian world of our day where numerous false teachings are propagated in the name of truth when, in fact, they are nothing but lies.
Another example of a false gospel that has now been propagated throughout the Christian world of our day by the shepherds of the flock are the charismatic gospels, which say that Yahweh is still giving direct revelation apart from His Word in dreams, visions, tongues, voices, prophesying, and the like. These gospels often feature signs and wonders. The problem with these gospels is that they go contrary to the Word of God, which says that divine, direct revelation is no longer possible. We read in Revelation 22,
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book .
By saying these words, Yahweh has made it clear that ever since the book of revelation was completed in about 95 AD, He is not giving any further direct revelation to humans apart from what is already written in the Holy Scriptures of that time, which consisted of the books of the Bible now found in our protestant Bibles. All the additional books added much later to the Catholic Bible by their councils reveals one of the many reasons why Catholicism is damned, and why it has been damned for hundreds of years (see
The Bible and Catholicism
Now, another example of a false gospel that was brought in by a shepherd which has misled the flock was the whole notion that Christ did not die for sins in 33 AD, but rather He died for sins at or before the foundation of the world, and He only demonstrated what He had already accomplished in 33 AD. This Demonstration Gospel, as we call it, has been and is being used by Yahweh as a test to discover where a person's allegiance lies whether with Yahweh or with man (see
The Final Test
Well, we could go into many more of the false teachings that the shepherds of Christianity have used to lead the flock astray, but you've got the idea: ever since May 21, 1988, Satan has used the leadership of the Christian church to bring in all sorts of false things. What happened was the churches became full of unsaved so-called Christians by the work of Satan over the 1955 years of the church age, and these so-called Christians gradually ushered in leaders who were unsaved like them. And, it was these leaders who exposed the churches to all so many false teachings, which Satan used to spiritually destroy the churches with false gospels and teachings as a God-ordained way of bringing judgment against all the churches for their sins, for the time had come when judgment must begin with the house of God (1Peter 4:17).
Now, our verse continues, they [the shepherds] have turned them [the flock] away [on] the mountains. Literally, this reads, Mountains, they turned them away. The idea is that the shepherds turned the flock away from the mountains. What could this mean? When we look up the word mountains in the Bible, we find that mountains can symbolize or refer to that place where Yahweh resides. For instance, we read in Job 39,
The range of the mountains is his [Yahweh�s] pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing
Obviously, if the range of the mountains is His pasture, then it must be the place where He resides. Likewise, we read in Psalm 121,
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills [mountains], from whence cometh my help
Once again, it is obvious that if the mountains are where help comes from, then it must be the place where Yahweh who gives the help resides. We could even say that the mountains can symbolize Yahweh Himself, for we read in Psalm 125,
As the mountains are round about Jerusalem, so the LORD is round about his people from henceforth even forever
Here, the mountains clearly symbolize or represent Yahweh Himself as He is as the mountains round about Jerusalem. It is in this respect wherein we could understand Matthew 25:15, which states,
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation [Satan], spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place [the churches], (whoso readeth, let him understand:
16 Then let them which be in Judaea [the churches] flee into the mountains . . .
And, again, in Mark:13,
But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation [Satan], spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not [in the churches], (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea [the churches] flee to the mountains
. . .
The idea is that when we had come to realize that Satan, the abomination of desolation, had come to reside and rule in all the churches, we were to flee to the mountains; that is, depart out from all the churches and flee to Yahweh alone. This, most of the elect did in about the year 2000-2001 AD, and we are now waiting for our Lord to finish His judgment plan both on all the churches and the world before we will be transported out from this place into the new heaven and earth to be with our Savior, Jesus Christ, for all eternity.
But, getting back to my point, mountains can symbolize God Himself, which helps us to now understand our verse. When our verse says, Mountains, they [the shepherds] turned them away, we are being told that the shepherds or leaders of the churches turned the flock away from Yahweh who is symbolized by the mountains. Yes, the leaders of the churches turned the flock away from God as Satan used them as pawns to bring in all sorts of false beliefs, teachings, and gospels. And, Yahweh not only permitted this, but, in fact, He brought it about as it was He who gave the churches over to Satan as judgment against them for all their sins committed throughout the 1955 years of the Church Age from 33 AD to May 21, 1988. Indeed, ever since May 21, 1988 all churches were given over to the counterfeit Christ, the Antichrist, who is Satan, and the elect who are but a remnant have been commanded to come out from all churches (see
Why leave all churches?
Now, our verse continues and says, they have gone from mountain to hill. That is, the flock, which consists of all the churches, have gone from a higher place in the mountain to a lower place in a hill. They have gone from being near to Yahweh in the mountain to being farther away from Yahweh in a hill. In other words, they have spiritually gone backward by backsliding instead of going forward to that higher and higher place with God. To put it another way, they have gone from more truth to less truth. They have gone from the close presence of Yahweh, to His presence being far away. They have spiritually gone in the opposite direction from which they should be going, and this has come about because those who were and are leading the churches have misled them into false beliefs, doctrines, and gospels. So, we can clearly see that Yahweh looks down upon the leadership of all the Christian churches at this time, and wherein they should be highly esteemed for their work in the ministry, they have become nothing but deceived liars, and poor examples unto the flock, worthy of condemnation and not esteem.
But, not only has the flock gone from mountain to hill, but we are told that they have forgotten their resting place. And, since the resting place for a Christian is a spiritual rest in Christ wherein we no longer work to be saved, but we rest in the completed work of Christ on our behalf for our salvation, to forget this resting place is not to rest in Christ, but rather attempting to do something to earn salvation. So, to forget their resting place means that they no longer even understand how one is saved because they themselves are not saved. They have not come to believe by the gift of faith given by Yahweh alone (Eph. 2:8-9), which is all His doing, but they have come to believe by their own faith, and to believe with their own faith is a work because faith or belief is a work as we read in 1Thessalonians 1,
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith
. . .
And, because works can save no one (Titus 3:5; Eph. 2:8-9), neither can their own work of faith save them. They must be imparted with the true faith that comes from God only, and then their belief in Christ is real. And, then also, it wasn't their work of faith which saved them, but it was Yahweh who first imparted the true faith to them as a gift. So, it is not faith itself which saves us, but it is Yahweh alone who saves us. And, unless you have been gifted with the faith that comes from Yahweh alone, you are not saved. And, this is how all those in the churches have become: they are not saved, as they have forgotten their resting place. They have faith, but it is not the true faith of the Lord, Jesus Christ.
All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers
In this verse, the first thing that we read is, All that found them have devoured them. That is, all [the shepherds] that found the flock (all the churches) have devoured them, and they didn't devour them by literally eating them, but they devoured them with their false teachings and gospels which have led them to spiritual death. For instance, many brought in the charismatic gospel, which says that Yahweh is still giving direct revelation in dreams, visions, tongues, voices, prophesying, words of knowledge, and the like when the truth is that He is not any longer doing these things ever since about the end of the first century when He stated in Revelation 22,
For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book
. . .
That is, if any person thinks that they are getting some type of message from Yahweh apart from the Holy Scriptures, then that must be the Word of God because it is a message from Yahweh, and any message from Yahweh is equivalent to the Word of God. But, if it is the Word of God, then it is adding to the Word of God that we already have, and it is in violation of Revelation 22:18. Even if it is just the repeating of something that is already in the Word of God, it is still adding to it as the Lord repeats things in His Word for a purpose and meaning. But, that purpose and meaning is always being changed if it is constantly being repeated, and the Word becomes of none effect. So, even if one claims that it is a message from Yahweh that is already in the Bible, it is still adding to the Word of God, and so is yet a violation of Revelation 22:18, and that person who received the revelation is subject to the plagues that are written in this book because they added to it.
But, many will say that Revelation 22:18 is only referring to the book of Revelation. That is, it is only telling us that we cannot add to the book of revelation. But, this is a complete misunderstanding of the Word of God, for the Word of God is a cohesive whole, and to add to one book of the Bible is equivalent to adding to the other books of the Bible, and adding to other books of the Bible is equivalent to adding to the book of Revelation. Indeed, we must remember that the Bible is cohesive whole, and you cannot separate the books of the Bible from one another. If I add to the book of Revelation, I have added to the whole Bible, and if I add to the whole Bible, I have added to the book of Revelation. This is because the meaning of any given scripture is dependent upon other scriptures in the Bible. When we study a given scripture, for instance, and we want to discover the meaning to a given word in it, we must look that word up everywhere in the Bible to see how Yahweh defines the word before we come to our conclusion. One part of the Bible is dependent upon another part of the Bible, and another part of the Bible is dependent upon one part of the Bible. So, the Bible is a cohesive whole, and to add to one part of the Bible effects the other part, and you cannot just add to other parts of the Bible without having also added to the book of Revelation. The Bible is a cohesive whole!
Now, there are many other false teachings that the charismatic gospel devoured many of the churches with, but it wasn't just the charismatic gospel, but the do-it-yourself gospels devoured the flock as well. These were gospels whether charismatic or not which teach that you could basically save yourself by following a prescribed formula for salvation. Many of these gospels believed that you were saved if you answered the gospel call by coming to the front of the church or stadium. Unfortunately, most of these people never were really saved as they simply answered the gospel call and came up to the front in response in their own power and choosing. Instead of crying out that Yahweh might have mercy upon them through Christ, and wait on God to save them in His time if He was going to save them at all, they chose Christ in their own power and time, but it was not true faith as Yahweh had not imparted to them saving faith. Because of these gospels and those who propagated them, the churches became full of unsaved people. And, they gathered together for themselves shepherds who were not saved as well, and they became one big happy family. Unfortunately, they have become one large happy family of unsaved people as none of them have been given the true faith which comes from Yahweh alone by His choosing alone, but they have a faith by their own choosing, and this faith cannot save anyone.
Well, let's end this study here, and we will start off again with this verse in our next study.
In conclusion, during the Judgment Day that we are now in, the elect are asking the way to Zion with their faces already facing there. We are asking that the Lord guide us the rest of the way to Zion, the new heaven and earth, so that we can be with the Lord forever in a place where there is no more pain, crying, suffering, or death. We are already facing that direction because we had already been saved before Judgment Day, and, ever since then, Yahweh keeps us on the path which leads to Zion as we cannot lose our salvation and we will persevere to the end. In fact, we are already joined to Yahweh in an everlasting covenant or promise, which guarantees that our salvation will be completed, and that we will get to Zion in the new heaven and earth through Jesus Christ, our Lord and guarantor of complete salvation.
But, in so far as all Yahweh's people still in all the churches, they have been a perishing flock because their shepherds or leaders have led them astray with many different false teachings and gospels. We looked at a couple of these false teachings such as the charismatic movement with their extrabiblical revelations, and we looked a little at the do-it-yourself gospels. We have seen that the churches have forgotten their resting place as they are teaching gospels wherein there is no true rest in Christ, but only work because you must do something to become saved. The emphasis is not on what Yahweh must do to save people, but on what they must do to become saved, and that is a false gospel. If it was not all Yahweh who saved you, but part you as well, then you can be assured that you are not saved. Yes, all who have found the churches have devoured them with a multitude of false teaching, and we will speak of this again, but not until our next study. So, until then, may the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace .