Turning Away Finalizes Falling Away
Can we interpret the statement of a nationally recognized news reporter and analyst of "Americans want to move on rather than hear about a Truth Commission" as Americans are more interested in National Security than Truth?
Perhaps any church, church member, or nation of God’s people can survive rejection by God during the first three stages of the five stages of the Falling Away of II Timothy 4:3,4.
"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears from the truth, and be turned aside to fables." (II Timothy 4:3,4)
However, the fourth stage of "turn their ears away from the truth" is the precipice for which there is no return. No church, no church member, or no nation of God’s people can survive as part of the kingdom of God, once they have turned away from the truth. Then the fifth stage is automatic; that is the stage where God takes over with the "strong delusion" of II Thessalonians, and any church, church member or nation of God’s people is automatically turned into fables.
By now in your Bible Study of "Jeremiah and Prophesy", you should know that: (1) Jeremiah is the book that defines "backsliding" as over 75% of the usages of the word in the Bible are in the book of Jeremiah; (2) that backsliding is worse than the Falling Away because in the Temple Message of Jeremiah 7:26 it is clearly stated with the words provided to Jeremiah by God Himself that the God’s people of that generation, "the generation of His wrath", were worse than their forefathers of the Falling Away in the wilderness; (3) that backsliding, contrary to popular opinion, that is when it actually based on a literal respect for the Word of God is not those who do not come to the house of God, but is a malady of those active in attendance, who although active still move backwards away from God Himself instead of forwards; and (4) actually backsliding is the final two stages of the Falling Away--the fourth stage, the turning away from truth and the fifth stage, where God allows them to turn into fables.
By now since you both know the two great evils that any nation of God’s people can commit as summarized in Jeremiah 2:13 as (1) forsaking God as the fountain of living waters and (2) as self-constructing substitute and broken cisterns for salvation that will not hold water, and also you see the equivalency of these two great evils in the fourth and fifth stages of the Falling Away of II Timothy 4:3,4: the turning away from truth and the turning away from the listening to the truth is the clearly the equivalent of "forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters" (Jeremiah 2:13b); and the being allowed or being turned into fables is clearly the equivalent of "hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13c).
GIST OF THIS MESSAGE: TURNING AWAY FROM TRUTH IS TURNING AWAY FROM THE REAL GOD THAT IS THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS, AND BEING TURNED INTO FABLES IS THE SELF-CREATION AND SELF CONSTRUCTION OF AN IMAGE OF GOD FOR SALVATION THAT IS A BROKEN CISTERN THAT CAN NOT HOLD WATER.
The text of this message is Jeremiah 7:28.
"So you shall say to them, ‘This is a nation that does not obey the voice of the LORD their God nor receive correction. Truth has perished and has been cut off from their mouth." (Jeremiah 7:28)
1. It starts with a nation, one nation under God, the nation of Judah "one nation under God" and under a mutual covenant with God like the United States today, progressing almost subtly from the national level of truth down to the fundamental honest which no longer comes out of the mouth of each citizen of the nation. Notice at first, "this is a nation that does not obey the voice of...God"; and then finally in the same verse, "truth...has been cut off from their mouth."
2. Actually the words of this text begin with "So you shall say to them", as God gives the Prophet Jeremiah the very words that he is to speak; having for several proceeding verses warned Jeremiah that even as the people have not listening to the words of God from the true prophets--how God would get up early in the morning and each day (7:25) to send these true prophets with the word of God--God’s own people would now listen even less to the words of Jeremiah. You will recall that Jeremiah had to preach each day at the gates of the temple as the official prophets and priests had banned him from speaking in the temple; how the people of his own home town of Anatoth threatened him with death if he continued to preach these words from the voice of God; and how the princes of the government, the professional religious leaders, and the people of the land would not longer listen to "the voice of God" through the Prophet Jeremiah.
3. Judah was a nation that would not "obey" the voice of the LORD their God, and we must decide for ourselves with the book of Jeremiah about a nation as our example, good and bad, to what extent the United States today is like the nation of Judah at the time of Jeremiah. Long ago we learned from the Pastor James in James 5:10 that "brethren" church members are to "take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example", as an example of how to continue with "suffering and patience"; how the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in Jude 7 were set forth in the Bible "as an example" of the "vengeance of eternal fire"; and always and ever we must be reminded of the example in teaching and preaching that "ALL SCRIPTURE is given by inspiration of God...", Jeremiah or Isaiah, the words of comfort and security as well as all the words of the Bible which are "profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness." (II Timothy 3:16)
NOTE: How would it be to preach the Temple Message every day at the gates of the temple, which was the only true message of this one single prophet Jeremiah among all the official prophets and priests of that time who were "false" and spoke falsely, knowing that they would not listen? Well, if indeed we in the United States have progressed to this "backsliding" which is also the fourth stage of the Falling Away, then we few preachers who continue to preach the sound doctrine of all the Word of God, are going to find out. Indeed, there is much evidence that we already are beginning to see this turning away from truth on the part of the nation of the United States.
4. While God told Jeremiah to preach that "Truth has perished from the nation" (Jeremiah 7:28), because that is what God saw and what God decided was the truth on the matter; and as we look at what happened to this nation of God’s people as our example of both what not to do and what to do as a nation of God’s people, surely we can conclude that we as "one nation under God" have not yet progressed to the point where truth has perished; yet surely we must recognize that TRUTH IS IN THE PROCESS OF PERISHING IN OUR NATION. And this clearly means that as one nation of God’s people under God, we are in the first stage of "backsliding" as defined in the Word of God, the backsliding of a nation away from God, and we are in the fourth state of the Falling Away, where the nation "turns away from truth". Surely the turning away from truth of the fourth stage of the Falling Away of II Timothy 4:3,4 is the same as the perishing of truth from a nation of Jeremiah 7:28.
How timely now is this "truth" issue in the United States at the national level! Last week we heard Nancy Pelosi, many Republican senators, and many news commentators as they discussed the CIA, illegal torture, and who knew what about the truth at what time. Pelosi accused the CIA of lying to congress about waterboarding torture, and many republicans and commentators have come to the defence of the CIA as always being honest, without any distortion of the truth. Also on the national level, we as American citizens have learned that the very Attorneys at the Security and Exchange Commission that prosecuted Martha Steward for inside trading on stock, have been grossly guilty of practices the same dishonesty, illegality, and greed. One news commentator had the nerve to say, "The American people don’t want to hear about a Truth Commission, they want to move on"; and a congressmen had the nerve to say that "National Security has priority over truth."
5. In a democratic nation and a "one nation under God", there is no national security without truth. Truth and the ordinary citizen knowing enough about truth through education and news is the very foundation of a properly functioning democracy. How can the government rest on the will and knowledge of the people, and how can the ordinary citizen know how to vote and who to vote for without truth. It should be alarming to us to realize how far as a nation "truth has perished" when our own government representatives and our national news commentators can make such superficial and dishonest statements about TRUTH!
6. When God has Jeremiah say "the nation does not receive correction", it applies to the nation of Judah during the time of Jeremiah; but how much as our example of good and bad, does this refusal to receive correction apply to the United States today. It is obvious that this voice of God for correction comes today in the churches of the United States from the Bible; but the mature questions about this truth and truths must be asked: (1) how much of the total message of the Bible is being preached, in other words how much of the "ALL" of the ALL Scriptures" is actually be heard by the people; (2) how much of the Bible message is just comfort and security without the reproof and correction; and (3) how much do the people of churches and outside of church even listen to and heed this voice of God?
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