Warning to Persecutors – Part Four – Their End

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In the previous post we’ve mentioned the “swelling of [the] Jordan.” In past studies we have seen the word “swelling” having the meaning of being puffed up with pride – an inflated self-opinion of how much better you are and therefor having no need to hear anything contrary to your own wisdom. We have also seen the phrase is further defined when used in both chapters 49 and 50.

In Jeremiah chapter 12 we are told of it in the context of the many pastors speaking against Jeremiah and treating him with treachery. There we are told that these are the many pastors who have destroyed the LORD’s vineyard. This is the foundation the LORD Jesus was expounding upon when he speaks the parable of the tares sown among the wheat, and of the husbandmen who have been left to tend the vineyard and refuse to return it to it rightful owner.

In the two later chapters of Jeremiah we are told of this swelling of Jordan from the perspective of it as a position that will never be inhabited again (as we have looked at in recent posts about the snare that come upon all the earth). In these chapters we see the added description of this being as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. Here we see the tares that are gathered are Edom, the name for Esau, Jacob’s brother (the true Israel but still in rebellion – the same as Gomer and Jezreel – see Hosea 1 from the previous post).

Jeremiah 49
10 But I have made Esau bare; I have uncovered his secret places, and he shall not be able to hide himself; his seed is despoiled, and his brethren and his neighbors, and he is no more.
11 Leave thy fatherless children; I will preserve them alive; and let thy widows trust in Me.”
12 For thus says the LORD: “Behold, they whose judgment was not to drink of the cup have assuredly drunk. And art you he that shall altogether go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, but you shall surely drink of it.
13 For I have sworn by Myself,” says the LORD, “that Bozrah shall become a desolation, a reproach, a waste, and a curse; and all the cities thereof shall be perpetual wastes.”
14 I have heard a word from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent unto the heathen, saying, “Gather you together, and come against her, and rise up to the battle!”
15 “For lo, I will make you small among the heathen and despised among men.
16 Thy terribleness hath deceived you, and the pride of your heart, O you that dwells in the clefts of the rock, that holds the height of the hill; though you should make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from thence,” says the LORD.
17 “Also Edom shall be a desolation; every one that goes by it shall be astonished and shall hiss at all the plagues thereof.
18 As in the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah and the neighbor cities thereof,” says the LORD, “no man shall abide there, neither shall a son of man dwell in it.
19 Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of the Jordan against the habitation of the strong; but I will suddenly make him run away from her. And who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? For who is like Me? And who will appoint Me a time? And who is that shepherd that will stand before Me?”
20 Therefore hear the counsel of the LORD that He hath taken against Edom, and His purposes that He hath purposed against the inhabitants of Teman. Surely the least of the flock shall draw them out; surely He shall make their habitations desolate with them.
21 The earth is moved at the noise of their fall; at the cry the noise thereof was heard in the Red Sea.
22 Behold, He shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread His wings over Bozrah; and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs.

How was Sodom and Gomorrah overthrown? First we know from 2 Peter 2 that in these cities there were those speaking against Lot, and these same persecutors were making railing accusations against the LORD himself, and they reused to heed the warnings.

2 Peter 2
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the LORD who bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways, by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evilly spoken of.
3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you — they whose judgment now for a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not.
4 For if God spared not the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment;
5 and spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the Flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 and, turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to be overthrown, making them an example unto those who thereafter should live ungodly;
7 and if He delivered righteous Lot, vexed with the filthy conduct of the wicked
8 (for that righteous man, having dwelt among them seeing and hearing, was vexed in his righteous soul day after day with their unlawful deeds)—
9 then the LORD knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished,
10 but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise governance. Presumptuous are they and self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities,
11 whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the LORD.
12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption,
13 and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceptions while they feast with you,
14 having eyes full of adultery and who cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls; their hearts they have exercised with covetous practices; accursed children!
15 They have forsaken the right way and have gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness,
16 but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with a man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.
17 These are wells without water, clouds that are carried by a tempest, for whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh and through much wantonness those who had clean escaped from those who live in error.
19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption; for by whom a man is overcome, by the same is he brought into bondage.
20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the LORD and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they had known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
22 But it has happened unto them according to the true proverb: “The dog turns to his own vomit again,” and, “the sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”

The Greek word in verse 1 above translated “privily” is pareisago, meaning to bring in secretly because it wouldn’t be approved otherwise. This is what is spoken of later in the chapter when we read of these accusers as those that, “speak evil of the things that they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption.”

2 Timothy 3
5 having a form of godliness but denying the power [to change people] thereof. From such turn away.
6 For of this sort are those who creep into houses and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
7 ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Genesis 19
11 And they [the two angels] smote the men who were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
12 And the men said unto Lot, “Have you here any besides? Son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whomsoever you have in the city — bring them out of this place.
13 For we will destroy this place, because the cry of them has waxed great before the face of the LORD, and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.”
14 And Lot went out and spoke unto his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said, “Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city!” But he seemed as one who mocked unto his sons-in-law.
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, “Arise, take thy wife and thy two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the iniquity of the city.”
16 And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife and upon the hand of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful unto him; and they brought him forth and set him outside the city.
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth outside, that he said, “Escape for thy life! Look not behind you, neither stay you in all the plain. Escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed!”
18 And Lot said unto them, “Oh, not so, my lord.
19 Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and you have magnified thy mercy, which you have shown unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die.
20 Behold now, this city is near enough to flee unto, and it is a little one. Oh, let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”
21 And he said unto him, “See, I have accepted you concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken.
22 Hasten you, escape there; for I cannot do any thing till you have come there.” Therefore the name of the city was called Zoar.
23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
24 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire, from the LORD out of heaven;
25 and He overthrew those cities, and all the plain and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.
26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.
27 And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD;
28 and he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld. And lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.
29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when He overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.

2 Peter 2
4 For if God spared not the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness to be reserved unto judgment;
5 and spared not the old world, but saved Noah, the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the Flood upon the world of the ungodly;
6 and, turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to be overthrown, making them an example unto those who thereafter should live ungodly;
7 and if He delivered righteous Lot, vexed with the filthy conduct of the wicked
8 (for that righteous man, having dwelt among them seeing and hearing, was vexed in his righteous soul day after day with their unlawful deeds)—
9 then the LORD knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust unto the Day of Judgment to be punished,
10 but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise governance. Presumptuous are they and self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities,
11 whereas angels, which are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the LORD.
12 But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not, and shall utterly perish in their own corruption,
13 and shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to revel in the daytime. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceptions while they feast with you,
14 having eyes full of adultery and who cannot cease from sin, beguiling unstable souls; their hearts they have exercised with covetous practices; accursed children!

Here is yesterday’s post, for full context.

In troubling times such as these I remember words written in Jeremiah 12:5 “If you have run with the footmen and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the swelling of the Jordan?
6 For even your brethren and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; yea, they have called a multitude after you; believe them not, though they speak fair words unto you.

The chapter begins with Jeremiah complaining about his mistreatment at the hands of his own brothers and neighbors. The response from the LORD is to ask him the above questions. This scripture is again fulfilled before our eyes.

Here is the chapter:
Jeremiah 12
1 Righteous are You, O LORD, when I plead with You; yet let me talk with You of Your judgments: Why doth the way of the wicked prosper? Why are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
2 You have planted them, yea, they have taken root; they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit. You are near in their mouth, but far from their reins.
3 But You, O LORD, knows me; You have seen me and tried my heart toward You. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4 How long shall the land mourn and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? The beasts are consumed, and the birds, because they said, “He shall not see our last end.”
5 “If you have run with the footmen and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? And if in the land of peace, wherein you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the swelling of the Jordan?
6 For even your brethren and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; yea, they have called a multitude after you; believe them not, though they speak fair words unto you.
7 “I have forsaken My house, I have left My heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies.
8 My heritage is unto Me as a lion in the forest: it cries out against Me; therefore have I hated it.
9 My heritage is unto Me as a speckled bird: the birds round about are against her. Come you, assemble all the beasts of the field; come to devour.
10 Many pastors have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion under foot, they have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourns unto Me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man lays it to heart.
12 The despoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness; for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land. No flesh shall have peace.
13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns; they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit; and they shall be ashamed of your produce because of the fierce anger of the LORD.
14 “Thus says the LORD against all My evil neighbors, who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit: Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.
15 And it shall come to pass after I have plucked them out, I will return and have compassion on them, and will bring them back, every man to his heritage and every man to his land.
16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘The LORD lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then shall they be built in the midst of My people.
17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” says the LORD.

Yes, I am talking about the political situation and attacks of the day. It is the same pattern of corrupted leaders misleading God’s people and attacking those speaking truth to power and thereby threatening their hold on it. My own party attacks in a way that is no different than an enemy. In doing they prove themselves as part of one common corrupt system (establishment) that only thinks of keeping its hold on power and will use any devious means to do so. They claim to be “good Christians” while their deeds – today, now at this moment – prove otherwise.

The answer is, I will not be wearied by the attacks. I will run with horses. I will not fear the swelling of the Jordan. Isaiah 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, faints not, neither is weary? There is no searching of His understanding.
29 He gives power to the faint, and to them that have no might He increases strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall;
31 but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.

The LORD answers (verse 14 above) those persecuting their brother (one of their own house) while hiding behind their power and their faith in their power. Their power is to do evil and increase corruption.

Here is more of what the LORD says:

Hosea 1
1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel.
2 The beginning of the word of the LORD by Hosea: And the LORD said to Hosea, “Go, take unto you a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms; for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the LORD.”
3 So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim, who conceived and bore him a son.
4 And the LORD said unto him, “Call his name Jezreel; for in yet a little while I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel.
5 And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the Valley of Jezreel.”
6 And she conceived again, and bore a daughter. And God said unto him, “Call her name Loruhamah [that is, Not having obtained mercy]; for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, but I will utterly take them away.
7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the LORD their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen.”
8 Now when she had weaned Loruhamah, she conceived and bore a son.
9 Then said God, “Call his name Loammi [that is, Not My people], for you are not My people, and I will not be your God.
10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass that in the place where it was said unto them, ‘You are not My people,’ there it shall be said unto them, ‘You are the sons of the living God.’
11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head; and they shall come up out of the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel.