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When the commander of the guard found Jeremiah, he said to him, “The LORD your God decreed this disaster for this place.  And now the LORD has brought it about; He has done just as He said He would.  All this happened because you people sinned against the LORD and did not obey Him.”

It would be tempting to blame the Babylonians for being blood thirsty conquerors, who attacked Jerusalem out of gold lust, but even the Babylonians knew that it was because of the Israelites’ sins that allowed them, the Babylonians, to have the success that they did.

Earlier in Jeremiah, The Lord Almighty says this: “Because you have not listened to My words, I will summon all the peoples of the north and My servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants and against all the surrounding nations.”

Remember, God called Nebuchadnezzar, “My servant,” and indeed God has many servants.  The question is, was Nebuchadnezzar a ‘good and faithful servant’?  When the Master called them servants, ‘good and faithful servant’, the term good and faithful in the context of the words of Jesus, means a godlike servant for God alone is good, and a Christlike servant for Jesus is The Faithful One, and the pan ultimate of being Godlike is to be perfect and merciful as our Heavenly Father is perfect and merciful.  The fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven is perfection and the fullness of the Kingdom of God is mercy for it is faith that makes us perfect—faith in God and His Jesus, the Author and Perfector of our faith, as Paul said.  But the fullness of the power of the Kingdom of God will not and does not happen until we learn to be full of mercy, as God is full of mercy.

Jesus said, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  “Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them.”  “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men.”  “When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do…”  He was teaching the disciples the need to be secretive of their actions so that only the Father would see them.  There is the temptation with perfection to display it openly before its time, and perfection can lead you into a place that God does not want you to be—an accuser, just like the Devil—incapable of showing mercy.  However, the believer who learns to do righteous acts in secret before the Father, will then come to the place of entrustment by God with the power of the Kingdom of God, provided he learns to love his enemies out of mercy for his enemies.

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.  Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap.  For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” 

It is of paramount importance for you all to learn this truth of Luke 6:37-38, for it has to do with being merciful.  When the Lord said, “Give, and it will be given to you,” it has nothing to do with money as many preachers would use the verse for, but to do with judgement, condemnation and forgiveness—all of which are parameters of Mercy.  Not judging, not condemning and forgiving are the fullness of the trinity of Mercy, and the measure to which you can love your enemies, so then shall love be measured to you by your enemy.  Whenever we use the word ‘enemy’, we instinctively think of the Devil, yet we forget that we were once God’s enemies, and therefore God was forced at one stage to be our Enemy.  Love of our enemies from us without judgement, condemnation and forgiveness keeps our focus, that we were once God’s enemies when we were outside of His household, and were opposing Him as outsiders being a slave of sin and a son of the Devil.  We also forget, we who are in the household of God now, that it is written: “a man’s enemies are the members of his own household.”  As such, just like Israel, we can become enemies of God whilst being members of His household and not just when we were not members of His household.  We do so whenever we do not listen to Him, as the Lord spoke of Israel, “My inheritance has become to Me like a lion in the forest.  She roars at Me; therefore I hate her.”  Whenever we stop listening to God, we become like Israel who stopped listening to the point that God had to appoint a servant like Nebuchadnezzar, who was a destroyer.

Likewise now, the church of Christ has not listened to Jesus out of either ignorance or straight out unbelief, and like Israel, taken the benefits bestowed on them by the Lord and run off after its own lovers, which are the ways of the world.  As God was patient with Israel and put up with the sins of Israel’s kings for 390 years and the sins of Judah for 40 years more, so likewise the Lord has been even more patient with the church for not listening to Him… a 2000 year stretch, almost.

However, just as it came to a time when the waiting was over and God’s forbearance had run out, so that time approaches for each and every individual and the church collectively, and He is raising up servants, even ones like Nebuchadnezzar.  However, the mistake of Nebuchadnezzar was his failure to show mercy, and in his zeal to destroy Jerusalem he overstepped the mark.  For God said, “Because you rejoice and are glad, you who pillage My inheritance…”  Even though Nebuchadnezzar was His servant in striking Jerusalem, he should not have taken delight in it.

Likewise, take no delight in what the Lord will have you do to bring the church and the world into repentance.  Do not be servants like Nebuchadnezzar, but be “good (perfect and merciful) and faithful (patiently enduring) servants.”

The truth about us is that the enemy would have no power over us had we listened to God when He said, “This is My Son, whom I love…  Listen to Him”  For Jesus said, “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”  It was because we refused to listen and obey God’s one decree and one command to us of the New Covenant, that the curses and punishments of those who do not listen and obey have visited us.  Just as Nebuchadnezzar could never have conquered Jerusalem, but instead be conquered and subjugated by Israel had she been obedient, then likewise, Satan could never accuse us or ‘attack’ us if it wasn’t for the fact we have not obeyed God and listened to Jesus.

No curses of the Devil, witches, warlocks or people could have any effect on us at all, for Jesus had released us from the most powerful of all curses—the curses of a true prophet of God—Moses, for all who disobeyed and did not listen, and God’s own curse for all who did not allow the spirit of Elijah to do the work God had sent him to do to.  “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes.  He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse.” 

No sickness of Egypt could visit us, for as far back as Exodus 15, God had said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in His eyes, if you pay attention to His commands and keep all His decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, Who heals you.”

However, did we listen carefully to the voice of the Lord as He spoke from the cloud on the Mount of Transfiguration?  We heard, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.”  But we left out,  “Listen to Him!”, and worse still, we forgot to do what is right in His eyes and ran after doing what is right in the eyes of others.

What is considered doing right in God’s eyes can be outright sinful to those who do not know God.  For example – running a spear through a man and woman as Phinehas did, walking around stripped like Isaiah, prophesying doom like Jeremiah, baking bread with dung like Ezekiel and marrying a prostitute like Hosea.  Yet all these men did what was right in God’s eyes, because what is right in God’s eyes are His ways and His thoughts, which are not ours.

All these men – Phinehas, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah and Hosea – would not have had their ministries and their assignments from God or even their commendations from God if Israel was not disobedient.  But each of them had their strange ministries because Israel was not listening and was not repentant.  Likewise, the two witnesses of Revelation 11 would not have their strange and ungodly ministry if the church and the world were repentant.  But as we have read in Revelation:  The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk.  Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.  This is why the Lord will raise up two prophets more seemingly ungodly than a naked Isaiah or a defiled Ezekiel and Hosea.  He will raise up prophets who…  If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies.  This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die.  These men have power to shut up the sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want.

Listening to Jesus is the right thing to do.  Being thrown out of synagogues because of Jesus was the right thing to do… not appeasing Jews who were zealous for the Law. 

So now, understand this, that what God will cause some of you to be doing will be even stranger than Isaiah’s, Hosea’s and Ezekiel’s ministries.  It is in this regard now, that you must hold yourselves back and do not judge each other, do not condemn each other, forgive each other and be merciful to one another as God is Merciful.  In this way, you have begun to fulfil the Lord’s command, “Love one another as I have loved you.”  If you will accept this truth now, you can become each other’s enemies, for a man’s enemies come from his own household.  So, love one another not only as fellow disciples, or brothers or sisters in Christ, but as fellow enemies.

Bless one another daily.  Pray for one another daily.  Seek to do good to one another daily.  Hey, you say, isn’t this what we are supposed to do to one another as dearly beloveds in Christ?  Let me ask you – when did Jesus ask His disciples to bless one another, or to pray for one another, or to do good to one another?  In truth He said, “But I tell you:  Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…”  “But I tell you who hear Me:  Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” 

So, if I pray for you, do good to you and bless you… am I not treating you as my enemies, you who are my brothers and sisters?  If we thus love one another as enemies, and not brothers or sisters, can then we disappoint each other or distract each other and cause each other to lose our focus on what the Lord has called us to do?  So likewise, as surely as we pray for, bless and seek to do good to those who were, who are and who will be our enemies, so likewise we recognize that we ourselves can be enemies to each other, and that our praying for one another, blessing one another and doing good to one another is obeying the Lord’s command of, “Love your enemies.”  Then we would realize that to “Love one another as I have loved you” requires much more than praying, blessing and doing good to one another.  It involves the understanding of, “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you.” 

So what is the truth?  It is not that God is slow as some understand slowness, but He is patient… not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.  Yours must be a ministry of unceasing repentance, for the closer you come to perfection, the easier it is to sin; and it must be a ministry of releasing mercy, for the more you sin when you are closer to perfection, the more mercy you will need.  That is why Jesus said, Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.  Do not judge, and you will not be judged.  Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned.  Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you.” 

So in truth, Nebuchadnezzar was not an enemy of Israel, but a servant of God, because Israel herself became an enemy of God when she refused to listen to Him.  So the truth is whatever distress comes upon us, is it not because we have failed to listen carefully to the voice of our Lord and recognize it, and then sought to do what is right in His eyes, even if it does not seem right?  And when we recognize that we live in a time, just like Jerusalem before its judgment, when the Servant of the Lord will come with fire and judgment, do we not need mercy and forgiveness especially from each other and towards each other?  Indeed, we would not hesitate to extend that to each other if we understood the time and the need.  Did not Jeremiah and his associates need the mercy and forgiveness of those they prophesied to, for they did not bring good tidings at all but what seemed to be a curse?  Yet it was their faith that inspired them to speak for the Lord as they did.  If they were wrong, they were false prophets.  Did they not need mercy, for after all, repentance never hurt anyone?  If they were right as they were, did they not need forgiveness from those who became victims of the words they uttered and God confirmed?

So, understand this now about yourself and each other because of this time; we are not living with a church as she was meant to be, but a church more akin to Jerusalem in Jeremiah’s time.  So what is right in God’s eyes may not be right in your eyes, and what your brother and sister may say or do to you may be as if they were your enemies.  So, until you learn to see that you need to be merciful to one another and neither judge one another nor condemn one another but forgive one another, the Kingdom of God cannot manifest in full power.  The way for the Kingdom of God to manifest now is not the way God intended it from the beginning, so now we must learn to see how the Kingdom of God is at the end.

For us, Revelation 22 is John 1, and so on.  Our ministry begins with, “Yes, I am coming soon.”  So as Paul advised: therefore judge nothing before the appointed time.  So we do not judge, do not condemn but we forgive, and we say, “Come!”

Peter, James, John and the others were to manifest the Alpha-n phase of the church, and where they got up to is where they got up to.  Having travelled along their path and having come to some understanding of where they became stuck, we must now assume our correct positions with the understanding that we  have of their short comings.  You must see and understand that you and I are to manifest the Omega-n phase of the church age.  We know how they started it and how they became stuck and never made it to their objective, just as Israel never made it to its objective, so that Nebuchadnezzar had to be sent to finish what it could not finish.  “Now I will hand all your countries over to My servant Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; I will make even the wild animals subject to him.  All nations will serve him and his son and his grandson until the time for his land comes; then many nations and great kings will subjugate him.”

The title of king of kings was given to Nebuchadnezzar by Daniel:  You, O king, are the king of kings.  The God of Heaven has given you dominion and power and might and glory, because the sons of David failed to do what Babylon did… subjugate all the nations around them.

For what is truth, and what is the truth, which will set us free?  We are defeated, not because the enemy is strong or because we are weak, but we did not listen, and even as we prayed for one another, blessed one another and did good to one another, we in truth, loved one another not as Christ loved us, but as our enemies.  And a house divided will not stand… how true!  But again, because we did not listen carefully to His voice, it is as Nebuchadnezzar’s commander said, “All this happened because you people sinned against the LORD and did not obey Him.”

AMEN

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