Jeremiah

Chapter 18

"Symbols, the Potters Vessel, and the House of Israel."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription/ location is provided by http://www.theseason.org

Jeremiah 18:1 "The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,"

God is going to give a simple object lesson to express what He really means. This is a common method of teaching even today. God is going to simplify what He wants you to see.

Jeremiah 18:2 "Arise, and go down to the potter's house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words."

Jeremiah 18:3 "Then I went down to the potter's house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels."

As the wheels are turning the hands of the potter work the clay into the form that it will be. There are two stones here, two rocks used in the forming, and God is the true stone, the Rock of rocks. It is important that you know which Rock you are being formed on because man is the clay, and the pot made of clay is symbolic of men. Note that there is a lesson here, that YHVH never mends what man has ruined or marred. He always substitutes with something new. So the interpretation belongs to "The House of Israel" that is being spoiled or marred, and the new nation is what we see as the substitution.

Jeremiah 18:4 " And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it."

Marred -7843 shachath (shaw-khath'); a primitive root; to decay, i.e. (causatively) ruin (literally or figuratively): KJV-- batter, cast off, corrupt (-er, thing), destroy (-er, -uction), lose, mar, perish, spill, spoiler, X utterly, waste (-r).

What God is saying here in a deep sense, is that He is going to remake His people. They became like that marred clay pot that the potter discarded, and when God finishes with them they will be like a new vessel that is acceptable and without ruin. The marring started in the garden of Eden when Satan talked to Eve. The clay that man was formed from, became marred. God is saying that He is going to rework the clay into a new form. God is the potter and He can form man into what pleases Him.

God also used the potter's work to define what the final work of Christ would do. Christ was sold to the Kenites for thirty pieces of silver. When Judas came back with the thrity pieces of silver after his repentance and threw it on the temple floor, the religious leaders took the thirty pieces of silver [the price of a slave] and went out and bought the potters field. This is where the misformed and broken clay pots would be thrown that were unacceptable. It would be a field to bury the outcasts. Lives destroyed that no one could put together.

But Christ's blood paid the price, and He can put those discarded, broken and misformed pots back together. He can put lives back together that man has given up on. Christ paid the price to buy the entire field so that those souls that are broken and without hope can turn to Him, and be made whole again. So we see that there is a great deal in this verse that we can go into.

God then is saying that I will shape my people and change them into to what I want them. Once you get marred, it is He that will do the re-shaping.

Jeremiah 18:5 "Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying,"

Jeremiah 18:6 "O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter's hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel."

The potter started over when the pot became marred. God is letting us know that each and every child of God, of the whole House of Israel is as the clay in the potters hand. God is saying, I can discard you, or rework you, just as the potter can.

Jeremiah 18:7 "At what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to pluck up, and to pull down, and to destroy it;"

That nation is like the clay in the potters hand; at any instant God is the one that desides which nation He will rework, or even destroy and scatter. All people and all nations are subject to the hand of God. Paul addresses this in Roman 13:1 "Let every soul be subject unto the highter powers, For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God." When nations are formed, there is a purpose that they came into existance for.

Jeremiah 18:8 "If that nation, against whom I have pronounced, turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them."

Our Heavenly Father is a loving God. When men see they are going against the commands of God and their hearts are set to do evil, and then they repent and change their direction to follow after God, God will change the course of where they were going as a nation. God is full of mercy and compassion, yet He gets angry when He sees a person turning his back on Him. When God corrects His children and they turn from their ways, and return to Him, He gets over His anger.

Jeremiah 18:9 "And at what instant I shall speak concerning a nation, and concerning a kingdom, to build and to plant it;"

God is saying that all He has to do is speak it, and He can allow a nation to come into existance, and increase to whatever power He desires it to have. He can place the nation wherever He desires it to be.

Jeremiah 18:10 "If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good, wherewith I said I would benefit them."

Repentance may save you from destruction, yet at the same time if you are evil, God can change what ever promises that you had. Just because God blessed you one day for your works, if you turn from Him, He can take it from you as fast as He gave it to you.

Our nation today has turned toward those things that God has said that He hates, and as a nation we are going to see the corrections by God taking place before our eyes. From the armed Forces scoffing at the laws of God governing sodomy, to the laws of the nation being turned against the very laws of God that He set before us, our nation is turning it's back on God. We have taken the name of Christ from our schools as well as the very Word of God. Our nation is legalizing the very things that God says that He hates.

What did God say He will do with a nation that turns their back on Him? You read it right there in verse seven. He will pluck it up, and tare it down, and root it out. Have you seen the condition of our nation lately? Crime and dope are running wild in the streets, and our armed forces have been turned over to an international police force. Our nation is on the verge of bankruptcy, and all the people can ask is what can it do for me now?

This applies to you and I on an individual basis also, and to our families. It is just as true on whatever scale you desire to use it. Our very constitution was formed from the plan of God, and yet we have allowed our government to stomp over the things that are precious to Him, for the sake of private interest. God will keep His promise on this matter.

Jeremiah 18:11 "Now therefore go to, speak to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I frame evil against you, and devise a device against you: return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good."

Jeremiah is to go to the men of the House of Judah, and tell them that God is going to mold or form evil against them for the stand that they are taking. This is God's last warning to them to turn from their wicked ways, because what happens from this point on is of their own making. Every person will pass the sentence upon themselves. You will get exactly what you have asked for in your life, and this is exactly as it is today.

Each person will answer to God for only what He has done in his life, with respect to the following of God's commandments. Christians today are so hooked up on the "do do this", and "don't do that", that they overlook what is truly important to our Heavenly Father, and what His likes and dislikes are. They pay close attention to matters that concern their own selfishness, and let the matters that cause a nation to be destroyed slide by. You honor God from within, and not from without your soul. It is what comes from your mind that matters.

In the case of a church, every church has a choice of how it will be blessed, or cursed. The ministry itself sets its own standard whether it will be blessed or cursed by God. It is whether you do the ministry according to His plan that desides the blessings or curses that come to your church, or ministry. Before you pray, "Dear God increase our blessings," you should make sure that the ministry or church is teaching according to God's plan, and not the traditions of men. When you handle the Word of God in the manner that you are instructed by His Word, then you can expect God's blessing on your ministry work.

Jeremiah 18:12 "And they said, There is no hope: but we will walk after our own devices, and we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart."

This is what the people said when Jeremiah told them what God would do if they did not repent of their ways. The were so committed to their own plan of salvation, which was their traditions and customs put above God's Word. This expression, "we will every one do the imagination of his evil heart" is exactly what the schools and society is teaching the youth of today. In today's language they say; "If it feels good do it," or "I'm not comfortable with it." It is as though what matters the utmost is the feelings of the individual. That is what has become what determines whether what you do is right or not.

If you determine in your mind to reject God's laws and commandments, God Himself can then turn the evil in your life against you, just like a potter on the wheel. The people in verse twelve understand that their ways are so far from God's ways that they are willing to just give up. They still can't understand that it is God that does the changing, but they make the commitment in their hearts. These people are trying to understand how they can change their own imaginations.

Jeremiah 18:13 "Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing."

God is telling Jeremiah to go out there and ask one of the heathen who has heard nothing of me, very simple questions concerning what is in my Word. In the original Hebrew text the meaning of this verse does not come out very well from this translation. God is saying here that He has made everything right for Israel. I made everything that is in the Heavens and on the earth, and it pleasures me to give them to her. But, if she goes from me, I will bring trouble down on her. God then tells Jeremiah to go into the street and ask simple questions of the people and see how far the people have gone away from Him. Then ask the heathen what they think of people that have the blessings of God coming, but would turn their backs on it.

When we ask the man on the street simple questions about God's Word, we see that the people of today are like those of Jeremiah's day. They just don't think much of our Heavenly Father. Every other imagination desirable seems to come before Him and His Word in their lives.

Jeremiah 18:14 "Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken?"

This translation just doesn't get the true meaning. Would a person leave the crystal clear waters of the melting snow of Lebanon [meaning pure], for some mud hole out in the field of polluted waters? Spiritually speaking it is saying, Would a man turn from the fresh living waters of the Word of God, for some canal of polluted mixed waters of religious idolatrous forms of traditions and customs from other places?

The answer is very simply no. But that is the way that people are, and it is no different today.

Jeremiah 18:15 "Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up;"

These people of the House of Judah had drifted so far from the ways that God laid down for following Him that they have lost all knowledge of the ways that God gave to their forefathers coming out of Egypt. They are all tied up in traditions and customs of the heathen and Kenites, that the commandments and laws of God have been substituted for ways of emptiness. To burn "incense to vanity" (emptiness), and these kinds of religious practices and forms of false religion have nothing to do with God's ways.

Have you noticed the things and ways being taught in the church houses today? The traditions and teachings are shaped by some church organization, and they have drifted so far from the prepared path of God's Word that they have become nothing but social organizations with rules that are not easy to follow at all.

Jeremiah 18:16 "To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head."

"Their land desolate" is for the spiritual truth that comes only From God's Word. "Perpetual hissing" means that the people in the land have "become corrupt" and find contempt against God. The condition that the people have fallen will be so degraded that when other people come in contact with Judah, they will be so shocked from seeing their state of idolatry that they will shake their head.

Jeremiah 18:17 "I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity."

God is telling them that because of their condition, He is going to turn His back on Israel and allow the enemy to scatter them. When Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian army entered the city and destroyed the city and the land of Judaea, God turned His back on Judah, and Nebuchadnezzar became God's servant of destruction, carrying them into captivity.

This also applies to the Nebuchadnezzar of the final generation, our generation when Satan the Antichrist and his army of fallen angels, along with his children of Kenites who will come upon the earth. God will turn His back on all those that desire to follow their vain traditions and false teachings, and He will allow every last one of them to be taken by Satan and his angels. This day of clamity for our generation is coming very shortly, and the people of today are just as set in their ways of following other paths as were the forefathers of Jeremiah's day. Jesus response will be the same to those Christians that followed the traditions of men, (like the rapture doctrine which leads them to the Antichrist), "get out of my face, I know you not".

Are you following a dead end street? When God turns His back on you, my friend, you are in trouble? You don't have to be in that condition and it is your choice if you end up there. When you follow God's Ways and His Word, then He blesses you.

Jeremiah 18:18 "Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words."

The people were all mixed up when they heard Jeremiah speak, they were thinking that it was Jeremiah's words, but is was God's words of warning. When Jeremiah stuck strictly with the Words from God, the people didn't like it. They started rumors about Jeremiah, and turned their backs to him. When you teach God's Word today as it should be taught, the people also reject and turn against it. When you teach chapter by chapter and verse by verse, going to the Hebrew and Greek for it's true meaning, the people don't like it. When you teach it as it is written it will sting a little and burn your conscience, But that is the way we are healed. When you are in a church that teaches like this, you are truly blessed.

Jeremiah 18:19 "Give heed to me, O LORD, and hearken to the voice of them that contend with me."

The people are starting bad rumors about Jeremiah, and distort the things that he was saying. They were going to take the truth and twist it here and there to make it a lie, just as Satan always does, and turn the people against Jeremiah. When Jeremiah saw what they were doing with his words, he told God don't listen to them.

This is common today in the religious community today. When one teaches the true Word and it singes their edges with the fire of the truth of God's Word, they are ready to do just as the religious leaders did against Jeremiah, they lied about him, and twisted the words. When this happens, don't worry, God will always take care of His servants, for He can read your mind, and He knows the intent of their minds.

Jeremiah 18:20 "Shall evil be recompensed for good? for they have digged a pit for my soul. Remember that I stood before thee to speak good for them, and to turn away thy wrath from them."

Jeremiah is reminding God that he was praying for them and seeking only for their good, and to turn the Lord's wrath from them. Yet they turned on Jeremiah and gave Jeremiah only evil for all the good that he had done.

Jeremiah 18:21 "Therefore deliver up their children to the famine, and pour out their blood by the force of the sword; and let their wives be bereaved of their children, and be widows; and let their men be put to death; let their young men be slain by the sword in battle."

When we read Ezekiel 37 and see the valley of dry dead bones of the "House of Israel" we see that this is exactly what God did to both houses, Israel and Judah. The people of Judah had made their own choice up, and chose the side of their false religious leaders and their man made traditions, mixed with all sorts of heathen idolatry. They became spiritually dead. They practiced it, and asked for everything they got, and this is what Jeremiah is asking God for now to come upon the people.

Do you like to listen to those one verse characters that like to teach everything but the Word of God, as it should be taught. Jeremiah's prayer for you would be just as he is praying for the House of Judah that refused to hear the warning from God. Let them die spiritually, and be taken by the enemy.

Jeremiah 18:22 "Let a cry be heard from their houses, when thou shalt bring a troop suddenly upon them: for they have digged a pit to take me, and hid snares for my feet."

Let them be deceived, and let the enemy take them for the traps they tried to lay for me, when I tried to help them. That is exactly what did happen historically with the House of Judah, when the army of Nebuchadnezzar marched into the city, and put the people in chains, and killed those that resisted. God said it would happen and it happened at God's appointed time.

Friend, the false messiah is coming and people don't want to hear of the false christ, and his deceptions that are coming upon them. They would rather be soothed by the lies of the traditions of men that gives them an escape hatch to flee from the warnings that God says will come upon the earth. They have devised their fly away doctrine to blind their eyes from the fact that Satan is coming to earth to rule the entire earth. It doesn't matter, they are not going to go anywhere but right into Satan's camp, for by receiving that rapture doctrine, they have received the mark of the beast which will give them over to Satan by their own choice.

Stating the truth from God's Word from cover to cover is a very unpopular teaching today in most church houses in this generation. Telling the people that the false Christ must come to earth before Jesus returns to claim His own is hard to take because they have the image of a physical destruction upon the earth, and not the great deception and lying wonders and miracles that Satan will bring with them. It is true and according to God's holy Word, and we must continue to teach it.

In Jeremiah's day the false teachers set the minds of the people to accept the false traditions also without question, even over the Word of God, and their blind faith from the lying tongues of those prophets doomed those that put their faith in those lies.

Jeremiah 18:23 "Yet, LORD, thou knowest all their counsel against me to slay me: forgive not their iniquity, neither blot out their sin from thy sight, but let them be overthrown before thee; deal thus with them in the time of thine anger."

God time of anger is at the very end of this earth age of flesh man. That time of destruction came upon Jerusalem and the land of Judaea, and upon the people that refused to listen to Jeremiah. That time is also coming very shortly now, and in the generation that walks the earth today. That time is the sounding of the seventh and last trumpet as recorded in I Corinthians 15:50-54, when all flesh shall be changed from their incorruptible body of flesh, into their spiritual body, which does not decay. Only those that have received Jesus Christ and have not worshipped Satan, the Antichrist and his religious system will receive immortality at that time, while those that chose to remain ignorant in this flesh age, and fell to Satan, will not receive immortality until after the day of judgment at the close of the Millennium age.

The time of God's anger for the House of Judah came, and those that chose to reject the words of Jeremiah were all destroyed or went into captivity in Babylon. Yet there were a few, along with Jeremiah that did take God's warning seriously, and prepared themselves for the destruction by following God's warning. God's elect will be protected in the time of the great deception, or tribulation, even though the entire world will be deceived by the false Christ.

We are not to far away from the time and place when the false one will be among us, and those that prefer to chase after the traditions of men will believe him when he says, I have come to rapture you away. They will all run to Satan, the Antichrist because they have not put the plan of God together in their minds with understanding. When you don't follow His ways, and know His warnings He promises you that you will be cursed. There is not a greater curse in a religious sense then to follow a false messiah, even with good intentions, when he turns out to be a fake.

There is only one way, and it is in the same simplicity that Christ taught from both the Old and the New Testament, which is the plan of God. Follow it and you will never go wrong, and you will receive the blessings of God at the same time.

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