Day 284 of the Holy Bible One Year CHALLENGE. Jeremiah sees a Basket of Figs. 1 Thessalonians 4: The Coming of Christ
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1 Thessalonians 4
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Judgments Against False Prophets
9 A message about the prophets: I am very sad—my heart is broken. All my bones are shaking.
Because of the LORD and his holy words, I am like a man who is drunk.
10 The land of Judah is full of people who commit adultery.
They are unfaithful in many ways. So God cursed the land,
and it became very dry.
The plants are dried up and dying in the pastures.
The fields have become like the desert. The prophets are evil.
They use their influence and power in the wrong way.
11 This message is from the LORD:
“The prophets and even the priests are evil.
I have seen them doing evil things in my own Temple.
12 So I will make their path dark and slippery,
and they will fall in the darkness. I will bring disaster on them;
I will punish them,” says the LORD.
13 “I saw the prophets of Samaria doing
something very wrong.
I saw them prophesy in the name of the false god Baal.
They led the people of Israel away from me.
14 I have even seen the prophets of Jerusalem
doing sinful things.
They are committing adultery and living a life of lies.
They support their fellow prophets and never stop doing evil.
They have become like Sodom; they are all like Gomorrah.”
15 So this is what the LORD All-
Powerful says about those Jerusalem prophets:
“I will make them suffer.
Their food will be bitter, their water like poison.
I will punish these prophets because they are the reason
that evil has spread through the whole country.”
16 This is what the LORD All-Powerful says:
“Don’t pay attention to what those prophets are saying to you.
They are trying to fool you. They talk about visions,
but they did not get their visions from me.
Their visions come from their own minds.
17 Some of the people hate the real messages from the LORD,
so the prophets give them a different message.
They say, ‘You will have peace.’
Some of the people are very stubborn. They do only what they want to do.
So the prophets say, ‘Nothing bad will happen to you!’
18 But none of these prophets has stood in the heavenly council.*
None of them has seen or heard the message from the LORD.
None of them has paid close attention to his message.
19 Now the punishment from the LORD
will come like a storm.
His anger will be like a tornado,
crashing down on the heads of all who are wicked.
20 The LORD’s anger will not stop
until he finishes what he plans to do. When that day is over,
you will understand this clearly.
21 I did not send those prophets, but they ran to tell their messages. I did not speak to them,
but they spoke in my name.
22 If they had stood in my heavenly council,
then they would have told my messages to the people of Judah.
They would have stopped the people from doing bad things.
They would have stopped them from do- ing evil.”
23 This message is from the LORD:
“Am I a God who cannot go beyond this one place?
No, I am everywhere at once!
24 Can anyone find a place to hide where I cannot see them?
No, because I am everywhere in heaven and earth,” says the LORD.
This message is from the LORD: 25 “There are prophets who tell lies in my name. They say, ‘I have had a dream! I have had a dream!’ I heard them say those things. 26 How long will this continue? They think up lies and then they teach them to the people. 27 They are trying to make the people of Judah for- get my name by telling each other these false dreams. They are trying to make my people forget me, just as their ancestors forgot me and worshipped the false god Baal. 28 Straw is not the same as wheat! In the same way, the dreams of those prophets are not messages from me. If people want to tell about their dreams, let them. But those who hear my message must speak it truthfully.” This is what the LORD says. 29 “A true message from me is powerful,” says the LORD. “It is like fire or like a hammer that can break a rock to pieces.”
30 This message is from the LORD: “So I am against these prophets who take words from each other and say they are from me. 31 I, the LORD, tell you that I am against these false prophets. They use their own words and tell people that they are speaking for the LORD. 32 Yes, I tell you that I am against these prophets who lie about seeing dreams from me. They lead my people into sin with their wild lies. I did not send them or command them to do anything for me. They are not helping my people at all,” says the LORD.
The Sad Message From the Lord
33 “The people of Judah, or a prophet or a priest, may ask you, ‘Jeremiah, what is the LORD’s announcement?’ You will answer them and say, ‘You are his burden,* and I will throw this burden down.’” This message is from the LORD. 34 “A prophet or a priest, or maybe
one of the people, might say, ‘This is the LORD’s announcement ….’ Because of that lie, I will punish that person and their whole family. 35 This is what you will say to each other: ‘What was the LORD’s answer?’ or ‘What did the LORD say?’ 36 But you will never again use the expression, ‘The LORD’s announcement.’ That is because his message should not be a burden for anyone. But you changed the words of our God. He is the living God, the LORD All-Powerful!
37 “If you want to learn about God’s message, ask a prophet, ‘What answer did the LORD give you?’ or ‘What did the LORD say?’ 38 But don’t say, ‘What was the LORD’s announcement?’ If you use those words, the LORD will say this to you: You should not have called my message ‘the LORD’s announcement’. I told you not to use those words. 39 But you called my message a burden, so I will pick you up like a burden and throw you away from me. I gave the city of Jerusalem to your ancestors. But I will throw you and that city away from me, 40 and I will make you a disgrace forever. You will never forget your shame.”
The Good Figs and the Bad Figs
The LORD showed me these things: I saw two baskets of figs
arranged in front of the Temple of the LORD. (I saw this vision after King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon took Jehoiachin as a prisoner. Jehoiachin, the son of King Jehoiakim and all his important officials were taken away from Jerusalem. They were taken to Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar also took away all the carpenters and metalworkers of Judah.) 2 One basket had good figs in it, the kind that ripen early in the season. But the other basket had bad figs. They were too rotten to eat.
3 The LORD said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
I answered, “I see figs. The good figs are very good, and the bad figs are too rotten to eat.”
4 Then the message from the LORD came to me: 5 “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The people of Ju- dah were taken from their country. Their enemy brought them to Babylon. Those people will be like these good figs. I will be kind to them. 6 I will protect them. I will bring them back to the land of Ju- dah. I will not tear them down—I will build them up. I will not pull them up—I will plant them so that they can grow. 7 I will make them want to know me. They will know that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God. I will do this because the captives in Babylon will turn to me with their whole hearts.’
8 “But the LORD also says: ‘I will treat King Zedekiah of Judah like those figs that are too rotten to eat. Zedekiah, his high officials, all those who are left in Jerusalem and those people of Judah who are living in Egypt will be like those rotten figs. 9 I will punish them. Their punishment will shock all the people on earth. People will make fun of those people from Judah. People will tell jokes about them and curse them in all the places where I scatter them. 10 I will bring war, famine and disease against them. I will attack them until they have all been killed. Then they will no longer be on the land that I gave to them and to their ancestors.’”
A Summary of Jeremiah’s Message
This is the message that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah. It came in the fourth year that Jehoiakim† son of Josiah was king of Judah. This was also the first year that Nebuchadnezzar was king of Baby- lon. 2 This is the message that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Ju- dah and all the people of Jerusalem:
3 I have been a prophet for these past 23 years, from the thirteenth year that Josiah son of Amon was the king of Ju- dah. And from that time until today, I have spoken messages to you from the LORD again and again. But you have not listened. 4 The LORD has sent his servants the prophets to you over and over again. But you have not listened to them or paid any attention to them.
1 Thessalonians 4
A Life That Pleases God
Brothers and sisters, now I have some other things to tell you. We taught you how to live in a way that will please God. And you are living that way. Now we ask and encourage you in the Lord Jesus to live that way more and more. 2 You know all that we told you to do by the authority of the Lord Jesus. 3 God wants you to be holy. He wants you to stay away from sexual sins. 4 God wants each one of you to learn to control your own body. Use your body in a way that is holy and that gives honor to God. 5 Don’t let your sexual desires control you like the people who don’t know God. 6 Never do wrong to any of your fellow believers or cheat them in this way. The Lord will punish those who do that. We have already told you this and warned you about it. 7 God chose us to be holy. He does not want us to live in sin. 8 So anyone who refuses to obey this teaching is refusing to obey God, not us. And God is the one who gives you his Holy Spirit.
9 We don’t need to write to you about having love for your brothers and sisters in God’s family. He has already taught you to love each other. 10 In fact, you love all the believers in Macedonia. We encourage you now, brothers and sisters, to show your love more and more.
11 Do all you can to live a peaceful life. Mind your own business, and earn your own living, as we told you before. 12 If you do these things, then those who are not believers will respect the way you live. And you will not have to depend on others for what you need.
The Lord’s Coming
13 Brothers and sisters, we want you to know about those who have died. We don’t want you to be sad like other people—those who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died, but we also be- lieve that he rose again. So we believe that God will raise to life through Jesus any who have died and will gather them to be with him.
15 What we tell you now is the Lord’s own message. Those of us who are still living when the Lord comes again will join him, but not before those who have already died. 16 The Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. And the people who have died and were in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive at that time will be gathered up with those who have died. We will be taken up in the clouds and meet the Lord in the air. And we will be with the Lord forever. 18 So encourage each other with these words.
†4:4 Or “God wants each of you to learn to live with your wife in a way that is holy and that gives honor to God.”
23 These are also words from the wise: A judge must be fair.
He must not support some people simply because he knows them.
24 The people will turn against a judge
who lets the guilty go free.
Even the people of other nations will curse him.
25 But if a judge punishes the guilty, then
people will be happy with him, and he will be a blessing to them.
26 An honest answer is as pleasing
as a kiss on the lips.
27 First get your fields ready, next plant your crops
and then build your house.
28 Don’t be a witness against someone who has done no wrong.
Don’t hide the truth with lies.
29 Don’t say, “You hurt me, so I will do the same to you.
I will punish you for what you did to me.”
30 I walked past a field that belonged to a lazy man.
It was a vineyard that belonged to someone who understood nothing.
31 Weeds were growing everywhere!
Wild vines covered the ground,
and the wall around the vineyard was broken and falling down.
32 I looked at this and thought about it. This is what I learned:
33 a little sleep, a little rest,
folding your arms and taking a nap.
34 Suddenly, you will be poor, as if an armed robber had come.
You will have nothing but the feeling you were robbed.
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