AMK LEADERSHIP STUDIES
"4 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
"6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
"9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant . . . 17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.
"18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. 19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee." (KJV Jeremiah 1:4-10, 17-19)
The Lord knew and ordained certain ones to be leaders in the pre-mortal existence, before they were born in the flesh (see also Abraham 4).
Jeremiah was called to be a prophet during a time of great wickedness and trouble in the kingdom of Judah. (about 626 B.C. to 586 B.C.) Like many others, he was very humble and somewhat reluctant. He had to be exceedingly strong because he was called to pull down evil and stand for truth in the face of great opposition.
Jeremiah faced almost constant opposition from political rulers, religious leaders, and the people in general. He was persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, starved, and almost killed on several occasions. At times despair haunted him but the Lord's word "9 . . . was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay . . . "11 But the Lord is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten." (KJV Jeremiah 20:9, 11)
"4 Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel . . . 7 I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination.
"8 The priests said not, Where is the Lord? And they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
"9 Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children's children will I plead. . .
"12 Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord.
"13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water. . .
"19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee . . ." (KJV Jeremiah 2:4, 7-9, 12-13, 19)
"14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
"20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the Lord." (KJV Jeremiah 3:14-15, 20)
Many of those who have received great blessings have become corrupt. Many religious leaders and scholars have not sought the Lord and do not know him. They have pursued things that are not beneficial. Not only have they rejected the Lord but they have made up doctrine that has no saving power. After a time of reproof and gathering there will be new leaders who know the Lord and teach the truth.
"22 For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge . . .
"26 For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men.
"27 As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich.
"28 They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge . . .
"13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
"14 They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying Peace, peace; when there is no peace." (KJV Jeremiah 4:22; 5:26-28; 6:13-14)
"3 Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, Amend your ways and your doings . . . 4 Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, The temple of the Lord, are these.
"5 For if ye throughly amend your ways and your doings; if ye throughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbour; 6 If ye oppress not the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and shed not innocent blood in this place, neither walk after other gods to your hurt: 7 Then will I cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers, for ever and ever.
"8 Behold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. 9 Will ye steal, murder, and commit adultery, and swear falsely, and burn incense unto Baal, and walk after other gods whom ye know not; 10 And come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, We are delivered to do all these abominations?
"14 Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name, wherein ye trust, and unto the place which I gave to you and to your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. (KJV Jeremiah 7:3-10, 14)
Many have become rich through deceit and oppression. They say that all is well, and pretend to be righteous, but they do not repent. Some of these people actually think that attending the temple will preserve them. If a temple is overrun by such hypocrites, devastation will follow.
"22 For I spake not unto your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices: 23 But this thing commanded I them saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: and walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.
"24 But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward, and not forward. (KJV Jeremiah 7:22-24)
"23 Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the Lord." (KJV Jeremiah 9:23-24)
"5 Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.
"13 Woe unto him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong; that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work . . . "(KJV Jeremiah 17:5; 22:13)
Those who refuse the Lord and insist on following their own ego, and the philosophies of men, block their own progression. Those who build for themselves by taking advantage of others will be buried in shame. Rather than glorying in wisdom, or strength, or wealth, men should find fulfillment in knowing the Lord and enjoying the attributes of happiness.
"14 I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness: they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah . . .
"21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied . . .
"32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the Lord, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the Lord.
"2 Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
"3 And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
"4 And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord." (KJV Jeremiah 23:14, 21, 32, 2-4)
Some of those who claim to be spiritual leaders are immoral and dishonest. They support wickedness and preach lies resulting in confusion, failure, misery, and scattering. The Lord sends righteous leaders who gather his people and help them to be happy and prosperous.
Jeremiah spoke with great boldness in the most trying circumstances and even though his words were proven true, the nation of Judah would not heed him. Judah was conquered by Babylon and most of the people were killed or taken into captivity, just as Jeremiah had prophesied. He also prophesied concerning their return, and future times of righteousness, gathering, and happiness.
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