During the past month I have been posting previously run articles and parts of books that have related to the idolatrous celebration of Christmas, Easter, and other non-Biblical religious celebrations. I thank all of you who have also labored to share these teachings with others. Whether forwarding articles, sharing links, or printing out the blogs for others, you have been used of Yahshua to spread the knowledge of why these things are inherently evil and His children are not called to participate in them.
In the next couple of weeks I will be printing out the final chapters of The Remnant Bride, as well as posting some new articles on what has been happening with me on the home front, visiting with others, the sad state of the Christian radio stations, and the continuance of the Bible translation.
May you be blessed with peace and understanding in these days,
The book of Jeremiah reveals a story about a family of unusual character who so impressed God that He made a promise to them that was only given to a few in the scriptures. The things that impressed God about this family are typical of what God is seeking in the Bride of Christ.
The story is revealed in the 35th chapter of Jeremiah.
The word which came to Jeremiah from Yahweh in the days of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying, “Go to the house of the Rechabites, and speak to them, and bring them into the house of Yahweh, into one of the chambers, and give them wine to drink.” Then I took Jaazaniah the son of Jeremiah, son of Habazziniah, and his brothers, and all his sons, and the whole house of the Rechabites, and I brought them into the house of Yahweh, into the chamber of the sons of Hanan the son of Igdaliah, the man of God, which was near the chamber of the officials, which was above the chamber of Maaseiah the son of Shallum, the doorkeeper. Then I set before the men of the house of the Rechabites pitchers full of wine, and cups; and I said to them, “Drink wine!”
This was a most unusual thing which God asked Jeremiah to do. At this time the nation of Judah was on the verge of judgment. The land was being besieged by the Babylonians. Because of the idolatry and wickedness of the nation of Judah, she was soon to be given over to her enemies who would take her into captivity.
Jeremiah stood out from among the other prophets and counselors of Judah. He was proclaiming that judgment was at hand due to the nation’s wickedness. Others were prophesying that Jerusalem would never fall, that God would deliver them.
Jeremiah pointed out, over and over again, the source of God’s displeasure with the people. Their idolatry, sensuality, wickedness, and bloodshed had brought the judgment of God upon them. The people were unwilling to depart from their wickedness and they shunned the words of Jeremiah.
It must have seemed curious to Jeremiah that in the midst of this, God would have him invite a family of Israel to come and drink wine before him. In the midst of the idolatry and sensuality of the day, Jeremiah could not have anticipated their response.
But they said, “We will not drink wine, for Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, commanded us, saying, ‘You shall not drink wine, you or your sons, forever. And you shall not build a house, and you shall not sow seed, and you shall not plant a vineyard or own one; but in tents you shall dwell all your days, that you may live many days in the land where you sojourn.’ And we have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he commanded us, not to drink wine all our days, we, our wives, our sons, or our daughters, nor to build ourselves houses to dwell in; and we do not have vineyard or field or seed. We have only dwelt in tents, and have obeyed, and have done according to all that Jonadab our father commanded us. But it came about, when Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against the land, that we said, ‘Come and let us go to Jerusalem before the army of the Chaldeans and before the army of the Arameans.’ So we have dwelt in Jerusalem.”
The sons of Jonadab and their families stood out from among the generation they lived in. The idolatry, sensuality, and wickedness of Judah indicated that the nation was focused upon the things the world had to offer. The nation was materially focused, seeking pleasure and prosperity. This nation, who was called to be a representation of God to the nations around them, had instead become infected with the wickedness of her neighbors.
Judah and Jerusalem are symbolic of the Church today. They were the people whom God had selected from among the peoples of the world to bear His name. Indeed, the people of Judah and Jerusalem were proud of their calling and uniqueness. The temple was a focal point for the nation. However, along with their identification with Yahweh God, the Jews also embraced the idols of the nations around them.
Even so, the Church today proclaims Christ while clinging to the things of the world. God is seeking a people who have rejected the world and who will pursue Him with singleness of mind and devotion. The sons of Jonadab exhibited such a resolve.
The things that the sons of Jonadab listed that they were to abstain from, represented a progression. Wine is mentioned first. Wine represents pleasure. Those who drink wine do so for the enjoyment of the taste and of how it makes them feel. In abstaining from wine, this family was declaring that the pursuit of pleasure would not be the focus of their lives.
The next thing the sons of Jonadab would not do was plant a vineyard. Those who drink wine must have a source for their wine. The logical thing for those who wish to enjoy the fruit of the vine is to plant a vineyard, ensuring a constant supply of that which their heart craves.
Many Christians, while confessing Christ, are pursuing the world and the pleasures it offers. Having become addicted to its pleasures, they seek to ensure that their pleasure will be uninterrupted. This takes commitment and work. Even as a vineyard must be tended and watched over to ensure a steady supply of the grapes needed to produce wine, the worldly pleasures that the children of God seek after require devotion and attention.
Many Christians see God as just another means by which they can pursue their carnal dreams. There is nothing wrong with having a nice house or nice automobiles. There is nothing wrong with providing good things for one’s family, but when the pursuit of these things becomes the focus of life, we have crossed the line into idolatry.
Many families today are investing inordinate amounts of time in pursuit of the things the world offers. Men and women are spending more and more hours working, hours that take them away from their families and from God. The saint who is passionately pursuing Christ will not accept any worldly commitment or entanglement to interfere with his pursuit of the One he is devoted to.
II Timothy 2:4
No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
Jonadab instructed his sons, even as Paul instructed his spiritual son Timothy, not to become entangled with the things of the world. He instructed them to not pursue pleasure, nor to make provision for it. The reason was so that they might live long in the land of promise. Jonadab realized that those who esteemed enjoyment and pleasure had a tendency to forget God. He wanted his sons to always remember Yahweh that they might be partakers of the favor and reward of God.
The final step in the progression of the pursuit of pleasure is to build a house next to the source of one’s enjoyment. Jonadab instructed his sons not to drink wine, not to plant vineyards, and not to build houses. They were instructed to dwell in tents. Not attached to houses or lands, they were focused on Yahweh, and they were free to go wherever He led.
The pursuit of pleasure leads to bondage. The need to devote time and resources to one’s source of pleasure is a form of slavery. We serve that which we love. The demands of this bondage will reach the point that we become so entangled that we can no longer separate ourselves from it. It becomes expedient to build a house that we might abide close to that which claims so much of our time and devotion.
In an age of great idolatry and sensuality, the sons of Jonadab, along with their families, stood out in great contrast to those they dwelt among. Even so, the Bride of Christ will find herself standing out from among those who surround her. The things the world and the worldly Church pursue, she will turn her back on.
Having witnessed the response of the sons of Jonadab, Jeremiah lifts them up before the people of Judah and Jerusalem. He tells Judah that the Rechabites have found favor with God because of their commitment. God, through Jeremiah, then chides Judah because she has not listened to the voice of God and she has spurned the prophets He has sent to her. The sons of Jonadab’s obedience to their father stands in judgment against the disobedience of the sons of Israel.
While Judah and Jerusalem are about to find out that their idolatry and slavery to pleasure will lead to bondage in Babylon, the sons of Jonadab are given a priceless reward from God.
Then Jeremiah said to the house of the Rechabites, “Thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Because you have obeyed the command of Jonadab your father, kept all his commands, and done according to all that he commanded you; therefore thus says Yahweh of hosts, the God of Israel, “Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not lack a man to stand before Me always.'”
To this day, there is someone from the household of Jonadab who stands faithfully before God. How moved God must have been to make such a promise. In Ezekiel 44, we read how God punished the priests who entered into the idolatry of the people by banning them from His presence. In contrast, God is telling this family who has refused the idolatry and way of life of those around them, that they will always have a man to stand before Him. What an awesome promise.
This same promise remains for all those of God’s children who will similarly choose the pursuit of Him over the pursuit of the world. By having our backs permanently turned toward the world, we are able to proceed into the temple, into the presence of God. As the Bride embraces the cross, dying to the world and its allure, she advances toward the promised place of habitation with God.
This is the joy of the Bride, to hear the Father say, “You will stand before Me, always.” We are called to be a peculiar people. We are the people of God’s own possession and He becomes our possession, our inheritance. In this, the prayer of Yahshua is fulfilled, that we would be one (John 17). Christ is in God and we are in Christ. We are one with each other.
A call is going out to the saints of God today. Wake up Church! Wake up to that which is being offered to you! Wake up to that which you are in peril of forfeiting! Friendship with the world is enmity with Christ (James 4:4). Flee the bondage of attachment to the world. Flee into the arms of your coming Bridegroom.
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