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I read in the Bible that Zedekiah was the last King of Judah.
God bless.

Leroy,

Zedekiah was a vessel of and not a truly appointed king of Judah. Yes, he was in the Davidic line but he was not the true Davidic king.

Jehoiachin was eight years old when he began to reign, and he reigned three months and ten days in Jerusalem: and he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD. And when the year was expired, king Nebuchadnezzar sent, and brought him to Babylon, with the goodly vessels of the house of the LORD, and made Zedekiah his brother king over Judah and Jerusalem. Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign, and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
(2Ch 36:9-11)

Mike,

May I add another perspective to your comments regarding the fourteenth verse of Proverb 25? This observation which recently came to light this past year, is not to replace your statement,

“Make sure you give promised gifts. And how about giving unexpected gifts? Gifts for no particular reason? When is the last time you surprised someone with a gift out of the blue?”

If a gift, by definition and from a Biblical View is one given with grace (unmerited favor) through mercy, then giving a “gift” to curry favor, as a disguised bribe or possibly exhortation—kind of “priming-the-pump,” then you have been given the expectation of receiving refreshing rain by creating false clouds. Worse yet, when you are the one giving the invite only because you expect enough gifts to cover the expenses for the event, well this verse is speaking to you/me.

Ouch!!

Nothing worse then getting an invitation requesting your presence but really expecting your presents.

Jeremiah 22
8
People from many nations will pass by the ruins of this city and say to one another, `Why did the LORD destroy such a great city?'
9
And the answer will be, `Because they violated their covenant with the LORD their God by worshiping other gods.' "

21
"When you were prosperous, I warned you, but you replied, `Don't bother me.' Since childhood you have been that way--you simply will not listen!
24
"And as surely as I live," says the LORD, "I will abandon you, Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah. Even if you were the signet ring on my right hand, I would pull you off.
30
This is what the LORD says: Let the record show that this man Jehoiachin was childless, for none of his children will ever sit on the throne of David to rule in Judah. His life will amount to nothing."

NOTE:
Signet Ring: or Seal

Easton's Bible Dictionary, explaining Seal:

“…commonly a ring engraved with some device. SEALING A DOCUMENT WAS EQUIVALENT TO THE SIGNATURE OF THE OWNER OF THE SEAL…Circumcision is a seal, an attestation of the covenant ( Rom 4:11). Believers are sealed with the Spirit, as God's mark put upon them ( Eph 1:13; 4:30).”

A signet ring—the means by which a king, or the Lord of Glory, showed the world that “this is mine; I own this.” By the Lord saying, “This is mine; I own this”, God is taking responsibility to care for what is His. And God, being forever faithful, never fails on His side!

Get this: Jehoiachin was to be an outward seal of God’s promise to fulfill His covenant to Abraham (and to us) that “God will provide a Seed, so that the earth will be blessed through the seed.”

Yet, because of determined hardness of heart and refusal to listen, “…Jehoiachin was childless, for none of his children will ever sit on the throne of David to rule in Judah. His life will amount to nothing."

Read this verse again:
“Even if you were the signet ring on my right hand, I would pull you off.”

Or…even if we are the evidence of God’s Word being true, we will not be blessed if we refuse to be. We will lose, and God will find someone who will “trust and obey”.

GOD GIVES, BUT WE MUST RECEIVE.

THANK GOD!…
That the loving Father Himself bases His covenant on HIS FAITHFULNESS…which is the basis for HIS GRACE.

Jeremiah 23
5
"For the time is coming," says the LORD, "when I will place a righteous Branch on King David's throne. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land.
6
And this is his name: `The LORD Is Our Righteousness.' In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety.”

GOD GIVES, BUT WE MUST RECEIVE.

Vance

2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

The Thessalonians are undergoing persecution. To what extant is not clear, except they are to be held up as a model to all the other churches - so it is probably pretty severe. To them it is severe enough that they think they are in the tribulation, and have missed the Rapture. Paul addresses that in this letter.

There may have been a forgery or alternate letter that was in conflict with Paul's previous letter. Maybe further muddying the waters regarding Christ's return. Support for this is embedded in the idea that Paul made a big deal of saying he signed this letter with his own hand in 2Thess3.
======================================================
2Thess2:3 "We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing." NIV

Paul mentions faith and love, but omits their "patience (steadfastness) in hope (certain expectation) of Jesus' return. I disagree with the commentary of bible.org. Since a main concern of the letter regards Jesus' return, there does seem to be merit in the idea that the Thessalonians are unsure and confused on the issue. Certainly then they are not "steadfast with certain expectation" of Jesus'return. Thus by leaving out praise for their "hope" Paul is not condemning them, but it is left out, because right now the Thessalonians do not have this "certain hope".

As the apostolic father of this church Paul may be concerned that when "hope" goes eventually the faith and love will weaken also - thus the urgency in writing this letter to the church.
======================================================
2Thess2:4
"Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring."

1) This is evidence:
"God is revealing by their endurance in suffering that they are worthy of the kingdom of God, having been made worthy by faith in Christ. The fact that they could stand up under pressure was evidence that they had been truly put into the kingdom of the Son of God's love and taken out of the kingdom of darkness and of Satan." - Ray Stedman

2) It reveals the condemnation of the "world". In Hebrews 11:
"Others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison....the world was not worthy of them."

You may be nothing in the eyes of the world, but in God's eyes you are SOMEONE.

3) God is just. He will take care of those who afflict you and give you rest (relief).

Over and over in the OT, God says leave vengeance to Him. In the end it will all be taken care of - some may not like that idea - but how could a Just and righteous God operate any other way?
======================================================
When will this happen and who will be punished? What will be the punishment?

When Jesus returns (appears) in judgment - this is the Second coming at end of Tribulation - not the Rapture.

Who will be punished?
"He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus." (2Thess2:8)

You can know God, but if you do not believe and receive Jesus - you will be punished. If you do not know God there is no way to fulfill the second condition.

What is the punishment:
"They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power" NIV

Some use this verse to say the punishment will be annihilation. I see how when looking at this verse in isolation - they come up with that view. the problem is the word "destruction" combined with being separated from the Lord.

"destruction" - Gk. "olethros" can also mean "ruin".

So which is it? everlasting destruction (implying annihilation) or everlasting ruin (implying eternal punishment).

To find the truth one should always test Scripture against Scripture.

In Matthew 13:41-42, the disciples explicitly asked for an explanation of the parable. Jesus explicitly answered:

"The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Ok, John, perhaps weeping and gnashing of teeth precede annihilation.

In Matt 25:46, the sheep and goats discourse is not a parable, and in the end Jesus says:
"Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Punishment is Gk."kolasis" meaning "correction, punishment, penalty".

For Scripture to be consistent - concept of annihilation for wicked is not an option.

For other verses citing eternal punishment see the link.
http://www.carm.org/doctrine/hell.htm
======================================================
So who is left?

The believers:
"on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you."

Not all those who have "done good things", not all those regardless of their "religious affiliation", but all those who have believed (acknowledged, believed, and trusted) Jesus Christ. That is the lone criteria for salvation - it is said or implied over and over in the Bible. That is why the Bible (unlike other religious tomes) can have large chunks (pages) torn out and the message is still there. The Holy Spirit is consistent in the message and Word of God.
======================================================
Paul ends 2Thess1 by describing his prayer for them - note:
"...and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith."

-every good purpose of yours prompted by your faith

-every act prompted by your faith.

In other words, not things rooted in "self" or "pride", but rooted in Christ. Which is as it should be if we abide in Him, and He in us.

These are the things that will be measured in rewards phase of heaven. things rooted in Christ will pass "muster", while acts of self will be discarded as the "wheat and chaff in a fire".

Here's another perspective on today's proverb. This is from the Amplified version of the Bible:

"Whoever falsely boasts of gifts [he does not give] is like clouds and wind without rain."

Jeremiah 23:1 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the LORD.

Jeremiah 23:7-8
7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming,” says the LORD, “that they shall no longer say, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,’ 8 but, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the descendants of the house of Israel from the north country and from all the countries where I had driven them.’ And they shall dwell in their own land.”

Hi,

A teacher of mine once told me he spoke with a Jewish history teacher and they were talking about the Messiah.

My (Christian) teacher asked him how he imagined the Messiah would be, and the Jewish man said he would be this and that... after what my teacher asked him "do you realize that you just described me Jesus ?"

The Jewish teacher answered him : "Yes, with one exception. Jesus fulfills all the prophecies, but that of bring the jews from exiles".

I didn't know which verse he was referring to until today. Now my teacher's reaction of course was to think about it and he came to the conclusion that the "exiles" were not jews to be physically brought back to Israel, but all men and women to be possibly saved by Jesus.

I must say that now that I see the verse, I'm not so convinced by his explanation. Jeremiah 23:8 seems pretty clear to me :

"but they will say, 'As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.' Then they will live in their own land."

Do you have any further insight on the topic ?

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