Babylonian Captivity, Part II

In part one of this article, we learned that the messages of the true prophet, Jeremiah, were rejected because: (1) Zedekiah, the king, did not humble himself and obey; (2) the false prophets had great influence with their smooth messages; (3) the king trusted to his own wisdom; and (4) the truth was contrary to the inclinations of the human heart.

Agreeable Religion Desired

People today—not just people of the world, but people who say they are Christians, people who say they are part of God’s remnant people—want a religion that agrees with the inclinations of the human heart. The Bible religion does not agree with the inclinations of the human heart. That is why Jesus said, “If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24. That is why the apostle Paul said that the old man has to be crucified. (See Galatians 2:20; Romans 6:6.)

The religion of the Bible—the truth of the Bible—is contrary to the inclinations of the human heart. People want a religion that is agreeable, that is not contrary to their human inclinations. That is why the false prophets have always been more popular than those who are preaching the truths of the Bible.

Message of Mercy

If Zedekiah had not been afraid and had accepted the message that he actually believed to be true, God would have been merciful.

“Even to the last hour, God made plain His willingness to show mercy to those who should choose to submit to His just requirements. Had the king chosen to obey, the lives of the people might have been spared, and the city saved from conflagration; but he thought he had gone too far to retrace his steps.” Prophets and Kings, 457.

Interesting! I wonder if anyone reading this article right now is in that situation. Preachers meet a lot of people who have gone contrary to what God has said to do for so long that they think there is no hope.

Now, there was hope. Remember that Jeremiah, when speaking to Zedekiah, said, “If you will just submit to the king of Babylon, you will save your life, this city will not be burned with fire, and you and your family will all live.” Jeremiah 38:17. But he thought he had gone too far to retrace his steps.

Friend, the devil is the one that is trying to convince you to believe that you have gone too far to come back to Jesus, that you have gone too far to repent. Jesus says, “He that comes to me I will in no case cast out.” John 6:37.

Too Far to Retrace

Ellen White wrote, “None have fallen so low, none are so vile, but that they can find deliverance in Christ.” The Desire of Ages, 258.

Zedekiah could have found the same deliverance. He could have stood up and said, “I am going to make an about face. I have been living in rebellion and transgression against the warnings of Jeremiah, but now I am going to follow the Lord’s instructions.” I believe that if he would have had the moral backbone to take that stand, he would have saved his life, saved his eyes, saved the lives of his children, saved the city from being burned, and saved the lives of thousands of other people who would have followed his example. But he thought he had gone too far to retrace his steps.

How is it with you? Parents, are you in a situation where your young children or teenagers are rebelling, because they have not seen the example of a godly father or a godly mother? It may be very late, but if you will now stand up for the right, you will have a better chance than anything else you may do to redeem the time. But many people feel they have gone so far that they cannot turn around; they cannot retrace their steps. That is how Zedekiah felt.

Choose to Stand

In addition, Zedekiah was afraid. He was afraid of the Jews around him who had been influenced by the false prophets. He was afraid of the Jews; he was afraid of their ridicule; he was afraid he would lose his life. Are you afraid of people around you who have been influenced by false teachers?

Zedekiah had been rebelling against God for years, and he thought it would be too humiliating to admit that he had been wrong all that time. It would be too humiliating to say that he had made the decision to accept the word of the Lord and not war against it anymore.

Friend, how is it with you? Are you willing to say the following to the people in your family? “You know, for a long time now, I have gone the wrong way. I have set a bad example, but I am choosing to turn around. From now on, I am going to set a godly example; whatever God tells me to do, I am going to obey. I hope you in my family will choose with me to obey God, but whether or not you do, I am going to stand for God no matter what.”

You must be willing to stand alone. If you will stand alone, through your influence, God will save others.

Zedekiah was not willing to take this stand. As a result, the city was burned; he saw the rulers of Judah slaughtered; he saw his children slaughtered; his eyes were put out, and he was taken to Babylon.

The Faithful Blamed

As time was building up to the final crisis, the false prophets were creating confusion and rebellion by prophesying lies and encouraging people to look upon sin as a light thing. When the terrible results of the evil deeds were made manifest, they sought to put the blame on Jeremiah. Concerning this, Ellen White wrote: “To the end of time, men will arise to create confusion and rebellion. . . . When the terrible results of their evil deeds are made manifest, they will seek, if possible, to make the one who has faithfully warned them, responsible for their difficulties . . . .” Prophets and Kings, 442.

It will be that way until the end of time. If God has called you to preach or to teach His people, remember this: If you preach the truth, those who are preaching lies will blame you for everything that is going wrong. They will blame you for discouraging the people, and they will say, “You are reproving them so much that you are causing them to be discouraged. You have got to be a little easier on them; you cannot be reproving all the time; you have got to talk more about the love of God.” That is what they said regarding Moses; that is what they said regarding Jeremiah; that is what they said regarding all the prophets.

History Repeated

It is so easy for people to read this account in the Bible and simply think that they are reading a story—an ancient story about what happened to God’s people long, long ago. But the captivity of God’s people into Babylon, during the time of Zedekiah, is not just a story of long ago. It is something that will occur again in the future.

“The desolation of Jerusalem in the days of Jeremiah is a solemn warning to modern Israel, that the counsels and admonitions given them through chosen instrumentalities cannot be disregarded with impunity.” Ibid., 417.

“The church will yet see troublous times. She will prophesy in sackcloth.” Testimonies, vol. 4, 594. Is there going to be another Babylonian captivity? Yes, there is.

There was a Babylonian captivity in Jeremiah’s time, and there was a Babylonian captivity predicted in Revelation 2, which occurred from 538 a.d.–1798 a.d. “The holy city,” or the church, “shall they tread under foot forty [and] two months.” (Verse 2.)

Another Captivity

But friend, there is going to be another Babylonian captivity at the end of time. Are you ready for it? Do not listen to the voices that say, “Oh, do not worry; everything is going to be all right. We are going to be right here until the Lord comes.” How do you know you are going to be right here until the Lord comes?

Another Babylonian captivity is coming, friend. The Bible clearly predicts it in Micah 4:1: “And it shall come to pass in the last days . . . .” Are we living in the last days? Is this a prophecy about the last days? The answer to both of those questions is Yes.

The very opening words in the fourth chapter of Micah are: “It shall come to pass in the last days.” Then it speaks of the great, worldwide, international, religious, peace movement. It is described in language very similar to the description given by Isaiah in the second chapter of his book. Micah 4:9 says, “Now you, why do you cry? Why do you cry out? There is no king among you.” Zedekiah was the last king. In the Book of Ezekiel, the Lord said that, after Zedekiah, there would never again be a king over His people “until he come whose right it is; and I will give it [him]”—that is, the Messiah. Ezekiel 21:27. (See also Ezekiel 37:22.)

Abide in the Field

“Now you, why do you cry? Why do you cry out? There is no king among you. Your advisors, have they perished? For pain has seized you, labor pains as a woman giving birth. Have labor pains and give birth, O daughter of Zion, as a woman giving birth. Because now you shall go out from the city, and you shall abide in the field.” Micah 4:9, 10, first part.

“You are going to go out from the city.” People say, “We are going to stay right here.” The false prophets say, “You are going to stay right here.” But the Lord says, “No, you are not going to stay here; you are going out from the city. You are going to dwell in the field.” Some of God’s people are already dwelling in the field. Some have already been driven out of the city, but that is not all. “Because now you shall go out from the city, and you shall abide in the field, and you shall go even to Babylon.” Are God’s people going to go to Babylon again? Yes, they are. “You shall go even to Babylon. There you shall be delivered; Jehovah will redeem you there from the hand of your enemies.” Verse 10.

From where is the Lord going to deliver his people? They will have been driven out of the city; they will have been dwelling in a field, and then they will have been even to Babylon. From there, the Lord says, “I am going to deliver you; I am going to redeem you.” Ibid.

Troublous Time

There is coming a time, friend, when some of God’s children will be driven out of the city into the fields, the rocks, and the mountains. Some will be in Babylon, down in the belly of the beast, and some will be in dungeons. But from those places the Lord is going to deliver them; He is going to redeem them.

There is another Babylonian captivity coming. The church is going to see troublous times. She is going to prophesy in sackcloth. Do not let any false prophet tell you otherwise. In verse 7, we read: “I will make the lame for a remnant, and she who has been removed for a strong nation, and Jehovah will reign over them in the mountain of Zion from now, even for ever.”

Are you going to be one of that remnant? Oh friend, not all that profess to be Israel will be saved. In fact, only a remnant will be saved. That is what the Bible says, because another Babylonian captivity is coming. Another time of trouble is coming.

Troublous times are coming when again the church is going to prophesy in sackcloth. Are you ready for it? Do not say, “Well, everything is going to be all right.” Do not listen to the false teachers who are telling you not to worry about getting ready. It is coming whether you are ready or not.

Free of Fear

What is going to happen to the people who, as Zedekiah, are afraid of the Jews? Read again the story of Zedekiah. From this study we already know that he lost his life; thousands of people around him who were God’s professed people lost their lives; his family was slaughtered; his rulers lost their lives; his eyes were put out, and he was brought to Babylon. Why? Because of fear of the Jews, he was not willing to stand up alone for the truth.

How Will You Stand?

How is it with you? Are you waiting for someone else to stand up, or are you willing to stand up for truth and say, “Lord, help me to never have the fear of the Jews—the fear of man”? There is a reason, friend, that the Three Angels’ Messages open with the words, “Fear God.” As we approach the end of this world’s history, each of us will be in one of two categories. We are either going to fear God and be obedient to His law, or we are going to fear man and be obedient to him—even when it is contrary to the Law of God. Where are you going to be? How are you going to stand for the truth then, if you cannot stand for the truth now?

You see, friend, every day you are making decisions, which are going to determine your eternal destiny, and when the final Babylonian captivity comes, where will you be? Will you be with the great majority who, because of the fear of the Jews, is afraid to stand alone? Will you end up losing your life, and will those around you lose their lives, because you are afraid to stand up for the truth? That is what happened to Zedekiah. That is what will happen today with those who listen to the false prophets.

Troublous times are coming. Now is the time to get ready. Now is the time to be studying your Bible and praying, “Lord, teach me the truth, so I will be ready to give witness for you to anyone in the world—a king, a legislature, government officials, the learned men of the earth.” If we do not know our Bibles, the wisdom of the world’s men will be too great for us. Now is the time to get ready, so we will not be afraid of the Jews.

[Bible texts quoted are literal translation.]

Pastor Grosboll is Director of Steps to Life and pastors the Prairie Meadows Church in Wichita, Kansas. He may be contacted by e-mail at:, or by telephone at: 316-788-5559.