JEREMIAH'S CALL AND COMMISSION
Having settled the question concerning the perpetuity of the covenant which God made with "David and his sons," together with the fact that he has given, as a pledge of their everlastingness, not only the astronomic order of producing day and night, months, years and seasons, but the very holiness of his character as well, we must now proceed to take up the thread of history which pertains to that sceptre, throne, kingdom and royal seed whose continued existence is balanced over against such weighty considerations as the power, integrity and immutability of the character and Word of God.
While dealing with the history of the Birthright and its inheritors, the house of Joseph, we had, of necessity, much to say concerning the history of the Sceptre and the royal family, its inheritors. Especially was this true when we contrasted that system of feudalism and continual overthrowing of dynasties which prevailed in the kingdom of Israel as compared with the one continuous dynasty and succession of the royal princes of the Judo-Davidic family, as they mounted the throne of their fathers and held the sceptre over the kingdom of Judah.
In order to have our historic thread complete we must resume our history of the Sceptre at the call of Jeremiah the prophet, which occurred at a period prior to the time when the Jews were taken into the Babylonish captivity, but subsequent to the time when Israel, the Birthright kingdom, was taken into captivity by Shalmanesar, king of Assyria, and deported into the country of the headwaters of the Euphrates, the country more generally known as Medo-Persia.
It is certain that we can never understand the history of this covenanted throne, kingdom and family, and the fact that they have been thus far built up "unto all generations," unless we understand the history and accept with unfaltering faith the call and commission of Jeremiah the prophet, in relation to those things which God has given his pledge shall endure forever. For if to be taught the distinction between the two houses, and to understand the difference between the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, may be likened unto the key which unlocks the outer sanctuary of our understanding of sacred history, then surely a knowledge of the life and work of Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, is the key which the Holy Spirit can use to open that inner sanctuary, or Holy of Holies, of our understanding in these matters upon which rest the vindication of God.
According to the Divine record, there have lived in this world only three men who were sanctified before they were born. The first was this same Jeremiah, who, in one of the darkest hours in all the history of the Abrahamic nations which pertains to them as a whole, was made the custodian of the sceptre, throne and royal seed of David. The next was John the Baptist, the forerunner and herald of the coming Prince of the House of David. Then came the last and greatest of all -- our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Son of David, that Prince of whom the angel declared unto Mary at the time of the annunciation: "The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David," (Luke 1:32). When this blessed Prince takes his seat he will be the last King to sit on that throne, or any other on this earth.
In the days of Josiah, the son of Amon, king of Judah, in the thirteenth year of his reign, while Jeremiah was still a minor, a mere youth, only seventeen years of age, he received his call as the "Prophet unto the nations," and was given his commission, the details of which he himself has given in the first chapter of his own prophecies, as follows:
"Then the word of God came unto me, saying: Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee -- before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.
"Then said I: Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak, for I am a child.
"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 shall command thee thou shalt speak. Be not afraid of their faces; for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.
"Then the Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me: Behold, I have put my words into thy mouth. 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 build and to plant," (Jer. 1:4-10).
Called as the prophet of God; the words of the Lord put into his mouth with a touch from the Divine hand; and set by the Divine One "over the nations, and over the kingdoms." What! Surely he was not set over all the nations, neither all the kingdoms of the earth? No, there is nothing said about all nations; just simply and definitely -- "the nations" and "the kingdoms." So far as the word which is translated "nations" in the text is concerned, it is the same word that is used when the Lord said to Abraham, "I have made the father of many nations; and when he said to Rebekah, "Two nations are in thy womb." He now calls Jeremiah a "Prophet unto the nations," i.e., the "two nations," the "two kingdoms," the two houses -- Israel and Judah; the "two families," the inheritors of the Birthright and of the Sceptre. It is to these nations, not to all the nations of the earth, that the Lord sends Jeremiah, his prophet, with a commission to root out, tear down, and destroy, on the one hand; but -- hear it! -- he was also Divinely commissioned to "BUILD AND PLANT"!
The fact that Jeremiah was commissioned to overthrow the commonwealth of Judah, destroy the Davidic kingdom, as it then existed among the Jewish people, throw down the throne of David which was in their midst, and root out that branch of the royal family which occupied the throne at that time -- all this is so clear, so well known, that most, if not all, of the accepted authorities of Christendom proclaim it. But those same authorities do not seem to know, neither do they proclaim that which follows as a natural sequence, i.e., that if it was the kingdom, sceptre, throne and seed of David which were to be overthrown, then it follows that it is those very same things which must again be planted and builded.
Hence we affirm that, as God is still holy, and did not lie to David, and if he did not sanctify, call, and commission Jeremiah in vain, then that throne of David was again set up, the seed planted, and the kingdom builded before Jeremiah died.
Mind you, we do not say that these were planted and builded among the Jews. That was not at all necessary in order to fulfillment. Indeed, we will show that it was not planted nor builded in Judah. For God "gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him and his sons by a covenant of salt." Nine-twelfths of the seed of Israel never were members of the Jewish kingdom.
The great wrong of which the standard authorities of Christendom have been guilty is that, with a wide-open Bible before them, they should be in such ignorance of the declared purpose of God, and have such a hesitating, apologetic faithlessness in his covenant promises -- wherein he has sworn by himself -- that they are blinded even to the necessity of accounting for the building and planting which God gave Jeremiah to do.
The great fault with their whole teaching, so far as the outcome of Jeremiah's work is concerned, is that they have either suffered, implied, or actually taught that the promises of God to David were allowed to go by default. And when an honest questioner would arise, as of necessity there must, he at once becomes an irresponsible, irregular, unarmored stripling, upon whom these regulars in the army of Israel insist on putting the armor of Saul. But the "heavy" armor of the should-be leader will not fit the bright young head and freer limbs of the little irregular; so he must go forth alone to slay the giant of infidelity, whose champions have been defying the armies of the living God. Meanwhile, these "regulars" stand on the hill of their self-importance and ask, "Who is this youthful stripling whom we see down in the valley picking up pebbles with which to meet the foe whose challenge has sent dismay among us for lo these many days?"