The Word of the LORD to Markita Smith on November 21, 2005.


Hear the Word of the LORD His people Israel living in the land and all over the world.  Hear the Word of the LORD Gentile servants of the Most High God living all over the world.  Hear the Word of the LORD all you haters of truth and enemies of God Almighty.  Hear the Word of the LORD all the people of the earth.  Hear the Word of the LORD.


“My people Israel, you have lived many days without a king, without a prince, without a prophet.  Yet a time is coming and has now come that you will return to the LORD God your Maker, the Husband of your youth, and I will place David your king over you.  I have set apart this hour that your hearts would seek me and your eyes would be opened.  You have traveled through a dry and parched land, yet now you thirst for me.  Come and drink, drink to the fill for I will freely pardon; I desire to restore.


“O Jerusalem, my dove, I turned away from you for a moment.  I abandoned you, and took my presence from your children.  But you are mine and mine alone.  Once again I will call you to myself and restore what I have captured.  When I showed my love to you, you rejected me.  So I turned you over to all you desired.  But that time is now at its end.  Your lover has come to set you free.


“From the beginning, I make known the end.  Have I not told you?  Did I not proclaim it long ago?  Through you the world has been blessed.  A star shot out from Jacob, David on his throne, to rule the nations with an iron scepter and lead his people into peace.  You have seen, yet have not understood.  You have heard, yet have not listened.  Through you He was born.  How then can I reject the mother of my Only Son?  I have not cast you off; I have not given you a certificate of divorce, for then the Son would be unholy.  I am with you, and He will save you.  I am sending Him for you.  Your foes He will strike with a mighty blow.


“My beloved Son, the fruit of your labor, is the sign of my covenant with you.  Though you have writhed in pain and felt anguish in your heart, I will yet restore.  When you look upon the countenance of Him you have borne, your heart will leap for joy and in Him you too will be pleased.  He will cleanse away every transgression and kiss you on your face, you who are highly favored and honored in the sight of God. 


“Then you will stand against the nations for the Lord will be your strength.  You will separate yourselves from them.  Come out from her my people!  Do not fall as the harlot will fall.  Run to your Maker, to the place of His shelter that you may be saved from her punishment.  For every idol and wicked thing will be purged from the earth, but you will find rest for your souls in me. 


“Raise the banner in Jerusalem.  Cry aloud throughout the earth.  Let my people return to the land your God has promised you.  ‘To you I will give the land of Canaan as the portion you will inherit.’  It was mine to give and mine to reclaim.  Yet in love and compassion, I return the land to you through my covenant of peace with those who believe.  You were sold as slaves, yet I paid the price for your redemption.  The time has come for my Word to be fulfilled.  Your God is faithful and His every Word is true.


 “Because you rejected your King, the enemy scattered you to the far ends of the earth.  But the Lord is your Shepherd; He will feed you, protect you and lead you in the way everlasting.  He will cover you in your own land that no one will ever again oppress you.  The Shepherd will heal your every wound and carry the injured on His shoulders.  But those among my people who oppress you will not be counted with you.  They will fall as the unjust fall, for I am going to purge them from among my chosen, because they bar men from the presence of God and eat the food of death.  


“The Son of Man will rule over you as steward of my Kingdom.  All power and glory are in His hands and the nations will bow before Him.  As His dominion is an everlasting dominion, so your salvation will last forever.  Jerusalem will be His throne, and He will govern the nations from Zion.  The peoples of the earth will no longer invent religions and meditate on their existence; instead, all peoples will follow Him and my people Israel will be leader among them.


“To you I gave this sign:  the virgin was with child that your salvation would be unblemished.  He has come to perfect your faith.  This perfection will exist in your hearts, your minds, your bodies and your souls.  You will feel me within and reveal me without.  As the glory of the LORD shines upon you, your light will shine before others.  Therefore, wait for your God to testify.  I will call the nations to myself for judgment and purify them in the fire of my wrath.  The peoples will look to you as my priests, my set apart people, my example of consecration; prepare yourselves, for the day of the LORD is near.


“In that day I will judge the oppressors, the mockers and tormentors.  All who laid a heavy yoke upon you will watch as I restore my people Israel.  The sick and battered among you I will gather into my arms.  The discontented and cast down I will lift up.  Praise and honor I will shower upon you who have endured.  Comfort I will give to you who have mourned.  You will return to your homeland and great will be your children’s peace.  The whole world will praise the LORD when He restores Israel.


“Though the nations conspire against my people and the rulers gather against the LORD’s Anointed, He mocks their attempts to thwart His plan.  Your God will rebuke them in His anger and install His King in Zion.  They will see the Son reclaim the earth for the saints as an inheritance.  Therefore, all you rulers of the earth, bless the Son and bless His people Israel.  For on the day of His triumphant return, the enemies of the Lord will be repaid double for their transgressions.


“Why then O Jacob, my son Jeshurun, do you cry, ‘Lord, will you be angry forever?’  I have not forgotten you.  Just as I never forget the does of the field or the birds of the air, I will not forget you, my precious one.  Your cries have not been in vain.  I have heard every groan.  Your God does answer you, today one way, tomorrow another.  My replies are as present as the lilies in the field.  Look for me, listen for my reply.  When your fathers trusted in me, I delivered them.  From your conception, I have cared for you.  Before you were a nation, and mighty in number, I raised you up.  Though the nations despise you, your God will yet rescue you. 


“Peoples rise against you on every side so that they may gloat over you.  They divide your possessions and distribute your land.  But the LORD your God has seen.  I am not a God who is far away.  I am near to you in your suffering.  I will rescue you from the lions that come to devour your flesh.  Just declare my Name throughout the world.  Stand and praise me among my people.  All who fear me shall praise me together, as Jacob comes to honor me.  You shall fulfill your vow to take my Name to the ends of the earth.  Then the great assembly will gather in praise of me.  All who seek me shall live; all who hunger and thirst shall be satisfied. 


“I have one requirement of you, one command for my people Israel.  Call upon the Lord in your weakness and during your times of trouble.  He will protect you and preserve your lives, and He will bless your land.  Cry out to the LORD that you have sinned against me.  Only then will I heal.  Your enemies have counted up your sins.  They come to taunt God’s chosen.  Even those who have pledged their allegiance imagine the worst for you.  But your God will have mercy on you, raise you to your feet and repay them for every attack.  I have not allowed the enemy to triumph over you because you are mine; you belong to me.  You will stand in my presence forever and praise me to the end of all time.


“Hear, O Israel, and rejoice.  Your King comes to deliver you and judge the earth.  He will thresh the nations, and the wicked of the earth will be blown away like chaff.  The LORD’s Anointed will save you.  Bands of wicked men He will crush.  This time will surely come.  Wait upon the Lord.  Wait in hope that I will deliver.  All the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.  He will take His place in His holy temple, and every man shall exalt His Name.


“My judgment fires shall purge the earth.  Every foul thing will be swept away in that great and dreadful day of the LORD.  For the wicked, that day will be a day of distress and terror.  It will be a day of blackness and weeping because of the many sins against God and defilement of my Name.  Blood will be spilled in the streets and all the world will be consumed.  Then my Holy One will come in all His glory to rule the earth.  You, my people, will be saved.  Though I will punish you, it will only be in justice.  I will heal the wounds that I inflict. 


“The Anointed King from the house of David will reign in strength and power.  His Kingdom will be established in righteousness.  He will winnow out all evil with His eyes.  By Him, Judah will be saved and Israel will live in peace.  Justice will reign in the land and righteousness will prevail.  I will fulfill my Word and cleanse you with my presence. 


Judah will sing a new song to me.  New praises will be in the hearts of men.  You will present yourselves before me that we may commune together.  The wonderful things I have planned for you will find their fulfillment, and you will proclaim my goodness before all men.  As my faithfulness falls fresh upon you, you will not be able to conceal it.  You will leap upon the hills and dance to the sound of tambourines, for my mercy will never again be withheld from you.  The world will shout, ‘Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good.  His mercy endures forever.’  Judah will be set free, for my people will no longer fear any man, but hide in the refuge of the LORD.  Shouts of victory will come from you who will live and never die.  For you have found the way, the only gate by which men may enter.  The Garden of Eden will not be sealed to you.  The gates of Jerusalem shall never close. 


“Cry no longer my people; Judah will be restored.  Think no more of the temple in days of old.  Stop recalling the festivals and processions.  The LORD your God will renew your hope.  I will dry every weeping eye and comfort every wailing voice.  Rejoice for the day is near when I will bring my glory to Jerusalem.  My love covers you by day.  A hymn of praise blankets you at night.  I have not forgotten you; your every prayer has reached my ears.  Praise me for my deliverance, praise me in the face of the oppressor, praise me in an ungodly land.  My truth will show you the way to my holy mountain.  Put your hope in Him, your Savior and your King.


Israel will be delivered from the attacks of the peoples, saved from every mighty nation.  You will be at the head of them; they will be subject to you.  Your mouth will speak as my oracle; at the sound of your voice their knees will tremble.  The Lord lives, the Rock of your salvation!  He takes His place on His throne in Jerusalem.  He showers blessings upon His people.  His delight is in the saints who will live forever with Him, since He vanquishes every foe; even death cowers in His presence.  Jerusalem is the apple of my eye.  Through her, I perceive the whole world.  Victories beyond measure I give to her, life eternal to her children.  My presence shall remain there always. 


“Jealous peoples besiege her.  Their hardened hearts pour arrogance from their lips.  But I know the one I have chosen.  I have made it known to the world.  Their hatred is unfounded, their hearts bent on destruction.  They come to steal what was not given to them because they have not known Him who created it.  Their father is the accuser, who himself harbors envy.  Their eyes well up with lust for the gifts given by God to His children.  These traitors I have not borne, nor have I spoken to them.  They have listened to him who sent them; his example have they followed.  Eternal life they will never see, for the face of God is hidden from them.  When their time has run its course, the evil one will come to reclaim them for every guilty act.  He will remind them of their prayers to him and condemn them for their malice. 


Jerusalem will be the City of Praise.  Lift up a shout before the LORD your God.  He is at your right hand to save you from the evil one.  The order of your priesthood will never be revoked.  My nation of priests will always minister before me.  Your High Priest and King, in the order of Melchizedek, continually offers a sacrifice to me, and I will always accept Him.  Therefore, enter into my courts, O Israel; boldly approach my throne of grace.  Come together to lift up my Name.  Stand in unity to hasten my Kingdom.  Those who stand with you will be rewarded; those who come against you will be driven away.  Your oppressors will be put to shame, but the saints will all rejoice in your time of vindication. 


“For the sake of my Name, I will guide you and protect you.  Your salvation is in my hands, and from my hands no one can snatch you.  Every promise I have made I will fulfill that all the earth will fear my Name.  No longer will you suffer shame or reproach.  All who fear me will befriend you.  Only the arrogant will stand against you, for their leader was first in rebellion.  Lies drip from their mouths, but you will find the truth in my law.  Your time of affliction has made this possible.  Now you can learn my decrees and understand my precepts.  All who believe in me will rejoice when you put your hope in my Word. 


“The day is coming when you will rebuild your walls.  Your territory will be extended and your children will be free.  You will live in a fertile land with one Shepherd over you.  He will free you from your bondage, and you will see my wonders.  Nations will tremble and quake at this sight, my people serving their Lord.  They will bring their crowns and throw them at His feet, and they will learn the fear of the LORD.  Your sins have I forgiven, and their sins you will forgive.  In compassion I will lead you, and you will display my mercy in the world.  

“Because your sins have been atoned and I have cleansed you with the blood of the Lamb, prepare the way for His return.  Make straight every crooked road, reveal every hidden sin, and teach my people to worship me.  I will uphold your cause and make known to you the way.  Your watchman will come and bring you good news.  Your benefactor will come and rain blessings upon you.  Gentiles will go out before you and serve as your rear guards.  They will carry you on their shoulders for I have ordained it to be so.  The wealth of the nations shall be brought to you and the gifts I have given men shall be used for your good.  Though they have spoken against you, they will now lift you up.  Do not fear Israel; your maker will help you and my plans will succeed.


“The Anointed King comes and my Word is in His mouth.  He will gather Israel back to Himself and call Gentiles from all four corners of the earth.  With Him is the new covenant between man and God, both Jew and Gentile.  He bridges the great divide and sets apart all who are marked for service.  He proclaims freedom for all my servants held captive and reapportions the inheritance of my children.  The sons of Zion will return to your mother and stretch wide her territory from left to right.  Gentiles will bring the children of Israel back to your home.  They will offer their riches to prosper Jerusalem.  All who refuse will be counted the LORD’s enemies and perish in their rebellion.


“I shall instruct you and open your ears that you may be taught.  Forget the work of the enemy against your flesh.  Protect not your bodies and possessions, but allow your souls to be transformed and your God to be your shield.  Then you will not be put to shame.  The LORD is your vindicator.  I will fight your battles!  I will be your help and no man will be able to put you to shame.  You cannot create understanding for yourselves or direct your own paths.  Instead, submit yourselves to me morning by morning.  Obey my commands and let them dwell within your hearts.  Trust in the LORD and rely only on my strength. 


“The Spirit of the LORD consecrates my people, those who have made a covenant with me through blood.  The blood of bulls and goats does not please me.  I would never give an animal in exchange for you.  Offer me thanksgiving and give me sacrifices of praise.  Fulfill your vows to have no one before me.  Call upon me when you are in despair, and I will come quickly to deliver you.  Only then will you see that salvation comes from the LORD.  The foundations of Zion will be built in this way, and I will make Jerusalem prosper.  The throne of David will be there; it will be established for all generations. 


“I recall the covenant of your youth, O Israel.  I found you in a desert land and raised you to be a mighty priest.  I blessed you with every blessing, for then you were true to me.  But you became proud and your heart turned to things that were not gods.  You forgot the LORD, your Father.  I swore to you with uplifted hand that I would provoke you to jealousy by a people who were not a people, as you provoked me to wrath by gods that were not gods.  I heaped calamities upon you, and scattered you throughout the nations.  But your cries reached my ears, and I turned my heart back to you. 


“When you began to feel secure, you grew proud again and relied on your temple rather than the LORD your God.  I will not have any other god before me, not even a house of cedar.  So I cast it to the ground, and exalted my Name in its place.  For centuries, you lived in lands not your own, and the enemy has dealt with you unmercifully.  However, the LORD has always been your protector; I provided for you wherever you were sent.  Return now to the One you have pierced.  Accept this atonement, for I am eager to forgive.  Take my words to heart for they will bring you life in a world headed for death.  My Word will take you back to the land I gave you as an inheritance, but if you reject it, you will only see the promise from a distance; it will not be yours to possess.


“I made a covenant with Abraham to be his God and the God of his descendants, to give them the land of Canaan, and to make many nations from him.  I swore that his descendants would be a numerous as the stars in the sky; they would possess the cities of their enemies and all the nations of the earth would be blessed through them.  I swore on oath to Isaac that I would bless him and increase the number of his descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.  I promised Jacob that a nation would come through him and kings from his body; his descendants would possess the land of Canaan as I had promised his fathers.  Then to David I said that I would make his name like the names of the greatest men of the earth.  I promised to provide a place for my people Israel and plant them in the land that they would never again be afraid.  The wicked would no longer oppress them because I would subdue all of their enemies.  Then I would establish the throne of David forever through his son and set him over my house. 


“My memory is long and never fails.  All of my words shall come to pass, if not today then tomorrow, but my people will be delivered from the nations and live at peace in Zion forever.  The evil one knows my promise of peace; he shall gather his servants together against Jerusalem.  This I will allow, that my glory may be seen throughout the world.  They will come from the four corners of the earth, as if they can thwart the purposes of the Almighty.  But evil will find its resting place when it rebels against my plan.  Nations will no longer rise up against me; all men will know and fear the LORD God.  Jacob will come back to his land, and the whole world will see the zeal of the LORD for my Name.


“Judgment is coming to the ends of the earth.  The LORD will strike with a mighty blow.  Violence and destruction will fill the land when I turn the wicked over to the one they have worshipped.  He is merciless and cruel.  He cares nothing for my dwelling place or my people.  All of the earth shall experience his anger and be scorched by his pride.  When he has punished the ungodly and marked them for eternal destruction, he will turn his sights to my people and my house.  Then the King will arrive in all of his glory.  His mighty army shall accompany him, hosts of warriors at his side to lay siege to the oppressor, to destroy the destroyer. 


“The earth shall be purged of all idolaters.  I will turn them over to their idols, demons that cannot give life, only drain it away.  All who worship their shrines and graven images shall be drawn together to worship the evil one that incited it all.  Pagan worship will unite with witchcraft and witchcraft will unite with self-worship to create an abomination in the eyes of God.  The mockers of the LORD, those committed to their own way, will be gathered together to one form of idolatry so that my saints will recognize them all.


“Yet the evil one has set apart one group for himself.  They bow down to the sun in the east and call upon the name of their god.  The deceiver calls them his chosen and sets himself up before them as if he were the Almighty.  But their backs are to the LORD and their eyes are fixed upon God’s people.  He fills their hearts with hate, for so I have ordained it.  Long ago I said of him that he would be a wild donkey living in enmity toward his brothers.  His eyes are sealed shut and his heart is made of stone.  He is obedient to his master and unwavering in his devotion.  He is a mighty nation full of fierce warriors, continually filling the land with violence and provoking the LORD God Almighty.  But I know where he sleeps, when he gets up and when he lies down.  The LORD hears his every word.  The Anointed King will make Himself known to the world through him when he extinguishes his cause forever.


“I shall wipe them from the face of the earth:  all of the rebellious, deceivers, mockers, idolaters, thieves, murders, and enemies of God.  Yet before my judgment fires spread throughout the land, I will seal for myself all who mourn for the sins of the world.  The faithful shall be marked with my sign that you will not suffer the fires of my wrath.  However, all pretenders and imitators among my people shall be the first to receive my judgment.  Every wolf among my sheep, all tares within the wheat, shall be burned up in my unquenchable fire.  I will begin with my house and start in my sanctuary.  These believe that I have not seen what is done in my Name, but they will be the first to feel the mighty hand of God. 


“To the liars among my faithful Gentile believers:  You have gone into the house of the Lord day by day and lifted up your hands to your idols.  You worship lust and feed your flesh with greed and all manner of sexual impurity.  You have purposed in your hearts that you would lie to my people and devour their souls.  All this you have done in the house that bears my Name believing that I have not seen it.  But this sin will come crashing down upon you, and I will bring down on your own heads what you have done.  Then all the world will know that you did not belong to me, and my children, whom you have scarred, will be vindicated.


“And among my chosen, I will certainly not spare you who distract my people with pious language and religious acts.  You make offerings for a show and place a heavy burden on my people.  In secret, you live a lie and tread upon the heart of the law.  The Word of God means nothing to you, yet you follow every letter.  You refuse to offer yourselves as servants; instead you lift up your heads as masters.  Therefore I will cast you to the ground, and the evil one will tread upon you.  I will leave you in his hands since you have served him from your youth.  The sins of your fathers will fall upon you because like them you devour the flesh of my poor and needy, you lie about the LORD God, and you prevent men from receiving me in their hearts.  Continue with your plans; fulfill the vows you have made, for I will certainly fulfill mine.  Your time is short, for I will surely deliver my people from your hands, then they will know the truth and the truth shall set them free.


“The watchman will announce the coming of this dreadful day of the LORD.  You will hear and you will prepare by building up your walls and strengthening your defenses, but you will not return to the LORD your God who makes it so.  You will not surrender to your Maker who has all power within His hands.  I am calling you to weep and wail, to repent of your wickedness and submit your hearts to me.  But you will not do it; you will commit yourselves to the lie and surrender your souls to the devourer.  Therefore I will cast you so-called leaders out of my presence.  I will hurl you into the deep with your master.  David will rule over all of my people, and they will have peace.


“The righteous will all draw near to me.  You will cling to me as did Abraham.  My children will be blessed at my hand, and Zion will be comforted.  Your God has come for you.  My salvation will deliver you, and my justice is on the way.  You who hear my words and write my law on your hearts, do not fear the terror by night or the threats of men.  They will all pass away; they will be blown away like chaff.  Suffering and reproach have been reserved for the wicked, those who tormented you at every turn.  You will never again suffer shame, and you will feel the radiance of the LORD shine upon you. 


“I will consecrate my called out ones.  I will refine you in the fire, but you will not be burned.  I will prepare you for the day of wrath that no impurity will be found in you.  From all others you will be distinguished as you will shine forth as gold.  You will be cleansed of your iniquity, and I will hide my face from your sins.  Then you will teach the world the ways of the LORD and bring sinners back to me.  Jerusalem will be exalted, Zion will stand.  Through my people I will make this so, when I purge you of unrighteousness and place my Spirit within you.


“The LORD will uphold the remnant of His people.  Though your leaders stumble in wickedness and teach like those filled with wine, I will send foreigners to raise you up, Gentiles to teach you the ways of God.  Those who rule over my people will be brought down in their lies and death will remove them from their places.  Yet I will set my people on a firm foundation.  You will build Zion upon the cornerstone.  Never again will you fear death.  Never again will you taste its bitterness.  Do not test the LORD in this or mock His plans.  I am the Father, and I control the ways of all my people.  The LORD has ordained a time for destruction, for plowing and threshing.  But there is also a time for reaping the harvest.  My refining will not be in vain. 


“Enemies will besiege Jerusalem; they will encamp all around her.  You will cry out to me, but only in a whisper.  Even then I will hear, just as the enemy is certain of victory.  When he feels secure, I will crush him.  Your leaders will not understand this revelation, but the time of tumult will come to destroy worship designed by men.  Render your hearts to me, and reject the contrivings of the wise and the theories of the learned.  When the time of judgment for Jerusalem is complete, the poor and needy who thirst for the Word of God will be filled.  Your eyes will be opened, and you will see your salvation.  But those who despise God’s truth will perish.  They have hidden evil in their hearts.  They decide who to count among my people and who will live in my holy city.  They exclude all who are not like them and abuse their authority.  But Israel will be complete, and all of my children will be gathered together.  You who lack understanding will gain wisdom and the simple will have knowledge of the way.  Then you will praise me; though once excluded, you will lift up my Name.


“Cry out to me and I will hear; call to your God and I will answer.  Jerusalem will suffer and her leaders will perish in their wickedness.  However, her God will come to heal her; I will bring peace and security to my battered people.  I will bring the Northern and Southern Kingdoms back from the lands to which I scattered you.  I will cleanse you of all your rebellion and rebuild Zion upon its foundations.  Then all the nations of the earth will praise me when I restore my people and build up my holy city.  The world will know that the LORD, the God of Israel, will never forget His people nor forsake His beloved.  I will keep my covenant with you. 


“A righteous branch will sprout from David, from the root of Jesse.  He will flourish like a tree planted by streams of water.  Israel will perch in His branches; Jacob will eat of His fruit and find healing balm in His leaves.  Judah will hide in the shelter of His shade and grow strong under the peace and security He provides.  My people will be restored for I will have compassion on you. 


“This is my promise to the faithful; this is my Word to the oppressed.  But to you who lord it over my people, I will bring down upon your own heads what you have done.  I have proclaimed compassion and mercy for my weakened lambs.  But for the rams among my sheep who cast off those who are injured, take from them what little they have, prohibit them from grazing in the pasture I have provided, and abuse them just because you can, I say now to you that I will grab you by your horns and toss you into a land of hardship and distress where you will become food for the beast who roams there.  Because you have not obeyed the LORD your God and taken care of the poor and needy, I will spend my anger against you leaders of Israel, court officials, priests and prominent people.  Hear the Word of the LORD; it will prove true.


“Listen you leaders, give ear you elders of my people.  You strive in vain to govern and rule as other nations do.  Yet I will never let Israel out of my hand.  I will govern my chosen; I will shepherd my flock in the land I swore with uplifted hand to give them.  Whether you live in Jerusalem or lead my people in one of the nations to which I scattered you, I will gather you together and execute my judgment upon you.  I called you to shepherd my people with integrity, yet many of you instead prey upon my people and worship idols in the house that bears my Name.  I will refine my people as a goldsmith refines gold.  Then you will remember the terms of my covenant, and I will judge you according to your vows. 


“Those among you leaders who rebel against me will not inhabit my land.  I will bring down upon you even the sins of your fathers who rebelled against me in Egypt though I was a protector to them, in the desert though I was a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide them, in the land of promise though I delivered them from all of their enemies, and even after the return though I had restored their fortunes.  And now, though I have been a gracious and merciful God, the shepherds of my people teach my people lies about the LORD, burden my people with rules made by men, stand in judgment of my people and exalt yourselves rather than serving the flock.  I will release you to your rebellion and idolatry, for I will have a purified people who worship me on my holy mountain and make offerings that are pleasing and acceptable in my sight. 


“To the remnant of my people who will be spared the judgment:  Do not think that you have shown yourselves pure before me.  You will be a testimony that the LORD God of Israel is a merciful and kind God.  When I build up the ancient land and bless you to stand in my presence, you will be ashamed of your conduct and treatment of me.  You will despise what you have done, every sin you have committed against the Lord, and I will hear you and accept you.  Then Israel will be my holy nation and a symbol of consecration.  The nations will look to you and be astounded at the wonders of your God.  And you will know that you serve a forgiving God when I do not treat you according to what your sins deserve and exalt you before all the world.


“Seek the LORD while there is yet time.  Seek me and live.  Seek my face not acts of worship.  Uphold the truth and break your covenant with lies.  Serve the poor; stop filling your storehouses with ill-gotten grain.  Do not run to build house upon house and amass treasures for this life.  Heed my words or you will not eat the fruit that you have planted, you will not taste the wine from your vineyards.  Stand for justice and be examples of righteousness in these evil days.  Let all that is right pour out from your hearts and shun evil, then the LORD God will cover you with my presence and the words you boast will find their fulfillment.  You pray that the LORD’s judgment will come, that the day of vengeance for my people will not delay.  Yet you do not take to mind your own conduct, you do not consider your relationship with me.  For all who rebel against me in their hearts, speak ill of me and my children, and take my grace for granted are counted among my enemies.  And I will avenge myself against all of my enemies. 


“Stop your religious festivals that are not offered to me in truth.  I hate the clatter of your instruments, I abhor the sound of your cries, and the prayers of the unfaithful ail me.  Everything that does not come from a heart that is bent toward me is a stench in my nostrils; I will no longer put up with them.  Those of you who are religious for show and pious for man’s sake feel secure in your positions, yet I will toss you from my presence for your sloth in deeds and counterfeit faith.  You will no longer be allowed to minister before me, and I will replace you with young worshippers and those who are new to faith.  They have not yet been sullied by false teachings nor have they debased themselves in idolatry. 


“Listen and the LORD will tell you about your idolatry.  My wisdom has been offered to you as gold, knowledge of the LORD has been given to you like choice silver.  Yet you pervert it and twist it; you mutilate it in your unclean hearts.  You would rather practice religion than form a relationship with the one true God.  My commands were given to you that a man might live if he follows them.  But you did not treasure my commands in your hearts.  You did not inquire of me in your spirits.  Instead, you added letter upon letter to my law.  There is no end to your books.  Call upon me for I am near.  Ask of me and I will answer.  It is my desire that you would be pure before the Holy God.  Yet you choose pretension, falsehood and laws.  I am the Creator of the universe and will not be contained to rules made by men.  I create purpose and placed meaning in everything.  Partake of my Words, swallow them in your hearts and you will taste the goodness of the LORD. 


“You hold in high esteem the sanctuary of the LORD and you mourn over the temple of your God.  The vessels used in my service are regarded with highest honor and the priests who minister before me are highly favored among you.  All this you do, yet you do not revere me.  You remember every festival and celebrate every feast; you fast at the appointed time and recall my relationship with your fathers.  Yet I decreed it all, it was done by my command that you might remember me, that you might draw near to the only One who can save you.  You have no knowledge of me, though I make myself known daily.  Is this not idolatry?  Should I not avenge myself for such disregard? 


“But there are a few among you who mourn because my law is being broken.  You wail because the hearts of men have hardened toward the LORD, even among my chosen.  You lament because my people are taught by demons.  In your hearts is a grief that can only be comforted by the coming of your Lord, by the vindication of your Savior.  I will keep you in the times of trouble, and I will hear and answer your prayers.


“To all who are foreign to me yet living in the land the LORD God promised His people Israel:  Because you live in my land, my Name and my commands have been made known to you.  Yet instead of repenting of your wickedness and pleading with my people to pray for you, you have filled your hearts with hate and stored up the LORD’s wrath for yourselves.  A time is coming when no one dressed in pagan clothes or wearing the cloak of idolatry will be allowed to remain in the land that I myself make holy.  You are sour grapes in my vineyard, but the vine dresser desires sweet wine.  When I cast you from this place, you will have nowhere to go, for I will extend the territory of Israel and Jerusalem will grow to accommodate all of her children.  I will reclaim for them all of the land I promised them.  Israel will stretch to the south and to the east and inhabit all of the coastal land I have set apart for him.  Then true believers from among the Gentiles will dwell in peace with my people and join them in worship of me.


“I have heard you taunting my beloved; your insults have reached my ears.  Every threat you have made against Jacob concerning the land of his promise will be turned back on your own heads.  The remnant of my people will displace you.  They will cast you from these lands.  You may celebrate as I refine them, but when I turn my wrath upon you, the angels in heaven will praise me.  The idols to which you have lifted up your hands and the demons that have ruled over you will take you to your final resting place and my people will live in peace.  The world will watch as I bring you to your end and every nation will worship me because of the judgment I pour upon you.


“To you leaders in Jerusalem and all throughout the land:  do not give yourselves to pride or surrender yourselves to arrogance or I will bring it crashing down upon you.  I have watched as you belittle my people and judge those who have come to believe in me.  I charged you to make my Name known among the nations, but you hold onto my Word as if I had spoken in secret.  In your pomp, you boast on your righteousness, like you deserve my favor.  To add to your sins against me, you refuse to surrender to my will and make plans without consulting me.  Honor me while it is yet day, because the night is coming and the motives behind every act will be revealed.  I have entrusted you with my people, yet you have scattered them.  I will uncover your hidden sins that your shame may be seen. 


“When my judgment comes upon you, I will not hear your prayers nor respond to your fasts.  Though you make offerings to me, I will not accept them.  There will be peace for my people Israel; they will live safely in the land I provide for them, but you will not see it.  You want the LORD to prosper the land, build up Jerusalem and extend Israel’s territory.  But your desire is for glory for yourselves, not for my Name.  If I were to bless you, the blessings would not be used to lift me up.  Therefore I will hand you over to your enemies, take away even what you do have and cast you from my presence.  Then those among my people who only want to worship me will reclaim the land.  I will bless them and never take my presence from them again.  They will know the LORD and see my face.


“There will be a time of tumult for Jerusalem for she will be without leader.  The LORD will remove soldiers and commanders, elders and teachers; judges and leaders will all be displaced.  In these times, oppression will increase, youths will rise up against elders and the inexperienced will lead.  This will occur because I have been forsaken in the land, however, I will provide for my faithful.  You will have nothing to fear.  I will set you apart for the Anointed One when He comes to claim the saints. 


“I mourn for the one I love.  Why have you so revolted against me?  I gave you leaders charge over my vineyard that I might receive a great harvest among my people Israel.  Yet among them I find only a few good grapes fit for the wine of the King.  Instead of pruning and cultivating them, you have stomped them into the ground.  You have devoured my people and made them useless for me.  What is left for gathering is not even enough for the gleaners. 


“Day after day you come before me.  Day after day I endure your tears.  You ask me for guidance, you pray that I would relent.  Yet all the while you do as you please, carrying out plans that did not come from me neither did I ordain.  Stop wasting your tears; you wear yourselves out for nothing.  I have called you to establish justice, to be models of righteousness, but you would have none of it!  Proclaim freedom for the captives and defend those who are oppressed.  Purify your lips and purge your hearts of malice.  Stop going your own way and submit to the will of the LORD.  Then I will use you to set the world ablaze.  You will be a light unto all of my people, both Jews and Gentiles.  I will meet your every need and cause you to flourish.  The ancient land will be rebuilt, and I will once again have my dwelling place among you.  In me you will find joy, and you will retain your inheritance forever.


“When I look among you, I see blind men feeling your way and stumbling as if you have no light.  But I am your light, and I have made the way of peace known to you.  I reach my hand from on high to rescue you from the murk and mire in which you have placed yourselves, but you reject my hand.  You choose sin over righteousness, rebellion over submission.  You speak all manner of evil from your mouths and death drips from your tongues.  Your own words convict you; they go out before you creating a path of destruction that you seem eager to follow.  Let truth reign among you; let justice ring out from every high mountain for your God is mighty and willing to redeem.  But those among you who continue in this way will receive torment at my hand.  Then all the world will fear me, every man will know my Name.  Yet my Spirit will cover the repentant, my presence will comfort the contrite.  You will speak my words to the world and will never depart from them.


“If you would return to me, then return.  Come together in my presence as one people with one voice.  Read the Word of the LORD aloud that all of my people may hear it and take it to heart.  You leaders among my people, those who have taken vows, instruct my people in the way of the LORD and be sure they clearly understand it.  Give meaning to my Word that my people may apply it to their lives and have life for their souls.  Wail and mourn as you confess your sins before me; recount your departure from the LORD and that of your fathers.  Bring to mind all of my great promises to you, and praise me for I am worthy of your praise.  Renew your covenant with the LORD your God for you to be my people and me to be your God.  Then you will have great joy and a time of celebration.  I will strengthen your innermost parts as you fellowship one with another with great feasting and joy.  You will bless the poor with the abundance I provide for you, and your children will live in peace.  I swore with uplifted hand to scatter you if you rebelled against me and despised me in your hearts.  But to your fathers I also promised to gather you from the lands to which I sent you and bring you back to the land that bears my Name. 


“O Jerusalem, city lashed by storms.  How I have longed to comfort you in your pain.  Come near to me for your sin has been atoned.  The day of the LORD’s favor rises upon you, and you shall prepare for the coming of your Lord.  Every crooked road shall be made straight.  Every unclean heart shall be purged of sin.  I will use you as my winnowing fork.  My children will be raised up out of the valley as the stumbling block becomes a stepping stone.  He will shepherd my lambs in truth and cover you with love.  I foretold this from the beginning and ordained it from the foundations of the earth.  Oh no, the LORD has not forgotten Jerusalem.  I will never forsake Israel.  My people I will restore, and your strength I will renew. 


Jerusalem will rise, and every tongue that has spoken against her will be silenced.  She will turn to the fear of the LORD and worship me at my holy mountain, for I will pardon her every sin and forgive her every transgression.  My compassion will rest upon the remnant of my people for I cannot remain angry forever.  Jerusalem will be rebuilt and her borders extended.  Just as in the days when I delivered my people from Egypt and in the times of my prophets, I will again display my power before the world through signs and wonders. 


“Jacob will no longer be ashamed, and he will keep my Name holy.  The eyes of my people will be opened and your hearts will turn to me.  You who lack understanding will gain instruction.  You who are filled with despair will find hope.  The distressed will receive compassion and all who turn and repent will be forgiven.  But every mocker will be silenced and the rebellious will be removed.  The words of the LORD have no meaning to them; they are like blind men reading a scroll.  They exalt me with their lips and despise me in their hearts.  They refuse instruction and commit themselves to go their own way.  Therefore, they will see the LORD God coming in His wrath.  They will feel the arm of the LORD as they are swept away.  Then the land will observe a time of peace, and the remnant will be built up in the way.


“Through the remnant of Israel the LORD shall receive glory.  No more shall my Name be profaned among the nations.  For this very reason, your Lord shall come and lift you up out of the depths.  The flood waters shall not overtake you.  Though the enemy surrounds you on every side, your Lord shall lift you up.  When you are scorned for my Name, endure.  For the LORD your God is a deliverer, and my judgment is sharp against the foes of my people.  I will save Zion, and the ruins will be rebuilt.  Just wait upon the LORD in your time of trouble, wait upon the LORD.


“Your Savior comes with life in His hands to ransom you from the power of death.  The enemy shall have no victories over my people.  When I cleanse your hearts and renew your minds, you will cry out to me, ‘Forgive us Lord for we have greatly sinned against you.’  Then I will hear your prayers and freely pardon; in my compassion I will heal broken spirits and lift up bowed down heads.  To you who thirst, I will give everlasting water, and fruit shall spring up from the barren land.  My Spirit will rest upon you, and you will no longer fear.  Therefore, return to me, you my people; I have redeemed you.  At the return of my people, angels sing and the earth cries out its praise, for the glory of the LORD rises upon Israel.  Hear me all the world, for my Word will prove true.


“Come to me with fragrant offerings of praise, sweet incense prayers for my pleasure.  Let your tears stream down the sides of my altar.  Break your covenants with your flesh and sacrifice it as a burnt offering; that aroma is pleasing to me.  Offer your children to be refined in my fire.  Rip open your hearts that I may scoop out your desires and refill you with my will.  These are the offerings that are pleasing in my sight; they are the fulfillment of my law.


“The world will be amazed at the restoration of my people.  The enemy will be confused when your Savior comes in power.  Those who gloated over you will lie among the fallen.  They will all look and be covered with shame.  Jerusalem will be built up from her foundations.  The borders of Israel will extend to surrounding lands.  Your Shepherd will come to defend His sheep, like a lioness defends her young.  At the sight of this, demons will writhe in pain and the wicked will become paralyzed with fear.  Who is like me?  There is no other.  I remember my covenant for generations and restore my people in a time of tumult. 


“Blessed are you who hear the words of this scroll and allow them to transform your hearts and minds.  But cursed are you who turn a deaf ear to the Word of the LORD.  My words will be a fire bursting forth to consume you.  You will run to the east and perish by the sword.  You will flee to the north and be ravaged by beasts.  You will journey to the south and get caught in a snare, only to have your skin torn from your bones.  And those who dare to travel west will be swallowed up by the sea.  What a terrible fate awaits you!


“Therefore, forsake not the way of the LORD for I am eager and swift to forgive.  At the confession of your mouths and repentance of your hearts, your sins will be no more.  I will supply your every need and lead you into all righteousness.  But you must return to me.  Demonstrate love and maintain justice; submit to your God and rest in my salvation.  Do not provoke me to anger with what your hands have made.  Receive my care, and harm not my prophets.  I am the LORD.  I give life and take it away. With my hand I pour blessings upon men; with the same I multiply their trouble and bring their days to an end.  You are my children.  Bring honor to me.  Walk in wisdom and surrender to the truth.  For all men’s days are numbered; in the end you become like grass.  Yet if your Father takes pleasure in you, your souls will not perish, but live with me forever.  Consider and decide:  will you choose life or death?”