Jeremiah chapter twenty eight, as we continue to study through the Bible.
Now it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fifth month.
Let’s see, we wanted to start at twenty seven didn’t we? That’s right. Thank you.
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, [now there is perhaps here a copyist error. It is possible that instead of reading Jehoiakim, it should read Zedekiah. And that one of the very rare errors not in the bible, but in one of those who were copying the scriptures, and this is generally considered to be a copyist error, that the fellow who was copying it wrote down Jehoiakim rather than Zedekiah. Because it would seem that it was, that the chapter had to do with the reign of Zedekiah. Notice verse three, that these kings of Edom and all, had sent their emissaries unto Zedekiah, the king of Judah. So, there are those who feel that this is a copyist error, that it should read, “In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah, son of Josiah king of Judah that came this word unto Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,”
Thus saith the Lord to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck, And send them to the king of Edom, and to the king of Moab, and to the king of the Ammonites, and to the king of Tyrus, and to the king of Zidon, by the hand of the messengers which come to Jerusalem unto Zedekiah king of Judah (27:2-3);
Now, Jehoiakim reigned for eleven years, then Jeconiah, only about three months when he died, and then Zedekiah began his reign. There is one other suggestion, and of course it is a possibility, and that is that it was in the beginning at the reign of Jehoiakim that Jeremiah was commanded to make these yokes. It wasn’t until eleven years later that they were distributed to these other kings, when they sent their emissaries to Zedekiah to form an alliance against the Babylonians. A possibility, but more probable that it is a copyist error and it should read Zedekiah.
Now the yoke he was to make and he was to put upon his neck, it was a sign of servitude. They would put the yoke on the ox so they could press the ox into the service in pulling the plow. So, Jeremiah was to wear this yoke. Now if it happened in the first year of Jehoiakim than man he was wearing this yoke for many years around Jerusalem. No doubt it caused a great deal of talk after eleven years of wearing this yoke around. But, he was to wear it around his neck as a sign to the people that they were going to become servants to the Babylonian king.
Now it would appear that several of the neighboring kingdoms decided to join together in a confederacy, to stop the march of Nebuchadnezzar, through the territories. None of them were sufficient in themselves to defeat Babylon, but they felt that if they would join together, sort of a NATO, alliance. That they would have together, perhaps have some effect against the Babylonian army. So they were sort of taking comfort in the fact that by aligning ourselves together, we will be able to stop this Babylonian army. So, Jeremiah was commanded to go to these emissaries who come from Edom and Moab, and Ammon, and from Tyre, and Zidon and to give them these yokes.
And to command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to your master; I have made the earth, and man and beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto who it seemed right unto me. And now I have given all of these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant; and the beasts of the field have I given him also to serve him. And all nations shall serve him and his sons, and his son’s son, until the very time of his land come: and then many nations and great kings shall serve themselves of him (27:4-7).
So God is basically announcing that God has ordained, that Nebuchadnezzar, though a pagan king, should reign over the world, over these kingdoms. Now at the time that Jeremiah is prophesying here in Jerusalem, Daniel is growing up in Babylon, and Daniel is interpreting for the king of Babylon, some of his perplexing dreams. In the fourth chapter in the book of Daniel, which would more or less correspond in years, pretty much to this same time, you’re looking at a period of around, well just about the same time, historically.
There in Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar had had another dream. Daniel, actually Nebuchadnezzar, writes of this dream. This is an interesting chapter in the bible, it is a chapter that is written by a pagan king. Chapter four of Daniel is actually written by Nebuchadnezzar. It’s incorporated in the book of Daniel, but it’s a very fascinating chapter in that it is written by a well, once pagan, king. Notice that he begins with, “Nebuchadnezzar the king, unto all people, nations, languages, that dwell in all the earth. Peace be multiplied unto you. And I thought it good to really send you my testimony, to show you the signs and wonders that the high God has brought toward me.” He’s gonna give a personal testimony of certain signs and wonders that God did for him. And he declares, “How great are His signs, and how mighty are His wonders. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and His dominion is from generation to generation”. Now he said, “I Nebuchadnezzar, was at rest in my house, and I was flourishing in my palace”. Everything was just going great, “And I saw a dream which made me afraid. And the thoughts upon my bed, and the visions of my head, they troubled me. And therefore I made a decree to bring in all the wise men, so that they could interpret this dream”, and they all came in and they couldn’t do it, and finally, “Daniel came in before me, and his name was Belshazzar, according to the name of my God, in who is the spirit of the holy gods, and before him, I told him the dream”. When Daniel heard the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had, he said, verse seventeen, “This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones, to the intent”, this is the purpose, “that the living may know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and He gives it to whomsoever He will, and He sets over it the basest of men.” “Now this is the intent of the dream Nebuchadnezzar, that you might know that God rules. You think you rule mighty Babylon.” “So God rules and God sets over the kingdoms, the men that rule, and the men that reign, and you need to know this. So, the watchers of heaven have been watching you Nebuchadnezzar, and you’ve been lifted up with pride and going around, better take it easy man, just cool it, you know, and live humbly, and walk softly and carefully.” So, for a whole year the king behaved himself. Then he was walking through the gardens and saying, “Isn’t this the great Babylon that I have built”, and so the words no sooner fell from the king’s mouth, then a voice from heaven said, “Oh king Nebuchadnezzar, you’ve been warned, and now the kingdom is departed from you, and they shall drive you from men, these spirits, your dwelling will be with the beasts of the fields. You’ll eat grass like the oxen until seven times it passed over you.” So, when he finally regained his senses, his sanity, “At the end the days, I Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes unto heaven, my understanding returned to me, I blessed the Most High God, I praised and honored Him that liveth forever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom is from generation to generation. And all of the inhabitants of the earth are though as nothing, and He does according to His will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth”. The divine sovereignty of God is being declared by this king. “And who can stay His hand, and say unto Him, what are you doing? At the same time my reason returned unto me, and for the glory of my kingdom, my honor, and the brightness returned unto me, and my counselors and my lords sought unto me, and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgement. And those who walk in pride He is able to abase.” Which of course, He surely did to Nebuchadnezzar.
So here in Jeremiah, he is saying the same thing. That God is the one who sets on the throne, those who He will. God appoints the rulers, and He sometimes chooses the bases of men, but God reigns, and God uses even based men to accomplish His purposes, and thus God calls them His servants. Here He refers to Nebuchadnezzar as His servant. Because God is going to use him, even though he isn’t aware of it or isn’t really anxious, he may be reluctant, but God will still use him. God called another king Darius or Cyrus, His servant. The pagan king of Persia He called His servant. So, God uses people to accomplish His purposes even when they do not realize that they are being used by God. He reigns.
Now, the idea is, there’s no sense in getting together and hoping for victory over Nebuchadnezzar, because God has given all of your kingdoms into his hands, and because God has appointed it, you’re trying to defend yourself is useless. It’s only going to bring hurt. If you would just submit, and pay tribute, you can come under his reign, and you can stay in the land and everything will be okay, but if you rebel and fight against him, then the destruction will be great and it will be costly, as far as lives and all, and so Jeremiah is pretty much exhorting them to just surrender.
Now, in verse seven, “And all nations shall serve him, and his son, and his son’s son, and then his kingdom will be given over to others”. It is interesting that that’s exactly what happened historically. When Nebuchadnezzar died, his son Evilmerodach reigned in his stead, and then Belshazzar, the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, was reigning when the Babylonian kingdom fell to the Medes and the Persians. So, God sort of gave him the succession, there’ll be three, your son, your son’s son, and then that’s it. That was it for Babylon. That’s all the longer, God appoints, God sets in order and He sets the timing, and really you’re really pretty much helpless to do anything about it. Except if you fight it, you’re going to get hurt. Surrender to it and you’ll get by.
That is always the way it is concerning the will of God. You can fight the will of God if you want, or try to fight the will of God, you’re only going to end up bloody, bruised, and whipped. Or you can surrender to the will of God and reap the benefits and the blessings of flowing with God. I think that we make a mistake so many times when we try to direct God. You know, we get a program, we want you to get behind us and work with us on this program Lord and bless this program. No! Find out what God’s doing and get behind God. Much better to just find the flow of the Spirit and then flow with it, rather than trying to direct the flow of God.
So here we have the case of God’s promises, the three generations and then Babylon will fall. So Jeremiah says, and this is the continued message.
And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve this same Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, and that will not put their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation will I punish, saith the Lord, with the sword, and with famine, and with pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand (27:8).
You’re resisting will only bring the sword, and pestilence, and famine. Now the city of Tyre was one of the kingdoms that was represented at this conference, and we do know that the city of Tyre did seek to defend itself against the Babylonian army. But it was costly. The Babylonian army besieged the city of Tyre for thirteen years. Now they were able to hold off so long, because of the Phoenician navy, that ruled the seas and they had a seaport, and they would bring the supplies in from the sea, but finally after thirteen years the city of Tyre fell, but it was a costly thing in the matter of lives, and of course the famine, and the diseases that came as a result of this long period of siege.
So, Jeremiah is just saying, this is what God has ordained. You don’t want to fight against God, go ahead and just accept this as God’s ordained purpose at this time, and flow with it. If you bend, you won’t break. So many of them though did not bend, they tried to defend themselves, and they were broken.
Therefore hearken not to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon: [Don’t listen to these guys.] For they prophesy lies to you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and that you should perish. But the nations that bring their neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him, those will I let remain still in their own land, saith the Lord; and they shall till it, and dwell therein (27:9-11).
So if you will just surrender, you can stay right in your own land. You can farm it and be prosperous there. If you fight and resist, then you will be removed unto all the lands. Now, these false prophets, diviners, sorcerers and so forth that were prophesying and encouraging them to resist, and promising them victory over Babylon.
It is interesting it said that they were doing this in order that the people might be driven out from the land, and dispersed. These false prophets were actually inspired by Satan, and they were giving Satanic advise. And know this, Satan has one purpose, and that is to destroy. One of his names is Destroyer, and Satan seeks to destroy you, and he will give you false counsel but the purpose of that counsel is destruction. Always! Jesus said, “Then enemy is come to rob, to kill, and to destroy.” Satan’s purpose is to destroy your life, and the things that Satan is tempting you to do, drawing you to do, are the very things that will destroy you. For he is out to destroy. That is his purpose, and interesting that one of his names is Apollyon, the Destroyer, because he is out to destroy you. But Jesus said, “I’ve come that you might have life and that more abundantly”. So, a person chooses, to obey Christ and to have that life, or to obey Satan and be destroyed. But you can’t really blame God for the destruction. You have to blame yourself, because you listened to the enemy, and you followed his advice and counsel.
So, Jeremiah is saying don’t listen to these sorcerers, these diviners, these enchanters, and all. Because they’re going to tell you to resist. You’re not going to come under the yoke of Babylon but it’s only that you might be carried away, and your land destroyed. They’re prophesying lies. Then, another indication that this was during the time of Zedekiah, verse twelve.
I spake also to Zedekiah the king, [Jeremiah was now coming back from the message to the foreign emissaries.] I spake also to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live. For why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the Lord hath spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon (27:12-13)?
So, why would you die? Good question. Submit and live. It’s really almost the gospel isn’t it? Submit to Jesus Christ and live, why resist Him and die? God has ordained that Jesus should reign. I mean, you can’t stop that. “One day every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” You can’t stop that. One day He’s going to rule as Lord over the whole earth. You can’t stop that. God has appointed that He should. “Ask of me and I’ll give you the heathen for thine inheritance, the uttermost parts for thy possession.” Now if you will yield to that, put your neck under the yoke, and serve Jesus Christ, then you’ll live and reign with Him in His kingdom, but to fight against that, is only to bring destruction to your own soul. Why should you die? Good question.
Therefore do not hearken to the words of the prophets that speak to you saying, You shall not serve the king of Babylon: because they are prophesying lies unto you. For I have not sent them, saith the Lord, yet they prophesy a lie in my name; that I might drive you out, and that might perish, you, and the prophets that prophesy unto you. [Again, the purpose is destruction. To drive you out that you might perish.] Also [Jeremiah said], I spoke to the priests and to all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Hearken not to the words of your prophets that prophesy unto you, saying, Behold, the vessels of the Lord’s house shall now shortly be brought again from Babylon: for they are prophesying a lie unto you (2:14-16).
Many of the vessels were taken, the golden vessels that were used in the temple, in the service to God, were taken as loot by the Babylonian army, back to Babylon. All of the smaller vessels, those that you could carry easily, were taken. They left some of the larger instruments of worship. The big brass laver, in which the priest bathed, that was left. Of course it was huge brass laver, and then these giant brass pillars, of the temple of Solomon. They were left there. So, the prophets were going around prophesying saying, “Soon they will be returning all of the vessels of gold and silver that they took to Babylon. They’ll be coming back, and we’re going to be back to the good old days again.” He said, “Don’t listen to them.” But, he said, “They’re prophesying lies”.
Serve the king of Babylon and live, why should this city be laid waste? Why should this city be destroyed? And we know how thoroughly it was destroyed. We’re uncovering the rubble now there in Oakville, of the city that was destroyed by the Babylonians. And it lies there today as a testimony to the truth of God’s warnings.
[Jeremiah said,] But if they be prophets, and if the word of the Lord is with them, let them now make intercession to the Lord of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah and at Jerusalem, go not to Babylon (27:18).
If they’re really men of God, let them be praying and interceding that the rest of the things won’t be carried off to Babylon. They were carried off. They went back, when he came back he destroyed the temple, they cut these big brass pillars, there that held the front porch of the temple. They cut those things in pieces and carried them back. They took the brass laver and the other instruments and the treasures when they left the next time.
For thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, [that would be that brass sea], and concerning the bases upon which that sea did set, [you can read it in Chronicles, the account of these oxen, this big brass base, or this big brass sea was upon, or the bowl], and the residue of the vessels that remain in this city, Which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took not, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem; Yea thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem; They shall be carried to Babylon, and there shall they be until the day that I visit them, saith the Lord; then will I bring them up, and restore them to this place (27:19-22).
So, he’s prophesying now, he says have them pray that God won’t do it, but he already knows that they have set their mind against God. So he prophesies they’re going to be carried away. They’ll remain there until the day that God is ready to bring them back. Now, years later, when they were allowed to come back by the Persian kings they brought back many of the things of the temple. Ezra brought back many of those things, and restored, the kings restored them to Jerusalem, but that was in God’s timing.
So it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, [which again, sort of places this prophecy not in the time of Jehoiakim but in the time of Zedekiah] in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, [the reign of Zedekiah] that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the Lord, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, and he said, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. And within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the Lord: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon (28:1-4).
So this fellow Hananiah is giving this prophecy which is the false prophecy that Jeremiah had been warning about in the previous chapters. “Don’t listen to the prophets that say things will soon be coming back, and things will soon be restored. Don’t listen to them!” So now, here’s Jeremiah still wearing this yoke, still, and this fellow Hananiah makes one of these false prophecies right there in front of Jeremiah. The very kind of prophecy that Jeremiah was warning about, declaring that they were lies and not to trust in them.
And so then the prophet Jeremiah said unto the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests, and in the presence of all the people that stood in the house of the Lord, Even the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen: the Lord do so: the Lord perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the Lord’s house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon unto this place (28:5-6).
Jeremiah, I’m certain was saying this in a mocking way. Here’s this fellow uttering this false prophecy, right there before Jeremiah, and of course, Jeremiah’s saying, “Hey! I’d like to see this man!” You know he didn’t long for the destruction. He was heartbroken over it. He was weeping over it. He speaks many times of the tears that he shed over the people’s rebellion against God, and he would that they would repent, and turn to God, and seek the grace and the mercy of God. If perchance God would be merciful and spare them. But he had to be true to the word of God in his heart, and he had to speak God’s truth. Even though it wasn’t pleasant for the people to hear.
Now, always there have been the false prophets and the true prophets. During the Old Testament period, we read over and over of the false prophets. In the book of the law they were told how to discern false prophets, the judgement and the punishment that should come to false prophets. During the times of Jesus, He warned against the false prophets. Surely in the new testament epistles, the apostles warned over and over of the false prophets that would rise and that were around. They told, they named, some of the false prophets that were going around, spreading their lies. Now a false prophet doesn’t wear a sign that says, “I’m a false prophet”, so that they’re not always readily or easily discerned. Much of what a false prophet says is true. If a false prophet didn’t say any truth, then no one would listen to him. But many times there’s enough truth to get your attention, to catch your ear. But you want to look for the bottom line. It’s in the bottom line. Now in John, he said, “Believe not every spirit, but try the spirits to see if they be of God”. What’s the bottom line? What is their testimony concerning Jesus Christ? Is He God come in the flesh? If that isn’t the bottom line, then they are false prophets. Now they may do a lot of good, they may have a lot of good points. So does a porcupine! But you get too close and you can get hurt. So a false prophet, you look always at the bottom line, and doctrinally, as a general rule, has to do with the nature of Jesus Christ, and the deity of Jesus Christ. Then, as far as you are concerned, the bottom line is, “Send me your money”.
Now, in the early church, before the scriptures were fully established, before they had the cannon of scriptures and the complete writings of Paul, and his epistles, and James and John’s epistles, and all, they had sent out sort of a little pamphlet, it was called the didache, the teachings of the apostles, in which they were warning the new churches of these roving bands of characters, who would come into a church with all kinds of hyperspirituality and supposed prophets, and prophesying to the people, and laying hands, and doing all of these kinds of things. So they were con artists, that were just going around visiting the churches, much like the TV evangelists today, and ripping cities off and people off. So, they sent out this little pamphlet to help to discern whether or not he was a true prophet, and interestingly enough, the bottom line was, if he was seeking money for himself, seeking support for himself, he was a false prophet, and he wasn’t to be listened to. If he says, “Thus saith the Lord, prepare a great meal, roast beef, chicken, dumplings and all, and that we might feed the poor you know. Prepare! Thus saith the Lord”. It says if the guy ate of the meal himself, he was a false prophet. You know if he was just giving you the menu that he wanted. But if you know, it was just generally to feed the poor, and then if he stayed more than three days living off the people, take care of him, be hospitable, but after three days if he lingers any longer, then he’s a false prophet. Move him on. Thus the idea was, if they are taking advantage of the people from a financial standpoint, or seeking to do so, they’re false prophets. Boy if you put that criteria today to a lot of these named evangelists around the country, I’m afraid that we will find that many of them, in the early church, classify as false prophets.
Hananiah was a false prophet. What he was saying was what the people wanted to hear, and false prophets usually say things that are very pleasant to hear. Usually there are great promises of power and anointing and moving of God, and people want to hear that. Naturally we want to see the power of God manifested! We love to see the miracles wrought. We would love to see people coming to Jesus. We would love to see tremendous revival. We long to see these things and when someone comes in, in the name of the Lord and begins to prophesy these things, it’s exciting! But when the bottom line is, “And now if you’ll just send in your offering, God will bless you! And you’ll see these things come to pass! Give your faith offerings, send in your seed of faith, and God will multiply it to you!”
I was listening to this guy talking about these $1,000 dollar vows of faith to God. You know, “send in”, and he was telling about these people who sent in this vow, the $1,000 dollar faith, and then the next week they got $5,000 dollars from an unexpected source, and just fleecing, fleecing. I told my wife, I said, “I’m tempted to write in to the guy and say thank you for the excellent teaching on faith vows, and I decided to give a faith vow to my church for $50,000 dollars, and God blessed me abundantly, you know!” Just to make the guy’s mouth water, you know. I mean it would drive him up a wall! He wouldn’t sleep for weeks, thinking that he had missed the money, you know. Good thing I’m a Christian. I think of the most diabolical things of torment and torture.
So Hananiah was saying what the people wanted to hear. They wanted to hear that, “Our problems are almost over. We don’t have to change our lives, we don’t have to repent, we don’t have to turn from our sin. We don’t have to clean up our acts. We can go on in our partying and we can go on in our same routines of evil. We don’t have to change.” And he was giving them comfort in their sin. God never intended to comfort any man in sin. Sin should always be an uncomfortable position. Woe unto those who comfort men who are in sin. That was what the prophet was doing. So, Jeremiah says, “Yeah, yeah, hey man, yeah. Let it be fellow”.
[But he said], Nevertheless hear this word which I speak in your ears, and in the ears of all the people; The prophets that have been before me and before you of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, they prophesied of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. The prophet which prophecies of peace, when the word of the Lord shall come to pass, then shall that prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him (28:7-9).
In other words in the early days was if the prophecy came to pass, then he was a true prophet. If the prophecy didn’t come to pass, then he wasn’t a true prophet, but then if the prophecies did come to pass, and then they would teach you and say, “Well now you should worship this other god”, then they were false prophets and should be put to death. Bottom line, always. Bottom line. So, Jeremiah says, “If we see the peace in two years, then we’ll know if you’re a true prophet of God”.
So Hananiah [sort of embolden by the meekness of Jeremiah], took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and he broke the thing. And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the Lord; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah left. [This guy prophesying the exact opposite thing that Jeremiah had predicted.] Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off of his neck and he said, Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the Lord; You have broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also. [He’s gonna take their cattle, he’s gonna take their sheep, their herds. “I’ve given them all to him, and they’re going to serve him.”] Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but you make this people to trust in a lie (28:10-15).
I’m very bold to say that when a bottom line for an evangelist is, “Send me your money”, The Lord hasn’t sent him. He’s making merchandise of you. “God needs your support at this time, we’re quite desperate”, God doesn’t need your support. You need God’s support. You’ve made these people he said, to trust in a lie. The thing is when a person puts their trust in the words of a false prophet, that they’ve been healed, or that they’re gonna have this great fortune come, or that they’re gonna have all these riches coming pouring in, so by faith, go out and run your credit cards up, because God will supply all your needs and so forth. They cause people to trust in lies, and when it finally falls through, the people are devastated! We’ve had to minister to so many people who are the byproduct of false prophets, whose lives have been shattered because they put their trust in some prophecy that the cancer was gone, or something, and then when it shows up again, they’re devastated. Causing people to trust in lies is a very serious offense.
[And for the prophet he said], Therefore thus saith the Lord I am going to cast you off of the face of the earth: and this year you will die, because you have taught rebellion against the Lord. [The Lord was saying, “Submit, come under the yoke of Babylon”, and this guy is saying “resist”. So he is teaching them to rebel against the commandment of God. And the footnote at the end of the chapter is], So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month (28:17).
It was quickly obvious who was the true prophet and who was the false prophet, when Hananiah died.
So, we come to the twenty ninth chapter, which we will come to next Sunday. Just that twenty ninth chapter, it’s a, there’s just an awful lot of, it’s a message that Jeremiah sent to the captives who are in Babylon. He’s now gonna write to them. Now in Babylon, Ezekiel was prophesying, he was a true prophet. But there were also false prophets in Babylon that were saying to people, “Hey, just wait. Any day now, you know, Babylon’s gonna fall, and we’re gonna split out of here and go home!” and Jeremiah is writing and saying, “Hey, settle down and build your houses, and get secure and all, plant your vineyards and everything, because you’re gonna be there awhile.” He’s telling them they’re gonna be there for seventy years, and so, “Settle down, and get comfortable there, because it’s going to be awhile before you come home.” So, it’s Jeremiah’s message to the captives in Babylon that we will look at next Sunday night, as we continue through the bible. Shall we stand?
You never have to really worry about who you can trust, because if you trust in the Lord, you’re gonna be okay. The Bible warns about trusting in man, trusting in princes, but it tells us that we should put our trust in the Lord. And put your trust in the word of the Lord. As God said, “He is the one who has appointed these things, and they’re going to be”. So, you can put your trust in what God has said. Now if some fellow comes along and says, “Well, God didn’t really mean that. What God really meant was…”, and in the Greek, then don’t trust him. “You can’t really accept all of this as the word of God. Parts of it were man’s ideas.” Uh oh! Look out! “I’ll tell you which part is genuine, and which part is not.” Oh wait a minute! That makes me then the authority, instead of the bible. If you can’t believe it all, then you can’t believe it in parts. It stands as a whole, or falls as a whole. So, or falls apart, so, take the whole thing, and you can trust in it, and you can build your life upon it, and it’s a solid foundation, to build your life. But it becomes then, the uh, there’s a word in it but it’s not coming through the computer, the grid or the filter which we need to filter all of the info that comes, we filter through this. Does it pass this test? Is it in keeping with what God said. If it’s in keeping with what God said, then good. But if it is contradictory, to what God said., if it’s a conflict with what God said, I don’t care how important a position the person has in the church or whatever, if he’s telling you something contrary to what God said, then he’s a false prophet. If he’s telling you to trust in something other than Jesus Christ, he’s a false prophet. If he’s pressing for you to support him financially, he’s a false prophet. Those are the bottom lines to look for.
So, may the Lord be your strength, your help, and may your ear be open to hear what God has to say to you, for He will never lead you astray.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7294