"The Road to Captivity", Part 6; A Study in Jeremiah, Chapters 24-29
November 1, 2009

C. R. Oliver

You may watch this Newsletter in a video HERE.


November 1, 2009

"The Road to Captivity", Part 6
A Study in Jeremiah, Chapters 24-29


The Lord again resorted to graphics in order for His hearers to completely understand His meaning. These were not parables. Remember the buried sash? Remember the wine bottles? Remember the clay pots? Now, God used two baskets of figs, one holding rotten fruit and the other good and pleasant fruit as clear examples of Judah's people.

God's basic question to the citizens of Judah was, "What kind of fig are you or in which basket shall you be placed?"

God said He had designed different destinies for each basket.

Chapter 24, Fig Basket Theology:
The Good Figs:
For the good fruit He promised:
Jeremiah 24:5-7, Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: 'Like these good figs, so will I acknowledge those who are carried away captive from Judah, (1) whom I have sent out of this place for their own good, into the land of the Chaldeans. For (2) I will set My eyes on them for good, and (3) I will bring them back to this land; (4) I will build them and not pull them down, and (5) I will plant them and not pluck them up. Then (6) I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the LORD; and (7) they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for (8) they shall return to Me with their whole heart. '
Cite each of the eight venues above and review how the Lord had planned their early captivity as part of His design to eventually bless them. All the while, the majority of government and religious leadership thought those first captives to be less fortunate and rationalized how they must have sinned greatly in some way in order to be "carried away" first.

The Bad Figs:
The Bad Figs had a clear destiny as well: death and defilement.
Jeremiah 24:8-10, 'So will (1) I give up Zedekiah the king of Judah, his princes, the residue of Jerusalem who remain in this land, and those who dwell in the land of Egypt. (2) I will deliver them to trouble into all the kingdoms of the earth, for their harm, to be a reproach and a byword, a taunt and a curse, in all places where I shall drive them. (3) And I will send the sword, the famine, and the pestilence among them, till they are consumed from the land that I gave to them and their fathers.'
Cite the three outcomes for the Bad Figs:

          The first statement was for all the remaining citizenry who were loyal to the King and followed government policy, along with those who fled to Egypt in an escapist action. God declared He personally would take them in hand to trouble them and promised to summon His ferocious assistants: the sword, famine and pestilence.

Overview of the Two Groups:
  1. Good Figs: Those who submitted to the hand of God and were able to be blessed. They heard and did His will.
  2. Bad Figs: Those who did not hear and would not submit to the hand of the Lord. For them, "they are consumed from the land that He gave to them and their fathers."
Question: Is following popular religious and political policy always a good thing for Christians? (View Paul's admonitions and contrast them to the O. T. prophets.)
(Rule of Thumb: prior to captivity, national governments inevitably depart from God through their edicts and decrees. This action is traceable in both ancient and modern history; I can think of no exception. They implement programs and establish rules within which the saint cannot comply. It was so with Daniel, the Hebrew children and thousands of others who have shed their blood in resistance to malfeasance throughout history.)
Question: Did running to Egypt exempt some from their punishment?
(Evasive activities merely prolong judgment. There are some today who are seeking places in foreign countries or bunkering themselves in place.)
Two Questions: In the case of Zedekiah, the king, who followed the false prophets and the advice of men (military and his cabinet), why didn't God excuse him because of his ignorance? Did following their national leadership exempt the loyal population from punishment?
Chapter 25, Prophetic Flashback:
Jeremiah recites the history of prophetic words given to him.

Long before Zedekiah:
Jeremiah 25:1
The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon)
(Note: this is a very extensive history of prophetic work… plenty of time had been given to turn as a nation. Long before Nebuchadnezzar was powerful enough to conquer Judah, God had him lying in the background like some tiger in the bamboo. [Please remember Jehoiakim reigned for 11 yrs., after the 3 month fiasco of Jehoiachin.])
The 23rd year for Jeremiah
Jeremiah 25:3-4
This is the twenty-third year in which the word of the LORD has come to me; and I have spoken to you, rising early and speaking, but you have not listened.
(A single consistency is noted throughout the twenty-three years… "you have not listened.")
Other Men of God: Not just a single voice
Jeremiah 25:4
The LORD has sent to you all His servants the prophets [Each true prophet held to one message, "Repent and do it NOW"].

God's Codicil:
The Lord added a codicil to Jeremiah's message: (God said, "You did it to yourselves!" "To your own hurt").
Jeremiah 25:7, 'Yet you have not listened to Me,' says the LORD, 'that you might provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands to your own hurt.'

(Two things are to be noted: [1.] Judah, as a nation, did not listen to God. Why? Perhaps they had too many conflicting voices. Perhaps, the sheer threat of invasion loomed greater than spiritual considerations {they might have been busy hiding resources, taking care of one's household, other pursuits-whatever keeps one from hearing}.
[2.] Their hands were busy "provoking God's anger" with other things. {Their industry, their business, their pleasure.})

God further elaborated: Jeremiah 25:8-14, 'Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: (1) "Because you have not heard My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north," says the LORD, "and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, (2) My servant, and (3) will bring them against this land, against its inhabitants, and against these nations all around, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, a hissing, and perpetual desolations. (4) Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp. (5) And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years.

'Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity," says the LORD; "and (6) I will make it a perpetual desolation. So I will bring on that land all My words which I have pronounced against it, all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah has prophesied concerning all the nations. (For many nations and great kings shall be served by them also; and I will 7 repay them according to their deeds and according to the works of their own hands.)"'
Several things to note in the above passage:
  1. "You have not heard My words." How is it possible for prophets to be sent and no one hears them? Did the Lord mean they heard, but their ears were dull and it sounded like a bunch of religious talk? Was their "not hearing" a decision on their part or a show of their lasciviousness?
  2. Nebuchadnezzar, My servant? How could an atheistic, pagan, idol worshipper, who sought to take Israel away, be called "My servant?" Was it the will of God to invoke Deut. 28? Was the curse to be Judah's just desert for breaking covenant with God?
  3. I will utterly destroy them. God took an active roll in the punishment phase. He brought the inhabitants to the North; He said He "would utterly destroy them." Did God mean just that generation or was this prophecy farther reaching?
  4. The voice of mirth, bridegroom, bride, and millstones, light: are not these the things that produce a spirit of community? When community is gone, the whole of society becomes detached and self-seeking.
  5. An exact Prophecy: 70 yrs.: Not a nebulous word like, "something is about to happen," but rather a clear statement of who, what, when and where!
  6. 6. Verse 12 Desolation: How long is "perpetual desolation?" If currently, Iraq and parts of surrounding nations are under that curse, what is their future?
  7. "I will repay them." The Lord is a great records keeper. After the Babylonians served their usefulness as a corrective agency, He would cause judgment to come on them. This included both them and the nations that colluded with them against Judah.
The Lord expanded His prophetic message:
Jeremiah 25:15-17, For thus says the LORD God of Israel to me: "Take this wine cup of fury from My hand, and cause all the nations, to whom I send you, to drink it. And they will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them." Then I took the cup from the LORD's hand, and made all the nations drink, to whom the LORD had sent me:

Three issues are in this verse:

  1. A directive: "take this wine cup of fury from My hand." Was this a symbolic act or a spiritual exercise? Is there really such a thing as an actual cup of wrath? A good answer would be: "Ask Babylon, after the Medeo-Persian invasion." Whose hand held the cup?
  2. A second directive: "cause all the nations to whom I send you, to drink it." How is this thing to be accomplished? How could one man force a whole nation to drink? (Perhaps the voice of the prophet is stronger than this world thinks.) Didn't God predict their reaction to the drink, did He not say they would "stagger and go mad?" Are these current conditions?
  3. A third consideration: The Prophet's exactness of execution. "I took the cup," and "made ALL the nations drink." He did not question the enormity of the task. What the Lord orders, the Lord is faithful to accomplish. (What about His order to "Go ye?")
Who are the nations that had to drink of the cup? Were any not mentioned?
Were these directives just for Jeremiah's day or do they have consequences beyond then to now? In other words, are these countries still lying under the words of Jeremiah? (Consider the prayer of Jesus in John 17. Are we still under that prayer?)

13 national segments of the cup:
  1. Jeremiah 25:18, Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and its princes,
  2. Jeremiah 25:19-20, Pharaoh, king of Egypt, his servants, his princes, and all his people;
  3. Jeremiah 25:20, All the mixed multitude
  4. Jeremiah 25:20, All the kings of the land of Uz, (Damascus toward Mecca)
  5. Jeremiah 25:20, All the kings of the land of the Philistines (namely, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod) (Present day Gaza.)
  6. Jeremiah 25:21,Edom, Moab, and the people of Ammon (Jordan).
  7. Jeremiah 25:22, All the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coastlands which are across the sea;
  8. Jeremiah 25:23-24, Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who are in the farthest corners;
  9. Jeremiah 25:24-25, All the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the mixed multitude who dwell in the desert;
  10. Jeremiah 25:25, All the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of the Medes;
  11. Jeremiah 25:26, All the kings of the north, far and near, one with another.
  12. Jeremiah 25:26, All the kingdoms of the world which are on the face of the Earth (those nations at that time).
  13. Jeremiah 25:26, Also the king of Sheshach (Babylon) shall drink after them. (Sheshach was a slur name.)
(The list of 13 contains kingdoms in all directions from Jerusalem and shows the extent of the cup of wrath!)

Administering the Cup of Wrath:
  1. What was attendant to the drink?
    Jeremiah 25:27, Drink, be drunk, and vomit! Fall and rise no more,
    (Note: if these nations of the Middle East are to fall and rise no more, what then is the current dilemma about Iraq and Iran all about?)
  2. What if the nations refuse the cup?
    Jeremiah 25:28, If they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you shall say to them, "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'You shall certainly drink!" Jeremiah 25:29, "You shall not be unpunished, for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth," says the LORD of hosts.
    (Note: the premise for their judgment was the punishment of Jerusalem and God's people. If God's own were to be punished, then others would be also. Is this a universal principle with God?)
Jeremiah 25:29, 'You shall not be unpunished, for I will call for a sword on all the inhabitants of the earth,' says the LORD of hosts.
(Note: There are many who believe they will not be a part of a world wide conflagration. They feel exempt. Yet, the above passage included a sword for the wicked. Wait a moment! If this was the case, then why was the king, along with the inhabitants of Jerusalem, not exempt? Why were they captured for 70 yrs? [Does 70 years have significance? Why so long a time, but exactly 70 years?*] Why were the nations forced to drink the cup of wrath? Listen, they and their followers ALL refused the message of the Lord at the hand of the prophets.)
There are many debates about this number. Some have added up the years of the reigns of the kings of Babylon from the time of the invasion to the conclusion of the nation. They arrive at 68 years or 69 ¾ years-thus, 70 was a rounding up number. The best answer, though, is the same an in Daniel-that 7 is the number for perfection and 10 is the number of completion. 70 means God's perfect completion of punishment on His people. (Investigate Jeremiah 29:10).
Question: How can a just God hand out "exempt" slips to those who have done the same things they did? The answer may lie in the following verses.
Jeremiah 25:31-33, 'The LORD has a controversy with the nations;
He will plead His case with all flesh.
He will give those who are wicked to the sword,' says the LORD.
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
'Behold, disaster shall go forth
From nation to nation,
And a great whirlwind shall be raised up
From the farthest parts of the earth.
'And at that day the slain of the LORD shall be from one end of the earth even to the other end of the earth. They shall not be lamented, or gathered, or buried; they shall become refuse on the ground.'
(Although this passage is explained away by historians and commentators, there is an air of freshness to it. There is a prophetic aire that naggingly says: This is yet to be!)

          "Wail, shepherds, and cry! Roll about in the ashes, You leaders of the flock!
Jeremiah 25:34-37, 'Wail, shepherds, and cry! Roll about in the ashes,
You leaders of the flock! For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions are fulfilled; 1. you shall fall like a precious vessel. And the shepherds will have 2. no way to flee, nor the leaders of the flock to escape. 3. A voice of the cry of the shepherds and a wailing of the leaders to the flock will be heard, 4. for the LORD has plundered their pasture, and the peaceful dwellings are cut down.'"
Note: Who are singled out for wailing? Shepherds (pastors) and leaders…
"For the days of your slaughter and your dispersions are fulfilled," implied predestination for the group. I would like to think that such a day of slaughter and dispersion is over, but alas, once again the Pastors and their church leadership are responsible for the travesty that awaits from the hand of God.
  1. You shall fall like a precious vessel.
    (Pastors and leaders will fall like a Ming Vase on a tile floor! Those who view it will gasp. [As sure as there is a Word from God, this will yet Happen. The amount of departure from the way of the Lord is too great for it not to.])
  2. And the shepherds will have no way to flee, nor the leaders of the flock to escape. (Blaming others, along with escapism, is a favorite political mechanism that has leached over to the "politically correct" clergy. "Having no way out" means being blocked in every avenue.)
  3. A voice of the cry of the shepherds and a wailing of the leaders of the flock will be heard.
    Note: Wailing from pastors and leaders will not be done in a secret place… they will be heard publicly, for their cry will be exceedingly loud. Keep in mind these are the corrupt shepherds and leaders, but their numbers supersede the wildest imagination of the sheep.
  4. For the LORD has plundered their pasture, and the peaceful dwellings are cut down.
    Note: The wailing pastors and leaders had a reason to weep aloud: plundered pastures & spoiled peaceful dwelling… Ah, The good life! Ah, what was important has been taken away. If this was not the case, why would God single out these two aspects and not mention them wailing over their flocks? Their minds were not on the flocks!!!!
(Recently, a gentleman who was serving at a minister's conference came away amazed at the course of conversation during the meeting. They were discussing the size of their benefits, the amount of income through various programs, who would be elevated to position in the organization, ways in which to increase offerings and size of congregations and which worship teams were to be envied. He couldn't believe his ears.)
The time has come to recognize the five-fold ministry can no longer be trusted to deliver the truth of God and be faithful to the manifest will of God! It is past time to realize that the likes of Jeremiah Wright have gone unchallenged by the clergy and unchallenged by any denomination. The likes of Rick Warren, who toadies to world government and political agendas while acting as spokesmen for Christian causes, has gone basically unchallenged. This is appalling. Though I mention only these two, the numbers are astounding who have yielded to manna and follow after Balaam.

Reverences paid to the Reverends may have been valid in past days, but these are the days of judgment! Had they preached through tears a message of repentance toward God and reverence to His Name and commandments, the world would not be in the condition it is today. The churches would not be the travesty they are today either. (No one can hope for a glorious church with an inglorious leadership.)

How Have We Gotten Where We Are?
That question was raised by Jeremiah BEFORE the captivity and re-iterated by Ezekiel AFTER the captivity. Both were correct in saying, "Blame the Pastors." The Shepherds of their day functioned as the clergy of this day. In those days, they privately worshipped demons and idols after conducting worship services. Perhaps they were assuring themselves of safe passage through some spiritual channel and did not want to limit themselves to the one true God. In what way is this different today? One might say, "You are being too hard on them, brother." Listen then to what God said!
Jeremiah 25:37-38, Because of the fierce anger of the LORD. He has left His lair like the lion, for their land is desolate, because of the fierceness of the Oppressor, and because of His fierce anger.
The Lord doesn't want his flock scattered, his sheep starved and uncared for! He will not tolerate the moderators of mendacity to be the mediators of His Word. God will not continue to tolerate those responsible for rationing the amount of the Word (that is the pittances of sermon topics and subject matter), determining the type of the Word (giving views differing from their own, while de-emphasizing some), the purveyors of the Word (those who are allowed to speak in their churches and pulpits) and the extent of the Word (modified applications and expositions that serve their agenda or thought process). These shepherds will not hinder His flock any more!

(Thousands of saints literally ache in their hearts at what they are given as religious service. Thousands are in angst because they can find no place to worship, no fellowship to enjoy which will satisfy the deepest longing of their hearts. I hear from them. I receive their emails world wide. They are not looking for a greater show, a doctrinal adherence to their views or any of the stinging reasons by which pastors appraise them [calling them "church hoppers," malcontents, etc.] they are looking for the still small voice of the Spirit to attest their search as ended. Alas, how can the Spirit approve what God does not?)

Note: Ask yourself: "If God was angry with these Old Testament shepherds, what do you think is His attitude toward the current New Testament shepherds?"

Chapter 26, The Prophet of GOD vs. The Prophets of Men:

           This newsletter will carry an addendum at the end which some might wish to read now or wait to the end, but read, one must! The addendum is a quote from my (now deceased) friend, Leonard Ravenhill, entitled: The Prophet.

IT IS NEVER EASY BEING A TRUE PROPHET, nor is it easy for a false one!
Note: the next few chapters (26-29) form a collage of faces of those who rose up against Jeremiah. He had a word for all of them and they stood as fools in history. Imagine a venue, where every prophetic voice, but yours, was wrong and filled with error.

It began when the Lord sent Jeremiah to the court of the Lord's house with an address for all the cities of Judah and its worshipping people. (If any group should have heeded the prophet, it ought to have been this group.) His message infuriated the false prophets and their duped adherents.
Jeremiah 26:2-3, "Stand in the court of the LORD's house, and speak to all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD's house, all the words that I command you to speak to them. Do not diminish a word."
Listen! The admonition not to "diminish a word," was a strong warning. The message was not to sound like a Sunday sermon, where the clergy can choose to emphasize "this scripture" and diminish "that one."

Jeremiah's prophecy was spoken to the most pious crowd to be found any where on earth. The object for his doing this was to cause a spiritual awakening, a wholesale repentance and return to God. It carried with it a curse for not turning.

God was speaking:
Jeremiah 26:4-6, "If you will not listen to Me, to walk in My law which I have set before you, to heed the words of My servants the prophets whom I sent to you, both rising up early and sending them (but you have not heeded), then I will make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth."
Note: the very mention of Shiloh usually sent a shiver down spines. Shiloh was the place where the demise of the tabernacle of testimony, the place of defeat and scattering of the people of God. This was the place of shame for priests, as revealed in Hophni and Phinehas. This was the birth place of Ichabod. Shiloh presented the scene of the carrying away of the Ark of the Covenant. This was the place of judgment as characterized in the death of the high priest, Eli. It represented the epitome of ruin, disarray, and marked the entering of one of the darkest periods of the people of God… the end of God's appointed Judges and the loss of the word of God through them. Shiloh represented the end of an era. It was caused by the clergy!
The Face of the Opposition for Jeremiah and others
           The clergy and their patrons:

           With every true preachment there rises opposition. The most adamant and often the cruelest comes through church leadership. No stone hurts worse than those thrown by a prelate, especially if he or she is a fellow clergy. (Ask Stephen.) It has been true for as long as there has been a priestly class from which society looks for approval. Wherever a priest or prophet decides to bid for popularity and seek the King's favor, there error reigns. Should a true priest or prophet arise, he or she is sure to incur the false prophet's wrath. Jeremiah experienced this as have many of "God's servants." (One of the chief opponents of revival under Finney was high ranking clergy. Monuments array Europe for those martyred by command of clergy and their church supporters.)
Jeremiah 26:7-9, So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. Now it happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, "You will surely die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, 'This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without an inhabitant'?" And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.

Note: The ear of the people often is more tuned to established authority than to God. Congregations hold allegiance and loyalty to those most admired by the multitudes. That is precisely why every "majority" rule vote taken by Israel was the wrong path according to God. "Stone him" thinking is still prevalent in the Twenty-first Century!
           Jeremiah's defense was no defense at all. He re-told the necessity of repenting and following God then threw himself upon them-not fearing death. He did remind them of the curse upon any people who shed innocent blood. (Touch NOT My anointed!)

          The voice of reason came from one of the princes of the realm, not from the clergy. The Prince reminded the crowd of two prophets who spoke similar words: one went untouched, the other was slain.
Two prophets from the past:
1. Micah of Moresheth, was not slain
Jeremiah 26:19
Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah ever put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and seek the LORD's favor? And the LORD relented concerning the doom which He had pronounced against them. But we are doing great evil against ourselves.

2. Urijah, the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath Jearim, was slain
Jeremiah 26:20-2, … prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah. And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death;
(Urijah promoted the message of Jeremiah. He fled to Egypt, but was apprehended, returned and put to death. [This has sometimes happened with others who have preached the message of The Sons of Zadok.])
A leader from the past, the son of Shaphan, rose to the occasion and saved Jeremiah from the multitudes: Thank God for advocates of truth!
Jeremiah 26:24, Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death. (Who was this man, Ahikam*?)
*2 Kings 22:12-13 When the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam the son of Shaphan, Achbor the son of Michaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah a servant of the king, saying, "Go, inquire of the LORD for me, for the people and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found; for great is the wrath of the LORD that is aroused against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us." (they were sent to the prophetess Huldah)
          The question arises: "Who in modern times would be willing to stem the tide of public opinion and stand in the open forums of today's media mendicants and raise a contrary voice, thereby risking life, limb and reputation, to stand beside the true prophet? Who would dare endanger his family, his reputation and his "future" for the possibility of martyrdom for the cause of our God? Who?

Concept portrait of Jeremiah by Guy T. Rowe (born 1867)

Chapter 27, Bonds and Yokes:
           As a graphic for the surrounding territories around Judah, the Lord instructed Jeremiah to form a wooden yoke and wear it in public. This example was to show how the kings of those areas would come under the yoke and bondage of Nebuchadnezzar at the WILL OF GOD!
Jeremiah 27:4-7, Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel - thus you shall say to your masters: "I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me. And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him."

Jeremiah 27:8-9, "That the nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish," says the LORD, "with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand."
Note: the italicized three horsemen of judgment.
God said: Do not listen to your prophets!
Jeremiah 27:9-11, Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon.' For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out, and you will perish.

Note: Do not listen to your media, to your government spokespersons, to your financial authorities, to your health agencies, to your investment counselors, to your religious leadership or to your trusted advisors… listen to the Spirit alone!
Chapter 28, Prophetic Summary:
          Jeremiah summarized the false prophet's words into concise sentence structures. They prophesied this situation would be "short" lived and even the religious goods taken would be returned in two years. Jeremiah said, "This is not so," but "build houses, raise children, plant crops, pray for the peace of the cities of your captivity."

A false prophet spoke up with a rebuke in public:
Jeremiah 28:1-4, Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, "Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: 'I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the LORD's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah who went to Babylon,' says the LORD, 'for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'"

          Jeremiah pulled back and said virtually, "Amen, I would wish this prophecy to come to pass, but it isn't." (The true prophet's test has always been if his prophecy came to pass.)
           To this, Hananiah violently reacted and showed his resentment by breaking the yoke off Jeremiah's neck.
The word of the Lord came quickly:
Jeremiah 28:13-17, You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made in their place yokes of iron. For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also."

Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, "Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie." Therefore thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD."
So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
Note: Jeremiah was publicly rebuked, so he publicly rebuked the false prophet. Then and There! He did not wait six months and hope for a Better forum. He did not hesitate to defy the crowd. Where are the Jeremiah's Lord?

Note: only once in my life, do I remember a similar situation. I was in Brazil and I had preached exactly what the Lord commanded. The church went into an uproar of repentance and contrition which addressed most of the problems the pastor was facing with that congregation. However, a group of seminarians chose to reprimand me.

They invited me to one of their homes, two days later, for an early dinner and informed me they would see to it personally that I never preached in their churches in Brazil again. My only answer to the spokes lady was, "The Lord choose between you and me on this issue." I then turned and left. Within one year, that person died. I preached in Brazil that next year. Be careful interfering in God's business!
Chapter 29, Two Conflicting letters:
Jeremiah's letter to the captives: It contained two admonitions: a. Build houses; prosper in place
Jeremiah 29:5-6, Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit. Take wives and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, so that they may bear sons and daughters - that you may be increased there, and not diminished
b. Don't look for Zedekiah… he's a dead man.
Jeremiah 29:16-20, Thus says the LORD concerning the king who sits on the throne of David, concerning all the people who dwell in this city, and concerning your brethren who have not gone out with you into captivity - thus says the LORD of hosts: "Behold, I will send on them the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, and will make them like rotten figs that cannot be eaten, they are so bad. And I will pursue them with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence; and I will deliver them to trouble among all the kingdoms of the earth - to be a curse, an astonishment, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them, because they have not heeded My words," says the LORD, "which I sent to them by My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them; neither would you heed, says the LORD. Therefore hear the word of the LORD, all you of the captivity, whom I have sent from Jerusalem to Babylon."
Note: the underlined "rotten figs" refers to the sign given by Jeremiah. The Lord is verifying his former words by the true prophet. God is not afraid to be identified with his servants!
The False Prophet's letter: to the powers at Jerusalem.
Shemaiah, the Nehelamite, falsely enfranchised himself:
Jeremiah 29:25-26, You have sent letters in your name to all the people who are at Jerusalem, to Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest, and to all the priests, saying, "The LORD has made you priest instead of Jehoiada the priest, so that there should be officers in the house of the LORD over every man who is demented and considers himself a prophet, that you should put him in prison and in the stocks."

Note: The Lord did not put him in charge of anything, but look at those he claims charge over. They make interesting bedfellows.

God Disenfranchises Shemaiah Using Two Vehicles:
           With a Question: Jeremiah 29:27-28, 'Why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who makes himself a prophet to you? For he has sent to us in Babylon, saying, "This captivity is long; build houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat their fruit."'

          With a true prophecy: Jeremiah 29:31-32, Thus says the LORD concerning Shemaiah the Nehelamite: "Because Shemaiah has prophesied to you, and I have not sent him, and he has caused you to trust in a lie--" therefore thus says the LORD: "Behold, I will punish Shemaiah the Nehelamite and his family: he shall not have anyone to dwell among this people, nor shall he see the good that I will do for My people, says the LORD, because he has taught rebellion against the LORD."

(The question today is, "How many are trusting in Lies?" Pastors have excused what God has not. Pastors have promised what God has not. Judgment lies at their door, for it begins in the House of the Lord.)
Addendum from the Lord:
(Since God ferreted out one false prophet, why would He not expose others?) After Shemaiah came Ahab and Zedekiah.

A Word for Ahab and Zedekiah, the prophets: Jeremiah 29:21-23, Concerning Ahab the son of Kolaiah, and Zedekiah the son of Maaseiah, who prophesy a lie to you in My name: Behold, I will deliver them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, and he shall slay them before your eyes. And because of them a curse shall be taken up by all the captivity of Judah who are in Babylon, saying, "The LORD make you like Zedekiah and Ahab, whom the king of Babylon roasted in the fire;" because they have done disgraceful things in Israel, have (1) committed adultery with their neighbors' wives, and have (2) spoken lying words in My name, which I have not commanded them. Indeed I know, and am a witness, says the LORD.

(Note: because of them a new curse: "The Lord make you like Zedekiah and Ahab." What things are done currently because of the false clergy?)

(Note: the two things that were cited by God: adultery and speaking lying words. Neither seem to trouble many any more?)

Until Next month,

Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.


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Last modified: 02/07/2019