Discern False Teaching from True

Jeremiah 27 SCC 3/5/17

Wouldn’t we like to be in charge of our circumstances? What they are. When they come.



Verse 1-7 In the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah v 1. Jeremiah received a message from the Lord toward the beginning of King Zedekiah's reign. The Jews sometimes divided periods of time into halves: the beginning half and the end half. Thus the writer probably meant that this prophecy came in the first half of Zedekiah's reign. The first verse of chapter 28 locates the time of this prophecy more exactly, namely, in the king's fourth year. This is 593 B.C., about 16 years after chapter 26, making Jeremiah about 54 years old. This is also after the 1st and 2nd deportations of Jews to Babylon (Daniel is already there, for example) and about seven years before the final fall of Jerusalem.

God told Jeremiah to make bonds and yokes and put them on your neck v 2. Yokes are used to hitch together teams of oxen. The animal yoke, of course, represented submission, servitude, and captivity.

Then he was to send word to the envoys in Jerusalem from the countries of Edom (S.E.), Moab (S.E.), Ammon (East), Tyre, and Sidon (Phoenician cities to the north) v 3. Perhaps they were in Jerusalem to discuss uniting together in a revolt against Babylon.

They were to return to the masters of their countries v 4 and say: Thus says the Lord...the God of Israel...I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power… and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight v 5. God is the Creator and the Distributor. Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, my servant...and all the nations shall serve him...until...many nations...will make him their servant v 6-7.

He apparently made one set of the object lesson, a yoke, for each of the ambassadors to take back home with him. These nations may have thought they could unite and have success in revolting against Babylon but all the nations are in God’s hands, there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God (Romans 13:1; see also Isaiah 40:23; 2 Chronicles 21:18; 22:7; Romans 9:17; and Daniel 2:21).

Application: We are to exercise our free will decision to vote in this country, but it is God who establishes and takes down kings. And He does it according to His plan of moving the world toward the time of the Tribulation and the rule of the evilest king, the antichrist, in order to judge evil at His own Second Coming as “King of King and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:18).

Verse 8-11 If any of the nations Jeremiah was addressing failed to submit to Nebuchadnezzar, the Lord would destroy that nation using Nebuchadnezzar as His instrument v 8. War, famine, and disease would follow resistance to the Babylonian invader. To resist the known will of God is always spiritual suicide. Because God was speaking to these foreign nations, whose ambassadors had gathered in Jerusalem, He told them, 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 v 9. For they prophesy a lie to you v 10.

These foreign kings should not listen to their counselors and prophets who advocated resistance to Nebuchadnezzar. If they did, they would only experience greater destruction, deportation, and death.  God then says if their country will put their necks under the Babylonian rule, they will be preserved v 11. But if not, they will die with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence.

Application: It doesn’t matter what the wisdom or religions of the world say, God is in charge, and the world will operate according to His Word. Anything else is a lie, from the father of lies (John 8:44). God has no competition.



An appeal to Zedekiah Two parts to Jeremiah’s message:

Verse 9-15 (1) The same command God gave the other nations, He also gave Zedekiah and Judah Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him and his people and live v 12. If they don’t, you will die, you and your people, by the sword, famine, and pestilence v 13. Jeremiah also counseled Zedekiah to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar. If he did, they could continue to live. But if he resisted, the people of Judah would die by the sword, starvation, and sickness.

(2) Do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you for they prophesy a lie to you v 14; for I have not sent them, declares the Lord. but they [false prophets] prophesy falsely in My name, in order that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you v 15. As we have already seen in Jeremiah, the false prophets’ message is in the name of God to deceive the people so that they will turn away from God and His true Word in order that God can judge them for the evil they have done against Him.

Application: Here again we see that God is carrying out His plan of judgment against Judah. In order to drive out the evil people and the false prophets, they believe a lie. The reason is the same reason it will be in the Tribulation, for this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they might believe what is false, in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness (2 Thessalonians 2:11-12).

An appeal to the people and priests

Verse 16-22 Jeremiah again cautioned the priests and people to not listen to the false prophets, for they are prophesying a lie to you v 16. Jeremiah also prophesied to the priests and the people, assuring them that the prophecies of the speedy end of the captivity, and of the soon return of the people that had already gone into exile, were lies.  Do not listen to them. Jeremiah said, serve the king of Babylon and live v 17! The priests and people should not listen to these false prophets. They should submit to Nebuchadnezzar and live, rather than to resist, and see Jerusalem destroyed. The issue is the vessels of the Temple v 18-20. If the false prophets were true, they should ask God to keep the remaining temple, palace, and city furnishings and accessories still in Jerusalem, from being taken captive to Babylon. The granting of their petition would validate them as authentic prophets.

Some were already taken to Babylon in the first deportation (when Daniel was taken), and the false prophets said they will now shortly be brought again from Babylon v 16. Furthermore, the vessels that are left in the house of the Lord, and in the house of the king of Judah, they shall be carried to Babylon v 21-22. They will be there until the day I visit them declares the Lord. Then I will bring them back and restore them to this place. The Lord's prediction concerning these treasures was that Nebuchadnezzar would take them to Babylon, where they would remain until the Lord restored His people to their land.

Application: Deception, by its vary nature, is hard to detect. These false prophets were saying that God would not allow anything to happen to His house, the Temple. On the surface, it would appear that the false prophets were the ones telling the truth and Jeremiah was the one prophesying against Judah and the Temple. How to know which one is telling the truth? Examine their fruit. The false prophets were evil and greedy, they were not living according to the Law, even though their words seemed like it was of the Law. Just make sure the fruit is actually what God said to do and not what religious organizations say is fruit.


So What?

First, Gods plan is not something we can figure out. What we can do is apply the Word of God to every life situation we face. That allows for a righteous response that brings glory to God. This is the choice we must make daily.

Second, whatever Gods plan is, is whatever happens. We can do nothing to impede it. We can respond to it but not be in control of it. What we are in control of is how we choose to manage it. Our problem is that we want to control our circumstances too, but we soon learn we are not in charge.

Third, what we can hang into is the clear directive will of God we have in scripture. There, we can rely on the words of God which reveal the will of God which is the plan of God for us to obey. It is the Bible that contains Gods revelation. Its not found in our experience.

Fourth, it is the mature who by practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil (Heb 5:14). Three times God says do not listen the words of your prophets. Why? Because they prophesy a lie. This has only increased in our age. Christians believe lies because they are ignorant of Gods Word. Why will you die v 13…way should this city become a ruin v 17, because you believed lies! What lies about God, his will, do you believe?