The Book of Jeremiah – Jer 27:1-22  Serve The King of Babylon and Live

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Jer 27:1-22  Serve The King of Babylon and Live

[Study Aired January 2, 2022]

 

Jer 27:1  In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jer 27:2  Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck,
Jer 27:3  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;
Jer 27:4  And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters;
Jer 27:5  I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.
Jer 27:6  And now have I given all 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.
Jer 27:7  And all nations shall serve him, and his son, 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.
Jer 27:8  And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the 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 the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
Jer 27:9  Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:
Jer 27:10  For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.
Jer 27:11  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.
Jer 27:12  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.
Jer 27:13  Why will ye die, thou and thy 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?
Jer 27:14  Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.
Jer 27:15  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 ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.
Jer 27:16  Also I spake to the priests and to all this 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 prophesy a lie unto you.
Jer 27:17  Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city be laid waste?
Jer 27:18  But if they be prophets, and if the word of the LORD be 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.
Jer 27:19  For thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in this city,
Jer 27:20  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;
Jer 27:21  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;
Jer 27:22  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.

The message for us in this study is that until we acknowledge that we have long been serving the king of Babylon, then we are still spiritually blind and have not yet been given eyes to see or ears to hear the things of the spirit.

“I will not have you telling these babes in Christ that they will go through the seven last plagues. I have never blasphemed the name of God, and I will never have the seven last plagues poured out on me.” Those are words which were shouted at me by a spiritual ‘Absalom’ whom I had spiritually brought up out of the darkness of Babylon and who, after six years of being of the same mind, like Absalom, did a 180 degree turn and suddenly decided that reading, hearing and keeping the sayings of the book of Revelation should read ‘Guard against reading, hearing, and keeping the things that are written therein for the time is at hand’:

Rev 1:3  Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep [G5083: ‘tereo’, same word translated “keep” in Matthew 19:17] those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

Mat 19:17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep [G5083: tereo] the commandments.

It seemed impossible that this particular brother could be so easily deceived, but when the Lord wants to deceive us, He has no trouble doing so. All the Lord had to do was to tell this brother that Strong’s defines this Greek word ‘tereo’ as ‘guard’ and that Revelation 1:3 is telling us to ‘guard against keeping the things written therein’. The job was done, and “the Lord [had] deceived that prophet” (Eze 14:9). He continues to do so to the “many… called” but not “chosen” until this very day:

Mat 22:14  For many are called, but few are chosen.

The Christ-rejecting synagogues of Christ’s day typify the false prophets and the Christ-rejecting established religions of today. For many self-righteous and rebellious years we all claimed the Lord’s name while refusing to eat His bread or wear His apparel:

Isa 4:1  And in that day seven women shall take hold of one man, saying, We will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel: only let us be called by thy name, to take away our reproach.

While we were so spiritually blind that we could not even acknowledge that we were born spiritually blind, we had no hope of being healed of that spiritually blind affliction. We are not responsible for our spiritually blind eyes. All such afflictions are a work of the Lord Himself. Here are a few verses which make this clear:

Exo 4:10  And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.
Exo 4:11  And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?
Exo 4:12  Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

This is the Truth of the Lord’s ways:

2Co 12:9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Moses being “slow of speech, and of a slow tongue” happened to be just what the Lord wanted at that time for that commission.

Christ confirms His own words to Moses in the New Testament:

Joh 9:39  And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

How many sermons have ever been preached on “[Christ] coming into this world… that they which see might be made blind?” “Being made blind” by Christ is obviously an integral part of the Lord’s work in dragging us out of Babylon. “If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth” tells us that being sent by the Lord into Babylonian captivity and into the lies of the great whore is an integral part of the work the Lord is doing in positioning us to be dragged out of the great harlot system, as this study will demonstrate. These are “all the words the Lord has commanded [us] to speak” and we are told “diminish not a word” (Jer 26:2):

Jer 27:1  In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
Jer 27:2  Thus saith the LORD to me; Make thee bonds and yokes, and put them upon thy neck,
Jer 27:3  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;
Jer 27:4  And command them to say unto their masters, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say unto your masters;

The fact this message is addressed not only to the king of Judah but also to all the pagan countries surrounding Judah, demonstrates that spiritual Babylon dominates much more than just those who wear the Lord’s name. The great whore rules over all the nations of the earth:

Jer 25:13  And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations.

Rev 18:3  For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

Our primary concern should be with “the inside of the cup”:

Mat 23:25  Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Mat 23:26  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

What Christ is telling us is that if, in “this present time” (Rom 8:18), we personally are granted a pure heart which wants only to do the things He says and keep His commandments inwardly, then the Lord will use us to be the outward rulers with Him over the kingdoms of this world for a thousand years.

If we are granted victory over the inward “spiritual wickedness in [our] heavens [where spiritual] principalities… powers… [and] the rulers of the darkness of this word” [within], then we will be used by the Lord to become the outward rulers of the kingdoms of this world:

Rev 11:15  And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

The kingdoms of this world must be subdued within us before we will be given to rule the outward kingdom of this world. That is the meaning of:

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

It is in this same epistle to the Ephesians that the holy spirit reveals that our disposition to “wrestle… against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” was determined “by the will of God” before the world began:

Eph 1:1  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Eph 1:2  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Our ‘will’ and our actions are “both [His] work”:

Php 2:13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Being called to be “crucified with [Christ]” is not a choice we make on our own.

Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

Being “crucified with Christ” is a blessing which our old man thinks is a curse, but which our new man knows is indeed the greatest blessing that can be bestowed on any man in this present age:

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Eph 1:8  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
Eph 1:9  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
Eph 1:10  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
Eph 1:11  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
Eph 1:12  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Eph 1:13  In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truththe gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
Eph 1:14  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

The Lord simply wants us to know the Truth, and the Truth is that He is working all things after the counsel of His own will”:

Jer 27:5  I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power and by my outstretched arm, and have given it unto whom it seemed meet unto me.
Jer 27:6  And now have I given all 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.

This is all historical fact. All nations, including the Lord’s own nation were made to serve the king of Babylon until the time of Nebuchadnezzar’s grandson, Belshazzar.

Dan 5:22  And thou his [grand]son, O Belshazzar, hast not humbled thine heart, though thou knewest all this;

Only the spiritually blind will fail to see that the world-ruling ‘Babylon the Great’ of Revelation 14-18 is the anti-type of the world-ruling Babylon of Nebuchadnezzar’s time.

Jer 27:7  And all nations shall serve him, and his son, 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.

Types always have much in common with their spiritual anti-type, and historical Babylon had universal submission of “all nations” in common with spiritual “Babylon the great the mother of harlots and of the abominations of the world”:

Rev 17:18  And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth.

The hegemony of Babylon is complete and total within us. Our natural self-righteous iniquity sees to that. It is not just ‘some of the kings of the earth’ who are ruled over by this great whore, rather it is “all nations” just as “all nations” were given to serve King Nebuchadnezzar of historical Babylon:

Rev 18:3  For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth [false prophets] are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies [lying, false doctrines].

It is very instructive for us to see that the one king we are told who refused to serve the king of Babylon was the king of the Lord’s own people, King Zedekiah, and he did so at the behest of the false prophets whose words appealed him and to his people:

Jer 28:1  And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, 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, saying,
Jer 28:2  Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Jer 28:3  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:
Jer 28:4  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.

These are “smooth things”, coming from the fertile imagination of the false prophet, Hananiah, who knew what the king and the people wanted to hear.

Hananiah’s father “Azur the prophet” is “of Gibeon” and Gibeon is one of the cities of the priests mentioned in:

Jos 21:17  And out of the tribe of Benjamin, Gibeon with her suburbs, Geba with her suburbs,
Jos 21:18  Anathoth with her suburbs, and Almon with her suburbs; four cities.
Jos 21:19  All the cities of the children of Aaron, the priestswere thirteen cities with their suburbs.

This is the only mention in scripture of “Azur the prophet… of Gibeon”, the father of the false prophet Hananiah. Priests are not immune from the affliction of heresy, and as we are about to see, this false prophecy is the very lie Jeremiah had warned Zedekiah to beware of:

Jer 27:8  And it shall come to pass, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve the 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 the famine, and with the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
Jer 27:9  Therefore hearken not ye to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon:
Jer 27:10  For they prophesy a lie unto you, to remove you far from your land; and that I should drive you out, and ye should perish.

All of us, like the Pharisees in the New Testament and like the Jews of Jeremiah’s day, were unaware that our heart was in Babylon long before we became aware that we had been carried away to Babylon. The Pharisees of Christ’s day were spiritually blind, and like all of us when we are in that spiritual condition, we are totally unaware of our complete spiritually blind condition and our alienated position:

Joh 9:39  And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
Joh 9:40  And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also?
Joh 9:41  Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Christ is telling us all that if we can only acknowledge our blindness, then we will be given our sight. However, of ourselves we are as hopeless as these Pharisees who typify us while steeped in the doctrines of Babylon.

Jeremiah had already been commanded by the Lord to tell us:

Jer 3:13  Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD.

When we ‘only acknowledge our self-righteous iniquity and transgressions against the Lord’ we are admitting that our neck is indeed under a Babylonian yoke of endless lies and false doctrines which have robbed us of “the whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water” (Isa 3:1), and when we are granted the grace to do that, our salvation is on its way to us:

Jer 27:11  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.
Jer 27:12  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.

Christ spoke also to the high priest, Caiaphas, and to the Roman ruler, Pilate, and like Zedekiah they could not hear His words:

Mat 26:62  And the high priest arose, and said unto him, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee?
Mat 26:63  But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said unto him, I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.
Mat 26:64  Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Mat 26:65  Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy.

Joh 18:33  Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto him, Art thou the King of the Jews?
Joh 18:34  Jesus answered him, Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?
Joh 18:35  Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered thee unto me: what hast thou done?
Joh 18:36  Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world [Greek: ‘kosmos’]: if my kingdom were of this world [‘kosmos’], then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
Joh 18:37  Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answeredThou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
Joh 18:38  Pilate saith unto him, What is truth? And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, I find in him no fault at all.

In Christ the words… “To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” are as true for you and me as they are for Christ Himself, because this is what we are promised if we are ‘in Him’:

Rev 1:5  And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Rev 1:6  And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Rev 2:26  And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
Rev 2:27  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

Christ had just told the multitudes which followed Him that they must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Eating His flesh and drinking His blood means living by His doctrine, and His doctrine was not the “smooth things” their old man wanted to hear.

Isa 30:9  That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
Isa 30:10  Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

‘Smooth things’ are equated with prophesying deceits. Christ words are not “smooth things”, but they are true things which are for our good.

His doctrine is:

Mat 10:16  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
Mat 10:17  But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;
Mat 10:18  And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.
Mat 10:19  But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.
Mat 10:20  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
Mat 10:21  And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.
Mat 10:22  And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

This time of persecution takes place when we are being dragged out of Babylon, and our trip out of Babylon continues for as long as Babylon remains on this earth. If we are so spiritually blind that we still think our fabled ‘free will’ led us to repent of our sins and begin serving the Lord, then our good works themselves become a curse to us. Even if we repent of our sins and confess that it was Christ who dragged us to that point, yet we cannot accept the fact that the whole stay of bread and the whole stay of water has been taken away from us. If we still think we and Babylon have something to offer our Lord, then we are still in strong delusion.

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

“The mystery of iniquity” here in 2 Thessalonians 2 is “the stumbling block of [our] iniquity” of Ezekiel 14:

Eze 14:1  Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
Eze 14:2  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 14:3  Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?

The Greek word translated as ‘mystery’ in 2 Thessalonians 2 is ‘musterion’, and it is defined as ‘a secret’:

‘The secret of iniquity’ as the holy spirit makes so clear is also call “the stumbling block of [our] iniquity”, and the holy spirit goes on to make clear what he means when he uses the word ‘iniquity’:

Eze 33:13  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

Our self-righteous iniquity is indeed delusion. It is not called “strong delusion” because our unrighteousnesses are easy enough for our old man to discern. It is called “strong delusion” because our old man will just naturally “have pleasure” in his good works and “his righteousnesses”. The strongest delusion will always be a lie which is wrapped up in twisted truth, which is not truth at all.

2Co 11:13  For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.
2Co 11:14  And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.
2Co 11:15  Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

That is “strong delusion” and only those who “are of full age, having their senses exercised to discern good and evil” will be able, through Christ, to discern a “false apostle” who takes pride in his own righteousness, from a true apostle of Christ who knows better than to “trust to his own righteousness” (Eze 33:13).

Heb 5:12  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb 5:13  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full ageeven those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Our immature children never see themselves as being immature “babes in Christ” being fed with milk. An immature child invariably sees himself as far more mature than his own parents. It has been observed that our parents seem to learn so much between the time we are 18 and 30 years of age. Of course, the truth is that the facts of life have come crashing down on us during those years, and we begin to appreciate our parents’ wisdom and all they have been through. We realize just how immature and inexperienced we were while being told by our schoolteachers, “You know things your parents don’t know, and it is your responsibility to educate your parents.”

It is in this self-righteous state of mind the Lord asks King Zedekiah, typifying our old man:

Jer 27:13  Why will ye die, thou and thy 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?
Jer 27:14  Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the king of Babylon: for they prophesy a lie unto you.
Jer 27:15  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 ye might perish, ye, and the prophets that prophesy unto you.

We are so blessed to know that Christ did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. We are blessed to know that He is willing to leave the ninety-nine sheep, who think they do not need to repent, in the wilderness while He goes to find the one sheep which He had brought to know fully well that he is lost and without hope if his Shepherd does not come to rescue him:

Luk 15:1  Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.
Luk 15:2  And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them.
Luk 15:3  And he spake this parable unto them, saying,
Luk 15:4  What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
Luk 15:5  And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
Luk 15:6  And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.
Luk 15:7  I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which [think in themselves that they are ‘just’ and] need no repentance.

The ninety-and-nine sheep need repentance just as much as the sheep that acknowledges that he is lost and without hope and is at his “wits’ end” (Psa 107:27). What the Lord is telling us is that few indeed are given to see they need repentance for the false doctrines to which they still cling. Above all we all need to be granted repentance for the “stumbling block of [our own] iniquity” and for trusting in our own righteousness. Until we are brought to our wits’ end, we are told that it is the Lord Himself who has deceived us and we are in strong delusion, trusting in “the stumbling block of [our own] iniquity”:

Eze 14:1  Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat before me.
Eze 14:2  And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Eze 14:3  Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them?
Eze 14:4  Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols;
Eze 14:5  That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
Eze 14:6  Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
Eze 14:7  For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to enquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:
Eze 14:8  And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
Eze 14:9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
Eze 14:10  And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;
Eze 14:11  That the house of Israel may go no more astray from me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be my people, and I may be their God, saith the Lord GOD.

I wondered for years about what exactly was this “stumbling block of… iniquity”. It was clear that it referred to men who were simply feigning submission to the Word of God, but I had never noticed that Ezekiel himself defines the meaning of this phrase for us, and I simply needed another brother to point it out to me. The Lord used our brother, Dennis to show us all this verse which gives us the holy spirit’s definition of this word ‘iniquity’:

Eze 33:13  When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity [“his own righteousness”] that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

That is “the stumbling block of [our] iniquity”, and the book of Job demonstrates that ‘iniquity’ is the most insidious and hardest to detect of all of our spiritual afflictions, because it is based upon ‘righteousness’ which, because we claim is coming out from ourselves, it is automatically transformed into “filthy rags”. The plural of ‘righteousness’ is found three times in the King James Version, and all three affirm that “our righteousness is of the Lord” or it is not ‘righteousness’ at all, rather it becomes “filthy rags” unto the Lord:

Isa 64:6  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

Eze 33:13  When I shall say to the righteous, that  he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

Dan 9:18  O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

It is true that our witness is primarily against the rebellious carnal ‘king’ within us, “sitting in the temple of God, showing himself that he is god”, but our witness to the Truth is also against all the false doctrines and all who bring those false doctrines to us:

Jer 27:16  Also I spake to the priests and to all this 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 prophesy a lie unto you.
Jer 27:17  Hearken not unto them; serve the king of Babylon, and live: wherefore should this city be laid waste?
Jer 27:18  But if they be prophets, and if the word of the LORD be 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.
Jer 27:19  For thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, and concerning the sea, and concerning the bases, and concerning the residue of the vessels that remain in this city,
Jer 27:20  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;
Jer 27:21  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;
Jer 27:22  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.

Is it not quite interesting that the people to whom Jeremiah is witnessing – the king, the priests and scribe and the people – all acknowledge that there are those who are in captivity in Babylon, yet they insist that they will never be carried away there, and as we will see in our next study, they want to believe that those who are there will be brought back very shortly?

Conclusion

In conclusion, it should be clear that until we are granted to acknowledge that our own hearts and minds are in Babylon, and that we are hopelessly bound up in the self-righteousness of the doctrines of that great whore, we are yet to discover that we have been carried away with all the smooth words and self-righteous doctrines of that harlot system. We are bound up in “the stumbling block of our iniquity”.

Here are the verses for our next study which give us the story that typifies our irresistible desire to avoid and deny our inevitable judgment against the stumbling block of our own iniquity:

Jer 28:1  And it came to pass the same year, in the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year, and in the fifth month, 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, saying,
Jer 28:2  Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Jer 28:3  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:
Jer 28:4  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.
Jer 28:5  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,
Jer 28:6  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 into this place.
Jer 28:7  Nevertheless hear thou now this word that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people;
Jer 28:8  The prophets that have been before me and before thee of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.
Jer 28:9  The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.
Jer 28:10  Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and brake it.
Jer 28:11  And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.
Jer 28:12  Then the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,
Jer 28:13  Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron.
Jer 28:14  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 king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.
Jer 28:15  Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
Jer 28:16  Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.
Jer 28:17  So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

Other related posts