Burning the Scroll – A Lesson from Jeremiah 36


The prophetic word of God is as important for today as it was in 602 B.C. during the reign of Jehoiakim, the King of Judah, who’s contempt for its message led him to burn it in the fire. This same contempt for God’s word of rebuke and correction to the church is meeting with equal resistance in our day. The word of God has long been “burned” in American culture and today, it serves as nothing more than an iconic relic that citizens swear upon in our court systems. Sadly, much of the church itself is guilty of worshipping the Bible without heeding its warnings and obeying its teachings.


And it happened, when Jehudi had read three or four columns, that the king cut it with the scribe’s knife and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the scroll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor did they tear their garments, the king nor any of his servants who heard all these words.

Jeremiah 36:23-24

 

Jeremiah was called to tell the people of Judah and Israel that unless they repented of their wicked ways, they would be taken captive by the Babylonians. His scribe, Jehudi was tasked with writing the words Jeremiah received from Yahweh on a scroll that would be read to King Jehoiakim. At the reading of this word from the Lord requiring the people to repent or be faced with judgment, the king begins to cut the scroll into pieces and throws the scraps into the fire to be burned. 

Through Jeremiah’s ministry, the people of Israel and Judah were repeatedly warned that “… a people comes from the north country, 
And a great nation will be raised from the farthest parts of the earth. They will lay hold on bow and spear;
They are cruel and have no mercy…” However, the people refused to heed the message and suffered the taking of their land and possessions, the slaughter of their loved ones and the complete destruction of their culture and way of life.

Believers are far too prone to think only of God’s love and mercy, without equally considering his justice and wrath towards unrepentant, willful sin. The false gospel being espoused in many churches teaches that because Jesus paid the penalty for our sins so we no longer have to. To be clear, Jesus indeed paid the penalty for our sins before we come to know him and those sins will be forever forgotten, but when we willfully refuse to repent from sin after we have been born again by his spirit of truth, we will be judged accordingly.

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Hebrews 10:26-27

 

We are quick to believe that God will send us blessings and shower us with gifts like the spoiled children we are (especially American Christians), be are also just as quick to reject the warnings of discipline and judgment when we persist in doing evil.

So, because much of the church is steeped in the false gospel of pied pipers like Joel Osteen, are participating with men like Rick Joyner in the counterfeit third wave movement, are having their ears tickled with material prosperity from those like Creflo Dollar and T.D. Jakes, and/or are caught up in the world pursuing their own dreams and fantasies, God has sent his prophets just like Jeremiah with a word of warning. And just like Jehoiakim, much of the church is doing nothing but throwing God’s word into the fire to be burned. They have chosen to listen to prophets who will instead soothe their ears, while completely rejecting rebuke and correction. As a result much of the church in America has turned into a three-ringed circus more focused on being entertained than discipled.

Consider, that during Jeremiah’s day there were relative few who spoke and aligned themselves to truth. This has been the case throughout history. The majority of God’s own people have always strayed from his truth and ways, while only a small remnant has kept the faith. If you are one of the faithful, this should cause you to lament with great sadness and concern for our fallen brothers and sisters much like Jeremiah did. There are far too many who follow Jesus to receive blessings like those who chased after him for the fresh fish and loaves of bread to eat when they were hungry. When expected to come into a deeper communion with him, where we would metaphorically drink his blood and eat his flesh, many turn away, yet still want to be considered as his followers. This is where we have gone wrong today.

Jesus said the following words to help identify those who truly followed him,

When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.
Mark 8:34-35

We cannot live for ourselves and for God at the same time. Self-denial or self-death is a prerequisite to being a disciple of Christ. Instead, most of Christendom’s current “leaders” desire to make a name for themselves and build their own little kingdom’s on earth. Self is on constant display within Christianity and many cannot discern when someone is operating from selfish desires or the leading of the Holy Spirit. Most of the sheep are too eager to follow after those who promote themselves while also promoting Jesus.

In Jeremiah’s day, Israel and Judah had rebelled against the Lord and listened to prophets who prophesied by Baal (Jeremiah 2:8). Today, it almost seems like a foreign concept to most Christians that their favorite preacher, teacher or prophet could be speaking under the influence of Baal (idol, false god). It seems like most are ignorant that Satan and his servants can appear as angels of light. Laziness and carelessness plague the body of Christ who neglect to test all things and study the scriptures with any diligence. This is what happens when the church and its leaders spurn words of correction and throw them in the fire to be burned.

Just like Israel and Judah during the lifetime and ministry of Jeremiah, the church today is guilty of two grievous sins:

They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13

When many Christians get their “religion” from people like Oprah Winfrey (and the Christian she endorses like T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren, etc.) who denies that Jesus is the only way to salvation, the church has a huge problem on its hands. When Christians have reached celebrity status and are loved by the world instead of being peculiar and set apart unto God, know that the leaven has completed its work. When America’s most beloved pastor goes on national television and denies Jesus is the only way to salvation, know that the falling away predicted in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 has taken full effect.

God’s punishment for ignoring his warnings to repent for sin has often been to turn his people over to their enemies. Israel and Judah faced the destruction of their nations and the captivity of their people to the fierce kingdom of Babylon. It has been no different in our day, as believers who refuse to repent of allowing falsehood into their lives have been taken captive by Mystery Babylon. This mystery is edging closer to being fully revealed. As God’s people have forsaken the narrow road for the broad one, God has raised up enemies within the churches, political offices, and financial realms to bring his people into judgment just like he did with Nebuchadnezzar and ancient Babylon. If you wonder why America and its once beneficial, prosperous institutions are slowly being destroyed, now you know.

And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

For look! The wicked bend their bow,
They make ready their arrow on the string,
That they may shoot secretly at the upright in heart.If the foundations are destroyed,
What can the righteous do?
Psalm 11:2-3

The church is becoming like the world and is taking pleasure is unrighteousness and falsehood. Because of this the very foundations of the faith have been shaken to the point where the latest PEW research reveals that one fifth of all Americans and one-third of adults under 30 have no religious affiliation. Satan has done a masterful job of infiltrating the church, sowing tares among the wheat while the watchmen and shepherds fell asleep. As a result, Americans are rejecting the church and Christianity as a whole in record numbers. 

It is tragic, that those who try to bring correction to the church are accused of being the false prophets and are usually treated with contempt, mocking and sometimes even with violence. But, it should be expected because Jesus told us it would happen see Luke 6:22, Matthew 10:35-37).

Like Jehoiakim, many in America’s lukewarm churches have become hardened and do not fear the word of the Lord. They have forsaken their relationship with the one who provides springs of living water in exchange for men and women who spew stagnant water from their own cisterns.

We are witnessing a parallel to the time when Jesus said, “I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive” John 5:43. The church is caught up in worshipping men who have set themselves up as antichrists (instead of Christ) and idols. Believers have become dependent upon hearing a word from the “man of god” instead of learning how to depend on the spirit of God to lead and guide into all truth. The prophets continue to prophecy falsely and the people love it. Any word that comes to bring correction from the lies permeating the church is brushed aside with disdain.

It doesn’t matter who is elected the next U.S. President if God’s people within this nation do not repent of forsaking him for idols. The path of destruction will continue until evil has permeated every pillar and structure of society to force the people of God to confront their apostasy. The foundations of Christianity are being destroyed and a new religion combining mysticism, science, and humanism with Satan (or Lucifer, the so-called “light bearer”) as the object of worship is rising to takes it place. For those who have continued to spurn God’s warnings, his promises of judgment will be fulfilled. Please examine yourself and see if you are in the faith. If you are in agreement with today’s apostate version of Christianity please heed the words of warning to repent and receive mercy, forgiveness and restoration instead of judgment!

Comments

  1. It is so easy to believe the false gospel which permeates both the church and society. I fall constantly into this trap and must repent and turn back to God. A few moments of inattention and Satan plants his seed of disbelief and rebellion in my mind. It makes me think of the parable of the servants left in charge when their master leaves. How quickly they lose their fear and are disobedient.

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