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Now why have you not rebuked Jeremiah of Anathoth who is prophesying to you?

Jeremiah 29:27 (ESV)

Playing a Role Out of Position

Reading the rebuke of Shemaiah from the Lord sounds like a laundry list of misgivings and mistaken moves on Shemaiah’s part. When God has to go on a roll to run down all of your transgressions, He is not just having a tie to vent. Believe in all honesty that He is setting up things to take you down and set you straight.

What do we know about Shemaiah?

Shemaiah the Nehelamite, a false prophet who went with the captives to Babylon and who opposed Jeremiah (Jeremiah 29:24, 31-32). Shemaiah means “God heard” in Hebrew. Nehelamite, according to topical Bible research, means “dweller of Nehela.” However, “no such place-name is found in the Old Testament.”

He sounds like a self-appointed prophet among the Babylonian captives who took offense to the letters sent by Jeremiah. His words call for such a madman to be restrained and confined “in the stocks and neck irons,” according to verse 26. He challenges Zephaniah to answer why he has not rebuked and handled Jeremiah as of yet, especially after he said for the Babylonian captives to settle in and make the most of their time in captivity since it would last 70 years.

Not only was this man out of position, but he was totally taking on a man called by God to share His message, not a madman with a message of his own.

Leave It to God to Handle False Prophets

We’ve seen God do it before. We should not be surprised to see God do it again. He uses His servants the prophets to deliver His message to the people, while He handles false prophets with swift justice. He did so with Hananiah, the prophet dying within the same year of his false prophecy in the previous chapter.

Did you really think Shemaiah was going to get away with such an outlandish move as putting Jeremiah on blast like he was the false prophet?

Not one bit.

God sets things straight by making it plain. “Behold, I will punish Shemaiah of Nehelam and his descendants. He shall not have anyone living among this people, and he shall not see the good that I will do to my people, declares the Lord, for he has spoken rebellion against the Lord” (v. 32, ESV). Despite what the false prophet believes and says, he is dealt with by God in a way that shuts down his own message.

The best part of it all comes at the tail end of the verse and chapter where God says “for he has spoken rebellion against the Lord.” It is what it is. It is God having to rectify what some fool says another one believes without even comparing it with what God has said already. It is pure foolishness passed around and taken in like bad medicine. People are warned that they reap what they sow. Such is the case with Shemaiah. You think somebody needs to be corrected? Okay, let’s let God handle that and see who gets handled for pushing falsehood and rebellion among God’s people.

Jeremiah 29 is the foundation for this week’s livestream Wednesday at 11 AM PST

Let the lesson of Shemaiah help you learn more about how God deals with falsehood. He does not spend a lot of time on it. He does not offer many words for it. He speaks on it and against, and then it is handled by Him. In fact the Lord has warned us about these false prophets. I think most of us who know the Lord can live with that rather than trying to figure out what God is doing to make things right.

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But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the Lord sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.”

Jeremiah 26:14-15 (ESV)

Today’s ministers in the “free world” have it easy. Freedom speech combined with the right to assemble and freedom of religion make it real easy for today’s minister to stand boldly and proclaim the message of the Lord. Sadly, that is not the truth throughout the globe.

According to the World Watch List (WWL) of Open Doors:

  • 105 churches attacked, burned or vandalized each month
  • 11 Christians are killed everyday for their faith
  • 1 out of 21 Christians in South America experience high levels of persecution
  • 1 out of 6 Christians in Africa experience high levels of persecution
  • 1 out of 3 Christians in Asia experience high levels of persecution

We’ve got it easy and do not even understand the depths of persecution experienced by others for being of the same faith as us. According to Earthpages.org, we are experiencing a “global calamity” of 340 million Christians persecuted. Yes, much like Christian Mommas, I believe that we do need to pray for the persecuted believers across the globe. Yes, I believe many of us in the know need to do like Toby Mac and dc Talk sharing about the stories of the persecuted to inform others and raise awareness.

But I also believe it is boils down to the simple appreciation and actualization of our freedoms to go beyond simply preaching to make American believers feel okay with themselves.

Tune in Wednesday 11 AM PST

Rejoice and Be Glad!

Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:12

They persecuted the prophets who were before you.

They persecuted the prophets.

The people of God rejected the message of God so much that they went so far as to kill the messenger.

They found that their best solution to their problems, among all of their options, was to kill the messenger.

They felt that things would be better off as long as that messenger was out of the picture and not sharing that message.

But Jesus tells us to embrace the rejection and roll with the resistance. He says: Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account (Matthew 5:11).

Blessed?

Then, He says for us to rejoice and be glad when they do such things and try to persecute us since they did the very same things to the prophets who came before us.

He doesn’t just want u to accept it. He wants us to embrace it and engage it in such a way that we wear it as a badge of honor. He wants us to understand that we are doing this for Christ and in the name of Christ, and all that is being done against us is on account of Jesus Himself.

So, rejoice and be glad!

Give Them My Entire Message- Every Single Word

“This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard in front of the Temple of the Lord and make an announcement to the people who have come there to worship from all over Judah. Give them my entire message; include every word. – Jeremiah 26:2 (ESV)

God’s spoken Word is to come across just as God intended for it to reach His people. The Lord’s instructions to Jeremiah were clear. There was no mistaking what God wanted said and who He wanted it said to nor why he wanted it said to them right there and at that time.

Perhaps they will listen and turn from their evil ways. Then I will change my mind about the disaster I am ready to pour out on them because of their sins. – Jeremiah 26:3 (NLT)

The Lord had hopes of their corrective actions, “turning from their evil ways”, leading to Him changing His mind about destroying them.

That’s our job as preachers and teachers of the Word. We got to go forward and give God’s entire message.

We don’t get to cut and paste the “good parts.” We don’t get to hide the parts where God’s anger and wrath are burning like a fierce, raging fire. We do not get to eliminate any part of the Bible that leaves us feeling convicted and ashamed, ready to break down and call on Him for mercy and forgiveness.

No, borther, we need those hard sayings of Jesus. No, sister, we need those harsh words of the Lord speaking from Mount Sinai. We need more than just the blessings of the Beatitudes. It needs to get uncomfortable when the Word is stirring up things in our spirits and souls rather than some feel good, just come as you are, and I’m okay you’re okay message.

We are called to preach an uncompromised message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to serve as ambassadors of Christ, ushering people from the doom of darkness to the awaiting light of hope and healing.

If we fail to preach it, we are doomed and deserve to be condemned for our negligence of our office and station in the ministry. If we are obedient, then we will proclaim His truth (not her truth or my truth) and we will experience things that the prophets experienced when they faced a hostile mob of God’s people. If we do so accordingly, we can face the ridicule, the harassment, the chastisement, and the harsh words of bitterness and rejection.

What is at stake is the loss of many of the faith, falling away due to our issues rather than doctrinal or theological issues. Read their testimonies and see why they left or never even gave Christ a shot due to what they saw His followers doing.

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