“I Did Not Send Them”

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A few parts of a blog I shared several months ago…

In no way did the early church believe the resurrection and eternal life had already begun. Those who say that “the resurrection has already happened” (2 Tim. 2: 18) actually destroy people’s faith, for “who hopes for what he already has?” (Rom. 8: 24, NIV). This is a gnostic reinterpretation of the gift of the Holy Spirit that tries to extrapolate the individual experience to redemptive history as a whole, thus overturning the fundamental nature of “this age” versus “the age to come” (cf. 1 Cor. 15: 12; 2 Thess. 2: 2). We still live in “the present evil age” (Gal. 1: 4), groaning with “this body of death” (Rom. 7: 24), enduring the tyranny of “wicked and evil men” (2 Thess. 3: 2). However, “though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4: 16, NASB).

Though signs, wonders, and physical healings were common signs of the resurrection, no one mistook them for the resurrection itself. Though paralytics were healed (Luke 5: 25; Acts 3: 7) and dead men were raised (John 11: 44; Acts 20: 9– 12), they were still “destined to die once, and after that to face judgment” (Heb. 9: 27, NIV). And although debate rages in the academy concerning the spiritual realization of other eschatological concepts in the New Testament (kingdom, Messiah, etc.), one generally accepted point is that the resurrection remains completely apocalyptic. – John P. Harrigan, The Gospel of Christ Crucified: A Theology of Suffering before Glory

And I will break the pride of your power; and I will make your Heaven as iron, and your Earth as brass. And your strength shall be spent in vain; for your land shall not yield her increase, neither shall the trees of the land yield their fruits (Lev 26:19-20 KJV).

And your Heaven that is over your head shall be brass, and the Earth that is under you shall be iron. The LORD shall make the rain of your land powder and dust; from heaven shall it come down upon you, until you be destroyed (Deut 28:23-24 KJV).

Physical drought was, of course, symbolic of spiritual drought. The “farmers” were men like Jeremiah who held fast to the Word of God and proclaimed it, though the people would not respond because of their hardened hearts.

The wild donkeys stand on the bare heights; they pant for air like jackals; their eyes fail because there is no vegetation. 7 “Though our iniquities testify against us, act, O Lord, for your name’s sake; for our backslidings are many; we have sinned against you. 8 O you hope of Israel, its savior in time of trouble, why should you be like a stranger in the land, like a traveler who turns aside to tarry for a night? 9 Why should you be like a man confused, like a mighty warrior who cannot save? Yet you, O Lord, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not leave us” (Jer 14:6-9 ESV).

The words “iniquities,” “backsliding,” and “sins” express the moral character and worthlessness of man, however high his believed to be “spiritual privilege.” So, forgiveness can only be prayed for His Name’s sake.  That Name being Perfection, which secures a perfect pardon.  However Judah would not trust in that Blessed Name, of which the Sacrifices were a Type.  They loved their occult spirituality mixed in.  And they treated the LORD as if He was a foreigner, a stranger, and One Who had no real say-so in their affairs.

Then I said: “Ah, Lord God, behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’” 14 And the Lord said to me: “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I did not send them, nor did I command them or speak to them. They are prophesying to you a lying vision, worthless divination, and the deceit of their own minds (Jer 14:13-14 ESV).

The message of the false prophets was the opposite of what the Holy Spirit was speaking through Jeremiah. As fast as Jeremiah proclaimed the Word of God to Judah and Jerusalem, it was contradicted by the false prophets.  And the LORD strictly forbade anyone from encouraging false prophecy in any way.  Those who speak falsely in the Name of God are promised doom.  Rarely in Scripture do we find a more strict denunciation of anyone.

Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in my name although I did not send them, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not come upon this land’: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed. 16 And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them—them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their evil upon them (Jer 14:15-16 ESV).

Those who prophecy falsely in the Name of God will be consumed by the false message they proclaim. Not only will the false preacher be consumed but those who listen to him will be consumed as well.  Jehovah God absolutely hates false prophecy and preaching in His Name.  It is a serious, serious affront to Him.

Many in Jerusalem were appealing to false gods to bring rain instead of seeking the LORD. They claimed, “We will wait upon Him no longer,” as if they had ever “waited on Him” at all.  While Jeremiah exclaims, “We will wait upon You.”  He knew the uselessness of appealing to these false gods.

And they continued steadfastly in the Apostles’ Doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread. And fear came upon every soul; and many wonders and signs were done by the Apostles (Acts 2:42-43 KJV).