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Saturday, November 9, 2019

11-3-2019        How Can Jeremiah Possibly relate to Today’s Church?

Jeremiah 1:13-16

And the Word of the Lord came to me a second time saying “What do you see?”  I said “I see a seething pot which is facing north.”
Then the Lord said to me “Evil is coming from the north will fall upon al the inhabitants of the land. 
I will call the families of the kingdoms of the north, says the Lord, and they shall come and each one shall set up a throne at the gates that enter Jerusalem, against its walls and against all the cities of Judah.
I will utter My judgments against them (Israel) because of their wickedness, those who have forsaken Me, burned their incense towards other gods and worshipped the works of their own hands.”

Jeremiah is from the “Old Testament’ so how can what he says relate to today?  Let’s take a look at the meaning of some of the Hebrew words used in these passages to get a better understanding of just what Jeremiah is saying so we can see if it really does apply to us - today.  Of course, we are using the ‘Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance’ as our reference. 

Seething is the Hebrew word naphach (H5301) which is to inflate, blow hard, scatter, kindle, expire, cede, cause to lose.

Pot is the Hebrew word cirah (H5518) which is springing up rapidly, cauldron, pan, pot, fishhook, thorn. (don’t even ask about fishhook & thorn, I have no clue)

North is the Hebrew word tsaphown (6828) north, hidden, dark, unknown (Just as Africa was still considered the ‘dark continent’ in the 1900’s, because it was unexplored it was unknown.  The Romans moved as far north as England, but areas farther north and northeast were pretty much unexplored (by them) in those times.  Yet as with Africa, there were cultures living in those ‘unexplored’ areas of the north.  And darkness represents the forces of evil.

Kingdoms is the Hebrew word mamlakuwth (4467) which means kingdom, reign (realm)

Throne is the Hebrew word kicce (3678) a (covered) throne

Judgments is the Hebrew word mishpat (4941) meaning to pronounce sentence, penalty, be judged, a right, a wrong, discretion 

Forsaken is the Hebrew word azab (5800) which means to loosen (self), fall, relinquish, leave (destitute), refuse

Incense is the Hebrew word qatar (6999), a fumigation (to drive out occupants), fragrance by fire, burn, incense, kindle, offer (as a sacrifice)

So, Jeremiah sees the cauldron, a cooking pot, spilled over and facing to the north, uncharted territory.  A land inhabited by fierce people, people to be feared.  As long as Israel stays home, ‘we’ won’t worry about them.  Right?  But the pot is spilled over being exposed to an unknown enemy, the powers of darkness. 

The seething (bubbling)  pot is trouble and/or turmoil in the homeland and, apparently, but also keeps an eye out for trouble coming from unknown sources as well.  Trouble within and potential trouble without.  Rocked with internal problems and now the enemy threatening.  Not a good situation to be in.

God tells Jeremiah that trouble is coming from that ‘outside’ source.  Evil, hard times, is coming from those northern hands.  For us, our northern lands is that dark presence of our enemy, Satan. 
That evil will come in many forms and not just surround the home city (Jerusalem) but set against the city gates, controlling passage in and out.  Against the city walls which protect those inside the city. It even spreads out against all that which is Judah, the surrounding territory.  Is the house of God being ‘rocked’ internally?  Are those things, where we found protection before, crumbling around us?  What about what the church does?  Is there evidence of enemy activity even there?  This is happening because Israel (as a whole) has turned away from God.  Israel (as a whole) has made sacrifices to other gods.  Israel (as a whole) has decided to worship the works of their own hands, doing what they want to do, when they want to do it and however the decide to do it.  At best, God has become an afterthought.  What about us today? 

Today’s church will be beset upon by problems from within as well as without.  Evil forces will not only stand against the church but those things that have been protecting it (walls) and its surrounding territory, those places where the works of the church have reached. 

The church is protected by God.  However, in order to get our attention and get us back on track, Father will part or remove the hedge and allow the enemy access.  But, as with Job, that access is controlled and limited, yet designed to get our attention.  When we are out of Godly alignment, problems will arise.  Only, should we reject God, will He leave us mercilessly to the results of our own devices.

Israel has forsaken God (more than once) and turned to its own devices (the golden calf, being disobedient to God’s Word, etc.), today’s church has busily setting aside God’s principles and doing ‘its own thing’. 

God blesses his children and promises us prosperity.  We serve God with all our heart and Father will bring those blessings.  But how does Father get the credit when we manufacture our own blessings?  There have been, and still are, ministers who amass large churches solely to increase personal fortune.  They have the best clothes, the best cars and/or the biggest houses.  Yes, God blesses churches where His Word is presented in truth and honesty and sincerity.  But, yes, there are churches whose ministers realize increase for personal gain, not the glory of God.  When people only want to hear soft and soothing speech, Father will let them have it (to their folly).  And, yes, those ministries will endure for a season for they do bring the Word, though often severely watered down so as to ‘not offend’ anyone.  Those who only look to have their ‘ears itched’ will get just that and stay.  Those seeking something more durable will leave and, perhaps, judge all other churches by their experience.  Understand, just as in the wilderness, Satan spoke the word of God to Jesus, but it was only half truths in an attempt to persuade Jesus away from the Father.  Jesus spoke the whole truth in response to Satan’s attempts.  We need to be like Jesus and speak the whole truth to shut that ole devil up.  Of course, we have to come to know it first.

There are ministers who have become puffed up because of what God has shared with them and have fallen into the misconception that it’s all about them and not the Lord.  They present an image of the truth, but in fact, have fallen away from it.  In their hearts, they say “I created the ministry, I prospered the ministry – it’s all about ‘me”!  Make no mistake, God begins every fellowship that truly seeks after Him and builds that church on the cornerstone (foundation) of Jesus Christ.  But those fallen ministers, as with Judas Iscariot, seem to follow Jesus, but really don’t.  Their belly is their god!  They have listened to those half truths coming from the enemy. 

There are ministers who feel they know the Word better than anyone else.  What the h---, they know it better than God!  Just keep in mind, Satan thought that ‘he’ should be God instead of our heavenly Father.  Satan’s efforts have earned him his place in the lake for fire and brimstone!  So ask yourself, just who “inspired” the writing of the bible?  Father dictates, man wrote down.  And those writings are about love.  Don’t forget, love is tender and caring but it also brings about ‘right’ direction.  All Satan cares about is keeping us from eternal fellowship with our Father.  God cares about our personal and eternal growth.

The tares in the field.  The goats abiding with the sheep.  The whited sepulchers.  Make no mistake, on that last day when the angels reap the harvest, if not before (through natural death), THEN the separation between good and evil shall be made.  We may not be able to determine who truly is and who isn’t saved.  At times, the enemy can look pretty good.  He can (and does) imitate ‘right’ speech and deeds (rituals).  He was an angel of light.  Though man may pretend to follow God, those whose hearts are no where near our Lord, shall be separated out and join Satan in eternity.  We follow God from our hearts and not just in word and deed.  Our speech and actions are generated from our love for the Lord which abides in our heart.

Who do WE glorify when we offer up our prayers?  Our prayers of repentance when we mess up.  Our prayers of petition as we pray for ourselves or intercede for others?  Those prayers for salvation, edification, strength, guidance, health or healing?  Whom do we thank for the victories we experience?  I did it myself?  I don’t know, but thanks anyway.  The Holy Spirit is the one who prompts to do and say the right things, even though we don’t always recognize or admit it.  Hopefully, we aren’t offering up our sacrifices to the enemy (Satan) or babbling to thin air.  All those things God gives us or does for us, He asks only one thing – “Thank You, Lord”.  He desires that we acknowledge Him as our benefactor.  As parents, we teach our children to say ‘please’ & ‘thank you’.  Our heavenly Father expects no less.

Our prayers are our incense being lifted up to and before our heavenly Father.  Do we offer them from our heart or are they just a mere formality?  A learned ritual?  Are we a whited sepulcher doing right things yet our hearts are far from God?

When we come before the Father with a ‘right’ heart (no unconfessed sins) and a pure heart (the right attitude), God receives our prayers (sacrifices) as a sweet smelling savor in His throne room.  It IS pleasing to Him.  Our sacrifices are a reflection of our obedience to Him (the eternal God).
We desire blessings and prosperity from God?  Honor Him in everything that we say and do AND say and do it from our heart.   Father tells us that obedience is better than sacrifice.  Why?  We can offer a sacrifice and it can end up being ‘just’ a mechanical repetition.  When we are obedient, we can be obedient, only from our heart.  If we don’t want to be obedient, things don’t come our way.  We can’t pretend obedience.  Obedience comes when we desire to please whomever we are being obedient.  Father wants us to serve Him from our heart.  Who do we serve?  This day, I and my house choose to 
serve the Lord.

The church is in trouble today.  Too much of the church has watered down the gospel of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  It presents a ‘safe’ gospel that won’t offend people so it may keep its membership so they don’t lose any money ($$$$).  Too much of today’s church has set up ministers in a place where they should never be.  They are novices or are openly living in fornication or adultery or other sins.  Too many are hustling the people.   Too much of our church lifts its prayers up to – not our heavenly Father, so just thin air (or even the enemy).  Too much of the church is doing its ‘own thing’.  It’s an easy way to make money, right?  Yet many live ‘high on the hog’ fleecing their sheep.  Those who truly serve our Lord know ‘it ain’t easy’!  It does take work, perseverance and dedication.
How long can the church, as a whole, avoid God’s judgment?  Lest Father judges us on the last day, we need to be judging ourselves daily.  We confess our sins and allow Jesus to guide our steps.  We need to keep our lives aligned in God’s love!  let His will be done on earth as it is in heaven!  When His will becomes real in our lives, it will spread out to the world around us. Heaven on earth?.
So what does Jeremiah have to do with today’s church?  Research the scriptures.  Talk with the Lord.  Then, you tell me.


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