8 The priests said not, Where is the LORD? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit.
Result of False Doctrines
These are the conditions existing today as a result of the false doctrines and teachings which have brought spiritual corruption to our land. Unbelief in the Word of God is now widespread and the dissemination of poisonous doctrines from our Judeo-Christian seminaries and colleges has spread into every city, town and hamlet, polluting the wells of spiritual understanding. The evils, which Jeremiah complined had in his day corrupted the land, are rampant today and so the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah is germine in this generation:
“Listen not to the messages of the Preachers who preach to you. They preach nonsense to you; a vision from their own hearts.” (Jeremiah 23:16, Ferrar Fenton Translation)
Not of the Lord
The words they speak are not from the Lord. This injunction of the Lord is being literally fulfilled today for many are refusing to listen to the doctrines of midernism. Judeo-Christian church attendance continues to drop and weekly prayer meetings and evening services ceasse through lack of support. Many who do attened services pay little attention to what is being said from the pulpit for the words of the preachers are meaningless and without Sprit when they deny the truth of God’s Word.
The preachers of Jeremiah’s time were assuring the people of peace in spite of the warnings given by Jeremiah of the certainty of coming disster. The prophets also were tryign to comfort the people by proclaiming no harm would come to them, for it was more profitable to them to preach what the people preferred to hear. This same attitude is being taken by those who today refuse to preach the word of the Lord, for modern Judeo-Christian preachers can be asked the identical question Jeremiah put to the false preachers of his time:
“For who hath stood in the counsel of the Lord, and hath perceived and heard his word? who has marked his word and heard it?” (Jeremiah 23:18)
The Spirit of the Lord did not move the false preachers and teachers to utter the nonsense they preached for thei did not stand in the secret counsels of the Lord; rather they spoke from thei rown years. The Lord repudiated them all, declaring He had not sent them, for if they had been in His counsel they would have taught the people to hear and believe His word and they themselves would have turned from their evil ways.
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.” (Jeremiah 23:21-22)
God Knows All
God challenged them by asking if He is so circumscribed that He is unaware of what is going on everywhere?
“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:24)
Yahweh declares He has heard all the evil and lies the false teachers have been practicing out of the deceit of their own hearts, causing His people to forget Him. Their concepts and worldly wisdom He calls as worthless as an ordinary dream. Their program should not be dignified by suggesting they had received an inspired vision from Him. They are given His condemnation:
“The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? sith the Lord.” (Jeremiah 23:28)
There is no nourishment in chaff and in like manner the doctrines of the Judeo-Christian modernism completely lack the life-giving qualities of the Spirit so necessary to strengthen God’s people. What the people need today is spiritual fortitude to meet the ocnditions of trouble and distress around us. God likens His Word to a fire that consumes and a hammer that can break the hardest rock into pieces.
The Judeo-Christian preachers who are speaking words out of their own hearts were failing to use the strengthening Word of the Lord to overcome evil and break down the opposition of evil doers.
“Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts. Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD. They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?” (Ezekiel 13:2-7)
As judgment came upon the generation of Jeremiah’s time, so will it come upon every generation that turns against God and His Word.
Of Judah and Jerusalem the Lord declared:
“And I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.” (Jeremiah 23:40)
History has amply verified the accuracy of the fulfillment of this prophecy in the destruction of Jerusalem and the deportationof its inhabitants to Babylon. A period of partial desolation followed the early deportation of the House of Judah and the desolation became final as the result of the destruction of the city by the Romans in 70 A.D. For years Judea was a deserted land and Jerusalem a city forsaken.
21 For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered.
10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
22 The wind shall eat up all thy pastors, and thy lovers shall go into captivity: surely then shalt thou be ashamed and confounded for all thy wickedness.
23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.
2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.
The land is full of adulterers; for because of swearing the land mourneth; the pleaseant places of the wilderness are dried up and their course (violence) is evil, and their force (or energy) is not right.” (Jeremiah 23:10)
7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
13 For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them every one is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
10 Therefore will I give their wives unto others, and their fields to them that shall inherit them: for every one from the least even unto the greatest is given to covetousness, from the prophet even unto the priest every one dealeth falsely.
18 Then said they, Come, and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; for the law shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let us smite him with the tongue, and let us not give heed to any of his words.
:1 Now Pashur the son of Immer the priest, who was also chief governor in the house of the LORD, heard that Jeremiah prophesied these things.
2 Then Pashur smote Jeremiah the prophet, and put him in the stocks that were in the high gate of Benjamin, which was by the house of the LORD.
11 For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
Jeremiah pointed out there would be only one end for the evil course the priests and prophets had chosen. Their very acts, he declared, strengthened the hands of evil-doers, just as the false doctrines of modernists today turn men from the way of live and salvation in Christ and harden them in their unbelief. Then, as now, the false leaders did not turn from their wickedness, nor were they afraid as they led th epople astray. The judgments pronounced upon the false prophets of Jeremiah’s time are also a condemnatioh and judgment upon the false leaders of our day:
“Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prohets of Jerusalem is profaneness (hypocrisy) gone forth into all theland.” (Jeremiah 23:15)
Ferrar Fenton translates it this way:
“The lord of Hosts consequently says this against those preachers, ‘I will consume them with suffering, and give them opiates to drink; for corruption comes to all the country from the preachers of Jerusalem.”
The fact that the Lord declares He will give these preachers opiates, i.e., put them to sleep, accounts for their total lack of understanding the Bible and the words become so evident that the simple cna see and recognize their meaning.
26 Mischief shall come upon mischief, and rumour shall be upon rumour; then shall they seek a vision of the prophet; but the law shall perish from the priest, and counsel from the ancients.