Jeremiah vs Hananiah: lessons on false prophecy
Jer 26:7-24 NKJV So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD. 8 Now it happened, when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, that the priests and the prophets and all the people seized him, saying, "You will surely die! 9 Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, 'This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without an inhabitant'?" And all the people were gathered against Jeremiah in the house of the LORD.
This sounds so much like today it’s not funny ! Very few want to hear TRUTH these days as they are accustomed to tintillating words, and words of comfort and peace vs words that are from the very mouth of the Lord. It is true that God loves mankind, but HE does not love one kind of mankind over another, one ethnicity over another. God created ALL mankind and when he views the earth, HE sees ALL of mankind, not just the United States. He sees starving children, abused women and corrupt men, and He sees the heart and knows the heart of every man woman and child. HE does not say, Oh I love those French, but those Morrocans are appalling.
10 When the princes of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king's house to the house of the LORD and sat down in the entry of the New Gate of the LORD's house. 11 And the priests and the prophets spoke to the princes and all the people, saying, "This man deserves to die! For he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your ears."
That’s right, men who HATE hearing truth have murderous hearts and they wanted to kill Jeremiah. It is no different today. It may surprise you to hear me say the church has done the same to true prophets. They have tried to speak death to us. They have cursed us and prayed for us never to come back. They have literally in one case I heard about, actually killed a true prophet. I know someone who went out on a boat with two false prophets and never returned, but had a boating “accident” because he was going to expose their sins ! He wasn’t being a “TEAM PLAYER”.
12 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the princes and all the people, saying: "The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and against this city with all the words that you have heard. 13 Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; then the LORD will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you. 14 As for me, here I am, in your hand; do with me as seems good and proper to you. 15 But know for certain that if you put me to death, you will surely bring innocent blood on yourselves, on this city, and on its inhabitants; for truly the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing."
Jeremiah levies a rebuke and warning to repent and amend their thinking and ways, showing that if they did, God may relent, like HE did in Ninevah !
16 So the princes and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, "This man does not deserve to die. For he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God." 17 Then certain of the elders of the land rose up and spoke to all the assembly of the people, saying: 18 "Micah of Moresheth prophesied in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and spoke to all the people of Judah, saying, 'Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Zion shall be plowed like a field, Jerusalem shall become heaps of ruins, And the mountain of the temple Like the bare hills of the forest."'
19Did Hezekiah king of Judah and all Judah ever put him to death? Did he not fear the LORD and seek the LORD's favor? And the LORD relented concerning the doom which He had pronounced against them. But we are doing great evil against ourselves."
Now some try to convince them that killing the prophet is a really bad idea and it will bring judgment on them. Smart move !
20 Now there was also a man who prophesied in the name of the LORD, Urijah the son of Shemaiah of Kirjath Jearim, who prophesied against this city and against this land according to all the words of Jeremiah. 21 And when Jehoiakim the king, with all his mighty men and all the princes, heard his words, the king sought to put him to death; but when Urijah heard it, he was afraid and fled, and went to Egypt. 22 Then Jehoiakim the king sent men to Egypt: Elnathan the son of Achbor, and other men who went with him to Egypt. 23 And they brought Urijah from Egypt and brought him to Jehoiakim the king, who killed him with the sword and cast his dead body into the graves of the common people.
24 Nevertheless the hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah, so that they should not give him into the hand of the people to put him to death.
Incorrigible, some still advocate killing him, but praise the Lord, Ahikam was with him, to protect him, and they failed in their argument to lay hold of him. Thank God ! God preserves the lives of His saints.
Jeremiah 27 Symbol of the Bonds and Yokes
In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, this word came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, 2 "Thus says the LORD to me: 'Make for yourselves bonds and yokes, and put them on your neck, 3 and send them to the king of Edom, the king of Moab, the king of the Ammonites, the king of Tyre, and the king of Sidon, by the hand of the messengers who come to Jerusalem to Zedekiah king of Judah. 4 And command them to say to their masters, "Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel — thus you shall say to your masters: 5'I have made the earth, the man and the beast that are on the ground, by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and have given it to whom it seemed proper to Me. 6 And now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, My servant; and the beasts of the field I have also given him to serve him. 7 So all nations shall serve him and his son and his son's son, until the time of his land comes; and then many nations and great kings shall make him serve them. 8 And it shall be, that the nation and kingdom which will not serve Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, and which will not put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, that nation I will punish,' says the LORD, 'with the sword, the famine, and the pestilence, until I have consumed them by his hand.
Wow, imagine the excitement of Jeremiah to give this word ! HA ! [ just kidding ] Can you imagine ? They just tried to have him killed and he gets another word that says they will bow to Babylon or Be punished/die. Then Jeremiah issues this stern warning against the FALSE PROPHETS:
9 Therefore do not listen to your prophets, your diviners, your dreamers, your soothsayers, or your sorcerers, who speak to you, saying, "You shall not serve the king of Babylon." 10 For they prophesy a lie to you, to remove you far from your land; and I will drive you out, and you will perish. 11 But the nations that bring their necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon and serve him, I will let them remain in their own land,' says the LORD, 'and they shall till it and dwell in it.'"'"
This kind of blows the whole idea that God would never let anything happen to a nation doesn’t it ? It is mindblowing that He would allow a godless, heathen king to take over anything. But God uses the despised often to render judgments. Of course this is old testament but God’s character does not change.
12 I also spoke to Zedekiah king of Judah according to all these words, saying, "Bring your necks under the yoke of the king of Babylon, and serve him and his people, and live!
13 Why will you die, you and your people, by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, as the LORD has spoken against the nation that will not serve the king of Babylon? 14 Therefore do not listen to the words of the prophets who speak to you, saying, 'You shall not serve the king of Babylon,' for they prophesy a lie to you; 15 for I have not sent them," says the LORD, "yet they prophesy a lie in My name, that I may drive you out, and that you may perish, you and the prophets who prophesy to you."
They prophesy a LIE TO YOU says Jeremiah. That so flies in the face of reason doesn’t it ? That is why today we struggle so much with how can some prophesy peace and comfort, and restoration, while others prophesy that peril is coming and severe famine, etc…war. The thing is that our concept of how God works is faulty. So are our ideas of new testament vs old testament prophesying that has been taught wrongly. We think GOD NEVER prophesies hard things anymore, as has been taught by MANY modern day prophets in the church. However you need to look at scriptures to understand TRUTH, and to hear the voice of GOD for yourself. JESUS made that possible you know. He said, MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE.
Another factor is our misunderstanding of what GLORY MEANS. In Revelation the word witness is from the greek marturos which means martyr. God’s glory is shown through SUFFERING. The WORD says that those who SHARE IN HIS SUFFERING WILL SHARE IN HIS GLORY ! That also flies in the face of many teachers.
Rom 8:17 AMP And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.
Rom 8:35 AMP Who shall ever separate us from Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword?
Eph 3:13 So I ask you not to lose heart [not to faint or become despondent through fear] at what I am suffering in your behalf. [Rather glory in it] for it is an honor to you. AMP
1 Peter 2:20 AMP [After all] what kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God.
Early Christians were being prepared for suffering, yet somehow we think those who suffer are weak, when in actuality they may be suffering for the rest of us who walk in arrogance and all kinds of sin, and or being prepared for a greater work. It’s not that they are better, or without sin, just that we are no better but often think something is wrong with someone if they suffer. Even JESUS told the apostles in at least one case that the blind man was not blind due to sin, but for the GLORY of GOD. See Colossians
Col 1:24 [Even] now I rejoice in the midst of my sufferings on your behalf. And in my own person I am making up whatever is still lacking and remains to be completed [on our part] of Christ's afflictions, for the sake of His body, which is the church. AMP
NOW BACK TO JEREMIAH….
16 Also I spoke to the priests and to all this people, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'Do not listen to the words of your prophets who prophesy to you, saying, "Behold, the vessels of the LORD's house will now shortly be brought back from Babylon"; for they prophesy a lie to you. 17 Do not listen to them; serve the king of Babylon, and live! Why should this city be laid waste? 18 But if they are prophets, and if the word of the LORD is with them, let them now make intercession to the LORD of hosts, that the vessels which are left in the house of the LORD, in the house of the king of Judah, and at Jerusalem, do not go to Babylon.'
19 "For thus says the LORD of hosts concerning the pillars, concerning the Sea, concerning the carts, and concerning the remainder of the vessels that remain in this city, 20 which Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon did not take, when he carried away captive Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, from Jerusalem to Babylon, and all the nobles of Judah and Jerusalem — 21 yes, thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, concerning the vessels that remain in the house of the LORD, and in the house of the king of Judah and of Jerusalem: 22'They shall be carried to Babylon, and there they shall be until the day that I visit them,' says the LORD. 'Then I will bring them up and restore them to this place.'"
The proof is in the pudding they say, and of course Jeremiah was later proved right.
Now we come to another example of false prophet vs Jeremiah…
Jeremiah 28 NKJV Hananiah's Falsehood and Doom
And it happened in the same year, at the beginning of the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, in the fourth year and in the fifth month, that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, who was from Gibeon, spoke to me in the house of the LORD in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, 2 "Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying: 'I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 Within two full years I will bring back to this place all the vessels of the LORD's house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place and carried to Babylon. 4 And I will bring back to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah who went to Babylon,' says the LORD, 'for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.'"
5 Then the prophet Jeremiah spoke to the prophet Hananiah in the presence of the priests and in the presence of all the people who stood in the house of the LORD, 6 and the prophet Jeremiah said, "Amen! The LORD do so; the LORD perform your words which you have prophesied, to bring back the vessels of the LORD's house and all who were carried away captive, from Babylon to this place. 7 Nevertheless hear now this word that I speak in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people: 8 The prophets who have been before me and before you of old prophesied against many countries and great kingdoms — of war and disaster and pestilence. 9 As for the prophet who prophesies of peace, when the word of the prophet comes to pass, the prophet will be known as one whom the LORD has truly sent."
10 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke off the prophet Jeremiah's neck and broke it. 11 And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, "Thus says the LORD: 'Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.'" And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.
WHOA, This is so riveting in terms of the spiritual consequence of such pride…
12 Now the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 13 "Go and tell Hananiah, saying, 'Thus says the LORD: "You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made in their place yokes of iron." 14 For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: "I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also."'"
So because they wouldn’t listen to the true prohet and wanted to believe the lie, having no discernment, instead of a lighter yoke, an even heavier judgment came on them.
15 Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, "Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie. 16 Therefore thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD.'" 17 So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.
I’m sure that if Hananiah had repented of his lying or speaking out of his own heart, that he would not have had to die, but because he was in arrogance and pride and given over to pleasing the king and his court, he was killed. This is a serious admonition. We don’t think of this as so serious because we’ve been taught that in the New Testament, everything is changed, and that is so in the sense there is GRACE for the one who is UNHEALED, and still has some mixture in what they hear from the LORD.
But for the one who will NOT REPENT of it…we see in ACTS that even a lie spoken, by Ananias and Sapphira, got them killed. Folks, we are about to come into apostolic days again, and what happened in the early church will happen again ! We need to listen to what God is saying in the lessons He has given us, and not fall prey to false teaching and false prophets. READ THE WORD. TREASURE IT IN YOUR HEART for the days are coming when they will take it away. We need to treasure it and really seek to KNOW THE LORD and HIS WAYS…to KNOW HIS CHARACTER and HIS LOVE, but also HIS JUDGMENT for in all things there is balance. If we know His love , but not His severity, we can be deceived.
For another example of false prophets see “ BETTER TO OBEY” on on the teaching page on prophecy. http://www.upstreamca.org/teachings_prophecy.html