THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3:13-14 NASB)
A Hammer Which Shatters A Rock #6
April 4, 2009
“Is not My word like fire?” declares the LORD, “and like a hammer which shatters a
rock?” (Jeremiah 23:29)
In the last issue of this series, we began to consider the context of Jeremiah 23. Based on verses 1-2, the
point was made that the church leaders have scattered and driven away the Lord’s people. As stated
previously, the heart of the nation is a reflection of the church-at-large. Another way of stating this is
that on the church level, the pastor-teachers have scattered and divided the Lord’s people, and, on the
national level, the political leaders have divided the American people. Think about it! The political
system of the US has divided the nation; sometimes it seems that the division has been right down the
middle, so to speak. I realize that people say this is the way it is supposed to work with a two-party
system. But what good has come of it lately? Consider the church and how much division there is along
so many different lines of emphasis. There is really not much difference between the church and the
heart of the nation. We all are divided. But it is more than this; the nation is divided because the church
is divided. It all starts with the church. A divided kingdom cannot stand (Mark 3:24).
Now, I want to press on to another facet of Jeremiah 23 that deals with the prophets. I may be pushing
the envelope a bit, but I propose that, on the prophetic level, the prophets have been leading the Lord’s
people into futility, and, on the national level, the news media and the innumerable experts that are
interviewed each day across all forms of media have been leading the American people into futility. In
other words, the media are merely a reflection of the many false prophets speaking for the Lord. The
media are just as much a part of the heart of the nation as the politicians are, for they filter and
influence what is presented as news to Americans each day. Bear with me!
Jeremiah lamented over the prophets of his day.
(9) As for the prophets: My heart is broken within me, all my bones tremble; I have
become like a drunken man, even like a man overcome with wine, because of the LORD
and because of His holy words. (10) For the land is full of adulterers; for the land mourns
because of the curse. The pastures of the wilderness have dried up. Their course also is
evil and their might is not right. (11) “For both prophet and priest are polluted; even in
My house I have found their wickedness,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:9-11 NASB)
“Also among the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a horrible thing: The committing of
adultery and walking in falsehood; and they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no
one has turned back from his wickedness. All of them have become to Me like Sodom,
and her inhabitants like Gomorrah.” (Jeremiah 23:14 NASB)
The Lord of hosts responded to Jeremiah’s lament.
(16) Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who are
prophesying to you. They are leading you into futility ; they speak a vision of their own
imagination, not from the mouth of the LORD. ”… (18) “But who has stood in the council
of the LORD, that he should see and hear His word? Who has given heed to His word and
listened?” (Jeremiah 23:16, 18 NASB)
(23) “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? (24) Can a
man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill
the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD. (25) “I have heard what the prophets
have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, ‘I had a dream, I had a dream!’ (26)
“How long? Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood , even
these prophets of the deception of their own heart, (27) who intend to make My people
forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers
forgot My name because of Baal? (28) The prophet who has a dream may relate his
dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in
common with grain?” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 23:23-28 NASB)
(30) “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets ,” declares the LORD, “who steal My
words from each other. (31) Behold, I am against the prophets,” declares the LORD,
“who use their tongues and declare, ‘The Lord declares.’ (32) “Behold, I am against those
who have prophesied false dreams, ” declares the LORD, “and related them and led My
people astray by their falsehoods and reckless boasting; yet I did not send them or
command them, nor do they furnish this people the slightest benefit ,” declares the
LORD. (Jeremiah 23:30-32 NASB)
There were many saying that they were speaking for the Lord, but it was not from the mouth of the
Lord; it was from their own imagination. They were leading the people into futility, which means “to be
in vain in action, word, or expectation; to lead astray.” In other words, they were leading the people into
a false hope. They had not stood in the council of the Lord; therefore, they were not speaking for the
Lord but for themselves.
Even today, the Lord reminds the prophets that He is still in charge and that He sees and hears all that
is going on in the heavens and on earth. This is one of the criteria of a particular biblical worldview .
He hears what the prophets proclaim, and He judges their words and their dreams to see if they proph-
esy falsehood from the deception of their own hearts. But notice that the result of this falsehood is the
leading astray of the people so that they will forget His name. The Lord compares their false dreams to
straw and His word to grain. The people need grain for nourishment not straw, which are hollow stocks
or fodder of little value. What the prophets are doing does not even give the people the slightest benefit.
In our day, it is amazing how many are going to and fro speaking for the Lord. They proclaim dreams,
visions, and words from the Lord. Some do this every day as if the Lord speaks to them continually. The
Lord, along with His apostles, warned that there would be false prophets and teachers in the last days.
See issues #01-0705, September 25, 2007, Flee From These Things ; #02-08136, October 31, 2008, A
Supernatural Working of Deception . Who is speaking for the Lord today? How are we to discern? I
propose that those who are truly speaking for the Lord, whether by word, vision, or dream, direct hearts
to the Lord, encouraging them to be joined to their Head in thought, heart, and action, and give the true
hope or expectation of the word of God, which relates to God becoming all in all, the coming of the
kingdom (reign) of Christ and God to this earth, and believers being conformed to the image and char-
acter of Christ, which means they receive immortal, glorified, spiritual bodies through transfiguration.
Those who speak for the Lord proclaim “Thy kingdom come” and realize that the kingdom of Christ is
not of this realm. Further, they love the Lord, His people, and the whole world. Those who direct hearts
to a man’s ministry, name, or vision, or to earthly riches most likely are speaking falsehood.
Now, for the part that might push the envelope a bit, so to speak: If the heart of the nation is a reflection
of the heart of the church-at-large, perhaps the media and, to some degree, the politicians are a
reflection of the false prophets. It is amazing how many so-called experts are proclaiming their views
through virtually every media outlet imaginable to anyone who will listen or can read. Their messages
run the gamut from telling us how bleak our future is and how we are to survive, to how wonderful our
future will be and how we need to relax and trust certain people, for it all will work out just fine.
Without doubt, expert opinions are offered every minute of the day that influence many in their
thinking and actions. These are the modern-day false prophets of man. It is amazing how many
people are making a living (money) by telling others their opinions on every subject under the sun.
What did Solomon say about the sun: I have seen all the works which have been done under
the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NASB). There is no
profit under the sun. The only true profit to be gained is in Christ, for He alone contains all the riches of
God. This brings us back to the beginning of Jeremiah 23: “Behold, the days are coming,”
declares the LORD, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign
as king and act wisely and do justice and righteousness in the land.” (Jeremiah 23:5 NASB)
The Upward Call: #03-0952
by: Stuart H. Pouliot