Concluded with a devotional from A.B. Simpson, founder of the C&MA
The entire chapter of Jeremiah 23 is a strong warning to those who say we will be blessed no matter what we do and/or that the Word of God is "burdensome"; something we can not do.
Prophesy from Jeremiah to God's Peculiar People.
Here is what the LORD says concerning the false prophets: "My heart and my mind are deeply disturbed. I tremble all over. I am like a drunk person, like a person who has had too much wine, because of the way the LORD and his holy word are being mistreated." For the land is full of people unfaithful to him. They live wicked lives and they misuse their power. So the land is dried up because it is under his curse. The pastures in the wilderness are withered. Moreover, the LORD says, "Both the prophets and priests are godless. I have even found them doing evil in my temple! So the paths they follow will be dark and slippery. They will stumble and fall headlong. For I will bring disaster on them. A day of reckoning is coming for them." The LORD affirms it!
The LORD says, "I saw the prophets of Samaria doing something that was disgusting. They prophesied in the name of the god Baal and led my people Israel astray. But I see the prophets of Jerusalem doing something just as shocking. They are unfaithful to me and continually prophesy lies. So they give encouragement to people who are doing evil, with the result that they do not stop their evildoing. I consider all of them as bad as the people of Sodom, and the citizens of Jerusalem as bad as the people of Gomorrah. So then I, the LORD who rules over all, have something to say concerning the prophets of Jerusalem: 'I will make these prophets eat the bitter food of suffering and drink the poison water of judgment. For the prophets of Jerusalem are the reason that ungodliness has spread throughout the land.' " The LORD who rules over all says to the people of Jerusalem: "Do not listen to what those prophets are saying to you. They are filling you with false hopes. They are reporting visions of their own imaginations, not something the LORD has given them to say.
They continually say to those who reject what the LORD has said, 'Things will go well for you!' They say to all those who follow the stubborn inclinations of their own hearts, 'Nothing bad will happen to you!' Yet which of them has ever stood in the LORD's inner circle so they could see and hear what he has to say? Which of them have ever paid attention or listened to what he has said?
But just watch! The wrath of the LORD will come like a storm! Like a raging storm it will rage down on the heads of those who are wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has fully carried out his intended purposes. In days to come you people will come to understand this clearly. I did not send those prophets. Yet they were in a hurry to give their message. I did not tell them anything. Yet they prophesied anyway. But if they had stood in my inner circle, they would have proclaimed my message to my people. They would have caused my people to turn from their wicked ways and stop doing the evil things they are doing.
Let the prophet who has had a dream go ahead and tell his dream. Let the person who has received my message report that message faithfully. What is like straw cannot compare to what is like grain! I, the LORD, affirm it!
My message is like a fire that purges dross! It is like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces! I, the LORD, so affirm it! So I, the LORD, affirm that I am opposed to those prophets who steal messages from one another that they claim are from me. I, the LORD, affirm that I am opposed to those prophets who are using their own tongues to declare, 'The LORD declares…'
You must no longer say that the LORD's message is burdensome. For what is 'burdensome' really pertains to what a person himself says. You are misrepresenting the words of our God, the living God, the LORD who rules over all. Each of you should merely ask the prophet, 'What answer did the LORD give you? Or what did the LORD say?'
But just suppose you continue to say, 'The message of the LORD is burdensome.' Here is what the LORD says will happen: 'I sent word to you that you must not say, "The LORD's message is burdensome." But you used the words "The LORD's message is burdensome" anyway. So I will carry you far off and throw you away. I will send both you and the city I gave to you and to your ancestors out of my sight.
The Old Testament is the "Scripture" that the New Testament refers to. When the Letters and Epistles were being written there was not such a book known as the New Testament until after 300 AD.
If the doctrines that you believe to be Truth are not found in the Old Testament I would be extremely cautious in accepting them as God's Truth, even as God has warned His people in Jeremiah 23.
God wants us to be delivered from the power of sin and death through the power of the sacrifice of His Son. Jesus, His Son, invites us to take His Yoke upon us. His burden is light. He wants to live within us as a new creation within a new, clean heart.
A.B. Simpson, founder of the C&MA, says:
Friday, September 03, 2021
The little plant may grow out of a pile of refuse and be surrounded by filth and covered with the dust that floats on the breeze, but its white roots are separated from the unclean soil, and it leaves and flowers have no affinity with the dust that settles upon them. After a show of summer rain they throw off every particle of defilement and look up as fresh and spotless as before. Their intrinsic nature cannot have any part with these defiling things.
This is the separation which Christ requires and which He gives. There is no merit in my staying from the theater if I want to go.(today's TV and Cell Phones that are so addictive and that we can not do without in our minds and hearts without being bored -my insert) There is no value in my abstaining from the foolish novel or the intoxicating bottle if I am continually wishing I could have them. My heart is there, and my soul is defiled by the desire for evil things. It is not the world that stains us, but the love of the world. The true Levite is separated from the desire for earthly things, and even if he could, he would not have the forbidden pleasures which others prize.
The God of Israel hath separated you —Numbers 16:9