“Thus said Yehovah God of Israel unto you Baruch.”
Baruch was a man employed of an incarcerated prophet to write the word of God as it was given to Jeremiah. This messenger of Yehovah was first visited by the Spirit of God with His word for Israel during the reign of a young man whom the Lord had raised up and made king over Judah. The ten northern tribes of Israel had been destroyed by the Assyrian armies and the people carried away captive nearly 90 years earlier as the judgment of Almighty God was made evident in the sight of all to see. The Spirit had empowered three prophets (Micah, Isaiah and Hosea) to declare the righteous judgment and impending decimation to the people but there were none to hear as every man did that which was right in his own eyes. These people had been led to follow after the sin of Jeroboam and to accept the counterfeit representation of the Temple, the feasts and the law. The priests were not of the tribe of Levi, the feast days were contrary to the pattern given to Moses in the mount, the ceremonies and rituals included the pagan superstitions of the people of the land and there were two idols in the form of calves; one in Bethel and one in Dan (I Kings 12:25ff).
The word of God was of no effect upon the ears and hearts of these natural born citizens of Israel and neither was the destruction of the country a deterrent to the two southern tribes. Instead of repentance from the wickedness of their ways and the presumptuous manner of their understanding, the people of Judah did worse than their fellow kinsman in Israel; “And her treacherous sister Judah saw and I saw; when for all the cause whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away and given her a bill of divorcement, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear but went and played the harlot also” (Jer. 7:7). Yet in the midst of this open demonstration of the inability of the sons of Adam to hear, understand and act upon the word of God, Yehovah God raised up an eight year old son of a very evil king (Amon) and caused him to reign over Judah (II Kings 22:1). This instrument of God brought forth the books of the Law and read them in open session as he “did right in the sight of Yehovah and walked in all the way of his father David and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left” (2).
This was not because he was a righteous man after the seed of Adam for “there is none righteous no not one”; this was because he was a child of grace, and being born from above as a son of God the Law of God was put in his inward parts and written in his heart” (Jer. 31:31). The Spirit of the Most high God dwelt in this one who was the workmanship of God “created in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah unto good works, which God had before ordained that we (he) should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10). Being, therefore, a child of God and partaker of flesh and blood with all the labours necessary to the purpose of God before him, empowered by the Spirit of God within who caused him to “walk in My statutes and you shall keep My judgments and do them” (Ezek. 36:26), Josiah was the testimony of God unto the nation of Judah. This was a testimony of the wickedness of their ways, the uncleanliness of their doings and the pride of their hearts wherein they had been deceived to think they were the chosen people of God.
The word of God to Jeremiah in the days of this righteous and noble king was that the nation of Judah was a “degenerate plant and a strange vine” and even though under the reign of the boy king, the nation experienced a time of peace and prosperity, yet the word of God was unto destruction. His Holiness demands perfect obedience which has never been found in any son of Adam yet His long-suffering mercy was, rising up early, sending His messengers and speaking His word to this people “since the day that your fathers came forth out of the land of Egypt unto this day I have even sent unto you My servants the prophets, rising up early and sending; yet they did not hearken unto Me nor incline their ear, but hardening their neck, they did worse than their fathers” (Jer.7:25).
Thus in the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah over the house of Judah, God sent forth Jeremiah to speak to the people saying; “Therefore gird up your loins and arise and speak unto them all that I command you: be not dismayed at their faces lest I confound you before them, for behold, I have made you this day a defenced city and an iron pillar and brazen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof and against the people of the land and they shall fight against you but they shall not prevail against you for I am with you said Yehovah, to deliver you” (1:17). Then after twenty two years of receiving the word of God and proclaiming it before the people, God instructed Jeremiah to write all these words into a book, “that I have spoken against Judah and against all the nations from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah, even unto the day” (36:2); this is where Baruch comes into the picture.
“And Jeremiah called Baruch, son of Neriah, and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of Yehovah which He had spoken unto him upon a roll of a book” (Jer. 36:4)
This man was employed as a scribe for a religious prisoner as he recounted the word of God being given to him by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah had not written anything down for these years nor had he been given to have someone recording all his messages for posterity but at the appointed time the very same God who had “ordained you a prophet unto the nations” and “put forth His hand and touched” his mouth saying “Behold I have put My words in your mouth” (1:5ff) by the Spirit of His Holiness gave him complete recall of the same words which he had spoken from the beginning. This task was performed without exception or addition or liberty of commentary or translation. Baruch was given of the same Spirit of God to understand and to record every word as God intended them without the minutest of derivation lest the people rise up and claim that this man, who called himself a prophet, changed the word which he claimed had come from God. Thus the inspired word was presented in written form.
The process of dictation and recording may have taken almost a whole year to complete and when it was finished, Jeremiah instructed Baruch to take the scroll and read it before the rulers of the land. “Then read Baruch in the book the words of Jeremiah in the house of the Lord, in the chamber of Gemariah the son of Shaphen the scribe, in the higher court at the entry of the new gate of the Lord’s house, in the ears of all the people” (36:10). A second reading was given in the king’s chambers where the roll was confiscated for the reading of the words caused fear in the ears of the hearers. Then the king sent his servant to fetch the scroll and to read it to him but when he had read “three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife and cast into the fire that was on the hearth until all the roll was consumed in the fire on the hearth” (23).
Then came the Word of God a second time to Jeremiah, “after that the king had burned the roll” telling him to write it again. Baruch was again summoned and the process completed exactly as it was before. The people did not hear the spoken word as they rose up in hatred against the messengers of God, incarcerating and, in some cases, killed the prophets just as they did Jesus; “I know that you are Abraham’s seed but you seek to kill Me because My word has no place in you... he that is of God hears God’s words, you therefore do not hear them because you are not of God” (John 8:37 & 47). The people could not stand the reading of that same word the second time nor can any son of Adam receive or understand the Word of God no matter how many times it is preached, explained or presented to them for the natural man cannot receive the things of the Spirit. Baruch was given to undertake what may be concluded as a useless and hopeless endeavour because not only was no one going to listen to him but they were enraged by the readings and sought to do him harm. He was performing the labours assigned unto him and walking the path which God had prepared for him yet he was an outcast of society in the midst of a military siege against the city. The food was vanishing by the moment, people were dying of starvation and disease and many were fleeing the city as this old man in a dungeon was asking him to re-write a scroll that had enraged the people against him; “For My thoughts not your thoughts neither your ways My ways, said Yehovah” (Is. 55:8).
“You have said; Woe is me now for Yehovah has added grief to my sorrow; I faint in my sighing and I find no rest” (45:3).
The events that were unfolding before the eyes of this man were depressing and grievous to his soul. Jeremiah was extremely saddened for the sin of the people as he saw the hand of God laid heavy upon the land. He saw the apathy towards the things of God and spoke constantly about the injustice of the people against the widows, the fatherless and the stranger and the forsaking of God by his nation. He pleaded with God to turn the people and end this destruction but the word of God was that His word was unto judgment. Jeremiah wrestled with the issue as he passionately preached the word and performed many strange antics in demonstration of the truth of God and His wrath but the people would not hear. The natural man cannot hear the voice of God; he certainly will not give heed to the voice of another man telling him his ways and his beliefs were an abomination before God; therefore the preaching of the cross is foolishness in them that perish
Baruch had a deeper personal feeling about the matter. He expected that God should have granted him some sort of special dispensation in this for all the good things that he had done. He expected that because he had followed after the word of God and been obedient to his servant Jeremiah that perhaps God should prevent all these calamities from falling upon him. He was ready to call out and remind God of all the duties he had performed after the natural man saying, ‘Lord, Lord did I not do these many wondrous things in Your name’ (Matt. 7:22).
Even the disciples of Jesus were beset with this same feeling that God should prevent these things from coming into their lives because of what they had done; “Then Peter answered and said unto Him, Behold, we have forsaken all and followed You; what shall we have therefore?” (Matt. 19:27) for this is the instinctive attitude of Adam. This is the basis for the conditional concept of the blessings of God and the salvation of His people. The mind and logic of Adam has made this into the backbone of his doctrine in anticipation of and the medium whereby blessings may be obtained from the hand of God. Even more has been developed into the means whereby the salvation of Yehovah may be obtained, the protection from harm and ill in this life may be bartered and special attention and holy unction may be bestowed upon kindred because of the obedience of one: “And he said: All these have I kept from my youth up” (Luke 18:21). And so the antic disposition of Baruch is common to all men as is temptation which comes upon every child of hope for “there has no temptation taken upon you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear” (I Cor. 10:13).
Baruch did not understand that the blessing that he was given was indeed to be subjected to the very things which vexed his soul. He looked for happiness and prosperity in this world unto a time of rest and relaxation for this is the intention and aspiration of Adam. Baruch was not given to see how that the hand of God laid upon him through all these trials and tribulations was the evidence of his sonship in the Anointing nor did he recognize that he was blessed of God. When Messiah stood upon the mount called Olives, He recited the fact that the children of His kingdom were blessed to be poor and sorrowful in this world. They were not cursed to be mighty, wealthy or filled with the dainties of this existence for their home was not of this world. Baruch, whose name means ‘blessed’, was looking, as every man does, on the outward appearances and tangible comforts rather than upon the testimony of the Anointing which was upon him; the hope of glory, which the eyes of Adam cannot see.
“Behold which I have built will I break down and that which I have planted I will pluck up, even this whole land” (45:4).
Yehovah God sends forth His word again through the mouth of His servant Jeremiah (‘whom Yah has appointed’) to this fellow stranger and sojourner in the wilderness to first remind him that He is God and there is none other. He commands this child of grace, who has found a law in his members which is warring against the law of his mind, wherein he delights after the Law of God, to “Behold your God” (Is. 40:9). God has graciously given him to see that He alone is sovereign over all flesh; that He is seated in heaven; His dominion is an eternal dominion and His kingdom is from generation to generation; that all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing before Him and He does according to his will in the armies of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth; none can stay His hand or say unto Him, What are you doing? (Dan. 4:34ff).
Nothing exists now or ever has existed which the hand of Almighty God did not build. He created subjects to perform His will in the beginning and He called it exceedingly good. He causes all things to come to pass by the power of His will and nothing comes to pass but by His pleasure. Even the Lucifer (Heb. ‘halal’ – the bringer of light) is subject to the will of the Lord God Omnipotent as he is dispatched to perform the labours assigned to him in the cosmos. He is the wicked one, the false accuser and the father of all lies and the children of disobedience. He has hooks in his jaws whereby the Ancient One leads him about obsequious to His demands and when, according to the eternal love for His sons, God has decreed tribulation and bitterness, this ‘anointed cherub that covers’ is assigned to withstand the prisoners of hope. He is one who is lifted up (Assyrian) by reason of his beauty (Ezek. 28:17) as the “rod of Mine anger and the staff in their hand is Mine indignation” (Is. 10:5) according to the purpose which God has purposed in Himself to perform. The siege against Jerusalem by the armies of Babylon and the Chaldeans was for the breaking down that which God had caused to be built, the nation of Israel and the Temple in Jerusalem, as He showed forth that He is God; “that no flesh should glory in His presence” (I Cor. 1:29). He took away all that man had pleasure in as his confidence and trust is in the arm of the flesh and that which he can see just as He did with His servant Job; “a perfect and upright man, one who feared God and eschewed evil”. Yehovah God dispatched Satan to try His child and gave him leave to touch all that he had as God said; “Behold he is in your hand but save his life”.
“And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them for I will bring evil upon all flesh, said Yehovah, but your life will I give unto you for a prey in all places whither you go” (Jer. 45:5).
The wrath of God is poured out against the ungodliness of man. It is not restricted for only those who are reserved unto destruction or those natural brute beast made to be taken out and destroyed who “speak evil of the things that they do not understand and shall utterly perish in their own corruption” (II Pt. 2:12) for it is without respect of persons. By one man sin entered into the world and death by sin and since the wages of sin is death so the whole of the seed of Adam is under the sentence of judgment by God. The purpose of the Refiner’s fire is to consume all the wood, hay and stubble of Edom and to reveal the works of man; “and the house of Jacob shall be a fire and the house of Joseph a flame; the house of Esau for stubble and they shall kindle in them and devour them and there shall not be remaining of the house of Esau for Yehovah has spoken” (Ob. 18). There can be no exception or partiality where the equity of truth is present.
The shed blood of the Lamb of God is for the sin of His people in Adam. These have been planted in the earthen vessels afore prepared of God as a garden is for seed for He is the Master of the vineyard. He has dug the ground and sent in the ‘clod breakers’ (Chaldeans) to level the field and the wicked one to plant his tare. He has sent forth the rulers of confusion by mixing (Babylon) to fill the mind of the sons of the dust with the things of this world so that they cannot find out the work which God has done from the beginning; this He does for the good of the fruit within.
These seemingly adverse elements and occurrences are necessary ingredients in the development of the vine but they are all set aside in the time of the harvest. The branches which bring forth fruit are “purged that it may bring forth more fruit” and when the harvest is complete and the branch has brought forth the full amount of increase, the Master comes and takes the branch away (John 15:2). The ground is not preserved into eternity and the branches are not refurbished and replanted for these are all of the earth. The seed has matured and brought forth the fruit which is only possible because of the life within the vine and that Vine is Anointed. The life, being not of this earth, brings forth fruit which is holy and acceptable before God and necessary for the body therefore though the ‘evil’ which God has purposed is upon all flesh, yet the life within is the ‘preservation’ (given for a prey) of the children.
This life is the eternal life which is first unto the seed because it is one in the Father. He alone inhabits eternity as He is without beginning of days and He is immutable. The stones which are hewn from this great rock are precious unto Him for they are of Him. They cannot be tarnished or soiled while in the habitation of clay for they are “sanctified by God the Father and preserved in the Anointed Salvation of Yehovah and called” (Jude1). They have been planted in the appointed hour in the field purchased by the blood of the redeemer and they have been outfitted for the labours assigned unto them during the time of their habitation. They have been made subject to the vanities of this existence but they are holiness unto God, for He is Holy, and nothing can separate them from His love (Rms. 8:35).
The path assigned for them to walk is dark (for it is in this world), narrow and crooked with walls of hewn stone (works and cares of this world) set upon the boundaries of the path. The path often leads into the valley of the shadow of death where the pains of death get hold of the wanderer. Here the Spirit reveals that in Adam these strangers and sojourners have no claim unto the mercies of God as He gives witness to the vileness of their ways, the wickedness of their hearts and the corruption of their works. This causes the children to cry unto the Father for forgiveness as they confess their inability before God. Though this path may lead into various places beset with numerous trials and tribulations, yet the children are made like unto the Anointed in the fellowship of His suffering as they endure these temptations. As the image of the natural is being drawn after the needs, delights and passions of the flesh so is the revelation of the perishing of the outward man. He labours for that which cannot feed and strives for that which shall not endure for that which was first is natural, which perishes with the using.
The children of hope are indeed in the world and made to experience numerous trials for the proving of the faith of the Son of God. They are shown the frailty of the flesh and the emptiness of this world as they grow in the grace and knowledge of His Will. The Spirit bears witness with their spirit that they are the sons of God because the chastening hand of the loving Father lays heavy upon them. Therefore do they earnestly await the manifestation of the sons of God and that tabernacle not made with hands; eternal in the heavens.
“So Yehovah blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning...” (Job 42:12)
When the Lord opened the eyes of the blind they saw the injustice and cruelty of the world. When He cleansed the lepers they were unwanted among the clean of this life and when He raised the dead, the people of the land sought to kill Him. God shows His children the vileness of the flesh and the corruption of this world to remind them of Jerusalem which is from above. This is the end of their journey and their final resting place. This is where the path leads and this is where the race ends.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
June 12, 2016