Man Cuts Bible Into Pieces With a Knife,Then Burns Them in the Fire

by Tad Lindley

The king’s messenger came into the winter palace with a scroll. What the scroll contained was what we know of today as the first 35 chapters of the book of Jeremiah, the prophet. It was the only copy of the book of Jeremiah at that point. Now in those days, they did not have books with pages like we do. Books were written in columns on very long pieces of parchment and rolled up for storage. So the messenger unrolled the book and began to read it to the king.

King Jehoiakim does the unthinkable

As the messenger read, the king took out his pocket knife and cut off the three or four columns that had just been read. Then the king did the unthinkable, he threw the words into the fire and they were burned up. The messenger read a few more columns and again the king cut that end of the scroll off and threw it into the fire. By the time the messenger was done reading the entire scroll had been burned to nothing. It is hard to imagine that somebody would be so angry at the word of God that they would do such a thing, but the facts are there for us to read in Jeremiah 36.

Were those chapters lost forever?

All of that happened about 2,600 years ago. How do we even know what the first 35 chapters of Jeremiah said? Jeremiah had a guy that did all of his writing for him, a scribe. The scribe’s name was Baruch. And after Baruch had hand written all of those prophecies only to have them go up in smoke, he had to write it all over again (Jeremiah 36:28). Because of Baruch’s valiant efforts, and the work of many anonymous scribes across the centuries, the book of Jeremiah and the other 65 books of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures are available to us today.

We would never burn the Bible, but…

A person has to be extremely angry at God to burn a Bible. And so I am pretty confident that you, good reader, would never take out scissors and cut columns and pages out of your Bible and throw them into the wood stove. But across the centuries people have come across things in the Bible and simply ignored them. Pastors have stopped preaching verses that might cause people to stop coming to church. In effect, they have cut parts of the Bible out that they did not like.

Case in point 1: Hairstyles

Many of you probably have no idea what godly hairstyles for men and women look like. In many churches today, it has never been preached on. They might as well have cut I Corinthians 11:1-16 out of everyone’s Bibles and tossed it in the fire. If you don’t know what it says, I advise you to read it. If your hairstyle doesn’t match, you can repent and change it to match the Bible, or you can cut those verses out, your choice.

Case in point 2: You must be born again

What does “born again” mean? The words come straight out of Jesus’ mouth in John 3:3. He defines it specifically in John 3:5. Born again is not just something for fanatics, it is essential for salvation. The only way you can get around that is to grab a knife and cut John 3:7 (Marvel not that I say unto thee, “Ye must be born again.”) out of your Bible. It is either a must or it isn’t.

Case in point 3: Acts 2:38

This verse has been cut out of more modern Bibles than perhaps any other. We are inundated with shaking hands with the preacher, or “making a decision for Christ”, or filling out a card, or praying the sinner’s prayer. When the sin-laden Jews in Jerusalem came to Peter and asked how they could be saved from sin, he offered up none of those modern steps for “salvation.” Peter very clearly told them that in order to be saved from sin, they had to 1) repent, 2) be baptized (not sprinkled) in Jesus’ name for the forgiveness of sins, and 3) receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Don’t cut up your Bible

King Jehoiakim had extremely precious truth in his hand. Had he obeyed it, he would have been saved, but he rejected it, even to the point of desecrating it. I urge every pastor and every saint of God to take heed to King Jehoiakim’s tragedy and to grab ahold of the word of God and to make our lives as close to his word as we possibly can.

Reverend Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.

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