Someone might say, “There are no false prophets today.” My action toward that remark would be to tell that individual to remove the blindfold. In reading the prophets of God we find the example of false prophets, and they are quite plentiful today as well.
The true prophet of God seeks first, to glorify God and His message; and second to warn God’s people of their sins; and third to call them to repentance; at whatever the price – even his own life. The false prophet seeks to ease the hearts of the people through encouragement in their trials and pains that are actually for their chastisement. I agree that there are times the preacher of God needs to encourage the people; the encouragement we give needs to be according to the Word of the LORD, not fanciful, psychological, mumbo-jumbo seeking to the ease of pain and trial. The encouragement from God will be to get people to love the Word of God; and loving Him with all their hearts, souls, minds, and strength.
In my reading this morning – Ezekiel 10 – 23 – I noticed several instances of God’s rebuke of the false prophets and teachers, and this is what I believe needs addressing.
One of the things I read in Ezekiel is the continued use of a phrase, “[they, you,] shall know that I am the LORD”. Throughout the prophecy, beginning in chapter six, that phrase is used over sixty times. The reason, Ezekiel stresses, for Israel’s captivity and judgment is so that they will know that God is the LORD.
God says to the prophet Ezekiel,
“Again the word of the LORD came to me, saying, ‘Son of man, behold, they of the house of Israel say, ‘The vision that he seeth is for many days to come, and he prophesieth of the times that are far off. Therefore say unto them, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD; ‘There shall none of My words be prolonged any more, but the word which I have spoken shall be done,’ saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 12:26-28 (KJV)
Also hear what the LORD says of the prophet who is deceived, and deceives the people,
“And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of My people Israel. And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him; that the house of Israel may go no more astray from Me, neither be polluted any more with all their transgressions; but that they may be My people, and I may be their God,’ saith the Lord GOD.” 14:9-11
If you will notice the people who went seeking the false prophet and his prophecy would be held to the same end as the prophet himself.
At least twice God tells the elders who come to Ezekiel to inquire of him, “I will not be inquired of by you.” (20:3, 31)
Also notice what God says to the priests and the prophets in chapter 22. I will let you get out the Scriptures and read that for yourself. Notice the “daubing… with untempered mortar”. Have you ever seen whitewash. Can you imagine laying brick, or even patching brickwork with whitewash, yet that is what the false prophets do.
The LORD will not long tolerate the wickedness of the false prophet/preacher. He will not hold him guiltless who leads people astray, making the evil believe they will live, and making the righteous feel they will die. The false preacher calls evil good, and good evil.
Turn to the Lord Jesus Christ today. Repent of your sins, believe and live.
-Tim A. Blankenship