If you want to know what God thinks of people who claim to speak for God, yet who really prophecy out of their own imaginations and greed, read Ezekiel 13. Watch out. If you think you have God’s word on a matter, you better be sure that you speak the truth…
2 Say to those who prophesy out of their own imagination: ‘Hear the word of the Lord! 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! 4 Your prophets, Israel, are like jackals among ruins. 5 You have not gone up to the breaches in the wall to repair it for the people of Israel so that it will stand firm in the battle on the day of the Lord. 6 Their visions are false and their divinations a lie. Even though the Lord has not sent them, they say, “The Lord declares,” and expect him to fulfill their words. 7 Have you not seen false visions and uttered lying divinations when you say, “The Lord declares,” though I have not spoken?
The Bible is very clear about a lot of things. God speaks for himself in the Bible. If anyone is speaking God’s truth today which is not from the Bible, they are running the risk of God’s wrath upon them. This was serious business in Bible times:
False prophets were tested based on the accuracy of their prophecy (God doesn’t misspeak) and the false prophets were put to death. “A prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death,” (Deuteronomy 18:20).
Ezekiel reveals that the one who consults a false prophet is actually just as guilty as the false prophet himself (Ezekiel 14:10). Yet some of us like to follow teachers who tell us what we like to hear, don’t we? Some gravitate toward those who speak prosperity over them, or who teach that the truth of God changes with the time. We like the new teaching of modern-day prophets… Beware.
As much as continuing to study God’s word is important to ensure we understand the teaching of God, we ought to be skeptical of new and changing truth and check in against the full wealth of teaching in the Bible. Peter speaks about false prophets further:
2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. 3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.
We can see the marks of this description on a few modern-day teachers who rise, soar, and often fall. Watch out for them, and guard your own heart. How do I guard myself? The more we set our hearts and minds on the things of heaven, and hold loosely to the things of earth, the closer we will be to God.
When our minds are on earthly things and our god is our stomach – the satisfaction and pleasure of life (Philippians 3:19), we are setting ourselves up…