Time, Truth, & Wisdom
Chapter 19---False Prophets & Preachers
The prophets of the Old Testament had but one duty, one obligation and that was to tell Israel the messages that they received from God. We read about them and think of them as holy men and women.
We remember the names of some more than others because they are mentioned more often. When was the last time that you heard anything about Habakkuk or Nahum? Most people are familiar with Daniel or Isaiah because they are referred to as “major prophets” while Habakkuk and Nahum are called “minor prophets”.
Were the prophecies of Daniel more important in the Scriptures than those of Habakkuk? Is that why Daniel is called a major prophet? Nope. The reason that Daniel is called a major prophet is that the Book of Daniel is longer in length than the Book of Habakkuk. The books of all twelve of the Minor Prophets are smaller in size than those of the Major Prophets. They are not smaller in content or substance.
The prophets were ordinary men and women just like you and I. Amos, for instance, was a sheepherder:
Amos 7:14 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
While Elisha was a farmer:
1st Kings 19:19 So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.
Sometimes they prophesied an entire lifetime while others for only a brief period. Some of them performed unusual acts like Isaiah who went naked and barefoot for three years:
Isaiah 20:3 And the Lord said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia.
He wasn’t crazy because the Lord commanded him to do so. Ezekiel lay on his left side for 390 days and on his right for 40:
Ezekiel 4:5 For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel.
Ezekiel 4:6 And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.
For every year of iniquity, Ezekiel would be required to lie on his side for one day. The Lord commanded Ezekiel to do this as a sign to the House of Israel.
Do we have prophets among us today? Yes, there are many of them but I want you to keep in mind what our Father said in 2nd Peter 2:1:
2nd Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
And also in Mark 13:22:
Mark 13:22 For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.
Go with me to the Book of Ezekiel and the 13th chapter. The Lord is speaking to Israel through Ezekiel but it applies to all of us:
Ezekiel 13:1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
The Lord is speaking to Ezekiel.
Ezekiel 13:2 Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the Lord;
The Lord is telling Ezekiel to go to these false prophets and tell them to stop prophesying their own thoughts and agendas and to read the Word of the Lord.
Ezekiel 13:3 Thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!
They haven’t received any enlightenment from God, they preach their own thoughts and words and say:
“Yes, I spoke with God this morning and He told me which suit to wear today.”
Ezekiel 13:4 O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.
Ezekiel 13:5 Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the Lord.
Ezekiel 13:6 They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.
“Lying divination” means that they tell the flock:
“Yes, God spoke to me today.”
They speak their own words and not the words of the Lord and they give people false hope because they speak their own words and not the inspired prophesy of the Lord. Want to hear it in a straightforward fashion?
These preachers are feeding the flock a wagon full of crap and telling them in the process that God revealed these words to them and God doesn’t like it! These are not my words; these are His words, in a manner of speaking, of course.
Ezekiel 13:7 Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The Lord saith it; albeit I have not spoken?
God is saying:
“I didn’t tell this idiot preacher/pastor to say these things!”
“I didn’t speak those words!”
Do you think that God is through? Do you think that this is all that He has to say on this subject? Not by a long shot, friend. Let’s drop down to verse 17 and see what He has to say about these preacher/pastors that teach the “fly-away doctrine” that some of you are so proud of.
Any Baptist worth his or her salt knows the words to that hymn “I’ll Fly Away”. For those of you that haven’t sung it in a while let me give you the words to some of the verses:
Some bright morning when this life is over
I’ll fly away
To that home on God’s celestial shore
I’ll fly away
I’ll fly away oh glory
I’ll fly away (in the morning)
When I die hallelujah by and by
I’ll fly away
Now, let’s see what our Father has to say about it as He continues to speak to Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 13:17 Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them,
This is the 17th verse of this 13th chapter and He is still raking these false preachers across the coals.
Ezekiel 13:18 And say, Thus saith the Lord God; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?
These good Christian women sew pillowcases and kerchiefs to place them over the out-stretched, saving hands of God and cover them up. They cover up the truth.
Do you know what God means when He says: hunt the souls of my people?
“Y’all come over to our church and bring your money with you! We believe in once saved, always saved!
You don’t have to do any of that repenting nonsense!
We’ll show you how to fly away and miss all that judgment stuff in the book of Revelation! Heck, you don’t even have to read that book; we’re just going to fly right out of here and miss all of it!”
Ezekiel 13:19 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?
The reference to handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread means that they preach for money. The rich had enough money to buy wheat but the poor could only afford barley.
How does someone slay the souls that should not die? By false teachings from the pulpit; not letting the people know that the false christ comes first. The lies that they preach kills the souls that should not die and keeps alive the souls that should die.
This word “pollute”, in the Hebrew, is chalal and it means “to profane”. These preachers profane the name of God Himself with their lies and God hates it because they are deceiving His children!
Ezekiel 13:20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly.
Please don’t read over the word fly in this verse and it’s there twice for emphasis. God will rip these souls, the souls of His children, away from these preachers; He will tear them from their arms. He will let them know that the “fly-away doctrine” is a load of crap.
When will this happen? During the Millennium when all lies will be done away with and only the truth of God’s Word will be taught by His Elect. Some will accept the truth during that time and some will continue to reject it. But the truth will be presented to them to give them, possibly, their first chance at understanding it and accepting it.
Ezekiel 13:21 Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
One day soon these preachers are going to know who God really is. An expression that I like is:
“They think that when they get to heaven that they will receive a crown of jewels and all they are going to get is warts on their heads.”
Ezekiel 13:22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:
Ezekiel 13:23 Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the Lord.
Peter called them “damnable heresies” and chief among them are the wonderful rapture theory and the fly-away and any-moment doctrines.
We have to stay on our toes because even a good Bible-teaching pastor can sometimes be referred to as a prophet and this is erroneous. Their gift is to explain the Scriptures in such a way that others can more easily understand them. Their job is to explain prophesy, not to prophesize. When they say things like “God talked to me today”, be very skeptical.
So, with all the hype and religious nonsense in the world today how can we tell real prophesy from Showtime? We do that by simply going to the Word of God.