The Gifts Part 41
Due to the fact that many a man desire to be elevated, praised, worshiped, and deemed superior to their fellow brothers in Christ, much corruption and deception has crept into the household of faith. Unlike the gifts of healings, wherein the working thereof is evident, the gift of prophecy can be more readily counterfeited, and this is one of the reasons we hear so many false prophecies in our day and age. Because the gift of prophecy is so easy to falsify it is a delicate arena, wherein we must be cautious and on guard, even dare I say suspicious. Because of their shamelessness, due to the absence of the fear of the Lord in their lives, there are men today who would claim the mantle of prophet, who would trumpet to any and all who would hear that they possess the gift of prophecy, and either driven by the enemy or more likely their own inflated egos, attribute to God that which God never spoke.
Knowing that there is nothing new under the sun, as Solomon so rightly pointed out, this is by no means a new manifestation, it is by no means a new practice, but rather has been present since the days of the prophets of old.
As a whole, in my opinion there is no book in the Bible that deals with false prophets, false prophecy, and the punishment of such individuals more in depth than does the book of Jeremiah. Although the people had wandered from God, although they had descended into the abyss of sin, although they had forgotten the God who had bought them, the false prophets of Jeremiah’s day kept insisting that all would be well, that the Lord would spare, the Lord would bless, and the Lord would prosper. These false prophets were great in number, and Jeremiah was one man who heard from God, and in his fearlessness proclaimed the truth of what God imparted to him.
He was hated, maligned, marginalized and abused, because he would not fall in line, because he would not echo what the false prophets had been saying, because he would not soothe the anxiousness of the people by speaking falsehoods to them, and telling them that God no longer judged, God no longer punished, and God no longer dealt in righteousness and holiness.
Jeremiah 14:13-16, “Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord God! Behold, the prophets say to them, ‘you shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place.’ And the Lord said to me, ‘the prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the prophets who prophesy in My name, whom I did not send, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not be in this land’ – By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed! And the people to whom they prophecy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword; they will have no one to bury them - them nor their wives, their sons nor their daughters – for I will pour their wickedness on them.’”
While God was prophesying judgment on the people due to their willful sin and unwillingness to repent and turn to Him, the false prophets were speaking the deceit of their own hearts, false visions and worthless things that emboldened the people in their sin, and did not compel them to righteousness or holiness unto God.
If I were to write a blog post every day for the next ten years, there would still be enough wisdom to mine from the book of Jeremiah for another ten years, and the spiritual climate of his time is so similar and relevant in our time that I would encourage one and all to study this book and glean from it the wisdom that it so freely offers.
While the false prophets became great and grew rich because they told the people what they wanted to hear, insisting that no sword or famine would come upon the land, Jeremiah got thrown in prison, then into a cistern, then into a prison again for his faithfulness to God, and for prophesying the truth of what God had shown him.
While the false prophets prospered for a season, their judgment was already sealed, for God said that by sword and famine they would be consumed, and those to whom they prophesied, those who received the false words and continued in their sin rather than repent and return to God would likewise be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem because of the famine and the sword.
God does not take it lightly when men speak what He has not spoken passing it off as though He had spoken it, He does not take it lightly when men in His name encourage people to lawlessness and sin, because they know it is what the flesh and the wicked heart desires to hear.
Jeremiah 23:16-17, “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They make you worthless; they speak a vision of their own heart, not from the mouth of the Lord. They continually say to those who despise Me, ‘The Lord has said, ‘You shall have peace’; And to everyone who walks according to the imagination of his own heart, ‘no evil shall come upon you.’”
As in the days of Jeremiah, today there are men whom God has not sent yet still run, men to whom God has not spoken yet still take it upon themselves to prophesy, men who would widen the path of righteousness, and dismiss God’s call to repentance and righteousness. Their judgment is not afar off, and soon all will see a just and holy God judging righteously among His own.
Jeremiah 23:22, ‘But if they had stood in My counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then they would have turned them from their evil way and from the evil of their doings.”
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.