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29. Picking false from true prophets

My life (put) alongside God's word. Important issues for Christians to understand section.

Just before the rainy season roads can look in a very good condition. However, after heavy rains have fallen, they can become so churned up that even the strongest and heaviest vehicles cannot pass.

In the ‘Christian’ world some preachers promise an easy and clear life for everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ alone. People who are attracted to this message may quickly become discouraged when they meet difficulty after difficulty. I have even heard some say: “God has let me down”. I want to explain where the wrong is in this example. Notice, it is with the preachers and not with the ‘common’ people.

Ezekiel 13 warns us against “false prophets”. Every

generation and every place has its fair share of these destructive people, both men and women. It is essential for every Christian to learn to discern the “true” from the “false”. This means seeing prophets discerningly, not going merely by outward appearance, and certainly not accepting everyone who comes just because they have a Bible in their


Basically the false prophet will offer you what you want. Knowing what suits you he or she will bring something from his own thoughts and speak it out. He may put, “Thus says the Lord” in front of it or behind it, in order to give it some appearance of Christianity and Bible authority, verse 6.

Biblically, in the Old Testament, the “greatest challenge from false prophets came to Jeremiah and Ezekiel, possibly because they spoke at particularly crucial times in the

history of God’s people”. (Habtu Tewoldemedhin, in the Africa Bible Commentary ). Is this a warning for us today? These two men of God were misunderstood by many of

their contemporaries. Crowds wanted to believe that what the false prophets were saying were genuine messages from God. However, God commended Jeremiah and Ezekiel

for their vigilance in standing against counterfeit prophecies. He is always on the side of truth, even if it is unpalatable (leaves a bad taste in the mouth) for His people.

Ezekiel 13:1-10 reveal prophets who use their own imaginations. They foolishly follow their own wants and wishes, not God’s revealed word and will. They do not work hard as Christians on needful practical issues. Their so-called visions are untrue, but made to look real. They all too easily lead God’s people astray. They appeal to our “self” life, our personal and societal desires.

Verses 17-19 show prophetesses who also use their own imaginations and join this with amulets, magic, types of dress and witchcraft. God describes them as “lying to my

people”, verse 19. It may be a mixture of bad and good. He warns He is totally against all such people and their socalled “ministries”, Ezekiel 13:8-9, 15-16, 21-23.

Four times in Ezekiel 13 God says He will do things that the discerning heart will recognise as coming directly from His hand. “Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord”, verses 9, 14, 21, 23. The discerning Christian heart learns to understand and to choose what he or she can accept, and what should be rejected. God helps us through our lives with clear, unmistakable guidance to follow.

Yes, it is hard to take a stand against false prophets. But nobody said taking up your cross and following Jesus would be easy.


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