March 12, 2019

False Prophets

Ezekiel 13:1-16

“Prophesy against the prophets ... who prophesy out of their own imagination.”

—  Ezekiel 13:2

Prophets must speak the true Word of God. There were many times in ancient Israel when people spoke out and led others to believe they were prophets. But they had no revelation from God; God had not sent them. And yet people expected their words to be fulfilled. Through Ezekiel, God reminded the people about those false prophets. They spoke out of their own imagination.

A prophet’s main function was to serve as God’s representative by communicating God’s Word to his people. True prophets never spoke on their own authority or personal opinion.

This remains a warning today to all preachers and teachers. The image of false teachings as a whitewashed, flimsy wall being destroyed is powerful. In a storm it will fall, providing no defense. False teachings and lies have no place in God’s kingdom. They must be rooted out, like weeds that would choke a garden and keep it from bearing good fruits and vegetables.

Today our foundation for truth is God’s Word in the Bible. If someone says, “God spoke to me, and God is telling us to do this or that,” it should agree with the clear teaching of the Bible. If it does not, it is false. All of the Bible’s teaching points to Jesus as the One who saves by God’s amazing grace and love, and he calls us to share this good news everywhere. In what ways are you bringing God’s news today?

Lord, guard us against our wrong opinions and faulty thinking. Reveal your Word to us more and more so that we may be your faithful witnesses. In your name we pray. Amen

About the author — Pete Byma

Pete Byma has served as a pastor of congregations in Michigan and in Washington state. Serving now as a pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he is also a consultant/coach for churches experiencing conflict, and he enjoys equipping and establishing people in ministry. He is married to Cheri, and they have four grown children and six grandchildren. Pete is also a registered soccer official and enjoys bicycling.

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