Tag Archives: false prophets

July 9; Voices

2 Kings 18:13-19:37; 2 Chronicles 32:1-23

How do you know what to believe? The Assyrian king made some good points, used facts and figures to prove his point. It was true that King Hezekiah had removed all the high places and altars the people had used to worship the gods of the surrounding nations. The children of Israel had seen those places and altars removed themselves, so they knew what Sennacherib said was true.

It was true that the Assyrian army had defeated many people in many lands, and not one of their gods had been able to save them against Sennacherib’s forces. Not one. Sennacherib was not lying.

He made a good argument. It sounded right. But he was wrong. Read what he actually said to the Israelites:

Do not believe (Hezekiah), for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to deliver his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your god deliver you from my hand! (2 Chronicles 32:15)

Again, Sennacherib wasn’t lying. He was absolutely right to say he conquered those nations and not one god stepped up against him. So what were the people supposed to do with that?

There are so many voices vying for our attention these days. Some try to do what Sennacherib did and say God is like all other gods. Some voices try to deny God all together, and can give scientific “proof” to support their distorted opinions. There are voices that quote Scripture to convince us that what they say is from God, but they are only twisting what God really says in His Word.

What I learned from theses Scriptures today is this: The Israelites new what God said BEFORE Sennacherib opened his mouth. They’d heard the Truth spoken and, therefore, could recognize the lies.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria and the vast army with him, for there is a greater power with us than with him. With him is only the arm of flesh, but with us is the Lord our God to help us and to fight our battles. (2 Chronicles 32:7-8a, emphasis mine)

And that’s what I want to get across to us today. Read, meditate on, devour God’s Word. Spend quality time in the Bible every day. Put down the self-help books, the parenting books, the positive thinking books, and open your Bible. Turn off the TV preachers, the “experts” who want you to feel good about yourself, and open your Bible.

There are voices out there speaking your language. But what they say is straight from Satan. Oh, they sound good. They site impressive studies, quote a Bible verse or two. But their opinions are not necessarily God’s Truth.

So how do you know if the voices you are hearing are true? Open you Bible.

 

July 6; It Won’t Happen To Me

July 6: Isaiah 19-21

As I look at Isaiah’s prophecy – not only  through the lens of a microscope concerning peoples and nations thousands of years ago, but as the living Word of God relevant in 2019 – I recognize me. God lovingly has inspired men to write His thoughts, His demands, His heart down on paper so that there can be no excuse. I have been warned.

God is no fool. His will will be done. If I obey He will bless. If I don’t, He will demand an account. There is no middle ground.

“But it can’t happen to me,” I say. And I would be wrong.

I wish our country – our world – would figure that out, too. The warning God gave to the nations through Isaiah can still be applied today. If we don’t learn from the past, we are doomed to repeat that sordid history ourselves. If we don’t read the Bible, know the history of the Jews, and our own history as a nation, we set ourselves up for repeating the mistakes, and suffering the consequences our ancestors experienced.

I guess I’m thinking about that this morning as I read God’s Word in light of recent events in our country. Do you know our history enough to know that Kaepernick is wrong about the Betsy Ross flag, that he has single handedly made a fool of an entire shoe company, and the 2020 presidential hopefuls of an entire political party? And many in our nation are cheering them on.

I am flabbergasted. It’s insane.

But God has been warning us for centuries. There are liars out there, He tells us. There are manipulators, false gods, nice people who are working for the devil and would lure you away from the truth with smiles on their faces. And God is telling us it’s our responsibility to recognize them.

“Look at Me,” God says. “Know Me. Listen to My voice. Obey Me.”

We might wonder how the nations in Biblical times could be so gullible, how they could disobey God so blatantly when they could see His heavy hand on His enemies.

“But it won’t happen to us,” they said. And they were wrong.

We in the USA might think we are untouchable, too. I believe God is saying we would be very wrong to think that. Read His Word, and let that sink in.

March 17; You Must Not Listen

Deuteronomy 12-14

The first commandment God gave Moses was “You shall have no other God before me.” Now, as the Israelites are ready to take the Promised Land, God inspired Moses to remind them of that. But something he said has me thinking today.

In his warning about worshiping false gods, God inspired Moses to tell the Jews, and us, that there will be people who look and sound religious. Some will be able to perform miraculous signs and wonders. Don’t be deceived. If they preach a doctrine, a gospel other than the one spelled out in the Bible, “You must not listen…” (13:3)

The other day I saw several TV ads from someone who claims to be a minister, selling “miracle water.” There was a Bible verse on the screen, testimonies from people who supposedly received thousands of dollars in the mail after drinking the water. The affordable “seed faith donation” must make it tempting to some. After all, he says he’s a preacher and he talks about the Lord.

Let me ask you this: According to Scripture, did Jesus or the disciples ever charge people for healing them? Was money ever exchanged? Does the Bible indicate that there is even something close to “miracle water.” Did Jesus or the disciples use water as the source of their power to do miracles?

This questionable preacher was already exposed as a fraud a couple decades ago. But here he is again on TV, reeling in a new generation of needy, vulnerable people. Makes me angry.

Friend, please let the Bible be your final authority. Please don’t fall for the lies because you haven’t searched the Scripture for the truth. “You must not listen to the words of the prophet…”

Moses says this is the test: do you love God with all your heart and soul? Follow Him. I know for certain that He is the God who answers prayer without you buying a miracle potion from anyone.

I guess I hadn’t thought that listening to false prophets, giving consideration to doctrines that don’t align with Scripture, (even religious-sounding as some are) is breaking the first Commandment. a form of worshiping another god.

Once again I am encouraging us to be in the Word. Reading our Bibles, not just picking out a verse here and there. Meditating on Scripture and asking God to reveal His Truth. I know it’s tempting to think “I’ll try anything,” when things are difficult. But don’t.

November 21 – Easily Swayed

Acts 13-14

Why are we so eager to believe everything we hear? (or see posted on FaceBook?)

Today we read about people who started out listening to Paul, then turned on him when some Jews instigated a persecution agains Paul and Barnabas. The Jews went to the “devout women of prominence and the leading men of the city” and put a bug in their ear.

“Paul is a blasphemer,” they said. Their motivation, we are told, was jealousy.

In Sunday School yesterday we talked about John’s warning against false prophets in His first letter, chapter 4:1. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Do you know a lie when you hear it, even if it’s cloaked in a Bible verse or two? Do you watch the TV preachers who preach partial truths, but spread lies? We’ve got to be in the Bible ourselves. We’ve got to be grounded in God’s Word or we’ll believe the lies.

Sometimes the lies come from what a preacher doesn’t say. Take Joel Osteen. Do you hear him talk about sin, or God’s holiness, or the depravity of man? Yet look at his following. He makes people feel really good about themselves.

What about the Power of Positive Thinking? Is that what the Bible teaches? That if we think good thoughts, good things will happen?

What about what your pastor said yesterday? Do you know if his sermon is consistent with God’s Word or not? Or are you assuming it is because he’s the preacher?

I think God would have us be active listeners, researchers, people who know His Word and stand by it. Otherwise, we’ll be easily swayed.

June 25 – False And Foolish

Lamentations 1:1-3:36

It is likely that, when we read Jeremiah’s lament over the condition of Israel and the devastating consequences they were experiencing as a result of sin, we are tempted to say, “Boy! God was really mad at the Jews.”

But I am reminded that the Bible is not merely a history book. It is alive and active and powerful for today. What was true for the nation of Israel in Jeremiah’s day is still true today for the 2016 Church.

I know there are some wonderful things happening in the name of Jesus throughout the world. I know there are many of you who are standing on the Truth of Scripture, who are sharing the Gospel with boldness. I thank God for you, and praise Him for souls saved because of your faithfulness.

Yet sometimes when I read the Bible I get a sense of urgency. Warning bells go off. Like when I read 2:13b-14:

To what shall I liken you as I comfort you, O virgin daughter of Zion? For your ruin is as vast as the sea; who can heal you? Your prophets have seen for you false and foolish visions; and they have not exposed your iniquity so as to restore you from captivity, but they have seen for you false and misleading oracles.

This makes me think about the number of “churches” that have eliminated the word “sin” from their theology. Larger denominations that have accepted, and even promote sin in regards to abortion and homosexuality. The growing number of divorces happening in Christian homes, indicating that a vow to God is meaningless. The emphasis on positive thinking, deserving happiness, taking care of yourself before all others.

I think about the “tolerant” mantra being repeated by people claiming to be Christians, the acceptance of multiple paths to God, the denial of the inerrancy of Scripture, and the idea that Jesus wasn’t really God.

The prophets in Jeremiah’s day spouted false and misleading oracles. And Israel was suffering the consequences for going along with them. We’ve got some of those kinds of prophets yet today. I believe God is very clear to warn us that if we go along with them, we’ll suffer the consequences, too.

I hope you’ll read Lamentations and ask God to speak to your heart about your own relationship with Him, and what your church fellowship is feeding on.

Are we as broken before God over sin in the Church as Jeremiah was over sin in Israel? May it be so.

June 23 – The Bible

I Kings 12-14

How important is it that you spend time in God’s Word, that you read it, that you memorize it, and pray for understanding? I Kings 13 has that answer.

If you don’t know what God has said, you will believe anyone who says they’ve had a message from God. You’ll believe that preacher who uses verses to promote his lies. You’ll believe God gave someone an addendum to the Bible, and follow a new religion.

Now here is what God says about that. Just because someone says they’ve had a message from God doesn’t make it so. And if you believe the lie, you will be held accountable.

The prophet of God died because he fell for the lies of a false prophet. God didn’t overlook his disobedience, didn’t say his intentions were good, didn’t say he was sincere, or gave him a pass because he had followed God in the past.

And God won’t say that to any of us, either.

Many times in Scripture God has warned about false prophets. Do you know one when you hear one? They are out there. They are on our TV’s, in social media, they are bloggers, and some are standing behind pulpits in some of our churches.

You won’t recognize their lies if you don’t know Scripture. Don’t take anyone’s word for it, if you haven’t read it yourself. Don’t believe what I say, without reading the passages for yourself. Don’t assume your pastor is true to the Bible if you don’t know what the Bible says.

You have got to know God’s Word, the Scripture He inspired men to write so long ago. This Bible we hold in our hands is the only Truth that matters. Your life depends on your knowing it.

It’s Not Over ’til It’s Over

The more I read the Bible and get to know God, the more I see that He loves the whole world, died for every person, doesn’t want anyone to die without him, and won’t return until the last soul is saved. I firmly believe that, but until today it was only something I felt was true from getting to know God’s character through years of reading His written Word.

The question, though, concerns that last soul. That last person who will accept Jesus as Savior. It seems impossible that out of billions of people on earth, only one person might recognize the Truth.

Then today I read what the Lord told Daniel through his vision concerning the end of time. Daniel asked the One who rose above the water when all these things would come to pass. The answer?

“when the power of the holy people has been shattered, all these things shall be finished.” (verse 7 NKJV)

It may seem unlikely, but the Bible says the power of the holy people (and isn’t that what the Church is supposed to be?) will some day be shattered.

Then I turned to I John 2 and read, “He who says ‘I know Him’, and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him,” “the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life, is not of the Father.”

Even Christians are falling for Satan’s tactics. Think about it. Christians are jumping on the “God is Love” bandwagon and ignoring His holiness. Christians are accepting all kinds of sins because Satan has quoted a Scripture that says, don’t judge. Christians are being bullied into silence, going to church for a worship “experience”, believing God wants His people to be healthy, wealthy, and successful. Christians think this life is about us. The title “Christian” is becoming meaningless because anyone who isn’t an atheist or Islamist considers himself a Christian.

Ok, I know not all Christians fit in that category. But if one Christian does, if one church isn’t true to Scripture, it is one step closer to the day when the holy people will lose our power to direct unbelievers to their Savior. It is one day closer to when hearts don’t recognize the Truth any more.

I know there are people who will say God wouldn’t let that happen, that He is in control, that He is stronger than Satan. But I’m saying God has already told us it will happen. It has nothing to do with His power.

That’s why, dear one, it is so important for all of us to be in God’s Word, to know the Truth and stand firm in it. God still gives us freedom to choose. You can choose to believe the lies that are out there, or you can choose to hold on to the Truth. The lies are becoming more and more Christian-sounding. But they are still lies.

You may agree with me, or not. I know there are passionate people with varying opinions of what the last days will involve, and my intent is not to debate the details. Today, I only pray that you will consider your heart’s condition before a Holy God who doesn’t want anyone to go to hell, who will continue to use us to draw people to Himself as long as we are willing.

You do know, don’t you, that people who don’t know Him will go to hell. Your neighbor, your child, your parent, the person sitting in the next cubical at work. That friend who is beginning to consider there is a truth other than what is in the Bible. If we don’t step up and be the people who God needs us to be to keep His work on earth going, we will lose the power He wants us to have.

And then the end will come.

 

 

The Bible and Truth

If you read Psalm 119, you have to admit that the psalmist sure loved Scripture. Just in verses 41-48 we see him say God’s Word is his salvation, his answers, his hope, his liberty, and his testimony. Scripture means everything to the psalmist.

In Jeremiah 29-30 we hear the prophet telling us we need to recognize God’s voice apart from the lies, and obey it. He says God punishes the liars and those who believe the lies. And God delights in blessing His obedient children.

Paul, in his letter to Timothy, tells the young preacher that the law is good, if it is used lawfully. Then he goes on to list the sins that the Law addresses and condemns. These, he says, are contrary to the glorious gospel of Christ. (from I Timothy 1)

There are a lot of opinions being thrown out there these days concerning right and wrong, concerning God among other gods. But there can be only one Truth.

Do you know it when you hear it? We’ve got to be reading the Bible. We’ve got to pray for understanding. We’ve got to think about it, memorize it, talk about it, use it, and love it.

It’s God’s Word to us. It’s personal. It’s relevant. And it’s True.

Dear Father, my prayer today is for all of the busy people reading this blog who feel they don’t have time to spend in Your Word. I pray that you would put a burden on their hearts that can only be lessened by opening their Bibles and hearing what you want to say to them. Give us all a hunger to know you better through the words you inspired men to write for our benefit. Help us to be so familiar with Scripture that we can recognize Satan’s lies, and stand for the Truth. Help us to look forward to spending time in the pages of our Bibles every day. May it be as natural and as necessary as breathing.

The Bible Hurts My Feelings

God is speaking through Jeremiah concerning those prophets who claim to speak for God  – but don’t. (Jeremiah 23) These liars are preaching a health and wealth gospel at the same time Jeremiah is telling them how angry God is, and how God is going to punish them for their disobedience. 

The false prophets tell them they are ok: “Don’t worry! The Lord says you will have peace!… No harm will come your way.” (23:17)

The thing is, God’s Word is not a “feel good” book. In fact, in verse 29 of the same chapter, God asks, “Does not my word burn like fire?… Is it not like a mighty hammer that smashes a rock to pieces?”

I think that’s why there are so many different religions out there. I mean, who wants to worship a God who makes you feel bad about yourself? So let’s make up a theology that tells us how great we are, how worthy, how powerful we are in and of ourselves to become better and better. We want to believe we are ok just the way we are. If you listen, you’ll recognize those lies in some of the most popular churches spewed by some of the most famous preachers of our time. Maybe even in your home town, in tiny churches, that go unnoticed expect for the faithful few who attend.

But have you ever experienced that heavy blow that comes from the realization that you are wrong? Have you felt the convicting fire of the Holy Spirit over unconfessed sin? It’s not comfortable, is it? It might even hurt your feelings, big time.

When you are at that point, you have a choice. You can tell yourself you’re ok, you can repeat a mantra to make yourself feel better, you can self-medicate, or even learn to live with the discomfort. Or you can accept what Jesus died to give you.

Forgiveness.

Then you can know the spiritual health that comes from having a pure heart. You can enjoy the wealth of having the God of Creation living in you, the sure hope of eternity with him. No false theology can come close to it!

So I challenge you read the Bible for yourself. But get ready to have your feelings hurt. If you ask God to speak to you through his Word, he will. He will tell you you are lost without him. He will tell you you are a sinner. He will tell you you are wicked, self centered, unclean. But he will also tell you about his love and his grace. He will tell you about how he went to the cross to pay for your sins. And he will ask you to come to him, to say you’re sorry and mean it, to allow him to turn your life around…

And bless you beyond what you could ever ask or even think.

God, thank you for tearing down all my defenses, for making me look at myself the way you see me. I am a sinner. There is nothing good in me. And I have to tell you, that hurts my feelings a little. But, God, I also want to thank you for lifting me up, for forgiving me when I asked you to, for blessing me with yourself. Thank you for your Word that cuts… and heals. Thank you for you!

August 12

Ezekiel 10-13

God had a lot to say about false prophets in Ezekiel’s vision. He calls them foolish and liars and says very plainly that he is against them. They may claim to have had a word from God, they may “whitewash” their message but the reality is they’re dressing up a flimsy wall that will come crashing down in the wind. Their lies just can’t stand up to the truth of Scripture.

Once again God is challenging me to identify what it is that I believe. Maybe it would do us all some good to sit down and define where we stand on the subjects of sin, of Jesus, of the accuracy of Scripture, of creation, of other religions, salvation, grace. 

There are false prophets yet today. There are luke-warm theologies. There is a politically correct version of the Bible. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it so that we don’t fall for Christian-sounding words straight from the mouths of Satan’s servants. 

My heart’s desire is that each of us would spend time in God’s Word, reading it for ourselves, praying over it and meditating on it, memorizing it, and talking about it. May we hold on to the truth as revealed in its pages so that we can recognize and reject Satan’s attempt to deceive us.

Please remember God is against false prophets and, in turn, those who follow them. Don’t let that be you.