Saturday, September 22, 2018

PF Bulletin: False Prophets in the OT

May 14, 2015 by  
Filed under PF Bulletin

God is as holy, as loving, and as just as he always has been. God’s attitude about sin has not changed, nor has the way he deals with it (only Christ has now born the penalty for our sin). God is not the only one that doesn’t change from one testament to another. By and large, people are the same as well! The same shortcomings that are common today can be found among God’s people in the OT. In light of last weeks’ examination of false teachers from the New Testament, let us consider three commonalities between false teachers of the Old and New Testament.

The message of false prophets is one of peace and liberty. This is obvious, for what kind of following would these men have if they proclaimed a message more stringent than the truth? Though it would be just as false a message, their following would be minimal. Of the prophets of Israel:

  • They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.(Jer. 23:16-17)

Their message is one that sooths consciences, tickles ears, and puts bodies in pews (2 Tim. 4:1-4), but just like submerging burned skin in water, the relief is temporary! True relief can only be found in repentance and obedience to God.

The image of the false prophets is an illusion. False prophets must act in secret, as the Word of God and the hearts of the righteous will not abide their lies. The prophets in Jeremiah’s day claimed visions from God, but instead proclaimed their own fabricated dreams.

  • I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed.(Jer. 23:25)

Despite how false teachers may build themselves up to others, the Lord knows the acts they do in secret. Consider the elders of Israel in Ezekiel’s time who, thinking to be hidden, could be plainly seen by God to be offering incense to foreign gods in the temple:

  • Then he said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of the house of Israel are doing in the dark, each in his room of pictures? For they say, ‘The Lord does not see us, the Lord has forsaken the land.” (Ezek. 8:12-13)

 

The fate of false prophets is judgment. There was no mercy given to those who profaned God’s Truth, nor will there be today.

  • Therefore I will act in wrath. My eye will not spare, nor will I have pity. And though they cry in my ears with a loud voice, I will not hear them(Ezek. 8:18)

God knows the hearts of men (Jn. 2:24-25), sees all things done in secret (Lk. 8:17), and will give to each the just recompense of his actions (Heb. 2:2).

 

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.(Gal. 6:7-8)

 

-Seth Buchanan

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