When I was in high school and college, I was into astrology, tarot cards, even played around with a Ouija Board a few times. My Catholic upbringing and false religious instruction did not warn me that I was playing around with demons and evil. I thank God that He must have had a plan for me. Obviously, He spared me from diving off the deep end. The problem that Ezekiel faces in this chapter is a problem we have today. How do we know who is preaching the truth? Who do we believe? Let’s dig in…
Ezekiel 13 – Judgment against False Prophets
Then this message came to me from the Lord: 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the false prophets of Israel who are inventing their own prophecies. Say to them, ‘Listen to the word of the Lord. 3 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: What sorrow awaits the false prophets who are following their own imaginations and have seen nothing at all!’
4 “O people of Israel, these prophets of yours are like jackals digging in the ruins. 5 They have done nothing to repair the breaks in the walls around the nation. They have not helped it to stand firm in battle on the day of the Lord. 6 Instead, they have told lies and made false predictions. They say, ‘This message is from the Lord,’ even though the Lord never sent them. And yet they expect him to fulfill their prophecies! 7 Can your visions be anything but false if you claim, ‘This message is from the Lord,’ when I have not even spoken to you?
8 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because what you say is false and your visions are a lie, I will stand against you, says the Sovereign Lord. 9 I will raise my fist against all the prophets who see false visions and make lying predictions, and they will be banished from the community of Israel. I will blot their names from Israel’s record books, and they will never again set foot in their own land. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.
10 “This will happen because these evil prophets deceive my people by saying, ‘All is peaceful’ when there is no peace at all! It’s as if the people have built a flimsy wall, and these prophets are trying to reinforce it by covering it with whitewash! 11 Tell these whitewashers that their wall will soon fall down. A heavy rainstorm will undermine it; great hailstones and mighty winds will knock it down. 12 And when the wall falls, the people will cry out, ‘What happened to your whitewash?’
13 “Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will sweep away your whitewashed wall with a storm of indignation, with a great flood of anger, and with hailstones of fury. 14 I will break down your wall right to its foundation, and when it falls, it will crush you. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 15 At last my anger against the wall and those who covered it with whitewash will be satisfied. Then I will say to you: ‘The wall and those who whitewashed it are both gone. 16 They were lying prophets who claimed peace would come to Jerusalem when there was no peace. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!’
Judgment against False Women Prophets
17 “Now, son of man, speak out against the women who prophesy from their own imaginations. 18 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: What sorrow awaits you women who are ensnaring the souls of my people, young and old alike. You tie magic charms on their wrists and furnish them with magic veils. Do you think you can trap others without bringing destruction on yourselves? 19 You bring shame on me among my people for a few handfuls of barley or a piece of bread. By lying to my people who love to listen to lies, you kill those who should not die, and you promise life to those who should not live.
20 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against all your magic charms, which you use to ensnare my people like birds. I will tear them from your arms, setting my people free like birds set free from a cage. 21 I will tear off the magic veils and save my people from your grasp. They will no longer be your victims. Then you will know that I am the Lord. 22 You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. 23 Because of all this, you will no longer talk of seeing visions that you never saw, nor will you make predictions. For I will rescue my people from your grasp. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”Ezekiel 13 NLT
The Tragedy of False Prophets and Teachers
- Tell a lie enough times and people start to believe it. Even the liar believes it!
- A false preacher easily deceives anyone who is not grounded, and rooted in Word of God and the faith. Because of lacking sound biblical knowledge, anything that sounds good, tickles your fancy, is positive rather than negative, becomes popular.
- False preachers have 3 motives…
- Personal monetary gain
- Filling seats
- In Ezekiel’s day, they preferred to hear the false prophet who said the exile would only be 2 years rather than 70.
- The Bible warns and rebukes for a reason — God doesn’t want anyone — YOU — to spend eternity in hell. (Heaven or hell — it’s YOUR choice!)
- Some of the Roman Catholic lies:
- Babies are saved by baptism
- A priest can absolve your sins
- The Pope has ultimate authority
- It’s OK to pray to Mary and exalt her over Jesus
- Going through all the sacraments earns you grace points into Heaven
- You don’t need to read the Bible
- A piece of bread can turn into Jesus’ body
- Peter was the first pope
- You can pay or pray someone from purgatory into heaven
- Buying an indulgence can hurry someone’s stay in purgatory — purgatory?
Pastor Sandy Adams comments
In the late 70s Jim Jones and his People’s Temple committed mass-suicide at the compound in Guyana. Shortly afterwards someone offered an explanation for how he had deceived so many, “His very success was a judgment on the church… for having given people so little religious substance that they could not recognize heresy when they saw and experienced it.”
And this is an indictment against the church today. We’ve watered down the message, and opted for an easy-believe-ism. We speak to people’s felt-needs and convince them Christianity exists to make them happy. We tickle people’s ears, rather than make disciples. So, when a false teacher comes along and insists on a more demanding, challenging faith, people are drawn to his sincerity, even though his doctrine is heretical.Sandy Adams
Have you drunk the “Kool-Aid”?
It’s time to turn to the truth!
Why do people go to fortune tellers or fall for the “Zoltar” machines that spit out a “fortune” on a pre-printed card. Certainly, you don’t actually expect to be told that around the corner is someone who’s going to give you a fortune in Bitcoin? You really don’t think you’ll find a magic bottle with a genie inside, or do you? That’s not reality. That’s not what the Good News of Jesus’ true salvation is. There’s only ONE way to Heaven and that’s THROUGH JESUS.
What’s in the Bible about False Prophets?
Just like Ezekiel, the New Testament apostles, even Jesus, had something to say about false prophets, preachers and teachers…
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths.1 Timothy 4:3-4 NLT
But there were also false prophets in Israel, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will cleverly teach destructive heresies and even deny the Master who bought them. In this way, they will bring sudden destruction on themselves.2 Peter 2:1 NLT
15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.”Matthew 7:15 NLT
11 And many false prophets will appear and will deceive many people.Matthew 24:11 NLT
24 For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.Matthew 24:24 NLT
Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.1 John 4:1 NLT
11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.Acts 17:11 NLT
One of the Bible study plans I’m using for the Ezekiel series from the free YouVersion Bible app wrote…
“Putting JESUS first turns a hopeless end into endless hope.”International Christian Assembly
Get the Truth from the True Source — the Bible!
Just like a bank teller is told to study the real currency to be able to distinguish a fake one, so must we study the Bible — the true source of God’s Word — the Truth so that we can distinguish when we hear a false religious statement. That’s what got me wondering if I was in the wrong church over 20 years ago. Now, I can’t get enough of the Bible! Check out my story at the bottom.
Where do you start reading the Bible?
Depend on the Holy Spirit
One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to help you discern — tell the difference — between false teaching and the truth. The thing is, the Holy Spirit won’t enter a sinful heart. Only a contrite and repentant heart. Here’s what you need to do to receive the gift of Grace and the Holy Spirit…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
The Hope in 2 Peter…
Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!
- From Catholic to Prodigal: Surviving College
- From Prodigal to Progressive: Surviving Hurricanes
- From Progressive to Born Again Christian: Surviving Unemployment