When a prophet misleads

Let no one depend on the words of a prophet. They are capable of lying and fabricating. Moses is commended for his faithfulness in all of his affairs, and yet we see that he was not allowed to enter the promised land because of personal misbehavior, namely, unfaithfulness. What can we say about the many prophets who are unfamiliar with God’s word? What can we say about those who do not know the languages in which the sacred texts were written? What good is a prophet who is incapable of properly interpreting the written word? The sin of the prophet gets multiplied infinitely to the extent that everybody becomes engaged in foolishness.

Dire circumstances result from lying prophets

“Therefore the Lord does not take pleasure in their young men, Nor does He have pity on their orphans or their widows; For every one of them is godless and an evildoer, And every mouth is speaking foolishness. In spite of all this, His anger does not turn away And His hand is still stretched out. For wickedness burns like a fire; It consumes briars and thorns; It even sets the thickets of the forest aflame And they roll upward in a column of smoke. By the fury of the Lord of hosts the land is burned up, And the people are like fuel for the fire; No man spares his brother.”

(Isaiah 9:17-19, NASB)

Not only does foolishness proliferate, but compassion is removed from the heart of people who believe lies and glorify things that do not matter. It is easy for a prophet to ignore the fact that scriptures are the safeguard of truth, that an impression, from any source, does not suffice for good feeding of the mind. Prophet can not just jump up or fall down and say they had a vision or something landed in their spirit. We have seen that people have relied on the phenomenon of a person falling to the ground as proof that the spirit of God is at work. We have also seen that the vision assumed to be behind prophetic expressions is assumed to be reliable because the person with the vision has an extraordinary experience of something that looks like death or supernatural strength.

Let no one depend on his fellow man. We are living in an age when people have access to the word of God, and it is laziness and neglect to be personally unfamiliar with God’s written word.

Should never happen

I addressed what the reader of the English Bibles would find if one performs a search for the phrase “should never” in Solomon’s preacher: flying in the face of a lazy generation.

The other result of the word search is in Ezekiel, the 16th verse of the 16th chapter.  This prophet is typically outspoken in his evaluations of the people to whom he brought God’s message.  For example, his book accounts for 32% of the occurrences  of the term harlot, harlotry, or harlotries.  His book accounts for less than 3% of the Old Testament books.  Zeke uses the terms about his own people’s wandering eyes.  It is fruitless for the prophet to mention Israel’s harlotry as a thing that should never happen.  What can anyone, prophet, judge or king, do if a hummingbird sips nectar?

It would be whipping time if a prophet does not tell his people how offensive their transgressions are to God. The prophet whose mantra is chockfull of all the good things that can happen is not worth his salt.

The prophetic priority

Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope.

John 5:45, NASB

Surprising outcome

Bewitched or deceived, we fail to be thankful for God’s salvation, then we act surprised when His judgments lash us. It has happened, is happening, and will happen. How can making up our own narrative in the place of God’s story of grace and mercy not end badly?

Certain predictions from Moses in song and reflection

Song for the Israelite

The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart; 29. and you will grope at noon, as the blind man gropes in darkness, and you will not prosper in your ways; but you shall only be oppressed and robbed continually, with none to save you.

Deuteronomy 28:28-29

Reflection on a certain future

For I know that after my death you will act corruptly and turn from the way which I have commanded you; and evil will befall you in the latter days, for you will do that which is evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking Him to anger with the work of your hands.”

Deuteronomy 31:29

People who prophesy

Prophets proclaim and predict, with both being conditional without apology. The conditional phenomena can be related to God’s grace or to the prophet being more of a spaghetti thrower. Things that God has already been offering are not good subjects of prophesy. A good example is “God will open a door of blessing/correction for you and you family…” and its reception accompanied with a query such as “When?” “How much”, “To what extent”, or “Where?” Typically prophets cannot answer these questions. They are only mouthpieces and often do not know what they are talking about.

Prophetic certainties are numbers, dates, and statistic such as death, or rescue, loss or gain. Any of these pieces of data (number, date, statistic) is likely to come to pass, and when they do, if prophets are our primary source of exhortation, encouragement, correction, or education, we might be tempted to

  1. look to the prophet with greater confidence
  2. want to help people the way the prophet does
  3. seek God’s guidance on what we have experienced

Authority and Accuracy

Most of us expect that someone speaking for God would not be shy about keeping God priorities and his unique identifying codes in view. For example, salvation by God in the Exodus was a function (a) lamb’s blood, (b) a way through the waters of the Red Sea and (c) the aborted journey to Canaan. Let us not pretend that Exodus salvation was successful and constitutes a template for Messianic salvation. We can only do harm by skipping the death of Christ and our dying with him, the gift of the Holy Spirit and the life of service that follows. The prophet who dares to skip the death of Christ is leading you to another god.

The fact that events can be predicted without any direct transmission from God the believer’s safety depends on ascertaining that the prophet loses sight of Christ and/or tries to put the spotlight on someone other than Christ.

Do not be convinced because a prophet or a dreamer of dreams

  1. arises among you
  2. and gives you a sign or a wonder, Deuteronomy 13:1
  3. and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, (13:2a)
  4. [entices you to]- go after other gods,’ which you have not known,
  5. [entices you to]- serve other gods Deuteronomy 13:2

“Take control of your ears”, says God.

Do not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams for it is a testing (Deuteronomy 13:3

You shall remember

Creation is an involuntary experience. It brings entities into existence. Salvation on the other hand takes living entities out their helpless dilemmas. Therefore the only God we have known is the one that saves us. This is why Moses rewrites the fourth commandment with the experiential context of “you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm” (Deu. 5:15a). Keeping the sabbath day because of creation is a hollow claim because no-one remembers being created and God’s business with the present generation is not about a beginning but a restart from above (even though it is called a “new creation”).

Avoiding a suicidal approach. Paul says, “Do not quench the Spirit”. Stop treating prophecies as meaningless, but test everything and hang on to what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 A pandemic is a ripe time for dreamers and seers. The toll of fact-checking dreams and visions is massive compared with having access to the Bible, with its numerous clues to solid foundations.

Noah could only say “Ya gonna need to get into this thing I am building”