Jeremiah 23:16 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you;
they fill you with false hopes.
They speak visions from their own minds,
not from the mouth of the Lord.
Several of the Old Testament prophets had to deal with false prophets, and the New Testament indicates that the problem hadn’t disappeared, though the term was broadened to false teachers. Actually, the problem is sadly evident today. Some people miss-hear God, or are honestly deceived by the devil, but it is even worse when some do this knowingly, teaching their desires and ideas with no thought of confirming it with the Lord. They use the Bible strictly for “proof texts” to prop up whatever they want to say, all the while maintaining a public veneer of religion. As Jeremiah says, their end will be horrible indeed. Speaking in the Name of the Lord is a high privilege indeed and never to be taken lightly, much less misused. However, some people draw back because of this and fail to speak what God is wanting to say through them, fixing their attention on their own imperfection instead of on God’s power and faithfulness. If you are called by God to be one of His spokespersons, then speak as He directs! The existence of the false doesn’t invalidate the true.
It wasn’t until I encountered the Charismatic Movement in 1973 and following that I really thought about modern prophets. I thought that was strictly a Biblical phenomenon! However, in the years since then I have read, heard, and experienced a good bit of prophecy, both genuine and man-made. The man-made certainly leaves a bad taste in my memory. I have been used in prophecy numbers of times, and I have even experienced continuing to talk after God stopped. That’s a horrible feeling. Never wanting to repeat that, one time I was in a meeting and was speaking out what the Lord laid on my heart, and when He stopped in mid-sentence, I did too, and someone on the other side of the room picked it up without missing a beat. That was certainly confirmation, to me at least, that it was the Lord! These days I very seldom use terms like, “The Lord says,” but I strive never to say anything in an official capacity that God isn’t saying. He has called and sent me, and I must never misuse that or allow it to puff me up. Rather, it should drive me to ever-deepening humility, so that I will in no way disgrace His Name.
Father, thank You for the incredible privilege of sharing what You are saying. Help me never draw back, but also never insert anything that is not of You. May Your Words through me accomplish everything for which You send them, (Isaiah 55:11) for Your glory alone. Thank You. Hallelujah!