Summary: False prophets are not just an Old Testament problem. We have them in full force today, in all denominations, telling us that God is “doing a new thing,” misinterpreting Isaiah 43:19 to justify sin.
Other Scriptures used:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Lord, my rock and my redeemer. Amen. (Psalm 19:14)
False prophets are not just an Old Testament problem. We have them in full force today, in all denominations, telling us that God is “doing a new thing,” misinterpreting Isaiah 43:19 to justify sin.
They claim to prayerfully consider their actions, but really just decide among themselves and then tell God to bless their decision. Each denomination has its own share of false prophets leading people astray, and none of us are immune from their effects.
In today’s reading from the prophet Jeremiah, we see that God is rather displeased with people spreading lies in his name. He has a special, severe punishment in store for false prophets who lead people away from the salvation of Jesus Christ through their lies.
But their lies often sound pretty convincing, so how can we tell which prophets are true and which ones are false?
The answer is consistency. Truth is consistent, or constant. It doesn’t change. When you read your Bibles, you can see that God doesn’t vacillate
In his decisions. Murder, stealing, injustice, are all wrong, all through the Bible.
The message of one prophet does not contradict the message of another prophet if both are speaking God’s truth.
For example, the prophet Ezekiel, who was with the Israelites exiled in Babylon while Jeremiah was is Jerusalem, had a vision in which God told him not to fear the people who will mock him. The Lord said,
"’You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won’t listen, for they are completely rebellious! Son of man, listen to what I say to you. Do not join them in their rebellion. Open your mouth, and eat what I give you.’
"Then I looked and saw a hand reaching out to me. It held a scroll, 10 which he unrolled. And I saw that both sides were covered with funeral songs, words of sorrow, and pronouncements of doom.
"The voice said to me, ’Son of man, eat what I am giving you—eat this scroll! Then go and give its message to the people of Israel.’ So I opened my mouth, and he fed me the scroll.
“’Fill your stomach with this,’ he said. And when I ate it, it tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth."
Where have we heard something similar to that reference — eating the Word of God?
In the Second Book of the Law, also known as Deuteronomy, Moses tells the Israelites something that seems to reinforce Ezekiel’s vision.
"Remember how the LORD your God led you through the wilderness for these forty years, humbling you and testing you to prove your character, and to find out whether or not you would obey his commands.
Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD."
This is an example of the crimson thread that runs continuously through the Bible, from Old Testament through the New Testament.
What’s the crimson thread?
It represents the blood of Jesus Christ, who died for our sins and rose again on the third day.
If you picture the entire Bible as a brilliant tapestry, illustrating each story in each book, you would see a single continuous thread among all the others that represents the foretelling and arrival of Jesus as the Messiah. That’s the crimson thread that runs throughout the entire tapestry of the Bible.
We just heard about Moses, an Old Testament Prophet, telling the Israelites about people living not by bread alone, but by eating the Word of God. We also heard about Ezekiel eating a scroll of God’s Word.
If we follow that crimson thread to Jesus in the Gospels being tempted in the wilderness by Satan — when Satan tells Jesus, who has not eaten in more than a month, to change the stones into bread to ease his hunger — we see that both Matthew and Luke show Jesus saying the same thing in Chapter 4, verse 4 of each:
"But Jesus told him, ’No! The Scriptures say, "People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."’"
So Jesus tells us, just as Moses did, that we need to eat both physically and spiritually in order to live.
We need to eat not just his bread, but also his word.