I love the fact that even though the Bible was written thousands of years ago, it's still completely relevant today! I read this portion in Jeremiah in my devotions this week, and it struck me how things haven't changed that much. Jeremiah was dealing with false prophets, who were so persuasive and convincing to the Israelites, yet he KNEW that God wasn't with them. He KNEW that they were prophesying lies. But everyone believed them, and to top it off, they threw Jeremiah in prison and persecuted him as the false prophet! Sadly, these false prophets are still around, still popular, and still gaining huge followings. No, not much has changed. May we as born-again Christians have no toleration for error, no matter how great or small, because this passage teaches us that God is against false teaching.
Jeremiah 23:11-16, 25-32
For both prophet and priest are profane; yea, in my house have I found their wickedness, saith the LORD.
Wherefore their way shall be unto them as slippery ways in the darkness: they shall be driven on, and fall therein: for I will bring evil upon them, even the year of their visitation, saith the LORD.
And I have seen folly in the prophets of Samaria; they prophesied in Baal, and caused my people Israel to err.
I have seen also in the prophets of Jerusalem an horrible thing: they commit adultery, and walk in lies: they strengthen also the hands of evildoers, that none doth return from his wickedness; they are all of them unto me as Sodom, and the inhabitants thereof as Gomorrah.
Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.
Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.
I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed.
How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart;
Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?
Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.
Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.