“And her prophets have daubed them with untempered morter, seeing vanity, and divining lies unto them, saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.”
Ezekiel’s message included God’s condemnation of the spiritual condition of His people. The prophets, priests, princes, and people were guilty of corruption. They had violated His law, profaned His holy things, and ignored His sabbaths. False prophets were using their influence to deceive the people and console them in their rebellion. We see in this Scripture that they, the prophets, were claiming to see things that were “vanity.” What they were proclaiming was destructive. The message they were preaching was dishonest. They were claiming to speak for God, “saying, Thus saith the Lord GOD, when the LORD hath not spoken.” It is a horrible thing when those who claim to be God’s messengers proclaim their opinions in the name of truth. It is an extremely grievous thing for people to be without knowledge or revelation of truth.
But there may be something worse than the absence of God’s Word. That is the substitution for error, in the name of, or place of, truth.
Believing a lie is probably more damaging than believing nothing. If a person does not know what to believe, he may be prone to continue to search for answers. Whereas, if a person is given reason to think a lie is the truth, he is content in his deception. Likewise, when a person has been convinced that error is correct, he will be inclined to reject the truth if and when it comes, because his mind has been corrupted with falsehoods. It is often more difficult to teach someone who has been instructed wrongly than someone who has not been taught at all. There has always been a need for faithful servants to present God’s Word to their generation. True prophets were in the minority in the days of Ezekiel, as they sometimes are today. The truth may not always be received and believed, but it must be proclaimed. People need God’s Truth.
When someone says, “Thus saith the Lord GOD,” how can we know if they are true messengers of God? The Bible must be the standard. God has spoken, and what He has said is found in the Holy Scriptures. When a preacher speaks of things pertaining to God and His will, he must speak that which is in agreement with His preserved Word.