“Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, the prophets say unto them, Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famine; but I will give you assured peace in this place. Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.”
Jeremiah 14:13, 14
Most true men of God, from any era of time, have something in common with the great prophet, Jeremiah. Jeremiah prophesied at a time when there was an abundance of false prophets in the land. His message was quite different from theirs. They were proclaiming that peace would come and that the people did not have to fear judgment, saying words such as “Ye shall not see the sword, neither shall ye have famineâ¦I will give you assured peace in this place.” On the other hand, Jeremiah was announcing that the sword of God’s chastisement would visit this rebellious nation.
It is no different today. There are many contrasting messages being broadcast in the name of the Lord. Some men are saying we are experiencing revival while others are preaching that we are under God’s judgment. Some are saying that we should unite with all who claim to be brethren, and others are proclaiming that we should separate from compromise and apostasy. Some preachers declare that doctrinal differences are of no great consequence, and others say that doctrine is essential for unity and identity. How can we know who is telling the truth? Who can we trust? In Jeremiah’s day, the false prophets were preaching lies in God’s name. Yet, God said, “I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them.”
Thankfully, we have the tools to determine if the message is true or false. We have the Word of God as the standard of truth. Much of what is being proclaimed as truth clearly disagrees with the Scripture. If a doctrine or teaching is contrary to the Bible, it is false and should be shunned. False teachers prey upon the simple or uninformed. Additionally, as true Christians, the Holy Spirit indwells us, and is able to guide us into truth. As we walk in the Spirit, He gives us discernment, helping us recognize when we are hearing false doctrine. Though false teachers abound, we can know the truth and not be deceived by error.