We have learned in this module that prophets in the Bible were spokespersons who spoke contemporaneously for God. In the Old Testament, they helped enforce the Covenant relationship between the people of Israel and Yahweh. The message that was told by the Prophets in the Old Testament was not the prophets message, but it was a direct message from the LORD, and it reflected what was already in the Law and within the Covenant made with the people of Israel. We see in the New Testament, as well as the Old, warnings against false prophets. Ezekiel 13:9 says, My (Gods) hand will be against the prophets who see false visions and utter lying divinations. Jeremiah 23:6 says, 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. In the New Testament, Jesus said as recorded in Matthew 24:24, For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive . . . One of the quintessential passages is found in 2 Timothy 4:3-4, as the Apostle Paul is instructing young Timothy: For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. Jesus once again says in Matthew 7:15-20, Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheeps clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
Today, the office of the Old Testament prophet has been closed because of the finished work of Jesus Christ. Jesus was the final revelation of God. You will notice that the Old Testament prophecies are accompanied with the words, thus saith the Lord. As one who had the final word given to us, Jesus would say with regard to the prophecies, You have heard it said . . . but I say unto you, giving us more clarity or deeper meaning and perspective on what was once said in the Law and by way of the prophets.
Questionto discuss: given the warnings about false prophets and teachers, discuss how we can begin to distinguish between false teachers today with those who profess and proclaim Truth.
- What do you believe are false teachings in our contemporary world today as it relates to biblical Truth?
- By what means do we measure a proclamation or teaching today as being from God?
- What should our response be today to those who claim to be prophets or spokespersons of God that do not line up with what the whole of the Bible teaches?
Take time to consider the above information and questions. Take into consideration your own personal life experiences when addressing the prompts. Share your thoughts with the community. Be sure to cite your sources!