It is soooo common today for people who claim to be Christians to also claim to speak God’s Word to us. They have their little phrases – “Well, the Lord says….” or “The Lord showed me that…” – you’ve heard this stuff I am sure.
This is not a new evil. The enemy always sends His lying counterfeits to us in order to deceive, shame, control, and destroy. Paul pronounces such a person “anathema” (damned by God for destruction) in his letter to the Galatians. Read the following Scripture passage carefully and you will see that this very same wickedness was going on in Jeremiah’s day. And notice also that the Lord’s wrath is set against people who claim they speak His Word but have not been sent by Him at all:
Jer 23:21-36 “I did not send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. (22) But if they had stood in my council, then they would have proclaimed my words to my people, and they would have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their deeds. (23) “Am I a God at hand, declares the LORD, and not a God far away? (24) Can a man hide himself in secret places so that I cannot see him? declares the LORD. Do I not fill heaven and earth? declares the LORD.
(25) I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, ‘I have dreamed, I have dreamed!’ (26) How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, (27) who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal?
(28) Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the LORD. (29) Is not my word like fire, declares the LORD, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?
(30) Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who steal my words from one another. (31) Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the LORD, who use their tongues and declare, ‘declares the LORD.’ (32) Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the LORD, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the LORD.
(33) “When one of this people, or a prophet or a priest asks you, ‘What is the burden of the LORD?’ you shall say to them, ‘You are the burden, and I will cast you off, declares the LORD.’ (34) And as for the prophet, priest, or one of the people who says, ‘The burden of the LORD,’ I will punish that man and his household. (35) Thus shall you say, every one to his neighbor and every one to his brother, ‘What has the LORD answered?’ or ‘What has the LORD spoken?’ (36) But ‘the burden of the LORD’ you shall mention no more, for the burden is every man’s own word, and you pervert the words of the living God, the LORD of hosts, our God.
Many of you have been the target of evil people we call abusers (revilers is the word in Scripture). And I suspect that those of you who have would be able to tell us how your abuser would claim to be speaking or acting according to the Lord’s instruction to him. They can be rather slick at this deception. So much so that people who really know Christ and want to serve Him can end up thinking that they have to listen to “the word” a lying, counterfeit speaks lest they end up disregarding the Lord’s command to them.
Beware of anyone who is quick to hand out “divine” orders to others. For myself, I immediately dismiss anyone who comes up to me and says something like “the Lord gave me a word for you.” I literally say to them before they can even get started – “No He didn’t. Begone.”