1) one who, acting the part of a divinely inspired prophet, utters falsehoods under the name of divine prophecies 2) a false prophet
Ezekiel speaks of false prophets, those who come in the Lord’s name declaring “the Lord saith” when He has not spoken.
Eze 13:6-7 They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word. Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?
Eze 13:8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD.
Jer 14:14 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.
Jer 23:31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith.
We have “an example” in Hananiah of whom Jeremiah speaks:
Jer 28:1-4 …. Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the LORD, in the presence of the priests and of all the people, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the LORD’S house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah, with all the captives of Judah, that went into Babylon, saith the LORD: for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.
Jer 28:6-8 Then the prophet Jeremiah said, Amen the LORD do so: the LORD perform THY WORDS which THOU hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the LORD’S house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place. Nevertheless HEAR thou now THIS WORD that I speak in thine ears, and in the ears of all the people; The prophets that have been BEFORE ME and BEFORE THEE of old prophesied both against many countries, and against great kingdoms, of war, and of evil, and of pestilence.
Jer 28:9 The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.
Jer 28:10-11 Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.
Jer 28:12-14 Then the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the prophet, after that Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from off the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Go and tell Hananiah, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast broken the yokes of wood; but thou shalt make for them yokes of iron. For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; I have put a yoke of iron upon the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him: and I have given him the beasts of the field also.
Jer 28:15 Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie.
Jer 28:16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD.
In 1 Samuel we read that “rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft” (same as “divination”)
1Sa 15:23 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.
The Lord does not take such rebellion lightly! He will not stand for those who speak in His name when He has not commanded them to speak:
Duet 18:20 But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
Peter warns of false prophets, as well:
2Pe 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
Going back to Deuteronomy…
Duet 18:22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.
Interestingly, the Lord says He will answer men according to the idols of their heart:
Eze 14:2-5 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be enquired of at all by them? Therefore speak unto them, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Every man of the house of Israel that setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to the prophet; I the LORD will answer him that cometh according to the multitude of his idols; That I may take the house of Israel in their own heart, because they are all estranged from me through their idols.
1Kings 22:20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
Is this “the mystery of iniquity” that is at work “in them who perish”, who “had pleasure in unrighteousness”, of which Paul speaks?
2Th 2:7-12 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
Seems as though that “lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets” is one whose “coming is after the working of Satan”, doesn’t it?
Joh 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
Back again to the OT:
2Ch 18:22 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil against thee.
Maybe that’s why Paul says…
1Cr 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.
Jesus said the same:
Mat 18:16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
Which is in accordance with the Law:
Deu 17:6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.
Deu 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
In other words “prove all things”!! (1Th 5:21)
In Rom 3:4, Paul says: “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” Maybe that’s because it is by our words that we are either “justified” or “condemned”. (Mat 12:37)
Here Paul appeals to that which “is written” (just as Jesus often did), just as he also (elsewhere) appeals to that which “also saith the law”.
The LORD says for those who have HIS WORD to speak HIS WORD FAITHFULLY!
Jer 23:28 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.
Just as Jeremiah and Hananiah (both prophets) both spoke before the people, Jeremiah referred to the prophets before him, establishing the validity of his words. Just as Jesus also referred to that which was written by the prophets who came before Him. The same with Paul who referred to the law and the prophets to establish his words – commending those, like the Bereans, who searched the scriptures daily in order to determine whether or not what He was preaching was true. (Acts 17:11)
Jesus said that those who do not love him will not keep his sayings (which words are not His, but the Father’s). And just as we are told to prove all things, we are told how He proves us!!
Duet 13:3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, TO KNOW whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
And He is, here, speaking of those who come WITH signs and wonders!! Recall that Paul speaks of him “whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” We are not to go after them!!
We are to PROVE THEM for God uses them TO PROVE US!!
Jesus said “the thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy..’ (John 10:10)
And He says that false prophets are guilty of stealing His words. (Jer 23:30)
In the parable of the seed and the sower, Jesus says “the seed is the word of God” and He says that it is Satan who comes and takes away the word that was sown in the hearts of those by the way side. So, again, we see the working of Satan as it pertains to the words of God and whether or not they are being kept.
Every word of God is pure!! We need not (and should not) take anything away from HIS WORDS, add anything to HIS WORDS, or change HIS WORDS.
Pro 30:5-6 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust IN HIM. Add thou not unto HIS WORDS, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
As we saw in 1 Sam 15:23, rebellion is equated with the sin of divination (or witchcraft), which is speaking one’s own words and attaching, “the Lord saith” to them. It is rejecting the word of the Lord.
1Sam 15:23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you.
Where do we find His word?
Paul said: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2Tim 3:16)
It is HIS COUNSEL which stands. It is HIS WORDS that are fulfilled, not someone else’s words. But they say “the Lord saith” and expect their own words to be fulfilled.
So God’s people rejected knowledge, and they cast His words behind them. They wanted nothing of His counsel, reproof or instruction (that which pertains to the scriptures themselves). They were listening to just about anybody.
So how do we know if someone has any light “in them”?
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
Paul appealed to the law.
1Cr 9:8 Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?
We are NOT to put our trust IN MAN.
Jer 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.
Paul speaks of us taking heed lest there be in any of us an evil heart of “unbelief” in departing from the living God (Who is our living water) without whom we can do nothing.
Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Again, we are to “let God be true, but every man a liar!” That we might be justified in our own sayings and overcome when we are judged – being either justified or condemned by our words; therefore, let OUR words be HIS WORDS.
Revelation speaks of those who have “tried” those who “say they are apostles” (but were not) and “found them liars.” And we have already shown how one is found to be “a liar”, right?
Prov 30:6 ADD THOU NOT unto HIS WORDS, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
The Bereans “searched the scriptures” in order to “prove” Paul. Paul himself wrote:
2Titus 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
Paul was very careful not to add to the words of the Lord. We can see that when Paul speaks of having “no commandment of the Lord”, when he shares his own judgment.
1Cr 7:25 Now concerning virgins I have no commandment of the Lord: yet I give my judgment, as one that hath obtained mercy of the Lord to be faithful.
Paul, as did Jesus, appealed to the law and the prophets as he preached the gospel. He preached Jesus Christ as the fulfillment of all that was written; for, as Jesus said, it was written of Him. Paul did NOT preach some “new thing”, some “new revelation”, or some “new word”. He (like Jesus) opened up the scriptures that we might begin to see “the mysteries” that were kept hid in “dark sayings of old”.
We are to abide in HIS WORDS and His words IN US. If any man consent NOT to His wholesome words they are untrustworthy to be committed with the oracles of God. We are admonished to “prove all things,” to exercise discernment, and grow in the knowledge of the truth.
Isaiah 34:16 SEEK YE OUT OF THE BOOK OF THE LORD, AND READ: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for MY MOUTH it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.
Scripture is where we find His words. Let us listen TO HIM!
Prov 4:20 MY SON, attend to MY WORDS; incline thine ear unto MY SAYINGS.
Romans 3:4 God forbid: yea, let GOD BE TRUE, but EVERY MAN A LIAR; as it is written, That thou mightest be JUSTIFIED in THY SAYINGS, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
1Cr 2:5 That your faith should NOT stand in THE WISDOM OF MEN, but in the power of God.
Isaiah 8:20 To the law and to the testimony: IF they speak NOT according to THIS WORD, it is because there is NO LIGHT IN THEM.
1Tim 6:3-4 If any man teach OTHERWISE, and CONSENT NOT to WHOLESOME WORDS, even THE WORDS OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing… destitute of the truth… from such withdraw thyself.
Jer 35:13 … Will ye NOT receive instruction to hearken to MY WORDS? saith the LORD.
Psalm 50:17 Seeing thou hatest instruction, and casteth MY WORDS behind thee.
Prov 5:7 Hear me now therefore, O ye children, and depart not FROM the words of MY MOUTH.
Psalm 40:4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Jer 23:22 But if they had stood in MY COUNSEL, and had caused my people to hear MY WORDS, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.
Jer 13:10 This evil people, which refuse to hear MY WORDS, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.
Ezek 2:7 And thou shalt speak MY WORDS unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear: for they are most rebellious.
John 8:47 He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God.
Psalm 56:5 Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil.
Seems Peter believed they continued to wrest with the words of the LORD, as they did wrest with Paul’s epistles, as well.
2Peter 3:16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Let us seek THE LORD and HIS WORD!
All Blessings in Christ!