Those prophets lie by claiming they speak for me, but I have not even chosen them to be my prophets… They say they’re preaching my messages, but they are full of lies—I did not speak to them!
~Ezekiel 13:6-7, CEV
It’s better to tell the truth and risk making someone unhappy as to tell a lie and to make them happy.
Ezekiel is full of symbolism and it has always been a difficult book for me to understand but some passages are crystal clear: chapter 13 is a denouncement of false prophets and chapter 34 is a denouncement of worthless shepherds [pastors]. Chapter 34 has always been harder on me than thirteen for obvious reasons. Number one being, FALSE PROPHETS do not really have a “Call.” These are those who got into the ministry for the wrong reasons. The position, the prominence and the power of directing others appealed to their vanity. I had no desire to be a preacher: I know God called me. I would doubt my salvation before I would doubt my call to preach.
The second characteristic of the FALSE PROPHETS does make me think: they got their messages from their own imaginations and not from the LORD. The older I get, the more concerned I am about the origin of the message. I remind the LORD weekly, “If you don’t speak to me, I have nothing to say to them.” My word will not change anyone: it is His word that has substance and power. The world needs more Jesus, not more Jack. The third thing also causes me to examine my heart and motives: the FALSE PROPHET lied about sin. I want to be honest about sin. All sin has consequences and ultimately leads to death and destruction. What we are hearing in America now is the voice of the FALSE PROPHET. They are saying, “Abortion is not murder and homosexuality is not sin.” I say, “they are wrong; they didn’t get this message from God.” The fourth characteristic of the FALSE PROPHET is they tell people what they want to hear. They placate the public; they tickle ears. In Ezekiel’s day they preached peace when there was no peace. The last and most telling characteristic of the FALSE PROPHET is that they use their office or profession for personal gain. This was their motivation for becoming a prophet in the first place. They are prophets for profit.
At one time, my daddy was hard on preachers: he disliked more than he liked. When the LORD called me, Daddy changed. I heard him say more than once that preachers were in it for the money but when the LORD called me and I wound up serving small rural churches that paid very little, he was upset with the churches. One of the first things he would do when visiting me on the field was to find a treasurer’s report and he would see what they were paying me. He would bring it to me and say, “Son, they are not paying you enough.” I’d always laugh and say, “Yeah, this is coming from a man [deacon] who fought every raise ever proposed for his pastor.” In all honesty, there are some who are in the ministry for the money but they are not usually in a local church and almost never in a rural church. Why is this? Too much accountability in a small local church. You will find the sharks and shaitans on TV or in big churches. They are going to be where the money is and they are usually very gifted at deceiving people. Most of them can charm a snake out of a hat. For the record: they do exist so beware of the false prophet.
Big Mama asked me what we did last night and I told her, “We pulled up every shrub on the place.” She said, “What does that have to do with a BLOCK PARTY?” I said, “Nothing, but it is BP week and it is the time to get things done.” Nothing brings DBC together like the BLOCK PARTY. I don’t know how many will come Saturday but I do know one, thing…DBC is like an ant hill all week and everyone enjoys it.
My favorite daughter-in-law is madly in love and it is not with Joe David, she fell in love with little Johnny last night. I couldn’t keep them a part.
Keep praying for Lilly G and Tracey B.