False Prophets/Prophetesses Revealed

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In the church today, there are many “prophetic” words being spoken, but not many being fulfilled. 

Many women in the church have, unfortunately, fallen prey to these “sweet words,” although empty ones, and are dejected when they don’t come to pass. They wonder, “What happened? Why didn’t God come through for me? Didn’t He say, through His prophet [prophetess], that my breakthrough was coming today?” when the truth is, that “prophet” or “prophetess” was never sent to them, or anyone else, with a “word from the Lord.” 

The false words being spewed out by these scam artists is a sad phenomenon, one that profanes the name of our holy God; however, it’s no new phenomenon. Scammers, such as these, have been parading around pulling the wool over people’s eyes for centuries. 

I’ll show you this truth via the Bible.

In Ezekiel chapter 13 (as well as many other books and chapters of the Bible), we see God denouncing the work of false prophets. Not only in this book and chapter do we see Him denouncing the false prophets, but the false prophetesses as well. In verses 1-16, God lays out the charges against the false prophets; in 17-23, the false prophetesses. 

The Charge of the False Prophets 

In verses 1-16, we see that Ezekiel, a true prophet of God, was tasked with prophesying against the false prophets, who were “prophesying” out of their own imaginations (wicked hearts) in the “name of God.” God pronounces, through Ezekiel, a woe on these prophets who prophesied lies in His name. Woe to the foolish prophets who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing! He says in verse 3.  

God sent true prophets like Ezekiel to tell the people of Israel the truth, the truth that destruction was going to befall them because of their sin, their rebellion, their obsession with idolatry. However, the false prophets would go behind Ezekiel (and other prophets) and declare, “Peace,” when there was to be none. By doing so, they hardened the people in their sin, made them comfortable in it, as opposed to what the words of the true prophets, had they not been contradicted, could have done—compelled the people to repent and turn from their wicked ways. 

In verses 5, 10-16, God compares these prophets’ “prophetic words” to a whitewashed wall (a whitewashed wall is a rotted wall that has been covered with whitewash [mortar mixed with sand and water] to appear stable). Verses 10-11a read, “Precisely because they have misled My people, saying, ‘Peace,’ when there is no peace, and because, when the people build a wall, these prophets smear it with whitewash, say to those who smear it with whitewash that it shall fall!” 

Here, we learn that the lying prophets weren’t “solo” in their lying endeavor to the Israelites; they had “ally prophets” who would come behind them and confirm their so-called “words from God.” One prophet would build up “the wall,” declaring God’s peace and approval of Israel’s wrongdoing, and also assuring them that they’d be victorious over the Babylonian nation, and their “ally prophets,” seeing the people’s pleasure with these sweet, false words, would come behind them and put “whitewash” over the wall, meaning they assured the people that the lies being proclaimed to them was truth. However, God, through a terrible storm—symbolic of the Babylonian nation—was soon to reveal their lies. And, in this destruction, which they declared “peace” about, following the prophetic words of the true prophets, they would be destroyed (vv. 13-16), and their fallacies would be revealed.

The Charge Against the False Prophetesses

The false prophetesses operated in a similar fashion as the false prophets (vv. 17-23). They, too, declared visions from the Lord that led the people astray; therefore, God commanded Ezekiel to set his face against them as well. They being female did not excuse their sin. They told lies in the name of God, though He never commissioned them to say anything, and would be confronted and condemned about it by God. 

God commanded Ezekiel to say to these women, “Woe to the women who sew magic bands upon all wrists, and make veils for the heads of persons of every stature, in the hunt for souls!” (v. 18). 

{Note: The King James Version of this verse says that the women sew pillows to all armholes (instead of magic bands) and make kerchiefs (another word for veil) upon the head of every stature to hunt souls. The two phrases are one in the same, according to my study. However, I wanted to point this out because the commentary I will use to explain this verse’s meaning will use the King James Version’s wording.} 

According to my study, the little pillows these women sewed to people’s arms signified to the people “that they might be easy and repose themselves and needed not be disquieted with the apprehensions of trouble approaching. [The false prophetesses] made kerchiefs upon the heads of every stature—of persons of every age, young and old. These kerchiefs were badges of liberty, or triumph, intimating that they should not only be delivered from the Chaldeans [Babylonians], but be victorious over them” (Matthew Henry). 

So we see here that these women were making the same false promises to the people of Israel that the male prophets were rebuked for. They were assuring the people that no harm would come to them, but peace only, when God had spoken something totally opposite. He (as talked about above) had declared destruction for the people’s disobedience. Nevertheless, for a few handfuls of barley and scraps of bread, these women would tickle the people’s ears, “in the name of God,” instead of speaking truth to them, which, in turn, strengthened the hands of the wicked. In fact, they strengthened the hands of the wicked, but disheartened the hearts of the righteous, thundering out false judgments “from God” against them, which greatly displeased God. However, God would have the final say.

He says in verses 20-21: “Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds. Your veils also I will tear off and deliver My people out of your hand…”

God, here stating that He would tear the magic bands from these women’s arms and the veils from their faces, lets us know that the “arts” they compelled the people to come to them with (the pillows and the veils) they also wore. But, metaphorically speaking, God would tear it all away, meaning, their lies were going to be exposed, and God’s people would no longer be hunted (or lured in) by them, or captivated with their superstitions, as they had been. These women, like the men, who told lies and strengthened the hand of the wicked and disheartened the righteous (vv. 19, 22), were soon to feel God’s wrath. 

Closing Truth

In the same way that God freed His people from the lies and snares of the wicked then, He’s doing the same for His people—the church—today. 

Many lying “prophets” and “prophetesses,” preachers and teachers, have infiltrated today’s churches, spewing their filth to discourage those who are God’s, and to strengthen the hands of those who are satan’s, as are they (John 8:44). But God has a plan, and we who claim to be followers of His have a part in that plan, which includes: studying and being faithful to the Word of God, remaining in close fellowship with Him, and exposing the fruitless deeds of darkness, which keeps fellow brothers and sisters from being deceived, and frees those who are already being deceived.

The greatest weapon we have against our chief adversary, sisters, is the Word of God—the Word itself tells us it’s a double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12). We can’t fight off satan and his deluded doctrine and practices with worldly, carnal knowledge, but only with God’s Word. Paul confirms this in 2 Corinthians 10:3-4, where he says, “For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war after [according to] the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”  

So again, in order to fight the wiles of our spiritual enemy, we must know and understand the Word of God. Therefore, let us take heed to the Word, which tells us to study it day and night (Joshua 1:8), and which will make us prosperous against the attacks and wiser than the enemy rising against us (Psalm 119:98). 

It’s only through God’s Word, sisters, that, 1) our eyes will be opened and able to recognize the falseness of those sent into our churches to deceive and lead astray; and 2) that we’ll have the boldness to stand up against them and, wholeheartedly, on the side of the Word of Truth.

Amen.

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