Reckless Prophets

“Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who steal My words every one from his neighbor. Behold, I am against the prophets,” says the LORD, “who use their tongues and say, ‘He says.’ Behold, I am against those who prophesy false dreams,” says the LORD, “and tell them, and cause My people to err by their lies and by their recklessness. Yet I did not send them or command them; therefore they shall not profit this people at all,” says the LORD.
— Jeremiah 23:30-32 NKJV

After Adam’s creation, he was continually in the Father’s presence. The Father’s glory was all around the created order, but especially upon the man that He had made in His image and likeness. Adam heard the Father’s voice as they conversed together on a regular basis. Possessing no special titles, he was known simply as Adam, the son of God. It was after he sinned that he moved out of the Father’s presence. Regardless of this gross sin that Adam had committed, the Father still engaged Adam by communicating with him. What Adam had done was no small thing—he had started something that would impact all mankind in a negative way—but the Father’s purpose was in full motion. His voice would not be limited or silent to the one He had made and those who would follow.

As mankind increased in number, the Father chose certain people to lead out in the cause of His purpose; people like Seth, Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, and many more. These are the ones who heard the Father’s voice and followed what He said. The trajectory of their lives pointed to the reality that the Father was raising up a people who would become a nation that would exhibit the Father in the fullness of His glory. The first person the Bible refers to as a “prophet” is Moses. He is the one whom the Father raised up to deliver the children of Israel from the slavery of Egypt into the freedom of the promised land. Moses first encountered the Father at the burning bush and then dialogued with Him continually thereafter. Aside from Moses, we read in the Bible of many other dynamic prophets whom the Father raised up to become His mouthpiece to mankind.

These prophets were authentic men and women who were devout in their ways before the Father. They abided by His standard and stood as leaders who would be His “prophets, priests and judges.” People knew that if they needed to hear the Father, they could enquire of Him through His servants the prophets. These prophets were not influenced by the standards of the world. They ignored anything that smacked of self-gratification and would lead to sin. Whatever they heard the Father say, they proclaimed faithfully with the intention that those who heard the Word would receive it and return to the Father and walk with Him.

Along the way, however, false, reckless, and wayward prophets rose up. Becoming enamored with the way the Father spoke, and especially by the manifestation of His power, these men and women desired the reverence and acclaim they would receive as leaders. Yet, as much as they talked about the Father, their hearts had no capacity for abiding in Him. These “prophets” fell in love with the principles and standards of the world. Given to pride, itchy ears, the works of the flesh, and greed, they concocted words based on what they wanted to say and then said it came from the Lord. Taking their cue from things transpiring in the world around them, they built on fear to persuade people for their own profit. This indeed was gross deception. Like gullible sheep, many people followed the words they heard, never realizing that the Father was not in them.

Even today there are those within the body of Christ who give themselves the title of “prophet.” They are in love with the title but have never been called and have no understanding of what it means to be a prophet. This calling has the Father’s grace on it, and He also imbues those He calls into this functionality with a measure of faith. These “title-centered” people prophesy from their own soul rather than from the Spirit of the Father. They mislead people by saying only good and pleasing things that pacify their hearer in their own sinful works. It’s a power struggle because these prophets like to have a reputation. The deeper and scarier their prophecies, the more respect they garner in the eyes of the people.

The Father never allows Himself to be mocked by this irresponsible behavior of people with His body. He gives them ample room to repent, but eventually He pulls off the restrainers so that their falseness and deception are exposed. As sure as false prophets exist, many pure and authentic ones exist as well, and they are imbued with the fullness of the Father. Since both are among us, we must always be careful to discern what we see and listen to. Our focus should always be directed on the Father.