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. (Jer. 23:28)
Be aware! Jeremiah knew all too well not all those who claim to have a word from the Lord should be taken at face value. Jeremiah knew there were those who made the claim who actually had no such thing. They may have a dream they were sharing but it may have been their own dream and not a word from the Lord. Many false prophets try to fulfill their own personal dreams by saying, “thus says the Lord”.
There were and exist still today, those who take the truth and give it a little “twist”, to make their desired point or to fit their purpose, even if it is out of context. Remember Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness by quoting Scripture with a little “twist”.
How then are we supposed to differentiate between a true word from the Lord and the words of a false prophet? One sure test is to measure what the person says against scripture. Does it match God’s word? The main reason so many false prophets enjoy success is because God’s people do not spend enough time in the Word to know if what they are hearing is the truth or not.
ALWAYS KNOW WHY YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE! Do not just take someone’s word for it. If we do not know what scripture says, how can we recognize if someone is sharing it faithfully in the correct context?
The more familiar we are with God’s Word the less likely we are to be led astray by “smooth tongued prophets”. The world is full of people claiming to be prophets of the Lord, just look at how many cults exist today. They exist because someone has the personality and charisma to get people to follow them regardless of what they say. Jim Jones, David Koresh and even Charles Manson along with others have been able to get people follow them regardless of their teaching, even to the point of death.
While carefully studying scripture and deliberately applying it to our lives may seem time consuming when compared to receiving dramatic revelations from others, it is the only sure way to separate the truth from lies. Remember how many warnings there are in Scripture against false prophets and false teachings. The reason you might ask? To keep us on guard against these falsehoods that God knew would come along.
KNOW WHY YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU BELIVE! If not, you could end up traveling down the wrong path!