Published on
November 4, 2023

Jeremiah 23

"This is what the Lord of Hosts says: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are making you worthless."

Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Author Photo
Steve Wiggins
Read Time
4 minutes
Jeremiah 23
“This is what the Lord of Hosts says: ‘Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you. They are making you worthless. They speak visions from their minds, not from the Lord’s mouth. They keep on saying to those who despise Me. ‘The Lord has said: You will have no peace.’ They have said to everyone who follows the stubbornness of his heart, ‘No harm will come to you.’ For who has stood in the council of the Lord to see and hear His Word? Who has paid attention to His Word and obeyed?” Jeremiah 23:16-18 (HCSB)

When most believers in Jesus think of “prophecy,” our minds generally drift toward “end times” or the prediction of future events, almost like fortune-telling. For most of us, “prophecy” is limited to God’s revelation of His Word by the working of His Spirit when we commit to reading the Bible. But it is not beyond the Lord’s ability to reveal future events to His followers. Consider the apostle Paul’s instructions to the Corinthian believers:  

“Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, and above all that you would prophesy. For the person who speaks in another language is not speaking to men but to God, since no one understands him; however, he speaks mysteries in the Spirit. But the person who prophesies speaks to people for edification, encouragement, and consolation. The person who speaks in another language builds himself up, but he who prophesies builds up the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:1-4 (HCSB)

When we read God’s Word with the intent to know, apply, and share it with others, He reveals His truth to us. In a sense, we can predict the future because, through Scripture, He has shown us the predictable outcomes of those who choose to follow or reject His Word. But that is a far cry from predicting exact events. The purpose of His revelation of His Word to us is to build up His Church. But there is a problem. Many people claim to speak messages on the Lord’s behalf that He never gave them to deliver. Their “prophecy” came from themselves, not God.

“I did not send these prophets, yet they ran with a message. I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied. If they had really stood in My council, they would have enabled My people to hear My words and would have turned back from their evil ways and their evil deeds.”  Jeremiah 23:21-22 (HCSB)

Furthermore, concerning “prophecy” and our shared daily Bible pursuit, I encourage you to gather in groups to discuss what He is revealing to you. This will maximize our potential to see Paul’s words realized in our midst and in our day.

“But if all are prophesying, and some unbeliever or uninformed person comes in, he is convicted by all and is judged by all. The secrets of his heart will be revealed, and as a result he will fall down on his face and worship God, proclaiming, ‘God is really among you.’”  1 Corinthians 14:24-25 (HCSB)

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