Welcome to another audio lesson of The Hidden Chalkboard! This is the final lesson in our Prophets series. In our first lesson, we learned about prophets and their relationship with the world today. In this lesson, we are going to learn more about false prophets and the role that God’s prophets will play in the end times.
As we discussed in our last lesson, we are about to have a close encounter of the prophetic kind. Over seven billion people are going to be involved in a clash between God’s prophets and Satan’s prophets. But before that polarizing time, God will have set His watchmen. Through Him, they will do a work that will lead His people away from sin. How will they do this? You’re about to find out! But before we begin, let us pray.
Heavenly Father, please help us learn about the false prophets that Satan is preparing to send. Please help us learn how to tell them apart from Your prophets. Help us learn how Your servants will reach out to us in the earth’s final days. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
As their name implies, false prophets are not true prophets of God. Whether they do it for their own agenda or on behalf of God’s enemies, false prophets always aim to deceive God’s people. This point needs to be emphasized. False prophets will deceive the wicked, but they are specifically targeting God’s people. According to the word of the Lord, “…there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.” (Matt. 24:24)
Believe it or not, false prophets have been deceived themselves! These troublers of Israel take their abundance of possessions and the wonders they can perform as evidence that they are doing God’s work. They do not know that Satan has deceived them and that he has done this to people for thousands of years. To make matters worse, these deceivers are often well-known among God’s people! When I compared the rebellions of Lucifer, Korah, and Absalom, each of them had something in common. Besides their similar tactics and motivations, each of these individuals were renowned. They were celebrities, so to speak, among God’s people. In each of the three rebellions, many of God’s servants put so much faith in these influential figures, they were willing to turn against God for their sake.
In our respective communities and nations today, there are a select few we hold in such a dangerous place. We view them as examples of what our walk in the faith should be. We even look to them and to their teachings more than we do the Scriptures of God. Satan and his minions invested a lot of time into elevating these figures among us today and they are counting on them to do by deception what they cannot do in the open.
Now let’s learn about these false prophets. Let’s contrast their works to the works of God’s prophets. This will provide us godly counsel on how we can discern between the two, for it is written “…by their fruits ye shall know them” (Mt. 7:20).
A significant point to mention is that most of the references provided came from prophets who dealt with false prophets. Even more significant is the fact that more than half of the texts were given at the time before Judah’s exile. That’s not a coincidence, that’s a message.
Before the return of the Messiah, the false prophets will be speaking out in full force. They will cooperate with Satan and his demons to the greatest extent possible. Every lying sign and wonder in Satan’s arsenal will be employed to turn the world away from God.
Every “celebrity” among God’s people will be called to help in this evil work. Those who look up to them rather than their Savior and their God in those days do so at their own peril. It is written, “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. For he shall be like the heath in the desert and shall not see when good cometh…” (Jer. 17:5, 6)
But how is God preparing His people for this prophetic encounter? What is He doing right now to keep us from being deceived by these false prophets? The answer is found in Isa. 21:6. Read the instruction God gave to Isaiah carefully.
“…Go set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth.” (Isa. 21:6)
From atop the walls and towers of their cities, watchmen stood guard. They peered into the distance, ever vigilant in the duty to look for and report any approaching threat to their people (Ezek. 33:1-6). The fate of entire nations depended on the watchmen doing their duty. This was true, even in the days of the kings of Israel and Judah (1 Sam. 4:13-16; 2 Sam. 18:24-27; 2 Kings 9:17-20).
God appointed prophets, like Ezekiel the priest, as watchmen over His people. They were to faithfully deliver the warnings they received from God to them. They were to sound God’s warnings as the watchman sounded his trumpet. They were not to remain silent while His people were in danger.
Even if the people would not listen, Ezekiel was charged to faithfully warn them. If he didn’t and the people died, their blood would have been on Ezekiel’s hands. But if he did warn them and they refused to heed His warnings, then Ezekiel would not be guilty (Ezek. 3:17-21, 33:7-9).
All who would be delivered by the Lord must heed this teaching, both the watchmen and God’s people. God’s prophets in the final days are to be His watchmen. They are to faithfully warn the people what God reveals to them. Their mission is a vital one, for the watchman who fails to do their duty not only endangers their own life, but the lives of those who would be saved by their warnings.
God is setting these watchman around the world right now. They are being carefully placed around the world before the coming crisis. In great cities and small towns, among schools, community centers, shelters, governments, and businesses of all kinds, God’s watchmen are being strategically set.
He is preparing them, wherever they are, to give His final, faithful warning. He is bringing them into favor and tender love with their neighbors and coworkers. He is molding their character and writing the truths of His Word upon their minds and hearts. He is preparing them so God’s people will seek for them when the world is shaken by the crisis.
But why is this warning different? Out of all God’s warnings, why is this one the most important? The answer lies in the power of the final, faithful warning.
God doesn’t give us these warnings because He doesn’t love us. They are a sign that He still does. He still has a place for us among the inheritors of salvation. With these final warnings come the power to heed them and the power to be saved by them.
This point cannot be emphasized strongly enough. Those who heed the final, faithful warnings of the Lord will, at last, be set free of the sins that are besetting them. Satan will be forced to yield every captive who obeys the final warnings of the Lord. No one will be deemed unworthy to stand among God’s people in those days. The light of God’s truth will shine within them and the darkness of sin will finally relinquish its prey. Even Satan cannot refuse the command “…Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go…” (Exod. 5:1). In the last days, we will behold what the power of obedience to God can do! All the world will behold a people ready to meet their Lord, to behold their God.
The world has taught many of us today to shun God’s rebukes and calls for repentance. But the Lord saith, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore and repent” (Rev. 3:19). Repentance is key here. An unrepentant soul cannot heed the final, faithful warnings of God. They are still in rebellion against God and therefore, they cannot yield themselves to Him. This is why nearly every prophet in the Bible calls for God’s people to repent of their sins. It is the only way they can heed God’s final warnings and be counted among His people.
But they cannot do this in their own power. They must petition the Lord for the power to repent, the power to understand and accept that they have rebelled against the Lord. They must plead for the divine help to confess and forsake their sins.
Among the many agents of Satan are the watchmen who left off watching. These fallen watchmen of God chose to abandon their duty and leave God’s people vulnerable to the forces of darkness and destruction. The Lord saith of them:
“His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter. Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant” (Isa. 56:10-12).
Behold the testimony of those who put their own selfish interests above God and man! They have blinded themselves to the truth, they are fallen asleep, and they are given over to wine and strong drink. They are completely given over to Satan and they are leading many to regard the Lord and His Word with contempt. They fill the cup of their iniquity to the brim, dangerously so. They endanger their own lives by doing this. They risk closing the door of their own probation long before the final reformation to come upon the entire world. Once this door closes, no man can open it.
God’s watchmen must not let the fate of these fallen watchmen become theirs. They must give the warnings that God gave them to His people. They must avoid repeating the sins of Balaam and Gehazi, who, for worldly gain, forsook their prophetic ministry to His people. They must not come down from their posts to pursue their own interests, lest the enemy gain ground among us. They must not placate the warnings that God will have them give. The truth of their warnings must be allowed to prick the hearts of all who will be saved. The watchmen who do this will deliver God’s people, as well as themselves.
Jesus has prepared a place for you and He will soon come again to receive you unto Himself, that where He is, you may be also. Therefore, we shouldn’t be troubled or afraid (Jn. 14:1-3). Before His final trials upon the earth began, He counseled His disciples to watch and pray (Mt. 26:38-41).
In like manner, before our final trials begin, Jesus counsels us to watch and pray (Mt. 24:42-44; Mk. 13:33-35; Lk. 21:36). The apostles after Him also counsel us to do likewise (Acts 20:29-32; 1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Pet. 4:7). Only those faithfully watching for Jesus will be ready to receive Him at His Second Coming (Lk. 12:36-38). Watching for it has never become more important than it has now.
Now is the time when His watchmen must decide whether to faithfully give these saving warnings or not. Now is the time when all the world must decide whom they will serve. They must decide whether to heed the Lord’s faithful warnings or reject them. The consequences of these choices are eternal, not temporal. What saith you? Will you heed your God’s faithful warnings to you? Will you obey the God you profess to love and serve? Now is the time to decide. Now is the time to watch. Now is time to pray.
We thank you, Lord, for teaching us about Your watchmen. We thank you for preparing us for the time You said would come, the time of Your Son’s coming. Grant us the power to repent of our sins and the power to heed Your final, faithful warnings, that we may be prepared for the coming crisis and our coming salvation. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.