"So they were scattered, because there was no shepherd, and they became food for all the wild beasts. My sheep were scattered; they wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. My sheep were scattered over all the face of the earth, with none to search or seek for them." - Ezekiel 34
We rarely consider the consequences of false teachers and prophets. When the wolves attack the flock, it becomes scattered without a real shepherd. Some sheep are devoured, their faith forever shipwrecked. Others are scattered throughout the Christian landscape jumping from one frivolous theory or teaching to another. How do people fall for cults such as Mormonism or Jehovah Witnesses? Most probably were scattered away from the church by false teaching and prophecy. They wander alone, vulnerable, and constantly in spiritual danger. Jesus wept over His people for they were like sheep without a shepherd. That is how important it is beloved. The wolves take their fill and move on. Mark Driscoll is now feeding off a new congregation in Arizona while his Seattle victims still wander alone. Carl Lentz is now ministering in Oklahoma while his victims in New York City still wander alone. The scourge of NAR dominionism has turned seemingly normal Christians into rabid idol worshipers who despise the very people who need the gospel. No one searches for these folks. They have been blessedly subtracted. They are now food for all of the wild beasts of doctrine.
Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As I live, declares the Lord God, surely because my sheep have become a prey, and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts, since there was no shepherd, and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep, but the shepherds have fed themselves, and have not fed my sheep, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: Thus says the Lord God, Behold, I am against the shepherds, and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep. No longer shall the shepherds feed themselves. I will rescue my sheep from their mouths, that they may not be food for them. - Ezekiel 34:1010 (ESV)
This is a word against the false teachers and prophets of today. Because they have turned the sheep of the Lord out to become prey; because they got fat and rich off of those sheep while starving them - He is against you. The Lord will take care of His sheep. Make no bones about it. While this should be a source of comfort for the sheep, not so for those who live under a false conversion. The bible says very plainly that none get saved without the full gospel being preached. Not a watered down, sugared up, purpose driven, seeker-friendly, prosperity-laced, false signs and lying wonders, word of faith, NAR or dominionist gospel will do. The real problem with those living under a false teacher is that they are told they are saved by a three-sentence prayer and a cloud of dust. The "Lord Lord" verses in Matthew 7 should be the scariest for all who profess to be Christians. These are churched people who stand before Christ on judgment day only to discover He never knew them! Lord Lord, didn't we tithe to Kenneth Copeland faithfully? - I never knew you! Lord Lord, didn't we speak things into existence in Your name? - I never knew you! Lord Lord, didn't we push for book banning legislation and vote Republican in Your name? - Away from me! Lord Lord, didn't we revel in the glory clouds and dance through the gold dust? - I said away from me! Beloved, be very, very careful who you follow and who you allow to teach you or prophesy to you. It is no small or inconsequential matter. The lost are not your enemies but perhaps the church you keep going to is. Now, in case some think these verses in Ezekiel were an anomaly, let's switch to the Prophet Jeremiah. In reality we can find similar scriptures throughout the bible. However, in Jeremiah 23 we find another noteworthy rebuke that still applies today.
I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy lies in my name, saying, 'I have dreamed, I have dreamed!' How long shall there be lies in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies, and who prophesy the deceit of their own heart, who think to make my people forget my name by their dreams that they tell one another, even as their fathers forgot my name for Baal? 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. Is not my word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, declares the Lord, who use their tongues and declare, 'declares the Lord.' Behold, I am against those who prophesy lying dreams, declares the Lord, and who tell them and lead my people astray by their lies and their recklessness, when I did not send them or charge them. So they do not profit this people at all, declares the Lord. - Jeremiah 23:25-32 (ESV)
This rebuke is quite stark and deals with a tactic that many false teachers and prophets use today. In the Old Testament days, the prophets were spoken to directly by God but most times this claim is made today, they are not speaking about an audible voice. Instead, they are speaking about something that popped into their wickedly deceitful heart and they simply attribute it to as having come from God Himself. I am not kidding. I saw a Bethel training video for worship leaders where they were taught they were all prophetic and to simply speak out whatever came into their heart because it probably came from God. Yeah, no. That is not how it works! We see here God mocking the false prophets who declare they had a dream! They had a vision! The Lord even declares it comes from the deceit of their heart! He declares these people steal the actual word of God away from the sheep and lead them away from Him! They prophesy lying dreams! He did not send them, and He does not charge them! So, God lays down the truth very plainly. You say you had a dream, go ahead and tell the dream but if you are going to say thus sayeth the Lord - it better be faithful to Him and His word! After all, what is the chaff to the wheat? What a powerful metaphor from our Lord and Savior! Those that want to falsely prophesy and claim it was some dream or vision - they are but chaff! What is chaff?
"Chaff is the dry, scaly protective casing of the seeds of cereal grains or similar fine, dry, scaly plant material. Chaff is indigestible by humans, but some livestock can eat it. In agriculture, it is used as livestock fodder, or is a waste material ploughed into the soil or burned." - Wikipedia
Chaff is indigestible to humans! It is a waste material to be ploughed under and burned! False teaching and prophecy should be indigestible to believers! That is what the Lord thinks of you hireling! That is what He thinks of you oh false prophet! All you are false teacher is chaff to the wheat! The word of God is like fire! It is like a hammer breaking the rock into pieces! Beloved, there have been false prophets and teachers ever since man knew there was a God. The methods have barely changed over the millennia. How many times have you heard a preacher declare that the Lord told him? Or that he had a vision from the Lord? Just vain imaginations and dreams filling their wickedly deceitful hearts. Beloved, the road that leads to heaven is narrow and few are those who find it. The bible says we are either gathering people to the Lord or scattering them away from Him. False teachers and prophets steal the life-giving word of God out of the mouths of sheep and those seeking God. There are always victims from their actions. We need to be found working our salvation out with fear and trembling while guarding ourselves from having our faith shipwrecked by the smooth-talking wolves seeking to devour us. Discern as if your life depended on it because it just might.