In Jeremiah’s day false prophets were rife and Jesus said it would be the same in our day and so He said, “…Take heed that no man deceive you” (Matthew 24:4). St Paul also recognised the problem in his day and he said, “Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. (Ephesians 5:6,7). St John also recognised the same problem and he said, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” (John 4:1).
So you might ask: what is a prophet and what is a false prophet? Most people when they think of a prophet would think of a towering kind of person who gets messages from God and he might predict what is going to happen in the future, this can of course be true but on the other hand what a prophet actually means is someone who is simply getting messages from God, this can be on the level of small and great so you can get small messages that come directly from God or you can get bigger messages that come from God; a bigger message might concern a whole nation for instance; a smaller message might concern a few individuals but either way, in short, you are getting direct messages from God and therefore you are saying that God said it and not yourself. This problem with false prophets was particularly serious in Jeremiah’s day because of the amount of people that were being influenced so you have to ask yourself: how serious is this and how many people will be influenced by these messages that you are apparently getting from God? that’s assuming that you are one of these people that say they are getting messages from God. Well, if you are one of these people then Jeremiah has some pretty strong words to say about these things, some of which we can read Here:
“Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.” (Jeremiah 14:14)
“I have not sent these prophets, yet they run: I have not spoken unto them, yet they prophesied.” (Jer 23:21)
“Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. I have heard what the prophets said, that prophecy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed. How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophecy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; Which think to causes my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.” (Jer 23:24-27)
“Behold, I am against them that prophecy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD.” (Jer 23:32)
“Therefore hearken not unto the words of the prophets that speak unto you…for they prophecy a lie unto you. For I have not sent them saith the LORD, yet they prophecy a lie in my name.” (Jer 27:14,15)
So clearly, there are plenty of verses on this subject and in Jeremiah’s mind, Jeremiah being a man who actually did get messages from God, he went on to say, “Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly. I have not sent these prophets, yet they run: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.” (Jeremiah 23:19, 20,21)