“This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD . They keep saying to those who despise me, ‘The LORD says: You will have peace.’ And to all who follow the stubbornness of their hearts they say, ‘No harm will come to you.'” (Reference: Jeremiah 23:16-17 )
I think I’ve got a handle on this now. I read the words of Dirk Philips historic Anabaptist; “Observe, test, and prove fruit not alone according to their external and splendid appearance, but according to the Spirit and true reality. And whichever teacher he recognizes and finds false, him he himself watches and hears him not, but turns from him, just as God commanded through Jeremiah and Christ through the gospel, namely, that one should not hear the words of the false prophets, that one should beware of them, Jer. 23:16; Matt. 7:15, that his sheep hear his voice, and follow him and the stranger they do not follow after but flee from him for the reason that the voice of the stranger is unknown to them.”
His advise steered me towards thinking about astrologers and fortune tellers, as well as other people who claim to know what is best to do, but are really only guessing. Or worse, promoting their own agenda. That leads me to think about financial advisors who are more interested in increasing their own holdings at the cost of yours. And from there I broaden it to all scam artists. And then I stop, and think, why is it that I don’t seem to be focusing on people who misguide others on matters of religion. Five years ago I was perfectly content to let the focus rest on the wrongly religious and pious. What has changed? And I answer myself, our society. The truly religious, from my perspective, do not prophesy but advise and direct in accordance to God’s nature. The false religious are more interested in telling you what is wrong and right, hitting you over the head and punishing you if you go against what they tell you. In short, religion has changed over the last five years. Or maybe I am just more aware of the changes. And yes, maybe have become more jaded in my outlook in this respect.
May you, beloved, check carefully who is saying what, their reason for saying it, and what they base it on. Be cautious. And listen for the voice of God, who speaks only the truth and speaks if for our well-being and blessing. Selah!