THE GENUINE PROPHET
If they [the prophets] had stood in My council, then they would have announced My words to My people, and would have turned them back from their evil way and from the evil of their deeds
Every true prophet of God in the Old Testament was an evangelist. His ministry drew people back to God and His Word. The call to righteousness was the standard which separated the genuine prophet from the imitation, as the prophet Jeremiah wrote. If you come across someone who claims to be a prophet, but who is not involved in calling people to a righteous walk with God, you may be dealing with a counterfeit.
In the New Testament, the gift of prophecy has one primary purpose: to reveal unrighteousness and bring conviction. Paul wrote that, as a result of prophecy, "The secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you" (1 Corinthians 14:25).
The Lord revealed through Jeremiah another criterion for distinguishing a true prophet from a false prophet: "I have heard what the prophets have said who prophesy falsely in My name, saying, 'I had a dream, I had a dream!' . . . The prophet who has a dream may relate his dream, but let him who has My word speak My word in truth. What does straw have in common with grain?" (23:25, 28). God is warning His people against prophets who value their dreams above His Word.
God is not saying that dreams are unimportant. Indeed, He often spoke to people in the Bible through dreams before the full revelation of Scripture was complete. But in comparison to the nutritious grain of His Word, dreams are mere straw. If you feed straw to cattle, they'll die. They will sleep on it, but they won't eat it because it has no nutrients. Similarly, dreams may be of some value, but they are never to be equated with God's Word as the basis for our faith or our walk.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the power of Your Word, which cuts through falsehood and brings to light everything hidden in darkness.
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