What is idol worship – anything or anyone that distracts and derails us in our journey of getting to know Jesus Christ. Anything or anyone that we glorify in our hearts by holding it or him / her in higher esteem than Christ. This “idol” causes us to stumble into iniquity. (Ezekiel 14:3)
What are the idols – money, good health, travel, migration, education, business success, career progression, spiritual progression apart from Christ and Him crucified, good name, belonging to a particular group / church / club, creativity, sportsmanship, being enslaved by any other natural talent, self-realization, physical aesthetic, etc.
We come across Pastors and preachers who feed the idol worship in us rather than direct us away from these idols. They draw crowds with “prophetic moments” which give sensational supposed words from God about their education, migration opportunities, business start-ups and many more worldly entrapment. Even fore-telling about the person whom they should choose as life partner – some of these prophecies have ended up in disaster.
What happens when we, as Christians and believers, set up idols in our hearts and crowd around a false prophet expecting a “word” from God? We don’t want to hear about how to serve the Lord, but all we want is “what does my future hold in earthly matters?”. Should I marry, should I migrate, if so – which country? What are my business prospects? The false prophet feeds this ego-based idol-focused yearning to the maximum. What a thrill. People saying “hallelujah”, “Praise the Lord”, “Amen”. The heart-strings are pulled so much that many are crying.
Here is a summary of a ‘prophetic moment’ picked up from Facebook:
Pastor addressing a young couple:
Pastor – you are having an on-line business?
Husband – my wife had a business but we closed it a couple of months ago. We are hoping to go to Australia.
Pastor – Ah, but the Lord is telling me that you will start an on-line business and I see money flowing from the internet! I also see you traveling to another country which will be more prosperous for you than Australia. I don’t know what made you want to go to Australia.
Wife (being very curious) – can you tell us which country? (at this point, indulgent laughter from the congregation).
Pastor – It will be the Middle East.
What have we done to the gospel of Jesus Christ? Who will stand up against these false teachers? Where is the voice of truth?
This is what the Lord says: Ezekiel 14 :3-6
“Son of man, these men have set up idols in their hearts and put wicked stumbling blocks before their faces. Should I let them inquire of me at all? 4 Therefore speak to them and tell them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: When any of the Israelites set up idols in their hearts and put a wicked stumbling block before their faces and then go to a prophet, I the Lord will answer them myself in keeping with their great idolatry. 5 I will do this to recapture the hearts of the people of Israel, who have all deserted Me for their idols.’
6 “Therefore say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Repent! Turn from your idols and renounce all your detestable practices!
I hear no one asking anyone to repent. No one to tell the sheep what is foremost in your mind is your idol, which is making you stumble. Even your worry about your loved-one is an idol. It is hard, but we have to trust Jesus – He is faithful. He is trustworthy. He will keep His promises.
What happens when the prophet is induced into giving a prophecy? Ezekiel 14:9-10.
“‘And if the prophet is enticed to utter a prophecy, I the Lord have enticed that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and destroy him from among my people Israel. 10 They will bear their guilt—the prophet will be as guilty as the one who consults him.
Who is Israel in the New testament? Israel are the believers – those who are redeemed. Israel is the regenerated born-again soul. We have no business looking around for fortune-tellers and psychics. If you are saved, keep your eyes on Christ, because you are now made righteous. All sins forgiven. A new man born of the Spirit. How grateful should we be? Where is our indebtedness to Christ? Are we going to pay back Christ with glorified idol worship?
And you who call yourself anointed and possibly believe that Christ is giving you these prophetic visions: How do you know if the prophecy is from God or Satan? If it is from God, it is precise, specific and always accurate. There are no exceptions. Prophecy is meant to predict, to encourage, to direct and to provide what we need for our salvation. What is the purpose of a prophet? It is to reveal God’s truth. God’s truth is now revealed to us completely in the Bible. So when you say “thus says the Lord”, you are meaning it to be a prophecy of revelation or God’s truth. This cannot be as then we would need to add-on to the Bible.
However, God can give you a message for another’s benefit. But it cannot contradict the Word of God. When you encourage people to run after money, this is a direct contradiction to the Word of God. When you encourage people to build on their natural talent as opposed to the Spiritual gifts that we all receive when we are born-again, you are misdirecting the Christian into burying the (real) talent under-ground (Parable of Talents).
Remember, your job as a Pastor is to tend the sheep, not to fatten them up for slaughter.
Repent with godly sorrow. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation (2 Corinthians 7:10). If you don’t love the truth, true repentance will run away from you. You will feel no sorrow for your sins. God Himself will give you up into delusion.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11
The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie 12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.