Ezekiel Chapter 13 False Prophets

Aug 14th, 2009 | By | Category: Ezekiel, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Ezekiel Chapter 13 False Prophets

Ezek. 13:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Ezek. 13:2 Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts, Hear ye the word of the LORD;

Ezekiel’s message originated from God, whereas the prophecies of the false prophets came from their own minds and imaginations. Generally speaking, true prophets give judgment messages, and false prophets give pleasant messages (although, of course, the Lord’s Word is often sweet).

Ezek. 13:3 Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing!

This verse applies not only to the false prophets of the past but to all who are dabbling in occult predictions today.

Ezek. 13:4 O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes in the deserts.

“Foxes in the deserts” are crafty, cunning, and deceptive. Song 2:15 warns about the “foxes,” which have a nibbling, destructive effect: “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.” Here in verse 4 the “vine” would be faith, true security. Like foxes, the false prophets vitiate true prophecy, the Word of the Lord.

Ezek. 13:5 Ye have not gone up into the gaps, neither made up the hedge for the house of Israel to stand in the battle in the day of the LORD.

This verse shows the importance of sermons on prophecy, for the false prophets did not prepare the people for the coming trouble. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. “Gaps” were breaches or holes in the wall of Jerusalem.

Ezek. 13:6 They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The LORD saith: and the LORD hath not sent them: and they have made others to hope that they would confirm the word.

The false prophets had followers. Often their air of confidence, which in reality was based on nothing, gathered followers who put their trust in the false prophets.

Ezek. 13:7 Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?

False prophets professed to speak in the name of the Lord but really spoke from their own minds and imaginations. They gave flattering and vain hopes of peace, contradicting Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

Ezek. 13:8 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have spoken vanity, and seen lies, therefore, behold, I am against you, saith the Lord GOD.

God said the false prophets had “spoken vanity, and seen lies.” The false prophets did not just believe they were right but were confirmed in their error. “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12).

Today the world is filled with “vanity” (delusion)—vain, empty, transitory things. To be directed in proper channels of service and of study, it is essential for the Christian to pray for the Lord’s providence, for the heart is deceitful.

Ezek. 13:9 And mine hand shall be upon the prophets that see vanity, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the assembly of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord GOD.

God opposed false prophets for their lies. False prophets will not be (1) “in the assembly,” (2) “in the writing,” or (3) in “the land of Israel” because of misleading the people. What were the lessons for natural Israel back there? The false prophets (1) would not be taken into God’s confidence for good messages later, (2) would have their names expunged from the record of Israel’s lineage, and (3) would not be in the group returning to Israel after the 70 years’ desolation. What is the antitype for spiritual Israel? The false prophets of today (1) will not be in God’s “assembly” or congregation of the future (will not get life in any of the strata in the pyramid under Christ, from the Little Flock down to the world of mankind), (2) will not be in the book of life (they will go into Second Death), and (3) will not be in the Kingdom.

This powerful verse reminds us of Revelation 22:18,19, which tells of the responsibility for, and penalty attached to, willfully adding to or taking away from the Word of God, “the words of the prophecy of this book.” There is great responsibility in teaching the Lord’s Word. Adding to the Bible would be exaggeration, which is easier to do unintentionally than taking away from the Lord’s Word. Those who add carelessly are punished, but those who subtract die the Second Death. It is better wisdom to remain silent than to speak and nullify the Lord’s Word. With prophecy, subtraction is worse than addition—from Genesis to Revelation.

The phrase “[to] be in the assembly of my people” refers to those who receive either a spiritual or an earthly salvation. The false prophets will be weeded out and thus lose their positions of honor. They will be exposed for hypocrisy and false teachings.

Ezek. 13:10 Because, even because they have seduced my people, saying, Peace; and there was no peace; and one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar:

God’s words to Ezekiel show that “prophecy” is very important both in a predictive sense and as instruction. False divination will become more and more serious a sin as the Time of Trouble nears. Here at the end of the age, our message should include the declaration of vengeance!

“One built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar.” Ezekiel was speaking of a figurative “wall.” In other words, the false prophets whitewashed the truth, backing each other up in sectarian ways. Jesus likened the scribes and Pharisees to “whited sepulchres” in Matthew 23:27. The false prophets, who proclaimed a message of peace that the trouble would not come, disagreed strongly with Jeremiah and Ezekiel, giving contradictory advice.

The false prophets put whitewash (a nice white covering) over what should have been exposed. They were not proper watchmen (1) on the wall, (2) in the tower, and (3) in repairing the holes in the Lord’s hedge. Stated another way, they built false walls and did not fill the gaps in the hedge.

The popular message was, “Peace! Be quiet and do not rock the boat.” Sepulchers were commonly whitewashed to look better, but they still contained dead men’s bones.

Ezek. 13:11 Say unto them which daub it with untempered mortar, that it shall fall: there shall be an overflowing shower; and ye, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall rend it.

Ezek. 13:12 Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it?

When the wall falls, the people will ask the false prophets where they were. Both back there in Ezekiel’s day and in the future when the “great hailstones” shall fall, the clerical element will be called on the carpet for their previous advice. In other words, just as the fulfillment in 606 BC revealed the truth of Ezekiel’s prophecy, so the truth of the message of the feet members will be seen after their death.

“A stormy wind shall rend it.” Hail and wind are related to judgment—figuratively in 606 BC on natural Israel and spiritually (or antitypically) on Christendom in the future.

Ezek. 13:13 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; I will even rend it with a stormy wind in my fury; and there shall be an overflowing shower in mine anger, and great hailstones in my fury to consume it.

Ezek. 13:14 So will I break down the wall that ye have daubed with untempered mortar, and bring it down to the ground, so that the foundation thereof shall be discovered, and it shall fall, and ye shall be consumed in the midst thereof: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

Ezek. 13:15 Thus will I accomplish my wrath upon the wall, and upon them that have daubed it with untempered mortar, and will say unto you, The wall is no more, neither they that daubed it;

Ezekiel used figurative language. Why were wind, overflowing rain, and hailstones used to destroy or consume the “wall” (Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple)? Designed as a means of protection, the wall represented security. Thus the people dwelled behind the wall in unwarranted and unjustified confidence and in false security. When the wall was broken down in 606 BC, the people realized the fulfillment of prophecy. Because untempered mortar (like a whitewash) had been used, the wall was unstable and the wind breached or rent it, blew it down. If the false prophets had used the proper binding agent in God’s Word, the wall would have remained. Instead the rain washed off the whitewash (removed the pretty facade) and exposed the foundation underneath. At the same time, hailstones pulverized the wall. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was the Lord’s agent (avenger) in doing this work. He breached the wall and leveled both the city of Jerusalem and Solomon’s Temple. After the 70 years of desolation, Nehemiah returned and rebuilt the wall—properly.

Ezek. 13:16 To wit, the prophets of Israel which prophesy concerning Jerusalem, and which see visions of peace for her, and there is no peace, saith the Lord GOD.

We are reminded of 1 Thessalonians 5:3, “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.” The future counterpart of the false prophets in Ezekiel’s day would be the false prophets of Christendom, especially Papacy with its boast that the gates (“walls”) of hell will not prevail against the system and that the Roman Catholic Church will “not sit as a widow” (Isa 47:8). The condemnation applies to Protestantism as well, that is, to Christendom in general. The future prophecy of peace will occur particularly when the three unclean, froglike spirits (demonic doctrines) are uttered by the beast, the dragon, and the false prophet during the hour of power (Rev. 16:13,14).

The literal time setting for Ezekiel’s words was 611 BC, or about five years before the destruction of Jerusalem. Jeremiah was prophesying in Israel while Ezekiel and Daniel were active in Babylon.

Ezek. 13:17 Likewise, thou son of man, set thy face against the daughters of thy people, which prophesy out of their own heart; and prophesy thou against them,

In verses 1–16, Ezekiel prophesied against the male false prophets of Israel. Now he was told to direct his message against the female false prophetesses. Just like the males, the females prophesied out of their own hearts. However, the difference was that the prophetesses did not teach publicly but through occult practices such as witchcraft and fortune telling.

How could a consecrated sister do this today in principle? She could adversely influence her husband who is an elder. Similarly, Jezebel manipulated her husband, the weak King Ahab, even though he had the position of authority. Moreover, sisters can teach privately in conversation and in correspondence. They can teach in fellowship at conventions, with guests at their homes, and so forth.

Ezek. 13:18 And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls! Will ye hunt the souls of my people, and will ye save the souls alive that come unto you?

As indicated by the “pillows” sewn to armholes, a false sense of security and false hopes were being engendered. For “pillows” the Revised Standard Version has “magic [arm]bands.” Cloths and bracelets were used to provide a sense of protection.

In the spiritual counterpart in the Roman Catholic Church, some communicants wear armbands, or cloth scapulas, that are supposed to possess magic charms. Also, cloths are sometimes sewn to underwear to ward off sickness. Some worshippers place statues on the dashboards of their cars. The false Church is pictured as Jezebel, a woman, and charms, witchcraft, fortune telling, etc., were practiced by women. Thus both within and without the pales of orthodoxy, witchcraft has been practiced.

The hunting of souls is based on the wrong principle of proselytizing to enlarge the coffers and influence of nominal churches. For example, the belief has been encouraged that the welfare of one in Purgatory depends on monetary contributions (the doctrine of the Mass, Novenas, etc.). The false priesthood proclaims control over the destiny of the deceased ones. As Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees, when they found a convert, they  confined him more to gehenna because of the beliefs they forced on him (Matt. 23:15). The false prophets castigated and ridiculed the true prophets like Ezekiel and Daniel. That is also true today. Organized churches castigate the Lord’s people and thus, in a sense, affect their lives.

Ezek. 13:19 And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies?

These practices were done for a price, for a profit. Barley and bread were the rewards given to the prophetesses for their work. In fact, so widespread were the practices that they were done for barley instead of wheat. The influence of the prophetesses was damaging; it had a backward or reverse effect of hurting the righteous and aiding the wicked. These practices in the nation of Israel, which cheapened and commercialized religion and God’s forgiveness, have a counterpart in the Roman Catholic Church.

The principle in antitype also occurs when consecrated sisters give wrong advice and influence others against those who take a right stand; for example, sisters might say an elder is too harsh and/or not loving. Half-truths are dangerous. We must be careful not to misrepresent any of the brethren.

Verse 19 is strong. For rewards, the false prophetesses “slay the souls that should not die, and … save the souls alive that should not live.” They did this with lies, which the majority accepted as truth.

Ezek. 13:20 Wherefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly.

Ezek. 13:21 Your kerchiefs also will I tear, and deliver my people out of your hand, and they shall be no more in your hand to be hunted; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

Ezek. 13:22 Because with lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life:

Ezek. 13:23 Therefore ye shall see no more vanity, nor divine divinations: for I will deliver my people out of your hand: and ye shall know that I am the LORD.

The false prophetesses made “the heart of the righteous sad” and strengthened “the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way.” Beware lest we should fall into that category! Watch, for those telling “lies” do not realize their condition. In their eyes they are right, yet they see black as white and vice versa. Proverbs 14:12 bears repeating: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” When a person’s conscience is sensitive, when he is learning truth and trying to develop principles, he is aware of wrong. But some people stifle their tender conscience; they “quench” the Spirit. Every time they suppress a twinge of conscience, they harden that conscience. Those who do this repeatedly over a period of time correspondingly lose the discernment of right and wrong. Ezekiel 12:2 says they “have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not; for they are a rebellious house.” We must keep the conscience tender. It needs to be regulated and instructed by Scripture.

The Apostle Jude speaks of a natural-minded class who go into Second Death. Some of these make a valid consecration but lose their spirit-begettal because of turning the grace of God into lasciviousness. By denying conscience over and over, they lose the Holy Spirit. (There are other ways of losing the Holy Spirit too.)

And there is another principle: The wicked will “not return from his wicked way, by promising him life”; that is, the wicked will not return from their wicked way if they are promised life. By promising only good things in the future and not telling of judgment and justice, we can encourage one to continue in wrongdoing and wait for the future Kingdom.

Blanket forgiveness of sins will not be extended in the Kingdom, for there will be retribution as well as opportunity. Life proffered in the future is conditional, based upon works (justification by works). We should not give a false hope of life by failing to stress repentance. By promising good things in the future and not telling of justice and judgment, we can be guilty of encouraging disobedience now.

Another way of falsely promising life is to say, “Your consecration was not accepted; therefore, you are not subject to Second Death.” Caution: Do not daub on whitewash! Do not suppress conscience! Keep the conscience tender.

The nominal Church has strengthened the wicked in their ways by promising life even, for instance, in the case of well-known Mafia leaders. The danger is in a liberal message that requires little or no sacrifice. The attitude is, “As long as you are a member of the recognized party (or church), your wrongdoings will be winked at.”

In the days of the apostles, pieces of material from their clothing were used to cure people.

As the apostles fell asleep in death, the power cure of the material decreased. During their lives, the people learned of God’s Word directly from the apostles themselves. After their death, the people had to turn more to the Scriptures. Today some false religious leaders with profit motives “cure” through pieces of material from the one who wants a cure. Crosses have been used the same way. The seed thought has been taken out of context and modified to bring profit and feed the ego.

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  1. i loved the lesson. we must NOT allow the prophets of baal to pour buckets of water on our fire! we must know the Word of God, be obedient-living a holy and clean life. We must also ask God for sharp spiritual discernment . If God sees that He can trust us to treasure the most precious gift-Salvation He can then trust us to be faithful with other gifts that He has for His children. if we are faithful over a few he will make us ruler over many! we then use these gifts to advance the Kingdom of God and to perfect the body of Christ.- and God expects a decent return on His investment. -parable of the talents- SO HE CAN GET THE GLORY! we’ve got to stop being slothful and realize that we are in a war. the enemy will try to attack us in areas where we are weak in or when we get tired and even in our sleep. We must be washed with the blood of Jesus, filled with the Spirit ( im talking about the Holy Spirit-not a demonic spirit) and not be brainwashed by false wind of doctrine. We must stop being coward soldiers in Gods army in this hour and preach in the true prophetic and not compromise for the sake of losing members!-only a few will find the Gate anyway… (real prophecy!) i once heard a woman say that the Bible is NOT Burger King-we cannot have it our way! it may sound comical but its the truth. we must live by the Word. we cannot drink from the cup of the Lord and then turn around and drink from the cup of demons! NO! God is watching. God can’t do much with a man of two minds. if the world wants to mock us and call us jesus freaks then i consider that a compliment!( thats the best type of freak there is! im overjoyed to bear that title!). i cant speak for anyone else but me. i have a made up mind! the true prophets of the bible were always persecuted. look at Jeremiah, Elijah and Ezekiel if im not mistaken wasnt Ezekiel the one they sawed in two? a horrible death! it may have been Isaiah (all 111 of his prophecies were 100 percent accurate) and every one knows about the Prophet of Prophets and Chief Apostle Jesus Christ’s sufferings. BOLD SOLDIERS ON THE BATTLEFIELD WHO DID NOT COMPROMISE! time out for half stepping and marking time on the battle field! too much luke warmness and permissiveness in the body of christ today(people playing church!) its like offering toilet water up to God-I would want to throw up too!! biblical prophecies convicts the people to repent! not something some one has cooked up for their own purposes! when we can get the people to understand that the Word of God is not a fairy tale and that this is NOT a game and get on one accord, we can show the people how to win(by picking up our spiritual weapons and using them) only if they want to. we must enforce the victory that was won 20 centuries ago by my husband Jesus Christ. the devil does not have power over us, we have power over him! WE MUST REINFORCE THAT. thanks for allowing me to comment. amen and God bless.

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  2. […] is an excerpt from our Verse by verse study on Ezekiel, click here to see […]

  3. Ezek. 13:7 Have ye not seen a vain vision, and have ye not spoken a lying divination, whereas ye say, The LORD saith it; albeit I have not spoken?

    False prophets professed to speak in the name of the Lord but really spoke from their own minds and imaginations. They gave flattering and vain hopes of peace, contradicting Ezekiel and Jeremiah.

    This scripture reminds me so much of the LDS faith and how they protray that Joseph Smith was a prophet from God, when in reality he wasn’t. In his own mind he thought he was but that is where it ended.

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