Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? declares the Lord.
1 John 4:1
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.
Diane and I are doing a dietary supplement-based “Ten Day Shred” dietary cleanse. Part of that involves a particular type of protein drink that is gluten and dairy-free. This is a different product than that is recommended at the health club/gym I frequent. I am struck by the emphasis on the purity and type of ingredients used in these products. It makes a difference what ingredients are used, and how they are combined with others to cause or prevent inflammation, bloating, or other issues. Purity and content makes a difference.
How true that is, and even more so with regard to spiritual truth and God’s word. Just as straw has nothing in common with wheat when it comes to nutritional value, false prophets have nothing in common with God’s word when it comes to spiritual health. We are warned to recognize that.
Some might argue that the subtle differences between various religions or theological nuances are much like questions about whey or soy protein; it’s all a matter of opinion. These verses would say otherwise. God’s word is to be remain pure – there is to be no mixing of human ideologies, traditions, or philosophies with the pure teaching of God’s word.
There are many false prophets in the world today. Some offer spiritual junk food – pleasant but gravely unhealthy. Others mix the word of God with human sensibilities that sound appealing but lead away from God’s truth. Our calling is two-fold: we must speak truth (always in a spirit of love, for that is essential to God’s truth), and we must reject those teachings and teachers who do not speak truth (no matter how loving or appealing their words may seem).
All this is because the Holy Spirit uses God’s word to lead us to Jesus Christ, and through him to abundant eternal life. Anything else is a lie which the devil will use to steal our joy, kill or hopes and destroy our souls.