Sunday, October 02, 2005


23:16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD.

False preachers preach something they have seen in themselves, a vision of their own heart. They say God sent them, they say they bring his message. But God here declares the reality; they do not speak his Gospel, they do not declare Christ.

False preachers declare meaningless fluff (prophesy false dreams), not the Gospel. Their message is perverted useless man-made nonsense. They declare that man’s self-righteousness is relevant to God, that it has meaning, significance, or merit before God. These people know nothing about Christ. Do not waste time trying to salvage something useful out of their words. Christ instructs all to not listen to false preachers (hearken not). Those who do listen literally become “vain” in every sense. Man (whether smart or dim, wealthy or poor, moral or immoral) is totally corrupt, is guilty of sin against God. He deserves to receive, and can not save himself from, God’s wrath. His wisdom is worthless; his works are useless; everything in his life is worthless frustration - vanity.

Eccl 1:2-3 Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity. What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun?

Eccl 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Eccl 2:14 The wise man's eyes are in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.

There is a thing of infinite value in this worthless corrupted void universe - it is God’s gift of the knowledge of Christ. This wisdom excels all other things - it gives eternal life.

Eccl 2:13 Then I saw that wisdom excelleth folly, as far as light excelleth darkness.

Eccl 7:12 For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

23:17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.

WOW! This is the plain declaration of exactly what these false preachers preach.

False preachers do not declare the corruption of man. They do not declare that God’s wrath is justly deserved by all. Instead, they declare that man deserves to be treated well by God, that God loves man because man has earned God’s love through meritorious works. They say “ye shall have peace” and “no evil shall come upon you” as if to declare publicly that God is merely a god of love rather than a God who is Holy, absolutely unchangeably Holy, thrice Holy.

False preachers preach for and to them that despise God. They preach to them that live according to their own contrived view of what is happening in this world (after the imagination of his own heart), this world which was created by Christ and is completely under his control. Those who hate Christ walk through this world, live through their lives on this earth as if they were in control and they had no need of Christ. They have vile un-regenerated hearts which do not know Christ.

23:18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? 23:19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.

23:20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

God is not such a one as man. He is Holy and Just. He will maintain his Holiness and punish all sin. Wrath is due to all men - not peace. God’s righteousness is farther above man than the stars are above the earth. God is not swayed by man’s imaginations of how God should deal with man. No one counsels him (who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD). God is completely sovereign, free from external influence. God will in wrath punish any and all sin ever committed (in fury...upon the head of the wicked). The “wicked” ones referred to here includes every person who ever committed even one single sin - this includes every single person.

God patiently delays pouring out his wrath on all until his purpose has been completed, until Christ has fully secured all of the elect (performed the thoughts of his heart).

These latter days are today, Christ has come and won the victory and we preach all of his Gospel publicly. The whole Gospel is now revealed plainly to the elect (in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly).

23:21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.

23:22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings.

No one has been, is being, or will ever be saved from God’s wrath as a result of hearing the preaching of false preachers. They preach to those who hate God; they preach to the reprobates, those who were predestined to damnation. And the reprobates remain condemned after hearing the false Gospel.

The Gospel is preached by Christ’s preachers who know him (stood in my counsel); they preach Christ to God’s elect and it is effective to them. The elect repent of their self-confidence, turn from the evil of trusting in their righteousness works / doings; they turn to the Free Sovereign Grace of Christ; they rely fully on the imputed righteousness of Christ.

By Ray Bennetts