Month 5:28, Week 4:6 (Sheshi/Kippur), Year:Day 5941:146 AM|
Gregorian Calendar: Sunday 20 August 2017
Watch Out for Prophet Claimants
What's Scary About Being a Prophet?
How many of you want to be a navi (prophet) or think they are one already? Are you aware how dangerous a job assignment it is to be a navi (prophet)? I cannot understand for the life of me why anyone would want that calling - and I don't mean because sinners - particularly those in authority to whom Yahweh often sends nevi'im (prophets) - tend to want nevi'im (prophets) silenced or dead. That isn't what scares me about the office of a navi (prophet). What then, you may ask, would make anyone afraid of that calling?
A Pentecostal Messianic Group
Years ago, in the early days of this ministry, we chanced across a Pentecostal group in the USA and became friends because it was very open to new teaching. An unlikely arrangement, you might think, given their total belief in 'tongues' but then Yahweh wanted me to deliver a message to the lady who styled herself as a 'prophet'. Through my witness she became messianic, first converting to the sacred names (though she's since mutated the Father's Name into one of those many weird variants) and progressively started becoming Torah-obedient, at least until some Messianic Jews got a hold of her and she started embracing numerous Talmudic traditions too. This is a very extrovert, charismatic lady, as you can imagine. I remember she was single back then, in search of a soul-mate to join with her in her ministry. Some years later she found, it would seem, the man of her dreams, and though less gifted and charismatic than herself, was soon elevated into an at least titular position alongside her.
An Egotistical Display
While updating our links page yesterday I came across her old website which I had, when I originally added it, given some prominenance as we had added links to one another's sites. All those links on her site have long since gone as, presumably, she no longer feels the need to recognise anyone else but herself. It's a huge webpage in many languages and very colourful indeed, very artistic - some of it cheap and rather vulgar, but an impressive labour nonetheless. Very showy indeed. As I skimmed through it it became clear that she was still the star of the show, with her husband and their glorified romance, very much a major stage prop. As I read about some of the angelic manifestations she claimed I sensed something very wrong indeed. Even angels were bowing down to her (she has forgotten that malakim/angels occupy a position of higher authority than us for now) and in essence treating her like a queen. The whole ministry had evolved into one huge prideful, egotistical display of how wonderful and spiritual its founder was. It turned my stomach and I removed the link from our website immediately.
The Apostacy of Jeroboam
I mentioned that I was scared of the prophetic office and it is not because of men, though I admit I used to be. I fear it because of Yahweh. You will recall, in the days of the divided Kingdom, that King Jeroboam of the northern tribes of Israel, in order to keep his people under his control and to prevent them from going up to his Judahite rival Rehoboam's capital, Jerusalem, where Yahweh's temple and true worship remained in spite of Rehoboam's dark character, made two golden calves and set one up in Bethel and another in Dan. "If this people go up to sacrifice in the house of Yahweh in Jerusalem, it will revive their allegiance to their master Rehoboam king of Judah, and they will kill me and return to King Rehoboam," he thought to himself (1 Ki.12:27, NEB).
Changing the Festivals
Not only did this apostate Israelite king set up idols to the pagan sun-god Apis, but he hijacked the idea of one of Yahweh's appointed festivals, "a pilgrim feast on the 15th day of the 8th month like that in Judah" (v.32, NEB), "a month of his own choosing" (v.33a, NEB) where "he instituted for the Israelites a pilgrimage-feast and himself went up to the altar to burn the sacrifice" (v.33b, NEB). It was an imitation of Sukkot. Reminds me a bit of the Catholics who invented their own feasts (like Christmas and Easter) and made Rome the pilgrimage centre of Christendom. Changing Yahweh's moedim (appointments) is always one of the first signs of apostacy.
The Unnamed Prophet of Judah
Kings have the power of life and death so when Yahweh's nevi'im (prophets) are sent to rebuke kings they're putting their lives on the line. And as we know from Israel's history, many of the nevi'im (prophets) were slaughtered by evil Hebrew rulers. So, in character, Yahweh sends an unnamed navi (prophet) to rebuke King Jeroboam for idolatry. He predicts a future King of Judah who will be called Josiah who would sacrifice the pagan priests of Jeroboam on the very altars he had constructed to mock Yahweh. You will recall that Josiah became a great Reformer and righteous servant of Yahweh.
The Prophecy on the Altar
So the unnamed navi (prophet) turns up, pronounces Yahweh's mishpat or judgment on Jeroboam which, in addition to the Josiah prophecy, contained these words:
The Two Miracles Performed
"This altar will be rent in pieces and the ashes upon it will be split" (1 Ki.13:3, NEB)
Now the navi (prophet) has put his life on the line because no monarch can leave such a pronouncement unchallenged, or his authority will be lost. The navi (prophet) undoubtedly knew it. What did the king do? He pointed at the navi (prophet), and cried out, "Seize that man!" (v.4, NEB) The navi (prophet) knew that was his death sentence and perhaps he expected to forfeit his life, we don't know, as we're not told. Certainly were I in a similar sitation I would wonder about it and be praying hard...unless I already knew prophetically the outcome. But "immediately the hand which he had pointed at him became paralysed, so that he could not draw it back. The altar too was rent in pieces and the ashes were split, in fulfilment of the sign that the man of Elohim (God) had given at Yahweh's command" (v.4-5, NEB). Two miracles - the smashed alter and split ashes, done supernaturally, the navi (prophet) had expected, but the paralysed hand, we suppose, he had not.
A Royal Temptation
All despots are cowards and Jeroboam was no different. He pled for mercy - for healing - and the navi (prophet) prayed for him and his hand was restored. Then the king laid a temptation before the navi (prophet), one that most 'health-and-wealth' prosperity preachers would be unable to resist, and rationalise that Elohim (God) was using their enemies to enrich them as Israel had been enriched by the Egyptians at the Exodus:
State Approval and Money
"Then the king said to the man of Elohim (God), 'Come home and take refreshment at my table, and let me give you a present'" (v.7, NEB).
How many self-styled 'prophets' today that you know of would have taken up the king's offer in similar circumstances? You don't need me to tell you the rationalisations they would invent to justify their lust for either the approval of state authority or for money. So what did the navi (prophet) reply?
Judgment of the False Prophets
"'If you were to give me half your house, I would not enter it with you: I will eat and drink nothing in this place, for Yahweh's command to me was to eat and drink nothing, and not go back by the way I came'" (v.9, NEB).
Brethren, to have got this far, as this navi (prophet) did, was good. Very good. To resist the temptations of the worldly and evil - to not be bought off, to not put up with the flattery and the insincere gratitude of worldly power that would kill you once it thought you no longer had supernatural power - is excellent. Most self-styled 'prophets' today would not even pass this test, though, because they have an inordinate love of mammon and view all kinds of wealth, be it tainted or pure, as Elohim's (God's) reward to them. These self-entitled prophetic brats are soon to have the thrashing of their lives. It's coming. And there are altogether far too many of them, most uncalled. Their confidence lies in some supernatural experiences they have had, experiences untested and most often of the psychic variety. They will be culled when the true nevi'im (prophets) come along. I fear for them if they do not repent now for this is surely a time of weighing.
A Second, Tempting Prophet
However, my purpose today is not only to look at false 'prophets' being disciplined by true ones. You all know how this particular story of the unnamed navi (prophet) ends. He sets off home, fully intending to obey Yahweh's command not to stop and eat on the way, but is met by another, older navi (prophet) to whom he defers when the latter insists on taking him home to rest and eat. This, incidentally, is a navi (prophet) from Israel. The one who rebuked Jeroboam was from Judah. What did the Israelite navi (prophet) say to the Judean one when the latter protested that he could not stop by without breaking the mitzvah (commandment) Yahweh had given to him?
The Lying Prophet Used by Yahweh
"I am also a navi (prophet), as you are; and a malak (angel) commanded me by the word of Yahweh to bring you home with me to eat and drink with me.' He was lying..." (v.18-19a, NEB).
This is what you need to be afraid of, my friends, not the threats of pagan kings. You need to be afraid of the deceptions of the lying supernatural. This was not Yahweh, or a malak (angel) of Yahweh speaking through this Israelite navi (prophet) but a lying spirit. He was little different from Balaam of old who served Moab one day, Yahweh the next, and then Moab again after that before he met his final judgment for leading the children of Israel to sin at Péor. Believers are surprised when, after this false, lying prophet told the Judean navi (prophet) that Yahweh had countermanded His original instruction, was used by Yahweh to rebuke the disobedient Judean, saying:
Death of the Judean Prophet and a Caution
"This is the word of Yahweh: 'You have defied the word of Yahweh your Elohim (God) and have not obeyed His mitzvah (command); you have come back to eat and to drink in the place where He forbade it; therefore your body shall not be laid in the grave of your forefathers'" (v.21-22, NEB).
Then, as you know, the Judean navi (prophet) was killed by a lion on the way home and the Israelite navi (prophet) went and collected his body and mourned for him. This story raises a lot of moral questions because both men were true believers! Did Yahweh lie to the Israelite? No, Yahweh cannot lie. The man was deceived. Please note this well: just because a prophet sins or apostacises doesn't mean he stops being a prophet - he just becomes a false prophet! The gift is fixed but the choice to serve Yahweh or Satan remains, with (if you're not stoned to death for falsely prophesying) the option of repenting and exercising the gift aright, apparently. But we'll not get into the theological headache that is the detailed interpretation of what happened here. It has been suggested by John MacArthur that the old prophet's sons may have been worshippers at Bethel or even priests, and this man wanted to gain favour with the king by showing up the man of Elohim (God) as an imposter who acted contrary to his own claim to have heard from Yahweh. Whatever the truth may have been, the Judean navi (prophet) should have been more cautious in a pagan land.
Yahweh Can Use Deceived Prophets
First warning - true nevi'im (prophets) can be deceived because people have mixed motives. Yet it's clear the omnipotent Elohim (God) used this deceived navi (prophet) to test and judge the Judean navi (prophet) in such a way that shocks our Western sensibilities.
Prophets are Dangerous
Nevi'im (prophets) are 'dangerous' people for the wicked - that is made plain in scripture. True nevi'im (prophets) put the fear of Elohim (God) into the wicked because they are directly empowered by Heaven. That's scary enough. To abuse that power is even more scary. But there is something even more scary than that, and that's one navi (prophet), whose discernment may not always be tip-top, being sent by Yahweh to test another navi (prophet) who, out of deference to a perhaps older, more experienced navi (prophet), as the Israelite one seemed to have been, might be tempted to obey him before Yahweh without even properly testing him or his 'revelation'. Even the prophets must test the prophets.
Test a Prophet's Revelations Carefully
Be very, very, very careful with anyone who claims to be a navi (prophet). The credentials of the Judean navi (prophet) were plain - he had been given authentic toqef (authority), his prophetic words were fulfilled there and then, dramatically and visibly for all to see, and his prayer had direct access to heaven for the healing of the king. What were the credentials of the Israelite navi (prophet)? A claimed, untested and contradictory revelation.
My Own Experience
Again - and I say this most urgently and emphatically - you have got to be very, very careful. I have had all kinds of sincere and well-meaning men and women who claimed to be nevi'im (prophets) pronounce things over me that were proven false. One recently told me I was about to be healed by his prayers and then had the audacity to claim that Elohim (God) had told him that I was healed when I hadn't been. He has still not dealt with that and is carrying on as before. I have been told lots of things by false 'prophets', all of them lawless, itself a warning. One said I would be a millionnaire (the exact opposite is true), another I would go to his country (I never did), and so on.
Beware of Laying-On of Hands!
Whatever you do, don't ever allow them to put their hands on you when prophesying! It's not necessary and you don't know what spirits they might transfer to you. Insist you are not touched. Occultists pass on their demons that way. That's how most charismatics get their demonic transfers that lead them to do all kinds of crazy things. Break the curse of any laying-on of hands from untested ministers in the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus)!
Obedience and Gambling With Your Life
Obedience is the hallmark of a true navi (prophet). And that's the scariest thing of all. If you're not obedient, and you say you're a navi (prophet), you are gambling with your life because Yahweh will not be mocked! He will not have His qadosh (holy, set-apart) Name bandied about like some sort of magical spell to be used whenever the 'prophet' feels like it. He won't! It scares me stiff when I get revelations and the older I get, the more cautious I am and the more thoroughly I test them. My default is simple - I do not trust myself or my 'feelings'. So I won't be flattered by 'prophets' and neither should you. Yahweh is an Elohim (God) of order and He does not go around giving instructions through disobedient, lawless 'prophets' to obedient, Torah-observant nevi'im (prophets) except, on occasion, to condemn the latter when they are disobedient.
Jeroboam didn't repent, of course. He carried on with his sinning and it was not until King Josiah that the remainder of the Judean navi's (prophet's) words were fulfilled and the pagan priests established by Jeroboam destroyed. DON'T MESS AROUND WITH YAHWEH. DO NOT BANDY HIS NAME LIKE SOME PLAY-THING. LEARN SOME DEEP RESPECT! Your life may depend on it, not to menion your eternal future.
Comments from Readers
 "Thanks for the article about prophets. I take this very seriously!" (GL, Sweden, 20 August 2017)
 "This is so true. God will send one prophet to every deceived bunch. And a prophet walk is alone and lonely. It will be only you and God against the world" (ARD, Singapore, 20 August 2017)