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Prophets do not Tell the Truth
Chronicles 18:17 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, Did I not
tell thee that he would not prophesy good unto me, but evil?
the wicked King of Israel, and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were going to
join forces and go to war against the King of Syria. Before going to
battle Jehoshaphat wanted to consult the Lord. So they brought prophets,
four hundred of them, and they all with one accord told Jehoshaphat and
Ahab that they were going to prosper. Jehoshaphat wasn't satisfied.
While the passage doesn't say so, these may have been prophets of Baal,
because they certainly weren't speaking for the Lord. They were prophets
who told the Kings what they thought the Kings wanted to hear.
Jehoshaphat and Ahab seemed to know that the prophets were lying.
Jehoshaphat wanted another opinion, and he wanted it from a prophet of
the Lord. Ahab knew that there was another prophet and that his message
was going to be different. Micaiah the son of Imlah was apparently known
as a prophet of Jehovah and Ahab knew that he would tell him he was
going to fail. So why ask for prophets to tell you what you already
know? And why penalize the prophet for telling you what you know in your
heart is true?
the four hundred prophets thought they had a word from the Lord because
the story says that the Lord sent a lying spirit to the four hundred
prophets. But they had safety In numbers. How could four hundred
prophets prophesy in unison and be wrong? Micaiah had been told to
confirm their message by the messenger sent to get him. So he told the
kings what they wanted to hear, but Ahab knew that he wasn't prophesying
the truth. Ahab didn't need a prophet, he needed a conversion.
Jehoshaphat didn't need a prophet, he needed to separate himself from
Ahab who was worshiping Baal instead of the Lord.
act as though they are ignorant when it comes to their relationship with
God when in fact many people know that they are sinners and that they
are not prepared to meet God. They don't need to be told that. Most of
us don't meet our own standards of behavior, how could we possibly meet
the standards of God? And yet, we like to hear preachers who tell us
that all is well. However, most people have a conscience that tells them
that all is not well (see Romans 2:15). I suspect most people are like
Ahab and Jehoshaphat, they know the truth when they hear it, but they
just don't like to hear it.
and Jehoshaphat would not listen to the one prophet out of four hundred
and one who told them the truth. Ahab died that day just as Micaiah had
prophesied. Wouldn't it be nice if we listened to that inner voice that
the Lord uses to convict us of sin? Then we could listen to the message
of the Gospel that tells us that God commends his love toward us in that
while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). While we
would apply this story to the unsaved, sometimes we who claim to be
Christians look for preachers and prophets that will tell us what we
want to hear as well.
and Jehoshaphat rebelled against what they knew to be true and disaster
resulted. They didn't need a prophet, they needed to submit themselves
to the authority of the Lord. We cannot resist what we know to be true
and expect that everything is going to be all right even if all the
preachers in the world tell us that we need not worry.
for the week of June 7, 2008
Influence One Person has in Life
as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one
Man's obedience many will be made righteous.
ago, when the world was in its infancy, Eve made a decision; and then
Adam, her husband, made the same decision. They decided to disobey God.
Eve made the decision because Satan deceived her. Adam made the decision
because he loved his wife and didn't want to lose her (See 1 Timothy
2:14). He was willing to leave paradise because of his love for his
wife, and that is exactly what Christ was willing to do for His bride
(the church) as well. The difference was that Adam sinned while Christ
that one sin has brought sorrow and death into this society that we live
in. All of mankind faces death and many of us face many kinds of sorrows
all because of the one sin of one man. I wonder if Adam knew what we now
know, if he would have made the decision that he made. Because of the
sin of one man, Cain would kill Abel, ultimately man's heart would be
evil continually (Genesis 6:5), the earth would be filled with violence
and God would finally have to say, "Enough!" and bring the
destruction of the flood. The coming tribulation period with all of its
wars and destruction will be the result of that one sin. Look at the
influence for evil one man had who would probably be considered a good
man by our society today.
and Eve were not the first sinners. Satan had sinned before them, but he
apparently was not a part of this society that God had created. He had
already rebelled against God before he influenced Adam and Eve to do the
same. So it was by Adam's sin that sin entered into this society or
world. The angels had already experienced sin. Adam was charged with
this sin because he had been put in charge of this society.
is no one's friend, but he appears to be friendly. He uses
"philosophy and vain deceit (Colossians 2:8)" to rob us of our
God given blessings. Philosophy is man's logic based on what man thinks
is right. A philosopher will usually start his sentences with "I
think" or "It seems to me". A man who wants to please God
starts his sentences with "God says" or "the Bible
says." Vain deceit is just empty lies; but when Satan lies, he
tells us what we want to hear. Because of that, often we are not
discerning when He is getting us to question the truth of Scripture or
the ultimate goodness of God.
there is another man, and He had great influence for good. The man
Christ Jesus was obedient and because of His obedience many will be made
righteous. Here we have a lesson in Bible interpretation. We cannot go
to a dictionary to find the meaning of the word many in a technical
sense and understand this verse. The first many obviously means all. We
know that is the Biblical message. All have sinned (Romans 3:23). All we
like sheep have gone astray (Isaiah 53:6). But just because Christ died,
not all are saved or made righteous. But the many who are made righteous
will be made righteous by one man's obedience. And that is also the
Biblical message. We have to believe on the Lord in order to be made
righteous as we read in Romans 3:22-23, "Even the righteousness of
God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that
believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short
of the glory of God." When God says many are made sinners, He means
all everywhere. When He says many will be made righteous, He means all
everywhere who believe.
all influence others. Adam's sin affected everyone everywhere. Christ's
obedience has provided salvation for everyone everywhere. But
righteousness is only obtained by those who are willing to believe on
Him. We are all affecting people every day. Each individual is
ultimately personally responsible for his or her own relationship with
God, but it would certainly hurt me to know that my sin or hypocrisy was
their excuse to turn away from the Lord.
for the week of June 14, 2009
Sins of the Fathers
they read distinctly from the book, in the Law of God; and they gave the
sense, and helped them to understand the reading.
books of Ezra and Nehemiah represent a period of revival in the history
of the nation of Israel. In the book of Ezra, the temple is rebuilt and
the worship of Jehovah is reestablished there. Ezra records the remnant
keeping the passover which spoke of the coming Messiah who would die for
the sins of the world. The revivals under Hezekiah, Josiah and Ezra all
involved keeping the passover. It was supposed to be kept once a year to
remind the nation that God had redeemed them from the bondage of Egypt
and to remind them of the blessings that the Lord wanted to shower upon
them. When the passover became unimportant, Jehovah also became
unimportant and, over and over, the people turned to idolatry.
Nehemiah, the wall of Jerusalem was rebuilt. The wall allowed them to
defend themselves and required them to separate from the people of the
land who worshiped other gods. Separation was probably one of the great
marks of the revival under Ezra and Nehemiah. Another mark was reading
from the law of the Lord. Reading and understanding the the law caused
the people to confess their sins. At first it brought them sorrow; but
when they realized that God really did want to bless them, they found
revivals involved confessing the sins of the fathers. In Nehemiah 9:2 we
read, "Then those of Israelite lineage separated themselves from
all foreigners; and they stood and confessed their sins and the
iniquities of their fathers." The history of Israel was one long
journey where the nation was blessed by God and worshiped Him
faithfully. They then found themselves attracted to the pagan gods of
the land and would turn from their faithfulness. God would judge them,
and when they realized that they had been brought into bondage and not
into blessing, they would call out to God for mercy. Then He would
forgive and save them. The current situation in the Mideast is the
result of Israel being unfaithful to God and being dispersed into the
nations because of it.
there lessons in Ezra and Nehemiah for us today? I think so. The
passover lasted until the Lord was crucified but spoke prophetically of
the crucifixion of Christ. The Lord's Supper was instituted by the Lord
after the passover on the night that the Lord was betrayed. The Lord's
Supper will last until the Lord comes again. The Lord's Supper had a
predominant place in the worship of the early church. But today the
Lord's Supper often gets in the way of the activities that many churches
really consider important. But the Lord's Supper keeps our focus on the
Lord while the activities that replace the Lord's Supper often keep the
focus on us. Just as revivals in the old testament seemed to be
associated with keeping the passover, I believe any "revived'
church will keep the Lord's Supper prominent in their meetings.
addition, the church by and large does not know or really study the
Bible today. We used to carry the Bible to our meetings and we looked up
the passages preached on in the Bible. We read it with our children and
we helped them memorize it. We did not assume that it took a degree from
a theological seminary to understand it. I believe that the personal and
corporate reading and study of the Bible is the first step in reviving
used to believe that meetings for the church were meetings for believers
and not for unbelievers. We didn't encourage the unsaved and unbaptized
to be part of our worship though we had meetings where they were welcome
so that they could hear the Gospel preached and could get to know
Christians. Marriage was between believers. Business partnerships were
between believers. We had had relationships with unbelievers but never
the kind of relationship where the decisions we made as believers were
affected by the attitudes of unbelievers. A church will never be revived
unless it recognizes that the Lord wants his people to be set apart for
Fathers are supposed to teach the children the right ways of the Lord.
It is a shame when the children through reading the Bible on their own
realize that the Father's have caused them to depart from the worship of
the Lord. That happened during the revival under Ezra and Nehemiah. I
hope that my children never come to that conclusion about what I have
for the week of June 21, 2009
Sorrows of Death
pains of death surrounded me, And the pangs of Sheol laid hold of me; I
found trouble and sorrow.
is the "preacher of the old school" according to an old tract
that I have. Death preaches when people least expect it. It doesn't
always say things in a kind and gentle way. But when death speaks we
ought to listen.
week death was speaking loudly. Ed McMahon, the sidekick on Johnny
Carson's show passed into eternity. He had a lot of money at one time
and then lost it through poor management. Even though he had enjoyed
riches and fame, when his time came, he died.
Fawcett, the blond who was one of the detectives on the TV show called
Charlie's Angels, died of cancer. She was once on top of the world and a
lot of girls wanted not only to look like her, but they would have loved
to be her if they could have been. I wonder if they would trade places
with her now. When her time came she died.
Jackson whose album "Thriller" sold more copies than any other
album in history died last week of cardiac arrest. His tours were
legendary. He had more awards given to him than any other entertainer.
However, his personal life was a mess and when his time came he died.
addition, last week, a coach in our community was gunned down by a
former student. The coach was a Christian who lived it. When his
community was devastated by a massive tornado a year ago, he was one of
the motivating forces that kept the community moving forward so it could
rebuild. His teams were winners and he did his best to instill character
in those he coached. But he didn't get the job done with one student,
and that student killed him. When his time came he died.
of these who have died will be back to spend time with their loved ones.
Sin brings death and death brings sorrow. Anticipating death brought
sorrow to the Psalmist even though later he was delivered from death.
The Psalmist found that in death, the only comfort is found in the Lord.
He said, "Precious in the sight of the Lord is death of his Saints
is a great leveler. The rich and the poor, the good and the evil, the
popular and the despised, the leaders and the followers all die. All end
up being buried. However, death is not the end. Death is just the
beginning. But what is just beginning? Even the atheist and agnostic
would have to agree that time continues after death and that something
continues. They would just like to believe that the person who dies
ceases to exist and knows nothing from that time on. But what scientific
evidence do they have to support that? What empirical data is available
that proves that beyond a shadow of a doubt?
is no absolute scientific evidence that proves that man has an eternal
part to him that does exist for ever. However, the Lord Jesus said that
was the case. Job said that was the case. Daniel said that was the case.
David said that was the case. We sell a lot of vitamins on flimsier
anecdotal evidence than that. I believe that we exist forever, some in
heaven and some in eternal conscious punishment separated from God.
people cut off in an untimely manner always causes us to think about the
sorrows of death. We who are saved are reminded that we need to be real.
The coach's friends have all said that his Christianity was real. He
practiced what he said he believed. I believe that he was prepared for
those who died unprepared, their sorrows will be real and eternal
according to the Word of God. The Lord said that if we would trust Him,
our sins would be forgiven and our sorrows would cease the moment we
die. We would go to a place He has prepared for us and we would begin a
new existence where sin and death and sorrow would no longer touch us.
do you suppose those who have died this last week believe about these
for the week of June 28, 2009