The Office of Prophets and Teachers
Part 1

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Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
July 4, 1998

Last Updated :
January 29, 2022

Human Fallibility, Seriousness Of Being A Teacher, Scoffers, The Lord's Vessels, Jeremiah And Hananiah, False Prophets Of Israel, Micaiah And Four Hundred False Prophets, Modern False Prophets Psychics And Gurus, Destruction Of Jerusalem In 70 AD, Willingly Deceived, God Will Choose Our Delusions When We Rebel Against Him, The Demise Of Evil King Ahab, True Prophet Litmus Test, New Testament Warnings Regarding False Prophets, Jewish Elders Challenge Jesus, Accuser Of The Saints, Listen To God's Prophets, God's Word Endures Forever And Will Prevail, God's Prophet Is Vindicated, A God Of Truth Who Does Not Lie

If there is one thing I would like to make clear to anyone who chooses to study my writings, it is that I recognize my own fallibility. I realize that despite how convinced I may personally be regarding my beliefs, I could still be wrong about some things, or at least off the mark to some degree. This is particularly true with regards to my understanding and interpretation of Bible prophecy. At this point in time, there are simply too many unknowns which prevent all of us from being overly adamant when it comes to our views about the final events which bring the age of man to a close. It is for this reason that I include a disclaimer on the home page of the Bill's Bible Basics website.

As I explain in my 2012 article entitled "Humility in Our Understanding of God's Word", as much as we each would like to be right -- and even now may believe that we are right -- we must humbly admit to ourselves, as well as to others, that until God chooses to close the final page of His book with regards to humanity, we do not know anything with one hundred per cent certainty. Lord help me if I should ever boast that I know it all. Frankly, to make such a preposterous claim would undoubtedly be the epitome of self-righteous pride.

We all need to remember that to teach the Word of God to others is a very serious responsibility which should not to be taken lightly by anyone. After all, as the Apostles Paul and James wrote in their Epistles:

". . . we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know."
1 Corinthians 8:1-2, KJV

"My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation."
James 3:1, KJV

In the above verse, the word "masters" is derived from the Koine Greek word "didaskalos". Pronounced did-as'-kal-os, it actually means a teacher of God's Word. It is for this same reason that Jesus is referred to as "master" in the Gospels. Due to some of the controversial and passionate topics which I have chosen to write about, my humility may not always be apparent in some of my articles. However, I hope that you my readers realize that to expose the lies and hypocrisy of the modern-day political, economic and religious systems of man requires a certain amount of personal conviction. However, it does not necessarily indicate that one is in denial of or has forgotten his own weaknesses and sinful condition. Let me assure you that I am most certainly fully aware of my status before the Lord. I am reminded of the following words which were spoken by King David and the Apostle James:

"Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me."
Psalm 51:2-3, KJV

"For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was."
James 1:23-24, KJV

As some of you will know yourselves, being a bearer of the Word of God is a two-edged sword. Because of that, sometimes the enemies of Christ try to soften the conviction they feel in their own hearts by using the one edge of that sword to try to invalidate what one of God's children is saying to them. The way in which they normally do this is by accusing the Lord's emissary of being proud, self-righteous, boastful, arrogant, hypocritical, judgmental, irrational, etc. Perhaps you have experienced this yourself.

You see, these hard-hearted people feel that if they can make the messenger look bad enough, or silly enough, or perhaps uneducated and not in agreement with scientific "fact"; if they can simply ridicule him enough; it will neutralize the word of the Lord which the messenger is sharing with them. In their warped way of seeing things, they believe that if they can discredit the messenger, that automatically discredits the message as well. Not so, my friends. Tragically, foolish people such as these fail to realize that the person who is speaking to them is only serving as the Lord's vehicle. He is simply a vessel in the hands of the Potter, to be used as the Lord sees fit. Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote in several of his Epistles:

"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?"
Romans 9:20-21, KJV

"Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."
2 Corinthians 5:20, KJV

The simple truth of the matter is that God can use whosoever He sees fit; and as I point out in "The Only Credentials You Need!", He usually chooses those people who are least likely to meet with success in the eyes of the world. Throughout the Bible we find examples of God's chosen man of the hour being harassed, questioned, and worse, by those people who refuse to heed the warnings of the Lord.

The basic attitude of these gainsayers always seems to be the same: "By what right to you say these things to us? What makes you think that God has sent you? God hasn't spoken to you!". Consider, for example, the Prophet Jeremiah, who for a period of forty years faithfully warned the stiff-necked, ancient Israelites to humbly submit themselves to the forces of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon. As you may know, on one particular occasion, Satan raised up a false prophet by the name of Hananiah, in order to contradict Jeremiah. Well, look at what happened to that foolish, deceptive man:

"Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah's neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way . . . Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, Hear now, Hananiah; The LORD hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the LORD. So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month."
Jeremiah 28:10-11, 15-17, KJV

Shortly after the above event, the Lord further exposed the lies of the false prophets of Israel who dared to mock the true messenger of the Lord, when He again spoke through the mouth of the Prophet Jeremiah saying thusly:

"For thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Let not your prophets and your diviners, that be in the midst of you, deceive you, neither hearken to your dreams which ye cause to be dreamed. For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 29:8-9, KJV

In fact, exposing the false prophets of Israel was a common theme throughout the forty years that Jeremiah preached to his people, the Jews. Consider these additional verses:

"Then the LORD said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart. Therefore thus saith the LORD concerning the prophets that prophesy in my name, and I sent them not, yet they say, Sword and famine shall not be in this land; By sword and famine shall those prophets be consumed."
Jeremiah 14:14-15, KJV

"Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 23:32, KJV

Later, when Jeremiah tried to warn the remaining Jews not to flee down into Egypt in order to escape the judgments of the Lord via the hand of the invading Babylonian forces, he was again accused of being a liar and a false prophet, as we see by the following group of verses:

"And it came to pass, that when Jeremiah had made an end of speaking unto all the people all the words of the LORD their God, for which the LORD their God had sent him to them, even all these words, Then spake Azariah the son of Hoshaiah, and Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the proud men, saying unto Jeremiah, Thou speakest falsely: the LORD our God hath not sent thee to say, Go not into Egypt to sojourn there:"
Jeremiah 43:1-2, KJV

As both the Bible and secular history indicate, the forces of King Nebuchadnezzar did indeed go into northern Africa in order to subdue Egypt and her allies. Another good example of God's true Prophet being maligned by the false prophets can be found in the story of King Ahab of Israel, and King Jehoshaphat of Judah. Evil King Ahab had determined to fight against Ben-hadad, the king of Syria whom he had defeated in battle on several previous occasions. Being a righteous king who feared the Lord, Jehoshaphat suggested that they inquire of the Lord first regarding the matter. Upon seeking counsel from about four hundred of Ahab's politically-correct false prophets, notice what they say to king:

"Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king."
1 Kings 22:6, KJV

Not being satisfied with their response, King Jehoshaphat made further inquiry. Ahab then informed Jehoshaphat that there was another Prophet by the name of Micaiah whom he didn't particularly care for, the reason being that he never prophesied anything good for the king. Thus we read:

"And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might enquire of him? And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may enquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so."
1 Kings 22:7-8, KJV

The fact that Micaiah was a true Prophet of God was not the least bit important to King Ahab. He preferred to be lied to by his politically-correct false prophets. He had absolutely no interest in the truth because his mind was already made up. Regardless of what the Lord may have thought concerning the matter, Ahab was determined to go up and fight against Ben-hadad. At first, Micaiah was somewhat hesitant to reveal the truth; and thus he lied to the two kings. However, after being prodded by King Jehoshaphat, he finally told them that Ahab would be defeated and killed. King Ahab's response to this unnerving prophecy was the following:

"And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?"
1 Kings 22:18, KJV

King Ahab's reaction is typical of some people today who likewise hate God's true messengers, and who accuse them of being false prophets of doom and destruction. These people also prefer to be lied to by their phony psychics and New Age false prophets and gurus, who continue to promote the lies of peace and safety and human enhancement to a "feel good" materialistic society. Because they dare to speak the truth, God's messengers of today also face persecution and ridicule, just like Jeremiah, Micaiah and many other true Prophets of old. However, notice what the Apostle Paul wrote regarding the false prophets who prefer to lull everyone to sleep with their words of comfort and well-being:

"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."
1 Thessalonians 5:3, KJV

In the case of Jerusalem, and Israel in general, as some of you will already know, that is precisely what happened with the commencement of what has today become known as the First Jewish-Roman War -- a.k.a. the Great Jewish Revolt -- which began in 66 AD, and ended seven years later in 73 AD. It was in the middle of that terrible war in 70 AD that Jerusalem, including Herod's temple, were utterly destroyed by the Roman legions, under the leadership of General Titus, who was the son of Emperor Vespasian, and a future emperor himself. You will find these historic events discussed in more detail in other of my articles.

In fact, if we make another comparison to ancient Israel before Jerusalem was destroyed by King Nebuchadnezzar, we discover that the people purposely wanted to be deceived by their political and religious leaders. They did not want to hear the truth. So, we must ask ourselves this question: Is it possible that a similar situation exists in the world today in a country which claims to be God's people? Notice the similarities between the words of the Prophet Jeremiah and the Apostle Paul:

"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?"
Jeremiah 5:31, KJV

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables."
2 Timothy 4:3-4, KJV

In the case of King Ahab, Micaiah then went on to reveal how the Lord had purposely sent a lying spirit to speak through the mouths of the four hundred false prophets. Why would the Lord do such a thing? Well, as the old saying goes, a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. The Lord knew that it was useless to try to change Ahab's mind. I am sure He could have if He had really wanted to, but that would have interfered with King Ahab's freedom of personal choice. Thus, just as the Lord had spoken through the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah many years before, He chose Ahab's delusion for him. Consider this verse:

"I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not."
Isaiah 66:4, KJV

After being further abused for daring to speak the truth, just like the Prophet Jeremiah, Micaiah was also thrown into prison. In fulfillment of the words of the Lord's messenger, the story ends with King Ahab being slain in battle; thus verifying the status of Micaiah as a true Prophet of God. Not only was Ahab's blood lapped up by the dogs as it was washed from his chariot, but his evil wife, Queen Jezebel, was also eaten up by dogs a short time later.

So how are we supposed to know who is a true Prophet of God, and who is a deceptive false prophet? As I have pointed out before, the criteria for determining who is a true Prophet of God can be found in the following words which were spoken by Moses in the Book of Deuteronomy, as well as by those words which were spoken by the Prophet Ezekiel some nine hundred years later. We might refer to this as God's "True Prophet Litmus Test". It is really quite simple:

"And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him."
Deuteronomy 18:21-22, KJV

"And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them."
Ezekiel 33:33, KJV

In short, if a certain individual prophesies something, and what he says comes to pass as he declared, then he may be a true Prophet of God. But if not, then simply ignore him. If you are familiar with the Gospel of Matthew, then you may recall that in chapter seven, Jesus likewise admonished His listeners to look at a person's fruit in order to determine whether or not they are a true Prophet of God. Consider the following group of verses:

"Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."
Matthew 7:15-20, KJV

In fact, scattered throughout the New Testament, we find a number of other verses which warn God's people to beware of deceptive false prophets. Following is a small selection of said verses:

"And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many . . . For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect."
Matthew 24:11, 24, KJV

"For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect."
Mark 13:22, KJV

"For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works."
2 Corinthians 11:13-15, KJV

"But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived."
2 Timothy 3:13, KJV

"But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction."
2 Peter 2:1, KJV

"Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world."
1 John 4:1, KJV

The Old Testament stories of Jeremiah and Micaiah are just two examples of how God's true Prophets and Messengers have always been questioned, scoffed at, and vilified by those people to whom they have been sent to warn. You might also be interested in reading the story of the Prophet Elijah and the four hundred and fifty false prophets of Baal, which is found just before the story of Micaiah.

Moving on to the New Testament, by the time the First Century AD had arrived, Israel's self-righteous religious leaders had become so haughty, and so lifted up in their pride, that they thought it a small thing to question and accuse the very Son of God time and time again. Consider this classic example where the Lord left them totally speechless due to His quick thinking and Wisdom of the Spirit:

"And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority? And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things. The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet. And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things."
Matthew 21:23-27, KJV

As many of you will already realize, in our current time, the situation has not changed. If anything, the Devil and his human minions have become much more bold and vicious in their accusations against the true Saints and Messengers of the Most High God. After all, as we are told by both Jesus and John, that vile serpent is the Father of Lies, and the Accuser of the Saints, as we see by these two verses:

". . . He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it."
John 8:44, KJV

"And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night."
Revelation 12:10, KJV

The lesson here is very clear. Whether we are talking about a few thousand years ago, or today, those people who foolishly reject the human vehicles or vessels whom the Lord has chosen to use to warn their perverse generation, need to be careful. They need to remember that they should not be looking at the messengers themselves. Rather, they should be listening to the message that the messengers bear. These enemies of Christ can howl and scream and yell all they want. They can scoff at and ridicule the messenger, and debase and humiliate him in the company of their ungodly friends. But beware; because in the end, the truth of the Word of God will indeed prevail; and God "will do all [his] pleasure, as we can determine by the following group of verses:

"For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven . . . Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever."
Psalm 119:89, 160, KJV

"I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name."
Psalm 138:2, KJV

"God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?"
Numbers 23:19, KJV

"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"
Isaiah 46:9-10, KJV

As we learned earlier, if God declares through one of His anointed Prophets that something is going to happen, then we should expect that it will indeed happen at God's specified time. The fulfillment of said prophecy will not only prove that God is a man of His word, but it will also vindicate the Prophet as well, by demonstrating that he truly heard from the Lord. As Moses wrote in the Book of Numbers, "God is not a man, that he should lie." He is a God of truth who always speaks the truth. Following are some additional verses which confirm this same point:

"He is‭ the Rock, his work ‭is‭ perfect: for all his ways ‭are‭ judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right ‭is‭ he.‭"
Deuteronomy 32:4, KJV

"Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.‭"
Psalm 31:5, KJV

"That he who blesseth himself in the earth shall bless himself in the God of truth; and he that sweareth in the earth shall swear by the God of truth; because the former troubles are forgotten, and because they are hid from mine eyes.‭"
Isaiah 65:16, KJV

"And because I tell ‭you‭ the truth, ye believe me not.‭"
John 8:45, KJV

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
John 14:6, KJV

"God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged."
Romans 3:4, KJV

"In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;"
Titus 1:2, KJV

"Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son."
1 John 2:22, KJV

"He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."
1 John 5:10, KJV

"If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us."
1 John 1:10, KJV

Please go to part two for the continuation of this series.

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