Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics
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Published On :
June 29, 1998
Last Updated :
May 2, 2018
Evil King Ahab And Prophet Micaiah, God Will Choose Our Delusions, Jeremiah And The False Prophets Of Peace, The Sign Of A True Prophet Of God: Fulfilled Prophecy, Modern False Prophets In America, False Sense Of Peace And Safety, Genesis Flood, The Withdrawal Of God's Spirit And Judgment, Our Existence Is The Result Of God's Will, Modern Attitudes And Worldliness, Jesus And Paul Warn Of Sudden Destruction, Child Chastisement And Abandonment, God Will Hide His Face
As you may know, in ancient Israel, the Lord had His true Prophets who prophesied destruction and doom to a rebellious, unrepentant nation, while Satan had his many false prophets who countered them with prophecies of victory, peace and safety. A primary example of this can be found in 1 Kings chapter twenty-two. This story revolves around the death of Ahab, who was one of the rebellious kings of Israel during the years of the divided kingdom. At that time, Jehoshaphat, who was the king of the southern kingdom of Judah who ruled from Jerusalem, went to see Ahab, who ruled Israel to the north from Samaria.
As earlier chapters reveal, the Lord was very upset with Ahab and his wicked wife, Queen Jezebel, due to their many evildoings, such as persecuting the Prophet Elijah. In the story, Ahab reveals his plans to attack Ben-hadad, the king of Syria. King Jehoshaphat asks Ahab if he had first sought the Lord concerning the matter. In order to appease King Jehoshaphat so that he would join him in the planned battle at Ramoth-gilead, Ahab calls for his prophets. What did these politically-correct, false emissaries tell the king? Consider the following verses:
"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
King Jehoshaphat obviously felt that something was amiss with this prediction, so he makes further inquiry. Ahab then informs him that there is another Prophet by the name of Micaiah, whom he doesn't particularly care for because he never prophesies anything good for the king, as we see here:
"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
It did not matter to Ahab that Micaiah was a true Prophet of God. He preferred to be lied to by his false prophets due to the fact that his mind was already made up. Regardless of what the Lord thought, Ahab was determined to fight against Ben-hadad. At first, Micaiah was very hesitant to reveal the truth to Ahab; perhaps because he feared for his life. But, after being prodded by King Jehoshaphat, Micaiah finally told them that Ahab would be defeated and killed, as we see by the following verses:
"And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace . . . Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left. And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him. And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so. Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee."
1 Kings 22:17, 19-23, KJV
Naturally, King Ahab wasn't the least bit pleased that this one lone Prophet of God would dare to insult and contradict his four hundred politically-correct prophets by calling them liars, and then prophesying defeat for the king. Thus it should come as no surprise that Ahab rejected the words of this true Prophet of God by saying the following:
". . . Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?"
1 Kings 22:18, KJV
Because he was faithful to obey the Lord instead of worrying about the opinions of men, Micaiah was cast into prison by this evil king of Israel. Ahab and Jehoshaphat then went up to war against the king of Syria. During the course of the battle, one of King Ben-hadad's archers shot an arrow up into the air by chance. In precise fulfillment of Micaiah's prophecy, the arrow found its mark; and Ahab was mortally wounded and died that same day. As had been prophesied, Ahab's blood was licked up by the dogs when it was washed out of his chariot. Later, his evil wife, Queen Jezebel, was also eaten up by dogs. Thus, Micaiah was vindicated as a true Prophet of God, while the four hundred false prophets were exposed, precisely as Moses had admonished hundreds of years before when the Lord spoke through him saying:
"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
At this point, some of you might be wondering why the Lord would purposely allow someone to be deceived, even to the point of sending one of His own ministering spirits to bring about the deception. Perhaps the answer can be found in an old proverb which states that a man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still. In other words, the Lord knew that it was useless to try to change King Ahab's mind. Just like stubborn King Saul, Ahab was determined to do what he wanted to do.
No doubt the Lord could have easily forced the situation, but that would have interfered with Ahab's free will and personal choice. Thus, the Lord gave the king exactly what he wanted, and chose Ahab's delusion for him by sending the spirit to lie through the mouths of his four hundred false prophets. This is why we find the Lord saying the following through the mouth of the Prophet Isaiah:
"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
In the article "The Office of a Prophet", another classic example I mention concerning a true Prophet of God being persecuted and ridiculed by the false ones, is that of the Prophet Jeremiah. From the very beginning of his prophetic ministry, due to his sharply-worded message which pierced the hearts of the wicked, Jeremiah was not well-received by his idolatrous countrymen. Unlike the politically-correct, false prophets of peace of yesterday and today, he was not afraid to speak the truth; despite the persecution which it brought upon himself. Consider the following harsh words which were spoken by this fiery Prophet of the Lord:
"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
"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
"For they prophesy falsely unto you in my name: I have not sent them, saith the LORD."
Jeremiah 29:9, KJV
For a full forty years, the Prophet Jeremiah faithfully warned the Israelites to humbly submit themselves to the Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, and to accept the invasion as a chastisement from the Lord. But, as had occurred with Micaiah years before, Satan raised up his false prophets who ridiculed, persecuted and contradicted Jeremiah. Consider, for example, the following incident concerning the false prophet Hananiah:
"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
This wasn't the only time that Jeremiah had confrontations with the false prophets of Israel. Shortly after the above event occurred, the Lord further exposed the demonic delusion of these deceptive liars when He spoke through Jeremiah saying the following:
"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
As the Apostle Paul would write over six hundred years later in his Epistle to the Hebrews, the Word of the Lord is like a powerful, sharp sword which pierces the very hearts of wicked and rebellious men, as we see here:
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12, KJV
Returning to the Book of Jeremiah, later, a foolish plan was developed whereby some of the rebellious Jews thought to escape from the Babylonian forces by fleeing into Egypt. In other words, they were trying to flee from the chastisements of the Lord. Jeremiah again tried to warn them not to do this as it would not fare well with them. However, once again he was accused of being a liar and a false prophet by the very people he was attempting to save. Consider these 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
Of course, we know from both the Bible, as well as from secular history, that all of the words of the Prophet Jeremiah came to pass exactly as they had been stated. For in approximately 587 B.C., Jerusalem was indeed invaded and destroyed by the forces of Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar. Thus, just like Micaiah years before, Jeremiah was likewise vindicated as a true Prophet of God; thus fulfilling the words of his fellow Prophet, Ezekiel, who was inspired by the Lord to speak the following:
"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
This attitude of the ancient Israelites is very typical of some people today -- such as many hard-hearted Americans -- who likewise hate God's true messengers, and accuse them of being false prophets of gloom and doom. Despite this verbal, and sometimes physical, persecution, rather than go along with all of the other false prophets of peace and safety of this modern era, who strive to be politically correct, and who paint a rosy picture of the future, the Lord's true messengers are not afraid to speak the whole counsel of God; even if they are words of coming destruction and judgment.
In contrast to this, consider what the Apostle Paul wrote regarding the Jewish false prophets who would deceitfully lull their countrymen to sleep with their false words of comfort, peace and safety, and well-being, even though their very own destruction would soon be upon them:
"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
It is because of these examples that I have given, as well as the verses which I have quoted, that I personally am greatly concerned about all of these spiritual leaders in the United States of America, who are currently speaking of a second day of Pentecost, of some coming American Prophet Elijah, and of a time of great revival in America in which many Apostles and Prophets will arise and inspire people to repent of their sins and return to the Lord. In my view, all of this talk seems totally contrary to what we find in the Scriptures. While they speak of peace and safety, and lull Christians to sleep with their talk of a great revival, and blessings upon America, the Bible paints a very different picture. I am reminded of the following verse that is found in the Book of Genesis:
"And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."
Genesis 6:3, KJV
In the previous verse, the word "strive" is derived from the Hebrew word "diyn", or "duwn". This word means to judge, to contend, or to plead with someone. In this particular case, if we consider what the rest of the verse has to say, as well as what happened right after this in the Book of Genesis, I believe that the appropriate meaning in this verse, is to plead. In other words, it appears that what the Lord may be saying, is that He was slowly running out of patience with the wickedness of man; and that the time was soon coming when He would simply withdraw Himself from the Earth, in order to execute His righteous judgments upon the wicked. You may recall that in the very first chapter of the Book of Genesis, we find the following verse:
"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
Genesis 1:2, KJV
Whereas God's Spirit had previously moved close to the Earth in order to create life, with the above statement that is found in Genesis chapter six, it appears that the Lord is saying that He would eventually stop pleading with humankind to repent, that He would withdraw Himself, and thus remove His life-giving Spirit -- that is, the breath of life -- and that He would eventually destroy everything that He had previously created. Some people -- myself included -- are of the opinion that Genesis 6:3 is stating that the Flood was going to occur exactly one hundred and twenty years after this statement was made; thus fulfilling the Lord's Words. The main point to consider is that when it finally came time for judgment, the Lord withdrew Himself and His Spirit, and that is why we are told that everything with breath died, as we see here:
"And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die . . . All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died."
Genesis 6:17, 7:22, KJV
This goes hand in hand with something that the Apostle Paul said in Acts chapter seventeen regarding our very existence being the result of God's Will when he stood on Mars' Hill and preached to the ancient Greeks in Athens:
"For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring."
Acts 17:28, KJV
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul dwelt on this very same topic when he penned the following lines as well:
"For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."
Colossians 1:16-17, KJV
What does this have to do with our current discussion? Quite simply, I believe that there are attitudes in the world today which match the attitudes which existed in the world during the days of the Patriarch Noah, just prior to the Flood. As I point out in articles such as "Selfishness: A Prophesied Sign of the Endtime", today, there are many people who are living selfish, spiritually-blind lives. They are totally indulging themselves in the things of the world, and the things of the flesh. The Apostle John perfectly described this kind of decadent life when he admonished the Lord's children with the following words in his first Epistle:
"Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world."
1 John 2:15-16, KJV
As we saw earlier with the verse from Paul's first Epistle to the Thessalonians, the destruction of the wicked of his generation would come quickly, just as it likewise came very quickly for the evil people of Noah's generation as well many centuries earlier. Of course, the Apostle Paul was only reiterating what Jesus Himself had sternly warned about in the following verses:
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed."
Luke 17:26-30, KJV
Thus, exactly as the high priest Caiaphas had feared in the following verses, and exactly as Jesus and the Apostle Paul had warned, in 70 AD the nation of Israel felt the full wrath of God when the Romans, under Vespasian, and then under his son Titus, made a full invasion of Israel, and destroyed both Jerusalem and the temple, and carried away captive thousands of Jews into other areas of the Roman Empire:
"Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not."
John 11:47-50, KJV
Taking into consideration these sobering examples from the past, where people were going on business as usual, totally unaware of the fact that God had abandoned them, and that severe judgment and destruction would soon fall upon them, is it possible that our current world is living in a similar state of blind denial as well? Is it possible that contrary to outward appearances where so many deceived Christians talk about a coming spiritual revival, that just as God abandoned the Earth during the great Flood in the days of the Patriarch Noah, He -- and thus His Spirit -- have for the most part abandoned the ungodly people of the world in these current days as well?
This is not to say that He has abandoned us completely. After all, the Lord was surely with Noah and His family in the Ark. He was also with the true Believers during the First Century as well when the false Jewish religious system was destroyed. So we can assume that God remains with His true Church today as well. However, what about what is happening in the modern, false church where all of these strange manifestations have been occurring?
To help you to better understand this concept, consider how we act at times as parents when we are upset with one of our children. Let's face it; kids are kids. Sometimes they do things which so totally irritate and upset us, that we don't even want them around us; because we are afraid of what we might do to them in our heated moment of anger. So what do we do? Well, we might send the child to his room in order to get him out of our sight while we think of an appropriate punishment.
In a way, this act of sending the child to his room is like a temporary form of abandonment. We haven't really abandoned him, but we want to let him think that we have, so that he will seriously consider the gravity of whatever the wrongful act was which brought down our wrath upon him. If that child has been brought up correctly, if he has any reverence for his parents, while he is waiting in his room, knowing that judgment is soon in coming, he is going to be fretting quite a bit. He is going to be seriously thinking about what he has done wrong. He will probably even be thinking of words to say in order to make things right once the chastisement has been meted out. As I explain in the article "Beholding the Evil and the Good", this act of temporary abandonment is fully supported by the Scriptures. God does this with His own children when they have rebelled against Him. Allow me to share the following verses with you from that article:
"We have transgressed and have rebelled: thou hast not pardoned. Thou hast covered with anger, and persecuted us: thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. Thou hast covered thyself with a cloud, that our prayer should not pass through."
Lamentations 3:42-44, KJV
"Then my anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide my face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall befall them; so that they will say in that day, Are not these evils come upon us, because our God is not among us? And I will surely hide my face in that day for all the evils which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods."
Deuteronomy 31:17-18, KJV
"When he giveth quietness, who then can make trouble? and when he hideth his face, who then can behold him? whether it be done against a nation, or against a man only:"
Job 34:29, KJV
"Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings."
Micah 3:4, KJV
"And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith."
Deuteronomy 32:20, KJV
"[[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.]] How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?"
Psalms 13:1, KJV
"Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation."
Psalms 27:9, KJV
"LORD, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled."
Psalms 30:7, KJV
"And hide not thy face from thy servant; for I am in trouble: hear me speedily."
Psalms 69:17, KJV
"Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily."
Psalms 102:2, KJV
"Hear me speedily, O LORD: my spirit faileth: hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit."
Psalms 143:7, KJV
"For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee."
Isaiah 54:7, KJV
"Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD."
Ezekiel 39:29, KJV
If you are interested in my views concerning Jesus's words on the Cross when He said "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?" -- that is, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" -- I encourage you to read the aforementioned article. The main point I wish to emphasize with these verses is that in His moment of anger, while He metes out His judgments, God does indeed abandon His rebellious children. In fact, as in the case of ancient Israel, quite often He abandons them years before the judgments even begin to fall. In American slang, we refer to this as allowing one to "stew in his juice".
In other words, God sometimes allows people to suffer in their sins for a while so that they really learn the lesson that He is trying to teach them. He lets Satan buffet them about a bit in order to sober them up. The Lord simply turns His Face away, He withdraws Himself, and His Spirit, as if behind a cloud, even though we are whining for help. But don't worry; because He is a good Father; and He also knows when enough is enough. If you doubt that God can even remove His Spirit, consider the desperate plea of King David during a time in his life when he greatly sinned against the Lord:
"Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me."
Psalms 51:11, KJV
Please go to part four for the continuation of this series.
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