Sunday, November 4, 2018

Reflection - God's Call - True and false prophet

Source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 1, Question 2, Page 16.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012


Reflect on the characteristics of a true prophet as spelt out in the Bible.
PHOTO: Reflect on the characteristics of a true prophet as spelt out in the Bible.
Under the Mosaic Law of God, there were two tests to check if a prophet was a true messenger of God. First, if he had prophesied that something would happen, what he said must take place.

Second, a true prophet would always point people to God, and nothing or no one else.

Jesus, in warning His listeners against false prophets, described how difficult it was to spot them if one focused only on outward actions. One had to look deeper to discern whether a prophet was true or not. He said, "They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them" (Matthew 7:15-16).

We can thus discern a true prophet by examining his message as well as his character: both his actions and his attitude should be the subject of our scrutiny. It is possible to show outwardly pious actions, while being inwardly far from God.


Was Jonah a true prophet?
Jonah certainly passed the first two tests. What he prophesied did occur: Israel restored her lost borders "in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher" (2 Kings 14:25). And when he preached to Nineveh later, its people would repent and turn to Yahweh, and not to other gods.

But what was Jonah's character like? Jonah was not an idolater, nor did he tempt others to practise idolatry. While he had serious shortcomings - as further testing would reveal - we will see that he still demonstrated a heart of repentance and obedience. More importantly, Jonah showed obedience in delivering the good news to Jeroboam II, even though this may have made him sound like a false prophet seeking to flatter his audience.

Jonah, a godly prophet, brought God's message of good news to Jeroboam II, even though he might have cringed at the idea. Only an unquestioning trust in God's sovereignty, justice, and wisdom would enable a true prophet to deliver such a message.

It is also possible that, like other prophets, Jonah had prophesied a longer message for Israel, but this has not been recorded. Perhaps Jonah's prediction of the restoration of Israel's borders also formed part of a longer message that included harsh statements, but his listeners chose to focus on the pleasant parts. If this were indeed the case, Jonah's credentials as a true prophet would have been even stronger, for he would have demonstrated willingness to deliver both judgment and blessings without flinching.


How can you tell a true prophet from a false one?
For a prophet to exercise his ministry, the word of the Lord has to come to him. But what if a man claimed to be a prophet even though he had not received the word of God? He would then be a false prophet - and there were many such men in Israel.

Through the prophet Jeremiah, God expressed His displeasure regarding false prophets, not only because they dealt in falsehood, but also because they caused serious spiritual damage to those who bought their lies.

Today we have the Bible as the complete revelation of God’s Word to the Church and this has come through Jewish apostles and prophets. The Church is "neither Jew nor Gentile" and after the Jewish Apostles passed away there were no more prophets of God. John concluded his Revelation to the Church with the warning: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book (Revelation 22:18).

So it is clear that prophets were Jews, specially chosen by God to communicate His message to men, and there is no need for more Jewish prophets in this Church age for John was the last; he wrote God’s final word to the Church and warned against adding anything to that message.

Anyone who claims to have new direct revelation from God is therefore a false prophet.

After the Church is removed at the Rapture, Israel will again be God’s witness on earth and there will be two Jewish prophets (Revelation 11:1-13). Joel also prophesied of the Tribulation period that when Israel repents and the Holy Spirit is poured out on the nation, "YOUR sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions" (Joel 2:28). So, prophets belong to Israel.


How might a person be mistaken in what God has told him, or in being sent by God at all?
God compared a prophet who relied on his own dreams (which could easily have been caused by the previous night's dinner!) with a true prophet who conveyed His solid, reliable word. One was like straw, which could not satisfy human hunger; the other was like grain, which would sustain life and provide strength.

Not only did false prophets rely on self-concocted dreams, but they also plagiarised each other's messages. "I am against the prophet who steal from one another words supposedly from me," God said in Jeremiah 23:30. A man surrounded by false prophets would find himself in an echo chamber of falsehood, in which lies would ricochet from one false prophet to another.

It has been observed that if a lie is repeated enough times, it will eventually be mistaken for the truth. We can thus understand why God was so deeply against false prophets. Their messages were lies, they were not sent by God, and they did terrible damage.


How can you tell?
False prophets learned to milk the crowd with nice-sounding words. They were experts in bringing soothing messages such as "You will have peace" or "No harm will come to you" -  even when the people were in fact facing impending judgement (Jeremiah 23:16-18). They gave in to the temptation to sweeten the hard message.

Long ago there were seventeen Old Testament prophets: Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. In the Bible, true prophets were Jews from Israel, specially chosen by God to communicate His message to men, and there is no need for more Jewish prophets in this Church age for John was the last. (Most probably, John the Baptist was considered the last prophet, but most other Christian churches deny that was or will be a definite last prophet. Probably, after the rapture, then there will be prophets again, prophecy continues, and a debate continues. . .).

Meanwhile God Speaks to Us Today through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said: "The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26). So the Holy Spirit leads, teaches, and guides believers today but He does not give us Fresh revelation from God.

What Then is a False Prophet? In this Church age, a false prophet is not just a false teacher but he is a person claiming to have received direct communication from God by vision, dream, or a burden or by hearing God’s voice speak to him. False prophets claim authority, claim a special relationship with God; a special calling, or anointing from God to communicate a NEW message to the world and the Church.
Picture posted by Mark Sengele, Concordia Publishing House

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8UU_t38mIu0/W95oIm8NylI/AAAAAAAAr20/ab0CahwJj68t1Bfblm1FCDLLiYktmrERQCLcBGAs/s1600/cph_30240958230.jpg
https://seedsoffaith.cph.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/cph_30240958230.jpg
https://seedsoffaith.cph.org/2017/09/21/old-testament-4-lesson-4-elijah-and-the-prophets-of-baal/



Reflect on the characteristics of a true prophet as spelt out in the Bible. Was Jonah a true prophet? How can you tell a true prophet from a false one? How might a person be mistaken in what God has told him, or in being sent by God at all? How can you tell?

Reflect on the characteristics of a true prophet as spelt out in the Bible.

Discerning a True Prophet [1]
Under the Mosaic Law of God, there were two tests to check if a prophet was a true messenger of God. First, if he had prophesied that something would happen, what he said must take place.

You may say to yourselves, "How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?" If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed (Deuteronomy 18:21-22).



Discerning a True Prophet


PHOTO: Discerning a True Prophet
Under the Mosaic Law of God, there were two tests to check if a prophet was a true messenger of God. First, if he had prophesied that something would happen, what he said must take place.
Picture posted by Ambassador for Jesus on Sunday, 24 May 2015

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rJparxB6FMU/W95oFiDHnrI/AAAAAAAAr2Q/jKjPyzAybPk7AFNppNYkpevs9WdIi8brACLcBGAs/s1600/0437%2BDomingo%2B27-06-10%2B-%2B01.jpg
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ygwded5z5o8/VWJrH9i8ZRI/AAAAAAAAyUU/xNGkuXByigQ/s1600/0437%2BDomingo%2B27-06-10%2B-%2B01.jpg
https://ambassadorforjesus.blogspot.com/2015/05/one-majority.html
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/505951339364784481/?lp=true



Second, a true prophet would always point people to God, and nothing or no one else:

If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).



If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, 'Let us follow other gods' (gods you have not known) 'and let us worship them,' you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).


PHOTO: If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a sign or wonder, and if the sign or wonder spoken of takes place, and the prophet says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer (Deuteronomy 13:1-3).
Picture posted by Quora - Fire Girl Keith Widmann

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-aC1Kh5fUzBE/W95oKzFeN1I/AAAAAAAAr3Q/rgBreP9Ou4w4sYZpU66MFsn07M45wdetQCLcBGAs/s1600/main-qimg-6ef1fdbb334985d1207306da840a1dd3.jpg
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-6ef1fdbb334985d1207306da840a1dd3 - (main-qimg-6ef1fdbb334985d1207306da840a1dd3.jpg)
https://www.quora.com/I-m-really-pretty-but-I-have-gained-a-lot-of-weight-How-can-I-stay-motivated-to-lose-weight-for-longer-than-2-weeks


An accurate prediction must also be accompanied by godliness. A man who claims to be a prophet must be assessed not only on the accuracy of his message, but also the testimony of his lifestyle. Jesus, in warning His listeners against false prophets, described how difficult it was to spot them if one focused only on outward actions. One had to look deeper to discern whether a prophet was true or not. He said, "They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them" (Matthew 7:15-16).



One had to look deeper to discern whether a prophet was true or not.


PHOTO: One had to look deeper to discern whether a prophet was true or not. He said, "They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them" (Matthew 7:15-16).
Picture posted by ~laPamela on 11 August 2018
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8CZVvLRmNb0/W95oJkTM1VI/AAAAAAAAr3A/GW7VpiZ-kPMGyhEeudLFl_Yf5CqrRhFuwCLcBGAs/s1600/false_prophets-1050x600.jpg
https://godhelp.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/false_prophets-1050x600.jpg
https://godhelp.net/prophetic-liars/



We can thus discern a true prophet by examining his message as well as his character: both his actions and his attitude should be the subject of our scrutiny. It is possible to show outwardly pious actions, while being inwardly far from God.


Was Jonah a true prophet?
Since Jonah's message was relatively easy to hear, we may be led to ask: was Jonah himself a false prophet?

Jonah certainly passed the first two tests. What he prophesied did occur: Israel restored her lost borders "in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher" (2 Kings 14:25). And when he preached to Nineveh later, its people would repent and turn to Yahweh, and not to other gods.



Was Jonah a true prophet?


PHOTO: Was Jonah a true prophet?
Jonah certainly passed the first two tests. What he prophesied did occur: Israel restored her lost borders "in accordance with the word of the LORD, the God of Israel, spoken through his servant Jonah son of Amittai, the prophet from Gath Hepher" (2 Kings 14:25). And when he preached to Nineveh later, its people would repent and turn to Yahweh, and not to other gods.
Picture posted by Chaim & Laura on 11 December 2014 - Jonah running away from God
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rcfcQSZc0Qc/W95oKruDleI/AAAAAAAAr3I/X2x30q-mqq4wpP3GL6lZwHghgDx7HN2xACLcBGAs/s1600/jonah11.jpg
https://mballestero.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/jonah1.jpg
http://www.chaimbentorah.com/tag/jonah/



But what was Jonah's character like? Jonah was not an idolater, nor did he tempt others to practise idolatry. While he had serious shortcomings - as further testing would reveal - we will see that he still demonstrated a heart of repentance and obedience. More importantly, Jonah showed obedience in delivering the good news to Jeroboam II, even though this may have made him sound like a false prophet seeking to flatter his audience. Was this because he understood the heart of God?



But what was Jonah's character like?


PHOTO: What was Jonah's character like? Jonah was not an idolater, nor did he tempt others to practise idolatry. While he had serious shortcomings, he still demonstrated a heart of repentance and obedience.
Picture posted by Jesse Romero, Catholic Author • Radio Host • Evangelist, CatholicWebsite.com on 16 August 2017
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-21eY0K08oao/W95oKwGb9SI/AAAAAAAAr3M/xqnYgqcdIHQjKgXvR9YTx29H5MHGN8sWACLcBGAs/s1600/jonah_swallowed_by_a_whale.jpg
https://jesseromero.com/sites/jesseromero/files/styles/hosted_core_wide/public/uploads/images/jonah_swallowed_by_a_whale.jpg?itok=m3RCIMLC
https://jesseromero.com/blog/jonah-swallowed-whale-really



Justice and Grace: Jonah Understands [1]
Why did God send a sweetened message through Jonah? Why did He bless Israel with prosperity, even though she had turned away from Him? The Bible gives some helpful background information:

The LORD had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering; there was no one to help them.  And since the Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash (2 Kings 14:26-27).



Why did God send a sweetened message through Jonah?


PHOTO: Why did God send a sweetened message through Jonah?
The LORD had seen how bitterly everyone in Israel, whether slave or free, was suffering; there was no one to help them.  And since the Lord had not said he would blot out the name of Israel from under heaven, he saved them by the hand of Jeroboam son of Jehoash (2 Kings 14:26-27).
Picture posted by Ray Joseph Cormier
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PR0Z_RdA9xY/W95oJ4jGruI/AAAAAAAAr3E/L7pBIUa0caIhL0dEnXJ2LXikQ1DpwkN9wCLcBGAs/s1600/jonah-in-nineveh-jon-3.jpg
https://ray032.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/jonah-in-nineveh-jon-3.jpg?w=662
https://ray032.com/tag/middle-east/page/2/



God ruled His people with both justice and compassion. He poured out His wrath upon them for stubbornly rejecting His love and laws. but He also lamented, "How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I hand you over, Israel?" (Hosea 11:8). As the apostle Paul reminds us, God is both stern and kind (Romans 11:22). He is both a God of justice and a God of grace, remembering mercy in His wrath (Habakkuk 3:2).



God ruled His people with both justice and compassion.


PHOTO: God ruled His people with both justice and compassion. As the apostle Paul reminds us, God is both stern and kind (Romans 11:22). He is both a God of justice and a God of grace, remembering mercy in His wrath (Habakkuk 3:2).
Picture posted by Ranfia‏ @ranfia on 9 January 2016
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-a79n01EY-qQ/W95oHkoYk8I/AAAAAAAAr2o/yPuHJa_HhB0pdkLKeyzKUNOnW2JFVJGOwCLcBGAs/s1600/CYU2OdfUoAA1luW.jpg
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CYU2OdfUoAA1luW.jpg
https://twitter.com/ranfia/status/679194663350239237



Perhaps that is why Jonah, a godly prophet, brought God's message of good news to Jeroboam II, even though he might have cringed at the idea. Only an unquestioning trust in God's sovereignty, justice, and wisdom would enable a true prophet to deliver such a message.

It is also possible that, like other prophets, Jonah had prophesied a longer message for Israel, but this has not been recorded. The prophet Joel, for example, strongly condemned the sins of the people of Judah and urged them to repent, but also brought comforting words - that God would drive out their invaders, give them new oil and wine, and restore what they had lost during the years of famine and war (Joel 2:18-27). If the book of Joel had recorded only had good, comforting words for the people, when in truth he also had harsh, disturbing things to say.


It is also possible that, like other prophets, Jonah had prophesied a longer message for Israel, but this has not been recorded.
PHOTO: It is also possible that, like other prophets, Jonah had prophesied a longer message for Israel, but this has not been recorded. Perhaps Jonah's prediction of the restoration of Israel's borders also formed part of a longer message that included harsh statements, but his listeners chose to focus on the pleasant parts.
Picture posted by Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lGazpKzzriQ/VkXer1QYNzI/AAAAAAAAiMg/SICHKCuVQSw/s1600/155.jpg
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/mp/r1/lp-e/jd/2006/155
http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/pc/r1/lp-e/1200276894/1/0
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2015/11/reflection-approval-of-good-workman.html



Perhaps Jonah's prediction of the restoration of Israel's borders also formed part of a longer message that included harsh statements, but his listeners chose to focus on the pleasant parts. If this were indeed the case, Jonah's credentials as a true prophet would have been even stronger, for he would have demonstrated willingness to deliver both judgment and blessings without flinching.


How can you tell a true prophet from a false one?
Israel's False Prophets [1]
For a prophet to exercise his ministry, the word of the Lord has to come to him. But what if a man claimed to be a prophet even though he had not received the word of God? He would then be a false prophet - and there were many such men in Israel.



For a prophet to exercise his ministry, the word of the Lord has to come to him.


PHOTO: For a prophet to exercise his ministry, the word of the Lord has to come to him. But if a man claimed to be a prophet even though he had not received the word of God, he would then be a false prophet.
Picture posted by snappygoat.com
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uLbe75BBg78/W95oLxG5KpI/AAAAAAAAr3c/71wvkUlHBWg2eNc15McAlaf-za6yT6aJQCLcBGAs/s1600/woman-praying-believing-god-person-571715.jpg
https://snappygoat.com/o/d9fd3747466f1df88b6b27ad17f7f3b0e9257517/woman-praying-believing-god-person-571715.jpg
https://snappygoat.com/free-public-domain-images-woman_praying_believing_god/sBvnphZ-h0UYTY0JmOHuWGgZkU2PVGYNNi-UUKlvrqY.html#,0,0.d9fd3747466f1df88b6b27ad17f7f3b0e9257517



Through the prophet Jeremiah, God expressed His displeasure regarding false prophets, not only because they dealt in falsehood, but also because they caused serious spiritual damage to those who bought their lies.

There is a difference between a false prophet and a false teacher. A false teacher wrongly interprets the Bible but a false prophet claims to have new direct revelation from God. [2]

Today we have the Bible as the complete revelation of God’s Word to the Church and this has come through Jewish apostles and prophets. The Church is "neither Jew nor Gentile" and after the Jewish Apostles passed away there were no more prophets of God. John concluded his Revelation to the Church with the warning: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book (Revelation 22:18).

So it is clear that prophets were Jews, specially chosen by God to communicate His message to men, and there is no need for more Jewish prophets in this Church age for John was the last; he wrote God’s final word to the Church and warned against adding anything to that message.



Today we have the Bible as the complete revelation of God’s Word to the Church and this has come through Jewish apostles and prophets.


PHOTO: Today we have the Bible as the complete revelation of God’s Word to the Church and this has come through Jewish apostles and prophets. After the Jewish Apostles passed away there were no more prophets of God. John concluded his Revelation to the Church with the warning: If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book (Revelation 22:18).
Picture posted by Awaken Church - God’s Final Words - Revelation 22:18-21
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-culJ2fFchiM/W95oG87AYVI/AAAAAAAAr2g/avjDYdskEW8i32QZbf97RdeJPCuQK9zfQCLcBGAs/s1600/412964548_1280x720.jpg
https://i.vimeocdn.com/video/412964548_1280x720.jpg
https://vimeo.com/59420065



After the Church is removed at the Rapture, Israel will again be God’s witness on earth and there will be two Jewish prophets (Revelation 11:1-13). Joel also prophesied of the Tribulation period that when Israel repents and the Holy Spirit is poured out on the nation, "YOUR sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions" (Joel 2:28). Prophets belong to Israel!



Without any more true prophet in this Church age, how does God Speak to Us Today?


PHOTO: Without any more true prophet in this Church age, how does God Speak to Us Today? Jesus said: "The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26). So the Holy Spirit leads, teaches, and guides believers today but He does not give us Fresh revelation from God.
Picture posted by Living For Christ on 20 April 2016
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https://i.ytimg.com/vi/F91KWwTuZPE/maxresdefault.jpg
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F91KWwTuZPE



How might a person be mistaken in what God has told him, or in being sent by God at all?
"I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say, 'I had a dream! I had a dream!' How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully. For what has straw to do with grain?" declares the Lord. "Is not my word like fire," declares the Lord, "and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?" (Jeremiah 23:25-29).

God compared a prophet who relied on his own dreams (which could easily have been caused by the previous night's dinner!) with a true prophet who conveyed His solid, reliable word. One was like straw, which could not satisfy human hunger; the other was like grain, which would sustain life and provide strength.



God compared a prophet who relied on his own dreams (which could easily have been caused by the previous night's dinner!) with a true prophet who conveyed His solid, reliable word.


PHOTO: God compared a prophet who relied on his own dreams (which could easily have been caused by the previous night's dinner!) with a true prophet who conveyed His solid, reliable word. One was like straw, which could not satisfy human hunger; the other was like grain, which would sustain life and provide strength.
Artist: John Pitre
Picture posted by nevsepic.com

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-EPJuz7Cgwvk/W95oF-owQsI/AAAAAAAAr2U/HQt4gsgemuoRj6bTuUzj_Tk5gxzVp60hACLcBGAs/s1600/1316645169_kb_pitre_john-icarus_www.nevsepic.com.ua.jpg
http://nevsepic.com.ua/uploads/posts/2011-09/1316645169_kb_pitre_john-icarus_www.nevsepic.com.ua.jpg
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Not only did false prophets rely on self-concocted dreams, but they also plagiarised each other's messages. "I am against the prophet who steal from one another words supposedly from me," God said in Jeremiah 23:30. A man surrounded by false prophets would find himself in an echo chamber of falsehood, in which lies would ricochet from one false prophet to another.



Not only did false prophets rely on self-concocted dreams, but they also plagiarised each other's messages.


PHOTO: Not only did false prophets rely on self-concocted dreams, but they also plagiarised each other's messages. A man surrounded by false prophets would find himself in an echo chamber of falsehood, in which lies would ricochet from one false prophet to another.
Picture posted by Charles Battig, M.D. on 09 June 2014 - Beware of false Prophets
https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_w-aI6ptdWI/W95oL3_s0aI/AAAAAAAAr3Y/Ki2quRTvcOM3Tj0vIJUBjhdfgug8zk_nwCLcBGAs/s1600/mgdn92h.jpg
https://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/mgdn92h.jpg
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/06/09/beware-of-false-prophets/



It has been observed that if a lie is repeated enough times, it will eventually be mistaken for the truth. We can thus understand why God was so deeply against false prophets. Their messages were lies, they were not sent by God, and they did terrible damage. He said that they "lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them" (Jeremiah 23:32).



It has been observed that if a lie is repeated enough times, it will eventually be mistaken for the truth.


PHOTO: It has been observed that if a lie is repeated enough times, it will eventually be mistaken for the truth. We can thus understand why God was so deeply against false prophets. Their messages were lies, they were not sent by God, and they did terrible damage.
Picture saved by Anna L to Lobão 4
https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-XUpu4rb-hPQ/W95oIZjzy2I/AAAAAAAAr2w/i4Ly9CtZgWEoFUvtAg-dWV1pU-p9HV8BgCLcBGAs/s1600/c769d301edbd6ccd9b3c3dbe441f87c6.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c7/69/d3/c769d301edbd6ccd9b3c3dbe441f87c6.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/477733472949402352/



How can you tell?
False prophets also learned to milk the crowd with nice-sounding words. They were experts in bringing soothing messages such as "You will have peace" or "No harm will come to you" -  even when the people were in fact facing impending judgement (Jeremiah 23:16-18). They gave in to the temptation to sweeten the hard message.



False prophets also learned to milk the crowd with nice-sounding words.


PHOTO: False prophets also learned to milk the crowd with nice-sounding words. They gave in to the temptation to sweeten the hard message.
Picture posted by Edward Greenberg and Jack Reznicki
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IpxYr_axE-8/W95oH_bp0lI/AAAAAAAAr2s/XHL-27x1zKkg7hLkanIFv6Id6pISe_IPACLcBGAs/s1600/StopCaution-2.jpg
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Long ago there were seventeen Old Testament prophets: Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. [3] In the Bible, true prophets were Jews from Israel, specially chosen by God to communicate His message to men, and there is no need for more Jewish prophets in this Church age for John was the last. [2] (Most probably, John the Baptist was considered the last prophet, but most other Christian churches deny that was or will be a definite last prophet. Probably, after the rapture, then there will be prophets again, prophecy continues, and a debate continues. . .). [4]



Long ago there were seventeen Old Testament prophets.


PHOTO: Long ago there were seventeen Old Testament prophets. In the Bible, true prophets were Jews from Israel, specially chosen by God to communicate His message to men, and there is no need for more Jewish prophets in this Church age for John was the last. [2] (Most probably, John the Baptist was considered the last prophet, but most other Christian churches deny that was or will be a definite last prophet. Probably, after the rapture, then there will be prophets again, prophecy continues, and a debate continues. . .). [4]
Picture posted by Salvador Dali39s
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So if without any more true prophet in this Church age, how does God Speak to Us Today? Jesus said: "The Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." (John 14:26). So the Holy Spirit leads, teaches, and guides believers today but He does not give us Fresh revelation from God. [2]


 So if without any more true prophet in this Church age, how does God Speak to Us Today?


PHOTO: So if without any more true prophet in this Church age, how does God Speak to Us Today? The  Holy Spirit will leads, teaches, and guides believers today but He does not give us Fresh revelation from God. (John 14:26).
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Every Spirit-filled preacher and every believer in this Church age is conscious of the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit. We see His hand in circumstances and when He brings to our remembrance verses of scripture just when we need it. This is a real relationship with God day by day and moment by moment.


 Real relationship with God day by day and moment by moment


PHOTO: Real relationship with God day by day and moment by moment
Every Spirit-filled preacher and every believer in this Church age is conscious of the leading and teaching of the Holy Spirit. We see His hand in circumstances and when He brings to our remembrance verses of scripture just when we need it.
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What Then is a False Prophet? In this Church age, a false prophet is not just a false teacher but he is a person claiming to have received direct communication from God by vision, dream, or a burden or by hearing God’s voice speak to him. False prophets claim authority, claim a special relationship with God; a special calling, or anointing from God to communicate a NEW message to the world and the Church. [2]


 A false prophet claim authority, claim a special relationship with God; a special calling, or anointing from God to communicate a NEW message to the world and the Church.


PHOTO: A false prophet claim authority, claim a special relationship with God; a special calling, or anointing from God to communicate a NEW message to the world and the Church. [2]
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Dear Lord, thank You for letting us know that as stated in the Bible, if a prophet is Your true messenger, if he had prophesied that something would happen, what he said must take place. Also a true prophet would always point people to You, and nothing or no one else. We can thus discern a true prophet by examining his message as well as his character: both his actions and his attitude should be the subject of our scrutiny.<br>We are to be aware that if a man claimed to be a prophet even though he had not received the word of God then he would be a false prophet. We learned from the bible that You expressed displeasure regarding false prophets, not only because they dealt in falsehood, but also because they caused serious spiritual damage to those who bought their lies.<br>A true prophet who conveyed Your solid, reliable word.But a false prophets rely on self-concocted dreams, and they also plagiarised each other's messages. Unfortunately, It has been observed that if a lie is repeated enough times, it will eventually be mistaken for the truth.<br>False prophets learned to milk the crowd with nice-sounding words - even when the people were in fact facing impending judgement. They gave in to the temptation to sweeten the hard message. Although Jonah, a godly prophet, brought Your message of good news to Jeroboam II, he might have cringed at the idea because of the wicked king and nation.. However, only his unquestioning trust in Your sovereignty, justice, and wisdom would enable him to deliver such a message. We realised that he could have supplement the 'sweet' message with harsh warnings, increasing his credentials as a true prophet.<br>Please help us to look deeper to discern whether a prophet is true or not, because they could come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Because of the complexity to determine a true prophet from a false one, we desperately need your help to identify them correctly.<br>Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!


PHOTO: "Dear Lord, thank You for letting us know that as stated in the Bible, if a prophet is Your true messenger, if he had prophesied that something would happen, what he said must take place. Also a true prophet would always point people to You, and nothing or no one else. We can thus discern a true prophet by examining his message as well as his character: both his actions and his attitude should be the subject of our scrutiny.

We are to be aware that if a man claimed to be a prophet even though he had not received the word of God then he would be a false prophet. We learned from the bible that You expressed displeasure regarding false prophets, not only because they dealt in falsehood, but also because they caused serious spiritual damage to those who bought their lies.

A true prophet who conveyed Your solid, reliable word. But a false prophets rely on self-concocted dreams, and they also plagiarised each other's messages. Unfortunately, It has been observed that if a lie is repeated enough times, it will eventually be mistaken for the truth.

False prophets learned to milk the crowd with nice-sounding words - even when the people were in fact facing impending judgement. They gave in to the temptation to sweeten the hard message. Although Jonah, a godly prophet, brought Your message of good news to Jeroboam II, he might have cringed at the idea because of the wicked king and nation. However, only his unquestioning trust in Your sovereignty, justice, and wisdom would enable him to deliver such a message. We realised that he could have supplement the 'sweet' message with harsh warnings, increasing his credentials as a true prophet.

Please help us to look deeper to discern whether a prophet is true or not, because they could come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. Because of the complexity to determine a true prophet from a false one, we desperately need your help to identify them correctly.

Through Lord Jesus Christ we pray. Amen!
"
Picture saved from Nia Wright
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Reflection - God's Call - True and false prophet
Question from source (book): "God in Pursuit", Chapter 1, Question 2, Page 16.
By Robert M. Solomon, Bishop of the Methodist Church in Singapore from 2000 - 2012





Also from the same author, Robert M. Solomon

'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon

'Faithful to the end', A Preacher's Exposition of 2 Timothy, @ 2014 by Robert M. Solomon
Reflection - Faithful to the end (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2017/06/reflection-faithful-to-end-links.html



"Finding rest for the soul" Responding to Jesus' Invitation in Matthew 11:28-29, © 2016 by Robert M. Solomon

Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
Reflection - Finding rest for the soul (Links)
https://veryfatoldman.blogspot.com/2018/10/reflection-finding-rest-for-soul-links.html




Reference
[1] From "God in Pursuit" Lessons from the Book of Jonah, Copyright © 2017 by Robert M. Solomon, ISBN 978-1-62707-801-6, Part I: Jonah 1:1-17, Chapter 1 "God Calls", Page 10-15.

[2] John R Ecob DD, False Prophets, posted on 27 August 2018, https://www.heraldofhope.org.au/false-prophets/

[3] Paula Marsteller, Does God Tell Us Who to Marry?, https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/does-god-tell-us-who-to-marry

[4] From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Last prophet, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_prophet

 

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