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“I Have Been Told by the Word of the Lord”

By Watchman | December 3, 2011

So they saddled the donkey for him; and he rode on it, and went after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak.  Then he said to him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”  And he said, “I am.”  Then he said to him, “Come home with me and eat bread.”  And he (the man of God) said, “I cannot return with you nor go in with you; neither can I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place.  For I have been told by the word of the Lord, ‘ You shall not eat bread nor drink any water there, nor return by going the way you came.'”  He said to (the man of God), “I too am a prophet as you are, and an angel spoke to me by the word of the Lord, saying, ‘Bring him back with you to your house, that he may eat bread and drink water.'”  (He was lying to him.)  So he went back with him, and ate bread in his house, and drank water.  Now it happened, as they sat at the table that the word of the Lord came to the prophet who had brought him back; and he cried out to the man of God who came from Judah, saying, “Thus says the Lord: ‘Because you have disobeyed the word of the Lord, and have not kept the commandment which the Lord your God commanded you, but you came back, ate bread, and drank water in the place of which the Lord said to you, “Eat no bread and drink no water,” your corpse shall not come to the tomb of your fathers.'”  So it was, after he had eaten bread and after he had drunk, that he saddled the donkey for him, the prophet whom he had brought back.  When he was gone, a lion met him on the road and killed him.  And his corpse was thrown on the road…  (1 Kings 13:13-24)

     The above excerpt from the book of 1 Kings was nothing more than an aside written into the story of King Jeroboam’s wicked reign over Israel, but it is nonetheless one of the harshest stories of God’s judgment to be found in the Old Testament.  A prophet of God was struck down for his disobedience against God’s word after he was misled by another (lying) prophet.  The story sits uneasily upon those who prefer to thing of God as a gentle and loving God who would never act against someone who believed in Him.  Why, since it really is not a necessary part of the history of Jeroboam, would this even be included in the Scriptures?  I believe that God has a particular purpose for everything that is included in Scripture, and I believe that one purpose  is to demonstrate an object lesson for people throughout all the ages of man; not just those being addressed or chronicled at the time.  In the case of the story of the man of God, I think God has given a warning:  not, this time, to the unbeliever; I believe He instructed this story to be included as a specific warning to those of us who call ourselves men and women of God.

     Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we know (at least in part) the mind and the heart of God.  His mind is revealed to us through the Scriptures; we know what He finds good and we know what He deems to be evil; what is acceptable to Him and what is an abomination.  The love and righteousness of His heart was brought to us through His only begotten Son, and His words have been whispered into our spirits and written on our hearts by His Holy Spirit.  Yet how often we become confused, even to the point of active disobedience, by the words given us by others who claim to be speaking for Him!

     A dear friend of mine was talking to me the other day about the duties of those of us who have been called in these last days to be watchmen on the wall for “such a time as this.”   Like Esther, we need to start preparing ourselves to go before possibly antagonistic beings in order to properly proclaim the name of the living God.  We are running out of time.  More and more people are dying in their sins for lack of knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus our Savior, and we are helping to turn their itching ears to false doctrines and doctrines of devils because we are afraid to listen to the truth of what God tells us.  Many of our dominant mainstream churches are afraid to speak boldly about sin and the need for redemption because they are afraid of losing their tax-free status if they condemn immorality.  They are afraid if they condemn sin, their congregations will dwindle and the tithes and offerings will lessen.  Many who call themselves evangelists are aware that people prefer to hear sermons explaining how God wants all of His people to be wealthy and happy to those that teach that God hates sin and will punish the sinner.  So many of us can say “Jesus loves you” but have been influenced by politically-correct thought into believing that trying to convict people of their sins is hateful and counter-productive.  Is this the word of God?  No, but many Christians believe and follow these false doctrines because they take what spiritual leaders say without consulting either God’s commandments or Jesus’ words, nor do they “try the spirits” before they change their stance.   Often there is enough half-truth to some of the lies that only studying the word of God can bring the real truth to light.  Liberal clergy have eliminated the concept of “capital S” sin by focusing only on the general “small S” sins of  humanity without realizing that making people play nicely together without repentance for the sin nature and individual evil with which we are born and for which Jesus died does not save the soul or renew the spirit.  Some fundamentalist believers spew fervent hatred of those who do not believe or who commit sins without showing the loving spirit which Christ demonstrated in wanting people to turn away from their evil and be granted eternal life in Him.  Both the liberals and the meaner-spirited of the fundamentalists can point to a few Biblical passages that seem to prove their points, but both mislead their flocks and cause them to believe lies.  For those of us who lead or teach others, we must diligently study so that we are certain that we know the heart and mind of God.  If we fail those who listen to us by teaching lies and becoming false prophets, God will not hold us blameless when the time comes to judge those souls.  We have been told by the Word of the Lord.

     Yes, the story of the judgment on the man of God from the book of Kings was harsh, but it speaks to us today as clearly as if the Holy Spirit had whispered it to our hearts this morning:  we have been told by the Word of the Lord, and we are not to turn away from His spoken word.  Not for any reason; not out of fear, or tolerance, or being mislead by another person posing as a prophet.  We listen to Him, and to Him and His word alone.

Maranatha!

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One Response to ““I Have Been Told by the Word of the Lord””

  1. Shirley Says:
    December 3rd, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    This story of the false prophet, misleading another prophet, drove home the fact, to me, that we need to “test the spirits” and go to The Father and ask: “Is this really from you?” It’s the wise thing to do. I believe, in the long term, non-believers respect, begin to examine, and sometimes believe those who are willing to tell the truth and tell it with love. No one wants to listen to a judgmental, mean-spirited “believer” unless it’s to confirm their preconceived notion of Christianity as something they don’t want or need. That’s what you have done with the anointed word given you, Watchman; spoken the truth in love. Thank you. God will bless you.

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