- “Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage.
2 Some years later he went down to see Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and the people with him and urged him to attack Ramoth Gilead. 3 Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?”
Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” 4 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”
5 So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”
“Go,” they answered, “for God will give it into the king’s hand.”
6 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”
7 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”
“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.
8 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”
9 Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.
10 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns, and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”
11 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”
12 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”
13 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says.”
14 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”
“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for they will be given into your hand.”
15 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”
16 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”
17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”
18 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing on his right and on his left.
19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’
“One suggested this, and another that. 20 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’
“‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.
21 “‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.
“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’
22 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”
23 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.
24 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”
25 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son,
26 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”
27 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!” 2 Chron. 18:1-27 (GNB)
You have the right as a child of God to hear from God and to say so. There are many people who might think they have the prerogatives over other believers to hear God. God has the right to speak to any person he wishes to; denying God this right and denying other believers this privilege is out of place and a negation which has grievous consequences
“Prophet Zedekiah” will have none of that and can go all length to insist on his superiority. Beware of “prophet Zedekiahs” of this age.
This articles is also published in http://www.holyspiritcomfort.com
I listened to Jessy Dixon‘s song recently – “I am Redeemed” and it got me reflecting over this issue again – What is my motivation as a believer?
Some years ago, a branch of Christian Corpers’ fellowship published an article from a guest writer titled “Christianity ….one mile wide and one inch deep” He wrote about the spread of the gospel in that part of the world. That statistic has changed such so much now. I guess it might be something like 10 miles wide and zero inches deep. (Sad, isn’t it?).
The spread can be attributed to a lot of things, zeal, motivation, life challenges, etc. (mind you, I love soul winning, church growth and dynamism of the faith). If you love Soul winning these books will be of great delight “Soul Winning: A pleasant Experience” and “Lovely Feet on the Mountain”. A lot of gospel push produced that staggering number of people who confessed Jesus as their Lord.
The lack of depth is very disturbing though and results are that while many people confess to be Christians the impact of it on the society is actually abysmal. The question we should ask is what makes believers different? There are a lot of things people and religion fake but one thing that we hold dear is the fact that we are redeemed. In Jessy Dixon’s song “I am redeemed”, dedicated to new believers, he said “if anyone asks you who you are? Say “I am redeemed”
It is a very personal question we should ask ourselves and go on to live it out. Am I redeemed? What are my motivations? Christianity is not a club and true faith is far removed from religion. It is a personal commitment of one’s soul to Jesus Christ. It is a relationship with a living God. The scripture says in Matthew 6:33 “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (NIV) so while enjoying the blessing associated with Christ, it must be made clear what Jesus said “Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 (NKJV)
Make 8:36 says, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (KJV)
Many people have attained great heights using Christianity as their ladder but it should never be assumed that the grace of God could be taken for granted. I read some time ago of a Bishop who said he was not sure Jesus rose again. I have met people who are so zealous in gospel work whose motives are not clear. I encountered a pastor who was not certain whether it was only Adam and Eve that God created first. According to her, God must have created other men and women (Sick! Isn’t it?) Such believe customises sin to certain people and absolves others of the need for repentance from sin. It promotes racial discrimination and degradation.
Whatever goes on anywhere and for whatever reason, it is our personal responsibility to ensure that we believed right. The believer’s life is a continuous faith fight against the forces of darkness but it is worthy to remember that the battle is won already. It is our firm dependence on Jesus that gives us continuous victory. We must keep on claiming that victory. Don’t forget, if you are a believer, that you are redeemed.
- Unashamed To Bear His Name by Dr. R. T. Kendall (Are You Ashamed of the Gospel?”) (haroldcameron.wordpress.com)
- For I AM NOT Ashamed of the Gospel! (Romans 1:16) What It Means To Believe The Gospel & Follow Christ! (haroldcameron.wordpress.com)
- The Gospel by Revelation (codybateman.org)
Some years ago, I was very fond of a Newspaper called “The Headlines”. This Paper publishes News that made the headline several years ago; I am taking a leaf from them to publish a story that probably featured as a headline several years ago and with a probable title like this: “Dead Man Escapes from jail. The story is true and the News is truth but the Headline is mine.
The News had it that a man who was killed by his adversaries because of envy and whose tomb was sealed with a big stone placed by several men and a dreadful security guard posted to protect the place, to forestall the claim by the dead man that he will rise the third after his death, has escaped from his tomb cell.
According to a reporter called Matthew, “there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow: And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.” (1)
The News was very disturbing because another reporter, Luke, said “Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb. They were carrying the spices that they had prepared. They found that the stone had been rolled away from the tomb. When they went in, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were puzzled about this, two men in clothes that were as bright as lightning suddenly stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed to the ground. The men asked the women, “Why are you looking among the dead for the living one? He’s not here. He has been brought back to life! Remember what he told you while he was still in Galilee. He said, ‘The Son of Man must be handed over to sinful people, be crucified, and come back to life on the third day.’” (2).
According to this reporter, the man, who was certified dead, indeed lives.
When the security guards told the man’s adversaries want happened, the News had it that they were bribed to say that his followers came to steal him while they slept. “While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city. They told the chief priests everything that had happened. The chief priests gathered together with the leaders and agreed on a plan. They gave the soldiers a large amount of money and told them to say that Jesus’ disciples had come at night and had stolen his body while they were sleeping. They added, “If the governor hears about it, we’ll take care of it, and you’ll have nothing to worry about.” The soldiers took the money and did as they were told. Their story has been spread among the Jewish people to this day. ” (3)
The report also said that the man appeared to his followers alive “Mary from Magdala went to the disciples and told them, “I have seen the Lord.” She also told them what he had said to her. That Sunday evening, the disciples were together behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jews. Jesus stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you!” When he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were glad to see the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” After he had said this, he breathed on the disciples and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. Whenever you forgive sins, they are forgiven. Whenever you don’t forgive them, they are not forgiven.” Thomas, one of the twelve apostles, who was called Didymus, wasn’t with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord.” Thomas told them, “I refuse to believe this unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my fingers into them, and put my hand into his side.” A week later Jesus’ disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Take your hand, and put it into my side. Stop doubting, and believe.” Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to Thomas, “You believe because you’ve seen me. Blessed are those who haven’t seen me but believe.” (4)
It was a Headline story that will never be forgotten in all history. The information about Jesus’ death and resurrection was well publicised when it happened and the story about him is still spreading.
It was News, alright, When Jesus met two of his disciple who were on the way to Emmaus, (they did not know it was him) and when he asked them what they were discussing this was their answer “Cleopas answered, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who does not know what just happened there”? Luke 24:17-18. (NCV)
People have tried over the years to stop this story without success; Bibles had been burnt and preachers had been killed for the gospel sake but the story will not stop. It was not a story that was made up because even some of the disciples only believed the resurrection after they saw Jesus and touched him.
It is important that you believe the gospel and give your life to Jesus.
Ref: www.biblegateway.com (all Bible quotes)
- Defending Christ’s Resurrection (siriusknotts.wordpress.com)
- Why did the angel roll away the stone? (sueannporter.wordpress.com)
“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?Have you experiencedso much in vain—if it really was in vain? So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Gal.3:1-6 (NIV).
I seriously believe that Christians should return to the study of the Bible in a more serious way. Believers should stop being naive and susceptible to the awkward teaching that has pervaded the preaching of the gospel. It is not new, Apostle Paul warned the Galatians about it when their Church was invaded by people who had “something serious to teach;” they taught that the obedience to the Law of Moses is a must for those believers. Paul equally warned in 1 Tim. 4:1-2, “ The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.” That deception and “things taught by demons “still creeps into gospel preaching and is leading many people astray. Which gospel did you believer in?
There are people who take advantage of people’s poverty, greed, fear and ignorance to propagate their “trade”. They induce people with fear of demons, the fear of death, fear of sickness and the wrath of God, to force them into obedience. It goes like this, if you are not a member of their church, demons, witches and wizards will hunt you down and diseases will plague you all through life. It is when you attend their service that God will prosper you; other Christian gathers are wasting their time. Ridiculous! Do you know that some church don’t recognise other ministers in the real sense of it except those ordained in their church? I know of Church where ministers were re-ordained, not because they were sinners but just because they joined their church. For example, Reverend Ministers was re-ordained an assistant pastors). I had an experience where it was suggested that I be ordained an assistant pastor after many years of ministry – simply because I moved. The truth is that I had never coveted ordination and God had been gracious to me and let me manifest such grace in manifestation of his power. I know a church that except you are a member of their church, your salvation means nothing. Absurd, isn’t it? My point is that salvation and ministry is by the Holy Spirit; it is not a local church stuff.
Simplicity has led many of us into accepting ungodly burdens into our lives because we want to be approved of men. Many of us love God and are doing what we were told in our sincere desire to please God but some people “whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron” have no sympathy for such. Their motives are never clear. “Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.” Jude 11-13. (NIV) They are ready to drill you to any length to achieve their purpose.
If these things don’t matter why was it written in the scriptures? The truth is that for as long as you allow darkness, you will never get light. Do you have anyone to blame? Not for as long as you know the truth but refuse to acknowledge it. Which gospel did you believe in? God did not save you to be bound again by religion. Be led by the Holy Spirit.
- Galatians 3:1 (gracegalatians.wordpress.com)
- No Other Gospel (dailybibleplan.com)
- Can We Be Trusted With The Gospel? (shirlblake.com)