false prophets Black or white?

All only black or white?
About false prophets
Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the Devil. (Eph. 6:11)


l All only black or white? l

If you have read some chapters on this site more attentive and mindful, then you noticed that it is often about life and death, God and Satan and other oppositions. Also it’s often about the devil’s lies, temptation and deception. This is not to give the impression that humans would not be responsible for their sinning just because they were misled. However, to blame the devil for all evil would be over-the-top. No doubt about it, sin was brought into our world by the devil, but Adam and Eve were not forced to eat from the apple; in fact it was their free decision. Satan who had tempted them to do so will not escape punishment, but men were punished too as they were banned from the Garden of Eden. Furthermore, this led to the fact that we all have a sinning nature, no matter if we are Christians or not:

"All have turned away from God; all have gone wrong. No one does good, not even one." (Romans 3:12)

That means everybody is a sinner by nature. We virtually have inherited this nature from the first humans because they had believed the devil more than God. But God has mercy and paved the way for all humans to be saved, despite our sinful nature: through the faith in Jesus Christ who was innocent but died for our sins on the cross. Whoever asks faithfully for forgiveness will stand pure and sinless before God. But the sinful nature remains within us. Even after the forgiveness we are able to commit new sins (“The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” Matthew 26,41).

Nowadays life is very complex. Every day we reach dozens of decisions out of our free will, often irrelevant decisions but sometimes important decisions of life. To reduce it all to a denominator, principally there are three parties involved in which we may listen to (or may not listen to) and who have a lasting effect on our decisions. The first party is God. He created man; he was the first one to talk to Adam and Eve and to give them rules (“you must not eat from this tree, for when you eat from it you will surely die”). The second party is the devil. He seduced Eve into eating from the forbidden tree and reversed God’s commandment (“if you eat from this tree, you will surely not die”). The third party is man, which means us and all humans. Eve obeyed the devil more than God, bit the apple and persuaded Adam to do the same (“she also gave some to her husband, and he ate it”). This is how a human seduces another human into doing something (to be read in Moses 3-4).

In the letter to the Ephesians this fact is brought down to a denominator. On the one hand it is testified that sinister spirits try to influence us from a mental level in between (see The three levels). On the other hand it is testified that this spirit of temptation also takes effect in wicked people:

"You used to live just like the rest of the world, full of sin, obeying satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God." (Ephesians 2:2)

Thereto I’d like to quote a story from the Holy bible that makes clear how man can become a false prophet out of his sinful nature to seduce another man into doing something, who will be held fully responsible for it (after 1. Kings 13).

Israel had a king named Jerobeam who did things which displeased God. He committed idolatry and even offered sacrifices to the idols on an altar. This is why God sent a prophet from another town to the king to announce the altar would split apart and the royal dynasty would fall in the very near future. Of course the king didn’t like the prophet’s words. He stretched out his hand towards the servant of God and gave his men the order to seize him. In this moment his hand stiffened so that he couldn’t move it anymore. The king realized God’s presence on the side of the prophet and begged the prophet to intercede with the Lord and to pray for him that his hand may be restored. The prophet obliged and interceded with God so the king’s hand was restored as it was before. To show his appreciation, the king invited the prophet to eat with him. But he answered:

"But the man of God said to the king: Even if you gave me half of everything you own, I would not go with you. I would not eat any food or drink any water in this place. For the Lord gave me this command: 'You must not eat any food or drink any water while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.'" (1 Kings 13:8-9)

The prophet kept the Lord’s command and without having eaten with the king he took another road to return. Now there was a certain old prophet living in the same city the king reigned over. He learnt about the visit of his colleague, and soon he had a donkey saddled to ride after him. When he caught up with him he asked him to come back with him and rest in his home. The prophet answered:

"No, I cannot. I am not allowed to eat any food or drink any water here in this place. For the Lord gave me this command: 'You must not eat any food or drink any water while you are there, and do not return to Judah by the same way you came.' " (1 Kings 13:16-17)

Thereon, the following happened:

"But the old prophet answered: I am a prophet, too, just as you are. And an angel gave me this message from the Lord: 'Bring him home with you, and give him food to eat and water to drink'. But the old man was lying to him. So they went back together, and the man of God ate some food and drank some water at the prophet's home. " (1 Kings 13:18-19)

The consequences were fatal. God spoke to the disobedient prophet to announce his punishment as he had eaten in the city against God’s command. Very soon when he had left the old prophet’s house to go on his way home, he was attacked by a lion and killed. (1 Kings 13,24).

It is obvious how the old prophet uses a lie to change his colleagues mind. He reverses Gods instructions. He even talks about having been told so by an “angel of the Lord”. Either the devil did appear to him as an angel of the light, or he simply uses a particularly perfidious lie. Anyway, though the prophet was given clear commands by God he believes the old prophet more than God. So did Adam when he once believed his wife Eve more than God, though he knew Gods instructions.
This incident shows that we have to be very careful. The devil is not stupid and often acts through false prophets as the mind of temptation. All of them are people who spread a message conflicting with the gospel. If we take everything at face value what is being told by “angels” or “beings of the light” or people influenced by them, we shall not be surprised when we are held accountable for these blatant lies.

A current example: 1) GOD tells us in the bible: Jesus Christ is the only Son of God, so he is God himself and a human can only receive immortal life with God through HIM. 2) The devil masquerades as an angel of the light and spreads the lie: “Jesus is not the Son of God, though he’s a great master or lightworker, but no way is he God. Besides, there are several ways to salvation, including the self-release. Any way will lead to God. 3) Every person who believes in these lies and supports them will be also held responsible for his deeds as a false prophet. That is to say, everybody is fully responsible for his decision to believe more in a lie than in God. Any person supporting such lies is also responsible for their deeds as a false prophet. Unfortunately most people are walking this wide way down into the abyss. At the first sight, this way appears more convenient than to be obedient to God, which seems to be a hard and annoying option, so one may prefer to patch up his own rules (and his own God).  But God hasn’t given us rules just to kid around with us. He doesn’t want to keep us only in leading-strings, but he seeks every man to receive eternal life. God knows every lurking temptation. This is exactly why he has given us clear instructions: Follow Jesus Christ. Trust in his word only. Do not drift off. Abide by him until the end. Everybody who remains faithful to Jesus until the end will receive the immortal life as the gift of mercy. But everybody who does not believe in Jesus Christ or who believes in a crook-Jesus instead, a pale imitation or listens to false prophets, will not see the immortal life. Even if it doesn’t seem to be particularly comfortable: learn from the report about the prophet and the king. This incidence was not written in the bible for nothing (see Is the Bible true?). Hold on to the Word of God. Trust in Jesus Christ. If you do that, God will lead you safely to the end.


© Copyright Eckart Haase | Translation by Barbara Claywell