Monday, January 19, 2009

Is the Holy Spirit Confusing Us?

On Wednesday, 7 Jan 2009, Abimbola Adelakun wrote the article “Nigerian Nostradamuses” that was published in an online version of The Punch. The second paragraph and part of the third of that article are the subject of this lesson. He writes:
The Nostradamuses are in business. Pastors of well known churches are prophesying what will become of us this year; and it is amusing that the utterances from different quarters contradict one another. Does the Holy Spirit, who is supposed to inspire these prophecies, speak one thing to one pastor and another thing to another? Is the Holy Spirit confusing us or perhaps, somewhere in the process of reception, the antenna got faulty and pastors are making up for Him with their own words? Really, do we need prophets to tell us what the future has in store for us? Would we be better off not knowing? What do we gain from knowing the number of artistes, rulers and celebrities that will die in the course of the year? (Abimbola Adelakun).
Mr. Abimbola has asked pertinent questions that seem to bedevil the modern day church and its prophecy. In most instances the men of God seem to sow a cacophony unparallel to the days of Moses and Jannes and Jambres, the Old prophet and the Young prophet, the prophets of Baal and Elijah, and Micaiah and Zedekiah. In this lesson I will state the infallible nature of the Holy Spirit, reasons why the pastors contradict one another and what caused the poor reception.
Initially in Israel when people went to enquire from God they went to see a Seer who spoke for God. These people were called the Seers and later were called Prophets (I Sam 9:9). The prophets spoke for God. There was a clear cut methodology to dissect a false prophet from a true prophet.
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 (Deut 18:22).
First those who prophesy and it does not come to pass are false prophets. Many ministers knowing that their prophecies will be judged by fulfillment avert it by prophesying on things that you cannot prove. For example; in most churches now the prophets and prophetesses say: “thus says the lord, it shall be well with you, you shall not fear, you are my children. Trust in the Lord”. Those are perfunctory prophecies and redundant for the church of God. Why would anyone be going to see the seer for something that is explicitly stated in the Bible that no weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper (Is 54:17) and that that if a man ways pleases the lord he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him (Prov 16:7).
But then there lies a more complicated issue because there are many people still believing and getting confused by false prophets. They are false prophets because the Holy Spirit who will be speaking to each of them does not tell a lie, is infallible and is part of the godhead. By the time God prophesies anything through a prophet God has lived the future and knows that the thing shall come to pass. Unlike today where Christians are hypnotized with spurious prophecies that you will be rich, you will have a husband next year and you will be a doctor but none comes to fruition. When the prophecy does not happen they claim that God came to bless you but you were not there. When God was using the prophet to tell them anything it was finished product. There is no such occasion in the Bible where God spoke to a true prophet and it did not happen as prophesied. Except if they were false prophets.
In the Old Testament only three people were eligible to have the spirit of God; the King for right judgment, the priest for right sacrifice and the prophet for right utterance. When the spirit of God came to them they were mistake free. Considering that the Holy Spirit speaks to prophets these days it means that whoever the Holy Spirit speaks to them should be without mistakes. But if we see that what they are speaking is not fulfilling then they spoke in their flesh.
Many old prophets have lost the communion with God and God does not more use them. So they use their positions not only to prophesy wrongly but to stray the young prophets to be destroyed by lions (I kgs 13:11-29). There are many prophets today who prefer the accolades of earthly kings than the King of heaven. Considering that earthly kings enjoy when they are flattered no matter how they end their lives, they have many prophets dishing out false prophecies to contradict true prophets. In the midst of all these prophecies someone is speaking the truth.
Benhadad king of Syria had in mind the invasion of Israel. Though Ahab was a bad king but to prove to Ahab that God protects his own name he had to defeat the Syrians despite their numbers. When a prophet came to Ahab to assure him that God would defend Israel he knew it would be a finished product and not conditioned on what Ahab does now or later (I kings 20:13-14). Because the battle was fought on a mountain the Syrians misconstrued that God can not fight in a valley. So they declared the valley of Aphek (20; 26) as the new battlefield. God again sent another prophet who prophesied the victory of Israel (Ikgs 20:28). God kept his word thus fulfilling the prophecy of the prophet and the Syrians were this time annihilated.
When God speaks it may be strange to men. Take for example in this same chapter another prophet came up and told a man to wound him but the man refused. He prophesied doom to him that a lion was going to slay him immediately as he left him for disobeying the voice of God. Immediately as he left him, a lion came and slew him (V 35-36). A second man was asked to so same he obeyed and lived. That is because the prophet wanted a means to pass his message to the king without hindrance. He prophesied that because he had spared the life of Benhadad his life will go for him.
Prophet Elijah told Ahab that in the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine (I kngs 21:19). And of Jezebel also spake the LORD, saying, the dogs shall eat Jezebel (Ahab’s wife) by the wall of Jezreel (I Kings 21:23). These prophesies are fulfilled in 2 kings 9:33-34.
Jehoshaphat the king of Judah and the King of Israel were to go to war. The king of Israel knew the prophets that will say the things he likes so he gathered them. As usual, they prophesied success. Then Jehoshaphat felt like something was missing. He asked if there was no other prophet and the King said there is one Micaiah but he does not like him because he always prophesies against him. The King of Israel sent for Micaiah. They briefed Micaiah to prophesy to the liking of the king because every other prophet has done so. But he refused. When he came he prophesied that Israel and Judah will lose the war.
Note that each of this prophets claims to be hearing from God. The same question you have. Then Zedekiah one of the false prophets went and slapped Micaiah on his cheek asking him why the Spirit of the Lord would leave Him Zedekiah to talk to a young man like Micaiah (2 Chro 18:7-28). Are you familiar with this?
The King of Israel ordered Micaiah to be jailed until he returned. But the man of God will not be quiet. He added another phase of the prophecy that foretold the king’s’ death in the battlefield. Indeed the king did not come back alive; for he was killed in battle (I kings 22:34-35) The dogs licked his blood just as Elijah had prophesied when he killed Naboth (I kings 22: 38)
The king relied on the prophet or seer to foretell the future before he could implement policies on the prophecy. The prophet must recognize the authority of the king as God’s political ruler on earth (I kings 1:23; Rom 13 :). Actually the prophet and Priest anointed the king. The prophet was like the check-valve to check and balance the excesses of the King
Therefore, most of the prophecies are not from God but from the prophets themselves seeing that these leaders like falsehood. They are allergic to truth. How many presidents would like advisers who always told them the truth?
Nostradamus was a French physician and astrologer who wrote a book of prophecies. The analogy should not have existed in the first place because by not separating the good prophets from the bad prophets he is inferring that there is no good prophet. The main responsibility of the Christian and others is to discern who is speaking for God and who is speaking from his flesh. That is why Jesus gave the gift of discernment to the church.
However, there are times one may think that the spirit is speaking to them and not the flesh. For example you may think that God says this girl is your wife. Though you make every effort but you do not win her love. That does not mean God told you a lie. You should instead reexamine yourself and see if God spoke to you. While the miscommunication of various prophets to earthly rulers is purely for selfish reasons the miscommunication in a person’s life are due to presumptuousness. The break down at the national level starts to occur when the prophet espy the gifts from the kings. Then they say what the king likes while the true prophet says what the king does not like. But the person who says what is fulfilled should be the one respected. Unfortunately the one that the king praises (false prophet) is usually the popular one. Humanity must discern falsehood from authenticity.
Until then, There are still true prophets on earth.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

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