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false teachers Israel North kings prophets

I hate him because he never prophesies good about me

“….but I (king Ahab of Israel) hate him (prophet Micaiah) because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad.” 2 Chronicles 18.

That is a statement by a king (of Israel) called Ahab.

Let us dig a little more.  First, let us explore the context of 2 Chronicles 18.    Jehoshaphat (king of Judah) had allied himself with Ahab by marriage and at this time, Jehoshaphat is visiting with king Ahab in Samaria.  Here, Ahab sacrifices (not Jehovah God but ) in honor of Jehoshaphat and cunningly tries to convince him to join hands in an attack against Ramoth Gilead.  But Jehoshaphat replies “first, seek the counsel of the LORD” and Ahab agrees (18:3-4).

So, Ahab brings 400 of his prophets who unanimously say “Go, for God will give it into the king’s hand.”  But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there not a prophet of the LORD here whom we can inquire of?” 18:6.

Jehoshaphat’s question makes it clear that the 400 prophets of Ahab were not really of the LORD because Jehoshaphat did not trust them.  Probably, they were prophets of Baal (because Ahab provoked the LORD to anger than all other kings of Israel (1 Kings 16:33) by building a temple for Baal in Samaria).

So, now we understand, in this context Ahab says “i hate him because….”  Though these 400 prophets actually served Baal, they still claimed to be prophets of the Lord.

It is exactly opposite to the popular proverb/notion/belief that “majority always wins.” In Ahab’s case, he did not win but lost his life according to the prophecy of one true prophet of the LORD, Hezekiah (as against 400 of Ahab/Baals temple).

So, does majority always win?  Not so.  May be it is true in politics but not in spirituality and spirituality is not politics and visa versa.  It is true that the majority does persecute/humiliate the minority; in this case, the leader of the false prophets slaps the real prophet in the face.

So it will be with us when we stand for the truth.  we will be humiliated and persecuted when we say that Jesus is the only way/savior that delivers from the holds of sin and death.  We will be called names like bigots when we speak the truth boldly.

But let us be encouraged because the LORD is with us.  One who is with the LORD is a greater majority.

Ahab hated him simply because Micaiah always spoke the truth and did not prophesy on his own but always spoke whatever the Lord told him to which Ahab did not like.  Let us follow in his footsteps. We cannot preach/teach what people like but what the Lord tells us.

 

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So-much-to-learn-from-lot

I read this article on Grace Gems today and I thought it would profit you too.

So, here is the link to this article on Grace Gems

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The Lord Sends Down More Fire For Elijah

Kings 1 1

In this chapter, we see that the Lord sends down fire from heaven two more times other than the one we saw earlier in Mount Carmel.  Many people stop at mount Carmel but today we go further to the rule of Ahaziah, Ahab’s son.

Here is the Lord’s question to king Ahaziah thorough Elijah “Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending men to consult Baal-Zebub, the god o Ekron?”

Ahaziah sends two captains with fifty men.  Each time Elijah calls fire from the Lord and the fire consumes them both: 51 die each time, totalling 102.

Both times, the captains present a command from their king to which Elijah replies with a firy command from the Lord.  The third commander (a wise one) instead of commanding Elijah, he pleads for his life and his 50 men and the angel tells Elijah not be fear and go to see the king this time.

Here again we see that Elijah was fearful and yet called fire from again two moe times.  First time the fire consumed the sacrifice and the altar; this time (2 times) it consumed real people who had rebelled against the Lord and had gone after other gods.

Ahaziah never seemed to have learned the lesson: Seek the Lord, the God of Israel instead of any other and he dies a sick man as per the words of Elijah.

In a time of apostacy (the period of the kings of Israel and Judah), the Lord showed Himself to be what He is in many ways through the judges and prophets, but the people did not see or failed to understand.

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Elijah is taken up alive

kings2 2.

For more on Elijah’s bringing ‘more fire’ from heaven, please see this article.

This chapter is quite dramatic but real.  The first verse starts like this “when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind,’ and that is what is this chapter all about: Elijah being taken up alive to the presence of the Lord without facing or tasting physical death like any a human.

Elijah keeps moving from place to place and Elisha (whom the Lord aointed to succeed him) keeps following him wherever he went:  Bethel, Jericho, and finally Jordan where Elijah was taken up after a chariot of fire and horses seperates them both from each other as they cross the Jordan afoot.

Elisha had no doubts whatsoever about this miracle of being taken alive though the company of the prophets still suspected that Elijah would be in some other place, verse 16.

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jehoshaphat advises first seek the counsel of the lord

The greatest advise by a king of Judah – First seek the counsel of the LORD.

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Bible Characters false teachers

look who slaps whom

I Kings 22.  Micaiah, son of Imlah.

In this passage, we see that the real prophet of the LORD(Micaiah) was slapped by one of the false prophets (Zedekiah).

Micaiah was called a ‘bad prophet’ by king of Israel, Ahab, Verse 8.  He also called Elijah ‘my enemy.’

But, Micaiah actually spoke the truth always, 22:14 and it stood firm.  Consequently, Zedekiah later dies as per Micaiah’s true prophecy.

When I recently warned some believers of their pastor’s ‘false practises, ‘ I was rejected and challenged.  I was questioned ‘can you do what he did?  It is true that that pastor worked hard to establish his church in the beginning of his ministry (when he was true to the word) and the Lord did reward him.  But today, his teaching is so much mixed with ‘wierd ideas.’

Few months later, I heard that same pastor preaching ‘the bread and wine becomes the body and blood’ on local tv on a live broadcast of his worship service one Sunday!!!

This is what happens when we speak the truth.  But, let us be bold as Micaiah and continue to speak the truth of the Gospel in love and boldness.

 

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Bible Characters persecution

Elijah was afraid and ran for his life

Today we are dealing with Kings1 18.  The key for chapter 18 is in verse 37.  He just

Soon after a day of public victory, Elijah had a day of personal defeat.  Indeed, it was a day of personal introspection and learning in the presence of the Lord for him.

So, it is clear that in the life of any a servant of God that ministrial success is not a guarantee that the man of God is as robust in his personal life too.  Success in ministry is not evidence that one is successful or perfect in his personal walk with the Lord.  Isn’t that a beauty of the Bible record of biographical history?. In fact, chapter 19 is complete opposite to chapter 18.  In 18, we see nothing of the personality of Elijah but 19 reveals a great deal about his feelings and state of mind.

Enter God to the rescue in chapter 19.  The LORD was with him through the ups and downs of his life.  Also, thankfully, Elijah was as open (with his feelings) as a faithful and obedient prophet that he is despite his ‘feeling defeated, ‘ personally.  The Lord never gave up on Elijah and grant him his wish for ‘death.’  The Lord simply reminded him that He still continues to be faithful to Israel becasue of His covenant with Israel and chapter 19 is just that.

So, in conclusion, it is the Lord that we need and should go back to in a day of success and as well as in a day of defeat.  In a day of desparity, we all tend to run/retire to a place of defeat, forget the Lord’s presence, take desperate measures, retire to old habbits/sins, conclude wrongfully, etc….  In his case, 1) he thought he was the only faithful left in the land, 2) he walked to Mount Horeb 40 miles, and the Lord’s advice to Elijah was “go back the way you came to the desert of Damascus” in verse 15 and revealse that he was not the only one faithful left in Israel and wrongfully concluded (though based on partial truth) that Israel had forsaken the covenant, broken the altars, and put to death His prophets, verse 19:10.  The Lord had 7000 faithful people who had not bowed their knee or kissed the Baals in worship.  Elijah simply did not know it.

No wonder the Lord asked him, not once but twice, “What are you doing here?” First time in verse 19:9 and second time in verse 19:13.  The Lord answered his question perfectly well, but Elijah did not answer the Lord as well because he had no explanation for his ‘desperate conclusions.’

Let us not fall into the same temptation and not judge things before hand;  conclude only after a careful analysis; dthe needful research;aask and learn; keep our mind open as the heart is open to the Lord.

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God proves to people that He is God

The scripture portion we are dealing with today is Kings1 18.

Tpday’s topic: Who is God, The LORD or Baal or any other?

We have a lot of Obadiah’s in the Word of God.  Who was this Obadiah?  He was an official of Ahab the king, in charge of the king’s palace.  Scripture tells us that he was a believer in the LORD and he saved about 100 prophets of the LORD.

The most important thing we learn from today’s portion is that the LORD answers prayers even dramatically if He has willed it to answer in such a way.  We understan that from verse 37 that it was the LORD that had commanded Elijah to do all that he did leading to answer by fire on Mount Carmel.

It was not a test by Elijah but an act of obedience on the part of Elijah to prove that Baal  or the prophets of Baal had no power over nature or anything.  They just knew how to put on a show in public (by dance and cutting thei body) that Baal is what they think.

When the people realized that Baal was no what they thought, then at the word of Elijah, the people put to death all the prophets of Baal.

It encourages us to cultivate a walk with the LORD and obey/do what He says.

It is also a challenge for us to keep a record of the LORD’s answer to our prayers.

 

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Elijah Kings1 17

Chapter 17 of Kings1 shows us

1) what Israel shoud have done but did not do; what a foreigner need not do but did.

2) what Israel should have received but did not, what a foreigner did receive instead.

3) that God provides essential needs for him who trusts in Him even without the natural means.  God does not provide a rich widow to provide for Elijah.  He uses the poor and needy to provide for His servant and for the ‘provider’ miraculously.

4) God uses unnatural means to provide for his prophet, miraculously.  There is another secret in this provision for Elijah:  The ravens brought only two meals a day; morning and evening!  No lunch.  Is that a secret for healthy life, I dont know.

While we can never know more about his ‘two meals a day and water from the brook’; whether it was tasty or well salted or yummy, we know this for sure that Elijah the prophet never complained about it.

It is also clear that Elijah had 2 meals a day while the nation suffered without rain.  God did not provide him more so that would be a mockery of the suffering, nor did He provide too much, so that Elijah would be puffed up.

5) While Israel (the people of Covenant) suffered hunger and thirst, the widow and Elijah had their basic necessities, food and water, provided for them by God directly.  This was a clear judgement on Baal worshippers (in this case, sadly, the Israelites who had gone after the Baals by forsaking the LORD.) to prove that those who believe will be provided for and that the Baals have no such powers.  Also, it proves that man shall not live by bread alone and by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.

6) It is all for the obedient and people of simple trust in the LORD.

7) There was no pomp or publicity whatsoever at all when Elijah raised the widow’s son from dead to life.  It was all done in secret in his room.  Compare this to today’s so called evangelists/preachers who claim to raise the dead “on the camera.”

More on Kings1 17 at Legacy Journal

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Solomon

Chapter 11 of First Kings provides a complete but brief history on the life of Solomon.

As most of us do not know, the purpose of the book of first kings is not so much to give a detailed history of all the kings: but to show us who was faithful the LORD and who was not;

who walked in the steps of David and who did not,

who feared the LORD and who did not.

It also gives the reason for the didided kingdom.

Here is a link to a detailed study on I Kings 11 in Legacy Journal.