And, there came a man of God out of Judah by the word of the LORD unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam was standing by the altar to burn incense.
And he cried against the altar in the word of the LORD, and said, O altar, altar, thus saith the LORD; Behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Josiah by name; and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and men's bones shall be burnt upon thee.
And he said, This is the sign to prove to you that the Lord has spoken; Behold, the altar shall be rent, and the ashes that are on it shall be poured out.
And it came to pass, when king Jeroboam heard the saying of the man of God, which had cried against the altar in Beth-el, that he put forth his hand from the altar, saying, Arrest him. And his hand, which he put forth against him, dried up, so that he could not pull it in again.
The altar also was rent, and the ashes poured out from the altar, according to the sign which the man of God had given by the word of the LORD.
And the king said unto the man of God, Entreat now the face of the LORD thy God, and pray for me, that my hand may be restored again. And the man of God besought the LORD, and the king's hand was restored.
And the king said unto the man of God, Come home with me, and refresh yourself, and I will give you a reward.
And the man of God said unto the king, If you would give me half your house, I will not go in with you, neither will I eat bread or drink water in this place:
For I was commanded by the word of the LORD, "Eat no bread, nor drink water, nor go home by the same way that you came."
So he went home another way, and did not return the same way that he came to Beth-el.
Now there dwelt an old prophet in Beth-el; and his sons came and told him all the works that the man of God had done that day in Beth-el: they also told their father the words which he had spoken to the king.
And their father said unto them, Which way did he go? For his sons had seen what way the man of God went, which had come from Judah.
And he said unto his sons, Saddle the donkey for me. So they saddled the donkey, and he rode after the man of God, and found him sitting under an oak: and he said unto him, Are you the man of God that came from Judah? And he said, I am.
Then he said to him, Come home with me, and eat bread.
And he said, I may not return with you, nor go in with you: neither will I eat bread nor drink water with you in this place:
For it was said to me by the word of the LORD, You shall eat no bread nor drink water there, nor go home by the same way that you came.
He said unto him, I am a prophet also 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. But he lied unto him.
I. THERE ARE AND HAVE ALWAYS BEEN FALSE PROPHETS WHO CONTRADICT THE WORD OF GOD.
A. It began in the garden of Eden when God said to Adam and Eve that in the day that they ate of the forbidden fruit that they would die. Satan lied to Eve telling her that she would not die.
1. This was contrary to what God had said.
2. Eve is now faced with the choice, do I believe the word of God or the word of Satan?
3. It seems that we often have to make the same choice, do I believe what God has said, or what Satan is telling me.
a. God's word says that if you live after the flesh you will die. Satan says, "You surely will not die."
b. God had said to the young prophet, you are not to eat or drink in that place. The old prophet said, "I also am a prophet and an angel said by the word of the Lord to bring you back to eat and drink water. Now who is the young man to believe?
c. Many of you remember Lonnie Frisbee who God used in a special way during the Jesus People movement. Many wondered whatever happened to Lonnie. An old prophet told him that he was to go back to Florida to be shepherded by this older prophet that Lonnie deeply admired. So Lonnie, by word of the man, went back with a couple other leaders in the Jesus Movement. All three of them lost their anointing and ministries that the Lord had given them.
d. In our story the old prophet told the young prophet that an angel spoke to him telling him to bring the young prophet back. Paul said, "If I or an angel of heaven preaches any other gospel than that which you have received, let him be accursed.
B. Know this, God's word is forever established.
1. Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away, but His word would never pass away.
2. When Joseph interpreted the Pharaoh's dream he said to him,
The reason that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.
3. When Moses was leading the nation through the wilderness and they began to murmur because they wanted meat, Moses went before the Lord with their complaint, and the Lord said that He would give them enough meat for a whole month. Moses said, "Lord, there are 600,000 men and you want me to tell them that here in this wilderness you will give them meat for a month?"
And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD'S hand waxed short? you shall see whether my word shall come to pass or not.
4. In Joshua's final speech to the people he said:
Behold, this day I go the way of all flesh: and you know in your hearts and in your souls, that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the LORD your God spoke concerning you; all has come to pass unto you, [and] not one thing has failed. Therefore it shall come to pass, that as all good things are come upon you, which the LORD your God promised you; so shall the LORD bring upon you all evil things, until he has destroyed you from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you.
I will not break My covenant, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
6. The prophet Isaiah said,
The grass withers, and the flower fades: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.
7. Twice in Deuteronomy there are warnings against adding to or taking away from the word of the Lord.
You shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.
What things I command you, observe to do them: you shall not add to, or diminish from them.
8. In the book of Revelation Jesus pronounces a special curse upon a person that would tamper with His word.
For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
II. THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE BIBLE THERE ARE WARNINGS AGAINST THE FALSE PROPHETS. THOSE WHO WOULD TEACH CONTRARY TO THE ESTABLISHED WORD OF GOD.
A. Their punishment was to be very severe.
But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die.
B. The consequences of those who follow their word is also very severe Jehoshaphat the king of Judah had gone north to visit the king of Israel. The King of Israel was preparing to go to war against Syria and asked Jehoshaphat if he would like to go with him. Jehoshaphat suggested that they inquire from the prophets if they should go to battle.
Then the king of Israel gathered the prophets together, about four hundred men, and said unto them, Shall I go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up; for the Lord shall deliver [it] into the hand of the king.
And Jehoshaphat said, Is there a prophet of JEHOVAH, that we might inquire of him?
And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, [There is] a man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of Jehovah, but I hate him; for he never prophesies any good concerning me, but only evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.
Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten and bring Micaiah the son of Imlah.
And one of the prophets, Zedekiah, made horns of iron: and he said, Thus saith the LORD, With these shall you push the Syrians, until you have consumed them.
And all the prophets prophesied the same saying, Go up to Ramoth- gilead, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver [it] into the king's hand.
And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spoke unto him, saying, Behold now, all the prophets declare good unto the king let your word, I pray thee, be like the word of them, and speak good.
And Micaiah said, As the LORD lives, what the LORD says unto me, that will I speak.
So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver [it] into the hand of the king.
And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that you tell me nothing but [that which is] true in the name of the LORD?
And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have no shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.
And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?
And the king of Israel said, Take Micaiah, and carry him back unto Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash my son;
And say, Thus saith the king, Put this [fellow] in prison, and feed him with bread and water until I come in peace.
And Micaiah said, If you return at all, much less in peace, the LORD has not spoken by me.
So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead.
And a [certain] man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of his armor: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn, and take me out of the battle for I am wounded.
And the battle increased that day: and the king was propped up in his chariot against the Syrians, and he died that evening
So the king died, and was brought to Samaria; and they buried the king in Samaria.
1. Listening to the false prophets cost him his life.
2. Listening to false prophets today can cost you your eternal life.
C. God said to Jeremiah: A horrible thing has happened,
The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own authority; and the people love to have it so: but what will you do in the end thereof?
1. People today are going after false prophets who speak soothing words, but not God's word. People are offended by talk of the blood of Jesus Christ atoning for our sin, so we will not talk or sing about the blood.
2. They tell you that all roads lead to God, and that Jesus is not the only way to salvation, and those who believe so, are narrow minded bigots.
3. The question is, what will they do in the end thereof?
4. Jesus said to beware of false prophets, and the sign of the last days was that many false prophets would arise.
III. HOW CAN YOU TELL A FALSE PROPHET?
A. Not by his appearance, for he may be wearing sheep's clothing.
B. By his message.
1. If he is telling you that God needs your money, he is talking about a different god than what the Bible teaches. God said:
For every beast of the forest [is] mine, [and] the cattle upon a thousand hills. If I were hungry, I would not tell you: for the world [is] mine, and the fullness thereof.
2. If he tells you that you can be saved by your good works he is a false prophet. God said:
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
3. If he tells you that all roads lead to God, that Jesus is just one of the roads, he is not talking about a different god than the God of the Bible. Jesus said to Nicodemus, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man can come to the Father, but by Me. The Bible says:
For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;
4. You must now make the same kind of choice that Eve made in the garden, that men have had to make through the years, will I believe what God has said, or what some man tells me. The Bible says "Let God be true and every man a liar."
5. Will you gamble your eternal destiny on the word of man or the word of God?