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KNOWING the True God #17

The Lord "allows" lying spirits!

                         KNOWING THE TRUE GOD #17



GOD PERMITS THE DARK FORCE


     A very interesting story is found in 1 Kings 21:17 - 22:40.
Ahab was a wicked king of Israel who had many "prophets" but
prophets that did not come from the Lord.
     Elijah the true prophet of God was sent to the king to tell
him that he would die. It is recorded that there was none like
him to that point in history, that did sell himself to work
wickedness, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. He did very
abominably in following idols. His family was to be "cut off" -
cease, but not in the lifetime of Ahab, as he did fast and pray
and humbled himself before God, when he heard the words of Elijah
(chapter 21:17-29).

     War between Israel and Syria stopped for the space of three
years, but in the third year king Jehoshaphat of Judah came to
the king of Israel. Ahab wanted the king of Judah to band
together with him to battle at Ramothgilead (chap.22:1-4), which
he said he would do.
     King Jehoshaphat wanted Ahab to inquire of the prophets. The
false prophets were gathered together and told the two kings that
all would be fine, the enemy would be delivered into their hands.
King Jehoshaphat had heard about another prophet besides the four
hundred or so. 
     "Oh yes, there is another one," said Ahab, "but I hate him
as he never gives good news concerning me."
     "But maybe he will not this time, give bad news," replied
Jehoshaphat.
     So the prophet Micaiah was sent for. The messenger wanted
him to speak "good" concerning Ahab. Micaiah retorted that he
could speak only what God told him to say. King Ahab asked
Micaiah if he should go up to battle at Ramothgilead. With tongue
in cheek Micaiah said, "Okay, as you want to hear what you want;
go up and fight, and the victory will be yours."
     The king got red in the face, and shouted at Micaiah, "How
many times shall I adjure you that you tell me nothing but that
which is true, in the name of the Lord?"
     "Alright, then I will tell you the truth," came from Micaiah
mouth, "I saw Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have
not a shepherd: and the Lord said, these have no master: let them
return every man to his house in peace."
     With frustration and anger Ahab turned to look at king
Jehoshaphat, "Did I not tell you that he would speak no good
thing concerning me, but only evil!!"

     Micaiah looked at both kings: "I saw the Lord sitting on His
throne, and all the host of heaven standing by Him on His right
hand and on His left. And the Lord said, 'Who shall persuade
Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead?' And one said
on this manner, and another said on that manner. And there came
forth a spirit, and stood before the Lord, and said,'I will
persuade him.'
And the Lord said, 'How will you persuade him, how will you do
it?' 'I will go forth and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all
his prophets.' And the Lord said, "Yes, you shall persuade him,
and prevail also, go forth, and do so.'
     Micaiah ended by saying, "Now therefore, behold the Lord has
put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and
the Lord has spoken evil concerning thee" (verses 5-23).

     Ahab was so blown out of his mind, so angry, that he had
Micaiah thrown in prison, saying, "Put this man in prison, and
feed him with bread of affliction and with water of affliction,
until I return in peace" (verse 27).

     Micaiah's answer to that was: "If you return at all in
peace, the Lord has not spoken by me. Harken to that all you
people, every one of you" (verse 28).

     The test of a true prophet of the Lord is that what he says
is the truth and what he predicts comes to pass.

     Ahab did die in battle. He did not return in peace!! (verses
29-40).


THE CONFERENCE IN HEAVEN

     Verses 19-23 are most interesting and revealing. Though God
is perfect, and though it is written "is there anything too hard
for the Eternal" the fact is that God is the author of the
proverb that says "In the multitude of counsel there is safety"
(Proverbs 11:14). So we see here an example that God is not above
having meetings with his created spirit beings, to discuss a
matter of how some evil and wicked persons of leadership, are to
be dealt with, are to meet their end.
     Could God decide all of these matters by Himself? Yes, of
course He could. But this example here is given to show us that
he does not always operate as a "one man band" - He likes, simply
because He likes, to have input and suggestions from others, on
certain matters "to take care of business" as one "Beatles" (the
singing group of the 1960) song was entitled.
     These verses may shock some people, especially if seeing
them for the first time. But there it is friends, there is a part
of knowing the true God. He just gets pleasure out of having
others input at times, on things that need to happen to back up
the truth he has spoken through an flesh and blood prophet of
His. This should tell us that our God is not some "far off
mystic, un-fathomable, aloof" God. We have seen in past studies
that He can wrestle with man, if He so chooses; that he can enter
a debate with man as He did with Abraham over Sodom and Gomorrah;
He can even be persuaded to change His mind, as Moses got Him to
change His mind about obliterating Israel and starting all other
again with the children of Moses.

     I tell you friends, we have a God, we have a heavenly
Father, that is a lot more PERSONAL and REAL, and "down to earth"
than most know about, or as most teach you about. Have you heard
about this God, as you are hearing about Him in this series of
studies? What goes on in heaven with the Lord and all His created
beings, when we know the details in the future, after Jesus has
returned, and the saints are made immortal, is going to make the
little glimpse we get from passages like this, a whole new ball
game. The working and ways of God and the angels in their mostly
unseen world, we are going to marvel at. There is an unseen world
out there that is so busy, it will make our hustle and bustle
word seen like a leisurely Sunday-afternoon picnic.

     God is perfect and wholly righteous. The angels and other
created beings, who are remaining faithful to the Lord, are also
righteous and sinless. The "spirit" that went to be a "lying
spirit" to all the 400 or so prophets of Ahab, would have been a
"fallen spirit." Maybe even Satan himself, as it seems he is
still allowed to approach the heavenly throne, as we see from the
book of Job, the first chapters.

     You may ask, "Why didn't God just kill Ahab through a
sickness, or die in his sleep, or get killed in an accident?"
Yes, the Lord could have used all of those means, and many other
ways also, to kill Ahab. We may not always have the answer as to
why the Lord does things a certain way, as opposed to another
way. The Lord is the Lord and I'm sure He has good reasons to
work the way He decides to work. As the apostle Paul once said,
"We look through a glass darkly at times, but one say we shall
know even as we are known."
     Certainly in the example we have studied we can see God
using a prophet to undermine and openly show, who were the false
prophets and who was the prophet of the Lord. The prophets of God
will nearly always NOT BE LIKED by leaders of secular governments
and religious organizations. It is the principle Jesus taught,
"Woe unto you when men shall speak well of you, for so did their
fathers to the false prophets." Indeed some of the true prophets
of the Lord have been thrown into prison and even killed, by
those in authority, who did not like what they were hearing.

     Knowing God is knowing He has many ways to perform His will
and plan for mankind. Here we see the Eternal One ALLOWING
"spirits" to LIE through the lives and words of FALSE prophets.

     How do you KNOW who speaks the true Word of the Lord? It is
as Isaiah said, "To the law and the testimony [word of God], if
they speak not according to this word, there is no light in them"
(Isaiah 8:20). And it is also "searching the Scriptures daily, to
see whether those things were so" (Acts 17:11).

                         .........................

To be continued


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