A deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets
Jehoshaphat had it in the wrong order - he had made a decision based on nepotism - and only now was he going to ask God if it was His will! I'm reminded of the story of a woman who committed adultery and managed to end the affair, vowing she would have nothing more to do with the man. Then he 'phoned her up, asking to meet 'for old times sake.' She agreed to meet him - and then prayed, asking God to protect her from temptation! She shouldn't have agreed to meet, for the temptation was too much and the affair started again! If she had relied on the Word of God she would have known to consult His Word first - even before praying - and would never have made this mistake. Spiritual idolatry comes out of the same kind of adultery with the world.
Men who stand for the truth … will be exiled from parishes and
Jehoshaphat made the same kind of mistake. He had allied himself to a filthy deceiver, but was now going to seek God's will through consulting prophets. But what sort of prophets was he going to ask? We read of 400 'prophets' in agreement. Surely 400 must be right! Today Israel makes the same mistake, for the leaders of Israel are blind, but think they can see. Israeli ears, deaf to the Spirit of God, cannot hear or see that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is not Israel's God today. High tech prosperity and the good life of the West are worshipped while they ignore the voice of prophets. The only One who can preserve Israel, Jeshua the Messiah, is rejected and the ones who detest Israel are sought and honoured.
Let us pray that Israel will not be deceived more severely than Jehoshaphat who, despite the huge performance of 'Toronto' (q.v.) magnitude, knew he wasn't hearing God's prophets (1 Kings 22):
6 But Jehoshaphat said, "Is there not yet a prophet of the LORD here that we may inquire of him?"
Jehoshaphat knew these 400 'prophets' were wrong! So he asked if there was a genuine prophet - 'a prophet of the LORD!'
So we read that:
8 Then the king of Israel called an officer and said, "Bring quickly Micaiah, Imla's son." 9 Now the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah were sitting each on his throne, arrayed in their robes, and they were sitting at the threshing floor at the entrance of the gate of Samaria; and all the prophets were prophesying before them. 10 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made horns of iron for himself and said, "Thus says the LORD, 'With these you shall gore the Arameans, until they are consumed.'" 11 And all the prophets were prophesying thus, saying, "Go up to Ramoth-gilead and succeed, for the LORD will give it into the hand of the king."
Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah, was obviously a real poser, making horns of iron - typical of many so-called prophets skulking in the apostate church today! Lots of posing - no accuracy! We read of a typical 'don't rock the boat' messenger sent to the real prophet who stood alone:
12 Then the messenger who went to summon Micaiah spoke to him saying, "Behold, the words of the prophets are uniformly favorable to the king. So please let your word be like one of them and speak favorably." 13 But Micaiah said, "As the LORD lives, what my God says, that I will speak." 14 And when he came to the king, the king said to him, "Micaiah, shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, or shall I refrain?" He said, "Go up and succeed, for they will be given into your hand."
Micaiah WAS a prophet of God - but he could still mock the deceivers who 'prophesied' out of their vain imaginations! What did he say? Today, if you want to follow the advice of 'prophets' like Zedekiah's contemporary, Paul Cain, of Kansas City infamy, or Gerald Coates, the British equivalent, go ahead - see where it leads you.
15 Then the king said to him, "How many times must I adjure you to speak to me nothing but the truth in the name of the LORD?"
OK - you really want the truth? This is what God really says will happen:
16 So he said, "I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, Like sheep which have no shepherd; And the LORD said, 'These have no master. Let each of them return to his house in peace.'" 17 Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy good concerning me, but evil?"
Micaiah now lets them know how this deception by 400 false prophets began:
18 And Micaiah said, "Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing on His right and on His left. 19 "And the LORD said, 'Who will entice Ahab king of Israel to go up and fall at Ramoth-gilead?' And one said this while another said that. 20 "Then a spirit came forward and stood before the LORD and said, 'I will entice him.' And the LORD said to him, 'How?' 21 "And he said, 'I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.' Then He said, 'You are to entice him and prevail also. Go and do so.' 22 "Now therefore, behold, the LORD has put a deceiving spirit in the mouth of these your prophets; for the LORD has proclaimed disaster against you."
The deception began in heaven where Almighty God had decided that His judgement was now going to fall on Ahab for all his treachery, idolatry, scheming and utter mis-leading of God's people.
Then Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah came near and struck Micaiah on the cheek and said, "How did the Spirit of the LORD pass from me to speak to you?" 24 And Micaiah said, "Behold, you shall see on that day, when you enter an inner room to hide yourself." 25 Then the king of Israel said, "Take Micaiah and return him to Amon the governor of the city, and to Joash the king's son; 26 and say, 'Thus says the king, "Put this man in prison, and feed him sparingly with bread and water until I return safely."'" 27 And Micaiah said, "If you indeed return safely, the LORD has not spoken by me." And he said, "Listen, all you people."
ministries by the Ahab's ...
The deceivers and the deceived will not want to hear the truth from God's man. Their pride and ignorance will cause them to blunder on to their ultimate destruction. Just as the Lord Jesus Christ was struck when interrogated by the high priest (John 18:22) when He told the truth, so the showy false prophet strikes the man of God and the king imprisons Micaiah on bread and water until they 'return.' Men who stand for the truth in Britain will be exiled from parishes and ministries by the Ahab's, such as Carey and the Baptist Union. But Micaiah states his confidence that Ahab will not return safely and tells the people to note these words! Just as the Baptist Union in Britain, and other ignorant denominations, ally themselves with Rome and deceivers such as the Kansas City, Word-Faith, or Joel's Army false prophets, so Jehoshaphat goes out to war despite knowing he is in error and the prophet of God has told him so.How many chinks are there in the armour of leaders calling themselves Christians in the 'alliance' against today's king of Aram - bin Laden and his Muslim terrorists?
Even Ahab knows he is in trouble! So he tries to disguise himself - as if God can be fooled by a chameleonic change, by a wolf trying to disguise himself as a sheep. We read:
28 So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah went up against Ramoth-gilead. 29 And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, "I will disguise myself and go into battle, but you put on your robes." So the king of Israel disguised himself, and they went into battle. 30 Now the king of Aram had commanded the captains of his chariots, saying, "Do not fight with small or great, but with the king of Israel alone." 31 So it came about when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, "It is the king of Israel," and they turned aside to fight against him. But Jehoshaphat cried out, and the LORD helped him, and God diverted them from him. 32 Then it happened when the captains of the chariots saw that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him. 33 And a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel in a joint of the armour. So he said to the driver of the chariot, "Turn around, and take me out of the fight; for I am severely wounded."
Unfortunately for Ahab the king of Aram had already instructed his men to seek out the evil king of Israel. Take out the head and the body will soon fall! The same principal applies in spiritual matters where false heads fall and their followers are scattered. Those who claim to be Christians and follow deceivers quickly show that their spirituality was dependant on the man on the pedestal. Once he goes they begin to drift away and look for another human leader or lose their faith. The true Christian will never fall in this way because he is under the Headship of Christ and Christ is one with the Father and, as God, can never fail. The believing Christian has eternal security, safe in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ (John 10:27-30) who is his Lord and Saviour. On death we go immediately to be with the Lord (Philippians 1:23) - the Greek language is explicit, it is like two sides of a coin, for we are instantly transferred from our dead body to heaven just like the thief on the cross (Luke 23:43). How this contrasts with the Muslim who has been convinced that he must kill in a jihad to escape punishment for his sins and achieve the 'paradise' of a lascivious eternity - when, in reality, he joins Muhammad in Hell!
Earlier, we looked at the Christians' armour which is severely weakened if there is a single chink in it. How many chinks are there in the armour of leaders calling themselves Christians in the 'alliance' against today's king of Aram - bin Laden and his Muslim terrorists?
We read in 1 Kings 22:34-40:
34 And the battle raged that day, and the king of Israel propped himself up in his chariot in front of the Arameans until the evening; and at sunset he died. 35 And the battle raged that day, and the king was propped up in his chariot in front of the Arameans, and died at evening, and the blood from the wound ran into the bottom of the chariot. 36 Then a cry passed throughout the army close to sunset, saying, "Every man to his city and every man to his country." 37 So the king died and was brought to Samaria, and they buried the king in Samaria. 38 And they washed the chariot by the pool of Samaria, and the dogs licked up his blood (now the harlots bathed themselves there), according to the word of the LORD which He spoke. 39 Now the rest of the acts of Ahab and all that he did and the ivory house which he built and all the cities which he built, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel? 40 So Ahab slept with his fathers, and Ahaziah his son became king in his place.
Despite all his cunning in disguising himself in battle, as bin Laden and other terrorists hide behind other men and even women and children, the chink in his armour will be found in the same way and his blood will drain away. Ahab hid behind Jehoshaphat but still God's justice reached him. The Taliban hid behind children in their war against Russia - even sending child suicide bombers with offerings of apples disguising the bomb in the basket. The George Carey's of this world will only be attacked by the 'sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God' (Ephesians 6:17), but ultimately they will go. But who will replace them? The kings of Israel were an unremittingly bad crowd, with few exceptions - the church in Britain follows the same pattern until Christ comes again and, meanwhile, what happens to the mainly good Jehoshaphat's?:
41 Now Jehoshaphat the son of Asa became king over Judah in the fourth year of Ahab king of Israel. 42 Jehoshaphat was thirty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-five years in Jerusalem. And his mother's name was Azubah the daughter of Shilhi. 43 And he walked in all the way of Asa his father; he did not turn aside from it, doing right in the sight of the LORD. However, the high places were not taken away; the people still sacrificed and burnt incense on the high places. 44 Jehoshaphat also made peace with the king of Israel.