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Feb26FriFebruary 26, 2016As we continue to talk about the sovereignty of God, we have looked at God testing us, us testing God and now I want to look at testing the word of God. There are many people out there saying Hear the word of the Lord but is it really God’s word. The bible warns us many times to be careful. Luke 21:8 “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” Unfortunately many are waiting for a time in the future for this to happen but in reality the time is now and has been. 1 John 2:18 “Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.” 2 John 1:7 “I say this because many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. 8 Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. 9 Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them. 11 Anyone who welcomes them shares in their wicked work.”So since many are teaching other ways as Jeremiah prophesied we must be careful who we are listening to, even if it sounds plausible. Jeremiah 14:14 “Then the Lord said to me, “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds. Jeremiah 29:8 “Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.” Just because someone says, “Hear the word of the Lord” or “Thus saith the Lord” does not mean it is from the Lord. I am not just talking about charismatic here, but any preaching. Remember also that satan masquerades as an angel of light and as he did with Jesus.(Matthew 4) He will take the words of God and twist them to create a new message. We are warned over and over to be diligent in our discernment because the church is full of men and woman proclaiming their own messages. Matthew 7:15 [ True and False Prophets ] “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.” 1 Peter 5:8 “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”I like the example that King Jehoshaphat gave us a couple of times. One time was when King Joram son of Ahab and King Jehoshaphat were going to fight Moab. (2 Kings 3) They ended up with no water after a seven day march in the Desert of Edom. King Jorams response was 10 “What!” exclaimed the king of Israel. “Has the Lord called us three kings together only to deliver us into the hands of Moab?” But this is what King Jehoshahat said, “Is there no prophet of the Lord here, through whom we may inquire of the Lord?” An officer of the king of Israel answered, “Elisha son of Shaphat is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah.” 12 Jehoshaphat said, “The word of the Lord is with him. So they went to him and 13 Elisha said to the king of Israel, “Why do you want to involve me? Go to the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother.(Ahab and Jezebel) “No,” the king of Israel answered, “because it was the Lord who called us three kings together to deliver us into the hands of Moab.” 14 Elisha said, “As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I did not have respect for the presence of Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not pay any attention to you. 15 But now bring me a harpist. While the harpist was playing, the hand of the Lord came on Elisha.”The next example was with again King Jehoshaphat and but this time with King Ahab. This occurred previously in 1 Kings 21. 4 So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” 5 But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.” 6 So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” “Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” 7 But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?” 8 The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” “The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied. 9 So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.” 11 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed. 12 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” They went to get 13 Micaiah and said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.” Micaiah prophesied and decreed disaster for King Ahab. 28 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!” Notice that Jehoshaphat knew the difference between a prophet of the Lord and prophetsThere is a part here that you must grasp so that you will be able to discern truth. In Micaiah’s prophecy he said, “the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. 21 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ 22 “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked. “‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’ 23 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.” Remember when Elijah challenged all the prophets? 1 Kings 18:19 “Now summon the people from all over Israel to meet me on Mount Carmel. And bring the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah, who eat at Jezebel’s table.” The same thing is happening today. Just because someone sounds good and may even have props does not mean they speak the word of the Lord. Because of the disobedience of God’s people and because as Psalm 4:2 “How long will you people turn my glory into shame? How long will you love delusions and seek false gods?” Jeremiah 23:26 “How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? 2 Thessalonians 2:11 “For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.” 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.”Today the church is filled with men and women proclaiming the delusion of their minds and those encouraging them to do it because they refuse to acknowledge truth. Like Ahab they do not want to hear truth. They alter the gospel to suit their own needs and they sell their delusions to a people who are seeking anything but the truth. Jeremiah 29:8 “Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have.” The only way to discern is to worship in spirit and in truth. We must listen to the Holy Spirit very carefully as to who speaks the truth and who does not. It must be the whole truth and nothing but the truth, not partly true.In the church of Ephesus they / we are told Revelation 2:2 “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.” 4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” We must be diligent in testing the claims of people who call themselves apostles. It is kind of ironic that some of these false apostles claim there are no prophets and apostles anymore but speak and make claims with the authority of an apostle (no power though). These men and women are false teachers, preachers, and evangelists because they proclaim a false gospel. Make sure when being diligent that you yourself stay true to God’s word and like the Apostle Paul said, 1 Corinthians 9:24 “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. 25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. 26 Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”Listen to this warning from Jesus in Matthew 24:3 “As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately. “Tell us,” they said, “when will this happen, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” 4 Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many. 15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 22 “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. 23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.”