27. The Early Prophets

As the lives and legacy of kings begin to degenerate irrecoverably, prophets come to the front line. Christ’s disciples are very similar to prophets with great power and a great price tag.

Presentation Overview

  • Who is a prophet?
  • The first prophets
  • Prophets in the frontline
  • Popularity Prophets

Who is a prophet?

  • “Some people have something to say, others have to say something. A prophet is one who has something to say and has to say it.”
  • The test of a prophet – prophecies come true

God’s Touchpoints

  • The patriarchs, judges, priests and even some kings played a prophetic role.
  • Focus will be on prophets who came to the frontline during and after the kings came into power.

Their Role

  • They had one purpose – to be God’s mouthpiece
  • They had high influence – access to kings and leaders
  • They had to sacrifice their personal lives for the cause
  • They were most often unpopular

Their Role

They often had to suffer bad consequences for:

  • Speaking God’s truth
  • Smallest deviation to disobeying God

God used even the heathen as his mouthpieces

The Price Tag

Great power comes with a great price tag

On the flip side:

“You don’t pay the price for success, you pay the price for failure. You enjoy the benefits of success.”- Zig Ziglar

Jeraboam and the Man of God

1 Kings 13:2 By the word of the Lord he cried out against the altar: “Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: ‘A son named Josiah will be born to the house of David. On you he will sacrifice the priests of the high places who make offerings here, and human bones will be burned on you.’”

Jeraboam and the Man of God- Great Power

1 Kings 13:3 That same day the man of God gave a sign: “This is the sign the Lord has declared: The altar will be split apart and the ashes on it will be poured out.” 4 When King Jeroboam heard what the man of God cried out against the altar at Bethel, he stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Seize him!” But the hand he stretched out toward the man shriveled up, so that he could not pull it back.

Price Tag for Disobedience

1 Kings 13:18 The old prophet answered, “I too am a prophet, as you are. And an angel said to me by the word of the Lord: ‘Bring him back with you to your house so that he may eat bread and drink water.’” (But he was lying to him.) 19 So the man of God returned with him and ate and drank in his house.20 While they were sitting at the table, the word of the Lord came to the old prophet who had brought him back. 

Price Tag for Disobedience

1 Kings 13:21  He cried out to the man of God who had come from Judah, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have defied the word of the Lord and have not kept the command the Lord your God gave you. 22 You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your ancestors.’”………….   24 But as he was traveling along, a lion came out and killed him. His body lay there on the road, with the donkey and the lion standing beside it.

Prophets and Kings

  • Good Kings took heed to the prophets and corrected their ways.
  • Evil Kings disregarded the voice of prophets and headed to the path of downfall.

Prophet Condemns Ahab - He had to say it..

1 Kings 20:35 By the word of the Lord one of the company of the prophets said to his companion, “Strike me with your weapon,” but he refused.

 

Prophet Condemns Ahab - He had to say it..

1 Kings 20:36 So the prophet said, “Because you have not obeyed the Lord, as soon as you leave me a lion will kill you.” And after the man went away, a lion found him and killed him.

37 The prophet found another man and said, “Strike me, please.” So the man struck him and wounded him.

39 As the king passed by, the prophet called out to him, “Your servant went into the thick of the battle, and someone came to me with a captive and said, ‘Guard this man. If he is missing, it will be your life for his life, or you must pay a talent of silver.’ 

Prophet Condemns Ahab - He had to say it..

1 Kings 20: 40 While your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared.”

“That is your sentence,” the king of Israel said. “You have pronounced it yourself.”

41 Then the prophet quickly removed the headband from his eyes, and the king of Israel recognized him as one of the prophets. 42 He said to the king, “This is what the Lord says: ‘You have set free a man (Benhadad) I had determined should die. Therefore it is your life for his life, your people for his people.’” 43 Sullen and angry, the king of Israel went to his palace in Samaria.

God puts a Lying Spirit in Prophets

I Kings 22: 20 And 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.’

God puts a Lying Spirit in Prophets

I Kings 22:22 “‘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.’

Why did God put a lying spirit in the mouths of the prophets?

Ahab rejected the truth God gave him lies

The prophets neglected speaking the truth God filled their mouth with falsehood

Popularity Prophets

  • For every true prophet there are several false prophets
  • False prophets preach what they know people will like
  • They are popularity prophets

Signs of a Popularity Prophet

  • Their prophecies prove to be false
  • They do not keep or advocate God’s commands
  • They are wolves in sheep’s clothing

False Prophets

Matthew 7:15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Why?

Signs - False Prophesy

Deuteronomy 18:22 when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him. (NKJV)

Signs - Disobedience

Deuteronomy 13:1″If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods‘ — which you have not known — ‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you

A Disciple’s Role (similar to prophet)

  • One purpose – to be God’s mouthpiece
  • High influence – access to kings and leaders
  • Sacrifice their personal lives for the cause
  • Most often unpopular
  • Suffer bad consequences of speaking God’s truth
  • Face terrible consequences for deviation
  • God used even the heathen

The Price Tag

“You don’t pay the price for success, you pay the price for failure. You enjoy the benefits of success.”- Zig Ziglar

Discussion - Prophet vs. Disciple

1.Who are the “false prophets” of today’s age?

2.What are the “other gods of today”?

3.What do we learn from the following verse?

2 Tim 4: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

Our response

References

Related Posts

35 Israel Restored to Receive Christ

Israel’s priests and kings crumble. Prophets are sidelined. Yet God’s all-powerful hand orchestrates the return of Israel through the hand of pagan Kings. Timelines The Jews Return Leaders Opposition God’s Faithfulness Discussion Isaiah 13:19 Babylon, the most admired...

34 The Minor Prophets

The 12 minor (as in length of book) prophets of Israel (850 to 430 BC) warn of impending judgment with the glimmer of hope for the remnant. Timeline Summary Some “latter days” prophecies Group Book Approx. Dates Pre-exilic prophets of Israel   Jonah Amos Hosea...

33 Ezekiel, the Watchman

God calls Ezekiel to be a watchman to demolish delusions,expose apostasy, awaken repentance and stimulate hope – for a restored future for Israel. Background The Watchman Through actions Through preaching The Visionary – Israel’s Future A new heart Bones to life...

32 Daniel: Visions of the Future

Daniel, while enjoying a royal life, is deeply aware that he and his people are captives due to persistent disobedience. Knowing God’s patience and power, he prays for mercy for his nation in humble repentance and receives a big picture of the future from God....

31 Daniel, Highly Esteemed by God

Touted by professionals and businessmen, the stand out quality in Daniel’s life is not the fact that he is highly esteemed by men, but highly esteemed by God.Daniel never compromised on Food Worship Integrity Prayer Wisdom Daniel is flashed as a model in the business/...

30 Jeremiah, Jehovah Throws

Jeremiah means “Jehovah throws”. His life spans Israel’s pre-exile and exile. While he declares God’s judgment he assures that it is only for purification and unveils the hope of the Messiah. Outline and Summary Jeremiah Purified Jeremiah and the Potter Jeremiah...

29 Isaiah, the Lord has Saved

Isaiah’s name, “the Lord has saved”, reiterates the only hope of the world today – salvation through Christ.  Background Fall of man Judgement Redemption The Future Prophecies Fulfilled Discussion Isaiah is the first of the four “Major prophets”. His ministry went...

28 Elijah the prophet who never died

Elijah, one of the greatest prophets had his weak moments. Deeply human as he was spiritual, he struggles head to head with one of the worst kings – Ahab. King Ahab’s tryst with prophets Elijah, Best prophet vs. Ahab, Worst King Dynamic Display Deep Depression Where...

27 The Early Prophets

As the lives and legacy of kings begin to degenerate irrecoverably, prophets come to the front line. Christ’s disciples are very similar to prophets with great power and a great price tag. Who is a prophet? The first prophets Prophets in the frontline Popularity...